Monday night updates:
Archie Miller provided the following updates on his weekly radio show with Don Fischer:
- Race Thompson was involved in an on-court collision and is dealing with concussion like symptoms. He is questionable for Wednesday.
- Devonte Green appears to be back in the day to day category with his thigh condition.
- Zach McRoberts is day-to-day with his back issue.
- Jerome Hunter won’t play and continues to be a longer term concern.
After a 1-2 start to his first season at Indiana, Archie Miller has the Hoosiers off and running at 2-0 this year. IU has yet to be seriously challenged, winning by an average of 47 points per game.
The competition thus far hasn’t been too stiff, with the first two opponents (Chicago State and Montana State) both ranked outside of the top 250 according to KenPom. That’s about to change, as this week IU will get two good tests.
The Hoosiers will face Marquette (KenPom No. 28) on Wednesday night, and then travel to Arkansas (KenPom No. 59) on Sunday for their first road test of the season. Indiana is currently ranked No. 26 in the KenPom rankings.
A major question for Indiana so far on the young campaign has been the health of the team, with at least six players dealing with various issues.
ADD McROBERTS TO THE INJURY LIST
Redshirt senior Zach McRoberts started for the second straight game on Friday night, but he only saw seven minutes of game action against Montana State. The Carmel, Indiana native didn’t warm-up coming out of halftime, and Archie Miller said this after the game:
“He came up with some back tightness. He’s been dealing with that for a good three to four weeks. I don’t think he felt very good early in part of the game, and from that point forward, we just decided to rest him.”
There was no indication on his availability for next week.
JEROME HUNTER MAY BE LONG TERM
Hoosier fans have been excited to see the second highest rated recruit in their 2018 class — but it sounds like they are going to have to wait — and it could be a while. Hunter was not in uniform on Friday night and his injury seems to be a mystery to the IU training staff. Miller said this on Friday night:
“Jerome is on a to-be-determined basis. He’s going to be out probably for a significant stretch here as we continue to try and figure out and find ways to get his diagnosis done, find out what the correct way of handling it is, and then see where the next step is.
It’s sort of a leg injury, but it’s not a typical leg injury that is an injury caused by practicing or something. It’s more of an underlying effect that’s causing him some pain. When we get all the answers, he’ll be evaluated and decided on. As of right now, though, Jerome will be out for a to-be-determined amount of time.”
DAVIS 100 PERCENT?
Junior forward De’Ron Davis and Miller made statements on Friday that were seemingly at odds with each other. Davis said this after the win over the Bobcats —
“It’s been real good. It’s been a long off-season for me. Just working myself back into game shape. I feel like, you know, as far as my Achilles and where I feel with that, I feel pretty much 100 percent now. I’m full-go in practice.”
Miller indicated that Davis has a long way to go —
“But De’Ron needs to start pushing his conditioning level in the games. That’s what he has to start to work on right now. He’s not ready defensively, more so than anything, to be able to guard a really good team, just because of the lack of reps and that. But he’s going to have to work himself through it every day the best he can, and he has to work himself through it the best he can in the games, and hopefully as he progresses through non-conference and enters conference play, he’s in much better shape.”
So who is right? Both of them. Davis was referring to the Achilles tendon, which he believes is fully recovered. But that’s only step one. The Colorado native is still working his way back into playing shape, and he still has a ways to go in that regard.
DURHAM AND THOMPSON RETURN
Fortunately there was good news on Friday night, as two Hoosiers returned to action. Sophomore guard Al Durham saw extensive action against Montana State. He appeared to be shaking off a little rust, but the Georgia native is key to this team’s guard depth, and it was good for him to get some game action before the more challenging games this week.
It isn’t clear where Race Thompson stands in the Hoosier rotation when he is fully healthy. He only saw very late game action on Friday after the game was out of hand. He looked good finishing on a fast break layup for his first career points, and it will be interesting to monitor his role going forward.
NOTABLE NUMBERS FROM MONTANA STATE
- Indiana allowed 35 points, its fewest allowed in a game since allowing 29 to Notre Dame on Dec. 18, 1971.
- The Hoosiers held the Bobcats to shooting 25 percent from the field, the lowest mark for an opposing team since Rutgers shot 24.1 percent on Feb. 5, 2018.
- Montana State shot 12 percent from three-point range, the lowest IU has allowed since Youngstown State shot 8 percent on Dec. 29, 2017.
- Twenty-four points (43-19) is the biggest halftime lead of the Archie Miller era.
- Senior forward Juwan Morgan recorded his 10th career double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds).
- Morgan had a perfect day from the field (6-for-6), marking the second time he’s shot 100 percent with six or more attempts. The previous time was when he went 8-for-8 against SIU-Edwardsville on Dec. 2, 2016.
- Freshman guard Rob Phinisee played the most minutes (26) of any Hoosier and recorded 12 points. From long distance, Phinisee went 3-for-4.
- Sophomore forward Clifton Moore had a career-high five rebounds.
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