Upon Further Review - Western Michigan

Indiana turned to a four-guard set in the second half and regained its shooting stroke in an eight-point win over Western Michigan. HoosierNation.com looks back at the contest and analyzes the best performances as well as the highlights and lowlights from the game...

Game MVP - Earl Calloway. The senior point guard struggled in the first half, but bounced back with a 16-point second half. He was a part of a four-guard lineup that turned up the defensive intensity (IU forced 12 of WMU's 21 turnovers in the second half) and also attacked the basket in transition and off the dribble. Calloway was 8-of-9 on free throws in the second half and the Hoosiers attempted 15 free throws in the game's final 20 minutes after getting to the line only six times in the first half. Calloway did a have a couple of careless turnovers late – and four turnovers overall – but it marked the third straight game IU Coach Kelvin Sampson said he was pleased with the effort Calloway exerted on both ends of the floor. He also looked to score Wednesday, something Sampson has been looking for from the Atlanta, Ga., product.

Biggest Surprise… After out-rebounding nine straight teams – something an IU team hasn't accomplished in 24 years – the Hoosiers were whipped 42-31 on the glass. While the decision to go with four guards had something to do with that, Western Michigan was quicker to loose balls, generally, throughout the contest. The Broncos grabbed 14 of the game's first 20 rebounds, led by Fishers, Ind., native Joe Reitz who finished with 12 rebounds (seven offensive). The Broncos finished with a 25-12 edge in second chance points, a category that Indiana has generally dominated against its foes this season. Indiana's 58.1% second-half shooting helped make up for the sub-par evening on the glass, but rebounding is an area that Indiana needs to be sound in once Big Ten play opens next month.

What I Found Most Impressive… The play of Armon Bassett. The Terre Haute, Ind., native was overshadowed by Calloway and D.J. White (16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks) Wednesday, but Bassett continues to be a very important piece to the Hoosiers' puzzle. Bassett scored all 12 of his points in the second half while going a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor. Defensively he picked up a couple of reach in fouls that sent the Broncos to the free-throw line, but you can see progress in that area of Bassett's game as well. He's generally been able to stay in front of opposing point guards who try to penetrate and get in the lane, and he narrowly missed jumping the passing lane on a couple of occasions last night for steals. Bassett's offensive contributions have been a bit erratic this season, as he entered the game with as many double figure efforts (3) as zero-point outings. With that in mind, it was encouraging to see him re-group from a poor first half to become an integral part of the attack in the final 20 minutes.

What I Found Most Concerning… There was an opportunity for a letdown after Sunday's hard fought 57-47 win over Southern Illinois Sunday, and that's exactly what happened. Indiana was lethargic in the opening half, falling behind the 4-7 Broncos by as many as seven before re-grouping in the second half. That's a concern when one looks ahead to the Big Ten, where there will be plenty of nights that mirror the Southern Illinois game in terms of intensity. But the next team up on the IU schedule won't be nearly as forgiving as Western Michigan was last night. Indiana was able to go through the motions in the first half and still recover to win in the game's final 20 minutes. In conference play, that sort of first half effort will land the Hoosiers in the sort of holes that will be difficult to recover from, no matter how good IU is in the second half.

Turning Point: The Hoosiers set the tone for the second half in its first two possessions. Calloway drove into the lane and hit a pull-up jumper to cut the WMU lead to one, and then after Roderick Wilmont forced a Shawntes Gary turnover he fed Calloway for a fastbreak layup that gave the Hoosiers their first lead since 3-2 in the game's opening minutes. Indiana came out in the second half with the goal of attacking the Broncos off the dribble instead of settling for 3-point attempts, and Calloway did exactly that. That approach produced more trips to the free-throw line, a much higher shooting percentage, and ultimately a win for the Hoosiers over the Broncos.

Quotable: "I was having a perfectly good weekend until I watched them Sunday night (against Southern Illinois), and then I got really concerned about their defensive intensity." - WMU Coach Steve Hawkins.

"We shot 58 percent in the second half. You're not going to shoot 58 percent for the game, but we're more than capable of shooting 50 percent for the game. It's not like we went in (at halftime) and said, ‘let's do this differently.' The kids just relaxed and stroked it." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.

"I really like a kid like Joe Reitz. He's just an old-school guy." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.

"They were hurting us with that high screen and roll. For a young kid like Xavier (Keeling) – their offense may look simple, but those screens and re-screens they set up top, those aren't easy to guard, especially if you're a freshman that's never guarded that…I thought once we went with our four guards, instead of trying to hedge those screens we just switched those screens and we were a lot better." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.

"Coach has been emphasizing with me to control the ball and the team. Control my decision making in terms of speed, when to push it and when not to push it. I'm not forcing it. If it's not there, I pull it back out and set up the offense." – Earl Calloway.

"We could easily be 10-0 right now, and we would be 10-0 if we played an easier schedule. Look at how many teams have already played eight home games or nine home games. We played two in Indianapolis, we played at Duke and we played at Kentucky, and those games exposed our kids decision-making. Not that they weren't going to be good at it, they just didn't know how to run that stuff then." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.

Random Thoughts/Notes: Ben Allen might play Friday against IUPUI. The 6-11 center has been sidelined for two weeks with mononucleosis, and he's only been able to shoot on the side and do some light running. But Sampson said he might return to contact Thursday, and if he does he could see minutes Friday at Conseco Fieldhouse. Sampson said Allen has lost a good amount of weight from the ailment…Lance Stemler has missed 14 of his 15 shots in the last three games, including all 10 of his 3-point attempts…after going with a 10 or 11-man rotation for most games this season, the Hoosiers went almost exclusively with five players in the second half – D.J. White (17 second half minutes), Earl Calloway (19), Rod Wilmont (18), A.J. Ratliff (18) and Armon Bassett (18)…the Hoosiers' 50 second-half points was the second-most they've scored in a half, trailing only the 51 IU scored in the second half against Western Illinois…Indiana has been a much better team offensively in the second halves of games. IU has put up more points in the second halves in eight out of nine games, and they've averaged 32.4 points in the first half and 39.0 points in the second half.

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