WHAT LOOKED GOOD: The Hoosiers looked good in the first half as they built a 16-point lead, driving to the basket and getting to the rim. The Hoosiers also rebounded the ball well. IU had a 31-22 rebounding edge for the game including 20-8 at the half. IU also had assists on more than half of its baskets (11-for-20). Yogi Ferrell hit 4-of-7 3-point shots, his best effort from distance since the Big Ten opener at Illinois where he made five. Stanford Robinson had 12 points, one off his career high. He has now scored in double figures in four of the last seven games.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:We have talked about turnovers this season over and over again but it was clearly the thing that stood out the most in IU's loss to the Cornhuskers. Indiana turned it over 19 times. IU leads the Big Ten averaging more than 15 turnovers per game. The 19 on Thursday led to 19 Nebraska points. Noah Vonleh had five turnovers to lead the Hoosiers but nine players had at least one. Robinson was next with three miscues, most when he trying to force the action driving to the basket. That has become a high risk/reward proposition for Robinson of late. He looks great when he takes that quick step, gets in the lane and gets to the basket for the shot. But often times he gets slowed in the lane and turns it over, too. IU did a nice job on the defensive end in the first half, looking much like it did the game before against Illinois. The Huskers made 34.8 percent of their shots from the field in the first half. In the second half, Nebraska hit 52.4 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from the 3-point line. That was a big difference in this one, too.
FOR STARTERS:Indiana used the same lineup it had against Illinois on Sunday with three freshmen in the starting lineup. tried a new starting lineup: Troy Williams, Robinson and Vonleh. The other two starters were Ferrell and Will Sheehey. Thursday, the starters combined to score 48 of the 55 points, shooting 17-for-36 from the field and 9-for-13 from the line. Robinson struggled against at the free throw line, hitting 1-of-3 attempts. In the last five games, he is 3-for-11 at the free throw line.
INDIVIDUAL OBSERVATIONS: Here's a look at my own thoughts on a few Indiana players from Thursday's loss to Nebraska:
1. NOAH VONLEH: The Big Ten Network flashed a graphic at one point in the game Thursday night that showed the commentator's midway Big Ten awards and he had Vonleh as his freshman of the year in the Big Ten. Perhaps that is based on Vonleh's six Big Ten freshman of the week accolades. It certainly can't be based on his play of late. Thursday he was limited to seven points and three rebounds. He rarely looked for his shot. He got to the foul line one time, and hit 1-of-2 free throws. Not sure if he has hit the freshman wall or what, but he certainly doesn't look like a one-and-done player right now. A point we have pounded home all season long is the number of shots Vonleh gets in a game. Thursday he had five and hit three of them. Another bad number for the freshman forward was turnovers. He led IU with five.
2. Troy WILLIAMS: The Big Ten Network commentators Thursday night again made the ‘young Victor Oladipo' comparison when referring to Williams but that's going to require quite an offseason in the gym with purpose for Williams. Outside of his rebounding total, which was impressive at a team-high nine including seven defensive boards, Williams simply did not have a statistics line worthy of a player that started and played 21 minutes in the game. He scored three points, on 1-of-2 shooting, had one assist and one turnover. The number that looks out of place in the line is the rebounds at nine. Again, the best word to use for Williams when he's in there is hesitant. He just doesn't seem completely confident in his abilities.
Jeremy Hollowell: When Hollowell was a fixture in the rotation in the first 15 games, he played at least 20 minutes per game in 14 of those contests. Since returning after being benched for three games, Hollowell has been a shell of his former self. Sunday against Illinois he was limited to 5 minutes of playing time. Thursday, that number was 6. He took one shot and made it, had one rebound and committed one turnover. He had two fouls one of which was on a 3-point shot that resulted in a four-point play. Indiana needs another perimeter contributor. It doesn't matter if it's Hollowell, Austin Etherington or Evan Gordon, to name three, but someone needs to step in and knock down some shots. That is something that is sorely lacking in this IU offense.
NEXT UP: Indiana (13-8, 3-5 Big Ten) returns home to take on unbeaten Michigan Sunday at 1 p.m. in Assembly Hall. The game will be televised nationally on CBS.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch