4 keys to Indiana’s game at Michigan State #iubb

1. Limit Branden Dawson.
On a Michigan State squad operating under a different look, Dawson stands as the No. 1 matchup problem for Indiana. The 6-foot-6 forward is the Big Ten’s leading rebounder at 8.7 games and has a nose for the basket anytime he’s in or around the paint. But Dawson also recently missed two games with a fractured left wrist and played his first game back last week against Maryland while wearing a protective brace. He hasn’t quite been himself this season, shooting 47 percent from the field one year after posting a .616 mark, but he’s a player Indiana will have to find an answer for.

2. Continue to engage Hanner Mosquera-Perea.
Mosquera-Perea came on strong late in the non-conference season before backing up that stretch with a big second half at Nebraska on Wednesday. The junior posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and while that kind of production is meaningful for Indiana, Mosquera-Perea is beginning to become the kind of presence that allows Indiana to play through the paint beyond what it gets on drive-and-kicks.

3. Establish defensive consistency.
After Nebraska turned a 16-point deficit into a four-point lead early in the second half of the conference opener, Indiana created momentum by switching defenses and making consecutive stops against the Cornhuskers’ uneven offense. It was a step in the right direction for a program ranked No. 201 nationally in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com, and perhaps an example of the Hoosiers becoming more mindful of the importance of playing more aggressive defense on the road. It would be especially encouraging for Indiana to build off that effort at Michigan State.

4. Defend the perimeter.
For all that Branden Dawson can do to Indiana underneath the basket, Travis Trice, Denzel Valentine and Cleveland State transfer Bryn Forbes are combining to shoot 42 percent (97-of-228) from 3-point range. Indiana’s 3-point defense was a point of pride last season when it held opponents to 29 percent from beyond the arc — good for 12th best in the country. This season, the opposition is shooting 31 percent on 3-point attempts against the Hoosiers, who will see a similarly guard-heavy team Monday in East Lansing.

2 comments

  1. Surprised Scoop no longer offers a link to Chronic Hoosier’s blog page….Didn’t there used to be one?

    I guess Chronic assembled some HT All-Stars back in November(Korman, Kellenberger, Dopirak)….I believe the group telephone interviews were conducted around the time of the Davis/Holt incident….Some may find it sorta interesting to give a listen.

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