Boston Scientific Close The Gap Crossroads Classic

Christmas Wish List: Indiana needs defensive boards, touches for Zeller

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Over the course of the next two weeks, College Basketball Talk will be detailing what some of the country’s best, most intriguing, and thoroughly enigmatic teams need. It’s the spirit of the holidays. We’re in a giving mood.

What do other teams have on their Christmas Wish Lists? Click here to find out.

Gotta have it list-topper: Rebounding

Based on the data that Kenpom compiles, Indiana doesn’t appear to have an issue on the defensive glass. They are 34th in the country in defensive rebounding percentage, as they grab 72.4% of all available defensive rebounds. The problem with that number? Look at who they’ve played. Georgetown is in the bottom-quarter of all teams when it comes to offensive rebounding. North Carolina is a good offensive rebounding team, but they were absolutely drubbed by the Hoosiers in all facets.

Every other team that Indiana has played this season is, well, not very good. Except Butler. Butler is 21st in the country in offensive rebounding percentage. They grabbed 19 offensive rebounds against the Hoosiers. The biggest scapegoat may have been Will Sheehey, who was matched up with Erik Fromm, a bench player that grabbed five offensive boards in 20 minutes. Indiana’s defense has been immensely better this year, but they are susceptible on the offensive glass.

Stocking stuffer:  Entry passes to Cody Zeller

I said it early on in the season: the nation’s Preseason Player of the Year would not put up the kind of numbers that many were expecting simply because the Hoosiers have too many weapons up and down their roster. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing that Zeller isn’t the first, second and third option offensively. It is a bad thing, however, that Indiana has such issues getting the ball to Zeller on the block. I took this picture during the Butler game. Zeller is wide-open. He didn’t get the ball on this possession. This was a common occurrence. That’s a problem.

Planning on re-gifting: Christian Watford consistency

Watford’s numbers on the season: 12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 45.7% 3PT, 125.9 ORTG.

Watford’s numbers against Georgetown, UNC and Butler: 7.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 37.5% 3PT (5-24 FG), 94.3 ORTG.That’s not exactly ideal.

BUBBLE BANTER: All of the action on the fringe of the NCAA tournament

Fred VanVleet
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.

Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.