Indiana coach Tom Crean watched film Friday of every turnover the Hoosiers committed in their four Big Ten games so far. He saw a lot of ugliness.
“I learned we’re not strong enough the ball,” Crean said. “I learned we’re driving into needless traps and places where we don’t need to be. Decision making is always going to be a part of it. Those are the things that we want to continue to address all the time.”
And they really need to do it by Sunday’s game. Minnesota ranks eighth in Division I in steals per game with 10.8 and seventh in turnover margin with 5.5. The Golden Gophers run one of the most successful full-court presses in the country, and they have plenty of shot blockers to serve as the last line of defense if the press is broken. Forward Damian Johnso and center Ralph Sampson III have already combined for 69 blocks this season.
“They have a great combination of energy, toughness, athleticism,” Crean said. “They’ve certainly got skill. And we’re going to have to play a very good game. They’re doing an excellent job of causing turnovers.”
After giving it away 55 times in the last three games, the Hoosiers need to do a better job of avoiding them. Those turnovers have turned into 66 points over the last three games.
“We’re hurting ourselves when we do it,” freshman guard Jordan Hulls said. “We’re just not being strong with the ball, like I said. It’s just careless turnovers. Unforced. You’re going to have some turnovers in the game. you can’t play a perfect game, but we’re just going to have to cut down on those and if we do that and play as a team, we’re going to be pretty good.”