Indiana Basketball: 5 Things They Must Do to Beat Kentucky

Matthew Wolfe@@DatDudeMKWCorrespondent IIIDecember 8, 2011

Indiana Basketball: 5 Things They Must Do to Beat Kentucky

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    The Indiana Hoosiers are off to one of the hottest starts in college basketball, and they will look to continue that hot start Saturday against Kentucky.

    Indiana and Kentucky are both 8-0 heading into the matchup, but the unranked Hoosiers will look to be pulling the upset over the No. 1 ranked Wildcats.

    The up-and-coming Hoosiers have been turning a lot of heads in the college basketball world, and a victory over mighty Kentucky makes them a lock to crack the top 25 for the first time in years.

    An upset isn't out of the question for the rising Hoosiers, if they can play smart basketball.

    Here are five things the Indiana Hoosiers need to do to beat Kentucky.

1. Rebound

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    The Hoosiers have been winning their games, but rebounding has not been the reason why.

    Indiana is 165th overall in rebounds per game so far this season, and they need to improve that if they have any chance at beating Kentucky.

    The Wildcats come in at fourth in the nation in rebounds per game, which will create a huge problem for Tom Crean's Hoosiers.

    Freshman Cody Zeller will face his biggest test of the season, matching up with fellow freshman Anthony Davis.

    Indiana needs to be a lot more aggressive on the glass on Saturday, and if they can, this game will be a lot closer than most people think.

2. Push the Pace

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    The Indiana offense has improved a ton from last season, and their run and gun style is a big reason why.

    The Hoosiers are an above average team in transition, scoring from outside and in.

    The Hoosiers, like every other team in the country, will face matchup difficulties when facing Kentucky.

    If Indiana is pushed into running their half-court offense, it is likely they will run into problems.

    Jordan Hulls and the rest of the Indiana guards need to push the ball and hope their run and gun offense can help them steal a victory.

3. Hit the 3-Ball

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    The Hoosiers are currently shooting 44 percent from behind the arc, which is the sixth best in the nation.

    The athletic Wildcats will do all they can to prevent the three-ball, but if Indiana can execute on their outside shots they will give Kentucky a hard time.

    Hoosier guards Jordan Hulls and Will Sheehey will play a big role in this game, as mid-range shots will be hard to come by.

    Look for the Hoosiers to be firing from the outside in this game.

4. Force Them to the Free Throw Line

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    It always seems to be the free throws that haunt the top teams, and for a No. 1 ranked team Kentucky is not very impressive from the line.

    They are shooting 68 percent from the line as a team this season, and this is one of the few Kentucky weaknesses the Hoosiers need to capitalize on.

    Freshman star Anthony Davis is shooting a weak 54 percent from the charity stripe, which may call for some late game hacking.

    Putting Anthony Davis and Marquis Teague on the line may be in the Hoosiers best interest.

5. Capitalize on Home-Court Advantage

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    Basketball is back in Bloomington, and Assembly Hall is looking like it did back in 2002.

    Fans around campus cannot wait for the Wildcats to come into town, with hopes of taking down the #1 team in the country.

    The Hoosiers need to use their home-court advantage to the fullest, feeding of the energy of the wild crowd.

    Assembly Hall is one of the best college environments to play in, which gives the Hoosiers a chance to win any game.

    Cody Zeller and his team will have the support of 17,456 fans on Saturday, all of them hoping the Hoosiers can pull off an unbelievable upset.