Indiana Hoosiers: Guard Penetration Key to Victory Over Wisconsin

By Eric Smith
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

What a huge victory for the Indiana Hoosiers tonight. Indiana (12-5, 2-2) upset the third ranked Wisconsin Badgers (16-1, 3-1) 75-72 tonight in front of a raucous sell-out crowd in Assembly Hall. Indiana hasn’t beat Wisconsin in nearly six years and the Badgers were one of four undefeated teams left in the country entering tonight’s game.

Indiana, never backed down, though, and battled until the end to pull out the upset victory.

The biggest reason Indiana won was all due to guard penetration. It also showed that maybe these players are in place to beat teams like Wisconsin now.

In the four years prior, Indiana didn’t have the biggest or best guards to dribble drive. The Hoosiers had very good players in Jordan Hulls, Verdell Jones III and Matt Roth among others, but no offense to them, they just weren’t good for beating teams like Wisconsin.

Indiana showed the recipe tonight and it was all due to finesse in getting to the rim.

The previous guards couldn’t dribble drive and create their own shots. They were pure shooters. That doesn’t work well against a Wisconsin team.

Wisconsin showed their kryptonite tonight. They struggled to stay in front of Indiana’s guards. It didn’t matter who they put in either. Yogi Ferrell, Stanford Robinson, Austin Ethrington, Evan Gordon and Will Sheehey all found ways to get to the rim with ease.

Ferrell led all scorers with 25 points tonight while the freshman Robinson had another big night scoring 13 points off the bench. Mix in Sheehey’s 13 and Gordon’s eight, and this IU team finally got over the hump.

Indiana could do no wrong on offense as they shot 51.6 percent. They didn’t shoot well from behind the arc, but all four threes were crucial. Noah Vonleh hit two in a row to start the game off and keep Indiana in the game despite Wisconsin starting the game 7-for-7. If it wasn’t for those two big three’s, Indiana might have been blown out.

Then at the end, Ferrell and Sheehey hit a three each to give Indiana the upset victory.

Indiana was just too long and athletic for Wisconsin. That’s the recipe for victory over the Badgers.

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