Pregame thoughts: Indiana

Prepping for a trip to mid-Missouri, Indiana coach Mike Davis and junior guard Bracey Wright met with the media during a teleconference Friday morning. Look inside for thoughts on the teams' meeting last season and the Hoosiers' struggles from the field.

Indiana coach Mike Davis

On Missouri: "They're a lot quicker and faster than last year. They're extremely athletic and they're playing hard defensively this year. It's going to be a tough game for us."

On the Hoosiers' shooting struggles: "Our biggest problem has been the level of competition we've played. Any time you go to play at a big conference, your shooting percentage usually drops. We're playing against an NCAA (tournament) type of level right now (and) we're getting wide open looks. It's just a matter of stepping up and making some plays."

On the play of freshmen Robert Vaden and D.J. White: "It was no question from Day One, with them coming in, who would start for us. It's been up and down for them, a difficult challenge."

On his team's youth and the necessity of patience: "Patience is something that they have to have, not just the fans. You don't want to rush your personnel; you want to make sure they truly understand what we want to do and why we do it. When you get to that level, you're gonna see a pretty good basketball team."

On his team struggling with confidence after close losses to highly ranked teams: "Well, it's human nature. If you fight as hard as you can fight and come up short, you really don't look too (far) down the road a lot of times. When you play with doubt, it creeps in at the wrong time and hurts you."

On his expectations for Sunday: "I don't know what Missouri's been through, but the last two or three years we've faced a difficult schedule. We can't get caught up in what everybody's saying or thinking."

Indiana junior guard Bracey Wright

On what cost the Hoosiers their game against Missouri last year: "I think that, down the late stretches of the game, they really worked the ball inside on us. That was a problem for us last year, that we got beat a lot on the inside. I think the biggest thing was, we were caught out of position a lot. We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds at a lot of key moments."

On why Indiana has struggled from the field this year: "I really don't know. We take good shots, high-percentage shots. Right now, a lot of players' shots aren't falling for them. That happens every now and then, but we'll get on a roll, start knocking down shots and win some games."

On if the Hoosiers' nonconference schedule is the most difficult he has played: "Yep, definitely since I've been in college. All these teams are loaded. To go in and play them, it's fun for this team to do because it's the kind of competition that you want to establish yourself against. Even though we've lost four in a row, we learn a lot from these games."

On the play of Vaden and White: "They still got a long way to go and have a lot to learn. The biggest thing that they need to do is to continue to get as much knowledge as they can."

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories