As an Indiana basketball fan, the only words that came to mind after Wednesday's 63-49 win were simply, "It's about time." The struggling Hoosiers picked up their first victory in six games, six games. It's hard to believe that these Hoosiers are the same Hoosiers that were ranked previously 5th in the nation after a 12-0 start. Maybe it was the hype that got to them, or maybe it was a matter of heart. Whatever it was, lets all hope it ended in Bloomington against Michigan.
The win wasn't pretty as both teams struggled from the field, but a win is a win. With their backs against the proverbial wall, the Hoosiers played with the emotion that has been missing for so long now. The capacity crowd in Assembly Hall was energized, and in return the players responded with effort. Every loose ball was contested, nine shots were blocked and backcourt pressure turned into fast break opportunities. Jeff Newton was running the floor and A.J. Moye fouled out.
The Indiana offense was sparked by the duo of Jeff Newton and Bracey Wright, who went for 20 and 21 points respectively. Newton dominated down low against undersized Michigan big men on both ends of the court, turning in a double-double with 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Bracey Wright moved well without the ball and poured in jump shots from the perimeter. This inside-outside dominance was a major factor in IU's early success. If Indiana is to get back on track, they will need to consistently maintain their offensive attack.
Not to take anything away from the victory, but there are still many problems that need to be addressed. Michigan's shooters often found themselves wide open from behind the arc. This translated into some easy field goals that kept the Wolverines in the game. Also, much more ball movement is needed in the Hoosiers' offense. The Indiana guards had trouble creating scoring opportunities against Michigan's zone defense.
On a side note, Mike Davis is experimenting with his starting lineup. Early staples George Leach and Kyle Hornsby are out in favor of A.J. Moye and Marshall Strickland. With Strickland starting at point, Tom Coverdale will have more scoring opportunities as the shooting guard. Expect this lineup to be on the court as Indiana tips off against Wisconsin on the road this Saturday.
Breakdown of Wednesday's Win
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