Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Hoosier basketball.

Thursday, December 28

Hoosiers Find Their Shooting Eyes

Remember when Indiana's offense was a series of missed opportunities, when no shot was too short or too open not to miss?

Well, the Hoosiers will enter Saturday's game against Ball State very much in a hot-shooting groove. They are shooting around 54 percent for their last 60 minutes of action. Not surprisingly, they've won two straight games over Western Michigan and IUPUI.

The reason for the improvement? Simple coach Kelvin Sampson says. Taking advantage of more fast-break opportunities, faster play and less half-court situations.

"It's a sign we're running more," Sampson says. "We're getting more comfortable with each other. Your offense is as good as your point guard. Earl Calloway is a much better point guard today than he was against Butler or Duke."

The point guard is the offensive catalyst in any system, and that's especially true for Sampson's approach. Calloway struggled to reign in his full-speed nature, much like a running back too impatient to wait on his blockers. Calloway has found that patience, and the good decision making that follows. So look for the senior and the rest of the Hoosiers to roll against Ball State. After that it's Big Ten thrills, with a trip to Ohio State up first on Tuesday. Then we'll really see how far this team has come.


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