Indiana Basketball vs Chattanooga Game Preview

Feb 20, 2016; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Yogi Ferrell (11) reacts to a basket against the Purdue Boilermakers at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers won 77-73. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 20, 2016; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Yogi Ferrell (11) reacts to a basket against the Purdue Boilermakers at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers won 77-73. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

Game Info:

Indiana Hoosiers (25-7, 15-3 Big Ten) vs Chattanooga Mocs (29-5, 15-3 Southern)

Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa

When: Thursday, March 17th at 7:10 PM on CBS (Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, and for some reason Grant Hill)

Line: INDIANA -11

Hopefully all of Hoosier Nation has cooled off since the debacle of a selection show that ruined what was once a great moment in sports.  According to all of the “bracketologists” Indiana basketball was pinned around a 3 or 4 seed, unfortunately “bracketologists” don’t account for the idiocy of the NCAA tournament committee.

Regardless of the seed it’s going to take Indiana six wins to hang the elusive banner number six in Assembly Hall, so let’s preview game number one.

IU’s opponent, Chattanooga (already sick of typing this), just won its 11th Southern Conference Championship and will make its 11th NCAA tournament appearance on Thursday.

Indiana’s inefficiencies could be the recipe for a disaster Thursday:

In a perfect world IU would have nothing to worry about, but Thursday could be a bit tricky for the Hoosiers.  As head coach Tom Crean noted, the Mocs average more made free throws than their opponents attempt, and this could lead to potential issues as IU has been prone to foul trouble–especially the likes of Thomas Bryant, Troy Williams, and Collin Hartman.  For the Hoosiers to distance themselves from the Mocs it will take a clean defensive game while preventing the Mocs from getting to the bonus early in both halves.

Another issue to look out for is turnover differential. IU turns the ball over on almost 20 percent of its possessions while the Mocs are in the top 50 in the country at forcing turnovers. As always, the difference maker for the Indiana offense is turnovers and if Indiana can commit below its season average it’ll be a good day.

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Chattanooga’s Weaknesses:

Defensively Chattanooga is very strong, it takes the ball away from its opponents while only allowing opponents to shoot 33 percent from deep.  Even though they have a good permiter defense, the Mocs rank 227th in the country in two-point defense, allowing their opponents to shoot 50 percent from two.

IU excels shooting from deep and from inside the arc, shooting 41.5 percent and 56.1 percent, respectively.  The Mocs inability to defend the two may be where Indiana will need to take advantage. Thomas Bryant, Troy Williams, Collin Hartman, and the bench mob will all need to pound the ball in the paint, which in effect should open up the Mocs’ permitter defense as the game goes on. For a mid-major Chattanooga plays a very clean game, ranking in the top 150 in the majority of KenPom’s metrics. In terms of metrics Chattanooga would be the equivalent of playing any team in the bottom third of the Big Ten not named Rutgers.

Which Mocs to look out for:

The Mocs as a whole are a very well balanced team. All of their players who play at least 10 minutes a game average between six to 12 points a game. The balance of the Mocs reveals they play a team-oriented game without relying on one or two particular players to carry the load making them a tough out. Junior forward Tre’ McLean leads the team with 12.3 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 6.4 per game.  McLean is also the only Moc playing over 30 minutes a game.  The other player to look for is 6′ 10″ C/F Justin Tuoyo. As a whole the Mocs aren’t a tall team, but Tuoyo provides them with solid rim protection with over two blocks per game along with a block rate of 10.3 percent (20th in the country).  The Moc’s balance is also apparnet with their even rates of shot distribution (shooting the three ball vs shots inside the arc), but the Hoosiers will need to keep track of Eric Robertson. Robertson provides the Mocs with a deep threat, shooting 40 percent from deep on 191 attempts. Roberston is essentially the Mocs’ equivalent of Nick Zeisloft.


Indiana should be able to take care of Chattanooga and I believe the Hoosiers will come out attacking the paint and develop a big enough advantage, as long as everyone on IU can stay out of foul trouble.

Prediction: Indiana 77, Chattanooga 61