Sunday, March 1, 2009

That clicking noise

Did you hear that?

Something may have clicked Saturday night during IU's loss at Penn State. These young Hoosiers may finally be starting to get it.

The team played probably its best game of the season on the road. They never trailed by more than five points and led the game with about two minutes to go. Unfortunately, an inability to make some clutch shots down the stretch and untimely turnovers caused what has been a familiar result this season. This time the season's major problems surfaced late in the game.

Verdell Jones played much better than I had seen in recent weeks and I think Tom Pritchard would have had a better game if he hadn't been saddled with three fouls in the first half. The team only committed 11 turnovers, much better than its season average.

I've read and watched several commentators talk about coaches waiting for that light to turn on with a young team and the players begin to play with confidence. I saw it Saturday. Late in the game, the Hoosiers didn't wilt, they remained aggressive. Unfortunately the shots just didn't fall.

I wrote Friday there was a scenario where the Hoosiers could win a few games in the Big Ten tournament. Last night's game proves this team could be dangerous. If they meet a team with nothing to play for, who knows what could happen.

This game is something the Hoosiers can build upon. I just hope Tuesday's game versus Michigan State and Sunday's regular season finale at Wisconsin don't destroy the foundation. The Hoosiers are playing with more confidence, but certainly that confidence is shaky.

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