The ship is continuing to sink in Bloomington, and Indiana head coach Archie Miller wants it to end.
Indiana started the season 12-2 and was ranked in the top 25. Early in the season, it looked like a team that could compete for a B1G title, having all the right pieces in place. But over the last two months, the Hoosiers have been exposed, losing 10 of their last 11 games.
While there have been plenty of low points over the last two months for IU, none have been much worse than Saturday’s 84-63 loss to Minnesota. It was a game the Hoosiers were never really in, even from the opening tip.
Miller wasn’t happy with the performance.
“At the end of the day, you can try to push as many buttons as you wanna push — you need your best players, you need everybody moving in the right direction, working as hard as you possibly can,” Miller said after the loss. “Sometimes, you still come up short. But for us, this one, this is sort of a deal-breaker. We have to make some real, in my opinion, drastic changes to the way we’re doing things right now. We’ve got to get some guys’ attention and guys to play better.”
Following the loss, Indiana dropped to 4-10 in conference play, sitting 12th in the B1G standings. Overall, the Hoosiers are 13-12.
Though the Hoosiers have brought in some great talent with its latest recruiting class, they’ve battled injury problems and have lacked depth. And with the rigors of pushing through a daunting B1G conference, quality depth and bench play are key components for any successful team.
Still, 10 losses in 11 games — five by double digits — is a type of run that nobody expected from Indiana this winter.
Indiana’s schedule doesn’t get any easier in the final six games, playing four ranked opponents down the stretch: No. 12 Purdue, No. 21 Iowa, No. 20 Wisconsin, No. 11 Michigan State, Illinois and Rutgers. Unless the Hoosiers can figure out a formula to win at least five of their next six games, an NCAA Tournament berth is unlikely.
But Miller still wants his team to finish out the season strong, and potentially gain some momentum heading into the offseason.