Hawkmania football & basketball blog

Eye on Indiana

AFter a 20-point win over Michigan State, Fran McCaffery has quickly worked to turn his team’s attention to Indiana.
The Hawkeyes handled the Hoosiers 91-77 in Iowa City less than two weeks ago, but McCaffery sees a different Indiana team as he watches tapes of the Hoosiers’ wins at home over rated Illinois and Minnesota and an overtime loss at Michigan State.
“We’re playing a team that is playing as well as anybody in our league right now with the exception of Ohio State,” McCaffery said this morning on a teleconfernce.
“We’ll need to play every bit as well as we played on Wednesday to have a chance over there because Indiana has played at a very high level since our first game.”
Coach Tom Crean has praised his team’s defensive play following its recent home games and McCaffery sees a team that plays with a different energy and intensity at home.
“They’ve played together, played physical and inspired and they’ve done a good job of covering for each other,” McCaffery said. “They mix things up a bit more on defense now. They’ll play some zone, some man, some junk and mix in some pressure to keep you on your toes.”
The return of Verdell Jones III and the injury that has sidelined scoring leader Christian Watford has changed the look of the Hoosiers as well.
McCaffery said big men Tom Pritchard and Derek Elston have stepped up their games in recent outings.
“Those two guys can be hammer guys and rebound and be physical and despite two key injuries, they’ve been scoring the ball better,” McCaffery said. “They’re a team that has been playing with tremendous energy, particularly at home.”
Iowa leaves today for Bloomington with one player under the weather. Forward Andrew Brommer missed Thursday’s practice with an illness, but McCaffery expects him to be able to go on Saturday.

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