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IU basketball: Wisconsin at Indiana — The Report Card

Indiana had to find a way to stem the tide, and they got it done against a Wisconsin program that has tortured them over the last 20-plus years.

It was a rock fight for the first 20 minutes, with Indiana’s two 4-point leads serving as the largest by either squad in a 21-20 first half.  But IU jumped on the Badgers coming out of the halftime locker rooms.  An 18-2 run to start the second half all but buried Wisconsin, who would never get back within single-digits.

Let’s take a deeper look at how the Hoosiers won 63-45 with another edition of The Report Card.

Indiana (11-6, 2-4) will next travel to Illinois on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

OFFENSE (B-)

After a rough first half, Indiana drew up some masterful sets over the first seven minutes of the second half to all but put the game away.

The Hoosiers pulled Trayce Jackson-Davis out of the paint to pull out Wisconsin’s lone rim protector, and he and Jalen Hood-Schifino went to work on the pick-and-roll.  The Hoosiers scored 1.27 points per possession after the break, with that duo combining for 26 of IU’s 42 points after the break.

IU maximized possessions by only turning it over four times in the first 34 minutes of the game, and they added nine offensive rebounds.  Add in 65.5 percent shooting after the break, and it was ultimately too much for the Badgers to contain.

Hood-Schifino was 6-of-7 from 2-point range in the second half.  His length, physicality and mid-range game is well-suited to take what Wisconsin wants to give up on defense — 2-pointers out of the paint area.

Indiana had its second straight poor 3-point shooting day, but their ability to control the paint with 42 points, including 30 from Jackson-Davis and Geronimo, made the difference.

For the game IU ended up right at one point per possession.  They’ve lost four games this season with more than that.  But it was clearly a tale of two halves.

DEFENSE (A)

While Indiana’s offense took a while to get going, the defense was solid throughout.

Wisconsin runs a somewhat unique offense in this era of college basketball, with a lot of screening away from the ball, and a lot of reversals.  The Badgers aren’t especially athletic or formidable off the bounce, so Indiana was able to stay home on shooters a bit more, and rely on Jackson-Davis and Geronimo to protect the rim.

And Indiana was able to guard the post without a ton of help, save for some occasional digs. They also mixed in some full court pressure to burn some of the shot clock and keep the Badgers off balance.  Against a team that likes to be methodical on offense, a press makes sense to cut into their available time.

But really this was about effort and discipline by IU.  The Hoosiers had multiple breakdowns against Penn State, but they kept those to a minimum on Saturday afternoon.  Indiana was connected and the tougher team.

“I thought everybody that played tonight, they were touching the offensive man, putting heat on the basketball. We were in great position to help and recover,” Mike Woodson said.

Indiana’s defense forced Wisconsin to shoot just 18-of-56 (32.1%) from the field overall, including 5-of-24 (20.8%) from the 3-point line.

Wisconsin’s 45 points were 22 under their season average of 67 points per game.  The Badgers scored just .72 points per possession, the fewest IU has allowed to a high major this season, and the second lowest output by Wisconsin this year.

It was the lowest point total scored by an Indiana conference opponent since Rutgers scored 43 on Feb. 5, 2018.

MORE GAME COVERAGE

THE PLAYERS

Trayce Jackson-Davis (A) The IU big man dominated his matchup with Steven Crowl, an emerging center in the league.  He was efficient offensively, made several good passes, and protected the rim throughout the game.  Perhaps his back was feeling a bit better, because his quick spin moves dizzied Crowl, and his spring off the floor was improved.

Jordan Geronimo (A) After some disappointing efforts over the last couple weeks, Geronimo thrived by playing to his strengths — especially crashing the offensive glass.  With Tyler Wahl out for Wisconsin, Geronimo’s athleticism and length was a major factor.  He also moved well off of Jackson-Davis for scoring opportunities in the paint.  And he only had one foul and one turnover in 29 minutes.

Miller Kopp (C+) Kopp was part of the solid defensive effort of course, but he wasn’t much of a factor otherwise.  He did put the final dagger in Wisconsin with a three to move the lead to 16 with under five minutes left, and his presence provides spacing.  But it’s still hard to comprehend how little he shows up statistically in some games.

Jalen Hood-Schifino (A) The freshman missed his first four shots but made 8-of-11 to close the game.  That alone says a lot about his mental toughness, as he played through that slow start and led his struggling team against a good opponent.  Hood-Schifino also slowed a Chucky Hepburn, a challenging matchup, on the other end.  He added a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio and five rebounds.

Trey Galloway (B+) Indiana was clearly better with Galloway’s tough-mindedness on the court — but he couldn’t stay out there because it got him in foul trouble.  Still he set the tone on both ends and also rebounded effectively.

Tamar Bates (C+) Bates looked like he was hunting shots in this one.  He’s probably got a green light to do that, but when they aren’t falling his net impact on the court plummets.  His passive close-out gave Wisconsin one of their threes.

Malik Reneau (B) He provided a spark off the bench as he was able to get to his right shoulder and drop in a couple jump hooks as IU continued to exploit their advantage at the four when he came in.  He is still struggling at times with snap decisions and fouling too much, but Reneau showed improvement in avoiding turnovers.

C.J. Gunn (C+)  Gunn was solid on the defensive end, but he continues to struggle shooting the ball.  He also has to attack the rim more in transition rather than anticipating fouls.

Logan Duncomb also played five minutes.

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In total, Indiana had 11 scholarship players healthy and available on Saturday.  Race Thompson (knee) and Xavier Johnson (foot) were unavailable.


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