Indiana basketball is approaching the end of a season filled with many highs and lows. There were sweet victories over some of the best teams in college basketball, and a losing streak that many believed would never end. The Hoosiers have their final matchup of the season Sunday against Rutgers, and this game has some pretty high stakes. If the team wants to have any chance of making a postseason appearance in the NCAA tournament, they must win against the Scarlet Knights.
In Indiana’s first matchup against Rutgers, their lack of offense was a concern to fans. That game also included a 22-0 scoring run by the Scarlet Knights that the Hoosiers were unable to recover from. Fortunately, the team has recently made a complete 180 with their offense which was a crucial factor in their latest wins. Rob Phinisee is a key component to the team’s transformation, helping Indiana stay poised and confident. In the Hoosiers’ recent game against Illinois, Phinisee captured 17 points and five assists while also managing to commit no turnovers. A similar performance from the Indiana offense is what the team will need to ensure they get a win Sunday.
Senior, Juwan Morgan has been having a tough time scoring the ball lately. Morgan broke into double-digit scoring in Thursday’s matchup against Illinois after only scoring 16 points over the two previous games. He shot 9-14 from the field, racking up 20 points, which is the highest total for Morgan since January when the team played Michigan. If Indiana wants any hopes of making the tournament, Morgan must continue his improvement. The team has relied on the 21-year-old many times this season and postseason play is no exception.
There is serval notable freshman in collegiate basketball, one being Indiana guard Romeo Langford. Langford is averaging 16.6 points per game, leading the team in the process. It is rare for a team to have a player with such a raw talent straight out of high school, but the Hoosiers appear to be taking full advantage of their opportunity. Games where the team has seen the most success, have been when Morgan and Langford are firing on all cylinders. If the power duo can establish a connection early on against Rutgers, then the Hoosiers should have little difficulty winning the contest.
The outcome of Sunday’s matchup will set the momentum for the Hoosiers going into the Big Ten Tournament next week in Chicago. Their recent success shows they are a team filled with talent and potential. Indiana can beat Rutgers, but they must continue not to get caught up in the pressure. Make sure to tune in for Sunday’s matchup at noon ET as the Hoosiers will also celebrate their Senior Day in Bloomington.