4 storylines to Indiana’s game against Northwestern #iubb

1. Zeisloft’s shooting stroke. No one has been hotter than Nick Zeisloft over the last few weeks. Zeisloft is shooting 60.9 percent from beyond the arc since Jan. 31, making 28 of his 46 3-point attempts. He was IU’s top 3-point shooter in Big Ten play and second over the course of the full season. For the year, 183 of his 220 total points have come from the perimeter, where he has been especially deadly in his home state of Illinois. Over two games against the Illini and Northwestern, Zeisloft is averaging 11 points with seven 3-pointers.

2. Pressuring Northwestern ball-handlers. Despite a guard-heavy lineup, IU coach Tom Crean has been averse to unleashing consistent ball pressure and mixing things up when man-to-man and zone concepts aren’t working. But the Hoosiers have found success when they’ve gone to their press at times this season, including during the final few minutes at Northwestern 15 days ago. Then, IU cut a 13-point deficit to as few as five and Crean admitted after the game that he should have pressed sooner. On his Monday radio show, Crean said to expect more of it this time. “Points are hard enough to stop that you don’t wanna give up a large amount of easy baskets, but with that being said, we probably do need to pressure more,” Crean said. “Especially on the ball, and look for different trapping situations because our guys are pretty good at it.”

3. Keep Tre Demps in check. Demps burned the Hoosiers for 23 points, including nine in a row during Indiana’s second-half slump. Over his last eight games, Demps has averaged 16 points and converted 52.6 percent of his 3-point attempts (20-of-38). He shot 66 percent from the field against IU in the first meeting, prompting Crean to project the senior guard as an NBA prospect — given the fine end to his college career. “Tre Demps is an all-league player to me,” Crean said. “He’s gotten nothing but better — a tremendous player. He hurt us up there and he’s hurt others.”

4. Similar effort from Troy Williams. Williams was fine in the first meeting between the teams, going off for a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds. But Williams was quiet in Indiana’s regular season finale against Michigan State on Saturday, never turning into the baseline difference maker that IU needs in its offense. So during Monday’s practice, Crean turned to Williams and had him run the break after defensive rebounds and play the point during halfcourt sets in order to force him to take a wider look at the court in front of them. It was a search for answers for Williams, who plays one of the most important roles in IU’s offense. As Indiana’s freshmen have appeared to hit a wall late in the season, the Hoosiers can’t afford to watch Williams follow that path.

3 comments

  1. At this point, I can only see the Dustin smirk…..A long ago Northwestern game and a postgame press conference now finding this day again….

    Crean’s job hinging on defeating a mediocre(at best) Norhtwestern team…..Last night’s nightmare still fresh in his thoughts; a nightmare of Jamarcus Ellis moving about the desks in the classroom….Jamarcus is the eloquent teacher handing out the final exam…Tommy Crean sits as a boy in the classroom….”This is your final attempt, Tommy…You can’t take this class again..19 F’s from your previous 19 attempts….This one is for all the marbles to determine if you have any” The rest of the students all appearing to be clones of Dustin Dopirak…They are all in argyle sweater vests….Tommy is in his sweatshirt depicting the spaceship and logo of the rock and roll band ‘Boston’ ….Everyone waiting, everyone anticipating………The Dustins all carry a cold and judgmental smirk upon their faces….There’s giggling as Jamarcus places the test on Tommy’s desk titled “Basic Competency and Fundamentals in Attacking a Zone Defense.”….Sweat begins to profusely drip from Tommy’s hand…He can’t hold the pencil with an eraser the size of baby doll head…It tumbles and slips out his grasp as it falls to the floor and bounces multiple times like pogo stick dancing between desk and chair legs… …The test is already saturated with pools of perspiration…Questions smeared….Panic is written upon the empty boxes no answer will find….The smirks from the 20 Dustin faces are becoming grossly distorted and cruel..They begin to change again and take on a look of sadness and pity…..Principal Knight has come through the door to check on Jamarcus’s students…It is an expected visit to offer something that is commonly known as encouragement before test time….A very large wooden paddle dangles from his side and catches the eye of Tommy….Tommy, refusing to look Principal Knight directly in the eye, turns to look toward the chalkboard….On the chalkboard is the final message of truth calling from voices full of dread….The voices begin with a chorus of Joyce Meyers and then morph into a very deep and solemn Seth Davis sending God’s final verdict….The darkness closes in.and suffocates with fear…..”He who cast the first stone, He found impotent against a zone….He who cast the first zone…He found impotent against a zone.. He who cast the first stone……”

  2. 5:47 mark….”Dustin, you got another point!?”

    One smirk is all it took…Now Rhinestones rules Scoop and Dustin was pushed out the HT door because he wouldn’t kiss butt.

    We’ve gone from “everything hinges on Cody”….to “everything hinges on a purple team of a mid-major playing in the Big 10.”

    chirp…chirp…chirp….smirk…smirk…smirk.

    Fire Doug Mallory now!

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