Indiana Basketball looks to rebound from an embarrassing loss to the Rutgers Scarlett Knights at home against the Minnesota Golden Gophers Friday night at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers are a different team at home than they are on the road. Coach Mike Woodson has had to deal with calls for his job and kick guard Xavier Johnson off the team.
Expect the criticism when you coach and play for a high-profile basketball program like Indiana. How the Hoosiers respond at home is critical. A win against Minnesota could be what gets them back on track.
This is not going to be an easy game for the Hoosiers. Minnesota is one of the toughest, most physical defensive teams in the conference. The Gophers allow 66 points per game on 41 percent shooting and 33 percent from the three-point line. While they've been on this seven-game winning streak, Minnesota has allowed 63 points per game.
Indiana is one of the better offensive teams in the country, averaging 74 points per game. The defense has been leaky, allowing 73 points per game.
Despite their length, Indiana has had issues with long physical teams in the paint. Forward Dawson Garcia is one of the best interior players in the conference. Kel'el Ware and Malik Reneau had trouble with Clifford Omoruyi from Rutgers and Felix Okpara from Ohio State.
The Hoosiers have been out-rebounded in their last two games. They have to be better on the boards. Minnesota, like Rutgers, is a tough defensive team but not a dominant offensive team. Indiana has struggled with that type of team this season.
Indiana has played much better at home than on the road, so they will need home-court magic to defeat Minnesota. The Gophers are hungry for a high-profile win, while the Hoosiers could stay within striking distance of first-place Wisconsin.