NCAA Basketball: Louisville keeps IN offense IN check IN victory

Toby Graves
January 2, 2017

"We haven't had a good week".

But after 2016 concluded in grim fashion, with a 77-62 loss to No. 6 Louisville at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, assumptions about No. 16 IU were called into question.

Donovan Mitchell was brilliant all afternoon. IN took a 12 point lead with 12:24 to go in the first and never saw it again. But it was his defense on an at-times overwhelmed group of Hoosier guards that was just as impressive. The Cardinals scored 1.17 points per possession against the Hoosiers, their sixth best offensive performance of the season. When Indiana drove the ball smart and went into the lane with the intent of finishing plays at the rim, the Hoosiers found some success.

OG Anunoby finished with 14 points and James Blackmon Jr. added 10 as the Hoosiers (10-4) lost for the second time in four days.

But they do lack the facilitator.

"Just like the Kentucky game, we were great on defense, we did a lot of terrific things on offense and just got a big lift from Donovan, Deng (Adel) and especially Anas (Mahmoud)".

A 12-0 run near the end of the first half provided Louisville (12-2) with sufficient cushion and a 12-point halftime lead.

Indiana's athleticism has, can, and will be able to overwhelm many defenses this year.

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ยท Offensive rebounding kept IN competitive: When shots aren't falling, IN has one strength that should be able to keep it IN any game: offensive rebounding. They hit the offensive glass like maniacs. To make matters worse, Juwan Morgan was injured on a flagrant foul from Nebraska's Jordy Tshimanga. Thomas Bryant and the front court will have their hands full with National Basketball Association prospect Nigel Hayes (14.0 ppg). IU Head Coach Tom Crean made a decision to change his starting line up a bit as well against the Cardinals, giving freshman center De'Ron Davis the start over the recently inconsistant OG Anunoby at the power-forward spot.

But when opponents can match Indiana's combination of size and quickness, they struggle to score in halfcourt sets.

It's just about the only thing IN does poorly on offense - they're top 10 IN effective field goal percentage, 2 point field goal percentage, 3 point field goal percentage, and offensive rebounding. They also beat both more than a month ago.

Both programs will be looking to bounce back from a loss. The plague that is turning the ball over seems to follow every Tom Crean lead team.

IN struggles with defending teams best perimeter shooters has been a serious problem.

The turnovers remain to be consistent problem for the Indiana Basketball team. Last year, the senior leader's turnover rate was 15.9. Junior guard Robert Johnson, who was shooting 56 percent from the field and 46 percent from 3-point range coming into the game, was 1-for-13 from the field and missed all eight of his 3-point shots. IN finished with 14 turnovers. Indiana's schedule means no time to coast. Louisville will stifle the vast majority of offenses it played. His ability to work for a shot and find the open man has been shown, but not consistently.

As a team, IN was an uncharacteristic 19-of-59 (32%) shooting on the night, which wasn't helped by sharp shooter Robert Johnson going only 1-of-13 from the field, 0-of-6 from behind the arc.

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