What a struggle that was on Saturday. The Hoosiers once again showed up and played a very strong first half only to have it all fall apart in the second half all over again. This types of games are frustrating because you know a year from now this young squad would likely be able to put this game away early. However, we're leaning on young guys to continue to perform when teams punch back. Unfortunately they've wilted more than they've stepped up at this point. Sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and say that's youth.
I know some are probably frustrated with the performance against Minnesota. Again they're is going to be questioning of the rotations, but this game the Hoosiers went a mere 9 deep. Only 7 grabbed more than single digit minutes. Ultimately it was a game of players just not getting it done down the stretch. Sheehey really pushed them along and scored some big points when it mattered most, but his efforts just weren't enough.
Overall, everyone played a pretty average basketball game outside of Stan Robinson and Evan Gordon. Those two combined for 48 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 turnovers. Just a brutal combined stat line for the two. They weren't the only players that showed struggles taking care of the ball however. Indiana was back to it's careless ways and most of those came up in the second half.
The Hoosiers had a slim 5 turnovers in the first half of the game and then came out and suddenly forgot how to take care of the ball. 11 second half turnovers is what ultimately sank the Hoosiers. A very strong and balanced offensive performance by Yogi, Sheehey, Vonleh and Williams was off set by their combined 10 turnovers. It just got out of control for the Hoosiers as Minnesota stepped up their defensive efforts.
On Indiana's defensive end they looked great again in the first half and then was somewhat questionable in the second. It really was Nebraska 2.0. 5-9 Deandre Mathieu was suddenly unstoppable as he got past defender after defender in his non-stop attacking of the rim. He finished with a game high 16 points and a 121 ORtg. The Hoosiers were able to keep Dre Hollins in check and Noah Vonleh was very impressive holding the conference's second highest rebounder Elliot Eliason to 3 total boards, but it just wasn't enough.
Now Indiana has to regroup and face off in a home battle with a Penn State team that is looking for payback. As Indiana continues their long march of must wins times are getting hard. With every loss the bubble chances are getting slimmer. They absolutely have to win their next two at home against Penn State and on the road against Purdue before getting another home resume builder opportunity with a strong Iowa squad. In order to accomplish that, they're going to need everyone playing at their best.