By the Numbers: What Northwestern does well

Here's a look at Saturday's opponent, Northwestern, and what it does and doesn't do well.

Let me start by saying this: This is a game on Saturday that the Hoosiers absolutely should win. There's no reason they shouldn't go to 3-2 in conference, which would give them at least a decent chance of being ranked next week at 13-5 overall. picks Indiana to win 70-59 with an 88 percent chance of winning. The Hoosiers are ranked No. 54 overall. Northwestern comes in at No. 170.

Here are a couple of things Northwestern does well:

1. Plays defense ... This is kind of an unusual strength for Northwestern, but the Wildcats stay in games mostly because of their defense. They allow only 95.8 points per 100 possessions, ranking 37th nationally in that category and sixth in the Big Ten. They allow an effective field goal percentage of 46.1 (69th), a 3-point percentage of 30.1 (34th). Northwestern plays in a lot of low-scoring games, including a 54-40 loss to Michigan State on Wednesday and a 49-43 win over Illinois last Sunday. The Wildcats have held their opponents under 60 points on eight occasions.

2. Share the ball ... Other than defense, Northwestern doesn't really have another clear strength. It's definitely not up to the level of Wisconsin. They Wildcats assist on 57.8 percent of their made field goals, ranking 57th nationally. They also do an OK job protecting the ball, turning it over on 17.7 percent of their possessions.

What they don't do so well ...

1. Score ... Northwestern is the definition of an offensively inept team. The Wildcats score only 95.8 points per 100 possessions -- exactly the number they allow -- and rank 313th nationally in that category. They have an effective field goal percentage of 46.3 (289th), shooting just 30.6 percent from beyond the arc (300th) and 46.6 percent on two-pointers (246th). It doesn't help that Northwestern plays at the 329th-fastest pace in the country. The Wildcats aren't exactly flying up and down the floor.

2. Crash the offensive glass ... The Wildcats rebound only 24.8 percent of their misses, good for 331st out of 351 teams. They simply don't have a lot of size or athleticism. To compare, Indiana rebounds 41.9 percent of its misses, the fifth-best mark in the country.

3. Force turnovers ... Again, the Hoosiers may get off the hook in his category on Saturday. Northwestern doesn't force its opponents into many mistakes, posting a defensive turnover percentage of 15.9 (309th). The Wildcats get a steal on only 6.1 percent of their defensive possessions (333rd). Top Stories