Indiana continues to start games like a pick up team meeting for the first time, what’s it going to take for this team to come out with some intensity before Elon? (Kansas postgame thoughts)

Loads of talent, just wish we came out once like anything other than a bunch of pick-up heroes meeting for the first time and figuring out how to play off one another.

While the Jayhawks came out to play right from the tip, once again the Hoosiers were unable to show up with anything in the tank out of the gate in this one.

Once again the first 10 minutes of that game were full of lacks of effort and lacks of execution. Finger tipped rebounds resulting in Kansas Jayhawk buckets. Senseless turnovers resulting in easy transition buckets for Kansas.

It’s like a serious case of the yips at this point, what is it? Why can’t the Indiana Hoosiers address these flat starts and come out in a game and not have the chemistry growing pains of an elite pick up game. This team has yet to enter a marquee matchup on the same page. If this team wants any hardware of substantial value, that cannot become a key characteristic of this squad.

Indiana’s currently starting games like the most timid side in the country. At this point I’d be nervous to come out and start a game against Bethune-Cookman. I know people don’t win inside Phog Allen, but I really was hoping the Hoosiers’ came out with any sense of fire, I figured the Arizona game would be enough to reflect on to bar that from happening again. Boy was I wrong. Indiana quite possibly found a way to come out even slower than they had.

While Indiana forced an impressive 10 turnovers in the first half, they gave up an even more impressive 12 to the Kansas defense. The Kansas Jayhawk defense looked relentless, not giving the Hoosiers a moment to get things going. The crowd was fueling the Kansas squad that had already showed up to compete with an intensity the Hoosiers’ seemed to had forgotten to pack in Bloomington.

Despite Trayce coming out the gate hot, Indiana wasn’t able to compete with the Jayhawks. They were outmatched and outclassed at each and every step. The Indiana defense came out of the half looking to provide the opportunity to crawl ourselves back into this one, but a las, they were unable to. After geting it back to a respectable clip the Kansas Jayhawks pulled out to an 18 point lead and refused to give this one back.

Xavier Johnson went down in the first half with a foot injury and was out for the rest of the game. Even when we get one point guard, we lose another. It seems that Indiana hasn’t been able to catch a break.

It seems like Malik was outmatched out of the gate when he got time in this game. After a slow start, Mike Woodson was quick to limit his minutes in this one. This kid has all the skills to be a transcendent talent, I choose to see these as the growing pains that should be expected to come for any freshman big man.

While Jordan Geronimo’s minutes have been limited prior to this game, as he has also been on a tear of poor performances. Much like Malik, I think that Jordan has far more talent than his current play is indicative of.

I can’t bring myself to really dig into this one too deeply. It was just an overall timid performance, from start to finish. I don’t know what it will take for the Hoosiers to put together 40 minutes of reliable ball, but until Mike Woodson finds a way to get this team to do so, while Kansas is an all-time home court advantage, it doesn’t get all that much easier on the road in the Big Ten. If the Hoosiers’ continue a now-almost-to-be-expected slow start in these prime matchups, it is going to make for a long, and ultimately disappointing season.

I’m struggling to find the brighter side in this one. While the Hoosiers’ displayed a sense of fight and tenacity in their clawing back against Arizona, they didn’t show much to build on in this one.

Indiana was bodied in the paint. Kansas played the way Indiana wishes they could have. Getting the ball inside, taking advantage of high percentage shots, the Jayhawks were able to outmuscle and out effort the Hoosiers for 50-24 inside the paint. It sounds so dumb, but effort is how you win the interior, effort. In the battle of effort the Jayhawks came to win.

Hopefully the Hoosiers don’t feel intimidated by the moment when Elon is coming to town on tonight. I would feel confident in this squad, but back to back performances coming out that flat, tell me I can not feel safe and secure in much this season. This team has all the talent in the world, but if that talent is lifeless and unmotivated, I’m afraid it all may be for nothing.

I know this may seem like a drastic overreaction, or just a negative outlook, but that Kansas game was a lifeless performance, that has left this Hoosier fan gutted. This team’s inability to show up for the occasion is a problem. I’m embarrassed, and while I never try to operate in the negatives, these guys should be embarrassed too. The Kansas Jayhawks made the Hoosiers look like a lifeless JV squad against the umpteen times over Big Twelve Champions. Bill Self, cheater he is and all, is still to be commended for his ability to have the Jayhawks ready. It truly stands out when compared to how Mike Woodson has had the Hoosiers coming out.

I have to hope that something can be said to inspire the Hoosiers’ to bring more to the court next time, but I would have thought they would have looked to find that after the letdown in Vegas.

Sorry for the late posting, had the Kansas game head right into a birthday celebration my wife had thrown for me. I’ll get the norm out tomorrow following a hopefully get right game by the Hoosiers over Elon.

I’ll have a new episode of the Often Daunted podcast discussing this one and the Elon game available tomorrow! Thanks for taking the time to read Hoosier fans.

LUX ET VERITAS!

-Burke

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