Hoosiers Try For Season Sweep Of Michigan

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2010

Just 14 days ago, the Hoosiers were reeling from the loss of leading scorer Maurice Creek, whose knee injury knocked him out for the season.

Yet an inspired effort against a strong Michigan team gave great hope to the Hoosier team and Hoosier Nation.

However since then, the Hoosiers have dropped games to Ohio State and Illinois.

The Ohio State game was their first real road test of the year, and the Hoosiers came out lacking any energy or finishing touch.

Against Illinois though, at Assembly Hall, the Cream and Crimson came out with a bang, and held a 13 point lead at halftime, and extended it to 15 at one point.

Sadly, an awful second half which saw missed shots and a large foul differential had the Hoosiers drop their second Big 10 game of the season.

But this is a chance for the Hoosiers to get back on track.

Indiana faces a Michigan Wolverines team that has been inconsistent this season.

Some games they look like a legitimate NCAA tournament team, with Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims leading the pack to victories.

Other times though, they look like a two man show, and like the earlier game at Indiana, when Harris and Sims struggle, the rest of the squad has failed to pick up the scoring load and play well.

Michigan, at 8-7, have beaten Ohio State and Penn State in the Big 10, but have also lost to Northwestern at home and Indiana in Assembly Hall.

As stated before, junior guard Manny Harris and senior forward DeShawn Sims lead the Maize and Blue on the court. Harris is carrying averages of 19.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. Sims has averages of 17.3 points per game, 7.0 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game.

The two of them combine for an amazing 53 percent of the teams scoring and 42 percent of the rebounds.

If the Hoosiers can find a way to keep them at bay again, they should have a strong chance to pull off the win again.

For Indiana, they must to a better job at not getting into foul trouble. In the last game, home against Illinois, four players finished with four fouls, and the massive amounts of fouls called against them really hurt their momentum and destroyed any rhythm they had on the offensive end of the court.

They also must not force shots, and be patient with the ball. Too many times did the Hoosiers rush shots in the past couple games, only to see the opposition burn them at the other end of the court.

This game is really a toss up, although Michigan has the advantage because they are on their home court.

If the Hoosiers come out with the same fire and energy that they did against the Illini, they have a very good chance of winning this game.

But as always, college basketball games are 40 minutes, not 20.