For the Indiana Hoosiers, Monday night was a bad case of deja vu.
After seemingly turning the corner with their upset win over Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic, the Hoosiers rapidly regressed back to the team that lost by 21 points to Indiana State at the beginning of the season. In fact, the 92-72 loss tot he Fort Wayne Mastodons almost completely mirrors the season opener.
So instead of rehashing the same old story, let’s do something different and look at things from the other side.
What is Fort Wayne’s perspective on the win? How did the Hoosiers’ performance appear to a Mastrodon program that now has a two-game winning streak over the Hoosiers?
“What happened at the end of the day was that they felt the pressure of our poise on offense, because we played our process for 40 minutes,” said Fort Wayne Head Coach Jon Coffman, who despite now having a winning record against Indiana still holds them in high regard.
“I have so much pride in our state’s basketball, and there’s so much tradition that’s happened (in Assembly Hall). For our guys to do that with a ton of newcomers — we have six freshmen on our squad — I’m so proud of those four upperclassmen who played in that game last year.”
They also knew that Juwan Morgan was going to be a problem, and despite his team containing Morgan, Coffman still talked about how impressed he was with Morgan’s performance against Notre Dame and how the game plan was to get Morgan in foul trouble, which did happen.
Also apparently Indiana’s defense wasn’t as helpless as it looked to Hoosier fans, as to Coffman, this was just the Mastrodons playing their game.
“We got great shot, after great shot, after great shot. 17 threes is a good night for us, but that’s not surprising because we’ve done that before. But what was really good was that we stuck with being us.”
The Hoosiers may have taken a step back on Monday night, but if they follow that mantra of “sticking with being themselves” like the Mastrodons did, the Hoosiers will find themselves back on track.