On a day when Bob Knight returned to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, a season moved to the brink as Indiana fell to Purdue 74-62.
IU dropped their fourth straight game at a time when good teams start to put together win streaks. Indiana honored their 1980 Big Ten championship team on Saturday — a team that won six straight games to close out the regular season.
A look up and down the schedule of this Hoosier squad leaves you wondering where they will find another win.
Indiana (15-8, 5-7) will host Iowa on Thursday night in Bloomington.
With great energy in the building, IU took a 28-25 first half lead and things were looking promising.
But a 12-0 run by Purdue from there over 3:47 to close out the first half completely changed the feel of the game. The Hoosiers committed three turnovers during that stretch to help fuel the run.
After falling behind 54-38 after the break, Indiana went on a 12-2 run to put themselves right back in it with just over nine minutes to go.
But Purdue immediately responded with a 9-0 run of their own as they held IU scoreless for a decisive five minute stretch.
“You’ve got to be able to respond to that. We were down a couple weeks ago to Maryland after a tough first half,” Indiana head coach Archie Miller said. “We were able to get right back in it. And it’s 56-50 there with nine to go, nine, eight to go. We had our opportunities. Big and-one by Haarms on the pick and roll. Was able to knock that down and kind of just took the air out of the run.”
Indiana played with good energy in spurts, but like each of their games during this losing streak, the Hoosiers have had lapses on both ends and have rarely been the team that sets the bar when it comes to the level of effort.
With so much support from the home crowd, it is hard to find meaningful positives from this game. Purdue outplayed IU on both ends, and they were better both in the backcourt and in the frontcourt.
This game was just an instant replay of what we have seen in recent weeks. While Purdue seems to be turning a corner right now, Miller’s Hoosiers are stuck in the mud.
Ten first half turnovers kept IU from building a lead and ultimately helped Purdue run out to their nine point halftime advantage.
“Turnovers in the first half really killed momentum, Miller said. “Clearly played a huge role in the confidence level of how the first half finished.
“I think there’s some plays that you’d like to have back that are silly. There’s some inexperience that happens as well out there. And we had two illegal screens today, two cross screens that were called illegal screens. Same play, called the same screen illegal both times. You don’t see that much in the Big Ten, an illegal cross screen by a small on a big. But obviously that was the way it was going to be called. There’s two right there.”
But it was more than just miscues on this day. It was a familiar day on the offensive end, where the Hoosiers are averaging just 56.7 points per game over their last three contests. With turnovers and limited offensive rebounds, possessions were once again limited.
The shooting percentages weren’t as bad as they have been, but they were mediocre at best. IU shot 43.1 percent overall including 33.3 percent from long range.
But Indiana was unable to do any of the things that they’ve done well for most of the season offensively. Namely, transition, offensive rebounds, scoring in the paint, and getting to the foul line.
The Hoosiers had just one fast break point, 8 offensive rebounds, 20 points in the paint and 14 free throw attempts. All of those measures are well below IU’s season averages.
Without those variables working, Indiana is a team that just goes through the motions on the offensive end with very little to show for it, often forced late into shot clocks. The half court offense is anything but dynamic.
The bottom line? The Hoosiers are going to have to abandon their big lineup and go with more playmakers, or come up with other answers fast.
It wasn’t just that Purdue hit 8-of-16 three-pointers, but the Boilermakers hit timely shots from long range including a couple after IU opened the game with a 5-0 lead, and a couple more after that 28-25 IU advantage.
“Just small defensive lapses, left the shooters open,” freshman forward Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “Really just little things that hurt us. We would string a few together and maybe we didn’t make a shot on one end and then they got it on the other. It’s really hard to play catch up in the second half.”
While IU respected Purdue’s shooters, the game plan appears to have been to first slow down the Boilermakers in the paint.
“We know that some of their players, big emphasis on the 3-point line, but for Purdue away they really rely heavy on their post players, so we were kind of crowding and digging deep, especially on Trevion Williams because I think he accounted for 20 percent of their shots,” Jackson-Davis said. “We try to take him out of the play and it kind of left some shooters open.”
Williams was held under his average with just six points, but a balanced effort made Purdue very difficult to defend. Nine Boilermakers appeared in the game and all of them had at least five points. Purdue’s bench outscored IU 33-17.
For the game Purdue shot 48.1 percent overall and had 14 assists. Coming in the Boilers were shooting below 40 percent on the road. This was a team that IU had to be able to defend at a very high level at home, and they couldn’t get it done.
OTHER GAME COVERAGE
- Final box score and specialty stats
- Archie Miller and IU players post-game
- Matt Painter and Purdue players post-game
- Randy Wittman and Mike Woodson discuss Bob Knight’s return
- Bob Knight returns to Assembly Hall
(players with meaningful minutes)
- Joey Brunk* (D) Brunk had some good moments but he was a non-factor on the glass and had two key late first half turnovers.
- Justin Smith* (C) It was an uneven day for Smith who turned the ball over but was also efficient offensively and was solid once again on the defensive end.
- Trayce Jackson-Davis* (C+) The true freshman got the most extensive run of anyone on the team and he was the best player on the floor for IU, impacting the game on both ends. But the rigors of trying to finish in the Big Ten have been every bit as challenging as you would expect for a first year player.
- Al Durham* (F) Durham continues to struggle on the defensive end and he provided very little offensively on this day. He didn’t score until the game was decided in the second half.
- Rob Phinisee* (D+) It isn’t that Phinisee necessarily played poorly, but he isn’t doing enough right now to provide this team with a spark, and his on-the-ball defensive presence hasn’t been up to his standards.
- Jerome Hunter (C) Hunter continues to provide a three-point shooting option. The next step in his evolution has to be scoring off the drive and adding more tenacity to his game.
- Devonte Green (F) Green hit the glass with four rebounds out of his guard position, but IU is getting very little that is positive from their senior guard over the last few games.
- Armaan Franklin (C) Like all freshmen he can be erratic, but Franklin was in the game when IU made their second half run and may be the kind of playmaker that needs a larger opportunity right now.
- De’Ron Davis and Race Thompson also appeared in the game.
NOTE: 2021 recruiting targets Trey Kaufman and Carter Whitt were at the game.
You can follow us on Twitter: @daily_hoosier
Find us on Facebook: thedailyhoosier
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”
Seven ways to support completely free IU coverage at no additional cost to you.