Indiana looks to rebound after Butler loss
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent December 19, 2012 12:04AM
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 15: Cody Zeller #40 of the Indiana Hoosiers reaches for a rebound during the game against the Butler Bulldogs during Boston Scientific Close The Gap Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 15, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Buler won 88-86 in overtime. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Big Number
28.3 — Indiana’s national best point differential. The Hoosiers lead the country, scoring 88.8 ppg.
Hanner Mosquera-Perea didn’t get much of a chance to show his skills in his first game, but Victor Oladipo knows the freshman will make an impact once his playing time picks up.
“He does so many good things,” Oladipo said, pointing to Mosquera-Perea’s size and rebounding ability. “He is just another presence for us — more size and he’s active.”
Mosquera-Perea said he’ll try to bring energy when he’s in the game.
“And I try to be active all over the floor on defense and offense,” Mosquera-Perea said.
Updated: January 20, 2013 6:29AM
BLOOMINGTON — Among the most telling statistics in Indiana’s loss to Butler on Saturday was the Bulldogs’ edge in rebounds. Butler outrebounded the Hoosiers 40-38, the first time IU had lost the battle of the boards this season.
Coincidence or not, it was also the first loss of the season for the Hoosiers, who fell to 9-1 and dropped to No. 6 in both the AP and coaches’ polls.
“If it were a season-ending decision, it would be a whole different story, but it’s not,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said on his radio show Monday night. “You just keep going and getting better.”
The Hoosiers have an opportunity to get better Wednesday, when they host Mount St. Mary’s (4-4).
The Mountaineers are the third team from the Northeast Conference to face IU this season, with the Hoosiers routing Bryant and Central Connecticut State by 43 and 31 points, respectively.
The aspect of Mount St. Mary’s game that could keep them competitive with the Hoosiers also affects the part of Indiana’s game that Crean wanted the Hoosiers to focus on this week: rebounding.
Mount St. Mary’s lives and dies by the 3-pointer. The Mountaineers are tied for fourth nationally in 3-point attempts per game, hitting 71-of-207 (34.3 percent) from beyond the arc. Forty-seven percent of Mount St. Mary’s shots from the field are 3-pointers.
That translates, though, into a team that grabs fewer rebounds than any other team in Division I. The Mountaineers average just 24.3 rebounds per game, led by junior forward Kristijan Krajina’s 3.3 per game.
That average would be only fifth-best for the Hoosiers, who remain one of the country’s best in rebounding margin.
But Crean knows the Hoosiers must also improve on shot selection.
“The one thing that we did too much on offense, which bothered me, was we settled for too many pull-up jump shots,” he said. “We’re a pretty good pull-up shooting team, but that’s now what we want to spend the game on.”
Victor Oladipo said IU’s practices since Saturday’s loss have been intense.
“We can’t wait to play. I know I can’t,” Oladipo said on Tuesday. “We’re looking forward to bouncing back, and bouncing back at a high level.”
The Hoosiers haven’t specified how much Derek Elston (torn meniscus) and freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin (suspensions) might play tonight. Elston was warming up with the team before the Butler game, and Mosquera-Perea made his debut, playing three minutes and scoring off an offensive rebound.
“He’s close,” Crean said of Elston. “I knew we weren’t going to be really able to play him (against Butler), but it was really good to have him be out there for that.
“There is a possibility that he could play this week. I wouldn’t call it a probability yet.”