Fort Wayne at Indiana — The Report Card

The Scott Curse lives on.  Of course it did.  Bryson Scott is now 5-0 against Indiana.  Throw in his brother Brenton’s Indiana State win back in November and the brothers are collectively 6-0 against the Hoosiers.  And about that Indiana State game.  While tonight’s match up was closer for a while than the November blowout, it followed the same script and ended up at about the same margin.  The Indiana State loss was the 3rd worst ever at Assembly Hall.  This Fort Wayne loss is the 4th.  Both IU losses are simply inexplicable.  Neither Indiana State nor Fort Wayne are NCAA tournament teams.  Most likely neither will make the NIT.

Overall:  F  This is Indiana.  They are Fort Wayne.  92-72.  Need we say more?  If you have to point to one thing:  Points off turnovers — FW 29, IU 7.

Coaching:  D  We’ve given Coach Miller a pass most of the season.  Maybe you’ll say that grade means we still are.  Fort Wayne is not this good.  There was a plausible excuse after the Indiana State game that the team just wasn’t ready and they didn’t really know what they were doing yet.  That excuse cannot be used here.  There really is no excuse except that possibly these kids that have played under another coach cannot be molded into who Miller wants them to be.  Not consistently anyway.

Offense:  D-  4 of 24 from the 3-point line.  De’Ron Davis only gets six shots when IU had a significant advantage in the post.  12 of 19 free throws, including several missed front ends of 1 and 1s.  But by far the worst aspect of this performance was the turnovers.  12 in the first half, 18 for the game.  On only 10 assists.  This team had made a lot of progress in this area but now has 34 turnovers in the last two games.

Defense:  F  IU reverted back to its Indiana State defense giving up wide open 3 pointers.  Fort Wayne shot an amazing 17 of 30 on the game from distance.  When they did close out on shooters Fort Wayne was effective with the dribble drive.  Indiana just could not solve Fort Wayne’s ball screens which set everything up.  IU struggled getting back in transition as well.  Let’s face it, they struggled at everything.

Players:  You might wonder how overall D’s and F’s do not lead to player D’s and F’s.  It is a legitimate question.  In our view a whole lot of average play by individuals leads to a whole lot of bad play by the team.  It’s a sum of the parts is the greater than the whole situation.  Believe us, if an individual’s play warranted a D or an F, we’d give it to him, but usually it is a mix of them doing some things well and others not so well.

  • Al Durham, Jr.:  B-  Good news for Al was that he didn’t commit a turnover.  He only played 13 minutes whereas he was averaging in the 20-30 range.  Overall a quiet night for the freshman guard.
  • Josh Newkirk:  C+   He missed two first half layups that helped prevent IU from getting separation.  He had only one turnover on the game in 26 minutes to go with 8 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds.
  • Justin Smith:   The freshman forward worked his way back into the rotation but only played 2 minutes and didn’t qualify for a grade.
  • Robert Johnson:  C-  His shot looked good early, attacking the basket to set up put backs, and he started out hitting his 3-point shot.  Finished with 17 points but his shot tailed off at the end.  But the real story here, and a story of the game were his 6 turnovers.
  • Devonte Green:  C+  On the lighter side, he had two bizarre early sequences, one where he got a steal, gave it back and then stole it right back again; and then another where he lost his shoe yet again.  We’re thinking it is time for high tops.  For the game he shot only 2 of 9.  He did have 4 of Indiana’s 10 assists.
  • Juwan Morgan:  B-  Another double-double with 14 points and 12 assists, although a lot of that came late.  He got off to a good start but exited early in the first half with two fouls.  This team is not the same with Morgan on the bench.
  • Zach McRoberts:  C+  Only 3 rebounds this time for McRoberts.  His trademark energy wasn’t as apparent this time around.  He did contribute 9 points but he’s done more with less points.
  • De’Ron Davis:  B-  We mentioned how Davis only played 20 minutes and he only took 6 shots.  When he did get the ball in the post it looked like he had an advantage.  None of this is necessarily his fault however, other than he needs to demand the ball.  He did have 7 points and 7 rebounds, but it should have been so much more.
  • Freddie McSwain, Jr.:  C  11 minutes and only 1 rebound for McSwain.  It isn’t clear how he can see the floor if he isn’t dominating the glass like he did earlier in the season.
  • Collin Hartman:  B-  His 3-point shot was off, going 0 for 3 on the night.  He did have 12 rebounds, so clearly the effort was there.  But clearly this wasn’t a game where IU was a better team with Hartman on the floor as the narrative goes.