3 Things I Want To See From Indiana Saturday At Wisconsin

Tom Brew

MADISON, Wis. — Indiana is off to a hot start this season, winning its first eight games. But there's a little hook to that, because they've all taken place inside the friendly confines of Simon Skojdt Assembly.

It gets real on Saturday with the Big Ten season starting, and it gets real on the road, too. Indiana will hook up with Wisconsin in the Kohl Center, a place where the Hoosiers have struggled in a big way through the years.

Here are the particulars:

  • Who: Indiana Hoosiers (8-0) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (4-4)
  • When: 4:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Dec. 7
  • Where: Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.
  • Line: Indiana-Wisconsin is a pick 'em game. according to goldsheet.com
  • Poll rankings: Indiana is unranked, but received votes in both polls. The Hoosiers are No. 36 in the AP poll and are tied for No. 40 in the Coaches poll. Wisconsin is unranked, with no votes in either poll.
  • Kenpom.com rankings: Indiana is No. 20, Wisconsin is No. 60
  • TV: Big Ten Network
  • Announcers: Brian Anderson, Robbie Hummel, Andy Katz
  • Radio: Indiana Radio Network
  • Announcers: Don Fischer, Eric Suhr, Joe Smith

And here are the three things I want to see from the Hoosiers

1. Be road warriors for the first time

Indiana has built all of its eight-game winning on its home floor at Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall, and this is its first road game of the year. It's always different playing on the road, and the Hoosiers haven't experienced that at all so far this season. They will have to adjust quickly.

The Kohl Center has been a house of horrors for the Hoosiers through the years. Indiana won the week the building opened back in January of 1998, but they haven't won since, losing a whopping 16 games in a row to the Badgers in Wisconsin. And even though Wisconsin is just 4-4, it is 4-0 at the Kohl Center this year, with all four wins by 13 points or more.

2. Keep getting to the free throw line

Indiana has done a great job of attacking the basket so far this season and it leads the nation in free throws made per game (21.4). One of the big reasons why is that true freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis has been great around the basket, and the 6-foot-9 forward from Greenwood, Ind., is proving that he's one of the best newcomers in the country.

Jackson-Davis is No. 2 in the country among freshman in free throws made and No. 3 in free throws attempted. He's also shooting 65.6 percent from the field right now, which ranked No. 2 in the country among freshmen, as well. He's also sixth in the country in rebounding, and has been fouled often on put-backs. Pounding the ball inside is a great recipe for stealing a win on the road.

3. Don't let Wisconsin get confident

Indiana was great defensively against Florida State, and its stops helped the Hoosiers run out to a big lead once Devonte Green got hot from 3-point range. They will need a similar defensive effort against the Badgers. They're struggling to score right now, and the Hoosiers need to keep that doubt in their mind.

During Wisconsin's three-game losing streak to Richmond, New Mexico and N.C. State, the Badgers are averaging only 52 points per game and are shooting only 35.2 percent from the field. It's imperative that Indiana doesn't let them get back into a comfort zone, which could happen on their home court.