Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Eastern Michigan

  • 11/25/2017 8:11 am in

Indiana improved to 4-2 on the season on Friday afternoon with an impressive 87-67 win over Eastern Michigan at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The win was the third straight for the Hoosiers.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Eagles.

· Decision making continues to improve: Correcting Indiana’s turnover problem is a major priority for Archie Miller and the Indiana coaching staff. Over the past two games, the Hoosiers have show significant progress with their decision making.

After turning it over just eight times against Arkansas State, Indiana again had just eight turnovers against Eastern Michigan’s 2-3 zone. It was an impressive performance against a team with legitimate size and length at several positions.

“To get eight turnovers was a big deal,” Archie Miller said postgame. “Because if you turn it over against them, that’s when they can become a real problem in transition for you.”

Through six games, Indiana has a turnover percentage of 18.8, which ranks 161st nationally according to Ken Pomeroy.

· Johnson hitting his stride: Robert Johnson is being asked to do a lot for this Indiana team. He’s often guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter player. He’s playing the most minutes on the roster. And the Hoosiers need him to be one of their go-to scorers.

Six games into the season, Johnson appears to be gaining confidence in his role. On Friday, he scored a team-high 18 points, the fifth straight game he’s scored in double figures.

His 3-point shot also appears to be rounding into form. Johnson hit four of his six attempts in the win over Eastern Michigan. Over Indiana’s last three games, the Richmond (Va.) native is 8-of-15 on 3s and he’s now over 40 percent from distance for the season.

· Newkirk catches fire from the perimeter: Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy was very complementary of Josh Newkirk in his postgame comments as he mentioned the IU senior as the primary reason the Hoosiers pulled away in the second half.

After playing just 10 minutes in IU’s win over South Florida, Newkirk has played much better the past two games. In IU’s win against Arkansas State, Newkirk had six points, two assists and no turnovers in 21 minutes.

Friday afternoon was easily his best game of the season so far as he scored 17 points and hit five of his six 3-point attempts.

“We are like five, six games in, so everybody is getting more comfortable,” Newkirk said postgame. “Everybody is understanding what’s needed of them. And we’re holding each other accountable. I think that’s the biggest part.”

· Bench comes up big: Indiana’s bench scored 29 points in Friday’s win as five different reserves scored.

The most notable performance was 10 points and nine rebounds for Freddie McSwain, who now has 19 rebounds over IU’s last two games.

Al Durham Jr. continues to play starter’s minutes off the bench and has quickly become one of Indiana’s most dependable players. Durham had six points, five assists and no turnovers in the win and his turnover percentage this season is now 4.8, which ranks in the top 50 in the country.

Zach McRoberts also provided a boost off the bench, scoring a season-high four points to go along with three rebounds in eight minutes.

· Hartman makes his debut: The loudest ovation of the afternoon came when Collin Hartman entered for the first time this season.

Hartman checked in at the 8:31 mark and 30 seconds later, drained a 3-pointer from the corner to extend Indiana’s lead to four at 22-18. Hartman played just six minutes, but with a brutal five-game stretch of games coming up, Indiana is going to need its senior leader moving forward.

“The hope was to get him in maybe this week,” Miller explained postgame. “I don’t think he was very confident in himself. And that prevented him from playing on Wednesday. The day in between, I think Tim and our docs really gave him encouragement that he’s fine. I think for the first time he said to himself, if I’m going to get going I’ve got to get going. I’ve got to try it.

“He was cleared yesterday. And definitely wanted to have an opportunity to see him get out there just so he can get moving. And lo and behold, bangs his first three and I think obviously a lot of pressure out of the building for him. So hopefully, knock on wood, keeping him healthy and getting him back, re-acclimated into the lineup is really important.”

Filed to:

  • bball at nick’s

    I remember him saying weekend since we play on Wednesday.

  • unclekerfuffle

    I thought Coach Crean was the right hire at the right time for the program. However, I said quite often that I saw him as Moses. He got us out of trouble and headed in the right direction but he was never going to get us to the Promised Land.

    I strongly believe Archie is our Joshua.

  • RonG

    Sorry! I read too much into your comment. My APOLOGY!!! I agree with your assessment of the Arch. Everything so far points in that direction. After this year,which will be good, WATCH OUT!!!!!!!!!!

