Breaking down IU/OSU

The Hoosiers made Tuesday night’s game closer than most people were expecting. It was arguably Indiana’s best played game of the season, even though it resulted in a loss. Now that we’ve had two days to let it digest (as we love to say at the Hoosier Scoop) let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong for IU.

The Good
Free Throw Shooting: The Hoosiers finished 11-11 from the charity stripe, by far their best performance of the season. The Cream and Crimson are shooting 68 percent for the season, so Tuesday night’s performance in Columbus was exceptional.

The Long Ball: The best part about Indiana’s strong shooting from beyond the arc against Ohio State was how much it displeased the annoying person behind me. Every 3 by the Hoosier was a dagger in his Buckeye heart. I don’t mean to sound sadistic, but it made me happy on the inside. Will the Hoosiers shoot over 50 percent from 3-point range every game? No. But they will need to shoot nearly that well in order to beat the tougher Big Ten opponents.

Joey Shaw: Joey Shaw, who knew? With A.J. Ratliff out with a wrist injury, Joey Shaw was thrown into Indiana’s rotation. Shaw had only played 24 minutes combined in last three games but played 23 minutes Tuesday night thanks to his hot hand. Shaw hit his first couple of shots and finished 6-11 from the field for a career-high 16 points. Shaw did foul out of the game, and isn’t the player defensively that he can be offensively, but it was nice to see the Hoosiers have another option.

The Bad
Rod Wilmont: Wilmont made some big shots down the stretch to keep the Hoosiers in the game, but it was really too late. Wilmont was a non-factor for 75 percent of the game. Wilmont had to sit in the first half after picking up his third foul quickly and wasn’t able to create when he had the ball to help the Hoosiers.

D.J. White: Around the Rim: Hoosier fans have to be pleased with how aggressive White was against Greg Oden, but going 3-14 from the field doesn’t provide much of a positive impact. Like most of White’s other games, his shots would come close to going in, but would be slightly off the mark. Part of this is due to the fact that White doesn’t have the leaping ability he did when he came into this program. Although he can still dunk with power, he doesn’t have the same explosiveness.

Foul Trouble: I touched on this before, but the Hoosiers committed too many fouls Tuesday night, plain and simple. They had 25 fouls to Ohio State’s 16, with five players finishing with over three fouls. You can blame it on the refs, but the Hoosiers will need to play stronger defense as a team to avoid these foul situations.

The Ugly
Late Turnovers: Nothing killed the Hoosiers more than the late turnovers they made in the closing minutes. Freshman Armon Bassett had the ball stolen with around a minute to go, but no turnover was as costly as D.J. White’s traveling violation. White most likely shouldn’t have even had the ball that far away from the rim (just inside the 3-point arc) but for him to have a mental breakdown and walk with the ball is solely his fault. Indiana is a young team with a new coach, but they’ll have to be mentally stronger in conference play if they want to win.