The Minute After: Arkansas State

  • 11/22/2017 9:42 pm in

Thoughts on an 87-70 win against Arkansas State:

This one was volatile.

Indiana came out flat, didn’t hustle for loose balls, missed shots and turned the ball over. It had problems figuring out Arkansas State’s zone and played from behind for most of the first 10 minutes of the contest. Archie Miller didn’t take kindly to the performance. But the Hoosiers turned it around in a big way to close out the first half. The turnovers ceased. The 3-pointers started falling and the offense started to hum. It was all enough to pull away for a 14-point lead at half (47-33) while scoring 1.34 points per possession and turning it over on just 11.4 percent of their possessions.

But that lead would evaporate as the second half meandered along. Devonte Green had a couple early turnovers. Indiana’s defense was porous; Deven Simms (21 points) and Ty Cockfiled (nine points) got to the rim with ease. The 14-point lead dwindled to three points on two occasions (9:43 mark, 8:25 mark).

But just as soon as Indiana was letting another less talented team hang around in Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers stepped on the gas over the final 8:25 of the contest, outscoring the Red Wolves 24-10 in the process and cruising to a 17-point victory.

Despite the see-saw nature of this one, there was plenty to like.

Start with Juwan Morgan. This marks the second straight contest he’s played like a man possessed. Morgan is being aggressive on the boards and swatting shots. He’s scoring in a variety of ways and showing he can put it in the basket on either side from seemingly any angle. Morgan posted a career-high 28 points this evening on a hyper-efficient 9-of-11 line from the floor and 10-of-10 performance from the line. He also snagged eight boards and had two assists and two steals.

Morgan won’t score 28 points every night. But if he can continue to play with this much effort and energy, it won’t be the last time he affects the game in this many ways.

“This is how he’s practiced,” Miller said after the game.

Against Arkansas State’s zone, Indiana failed to get De’Ron Davis going much in the first half as he had just one shot attempt. But after the break this changed, and Davis continues to prove to be an efficient scorer when he’s given the opportunity. He shot 50 percent from the floor tonight (4-of-8) en route to 10 points. And as our Josh Margolis noted, Al Durham Jr. has played 100 minutes of game action since his last turnover, a seriously impressive stat for the freshman.

This is the second straight game the Hoosiers have held the opponent under a point per possession, though it was just barely as the Red Wolves scored .99. Indiana’s turnover rate was also very good, as the team turned the ball over on just 11.3 percent of their possessions for the contest — a season best. The Hoosiers, after struggling from the line at times this year, were also pretty solid there tonight (16-of-21, 76.2 percent).

Indiana has to flip around quick on the other side of Thanksgiving to host Eastern Michigan on Friday afternoon. Things are still a work in progress early on in the Archie Miller era. And Indiana still hasn’t put it together for a full 40 minutes … or even 30 minutes.

But there’s seeds of change being planted. We’ll see how quickly this team can grow with a tough slate of games ahead on the horizon.

Filed to:

  • Missing Moye

    Continuous improvement is noticeable each game in a lot of areas – not sure what more we can ask for at this point. Obviously Juwan played great, but how about Freddie with 6pts & 10 boards in only 12 minutes? Durham and Smith continue to play well. And while Johnson had an off night shooting the ball, his defense and effort was there as usual. Also glad to see him not lose confidence and continue shooting it, and finally sinking that last one. Lastly, I’ll give credit to Newkirk for playing well, since I’m quick to point out when he doesn’t.

    I’m excited to see how this team will be playing in the second half of the season.

  • cbags05

    I can’t wait to see what kind of difference Collin’s return will make. Our outside shooting is desperate for a boost.

  • Ole Man

    Smith had a couple of moments tonight, but he was MIA for a large part of his time on the court, especially on D. Add to that his four fouls. To be expected with a freshman.
    Al does continue his good play, so I can agree with that.
    Poor Freddie has hands of stone. If not he could be really effective. Only shot 2-6. But he does grab some boards for us.

  • Missing Moye

    Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have said that Smith played well, just that I didn’t think he played poorly.

  • Speed

    The funny thing about improvement is that it is never a continuous upward movement. Such was the case tonight as we looked pretty bad in the early going and even at times in the second half. However we still showed signs of improvement as this team continues to grow. Need to win the next one because following that is 5 games that will be difficult to find a win…perhaps Iowa.

  • bball at nick’s

    We moved a few notches up on kenpom, but ironically on offense not defense.

  • bball at nick’s

    Unfortunately Collin will continue to be an injury liability. No reason to expect otherwise. I hope I’m wrong, but it just seems like a gamble depending on him. We need other shooters.

  • bball at nick’s

    On most nights I’d agree with you. I’m in cynical mode tonight, LOL. We are #173 on D, according to kenpom. Long way to go and expecting two losses in our next two games.

  • RonMlarkey

    expecting a loss to Eastern Michigan at home LOL! I’m sure we will be favored by at least 8 points. Party pooper!

  • Hoosieriniowa

    The defense continues to be porous. The explanation I have heard regarding the pack line defense also includes not switching on screens and picks but fighting through them. Crean seemed to like switching. There seems to be both happening. Fighting through AND a teammate trying to switch resulting in a pass to an open man who can shoot or drive playing 4 on 3. The team is still learning to trust their teammates ability to fight thru and not help so quickly. But what do I know….

  • bball at nick’s

    EM beat Arkansas State by 17, and our home crowd will be thin. A close game at best.

  • CAK76

    My thoughts:
    1. We rise and fall with ROJO because I think he is our glue guy on defense. From Archie’s press conferences, it seems Archie really values him as a leader and I think ROJO’s defense is why.
    2. JM is our glue guy on offense…especially with 10-10 from the line. His role on this team to date strikes me as the biggest reflection of the difference between Crean and Archie.
    3. AD is keeping it simple on offense and he looks brilliant doing it.
    4. I thought JN played well in the first half…where was he in the second?
    5. MsSwain had 10 rebounds. Keep it up…play with aggression…and be our wildcard for a breakout game.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    We are hurting for the go to perimeter guy but Morgan has been playing well under the basket. His size will be an issue with better teams. Major difference from crean to miller-Morgan used to shoot a bunch of 3s. Now he playing where he should be and looking like a stud. Johnson lacks confidence. It’s all mental. I hope it comes around but his defense is huge. Davis making improvement. Mcswain’s a big strong body that should not sweat the offense. He just needs to bang and get boards and blocks. Team defense is not great but better than last year. Offense lacks that shooter but ball movement is better than crean teams. Still scored 87 points without having to fast break every rebound and with fewer turnovers. I like what I see so far. It would be nice to get Hartman back for his shooting, but unfortunately he’ll probably get injured again. He’s too injury prone.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    Devonte and Curtis look decent with flares of being very good. Devonte moreso but needs to keep tos down. I really like the freshmen, Durham and smith. They seem to already get it and are not playing like freshmen.

  • cbags05

    CuJo regularly airballs routine jump shots.

  • cbags05

    I agree, but my emotion remains. I can’t wait to see it.

  • Outoftheloop

    IU needs to keep getting some minutes for Clifton Moore!

  • Outoftheloop

    7 not 8.

  • IUMIKE1

    Agree. Think the basics are there for him to become a better player as the season goes on and a player able to affect the game in ways other than scoring. If he becomes a player able to affect the game in other ways than scoring that in itself may be the biggest sign of his game maturing, as the other things will come along easier simply from that happening…. if he can do that.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    U r correct. Inconsistent at this point. But so was most of the team. It seems the shots are starting to fall. I hope it continues.