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Just watched the last 2 games…. meh.. glad to see turnovers coming down… and guys make shots that you guys wished didn’t get minutes (JN,RJ). EMU took alot of bad shots and didnt feed the big fella enough..”Dook” by +15.Hope the better decision-making continues to grow it will lead to more “W”

  • RonG

    Agree! Well stated. Just better organized and look like a cohesive team.

  • RonG

    I concur! I believe I said Archie would do a great job.

  • RonG

    Couldn’t agree more. Excellent point!

  • RonG

    I believe it will happen, after listening to some of his pressers.

  • bball at nick’s

    I knew you had a soft side to you, elbows! Congrats, lol.

  • RonMlarkey

    I’d like to know the last time Curtis Jones made a three point field goal.

  • bball at nick’s

    I keep telling you you’re a troll, but you don’t listen.

  • cbags05

    Good vibes. Positivity starting to develop. Upper classmen are onboard the Miller train.

  • dwdkc

    Could be something as simple as an asst. coach next to him talking to him. He’s listening and doesn’t stand with his teammates as a result. Happens a lot on the sidelines.

  • dwdkc

    I was and am a huge fan of Crean the man; know lots of people who have met him, and have defended his coaching, especially his innovative and effective offense. However many like me see what seems to be much more effective coaching on the sideline now.

  • Tenacious Newt

    let the little salmon go

  • Tenacious Newt

    The beating the Syracuse zone comment (in the locker room first I imagine) was appropriately bold but maybe slow it down and run a 61-58 picket fence at em!

  • marcusgresham

    My hope is, if Allen chooses to pull a tripping stunt, it’s McSwain. That will be the last person that little toad ever trips.

  • marcusgresham

    If Clifton Moore didn’t play against Eastern Michigan, which was a big line-up by Big 10 standards, he isn’t likely to be ready for minutes against Duke.

  • marcusgresham

    I saw the picture and noticed Green too. I just assumed he had just come out for some mistake he would liked to have not made. He also could’ve been in the midst of a conversation with one of the coaches since there’s someone in suit also seated next to him. I wouldn’t read too much into it; he’s been pretty involved all season.

  • bball at nick’s

    Lol.

  • marcusgresham

    1. When would be the last time Indiana had back-to-back sub-10 turnover games?
    2. Maybe Newkirk was more hurt than we realized.
    3. Freddie McSwain thinks less and less each game. I don’t say that in a negative way, but in regards to his actions being quicker, especially with the ball. He’s still got times when he doesn’t catch as cleanly as he’d like, but they’re also become less frequent….and he often looks just a-tad-more-than-slightly pissed off, and I like that out of a dude with his role. I kind of like the thought that he’s intimidating as hell.
    4. The whole team is thinking less, now that I mention it.
    5. IU did a good job of getting in the middle of the zone, and there are multiple ways to do it because Morgan and Davis are both good and willing passers. In the past there may have been 4 (or even 5) guys on the perimeter who were solid 3-point shooters, but the defense was able to keep them covered. When the ball gets to the free throw line against a zone, the zone has to collapse. When there’s a second guy down low the defense also has to account for him, so even though there may be one less perimeter shooter, the three guys out there have a chance to be more open than the four guys in the old system.
    6. More shameless self-promotion. I won Friday night so I’m back on Jeopardy Monday. Hopefully the people in Indianapolis can see it this time!

  • Many games for IU during the last week but it has been even tougher for Duke who has been playing (demanding games) out here in Portland Oregon, PK80 tournament for the last several days, 3 time zones away from their home base. They won’t get done until late today then, after flight home, they are going to be jet lagged. In watching duke as a team, you can see they don’t like to play defense yet, that should change once coach K coaches them up. If IU is going to have a chance against Duke this year, this should be the opportunity.

  • John D Murphy

    1. Progress is being made but it will not be linear, it will be in fits and starts.
    2. FM is playing great.
    3. There will be a different guy or two step up every game. It is just who this team is.
    4. CH, and the Robin to his Batman, ZM are going to change the feel of this team
    5. Cujo is closer than it looks to really contributing.

  • John D Murphy

    I’d like to know the last time you didn’t sound like a db

  • RonMlarkey

    5) very curious to know where this stems from?

  • RonMlarkey

    The question remains…

  • RonMlarkey

    Answer the question John.

  • Tenacious Newt

    You nae sort of Irishman with this bollocks, engineer up north or otherwise.

  • Congrats on the win Friday, by the way.

  • today in practice

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    Hey great comments! Anyone know who is winning the gold jersey each week? I was thinking that perhaps McRoberts won it and that is why he got playing time.

