In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Looking ahead to the Minnesota game.
• Indiana will be playing in the somewhat … friendly? … confines of The Barn.
• Three things you need to know about Minnesota
• Earlier in the season, Indiana was riding good second half starts to comeback victories. Not anymore.
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Welcome to another edition of Banner Morning. We’re two days away from Indiana’s next chance to get a win.
In upcoming gameday news …
Indiana travels to Minneapolis this weekend to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in The Barn. The game will tip at 2:00 Eastern and be televised on ESPN2.
Minnesota entered Wednesday night’s action 16-8 overall and 6-7 in conference play. They played at Nebraska last night in the late game.
As of Wednesday evening, the KenPom prediction for the game was a 69-67 victory for Minnesota, with Indiana having a 43% chance of victory.
The Barn has often been referred to as a house of horrors for Indiana — perhaps as a lingering effect of the 1994 team’s infamous 50-point drubbing there. But Indiana has fared relatively well at Williams Arena in recent seasons.
Indiana is 3-3 in its last six games at Minnesota, dating back to 2012, with an overall scoring margin of +19. Given this program’s struggles on the road in Big Ten play over the last decade-plus, I’ll take it.
In terms of the matchup …
We’ll talk about keys to victory on this week’s edition of Assembly Call Radio, which you can watch live tonight starting at 9 Eastern at assemblycall.com.
Here are three things you need to know about Minnesota:
- One: their biggest weakness is shooting — at all levels. Minnesota is 267th nationally in effective field goal percentage. They also don’t shoot free throws well.
- Two: they try to compensate for their poor shooting with offensive rebounding and by shooting a high volume of free throws, led by rebounding monster Jordan Murphy.
- Three: on defense, they don’t force a lot of turnovers, but they are above average in reducing opponent assist rates. The Hoosiers will need to stay patient and active against Minnesota’s defense.
And here is an interesting statistical nugget …
Much has been made of Indiana’s poor starts to games, but the bigger issue may be Indiana’s complete reversal in how they start second halves.
In Indiana’s eight games against top-100 competition prior to the first Michigan game, the Hoosiers were outscored by a total of 23 points during the first 10 minutes of first halves. But during the first 10 minutes of second halves, Indiana outscored its opponents by 23 points.
In the Hoosiers’ ten games against top-100 competition since then, they have been outscored by 42 points during the first ten minutes of first halves — similar to before. But during the first ten minutes of second halves, Indiana has been outscored by a whopping 56 points — including four instances in which the Hoosiers were outscored by double digits.
So yes, Indiana needs to get better at the start of games, but it’s the reversal of Indiana’s second half starts that has been even more problematic during the losing skid.
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
We’ll be back on Monday with a new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in and your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.