Indiana didn’t play a true road game during its non-conference season.
But the No. 5 Hoosiers open Big Ten play with two straight away from Assembly Hall.
IU got over the first hurdle, defeating Iowa on New Year’s Eve. The second comes today at Penn State.
Winning at Iowa has been tough for us, but it was a big win for us, Indiana sophomore forward Cody Zeller said Saturday. But we went right back to work the next day.
The Hoosiers (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten) took a lot away from the win against the Hawkeyes.
The biggest thing is when can you put the game away, IU coach Tom Crean said. When could we have done something better in this possession or that possession? When did we settle? When did we attack? I think those are important things as well as learning from the situations from the game, for example at the end with the press offense, who do we want to hit and what do we want to get out of it. We worked hard going into that, and I think it’s something we can continue to work on very hard on for each individual game.
I think we can always get the ball reversed better. I think that’s something we have worked hard on. We want to score. We’re not trying to get it down into the shot clock, and I think the more we trust the reversals the better we are.
The Hoosiers face a Penn State (8-5, 0-1) squad coming off a 60-51 loss at Wisconsin on Jan. 3.
I learned we can compete on the road. Those guys had a great mentality. We went in there with the approach that we were going to win that game. That’s got to be our approach every time we step on the floor, Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said.
The Nittany Lions lost star guard Tim Frazier to a season-ending Achilles injury on Nov. 18.
Guards D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall have stepped in to fill the void. Newbill is averaging 15.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. Marshall is averaging 14.9 points.
Marshall and Newbill are handling the ball. They are taking most of their shots. Their teammates feed off of them, Crean said. They are really dangerous when they’re in the same action, whether they are on the same side, which they seem to be a lot. They both have things that they really, really do well. They have strengths that you really have to go into and try to attack those.
Watching the game the other night, if they had beat Wisconsin, it wouldn’t have been a shock at all. They just keep going. We learned that last year. You have to play every second of those 40 minutes against that team because they never stop going. The thing that they are doing a great job right now with is their transition offense. They do well with the delayed break and their drag actions are really good.