Column: 3 Keys to the Victory
By Avi Zaleon
Against the Hoosiers, Jones and Davis combined for just seven shots… seven. This amounted to four points for Jones and Davis scoring six. Heading into this game I knew there would be a battle in the post, but I didn’t expect it to be so one-sided.
IU freshman forward Cody Zeller was still able to score 11 points and pull down five offensive rebounds, numbers that could have been padded even more if the Hoosiers fed it to him more effectively in the second half. The window for opportunity in the post was open, as Davis picked up his third personal foul with 17:35 still to be played in the game.
Without a scoring threat in the post, the Wildcats couldn’t turn to their poor perimeter shooting, where UK shot just 2-of-7 from beyond the arc.
2) Getting to the foul line. The Hoosiers win when they get to the foul line more than their opponents, and IU has yet to lose. Against Coach John Calipari’s Cats, IU hoisted the same amount of shots form the charity stripe as UK with 17 but still was able to do damage.
Prior to their shocking upset victory against UK, the Hoosiers were consistent, making 74 percent of their foul shots. On Saturday, IU took advantage of the home-court advantage and sunk 14-of-17, while the Cats missed seven of their 17.
3) Not losing the battle on the boards. With size and athleticism, Kentucky has dominated opponents on the glass all season, being ranked as the fourth-best rebounding team in the country before losing to the Hoosiers. IU, on the other hand, had not experienced the same amount of success, failing to outrebound Stetson. Coach Tom Crean’s squad was ranked 163rd, averaging eight less boards per game than the Cats.
But on Saturday, the Hoosiers matched UK in rebounds with 30 apiece, including beating the Cats on the offensive glass, 14-to-10. It’s hard to say whether this came as a result of IU being that good, or Kentucky being that bad with forward Terrence Jones collecting just one rebound – a career low.
Kentucky has been very good at creating second-chance opportunities off misses, but in Assembly Hall, IU had the advantage with 16 second-chance points to 10.