Indiana put together its most convincing effort of the season, and they did it at the right time.
Troy was the last of four straight opponents ranked outside of the KenPom top 250 to open the season for Indiana, and the Hoosiers jumped all over the Trojans from the opening tip.
The schedule is going to begin to gradually ramp up, but Indiana appears to be getting better, and healthier. Senior co-captain Devonte Green made his first appearance of the season on Saturday night.
The Hoosiers (4-0) will host Princeton on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. EST.
Unlike some of their recent contests, this one was never in doubt.
Indiana was up by 10 points just five minutes into the game, and the Hoosiers really never looked back. IU never trailed and used a 15-2 run beginning at the 14:06 mark to take a commanding 33-12 lead. Indiana led 58-32 at the break.
The 58 first-half points are the most in a single half in head coach Archie Miller’s tenure.
Strong on both ends of the floor, IU dominated a Troy team that had played respectable UAB and Chattanooga squads to close contests earlier in the season.
“We’re 4 and 0. We’ll take all the four of them,” Indiana head coach Archie Miller said after the game.
An expectation coming into the season, IU has been able to dominate smaller opponents early in the 2019-20 campaign.
Indiana played inside out in the halfcourt, and with its big men also out and running in transition, the Hoosiers were dominant in the paint, drew plenty of fouls and controlled the glass.
“We continued to do a really good job early in the game on the offensive glass,” Miller said. “We were able to really neutralize some things. I think we hit the bonus in about five minutes in the first half, which is probably a record for us, but we’re constantly preaching the ability to get fouled and play downhill, get inside, and thought our guys did a good job.
It’s a huge part of the game when you have the ability to offensive rebound. It breaks the opponents’s back on second shots. Typically you’re going to get a basket, a good look off some type of offensive rebound, or get fouled. That’s a huge part to what we’re doing.”
The Hoosiers had 21 assists on just 12 turnovers. And once again IU shot the ball well from the field, making 53.8 percent overall including 39.1 percent from long range.
“Shooting the ball and making the shots just makes the game easy. It just does,” Miller said.
After some frustrating early season efforts, Miller was pleased with how his team started this one on the defensive end.
“Started the game much better defensively than we have in our previous last couple outings in particular,” Miller said.
The Hoosier head coach had been emphasizing perimeter defense over the last week, and the message seems to be getting through.
“Not giving up very many easy ones (three-pointers) in transition was a huge part,” Miller said. “Our guys on the ball I thought did a much better job to start the game in terms of our pressure and just not letting them be comfortable.
A couple we did give up, we probably broke down in the areas we normally have been doing. But over the course of first half in particular, I think they were 2 for 11 at halftime.”
IU held Troy to 31.7 percent from the field overall and just 20 percent from three point range. The Trojans had been shooting nearly 40 percent from long range coming into the game. The Hoosiers had 11 steals and forced 16 turnovers, including 12 in the first half.
OTHER GAME COVERAGE
- Final box score and specialty stats
- Archie Miller and IU players post-game
- Three quick takeaways
(players with meaningful minutes)
- Joey Brunk* (B) With bad matchups and in foul trouble, Brunk’s role was limited in this one. He was still efficient and productive in his 11 minutes.
- Justin Smith* (A) 2-of-2 from long range, if Smith can knock down the occassional three-pointer with regularity he will become a major threat as the competition stiffens. A strong 8-of-9 from the field and 3 steals in just 22 minutes, Smith was solid on both ends.
- Trayce Jackson-Davis* (A) Simply put, 14 rebounds in 25 minutes is an incredible number. Add in 6-for-6 from the field, a block and 2 steals and you can see why he was such a highly coveted recruit.
- Armaan Franklin* (B) Franklin was steadier in this one as he continues to get valuable minutes. IU has found a reliable piece to the rotation, even when the full complement of guards are healthy.
- Al Durham* (A) The amazing shooting numbers continue, including a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line to start the season. Perhaps even more important, Durham has been really effective getting the offense moving downhill in transition.
- Devonte Green (B) Expected rust shooting the ball, Green will likely need another game or two to find his rhythm. 4 assists and 1 turnover was a strong start.
- Jerome Hunter (B-) Hunter couldn’t find his shot and surprisingly fouled out in just 15 minutes of play.
- Race Thompson (A-) Thompson continues to hunt rebounds with another 6 in 16 minutes and he added a block and a steal.
- Damezi Anderson (A) Anderson’s emergence this year is a major story line. For a team that needs shooters, the sophomore is delivering in a big way. Nearly a point a minute and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes.
- De’Ron Davis (B-) Not the ideal opposition for Davis to play a role, especially on defense. Tough night from the field but he passed well out of the post.
Note: Sophomore point guard Rob Phinisee missed the game with strep throat. For the first time this year, IU could have all four of its scholarship guards available on Wednesday night. “I think at some point, you know (knocking on wood) get them all back, especially in the back court. That’s where we’ve really been needing our depth to come through,” Miller said.
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