IU basketball film study: The three ball opened up Indiana’s offense vs. Michigan State

Indiana made some momentum changing 3-pointers against Michigan State on Sunday.  And their ability to make those shots had the Spartans unsure of just what to do with Trayce Jackson-Davis, who scored 18 points in the second half.

MSU head coach Tom Izzo called it a “pick your poison” scenario after Indiana’s 82-69 win.

While they don’t shoot a high volume of attempts from beyond the arc, 3-pointers have become a reliable part of Indiana’s offensive attack this season.  The Hoosiers are making 38.1 percent from deep through 19 games.  That’s 19th best in the country.  Four main rotation players are making better than 41 percent of their 3-point attempts right now — Trey Galloway (51.7 percent), Miller Kopp (45.2 percent), Tamar Bates (42 percent) and Jalen Hood-Schifino (41.5 percent).

Below we take a look at the setup for six unique ways Indiana made threes on Sunday against Michigan State:


While he is making threes at the highest rate on the team right now, Trey Galloway is by no means a shot hunter.  With just 29 attempts in 16 games, Galloway is more about taking what the defense gives him rather than aggressively looking for his perimeter attempts.

But after making just 12-of-61 from deep over his first two seasons, Galloway is clearly becoming a less reluctant shooter, and he is showing that he can make shots from long range both off the catch and the bounce.

On Sunday Galloway gave IU its first points of the game with a step back variety three.  He took a pass from Jordan Geronimo, who then set a screen on his man.  Galloway took the screen, and then took his man A.J. Hoggard into a second screen from Trayce Jackson-Davis.  Hoggard chose to go under the second screen, which Galloway immediately read.  He was able to get the shot off before Hoggard could even get a hand in the air.

In this screen shot, MSU’s defense is completely collapsed in the paint area, and Galloway makes them pay.


Izzo’s preferred defensive ploy on Jackson-Davis appeared to be help from the ball side.  On this play just a minute later, Joey Hauser left Geronimo and collapsed on Jackson-Davis to take away his ability to turn over his right shoulder.  That set off a rotation sequence by the Spartans.  Jaden Akins slid over to cover Geronimo, who took the MSU guard down to the paint.

With the diagonal passing angle now cleared, Jackson-Davis fired a laser to Miller Kopp, who immediately passed to Galloway in the corner.  With that extra pass, MSU was out of rotational help, as Akins tried to close out Galloway from the paint to no avail.

Galloway got his third three in much the same manner in the second half after Jackson-Davis made a beautiful cross-court skip pass to set it up.


Tamar Bates doesn’t need a lot of space or time to get off his 3-point shot.

And when he is given space, he doesn’t hesitate.  The sophomore guard is a but of shot hunter, but when he’s on, Bates can completely change games like he did on Sunday.

Bates appears confident in his ability to make shots several feet beyond the arc, and that set up his first of five makes on Sunday.

There was nothing complex about this sequence.  Bates took a pass from Malik Reneau early in the shot clock, saw that Tyson Walker was giving him room to shoot, and he let it fly.

Bates got another three in the second half in much the same way after a post-entry pass was deflected back to him.


Indiana’s spacing was excellent on this play.

MSU guard Tre Holloman appeared to get a little too aggressive with Jackson-Davis, trying to dig the ball away despite not having the angle to get that done.  Holloman lost his balance and had no chance to recover to his man, Bates.

Meanwhile, Kopp is positioned on the opposite side of the floor, meaning the MSU rotational help has an equally long way to go to get to Bates.  Jackson-Davis read the dig by Holloman, Bates filled into his vision, and Pierre Brooks tried to get all the way from Kopp to Bates but had no chance.

Bates got a another three in much the same manner in the second half.


Izzo probably just tipped his cap on this one.

The scout on Galloway is to stop his dribble drive first, or at least it was, and the scout on Geronimo is that he is not a great shooter.

Here Galloway drove his man into the paint area with Geronimo positioned ready to shoot from the wing.  Galloway passed out to an open Geronimo, but continued on his driving path to also cut in front of Geronimo’s man, who had dropped down on Galloway’s drive.  That was just enough to stymy the close-out attempt.


Jackson-Davis has license from Mike Woodson to take defensive rebounds and bring the ball up the court himself.  To this point those instances hadn’t produced anything beyond the interesting spectacle of watching the IU big man show off some versatility.

But here TJD pushed aggressively down the floor, and in four seconds he had the entire MSU defense collapsed in the paint.

Bates wisely got out of Jackson-Davis’ path and into an open spot on the wing.  That movement by Bates put him into Jackson-Davis’ vision, and with his path to the rim cut off he kicked it out to his wide open teammate.  Jackson-Davis took the extra step to seal of Bates’ man from making any kind of close-out attempt.

The play extended what would become a 10-0 IU run, and the Spartans never recovered.

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