Maryland and Indiana are both floating around .500 in conference play and looking to hang onto their NCAA tournament hopes. Where do you see Indiana among the other teams in the conference, and what do clubs like Maryland and Indiana have to do to compete against the Big Ten elite?
IU just doesn't have the talent to compete against the elite teams in the conference such as Michigan State and Purdue. While the Hoosiers have played well in recent weeks, there is still a substantial talent gap between them and the top teams in the Big Ten, and that was seen against Michigan State on Friday. For IU or Maryland to compete against the elite teams, they have to get out to a great start to control the game and keep the game on the lower-end of scoring because neither team can keep up relying solely on their offense.
One of the biggest adjustments for the Terps this season has been figuring out the offense without Melo Trimble. As the Hoosiers are in their second season without Yogi Ferrell, what do you think is key to moving on from a long-term star?
It really comes down to a diversification of roles. To replace those type of players, you need multiple players to step into bigger roles, on and off the court, and be confident in their ability to lead the team. You're not going to have a ready-made replacement, but trying to get that production from multiple people is the only way to find success unless you score a huge recruiting victory.
The Hoosiers have relied heavily on upperclassmen this season. Who has really stepped up into a leadership role this season, and how has that made a difference for the team?
Junior forward Juwan Morgan has really become a star for the Hoosiers this season. However, he suffered an injury in Friday's game against Michigan State and might not play Monday. Morgan has become a constant threat and is a go-to guy in the post. Senior guard Robert Johnson has been playing some of the best basketball in his career in January and has done a good job being aggressive on both ends of the court for IU. Both have taken first-year coach Archie Miller's philosophy to heart.
Maryland has struggled defending the 3-pointer as of late. Will Indiana look to attack that way? Have they done so in the past?
While Maryland has struggled defending the three, IU has struggled all season to shoot from deep. The Hoosiers have their worst three-point shooting percentage in years, and they really don't have any great shooters who can make you pay. At times, Collin Hartman and Robert Johnson have made threes, but they haven't been too consistent.
Indiana wins if…
…it is a low-scoring game where both teams' offenses struggle to get on the board.
6. Maryland wins if…
…it shoots well from three and gets out on the fast break.