When it’s working, the Hoosiers aren’t wasting dribbles. They’re spacing the floor. The ball is constantly being shared between shooters and the scoreboard ?lights up.
When it’s out of control is when the trouble starts.
The ball doesn’t move. Players try too hard to create scoring opportunities that aren’t there. Turnovers and poor shot selections start piling up and IU’s offense goes stagnant.
For IU to sweep the season series against Maryland tonight, the Hoosiers (17-7, 7-4) will need to play quick like they did in their 19-point win against the No. 19 Terrapins (19-5, 7-4) nearly three weeks ago.
“We don’t want to play slow, but we certainly don’t want to be a team that’s in a hurry and trying to make something happen that’s not there,” Crean said. “We get going too fast sometimes, and I like that we’re playing fast, but we can’t go so fast that we miss the open shot, that we miss the open man, that we don’t make the pass ahead.”
Playing the same team twice in 20 days presents its own set of ?special challenges.
Both IU and Maryland have studied film on their opponents twice now and are familiar with one another.
In the three weeks since, players on both teams have had enough time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t.
At its core, the rematch is a game of adjustments.
“A lot can change in a few weeks,” IU sophomore forward Collin Hartman said. “Teams adjust. Players adjust. Coaches adjust. We’ve got to focus on the game plan and be able to adjust within the game, within each possession because they’re going to throw things that we don’t know yet at us.”
IU will need to find out how to adjust on the road, where the Hoosiers have lost four of its last five games by an average margin of 15.5 points per game.
In IU’s first matchup against Maryland — when the offense was clicking — IU made a season-high 15 3-pointers.
The team shot 68 percent from behind the arc as a whole.
That type of shooting has been harder to come by on the road, where IU averages about two fewer 3-pointers per game.
It’s unlikely IU would be able to put in a repeat performance from beyond the arc, but Crean would take it.
“Will we shoot it again like we did here a couple weeks ago? That remains to be seen,” Crean said. “We have to move the ball to have a chance to beat this team the way that we played a couple of weeks ago.”
Hartman said the team has been stressing communication in practice throughout the week.
Constant talking has been key for IU in moving the ball around and running its offense at its best.
As the losing record has shown, doing that gets tougher on ?the road.
“We’ve just got to come in and bring our own energy,” Hartman said. “When you’re on the road, you’ve got a whole stadium full of people that are against you and you’ve just got to bring your own energy and stay together as a group. A lot of that comes with ?communication.”