Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Austin Peay

  • 12/23/2016 10:03 am in

Indiana improved to 10-2 with an easy 97-62 win over Austin Peay at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Thursday night.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the victory over the Governors:

· Indiana’s 3-point shooting percentage gets a boost: After a woeful 6-of-21 shooting performance on 3s against Butler, Indiana is 26-of-52 from deep over its last two games.

The Hoosiers tied a season-best with 15 3s against Austin Peay and are now over 40 percent for the season. But can it continue against better competition? Against KenPom top 100 teams (four games), Indiana is shooting 37.1 percent from behind the arc.

We’ll soon get an answer on how well Indiana can shoot consistently from deep against better teams. After eight games against sub-250 KenPom teams in non-conference play, Indiana has just one game remaining against a team currently ranked outside the top 100.

· Morgan goes down with ankle injury: Sophomore forward Juwan Morgan tweaked his ankle late in the first half of the win and did not return.

While Morgan looked to be moving well on the ankle and was standing up throughout the second half on the bench cheering, Tom Crean said postgame that the move to not bring him back into the game wasn’t precautionary.

“He definitely hurt his ankle tonight,” Crean said. “He wasn’t able to go back in. So I’ll get an update here a little bit later.”

With five days off before the Big Ten opener against Nebraska, Morgan’s availability is a storyline going into that game.

· Indiana didn’t play well defensively: Indiana won by 35 points, but this was far from a strong effort defensively.

Austin Peay shot 47.2 percent on 2s, which is nearly four percentage points higher than teams are shooting against Indiana on average.

The Hoosiers didn’t challenge shots well in the paint, finishing with just two blocks and allowing the Governors to shoot 52 percent at the rim.

· Newkirk’s best game to-date this season: Josh Newkirk has been trying to find his way playing alongside James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson and the results have been mixed to this point.

Newkirk hasn’t been great against the elite competition Indiana has faced as three of his five worst offensive games of the season came against Butler, Kansas and North Carolina.

Thursday night, however, was Newkirk’s best game so far in an IU uniform. He finished with his first career double-double (11 points, 11 assists) and had just two turnovers in 26 minutes. It’s not always easy for ball handlers to strike a balance between scoring and distributing, but Thursday’s performance was progress for Newkirk.

“I was more in attack mode,” he said postgame. “And when I saw the defense colliding I just made the simple pass.”

· Blackmon Jr., Johnson continue strong play: Indiana’s frontcourt of Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis is one of the nation’s best, but the offense is currently being led by its junior guards.

James Blackmon Jr. (24 points) and Robert Johnson (20 points) combined to shoot 16-of-26 from the field and 10-of-15 on 3s in Thursday’s win.

The hot shooting from both players was a big reason Newkirk finished with a career-high in assists.

“We definitely work well together,” Newkirk said of Blackmon Jr. and Johnson. “We communicate well together and we just like to play off of each other.”

Filed to:

  • TomJameson

    JN’s double/double was in points and assists (not rebounds).

    I’m happy to see a good game from Josh. While I’ve been one of his biggest supporters, I can’t deny he’s been struggling to find his groove. Hopefully this is the first of many games where he let’s it all come to him, and just becomes a facilitator with enough scoring to keep the defenses honest.

    Hopefully the defense comes alive soon. Consistently intense and effective.

  • Bill Graham

    As a former college player, I can say in full confidence: If you’re going to wear low top shoes then wear ankle braces. Every time Juwan has stumbled or fallen this year I’ve cringed because of the lack of ankle support….it was only a matter of time.

  • JohnFromBeyond

    I totally agree. The trend today is lots of people are wearing low tops for some reason. It also seems like a lot of players are getting ankle injuries… Hmmmmmm…

  • It seems like the biggest thing for JN is also pretty “simple” — just only take the shots that are open, and otherwise use the drive to draw in the defense and open someone else up. I put “simple” in quotes because I have no idea how these kids can recognize and make such quick decisions in the middle of so much movement. Makes my poor old head spin just thinking about it.

  • TomJameson

    I agree Bill, and I’d go even a little further with that. High top shoes for sure, but maybe still wear ankle braces. Same goes for the knees, they really shouldn’t be playing without knee support.

    Ankles and knees take a lot of impact in todays game, and they need protection. Doesn’t really have to be a metal, rigid support, just a good tight wrap type of support.

  • SCHoosier

    Agree…JN is not Yogi and doesn’t need to look for his shot like Yogi did. Set others up and take it when its open Josh..great performance against AP.

  • IULore

    Only bad sprain i ever got was in low tops. Never again.

  • I am Baby Cakes

    I’m not sure if Adidas has put many high tops out lately. Morgan only has a select option with shoes most likely.

  • I am Baby Cakes

    With Adidas having Damian Lillard and James Harden as their go to guys… I don’t think either have high tops.

  • Iumick22

    I’m just the opposite. With too much ankle support the injury moves up the leg to the knee. Much rather injure the ankle.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Does JBJ really need to play this many minutes in a game like this? I’m deathly afraid with the huge amount of playing time each game, injuries may catch up to him.

