Notebook: Sycamores stun IU in Miller’s debut

  • 11/10/2017 11:35 pm in

Following a preseason full of promise and optimism, the official start of the Archie Miller era at Indiana didn’t go according to plan.

In a game where IU had a 90 percent chance at victory, according to KenPom, the Hoosiers found themselves outworked, outplayed and in a state of shock.

“We’re soft,” Archie Miller said after his first regular season game at the helm. “We’re soft. I mean, we’re just a soft team. You don’t have to sugarcoat it at all.”

At his radio show Thursday night, Miller remarked that the success the team had in its two exhibitions was “fool’s gold.” After a 21-point loss at home to Indiana State, he brought up the term again.

“If things aren’t going well and you’re playing an (exhibition where) you’re better than that team, you can cover up those mistakes,” Miller said. “You can seal them up and get a little bit of fool’s gold.”

On Friday, the Sycamores exposed Indiana’s fool’s gold and stomped all over the hapless Hoosiers.

“The pack line. I mean, it’s no new invention,” said Indiana State head coach Greg Lansing. “It’s just really good defense and you have to move the ball from sideline to sideline.”

In the two exhibitions, Indiana turned the ball over a total of 18 times and held their opponents to under 38 percent shooting.

Against the Sycamores, Indiana coughed up the ball on 19 separate occasions and allowed ISU to shoot at a rate of 59 percent. That included a 17-of-26 effort from three. The 17 makes are the most by an opponent in the history of Assembly Hall.

“We know we have guys that can shoot the ball, and we know that if we make the extra pass then my teammates gonna knock it down,” said Indiana State point guard Jordan Barnes, who went 5-of-7 from deep and assisted on two triples. “We saw stuff on film where we knew we were going to get shots, and we just try to take advantage of those things.”

Indiana, after losing its first home opener since 1984, will have a chance to get back to .500 on Sunday when they host Howard University. According to KenPom, the Bison are one of the worst teams in all of Division 1. But a blowout of the Bison may lead to more fool’s gold, with a road meeting at top-25 Seton Hall just three days later.

Another Scott spurs an upset

A season ago, Fort Wayne guard Bryson Scott posted 18 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals in an upset win over then-No. 3 Indiana.

This time, it was twin brother Brenton’s turn.

The senior guard had his way with Indiana. Scott put up 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, grabbed three boards and collected two assists and a steal. In his 28 minutes on the floor, the Sycamores outscored Indiana by 29 points.

“(Bryce) needed overtime,” Brenton said when asked if he now has family bragging rights. “We dominated on their floor. We dominated on their floor. That’s the difference.”

Hartman suffers setback

At availability on Thursday afternoon, Archie Miller said that senior Collin Hartman, who has not played in a regular season or postseason contest since the 2016 Sweet 16, would no longer be on a minutes restriction.

When the Hoosiers came out to warm-up on Friday, Hartman was in street clothes. In the 26 hours between availability and warm-ups, Hartman suffered another setback.

“Unfortunately for him, the day before the game, he tweaks his groin,” Miller said. “We’ll deal with it. It’s day to day. I expect him to be out a long period of time in terms of he won’t be back tomorrow. It’s going to be an issue, we’re going to deal day to day, a couple of weeks.”

Hartman, who redshirted the 2016-17 season after suffering a serious knee injury in the preseason, sat out the first exhibition as a precaution because of an ankle injury.

In the second exhibition, Hartman scored nine points in 16 minutes.

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  • TomJameson

    Honey-do list:
    1) Reduce turnovers …. a bunch.
    2) Play defense — way too much easy access to the basket.
    3) Hit free throws — please, free throws are huge.
    4) Shoot better overall. — Seems like everybody lost their stroke.
    5) Please don’t miss layups, that looks really bad.
    6) Come out with energy at the start of both halves. The slow start is becoming an IU tradition, and it’s one we need to stop.

    I know they played some really good competition this time (no fools gold here), and I know it will get better, but not if they don’t start doing these things.

    Not losing hope here, just want the team to start playing like a team, and stop looking so darned confused.

  • Ole Man

    Sit JM down the first time he takes a 3 pointer.
    It’s the same as a TO.

  • Absolutely.

    I’d add that they need a hell of a lot more passion and pride. Instead of getting down and “soft,” why weren’t any of the players (especially upperclassmen!) getting PISSED? Where’s the attitude? Where’s the fire?

    If the other team is going to hit everything they throw up, start fouling hard. Do something! Hold the ball on offense to stop the pace of the game cold. Throw an elbow or two. Somebody start a fire in one of them and have it spread around. Enough of that “soft” crap. (rant over)

  • I’m starting to come around with your take on that.

    Also, pull any senior who makes a stupid turnover, immediately. It’s evidently contagious and kills the team.

  • TomJameson

    There were only 3 players that shot decently. I mean, the entire team went 4 of 18 from three, so not sure how you can pick just one.
    De’Ron (6/7 overall and 0/0 from) pts),
    Curtis (3/6 overall and 2/5 from 3), and
    Juwan (5/10 overall and 0/2 from 3)

  • BreathinHoosiers

    Can somebody tell me what happened to Zach McRoberts? At least he shows energy when he’s out there.

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Well, Now we have a solid starting point… Show us what you got Archie. Looks like you’re really going to have to earn your pay…

  • Koko

    Appears no one has filled them in on the “toughness” of the B1G.
    You are so right….an elbow here, a shove there would have gone a long way last night. Some choice words after a few hard fouls might have helped. Bench the passionless players before it is way too late.
    Really JN, RJ and JM appear to be playing in a fog….do they even know where they are? I am now officially assigning those three a state of confusion. They can’t play again until they figure out where they are and what their role is as a player in the B1G.

  • Koko

    Start Priller and McRoberts.

  • Agree about RJ and JN, not quite as much about JM. I’d say, start CuJo and AD alongside DG, then JM and DD. I know AD’s outside shooting is suspect, but it’s not like JN and RJ are lighting it up right now.

  • to be fair, I thought Juwan was trying a bit harder in the second half. He and DG seemed to have something going, but it fizzled pretty quickly.

    I have had a sneaking suspicion that Juwan’s mind is elsewhere now. He did say that he talks with OG and TB basically every day on the phone. And had a decent performance over the summer in those workouts/scrimmages. I’m thinking he might not be fully into it this year. It’s frankly unimaginable to me that that would be the case and hope it isn’t. I really hope to be proven wrong.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Great points and agreed. I just thought a new coach was supposed to totally transform the same passionless kids from last year (minus all the best players who left) into winning the B1G this year. Sarcasm there. Realistically I think we shall see how much one coach can do with not much. Crean was exasperated trying to get these kids to fight last year and couldn’t do it. Yeah he recruited them, but not much anyone can do kids just don’t “want it” enough. Hope Archie has a plan.

  • Ole Man

    JM needs to be inside.
    Archie has said work inside out.
    Even CuJo is throwing up bricks from outside because they aren’t in the flow of the offense.

  • Koko

    I like that starting five. I would be surprised to see the same five that started yesterday start tomorrow.

  • Koko

    I hope I’m proven wrong as well.

  • KingofKentucky

    YES! Juwan can pass and he is essential to IU’s success working inside-out. Secondly, for Clifton Moore and Justin Smith to see an upperclassmen like JM be successful down low will pay dividends far into next season.

  • Ole Man

    Exactly!