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.

Wednesday, December 6

Searching For IU Answers

If you can’t wait to see if Indiana is building toward Big Ten title contention, you won’t find an answer tonight from a mediocre Western Illinois team. The Hoosiers should roll by 20 or more.

Playing at Kentucky on Saturday will be a good test, but remember, these are not the power Wildcats of old. They have plenty of vulnerability for IU to exploit.

After that, Southern Illinois is the only real challenge left on the non-conference schedule until Big Ten play begins. IU does play at Connecticut, but that’s not until Jan. 20.

In the meantime, if you’re worried about why the Hoosiers aren’t dominating, at least on offense, relax. There’s plenty of time for improvement.

“We’re improving,” coach Kelvin Sampson says. “It’s important to be better Jan. 2 than we are today and I think we will as long as these kids come to practice and work and compete.

“This is not a destination for us. We’re learning how to compete. We’re a work in progress. Defensively we’re better. Rebounding we’re better. Offensively we’ll get better.”

Of course, you’d expect Sampson to say that, but that’s not just coach-speak. IU might not win the Big Ten, but it certainly should be a factor.


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