What to watch for: Howard

  • 11/11/2017 9:28 pm in

In lieu of our traditional “what to expect” preview, here’s a look at three things to watch for when Indiana hosts Howard on Sunday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

The game will be broadcast at 8 p.m. ET on BTN with Brandon Gaudin and Stephen Bardo on the call:

· Changes to the starting lineup: Archie Miller mentioned that changes to the starting lineup could happen following Friday’s 90-69 loss to Indiana State.

In fact, it would almost be a surprise if that wasn’t the case. The Hoosiers didn’t start particularly strong in either exhibition game and Friday’s slow start was alarming because of how quickly the deficit snowballed.

Miller said Friday’s loss was a “reality check,” but also made it clear that this group’s mental toughness must improve quickly.

“We do not come out of the gates mentally tough. And that’s tough,” he explained. “You’ve got to find a way to win hard games. You’ve got to go through some of these moments right here with guys.”

· Can Indiana quickly put Friday in the rearview mirror? Sunday’s opponent, Howard, is the weakest on the schedule according to the preseason computer projections.

The Bison are coming off an 11-point loss to George Washington on Friday, but will also be hungry to come into Bloomington and play well.

Will Indiana put Friday’s loss behind it quickly and not let it carry over into another poor performance? The answer to that question could tell us a lot about this group, even against an inferior opponent. Indiana not only needs to win on Sunday, it needs to quickly forget that Friday ever happened.

“I think everybody knows tonight wasn’t a very good night for our basketball program,” Miller said after the loss. “But you take every negative, negative/positive. We’ve got to find a way to get extreme amount of evidence to these guys and tell them the truth, move on, keep working to get better, find a way on Sunday.”

· A game to “get right” before the schedule gets tough: If there’s a break in this season’s non-conference schedule, Sunday night might be it.

Indiana travels to Seton Hall on Wednesday for a Gavitt Games matchup and also hosts Duke in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge to close the month. Both of those contests will be stiff tests against nationally ranked opponents.

But sandwiched in between those contests are three home games with opponents currently ranked anywhere from 145 to 253 in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings.

Sunday’s game against Howard won’t provide much resume value if Indiana wins, but it’s an extremely important 40 minutes for a team that clearly has a long way to go as it learns a new system.

In past seasons, Indiana’s non-conference schedule has provided plenty of opportunities for the Hoosiers to just show up and win. This year’s schedule isn’t built that way, which means Indiana needs to get as much out of every moment on the floor that it can.

Filed to:

  • Lance76

    It will be interesting how the team responds on Sunday. Willing to bet that Archie has their full attention. Getting Hartman back might help.

  • Missing Moye

    My only real expectation for this season was to improve as the year went on. That’s a pretty low bar at this point considering how they began. But this should be a good “get right” game as Alex mentioned, and hopefully give them some confidence that will roll over into Wednesday. No doubt Arch will get this team playing better – it’s just a matter of how much better and how long it takes.

  • Missing Moye

    Sounds like Collin will miss at least a couple more games, unfortunately. They could sure use him.

  • iustripes

    While I believe we will beat Howard, a concern I have is in spite of how soundly we were beaten by ISU, this team may still look past Howard. Certainly Howard has watched the film of the ISU game and will come in with the idea that IU is beatable. I was at the ISU game and it was ugly from the very 1st possession when we manage to immediately turn the ball over. I know we really missed Hartman, but Josh Newkirk and Robert Johnson need to take on the role of leaders if IU is going to even have a chance to make the NIT.

  • Donnie Vick

    Maybe Moye could come back? He was mentally tough!

  • SCHoosier

    The Hoosiers were awful..but if you take out the sloppy 3’s that ISU took ast five minutes…that team shot 70% from the 3pt line. That kind of shooting will usually earn you a win (given that its unheard of) If IU doesn’t get a “go too guy or two”..gonna be a long year.

  • Lance76

    Moye was tough, in your face basketball. Smart I will remember for his NCAA shot, Watford for Kentucky win shot and Moye for blocking Boozer in NCAA. I did a few more memories.

  • I wonder how much of this team’s confidence is tied to seeing their shots go in.

  • HoosierBballNut

    I also thought that ISU players got into our players space defensively and were up against them all night, tenacious, causing tons of deflections.. I think that totally took us out of the game offensively..

  • Koko

    I don’t know about the team but I can say my confidence will go up seeing
    their shots go in. Especially after a strong defensive set to create the shots.

  • I had a password issue with BTN+ and so missed the first couple of minutes. So turning it over that first possession probably got in their heads — and where the should have responded with another notch of ball protection and grit, apparently they responded by panicking. Then when ISU’s shots started to fall at a seemingly magical rate — deal with the Devil, maybe? — and their own shots refused to go in, things spiraled. I agree that somebody needed to take charge on the floor and refuse to lose, and we don’t have that player yet. I’m not sure we can count on CH, that poor kid is snakebit. So absolutely, somebody else is going to have to step into that role or it’s going to be an even longer season.

