Indiana Hoosiers Fell Flat On Their Face Against Wake Forest


The Indiana Hoosiers just fell flat on their face against Danny Manning‘s Demon Deacons in an unthinkable 82-78 loss.

The Indiana Hoosiers entered the Maui Invitational after steamrolling the Creighton BlueJays just four days earlier. The chronically embattled head coach of the Hoosiers, Tom Crean had stressed to his team the importance of approaching the tournament with a focus of one game at a time.

Perhaps they suffered from the difference in time zones or distracted by the majesty of the island. No, it’s simple, they got caught overlooking Wake Forest.

After all, the #13 Indiana Hoosiers are supposed to be a complete team with huge expectations as a dark horse Final Four candidates. After opening the season with three home games, they arrived in Maui to face Wake Forest squad in the opening round. Keep in mind, that this was a team who had just lost to the Richmond Spiders by nine points, 91-82. They were missing several players and were forced to play multiple walk-ons from the bench.

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Indiana should have come out against Wake Forest focused and aggressive and used their athleticism on defense to create points in transition. The Hoosiers should have been able to work their offense inside-and-out with Big Ten Freshman of the Week, Thomas Bryant and graduate transfer Max Bielfeldt.

For all intensive purposes, Indiana should have dominated this contest and cruised on to face Vanderbilt. This matchup wasn’t even expected to be a trap game. It’s not like it was against Duke – who they play just one week from now.

Sadly, none of that happened. IU came out flat, trading shot for shot and forgetting every element of the defense that stifled a high-scoring Creighton offense less than a week before. Indiana had more fans in attendance and all should have gone according to plan.

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Indiana trailed 50-45 at halftime to wake Forest and were tied at 61-61 with 10:00 left in the half.

Suddenly, Indiana rallied in the and took a nine-point lead 72-63 – with 7:32 remaining in the half – once the trio of Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr woke up. After that 11-2 run, the team scored six points… that’s not a typo, it’s correct, six points for the rest of the game.

Anyone can do the math and realize that is less than one point per minute. That kind of performance against a beleaguered Wake Forest was simply unacceptable. It’s obvious that IU overlooked their opponent. That’s the only way you allow 52 points in the paint against a sub-par frontcourt.

Now they have to rebound from the disappointing loss less than 24 hours later. This time, it will be in the consolation bracket against the Red Storm of St. Johns. Can they rebound from this wake-up call or is this a sign of something worse on the horizon?

Next: Pacers March on Washington to take on the Wizards

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