Hoosiers Finish 8th in Conference

Duane Burleson

Indiana's regular season finished in Ann Arbor on Saturday and they strangely went out with a bang. Indiana played hard and did a lot of very good things, but once again turnovers were their undoing. Outside of a 10 minute stretch in the second half the Hoosiers played phenomenally. However in that 10 minute stretch they were terrible and were outscored by 10+ points. Their 23% turnover rate is what cost them the big game on the road to end the regular season with an exclamation point.

It was a somewhat strange game all around. In it, 16 players logged the 10% of minutes necessary to receive an offensive rating. The guys that got in but didn't hit that threshold were Jeff Howard and Austin Etherington. Everyone else that played, played at least 10 minutes. Of those 16 players only Evan Gordon's ORtg fell below 104. His 43 was atrocious and could be seen from the 10 minutes he played that it just wasn't there on Saturday. Noah Vonleh and Will Sheehey were the only other two players to fall below 115 on the ORtg scale. It was an insanely efficient game for both Michigan and Indiana.

Devin Davis and Jeremy Hollowell both finished with a combined 35 minutes of play and were both worth over 2 points per possession. That doesn't happen often. Especially for a freshman Devin Davis who played 25 minutes. The young gun was amazingly efficient in his possession usage. These two were fantastic as role players on Saturday. Meanwhile, Troy Williams, Stan Robinson and Yogi Ferrell carried the team. Those three perimeter players combined for 45 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds and a steal. Unfortunately they also accounted for 8 of Indiana's 15 turnovers.

The turnovers obviously were again the big issue in this game. From the 17 minute mark in the second half to the 7 inute mark in the second half, Indiana committed 11 turnovers.  In that time the Hoosiers went from a 2 point lead to a  9 point hole. Also in that span the Hoosiers were only able to produce 10 points in 17 possessions. Or, .58 points per possession. Think about that for a moment. The Hoosiers scored 1.23 points per possession over 65 possession but had .58 points in a span of 17 possessions. Meaning, when they weren't going through that terrible run they were scoring 1.46 points per possession. Take away all the turnovers (I know this is hyperbole) and Indiana scored 1.6 points per possession. That is absolute insanity. This team could be very good when they aren't shooting themselves in the foot. Obviously this is why many are so incredibly frustrated with this team. Lack of focus and collective ball security has made a pretty good team, pretty damn mediocre.

But that's enough about Saturday. The game went better than one would expect and the Hoosiers were in it. That's really all that needs to be said. Now the Hoosiers are looking at the 8 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and a third showdown with Illinois. The two split the regular season home and home so it should be interesting to see where this one breaks. We'll look deeper at it in the coming days, but Pomeroy's 2 point spread in favor of the Hoosiers sounds pretty good to me right now.

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