Coming into the Maui Invitational we told you we would learn a lot about this Indiana team during its stay in Asheville, N.C.
We take it back.
Indiana followed one of its best performances in recent memory with one of its worst, and now heading into day three of three, anything seems possible.
The Hoosiers will face another stiff test as they meet a third high major opponent from a third unique conference.
And IU will have to do it likely down a starter. Senior guard Al Durham is doubtful on Wednesday afternoon after suffering what appeared to be a serious ankle injury on Tuesday.
Indiana hasn’t played Stanford since 1988, and they haven’t faced anyone from the PAC-12 since 2007. That all changes on Wednesday afternoon as the Hoosiers take on the Cardinal.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
Stanford (1-1) vs. Indiana (2-1)
- Tip time: 1:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Harrah’s Cherokee Center, Asheville, N.C.
- Television: ESPN (Jason Benetti and Bill Walton) | Stream
- IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith) | Tune In
- Series: Indiana leads 4-0 (Indiana won last meeting in 1988)
- Point Spread: Pick ‘Em
- KenPom has No. 27 Indiana by 1 point over No. 28 Stanford
Meet the Cardinal
Stanford finished the 2019-20 season with the exact same record as IU — 20-12.
Head coach Jerod Haase is 71-61 in year five in Palo Alto.
Haase’s program leads with defense.
The Cardinal boasted the nation’s No. 16-ranked scoring defense a year ago, and the KenPom No. 7 defense. In its season opener Stanford held Alabama to just 64 points, the second lowest in the Nate Oats era in Tuscaloosa. On Tuesday the Cardinal forced North Carolina to commit 24 turnovers.
The Cardinal returns 74 percent of its scoring from a year ago, and adds to it with ESPN’s 10th-rated recruiting class in the country, led by five star small forward Ziaire Williams. All five of Stanford’s freshmen were rated four stars or higher by at least one recruiting service.
Stanford has four players averaging in double figures, but they aren’t particularly deep.
Through two games the offense is running primarily through the freshman sensation Williams, who is top 250 nationally in possessions used. Daejon Davis and Oscar da Silva form a balanced inside-out focal point of the Cardinal attack.
Williams is a threat to score on all three levels and will be a really tough matchup for Indiana. He has an early 30.5 percent turnover rate, meaning he can be forced into plenty of mistakes if IU can find the right cover. Race Thompson and Jerome Hunter may not have the foot speed to stay in front of Williams, while Indiana’s guards don’t have the size. Jordan Geronimo is likely best suited for the job.
Da Silva is top-100 nationally in block percentage. He will be the next big man to try to use his frame to bother Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Spencer Jones has taken the most three-point attempts on the team thus far, making just 2-of-11. He’ll be someone to watch for the dreaded breakout game. Williams, Davis and da Silva will all look to shoot three-pointers, and all are above 40 percent thus far from long range.
(No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG)
1 Daejon Davis G 6-3 190 Sr. 15.5 4.0 4.0
2 Bryce Wills G 6-6 205 Jr. 13.5 3.5 1.5
3 Ziaire Williams F 6-8 185 Fr. 14.5 6.0 2.0
13 Oscar da Silva F 6-9 230 Sr. 13.0 4.0 1.5
14 Spencer Jones F 6-7 225 So. 3.0 6.5 1.0
Off the Bench
10 Max Murrell F 6-9 210 Fr. 3.0 1.0 0.0
20 Noah Taitz G 6-3 185 Fr. 1.5 0.5 0.0
22 James Keefe F 6-9 225 So. 3.0 1.0 1.0
32 Lukas Kisunas F 6-10 260 Jr. 1.5 1.5 0.0
Texas Report Card
Because of the tight windows between games at Asheville, our report card feature is abbreviated this week.
Here are the quick grades from Indiana’s loss to Texas.
Overall (D) Indiana managed to pull to within 13-11 with 8:40 left in the first half. But with the offense sputtering, it felt like just a matter of time before the dam broke — and it was. “Over the course of the game, not being able to keep it in reaching distance, eventually broke us,” Miller said. The Hoosiers were outrebounded 48-29 and got next to nothing out of its bench.
Offense (F) Texas set the tone from the opening tip. “I think that Texas a little bit stunned our guys in the first four to five minutes of the game, inability to reverse the ball, inability to connect on the screen, inability to do what we wanted to do,” head coach Archie Miller said. “Our offense in general we got, got taken off its rails today.” Indiana’s 23.9 percent performance from the field was its worst during the Archie Miller era. The Hoosiers had 14 turnovers and only 6 assists.
Defense (C) While the overall defensive effort wasn’t bad, Indiana seemed to let their offensive shortcomings steamroll them on the other end. The Hoosiers started strong but gave up too much in transition and missed assignments over the last 28 minutes. Texas was also able to grab 14 offensive rebounds, forcing extended possessions and further frustrating the effort.
Player of the Game: Do we have to? Al Durham played his second straight game without a turnover, and he is working hard to attack the rim. Of course that mentality resulted in an injured ankle, but that’s just how it went on Tuesday afternoon.
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