It is officially panic time for Indiana basketball fans. The Hoosiers have now lost three games in a row, two of which were at home. It is hard to believe this is the same team that started their season by beating Kansas in one of the most thrilling games of the year. With Indiana fans demanding answers about what is going on with their team, here is a look at why Indiana is struggling right now.
Thomas Bryant Struggling
In the wins against North Carolina during the ACC/Big-Ten Challenge and Kansas earlier this year, Bryant played like an All-American. He was a dominating presence in the paint on both ends of the floor, and he was also causing matchup problems by dragging opposing big men outside to defend his excellent three-point shooting. Bryant has been a shadow of his former self during this recent skid. He has not been nearly aggressive enough on offense, often disappearing for long stretches of play. He needs to start playing up to his potential if the Hoosiers are going to turn things around.
Inability to Hold onto the Ball
If there is one thing that drives coaches crazy, it is when their teams turn the ball over. Unfortunately, Tom Crean has had to endure some incredibly sloppy play by his squad over the last few weeks. You would almost believe that the ball is coated in Vaseline the way that the Hoosiers have been turning it over. A perfect example of this is what happened to start the Wisconsin game. Indiana turned the ball over four times in as many minutes to open up play against the Badgers, helping to fuel a Badger run that propelled them to a 16-2 lead.
Inability to Hit Shots
Basketball is a pretty simple game. If you score more points than your opponent, you win. One of the biggest reasons that Indiana is struggling right now is because they are unable to put the ball through the basket. They have been especially poor from three-point range. In the game against Louisville, Indiana was only able to put up 62 points. That was in large part because they shot 19 percent from three-point range. They simply have to find a way to start making shots if they want to start winning again.
Lack of Focus
It is unclear whether it is the fault of the coaches or the players, but one of the biggest problems the Hoosiers have right now is that they often seem to lack focus. During this losing streak, Indiana seems to lose concentration at key moments in the game. They turn the ball over, lose track of their men on defense and fail to find open teammates.
Indiana fans must try to stay calm. The team is just having a bad stretch right now. They have shown that they can beat anyone when they play well. Don’t be surprised if Crean gets the Hoosiers back on track soon, leading them to a long winning streak that gets them right back into the Big Ten title picture.