4 storylines for IU’s game vs. Northwestern

1. Cleaning up the offense
After an error-filled trip to Duke, this is Indiana’s priority at the start of Big Ten play. During a sloppy first half for the Hoosiers, 19 of Duke’s 53 points across the first 20 minutes came off Indiana errors. IU finished with 20 turnovers against Duke, and their turnover percentage of 21.4 percent ranks 13th among Big Ten teams through the first seven games.

2. Making free throws
Perhaps the most disappointing area of IU’s team has been at the free throw line, where Indiana is making merely 62.9 percent of its shots. That’s the third-worst mark in the conference. The Hoosiers should have plenty of opportunities against Northwestern, which is putting opponents on the line at a rate higher than all but two Big Ten teams. The Hoosiers made only 56 percent of their free throws at Duke and have shot better than 70 percent at the line in only one game (Marquette) so far this season.

3. Playing without a point guard
Northwestern doesn’t run with a true point guard, making for an interesting approach in the halfcourt. Gone is native Hoosier Bryant McIntosh, who completed his career as one of just five players in league history to post 700 career assists. Northwestern’s offense flows through senior Vic Law who leads the team with 17.9 points per game and has scored 10 or more points in ever game so far. Transfers Ryan Taylor (Evansville) and A.J. Turner (Boston College) are also assisting from the backcourt.

4. Turning defense into offense
Scoring in transition seemed to be a strong suit of this Indiana team during the first couple weeks. Lately, those points haven’t come as easy. Across IU’s past two games, the Hoosiers have been outscored 26-9 off the break. “We should be a pretty good team in transition, in terms of being able to convert and get good looks,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “We’re just doing a really bad job right now in transition converting,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “We had a couple two-on-ones, a couple things with numbers (at Duke) where we had opportunities to get a couple layups and maybe chew into the lead. Instead, we had turnovers, shots blocked, you name it.”