BLOOMINGTON, IN - FEBRUARY 05, 2022 - forward Trayce Jackson-Davis #23 of the Indiana Hoosiers during the game between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Indiana Hoosiers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN. Photo By Andrew Mascharka/Indiana Athletics

IU basketball: Indiana vs. Illinois game day essentials, Michigan report card

Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals — Game Day Essentials

No. 9 Indiana (19-12, 9-11) vs. No. 1 Illinois (22-8, 15-5)

  • Tip Time: Friday, 11:30 a.m. Eastern
  • Location: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Television: Big Ten Network  (Kevin Kugler, Stephen Bardo & Rick Pizzo)
  • IU Radio Network: IU Radio Network
  • Stream:  Fox Sports Live
  • Point Spread: Illinois is a 4-point favorite
  • KenPom Projected Score: No. 16 Illinois 70  No. 44 Indiana 66
  • Series: Indiana leads 93-91
  • Last Meeting:  Illinois 74 Indiana 57 (Feb. 5)
  • TICKETS (affiliate link)
Illinois Probable Starters (from the last game)
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Note
G 1 Trent Frazier 6-2 175 Sr. 12.1 2.9 4.0 2nd-Team All-B1G; B1G All-Defense Team
G 11 Alfonso Plummer 6-1 180 Gr. 15.1 2.5 1.1 Third-Team All-Big Ten
G 20 Da’Monte Williams 6-3 215 Sr. 4.2 5.0 2.6 Most games played in UI history (156)
F 33 Coleman Hawkins 6-10 215 So. 5.4 4.2 1.5 7.8 ppg & 5.3 rpg over last 4 games
C 21 Kofi Cockburn 7-0 285 Jr. 21.0 10.6 0.8 Unanimous First-Team All-Big Ten
Off the Bench
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Note
G 0 Brandin Podziemski 6-5 200 Fr. 1.4 0.9 0.3 5 points at Northwestern (1/29)
F 2 Connor Serven 6-9 235 So. 0.0 0.2 0.0 Team’s lone walkon in second year
G/F 3 Jacob Grandison 6-6 210 Gr. 10.3 4.0 2.4 41% on threes (55-134)
F 4 Omar Payne 6-10 240 Jr. 1.8 1.7 0.2 62.5% FG (20-32)
G 5 Andre Curbelo 6-1 175 So. 8.3 2.8 3.2 10.0 ppg over last 3 games
G 10 Luke Goode 6-7 200 Fr. 1.9 1.7 0.6 Career-high 9 points vs MSU (1/25)
C 12 Brandon Lieb 7-0 220 So. 0.8 0.7 0.1 Has played in 10 games
F 13 Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk 6-8 235 r-So. 1.8 2.3 0.7 Career-high 8 points vs MSU (1/25)
G 15 RJ Melendez 6-7 205 Fr. 3.8 1.8 0.6 10.7 ppg over 3-game stretch Feb 8-16


With the quick turnaround we’ll take an abbreviated approach to our normal Report Card feature.

Offense (B) Indiana made seven straight shots from the field in the final eight minutes as they turned an 8-point deficit into a 7-point lead.  For the game IU made 53.3 percent from three and 73.7 percent from the free throw line.  They scored 1.06 points per possession.  When they reach that mark they’ve only lost once all season.  An emphasis on pushing the pace, getting out in transition, and getting downhill off of high ball screens made the difference in the second half.

And truth be told it was the defense that led to a lot of that second half offense, with IU generating 17 points off 12 Michigan second half turnovers.

Defense (A-) We are probably reaching here given how bad Indiana’s defense was for the first 27 minutes, but the Hoosiers were elite when it counted the most over the final 13.  Michigan missed 13 straight shots down the stretch, going more than 11 minutes without a field goal, while committing six turnovers during that span.  It was IU’s best defensive lineup — Xavier Johnson, Trey Galloway, Rob Phinisee, Jordan Geronimo and Trayce Jackson-Davis — that flipped the script.  That group played a more aggressive style, jumped passing lanes and made life difficult on the ball.

For the game Michigan ended up with .99 points per possession after hovering around 1.35 early in the second half.  They scored 1.21 in the first meeting against IU.  In the end, the Wolverines scored just nine points over the final 12:52 of the game, and made just two of their last 17 shots.


Trayce Jackson-Davis (A)  The IU big man scored 19 of his game-high 24 points in the second half and added four blocks after the break, outplaying Michigan star center Hunter Dickinson in the process.  After missing his first four shots and committing two turnovers early, Jackson-Davis made 10 of his final 13 shots and had no further turnovers.  He played all 20 minutes after the break, likely his best half of the season.

Xavier Johnson (A) Johnson had a great first half with eight points in nine minutes including two 3-pointers, but he couldn’t stay on the floor with two fouls.  But in a fifth straight dominant performance, Johnson took over in the second half with nine points, seven assists and six rebounds — all after the break.  And Johnson was great on the ball on the defensive end.

Over the last five games Johnson is averaging 19.2 points on 31-of-59 field goals (52.5 percent) including 12-of-21 3-pointers (57.1 percent), while adding 7.0 assists (vs. 2.6 turnovers), 4.6 rebounds, and 1.5 steals.


Indiana lost to Illinois 74-57 in their only meeting this season.  The Hoosiers led in that contest 46-42 with 13 minutes remaining before things fell apart.

Of note, Rob Phinisee did not play in the first meeting, and IU struggled to guard the perimeter, especially late in the game.  Jacob Grandison hit two game-turning second half 3-pointers for Illinois.  He is questionable to play on Friday with a shoulder injury.

Here were our three keys to that contest:

1. Indiana offense implodes in second half.  The Hoosiers couldn’t get anything going after the break.  They made just 29.6 percent of their shots and committed eight turnovers.  According to the live stats IU scored just .677 points per possession after the break.  Xavier Johnson had nine points before halftime but just three in the second half, although he did have four assists on IU’s eight second half field goals.  After getting 14 free throw attempts in the first half IU had just four in the second.  Illinois outscored IU 32-11 in the last 13 minutes.

2. Jackson-Davis struggles to impact the game, Thompson inefficient.  With Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn manning the paint, IU’s Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson made just 8-of-22 shots.  Jackson-Davis got in early foul trouble trying to slow down Cockburn, and when he tried to score he seemed sped up in the paint.  Cockburn never left the paint on defense, forcing Jackson-Davis to earn every attempt he tried within 15 feet.  IU seemed to like Thompson’s matchups against Illinois’ smaller forwards, but he missed several attempts at close range, and he was 0-of-3 from three.

3. Hoosiers struggle to guard the perimeter.  Illinois was led by point guard Trent Frazier’s 23 points, but his work to break down the IU defense was just as important.  He got to the paint and Illinois moved the ball, leading to a 10-of-23 day (43.5 percent) from three with IU worried about Cockburn inside.  As a team the Illini had 13 assists on 23 field goals.  As the game wore on and IU grew tired and more concerned about the 3-point line, Cockburn took over, making 4-of-6 second half shots and 4-of-5 free throws for 12 second half points.

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