It was a game Indiana had to win. With losses stacked after Duke and Michigan, and with Louisville and Notre Dame looming, either Indiana would win this game or they could face sitting at 4-7. If nothing else, this was a game of runs. Fortunately for IU, they had two big runs and the Hawkeyes only had one as Indiana secured a 77-64 win and moved to 5-4 overall and 1-1 in the B1G.
Overall: B+ Early on this game was starting to feel like a missed opportunity, with Iowa committing a lot of turnovers but Indiana failing to gain separation. But Indiana started to capitalize later in the first half, as it was quicker to rebounds and loose balls, and it starting knocking down shots and stretched out to a 15 point halftime lead. Iowa would have a 16-2 run to start the 2nd half which felt like the start of the Michigan game. The Hoosiers would respond, showing a mental toughness that it wasn’t clear this team had.
Coaching: B+ Congratulations to Archie Miller on his first B1G win. Any double digit wins in this conference this year are going to be a nice accomplishment. After such a great finish to the first half it was disappointing to see the team come out flat in the 2nd half. But by that same token, Coach Miller got the team to respond to a 16-2 Iowa run with an 18-0 run of their own.
Offense: B Indiana shot 41% from the field, but they missed a lot good shots. The Hoosiers were very effective at swinging the ball and working the pick and roll to create open looks. The 0-9 shooting start to the 2nd half allowed Iowa back in the game. Indiana had only 10 turnovers which continues a stretch of 6 straight games now with 12 or fewer turnovers. Shooting 38.1% from distance was an improvement. Indiana also shot well from the stripe other than De’Ron Davis, which we discuss below.
Defense: B+ Other than the early second half run by Iowa this was a good effort by Indiana as they forced 18 turnovers. The Hoosiers had 11 steals, 6 blocks and held Iowa to 38% from the field. And they did it without fouling, committing only 16 for the game with no one getting more than 3. Indiana can win a lot of games with a +8 turnover margin.
Players with meaningful minutes
- Al Durham, Jr.: B+ Continues to do a little bit of everything. He took a rough charge. He hustled down a miss at the first half buzzer when no one else did. No assists on the game however. If the shot improves he’ll be tough to keep off the floor.
- Josh Newkirk: B+ Perhaps more than anyone he’s made the turnover improvements, with only 7 in the last 6 games. He hit a big 2nd half 3-pointer to stretch the lead back out to 8 after it got uncomfortably close. 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
- Justin Smith – C+ Made a great entry pass from center of zone but couldn’t handle a couple great passes from Green. Had perhaps the second best missed alley-oop in IU history.
- Robert Johnson: B He played with great energy throughout. Unfortunately his shots didn’t fall but overall he had a nice game with 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.
- Devonte Green: A- He broke a first half scoring drought for IU with a 3-pointer, and he then took over making several big and difficult shots to lead the Hoosiers to a 15 point first half lead. IU was a better team when he was on the floor. 12 points and 4 assists.
- Juwan Morgan: A Continues to bring great energy. He seemed to will this team when things were falling apart in the 2nd half. His stat line was once again special, with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. He just does it all — even his ability to bring the ball up after he rebounds really breaks down defenses and creates open looks.
- Zach McRoberts: A- Continues to do a little of everything but the hustle is what he does best. Added 2 points, 2 rebounds, an assist and a steal.
- De’Ron Davis: A- Great energy with 4 blocks, 2 steals and 6 rebounds. NO FOULS. He drew the 2nd foul on Cook which was when the first half run really started. His free throw shooting is a major concern, as he went 3-9 and had the unusual daily double of an airball and a bank shot.
- Freddie McSwain, Jr.: B Both he and Smith are losing minutes to Hartman and McRoberts. His lack of offense is now limiting his minutes.
- Collin Hartman: A- He had several opportunities to bury Iowa in the first half with missed 3-pointers, and then he did it in the 2nd half putting the Hoosiers up by 17 with a three. Lots of intangibles in the second half including passes to Davis, and rebounding. 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal on no turnovers in 20 minutes.
Photo credit – USA Today