I figure people are pretty tired of the basic "this is unacceptable, ______ is playing terrible" stuff. Not that I'm innocent of it, but I feel like it's worth talking about what's actually going on.
So: this topic is for substantive discussion.
Similarly to last year, the Big Ten has come up with a solid way to beat us. Basically, it looks like this: make Stauskas work on every catch, which throws him out of rythm. When he tries to use a pick, blitz him with both guys - you either get a turnover or a reset back to the point. Nik is the only guy who can get Morford involved, but he's struggling to find them when he gets blitzed. And even if he could, catching mid-post isn't ideal for either of them.
This is where we miss Mitch so, so much. He can catch in the mid-post and distribute in a way Morford will never be able to do. Moreover, he's actually a tiny bit of a pick-n-pop threat, which is the best way to beat teams that double on the ballhandler. When you roll every time, like we do, these teams can double with impunity.
When you eliminate this part of our game, it becomes a slog. Walton is so talented, but still uncomfortable with taking the reins. Caris can go solo, but that's not a viable long-term offense, even within a single game. Glenn needs to be fed in good positions, pure and simple, and that doesn't happen without ball movement.
I can't emphasize the number of ways we miss Mitch McGary. You can't switch 1-5 with him on the court like Indiana did with Morford, because throwing it in to him against a point guard is actually a viable strategy. And his high post passing is fantastic: that doesn't even touch on what he does for our rebounding and energy.
What to do moving forward - all I can think of right now is start running pick-n-pop action with two wings. For example, have Stauskas handle with Caris or even Walton/Spike setting the pick, and have them pop out instead of rolling. If you try to double Nik with that action, you're gonna be playing 4 on 3. That can't be an every time thing, obviously, but the threat needs to be there or Nik is never going to get a clean look the rest of the Big Ten season from the halfcourt.
Good news is that the Big Ten has really good coaches and really good defense, and they know us inside and out. We're almost always surprisingly look in March against teams who aren't as ready.
Chime in, folks, I'm curious what people think