Indiana Basketball: Hoosiers Who Need to Pick Up Their Game After Illinois Loss

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIFebruary 8, 2013

It was a tough game for the Hoosiers, and they will lose their No. 1 ranking.
It was a tough game for the Hoosiers, and they will lose their No. 1 ranking.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Indiana Hoosiers lost on Sunday against the Illinois Fighting Illini, 72-74, despite having a comfortable lead for most of the game.  After a tough loss against an unranked opponent, there are several players that need to turn it around quickly.

The team as a whole has to be disappointed, and Tom Crean needs to look at a few players and help them turn it around after an ugly game.  Here are a few of those players that need to bounce back.


Jordan Hulls

Despite making three of his four shots from behind the arc, Hulls makes this list because of his disappointing defense.  This has been a big problem with Hulls, as taller, more athletic shooting guards have taken advantage of him game after game.

This game was no different, as the Illini were able to come back due to multiple blown assignments by Hulls, leaving players wide open for easy three-pointers. 

Something needs to be fixed with Hulls.  He drifts away or gets sucked in far too often, and it has led to far too many threes in the past few games.


Christian Watford

Watford started the game with some good shots, but the game turned ugly for him quite quickly.  He lost his shot and missed some open jumpers in the second half.

One of the better aspects of Watford’s game is his consistency from behind the three-point line.  However, this wasn’t the case on Thursday, as he only made two of his six shots from long range.

Turnovers were an even bigger issue for Watford, as he recorded six turnovers in the game.  The Illini only had nine in the entire game, showing how poorly Watford held on to the ball.  This is simply inexcusable for a starter on one of the best teams in the country.

Everyone knows that Watford is a good player, but he didn’t play like it at the other Assembly Hall.  Watford will have to prove himself when they play the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Victor Oladipo

Oladipo may be one of the best players in the country, but he certainly didn’t play like that against Illinois.

The offensive didn’t do much to involve Oladipo in the game, as he took only seven shots and had only nine points.  For an elite player like him, this wasn’t a good game if he was trying to make a case for the Player of the Year.

What was more surprising was the quieter night on defense by Oladipo.  He failed to record a steal, despite getting one in each of the other four starts. He also failed to contain their big players, as both Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson had over 20 points. 

This was hopefully a fluke game for Oladipo, because the Hoosiers need him as much as anyone. If he doesn’t bounce back, they could be in trouble.