  • Fifer39

    That first turnover was caused by DG flying towards the baseline then going off his feet and trying to swing the ball back in to someone open. First time I’d seen us this year and I thought for moment the Archie hire had all been a dream!

  • Mark Bando

    The more I think of the game Friday, the more I think it was mostly a weird fluke. Did IU play bad? Yes. Were they mentally soft? Yes. But with 5 minutes to go ISU was 17 of 22 on threes. Thats 77%. The best team in the NBA shoots em at 41%.

  • Ouch. So really I need to thank BTN+ for the password problems. Saved me some pain.

  • Fifer39

    I wasn’t going to subscribe this year because I have done the previous 3 years and the streaming quality has been dreadful. Couldn’t resist in the end and I have to say the quality was excellent – unfortunately!

  • My take is close to the same, after some reflection. Yes, we played poorly, and yes, we likely would have lost regardless. But when you shoot 17/22 from outside as you point out and some of those shots _were_ contested (although far too many were not), then you’re going to win a game. The counter is that as Archie pointed out, a team that’s playing as tough-minded as it should won’t let that kind of shooting happen one way or another. Hopefully the best that can come out of it will — the players will have learned an important lesson and that will improve their performance going forward.

  • Yeah, no complaints from that perspective. Now I just have to figure out how to make sure my subscription is cancelled — can’t find an easy option on the site.

  • Fifer39

    I make sure I un-check ‘auto-renew’.

  • I’m 90% sure I did check it. But not 100% sure. I don’t see a “cancel subscription” option anywhere, maybe because I did check the box and they only show the option if you have an active subscription. I’ll find out on November 15 if they bill me again, I guess.

  • KingofKentucky

    Good point. I’m sure it will take some time to shift their mentality of confidence coming from the offensive end to the defensive end.

  • Mark Bando

    What I’m hoping to see today after Friday is extremely high effort on the defensive side. I think the defensive communication and execution of Archies system is still a work in process. But I hope to see the effort and improved toughness.

  • I want to see engaged effort, that is, 100% concentration and effort through entire possessions. No defending until the last 5 seconds and then someone fails to recover to the perimeter and they hit a three. We need to hold this team to 50 or fewer points for me to be confident there’s been any improvement heading into Seton Hall.

  • That’s kind of my feeling, too. That’s no easy and quick transformation. But it shouldn’t be THAT hard to do, if decent defense is played and turnovers aren’t out of control. If that happens, then the offense will automatically follow.

    It also kinda helps if the opponent isn’t hitting everything they throw up. If that happens, how can you get anything going on the other end, if it is supposed to start with defensive stops? Seems like last game was a perfect storm.

  • per the BTN+, you can always go back and watch it again. Or rewind it during the game itself. Probably you already know that, but just thought I’d mention it just in case. Not that you’ll really want to go back and watch that. It’s pretty “meh” all around.

    I went back and watched a lot of it and was actually kinda surprised. It wasn’t really an all around disaster, just a very flat and uninspired outing…the key of which was the 2nd half (in my opinion). I thought they would stop the bleeding and get back into the game. Never happened. That was what was most frustrating.

  • Fifer39

    The biggest difference for me was that I actually thought they were doing a much better job of getting the ball into the post and playing through DD in the first 10 mins or so. The problem with this is more touches for DD probably means more fouls at the moment, the defence could afford to collapse on him as there was precious little threat from the perimeter and there was no adequate replacement when he had to sit about 20 of the next 30 mins. But I’m drinking from your half full glass – lots to fix, but it’s starting.

  • Interestingly, we _did_ play the second half even, if I’m not mistaken. Archie’s move to switch on the perimeter had an effect (and switching is something he rarely does, it’s not a pack line practice). So by that definition, at least, we recovered somewhat after halftime. Just not enough, obviously.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Nervous.

  • StudentHoosier

    Not a fan of an 8pm Sunday start time. Oh well. Go Hoosiers.

  • Tim Mitchell

    I sent an email to [email protected] and put cancel subscription in subject. I have received a reply in my email that it will be cancelled on the 11/21. I might have sent 3-4 emails just to make sure they got it.

  • Kwang

    “go too guy or two” – That actually makes sense. Haw!

  • IUAZ75

    Although Friday’s game was an anomaly with the ISU shooting percentage, earlier I believe Archie tried to prepare us when he said this team was going to struggle to find a way to win this year. We (I) thought he meant against SH, Duke, ect. Now I believe he meant every game.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I am equating this mentally to how OSU played against MSU after getting pummeled by Iowa, granted, it’s a different sport and expectations, but I’d like to see IU come out with FIRE to prove to Coach they are not soft.

  • iustripes

    Yep, you’re right. Everything was going right for Indiana State and everything was going wrong for IU.

  • Okay, thanks! I sent a similar email, so hopefully I’ll get the same response. I’ll try again just in case.