Indiana Hoosiers Basketball: Keys to Beating Temple Owls in Round of 32
Indiana needs to step its collective game up.
The Hoosiers made it look pretty easy against the James Madison Dukes on Friday. Unlike a couple of other No. 1 seeds, Indiana wasn't in any sort of trouble the entire game and took control from the outset.
As a result, the Hoosiers were on cruise control for most of the proceedings, not needing to turn things up. It allowed them to save themselves for what will be a tough game against Temple.
The Owls are fresh off of a four-point win over the NC State Wolfpack. It wasn't pretty, but Temple got the job done.
Although Indiana beat JMU by 21 points, if it plays like it did against the Dukes the team will be in a dogfight on Sunday. In order to avoid an upset, the Hoosiers need to ensure these three things happen.
Rein in Khalif Wyatt
Khalif Wyatt went for 31 points in Temple's win over the Wolfpack. He's going to be the first option offensively every time the Owls have the ball.
Wyatt isn't a great shooter, but he's still averaging 20.2 points a game. He knows how to get to the basket and knock down shots. Wyatt is the kind of game-changer who can shift this game in favor of the Owls.
Good thing Indiana can call upon a perimeter defender like Victor Oladipo. Oladipo has wreaked havoc on opposing guards like Michigan star Trey Burke. If you shut down Wyatt, you eliminate Temple's best chance to win.
There are other talented players on the floor for the Owls, but taking their star player out of the equation would be fatal for Temple.
Shoot Better from Three-Point Range
Although Indiana dispatched the Dukes rather easily, the Hoosiers only managed to shoot 9-of-23 from three-point range. They won't be able to shoot that poorly against the Owls and still walk out the victors.
This is a team that's hitting 41.1 percent of its three-pointers. Indiana should have done much better from behind the arc against what was a severely overmatched James Madison team.
Oladipo, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford are all very good long-range shooters. In order to push for a national title, the Hoosiers will need those three guys to continue what they've been doing all season. Now is not the time to go cold from the floor.
Get Cody Zeller to Assert Himself
Cody Zeller may very well be the most important player for the Hoosiers. Much of what he does isn't flashy, but Zeller's work in the post has been a large reason for Indiana's success.
With so few skilled big men across the country, the Hoosiers have a major advantage with Zeller. He's gone quiet in a few important games, but more times than not Zeller has delivered.
He wasn't asked to do as much against the Dukes. He only took five shots, hitting four of them en route to an 11-point scoring night. The deeper Indiana goes, the more important Zeller will become.
The Owls don't have a ton of size, so Zeller needs to be a focal point of the Hoosiers' offense on Sunday.
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