Indiana doesn't match Temple's intensity

Indiana looked a step slow today against Temple. From beginning to end, Temple appeared to be quicker to the ball, fight harder for rebounds and get to almost every loose ball.

After a week of explaining his tirade at the end of last Saturday's game against Kentucky, the Hoosiers' head coach Mike Davis did not have the intensity he normally projects on the sidelines. The Hoosiers feed off of Davis and the team mirrored their coach's lack of energy today.

Davis failed to adjust to Temple's complicated matchup zone. Temple switched from a three-two zone to a two-three zone in the second half, extending the zone further out on the perimeter to cover Indiana's three-point shooters. Davis did not make an adjustment to get the ball inside to his experienced big men when Temple switched to this two-three-zone approach. With Temple enforcing an extended zone, Indiana should have made a better effort to get the ball down low to Newton and Leach to take advantage of Temple's young interior defenders.

Instead the Hoosiers continued to fling up three-point shots rather than running their offense. Indiana's motion offense was replaced by a lot of standing around and watching the ball. IU attempted more shots from behind the arc than inside it, taking 29 three-pointers out of a total of 50 shots.

Indiana made 45 percent of their three-pointers but forgot about their inside game. Leach and Newton were not factors in the game combining for 14 points, 12 rebounds and 7 turnovers.

Newton and Leach did not intimidate Temple's low post players Antywane Robinson and Keith Butler, who benefited from the penetration of guards Alex Wesby and David Hawkins. Temple's quickness exploited the same weakness Kentucky did last Saturday by penetrating past Indiana's slower guards and then dishing the ball off or scoring. Indiana didn't have an answer for Wesby all day. Whenever IU began to build momentum, Wesby would retaliate with a bucket for Temple. Indiana also struggled to contain Hawkins who possesses both quickness and strength, making him particularly difficult to defend against.

Temple was off to their worst start in school history with only one win in their first seven games, but with two weeks to prepare for Indiana, Temple coach John Chaney prepared his team well. Chaney's patented matchup zone was more fluid than in past games and the Owls as a team looked more active.

Indiana entered the game with an 8-1 record and easily could have overlooked the Owls after a week of defending the actions of their coach last Saturday. Now, the Hoosiers have lost two straight and will have to travel to Muncie, Indiana to battle the Ball State Cardinals on Tuesday.

Although Indiana lacked their usual intensity, they still had an opportunity to win the game. After Bracey Wright made a three pointer with 6:30 remaining, Indiana seemed to have gained momentum, but Temple answered with a Maurice Collins jumper and tightened up their defense, holding IU to one field goal and five points in the last 6:30 of the game.

Despite the lack of offense, Indiana still had a chance to tie the game at the end. Temple gave Indiana a chance to send the game into overtime after Brian Polk missed two free throws that could have clinched the game for the Owls. Indiana pushed the ball up the floor passing the ball to Tom Coverdale. Coverdale looked like he wanted to take the shot but with two Temple defenders guarding him, he chose to swing the ball to Wright who attempted an awkward three-pointer that clanked off the rim. Wesby sealed the game with two free throws for Temple.

After Wesby's free throws gave Temple the 69-64 lead, Polk stole the ensuing Indiana inbounds pass and finished the game with an emphatic jam. The dunk served as a microcosm for the entire game. Temple was the hungrier team while Indiana played passive and preferred to take three-point shots rather than getting the ball inside against Temple's matchup zone.

Peegs.com Top Stories