Indiana Basketball: Hoosiers' Blueprint to Peak Before Postseason

Kyle GrandFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2014

Indiana's Noah Vonleh (1) celebrates after a slam dunk in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Bloomington, Ind. Penn State won 66-65. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
Doug McSchooler/Associated Press

The Indiana Hoosiers (15-11, 5-8) have only five games left before the Big Ten tournament and start of postseason play. As it stands, Indiana is likely to be left out when the field of the Big Dance is announced. 

The way Indiana can make the NCAA tourney is by winning its conference tournament, and to do that, the Hoosiers must be playing their absolute best basketball. 

Here is what Indiana needs to do in its remaining games in order to ensure it is firing on all cylinders come mid-March.


Limit Turnovers

The Hoosiers have struggled all season with turnovers, averaging the most out of all Big Ten teams with 14.5 per game. Check out how Indiana has done in the turnover department and the result in its last four games.

TeamTurnovers Result
Penn State19Loss

See what happens when Indiana takes care of the basketball? It's pretty simple: The Hoosiers are much better when they don't make an absurd amount of mistakes.

Indiana has proven to itself that it can limit turnovers, so now it has to do it consistently. The Hoosiers have enough offensive weapons to compete, they just have to give those weapons a chance to do damage by not giving the basketball away so frequently.


Spread the Wealth

In the Hoosiers' February 22 win against Northwestern, the team shared the scoring load, as Noah Vonleh, Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams and Will Sheehey all led the team in points with a dozen each.

This type of offensive diversity has been lacking throughout the season. Usually, Vonleh and Ferrell are expected to produce the majority of the offense. If Vonleh gets in foul trouble or Ferrell has a poor shooting night, the Hoosiers struggle mightily to put up points.

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Getting more Hoosiers involved will have Indiana prepared if Vonleh or Ferrell aren't on their A-game. Plus, more offensive threats mean defenses can't just key on those two. Vonleh is less likely to get double-teamed, making his life easier.

If the opposing team has to worry about players not named Vonleh and Ferrell, only good things will happen for the Hoosiers.


Continue Solid Defensive Play  

Indiana has been deficient in a lot of areas, but defense isn't one of them. The Hoosiers are sound when the opposing team has possession, giving up 65.9 points per game in Big Ten play (fifth-best in conference).

Opponents don't get many second chances either, as Indiana only allows them to grab 30.2 rebounds a night (second-best in conference).

Defense has kept the Hoosiers competitive. If they continue to play well defensively and the offense comes around, Indiana will be a much different and better team than it was at the beginning of the season.