Indiana basketball hoping to lock up first B1G win of season vs. Rutgers

Xavier Johnson #0 of the Indiana Hoosiers. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Xavier Johnson #0 of the Indiana Hoosiers. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

No. 10 Indiana basketball hopes to lock up their first Big Ten win of the season in Piscataway on their journey for the Hoosiers’ first Big Ten title since 2015-16.

Back in 2015-16, the Indiana basketball program was headed by Coach Tom Crean and led by Yogi Ferrell, Thomas Bryant, and company. That’s the last time the Hoosiers were crowned as regular season Big Ten champions.

It’s time to change that to “headed by Coach Mike Woodson and led by Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jalen Hood-Schifino, and company in 2022-23”. Is that a realistic possibility for the Hoosiers this season?

It all starts on Saturday afternoon.

Here are my keys for the Hoosiers to come back home from Piscataway with their first Big Ten win of the season and stay undefeated:

Keys to an Indiana basketball victory @ Rutgers

Control the glass and check Clifford Omoruyi on every shot attempt

As of Friday afternoon, Rutgers ranks fifth best among major conference teams in offensive rebounds per game this season at 14.4 and 11th in total rebounds per game at 40.7. The leader of the rebounding crew for the Scarlet Knights is Clifford Omoruyi, who averages 3.4 offensive rebounds per game thus far this season.

Surprisingly enough, Omoruyi had zero offensive rebounds against Trayce Jackson-Davis and the Hoosiers last season but came away with 12 rebounds in the win. Omoruyi has grabbed at least three offensive rebounds in five of their seven games this season, which is why it’s so important to box him out on every shot attempt on Saturday.

Dominate the paint and continue to take smart shots

In Wednesday’s clash with North Carolina, the Hoosiers dominated the paint, 50-24, even with one of the best big men in the country patrolling the area, Armando Bacot.

The Hoosiers rank second in field goal percentage (55.0 percent) among major conference teams, trailing only their opponent on December 10, Arizona (56.1 percent). Indiana basketball has shot 50.0 percent or better in six of their seven games this season, while last season they managed just 11 such games out of 35 played.

Get the ball to Jalen Hood-Schifino & Trayce Jackson-Davis

Many Hoosier fans may disagree with me or think I’m being too harsh on Xavier Johnson, but only positive things happen when the ball is in either Jalen Hood-Schifino’s hands when he runs the offense or a post touch for Trayce Jackson-Davis.

Johnson believes he’s either Chris Paul or Stephen Curry at times, which only leads to poor decision-making and dumb shot attempts that either get blocked or miss horribly. Yes, he had a decent game on Wednesday, but it’s time to let Hood-Schifino lead this offense and Johnson can act as the secondary point guard behind JHS.

Must Read. How to watch, betting tips, & more for #10 IU @ Rutgers. light

Projected Starters


G – Xavier Johnson
G – Jalen Hood-Schifino
F – Miller Kopp
F – Race Thompson
F – Trayce Jackson-Davis


G – Cam Spencer
G – Caleb McConnell
F – Aundre Hyatt
F – Mawot Mag
F/C – Clifford Omoruyi

Related Story. Three Scarlet Knights to target for #10 Indiana. light

Stat line predictions for Indiana basketball @ Rutgers

Trayce Jackson-Davis: 34 MIN | 24 PTS | 9 REB | 10/15 FG | 4/8 FT | 5 BLK

Clifford Omoruyi: 38 MIN | 9 PTS | 8 REB | 4/11 FG | 2/5 FT | 1 BLK

Jalen Hood-Schifino: 37 MIN | 19 PTS | 4 REB | 5 AST | 7/11 FG | 3/5 3PT | 3 TOV

Caleb McConnell: 38 MIN | 20 PTS | 6 AST | 7/14 FG | 2/3 3PT | 4/4 FT | 6 TOV

Xavier Johnson: 30 MIN | 13 PTS | 8 AST | 3/11 FG | 1/3 3PT | 6/7 FT | 2 STL | 4 TOV

Cam Spencer: 36 MIN | 14 PTS | 3 AST | 5/13 FG | 3/8 3PT | 1/1 FT | 3 STL | 1 TOV

Miller Kopp: 26 MIN | 14 PTS | 2 REB | 4/7 FG | 4/7 3PT | 2/2 FT | 1 STL

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