Indiana had a tough task from the moment this game was scheduled. With only a day of rest, the Hoosiers took on the second best team in the Big Ten. Indiana struggled to run with the Ohio State Buckeyes and fell in defeat 71-56 on the road at Value City Arena. The Hoosiers fall to 12-11 and 5-6 in the Big Ten. IU faces Michigan State at home Saturday night.
Here’s our rapid reaction:
Indiana looked tired
The Big Ten Conference’s condensed schedule has been a story-line all season. The argument in defense of the of the schedule is the understanding that every team in the conference has to deal with playing on short rest. The problem with that assertion is the fact that each program’s periods of short rest doesn’t matchup. Tonight we saw what happens when one team is coming off a day of rest after an extremely demanding rivalry game and another team has four days rest. The problem for Indiana tonight didn’t seem to be motivation. The Hoosiers just lacked the physical energy to compete. The team as a whole shot 36% from the field and had eight turnovers. Defensively, Indiana lacked the energy to get consecutive stops and unlike against Purdue, the Hoosiers were out-rebounded 39 to 26.
Juwan Morgan needed more support
It seems to be the same sentiment every game, but Juwan Morgan does everything for this team. Morgan had 15 points and six rebounds in a game where his supporting cast seemed nonexistent other than Devonte Green. As odd as it may seem, Green was Indiana’s leading scorer was with 20 points. Those 20 points mostly came in the second half after the game was out of reach. The players that Indiana needs to be successful just didn’t have it tonight. Robert Johnson and Justin Smith were both held to 2 points, and Josh Newkirk didn’t get a single basket.
Indiana couldn’t handle the size of Ohio State
At 6’9” and 270 pounds, Kaleb Wesson is able to create issues for a lot of teams down low. That size also neglects to acknowledge Wesson’s pure length. Wesson used his long arms to agitate Indiana on the boards and in the paint. Wesson seemed to do everything with ease going seven for seven from the field and putting up 14 points. The Hoosiers truly had nobody to guard Wesson as Juwan Morgan had to focus a majority of his effort on offense and spent time guarding Keita Bates-Diop. While I mention Keita Bates-Diop, there was no stopping him either. The potential Big Ten Player of the Year had 13 points and 13 rebounds, as he dominated in almost every facet.