Indiana Hoosiers: Sam Houston State Is Final Tune-Up Before Strong Competition

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIINovember 14, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 9: Cody Zeller #40 of the Indiana Hoosiers goes for a rebound against the Bryant Bulldogs during the game at Assembly Hall on November 9, 2012 in Bloomington, Indiana. The Hoosiers won 97-54. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Sam Houston State Bearkats (1-1) travel to play the No. 1-ranked Indiana Hoosiers (2-0) tomorrow night in Assembly Hall. It will be the Hoosiers' final tune-up of easy nonconference opponents before taking on Georgia next Monday and either UCLA or Georgetown on Tuesday.

The Hoosiers have blown out their first two opponents, but not the way we thought they would have. Everyone expected Indiana to come in and score 100-plus points both games and just blow both schools out of the gym by the half. That actually never happened.

Indiana was in a fight for all of the first half and almost up to the midway point of the second half in both contests. The reasons for that included too many turnovers and some bad shooting.

The Hoosiers need to shore up the turnovers and start being more consistent while shooting tomorrow night to show they're deserving of the No. 1 spot.

Christian Watford, Will Sheehey, Victor Oladipo, Yogi Ferrell and Jeremy Hollowell are a combined 4-for-25 in two games behind the arc this season. That's going to have to change if they want to beat top-ranked teams. The good teams that Indiana has coming up on their schedule are going to exploit that and pack in on Cody Zeller and defend Jordan Hulls exclusively. They're going to force those four to beat them and hit open shots.

Sam Houston State is going to give Indiana a run for their money tomorrow night. They play great defense and nearly knocked off Arkansas on their home court in their first game. They're a scrappy team and will defend out to the perimeter.

I want to see these four start putting down mid-range and three-point jumpers Thursday night. This is the game they need to get going to give them confidence to hit shots on a neutral court against formidable opponents. Why get in a dogfight when you can bury teams early?