Indiana handled its business in a final tune-up game before things get serious fast.
The Hoosiers struggled out of the gate against Jackson State, and led just 17-13 nine minutes into the game. But a 19-2 first half run put IU up 36-15 and they never looked back. The Hoosiers won it going away, 90-51 and started the season 6-0 for the second straight year.
Let’s take a deeper look at how the Hoosiers won with another edition of The Report Card.
No. 11 IU (6-0) will host North Carolina on Wednesday at 9:15 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. The Tar Heels lost to Iowa State on Saturday.
Jackson State went zone early in the game and had some success with it. But a combination of effective transition offense and efficient 3-point shooting catapulted the Hoosiers and forced the Tigers out of the zone.
IU swung the ball, got the zone moving, and also broke down the back side with dribble penetration. Effective passing led to 23 assists against just 10 turnovers, and a 67.6 percent assist rate.
If Indiana can get players not named Miller Kopp making threes they’ll be difficult to contend with, and an 8-of-14 day from Xavier Johnson and Tamar Bates was the answer on Friday.
In a highly efficient effort, IU made 64.8 percent of its 2-pointers and 45.5 percent from three. The latter figure was a season high.
At 1.26, IU reached its second highest points per possession of the season and matched its lowest turnover percentage (14 percent).
IU has scored 80-plus points in their first six games of the year. Indiana last scored 80-plus points in six or more consecutive games from Nov. 20 to Dec. 28, 2012 (nine games). The Hoosier streak is the longest to open a season since 1969-70 (seven games).
Indiana appeared to really emphasize turning defense into offense to pull away in the first half. The Hoosiers had 16 first half points off turnovers, most of which related to their 15 first half fast break points. And most of that damage came during their decisive 19-2. run. IU scored eight off JSU turnovers during that stretch. The Tigers had 12 first half turnovers, including six IU steals.
JSU didn’t come into the game with a high turnover rate, but IU had gave them fits. In total Indiana forced 22 Jackson State turnovers including 10 steals, and scored 27 points off of the takeaways.
The .71 points per possession IU allowed were a season-best effort to this point, fueled by a season-best 30.8 percent forced turnover rate. Indiana’s defense held Jackson State 18 points under their season average of 69 points per game, and 17 fewer than what they scored at Michigan two days earlier.
Mike Woodson said he didn’t like Indiana’s late first half effort, as IU let a 21-point edge slip back to 13. But after JSU shot 42.3 percent from the field in the first half, they made just 29.6 after the break.
Woodson was asked on Friday his assessment of IU’s defense through six games, and he gave an honest answer.
“Come Wednesday (against North Carolina) we’ll see where we are,” Woodson said.
MORE GAME COVERAGE
- Tamar Bates’ career day sparks IU men’s basketball to victory
- Watch: Woodson, Bates and Johnson discuss win over Jackson State
- IU basketball: Indiana 90 Jackson State 51 — Three keys | Highlights | Final stats
- Long form highlights:
Trayce Jackson-Davis (B) While he returned from a one game absence, Jackson-Davis was clearly limited and bothered by his back issue. At least against this caliber of opponent, he was still able to be effective, but all eyes will be on the IU big man against UNC.
Race Thompson (A) – Not much was asked of Thompson in this one from a minutes perspective, but he was productive on both ends in the limited role. He made his second three of the season, something IU really needs from him going forward to space the floor.
Xavier Johnson (A) Woodson admitted after the game Johnson wasn’t himself early this season. But over the last four games he’s averaged 13.8 points, 5.0 assists, and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the field. During that span and on Friday, Johnson’s judgment with the ball has been sound, and he’s been effective guarding the ball on the other end.
Miller Kopp (B-) Kopp continues to make threes at a high rate. But he now has no rebounds in three of four games. The true test of whether Kopp can be effective as a high-volume 3-point shooter despite other limitations begins this week.
Jalen Hood-Schifino (B-) It’s hard to find any flaws in what Hood-Schifino is doing beyond just simply not making shots. He’s not forcing the action, generally making the right reads on offense, and he’s a good defender. But perhaps he’s shooting too many long twos, and more attempts at the rim or in rhythm threes would get his efficiency up.
Malik Reneau (B-) The freshman big man stayed out of foul trouble and continues to be relatively productive, but had three turnovers in 19 minutes.
Tamar Bates (A) This was easily the best game of Bates’ career. Indiana needs a true 3-level scoring wing, and he looked the part on Friday. If Bates can build on this effort it will be a major boost to Indiana’s outlook. Just as encouraging — he had no turnovers and four assists in 24 minutes.
Jordan Geronimo (A) Geronimo had the highest plus/minus on the team, led the Hoosiers in rebounds, and was efficient from the field once again. His play on the defensive end and ability to turn that into offense going the other way helped swing the game. He’s now made 72 percent of his shots on the season, and has a 13.9 percent block rate.
C.J. Gunn (B-) Much like Hood-Schifino, Gunn is playing well and showing good judgment and ability. His shots just aren’t falling at a high enough rate right now.
Kaleb Banks (B-) With Jackson-Davis back, it was interesting to see Banks on the floor in the first half, and he got 18 total minutes of action. He’s clearly earning more minutes, at least in games like this. Banks is raw but these are valuable minutes.
Logan Duncomb there’s not much you can say about four minutes of action, but Duncomb seems to be consistently productive when he sees the floor. Indiana will be able to lean on him if duty calls.
Indiana had 11 scholarship players healthy and available on Friday, and all 11 saw the floor. Trey Galloway was inactive with a minor knee injury. Anthony Leal is out with an ankle injury.
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