Indiana did something we’ve grown accustomed to so far this season, starting the game off sluggish and borderline careless. It looked like Indiana would fight back as they usually do, and a once 18-point Nebraska lead had fallen to just nine at halftime.
Yet Indiana didn’t fight back in this one. The Hoosiers were, quite frankly, a soft team that lacked energy for most of the game on Monday night. Despite a sell-out crowd that was begging for moments to explode, Indiana looked surprisingly flat and uninspired. There is no mistaking the outcome of this game tonight; this was Indiana’s worst loss of the season and one that puts this team’s 2019 campaign on the cusp of spiraling out of control.
Not much went right for the team tonight, and offensively Indiana turned in what was without a doubt their most disappointing performance of the season. Indiana scored a season low in both points (51) and points per possession (.80) and never looked comfortable on the offensive end. In-fact, outside of Juwan Morgan, Indiana shot just 11-37 from the field overall, including 1-13 from behind the arc.
Credit needs to be given to Nebraska on that front, as the Cornhuskers were constantly harassing Indiana’s passing lanes and making it difficult for Indiana to enter the ball into the post. They also utilized a 1-3-1 zone for stretches of the game and it seemed to confuse the Hoosiers offensively and break any momentum they had going. Indiana simply struggled in every area of the game offensively tonight, whether it was being tentative around the rim, missing from behind the arc, or struggling from the free-throw line (11-of-19), the Hoosiers came up short.
Defensively Indiana was slightly better, but still far from impressive. Indiana struggled to find shooters, and routinely let backbreaking Nebraska’s three-point accuracy stop whatever momentum they had gathered. Though the raw stats look acceptable, holding Nebraska to 8-of-24 from the three-point line, the truth of the matter is when it came to crucial possessions, the Indiana defense faltered and gave Nebraska open looks.
Let’s call it what it is, the Indiana team that took the floor tonight was a team that lacked the necessary effort and fight needed to compete in Big Ten play.
“That was one of the most disappointing games we played as a team this season” Miller said after the game. “We didn’t have any energy, any pop, on either end of the floor.”
Now Indiana will have to gather themselves for arguably the toughest stretch of the season. Now losers of three in a row, the Hoosiers will play four of their next five games on the road, with their lone home game coming against the #2 ranked Michigan Wolverines. Perhaps it’s time for the coaching staff to begin evaluating potential changes to the lineup to help remedy the slow starts and perceived lack of energy this team seems to consistently churn out. One thing is for certain, the Hoosiers are spiraling downwards and could be in serious trouble if they can’t find a quick fix for the issues they encountered tonight.
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