Rarely is a 17-2 team dissected this bad, but the Indiana Hoosiers have some huge problems they need addressed going forward if they want to win the national title. The biggest one is coach Tom Crean.
First off, I love the guy. He's a great Christian family man with phenomenal morals. He's a tremendous recruiter and truly loves Indiana University and basketball. His weaknesses are glaring this year though, and it could cost him his job down the road.
The problem lies in that IU looks like two completely different teams in a tale of two halves.
In the first half, Indiana looks like the 1976 undefeated team. In the second, they look like the 2009 team with walk-ons. That falls on Crean.
Coach Crean doesn't make any adjustments at halftime. I gave him a break in the first few games, but now it's glaring. I don't think he knows how to.
In the first half of their six Big Ten games, Indiana is outscoring their opponents 225-148. That's a plus-77 point differential. That's remarkable. In the second half, they're getting outscored 221-204 which is a minus-17 differential.
In fact, in the six conference games thus far, they've been outscored in four of the six of their second halves. The only two games they won the second half was both contests against Penn State. The Nittany Lions are winless in conference play so that doesn't say much there. Still, Indiana only beat them by six in the first matchup on the road and by only nine at home.
This is a huge issue and those stats don't lie.
How can four of the six games you get outscored by your opponent? I can understand a couple of games, but nearly all of them against every team but the winless one is inexcusable.
IU was outscored by Northwestern by seven, Wisconsin by six, Minnesota by 16 and Iowa by four. If it wasn't for such strong first halves, Indiana would be 2-4 in conference play right now. The only reason they're winning is due to the talent coach Crean has on his team.
This has to stop. They need to win both halves. You can't look like two different teams in the course of one game. It's just a 15-minute break between halves. What could possibly go wrong in that short amount of time? The only explanation is no adjustments are being made and that will cost Crean his job.