  • Sandra Wilson

    Opponents’ coaches look for ways to “cheat on defense……JN may be a player they decide to play off of and use the defense to help where needed…..If he can’t consistently hit the open shot, and so far it appears that way, they will continue to dare him to shoot…..I know it’s against the Crean philosophy, but how about 2 or 3 dribbles and a shot…..If you can’t hit a 12-15 footer, you don’t belong on the floor.

  • kennygeorge

    Bill, I was thinking high top shoes.

  • Brett D Williams

    Rigid ankle support impinges joint mobility, which unknowingly moves more of the demand to the knees. And if the knees are compressed as well, it will alter running motion which can lead to injury. Answer is in training. Training teaches body to move and land properly.

  • Brett D Williams

    Exactly. Ankle injuries ruin seasons. Knee injuries ruin careers. (I posted my point about this before I saw yours btw)

  • GaHoosier

    Sixth takeaway: Ready for B10 play.
    The fans are ready for B10 competition and it looks like the players are ready also!

    #BackToBackB10Champs

  • IUowns

    I am done with all these cupcakes finally. Let’s not take any team lightly from here on out. The real season is just about to begin..

  • Iumick22

    Well your explanation was much more erudite than mine.

  • Ms hoosier

    Yes can’t wait. Coming home for Christmas and going to the Nebraska game! Ready to see the new Assembly Hall! Gonna get to Bloomington early and eat at Nicks and hopefully check out Cook Hall of it’s open to the public

  • CTC said in his presser that JN is working on his pull-up midrange game.

  • Extra points for using “erudite.” 🙂

  • ForeverIU

    Too late.

  • ForeverIU

    He should be commended on his assists and attitude. JN is a great kid. His shooting percentages are not horrible, except his FT% of 64%.

  • Bill Graham

    Fair point…but Juwan (at least to my knowledge is our only player in low tops (I could be wrong on this)…surely there are other high top options.

  • Bill Graham

    I’m not a doctor…but to my knowledge ankle injuries and knee injuries are quite different…ankle injuries (usually) deal with wrong landings…knee injuries usually deal with cutting.

  • Bill Graham

    Great point…I don’t understand why its necessary to play the starters in the last 5 minutes when we are up 30…

    1. the starters arent benefiting much if at all
    2. Even the subs arent going to allow a 30 point comeback in 5 minutes and if they do….when then maybe we need to recruit better.

  • I am Baby Cakes

    I’m not all sure what Adidas is putting out right now. They may outback out some mid tops. I don’t think they have any highs. I doubt that Indiana get some those cheap team shoes they give to high schools. Last years they wore Dame Lillards I think.

  • Old_Time_Hoosier

    Tell me about it. Had to check the dictionary!

  • beppecolo

    Really would like to see at least a couple more quality opponents during this part of the season, instead of all these scrimmages against what amounts to the JV team.

  • TomJameson

    I don’t think there is any one answer. Most good athletic programs already do more of the specific type of training regimes that mitigate those type of injuries, but I still don’t think that the athletes should go on the floor without wraps on their knees and ankles.

    I didn’t mean to sound like I was encouraging rigid metal supports, if those are NEEDED, then player probable shouldn’t be out there anyway.

  • IUMIKE1

    JN has to also, in certain situations, remember that there may be a reason that he finds himself with more than enough time to get certain shots off. He cannot, and should not, take the bait the vast majority of time when it is dangled in front of him.

  • RDD#76

    I agree bring in more teams in 125-250 range

  • Not sure what you mean, but I was mainly responding to the idea that a midrange game is against CTC’s philosophy. If he thought to mention it in his presser, then obviously it’s not.

  • Really, I don’t mind JN shooting, especially when the defense backs off–he’s not a bad perimeter shooter, for example. My primary concern with him has been him driving into the post and shooting when the defense is on top of him–and getting stuffed. That was a problem with the guards early last season and got better later, and I think JN is improving here as well the last couple of games. He can take lessons from RJ, who rarely drives to score when there’s nothing there but rather dishes it out to someone who’s open.

  • kennygeorge

    don’t know who, but someone had high tops on in the game.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Merry Christmas Bill Graham and family!!

  • DB

    I can’t help saying that Bryant disappoints way too often. Every game I wonder if he is going to show up. I’m starting to doubt all the hype about him. Seems like opponents find a way to shut him down offensively. Not to mention some really high schoolish mistakes. I’m sure people will show me all sorts of stats to prove me wrong, though.

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  • TomJameson

    Well, those aren’t the shots he’s having trouble with. He probably misses more layups than anything else. That’s where the “don’t hop” came from. He does okay otherwise.

  • I believe Lillard’s shoes are mid’s, and there are the Crazy Explosive/ Wiggins shoe that is a high top. They have all styles, I’m sure of it.

    And honestly, they’ve only been doing actual low top BASKETBALL shoes for a while, and there’s nothing that shows it has increased injuries.

    playing in some random low top running shoes and getting injured is not the same as playing in some Kobe’s or Harden shoes.

  • IUMIKE1

    JN has also benefited from appearing to have improved while getting his belly full of cupcakes too. The proof will be when the rest of the schedule comes around especially when we play UL. Hope he has and that it shows cause we are a much better team when he plays the role that he should.