Up next for IU: Today at Purdue
When: 4 p.m.
Where: Mackey Arena
On the air: ESPN
Records: IU (14-10, 4-7 Big Ten), Purdue (14-10, 4-7)
Expected starters for the Hoosiers: Will Sheehey – 6-7 senior forward, Noah Vonleh – 6-10 freshman forward, Yogi Ferrell -- 6-foot sophomore guard, Troy Williams – 6-7 freshman forward, Stanford Robinson --.6-4 freshman guard
Update: Indiana has become a basketball train wreck. Poor on-court decisions (bad turnovers, late-game panic have resulted in losses in three of the last four games) have moved off court with sophomore forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea's indefinite suspension following his early Friday morning arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Given he only averages eight minutes a game and hasn't been a factor in a month, it's not that big off an on-court loss. The public relations blow is another matter. Former walk-on Jeff Howard and Devin Davis can handle things for limited periods. big key -- forward Noah Vonleh must stay out of foul trouble.
Turnovers remain the No. 1 problem, but there are plenty of others, from recognition and attention to detail, to following the scouting report to getting the ball across half court without being called for 10 seconds. Coach Tom Crean called it a lack of “awareness,” which is a nice way of saying the Hoosiers play dumb.
Crean is under heavy fan fire for pretty much everything except the brutal winter, and that might be next if the Hoosiers lose to Purdue. It would be very helpful if Vonleh took more than the three shots he had in the Penn State loss. The Hoosiers talk about Vonleh needing to be more demanding and the guards needing to do a better job of getting him the ball. It's time to do it. Set inside screens, run more pick and rolls or whatever, but he has to become more involved offensively. Getting its transition game going would be huge.
This is a team that could easily have five more victories. It has not played to its talent, and whether you want to blame coaching, toughness, leadership or immature play, it's time to change.
Coach Tom Crean: “We're just totally focused on improving. I think they're totally focused on improving. Disappointed certainly, but the bottom line is you have to move right on from your disappointment. You have to get right back on top of your game. Learn from it. Make the adjustments, the corrections. Continue to work very hard at the fundamentals and move forward. That's exactly how the program's run. That's exactly how it's been run. That's exactly the attitude that they take. They know we have another very tough task in front of us at Purdue.
“Purdue has got a tremendously talented inside player in A.J. Hammons. They've got veteran guards. They have speed. They've got the shooting ability. You know that you're going to get 40 minutes of incredible hard-nosed competitiveness from them. They bring a lot of issues to the table, as they always do. You just have to go in there and play very hard. You have to be very competitive. You have to play smart. You have to be aggressive with the ball. You have to be strong with the ball. There are a lot of things you have to really be on top of your game with.”