Indiana continued to take care of business in impressive fashion on Tuesday night as it mowed through another mid-major at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
After letting Jackson State hang around early, Parker Stewart hit a three-pointer to give the Hoosiers a 29-15 late first half lead and they never looked back.
Let’s take a closer look at the win with this edition of the Report Card.
IU (5-0) will host Marshall on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Eastern
Indiana inverted their performance against Louisiana, with less turnovers but poorer shooting efficiency. They cut their turnover rate in half at a more acceptable 17.1 percent against Jackson State, but IU’s effective field goal rate was just 52.9 percent, their lowest effort since the season opener.
The Hoosiers struggled for a stretch in the first half against Jackson State’s 1-2-2 matchup zone.
“We were stagnant early until I made the — called to time out and made the change,” head coach Mike Woodson said. “Then we kind of went over at halftime and they didn’t come back to it after we made a few buckets.”
That adjustment, an overload against the zone, resulted in the Stewart three that gave IU the 29-15 lead.
While Woodson found answers with the zone, the Tigers likely put out some intriguing film on how to reduce Trayce Jackson-Davis’ touches. He had just seven field goal attempts in 24 minutes.
“He only had seven touches tonight, and a lot of that had to do with the zone,” Woodson said. “Again, guys, he’s going to be trapped a lot this year. I mean, when he got it they trapped him. He made great passes out of the zone. … Yeah, when I look at the stat sheet and see that he only got seven shots tonight, he’s got to get more than that. So that’s on me.”
While it was not the same zone they’ll see against Syracuse next, and certainly not the same caliber of athletes, Indiana was able to work through some basic zone-busting principles.
“We just wanted to move and get some obviously open looks and get the ball in the middle of the zone and make plays from there,” forward Miller Kopp said. “We felt like if we get the ball there we could get lobs and kick-outs and wouldn’t be able to make plays from there.”
Indiana shot 40 percent from three on the night, and they have made the exact same percentage of their long range shots over the last four games combined.
The Hoosiers were just 16-of-26 from the foul line, with Jordan Geronimo missing six of the ten.
Jackson State’s .54 points per possession were a season best for IU, even better than their dominant effort against Louisiana on Sunday. Only a late Tigers scoring burst prevented multiple records from falling.
Indiana tied for the second lowest scoring performance by an opponent at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Montana State also had 35 in 2018. Notre Dame’s 29 in 1971 remains the record in the building.
With IU leading the nation with opponents shooting just 28.4 percent from the field, Woodson is struggling to find issues with his defense.
“I like everything about how we’re defending, man. I mean, we’re getting after it,” he said. … “They’ve held true to that so far this season, and, man, it’s got us wins, it’s got us — kept us in games, it’s pushed us out above teams in games.”
Another area where Indiana is nationally relevant is blocked shots. Their 18.1 percent block rate is 18th in the country, and Jackson-Davis has more than doubled his blocked shots per game average from last year with 3.6 per contest. He had four on the night.
“For everybody in the perimeter knowing those two guys (Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson) are back there just protecting the paint, protecting the rim. Every shot is pretty much contested, and it’s hard to get lay-ups and make lay-ups against those two guys,” Kopp said.
Jackson State head coach Wayne Brent felt the difference of going against Indiana’s defense.
“Defensively they are really good and you can tell, we haven’t shot the ball like that against non-league opponents. But that had nothing to do with us. That was all Indiana, just the length they had and blocking the shots on the inside,” Brent said. …. “Even when they don’t block it, they alter the shots, so they make it tough for you to score.”
Jackson State shot just 20.7 percent overall for the game including 15.8 percent from three. One of their three makes from distance was banked in.
OTHER GAME COVERAGE
- Final box score, keys to the game and specialty stats
- Woodson, Johnson and Kopp post-game
- Woodson happy with defense, offense coming along
Trayce Jackson-Davis (B+) Teams will be looking for ways to take Jackson-Davis out of games. Post traps and zone are options, but his presence creates more opportunities for others, and the team is shooting better as a result.
Race Thompson (B-) For the normally reliable Thompson, this constitutes an off night, although he had some good passes and was part of the strong defensive night. Indiana will need him to play at a higher level than this offensively as the competition ramps up.
Miller Kopp (C+) Kopp is giving good effort but he is forcing some shots Indiana will have to make sure teams aren’t isolating him on the perimeter against guards on the defensive end. Overall Kopp has made 5-of-12 from three over the last three games, and he appears much more effective off catch-and-shoot opportunities.
Parker Stewart (A-) This is exactly who Indiana needs Stewart to be. His greatest contribution is as a shot maker and he is getting it done. He showed a new wrinkle with the ability to make a step back three.
Xavier Johnson (A) This was Johnson’s best game as a Hoosier. He didn’t foul and stayed under control while playing aggressive. He showed off his elite quickness, skill and body control on multiple occasions when attacking the rim. Seven rebounds and a 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio caps off a strong effort.
Tamar Bates (A-) Bates is committed to running the floor and really helps Indiana push the pace when he comes in. Another solid overall night for the freshman.
Jordan Geronimo (B) You take the good with the bad. Geronimo got eight free throws because he is so active, but obviously he needs to make more than two. Also had a team high eight rebounds despite playing just 18 minutes.
Khristian Lander (B) Lander continues to stack confidence building performances. He pairs well with Bates to give IU nice tempo, and he might have the best floor vision on the team, although he needs to channel that at times and make more accurate passes.
Anthony Leal (B) Leal continues to show he can be someone the staff can look to as three-point shooting specialist. He could clearly have a role as a zone buster against Syracuse.
Michael Durr (B) Durr contributed 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 13 minutes, but was 0-for-3 from the field. It could be his stamina level, but Durr appears to have a very limited vertical game right now, although he does move relatively well laterally as a defender given his size.
Rob Phinisee and Trey Galloway were out with injuries. Logan Duncomb was out due to a three game suspension.
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