All that good that Indiana did with their win over No. 3 Wisconsin on Tuesday night?
Might as well go on and toss that out the window.
The Hoosiers shot 25% from the floor and 4-for-18 from three on Saturday afternoon, scoring eight points in the first 17 minutes of the game as the lost to Big Ten bottom-feeder Northwestern, 54-47.
It was about as ugly of a performance as you’re going to see a good basketball team put together, and it’s an example of just what is concerning about this Indiana team. How can they score? If teams are willing to pack in their defense and dare the Hoosiers to shoot from the perimeter, how can Indiana win games?
To get a sense of just how concerning this loss actually is for Indiana, think about it like this: two of Indiana’s four three-pointers were hit by Noah Vonleh, their starting center. Unfortunately, this is just who Indiana is this season. They have enough talent on their roster to beat teams like Wisconsin, which came about as a result of the penetrating ability of Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson. But when that penetration is ineffective and Indiana’s threes are clanging off of the rim, they can lose to just about anyone.
That said, it’s unfair to pin all the blame on Indiana without crediting Northwestern for pulling out another ugly win. This is the second time that the Wildcats have beaten an NCAA tournament caliber team in Big Ten play this season, but their other win came at home against Illinois. This was on the road in a place where a top ten team suffered their only loss of the season.
I think it’s fair to say now that Northwestern basketball fans are getting a glimpse at just what Chris Collins is capable of.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.