Upon Further Review: Wake Forest

The Hoosiers suffered their third 25-point loss of the season Wednesday, falling to No. 15 Wake Forest 83-58 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. HoosierNation.com breaks down the game, including what we found most impressive, surprising and concerning about the contest. We also name our game MVP…

Game MVP - Nick Williams. There are never a whole lot of good things that come out a 25-point loss, but Williams' nine-point, 10-rebound performance is encouraging considering the team's need for him to be a force on the glass. With Tom Pritchard and Kyle Taber being the only bona fide frontcourt players that are a part of IU's regular rotation, IU Coach Tom Crean has stressed the need for a commitment to rebounding from both Williams and Malik Story.

Williams did his part, corralling four offensive and six defensive rebounds in just 26 minutes of action. His performance was a marked improvement over the last two games, when the freshman totaled a combined three rebounds in a total of 59 minutes of action. His effort on Wednesday helped the Hoosiers hold their own on the boards, as they were out-rebounded 34-30 by the Demon Deacons. While that's still a -4 overall, it's something IU can live with considering Wake Forest out-rebounded its last opponent, Baylor, by 24 and is a +10.2 on the season.

Biggest Surprise… Kipp Schutz was the first player off the bench. Just two minutes into the first half, Crean turned to the IU baseball player-turned-basketball player to enter the game in place of Malik Story. Schutz's early playing time was a result of not only the absence of Verdell Jones III – who made the trip but watched the game from the bench – but also because he has a toughness and level of athleticism that Crean doesn't necessarily want sitting on the bench 40 minutes a night. While Schutz doesn't figure to crack the starting lineup anytime soon, the Hoosier coach is seeing enough from the Evansville native to believe he can be a valuable contributor on most nights.

"He's starting to get in the basketball shape that he needs to be in, and he's not afraid to put his nose in there – he's a competitor," Crean said. "In what he doesn't have in understanding just yet of playing years of years of basketball since he left high school, he does have the competitive instincts. If we're going to have him on the team we have to keep finding different ways of using him."

What I Found Most Impressive… Ten minutes into the game, the Hoosiers were tied with Wake Forest 20-20. The Demon Deacons jumped to a 9-3 lead early and it appeared the game would get out of hand from virtually the opening possession. But Devan Dumes and Matt Roth hit 3-pointers, Daniel Moore scored on a couple of driving layups, and the Hoosiers got to the free-throw line on five different possessions in the early going to keep things close.

Things got out of control from there, as Wake Forest turned a slew of IU turnovers into fastbreak baskets and knocked down a series of long-range shots as well. But the first half of the first half showed that if Indiana can play inside-out and also drive and kick, it can keep pace with the better teams on its schedule. There isn't much margin for error – as last night proved – but Indiana's gameplan produced plenty of quality scoring chances in the early going and enabled the Hoosiers to keep pace.

What I Found Most Concerning… For Indiana to have success, it's going to need consistent play out of junior Devan Dumes and it didn't get it Wednesday night. Dumes committed six turnovers in the game's first 15 minutes and seven overall, and that's not the kind of production Indiana needs out of its most experienced player in the starting lineup.

Dumes is in a difficult position in that he's the most experienced Division I player on the team, yet he's still in his first year under Tom Crean and his first year with the IU program. But the younger players still look to him for leadership and guidance since he's at least been through some of this before. Taking care of the ball is something that's been lacking as of late – IU has turned the ball over at least 20 times in four of its last five games – and Dumes needs to clean up something of the careless miscues that he had against Wake Forest.

Turning Point: The last six minutes of the first half. While Indiana did allow Wake to go on a 9-0 run to go up 29-20, it remained within striking distance with 6:04 left trailing only 32-25 after a Kyle Taber lay-up. But Indiana turned it over on three straight possessions and were suddenly down 39-25. By halftime the lead grew to 16, and IU would get no closer than 15 the rest of the way.

Quotable: ""I was really surprised about that. We have so many good players; I couldn't believe they ran box and one on me. I told L.D. (Williams) and James (Johnson) to take the shots and make them. They did what they were supposed to do." – Wake Forest's Jeff Teague

"Before we can make strides, we have to learn to compete at a higher level for a longer period of time and before we can learn to compete, we have to learn to talk more to one another. We've got to learn to listen better. I guess it's all those things that you would expect with a brand new young team. I'm learning it for the first time too. It's just different." – IU Coach Tom Crean

"As well as they played, we shot ourselves in the foot so many times with turnovers. I have to go back and watch the tape but I would imagine that of our 26 turnovers, probably 90 percent were unforced by not making the next pass or trying to hit a home run play, rather than trying to get a single. Those are things that we have to improve upon." – Crean

"We don't have a team that at any point in time we can say that we're going to ride this person or we're going to focus on these two guys to get us through the hard times. We learned that again tonight. We have to have a team effort in everything that we do." – Crean

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