IU loses at the buzzer, but shows potential

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The Hoosiers traveled to Tallahassee for a matchup with the No. 20 Florida State Seminoles in the ACC-Big Ten challenge. It was a rematch from last season, where Indiana won 80-64 in Bloomington. The game was a tough, grinder of a matchup that could be defined in one word. 

Physical.

It was a back and forth defensive affair that required an extra session to determine a winner that resulted in Florida State freshman Scottie Barnes banking in a shot to win the game for the Seminoles. 

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but a measuring stick game for Indiana to see what needs to be fixed before conference play begins December 23rd. After only five games, the report card shows that shooting is still an issue and athletic teams can overwhelm them at times. Indiana is only converting about four 3-pointers per game, which ranks last in the Big Ten. 

In a matchup against the Texas Longhorns, Indiana was abysmal on offense, going 11 of 46 from the field, or 23.9%. They only attempted 10 three point shots and converted on two. It was a blowout loss and an ugly reminder of what can happen if they match up against a tough, athletic, defensive team. 

Indiana needs Trayce Jackson-Davis to play like an All-American every game or Indiana could struggle this season.In the 22 point loss to the Longhorns, he played alright, scoring 17 points while struggling to find position down low, coming down with only four rebounds. 

With him struggling, the team struggled to put the ball through the net. They have to allocate the offense around Jackson-Davis, even if he plays poorly, to be in games. That was the game plan against Florida State, even with Trayce playing well. 

Overall, Florida State played a better game. However, Florida State struggled from the free throw line, which allowed Indiana to stay in the game. Unlike their game against Texas, the Hoosiers matched Florida State’s physicality and were not overwhelmed by their athleticism. 

Indiana needs to play like that every game to have a chance in a brutal Big Ten that features three teams in the top 10. The team has a lot to improve upon, but has young talent that could lead them to some big wins this season. Indiana has the opportunity to be a great team if they play, sound, physical basketball. 

They have depth at every position and a nucleus of young talent mixed with experienced players that can step up any game. They showed against Florida State that they won’t be intimidated by size and athleticism like in previous seasons. The season has only begun, but this group has potential to make a run in the Big Ten and possibly in the Tournament. 


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