1. HAS BLACKMON HIT THE FRESHMAN WALL?: It's certainly fair to wonder that. James Blackmon Jr. has not looked like the same player lately, and the numbers back that up. Consider:
First eight games: 19.5 ppg, 49-96 FG (51%), 26-48 3P (54%), 36 FTA
Last seven games: 13.3 ppg, 33-96 FG (34%), 11-41 3P (27%), 19 FTA
In two Big Ten games: 8.0 ppg, 3-23 FG (13%), 2-10 3P (20%), 9 FTA
If you take out the Georgetown game, in which Blackmon was 7-of-17 from the field and 6-of-12 from beyond the arc for 22 points, the numbers look even worse. The thing is, Blackmon Jr. has gotten a lot of really good looks from the perimeter, and he's just not knocking them down right now. There's no rest coming for Blackmon, though, with Ohio State visiting Assembly Hall on Saturday.
2. ROBINSON HUNTING OFFENSE: Stanford Robinson has been one of the most frustrating Indiana players to watch this year, and it's because he refuses to play to his strengths. At his best, Robinson can be Indiana's second-best on-ball defender behind Yogi Ferrell. But when he's gotten in the game this season, he's not focusing on his defense. Instead, he's hunting his own offense, and it's not a good look.
On a team where ball movement is vital to offensive success, Robinson has become a selfish ball stopper who does everything in his power to get his instead of making sure the team gets the best shot possible. Robinson is 16-of-50 from the field this season, 15-of-33 from the foul line, and 0-of-8 from beyond the arc. It's time to remove him from the rotation altogether until he realizes his value to this team begins on the defensive end.
There was even a moment in Monday night's game when Robinson went back to his left hand when shooting a free throw. He still missed it.
3. ZEISLOFT ISN'T HITTING: Nick Zeisloft has made as many big shots as anybody else on the Indiana roster this year, but his shot simply hasn't been falling lately. Zeisloft is a dismal 3-of-20 from beyond the arc in the last four games, and he's 2-of-12 from distance in two Big Ten games.
Zeisloft is a valuable leader for the Hoosiers, but he shouldn't continue hoisting 3s when they aren't falling. He's got a quick trigger, but lately, he's taken a lot of shots that aren't all that open and when his feet aren't entirely set.
4. MOSQUERA-PEREA ROLLER COASTER: Feeling sick to your stomach? That's probably because you've been riding the Hanner Mosquera-Perea roller coaster for too long. Mosquera-Perea has seven double-figure games, but only one time did they come in back-to-back efforts. Look at the numbers from the last four games, the epitome of his season at large.
Vs. New Orleans: 12 points (4-6 FG), 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, Indiana win
Vs. Georgetown: 2 points (1-5 FG), 6 rebounds, 3 blocks, Indiana loss
At Nebraska: 12 points (5-8 FG), 10 rebounds, Indiana win
At Michigan State: 0 points (0-1 FG), 1 rebound, 1 block, Indiana loss
Tom Crean had some harsh words for Mosquera-Perea after the game, and rightly so. At some point, he has to get consistent, or Indiana will never be consistent as a team.
5. LEARN MORE FROM WIN, OR LOSS?: People around the country seemed to feel pretty good about Indiana after its New Year's Eve win over Nebraska. Those same people are likely feeling just as bad about the Hoosiers after their ugly loss to the Spartans. So, which game taught us more about what team the Hoosiers will ultimately be?
In the end, it's a positive that the Hoosiers were able to split the two road games to start the conference year, but Monday night's loss was alarming because of the Hoosiers' lack of fight. That's not a good sign. If they allow it to bleed into Saturday's game against Ohio State, we'll know the answer to my question.