Indiana basketball (11-4, 3-1) travels east to take on Rutgers (8-6, 0-3) Tuesday night at the RAC. The Big Ten is a difficult place to play away from home, so this will be a stern test for the young Hoosiers. Indiana looks to win their second consecutive conference after defeating Ohio State on Sunday. The Scarlet Knights are searching for their first Big Ten victory. They lost to Iowa on Saturday afternoon.
Tomorrow night's game allows Indiana to wash the stink of their last road game. Indiana played sloppy, undisciplined basketball on the road against Nebraska. Tuesday night's game also proves Indiana can play consistently for 40 minutes. While you love the fight they showed clawing back against Ohio State, IU needs to play a full game like they did the last 15 against the Buckeyes.
What do the Hoosiers need to do to win the game? Here are three keys to victory.
Take the Crowd Out Early
If there is any lesson the Hoosiers learned from their road loss against Nebraska is that a home crowd can take you out of the game. Indiana needs to play sound, disciplined basketball and take the Rutgers home crowd out early. Rutgers struggles to score points, so the Hoosiers have to ensure they don't score early.
Head coach Mike Woodson has to preach hands up against Rutgers. They can't give the Scarlet Knights open looks. IU needs to contest every shot. Rutgers is one of the worst shooting teams in the country; contesting shots makes it more difficult for a team that struggles to score in the first place.
Offensively, the Hoosiers need a fast start. Xavier Johnson needs to play as well as he did against Ohio State. He and Trey Galloway need to get the ball to Indiana's playmakers early and often.