It’s easy to figure out what Indiana wants to improve upon in
its Big Ten rematch with Iowa.
After turning in their worst defensive performance of the season
in last month’s victory over the Hawkeyes, the 18th-ranked Hoosiers
look for more stops in Sunday’s meeting in Iowa City.
Indiana (20-6, 8-6) ended a four-game slide to Iowa (13-13, 5-8)
with a 103-89 win Jan. 29. The Hawkeyes’ 63.0 percent shooting was
their highest mark in six seasons and the worst the Hoosiers have
allowed in their last three campaigns.
“We know when we get to Iowa, we’ve got to be way better
defensively,” Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said. “That’s the bottom
line. We allowed them to shoot too high of a percentage.”
Iowa freshman Josh Oglesby had a season-high 24 points while
Matt Gatens added 20.
“There were times they really earned shots, especially Oglesby,
who had people in his face,” Crean said. “But there were times we
let their team get way too comfortable in the game, whether it was
in the post or on the perimeter.”
Oglesby has totaled 10 points in his four games since. He
replaced an injured Bryce Cartwright for his first start Thursday
and made 1 of 7 shots for three points and three assists in a 69-64
loss at Penn State.
“I thought Josh couldn’t make a shot, but he played really well
defensively,” coach Fran McCaffery said. “He had three assists, no
turnovers. He’s not a mistake maker and he’s doesn’t hurt us on
McCaffery indicated Cartwright is doubtful for Sunday with a
high ankle sprain.
The coach has not been happy with Zach McCabe, who picked up
four fouls in three straight games before fouling out Thursday with
two points and two rebounds.
“We need him to play better, especially if we’re going to have a
chance against Indiana,” said McCaffery.
The frontcourt tandem of the 6-foot-7 McCabe and 6-8 Aaron White
have a tough task against 6-11 forward Cody Zeller. The Indiana
freshman, shooting a conference-best 65.6 percent, made 11 of 12
shots for a season-high 26 points in the first meeting.
Indiana shot 55.2 percent in that contest by taking advantage of
an Iowa defense ranked last in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage
at 45.7. Crean, though, does not want his team to get caught up in
the Hawkeyes’ up-tempo style.
“I’m sure it will be a fast-paced game, but we can’t be in the
situation where we go on the road and try to trade baskets with a
high-powered team like Iowa,” Crean said.
While the Hoosiers are shooting a Big Ten-best 42.7 percent on
3-pointers, it was Gatens who put on a show from beyond the arc his
last time out. The senior guard made five 3s while scoring 19 of
his 21 points after halftime Thursday.
“He was going to affect some change, and he did and everyone
sort of fed off of his performance and his energy level,” McCaffery
Gatens is part of a senior class that is 3-0 at home against the
Hoosiers. His 15.1-point average against them is his highest
against any Big Ten opponent.