GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
JACKSONVILLE (7-6) at No. 22 INDIANA (10-2)
- Tip time: 6:00 p.m. Eastern
- Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana
- Television: BTN (Sean Monaco and Jess Settles)
- Series: Indiana leads 2-0 (IU won last meeting 93-59 in 2012)
- Point Spread: IU is a 26 point favorite
- Tickets (Seat Geek affiliate links)
Common Opponents: None.
The Dolphins are coming off a 100-74 loss at Notre Dame on Thursday.
Jacksonville is coached by Tony Jasick, who is in his fifth season. Former IU manager Dan Bere’ (2005) is an assistant with the Dolphins.
Note: The Hoosiers will be looking for their first undefeated calendar month since going 7-0 in November, 2012.
See also: Archie Miller and the players preview Jacksonville.
ARCHIE MILLER GETTING IT DONE IN GAMES
By now you’ve surely seen and heard all about Indiana’s less than desirable pattern of slow starts. You may even have an extra grey hair or two. The Hoosiers have fallen behind early in several recent games, including all of the last seven.
Whether it is early turnovers, defensive lapses, a lack of energy, or a whole host of other variables — for the most part the Hoosiers have played poorly early in games.
But IU has won six of its last seven.
It’s time to discuss head coach Archie Miller’s ability to get things fixed on the fly. Rather than just talk about it, we pulled together the stats.
There are several different ways you can do this, but we focused on points and field percentage. Especially on the defensive end, as that is where Indiana has seemed to make its biggest strides over the course of games.
The statistics bear that out. Bifurcating the games into halves isn’t the perfect way to look at. IU has often fixed things in the middle of halves rather than in the locker room. But as a directional indicator, the stats clearly support what we all believe we have been seeing — IU has been getting better over the course of games.
This is most apparent on the defensive end. Indiana is giving up just over 30 points a game in second halves, a mark that is good for top 20 in the country.
If you take UT Arlington out of the mix, a game the Hoosiers led comfortably at the half, IU is gives up under 30 in the second half and is more than 4 points better after the break than it is in first halves.
Indiana’s second half field goal percentage of 37% is a more than five percentage point improvement within games. If Indiana could sustain that percentage for a full 40 minutes, they would have a top 10 defense in field goal percentage. Coupled with their top 10 field goal percentage offense, Indiana would be a nightmare to deal with.
As it stands IU is shooting more than 15 percentage points better than opponents in second halves, which goes a long way in explaining why the Hoosiers have been able to pull together so many late rallies.
There are always going to be nuances that you didn’t game plan for, with adjustments necessary as games progress. Opponents are always going to attempt to attack what they perceive as your weaknesses.
After season upon season of recurring themes that never seemed to get corrected, IU seems to have found a leader that can get it done not within seasons, months, or weeks — but within games.
In what everyone expects to be a grueling Big Ten race, IU’s ability to stem the tide within games could be just what is needed to give them an edge as the Hoosiers look to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016.
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