  • Ivan Renko

    if we shoot 57% from 3 against duke, I think the game is going to be winnable. i hope the Hoosier faithful show up ready to scream and yell like hell (i’m sure they will) and have some extra energy in their systems from thanksgiving meal haha. Going to need the place to be rocking to get duke’s inexperienced freshmen rattled.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    good win
    played much better D on the 3 pt line after halftime
    to me, the whole team is getting more comfortable with eachother
    FM is playing like we all hoped he could
    its a long season but this team is going to win a few we shouldn’t
    please don’t put DD on Bagley , JM is the man for the job

  • John D Murphy

    In the last few games: his drives are under control, he is making the easy play instead of going for the spectacular, the shots he is taking are ones he is supposed to be taking in the offense. He isn’t hitting his 3’s. He isn’t going to go 0 for the season. He might not be a Hulls or JBJ type shooter but he is going to finish the season in the high 20’s at worst. The key for him is to continue to get good shots in the flow of the offense and I’ve seen positive trends toward this.

  • John D Murphy

    Your ability to look up the stats is no more impaired than mine. I’m fine with Cujo’s improving shot selection. IMO, he’ll be fine. That doesn’t mean I expect him to start hitting 5/7 3’s a game.

  • John D Murphy

    Also, that is is most conversational I’ve seen any of your posts. It is appreciated.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    This has nothing to do with his family. I was strictly commenting on his coaching. These guys are paid more than well enough to stem the tide of losing a coaching job. If I’m not mistaken he still has some contact obligations that iu owes him. And if not, I’m sure he will get a job soon enough or will be an analyst over the season. The fact that you made this personal is sad and shows the mentality of most people. This was about HIS COACHING not his family, mine or yours.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    See, I like your response. Opinion but not personal. We can agree to disagree about creans ability. I agree he turned us around and had GREAT ENTHUSIASM. Almost to a fault. But he did not coach defense and half court offense was atrocious. Only offense was run and gun. For some reason there are some people on here that can’t disagree without making it personal. I entertain all rational debate.

  • VOXAC30

    I responded to you because you put down CTC. I’LL ALWAYS APPRECIATE WHAT HE DID. But it was time to move on I don’t think green was the guy that’s going to get us to a national title.

  • Outoftheloop

    He needs the low 40’s and toughness!

  • So IN Hoosier

    Congrats on the win today!! Keep it rolling!!

  • randy

    Maybe it is you reading too much into my comment. I stated, “Green seems…” and “I hope…”

    And I am relaxed. The season will play out whether I want it to or not. I just mentioned a photo and how odd it struck me, personally.

    Then, it seems, I was being portrayed as an anxiety ridden fool for even considering it possible a 19-year old athlete who is extremely competitive might be bitter or upset for being pulled out. I never said anything about Green being a problem.

    And, yes, it is only a moment in time, but as the saying goes, a picture can speak a thousand words.

    I have not posted in nearly a year. Now, I remember why.

  • randy

    I agree we can’t possibly know what is going on inside Green’s head, but why is it that you believe you can? Interesting…

    I never said he was jealous or bitter. I said it looks like it in the photo. You are saying he is NOT bitter or jealous.

    Anyway, who cares? I was just pointing out something I noticed in a photograph. I haven’t been hook line and sinkered into anything. Thanks for your concern though.

  • randy

    Really? Are you suggesting I am a drama queen for merely pointing out what looks like a momentarily disengaged player upset on the bench, either upset with himself or upset over the fact he was pulled? If you are referencing me, then I think that is a bit harsh. I never said he WAS. I said it looked like he might be. That shouldn’t be a terribly hard concept to grasp if you played any sport. I never liked being pulled, and I was usually mad at myself for making a mistake. I hope that is what Green has on his mind, or like others have said, maybe there is a coach talking with him. I only know the photo suggests to me he might be disengaged (for one reason or another) from the action on the court that has all his teammates celebrating. That is all I claimed to know.

    I am only on here once or twice a week, so my responses are delayed. I hate drama, unless it’s on a stage. However, I will stand up for myself.

  • Ole Man

    Did I call you out by name?
    Unless you consider yourself to be one, don’t react so.
    Shakespeare would have said, “Methinks thou doest protest too much.”
    I thought your comment borderline, but considered.

  • randy

    You did not call me out by name. That is why I asked if you were referring to me. Thanks for the reply and the clarity. It is much appreciated.