Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Duke

  • 11/30/2017 1:27 am in

Indiana battled toe-to-toe with No. 1 Duke for 35 minutes on Wednesday night in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, but struggled down the stretch and fell 91-81 to the Blue Devils. The loss dropped Indiana to 4-3 on the season.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss:

· Indiana is making progress offensively: Indiana had to play at a high level offensively to stay in the game against Duke and for 35 minutes, the Hoosiers did just that.

Indiana was ultra-efficient on 2s (25-of-38) and outscored Duke in the paint, 46-44. The Hoosiers also committed just nine turnovers as the decision making continues to improve. It was Indiana’s third straight game with less than 10 turnovers.

So what was missing from making this a complete performance offensively?

Indiana shot just 5-of-21 on 3s and 16-of-26 from the free throw line. Those are two numbers that would be hard to overcome against any team, but it’s nearly impossible to beat Duke hitting less than 25 percent from the perimeter and leaving 10 points at the line.

Still, this is an offensive performance Indiana should be able to build on with four tough games on the horizon.

· Defensively, Indiana had no answer: Archie Miller’s message in his postgame press conference was straight forward: Indiana should win games on its home court in which it scores 81 points. And he’s right.

But Duke is an offensive juggernaut. Marvin Bagley III had another double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Wendell Carter added a double-double of his own with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Trevon Duval had 15 points, six assists and no turnovers. And Grayson Allen, Duke’s most experienced player, made big plays down the stretch and finished with 21 points.

Could Indiana have done some things better defensively? Perhaps. But there are few teams who will slow Duke down this season. The Blue Devils entered Wednesday’s game with the nation’s most efficient offense and their 1.32 points per possession in the win only solidified that.

· Davis dominant at times in the post: Wednesday’s loss didn’t get off to a great start for De’Ron Davis. The sophomore picked up two fouls in the game’s first five minutes and went to the bench for the remainder of the first half.

But Davis responded to the rough start with an impressive second half. In 16 second half minutes, he scored 12 points and Carter had little answer for him in the post. Davis scored with a variety of post moves and was patient with his decision making.

It was the type of performance Indiana is going to need from its leading big man as Big Ten play opens on Saturday afternoon at Michigan.

· Upperclassmen deliver strong performances: Juwan Morgan and Robert Johnson played well over IU’s recent three-game winning streak and both guys were effective in the loss to Duke.

Morgan had 14 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 31 minutes and Johnson had 17 points, four rebounds and two assists in 33 minutes.

“I think if we get better from here, day-by-day, drill by drill in practice,” Johnson said postgame. “I think we’ll be right where we want to be at the end of the season.”

· Indiana has to put this loss in the rearview mirror quickly: By the end of Miller’s opening statement in his press conference, it was clear that he was already thinking ahead to Saturday’s road trip to Michigan.

The Hoosiers now have two days off before the Big Ten opener in Ann Arbor and then a home game two days later against Iowa. Even though Indiana came up short on Wednesday, the Hoosiers played with a lot of emotion and simply can’t afford to have a letdown in terms of energy on Saturday.

“I don’t care who you play,” Miller said. ” If you play Duke or you play Arkansas State. I think the next step for this team is to bring what we brought tonight and be better at it and be ready to do that against Michigan on Saturday.”

Filed to:

  • Arch Puddington

    Here is a takeaway: if the ACC-B1G challenge is any indication, the B1G stinks. Maybe historically so. And while that is sad on many levels, it appears that at our best we are more competitive than we looked even a couple of weeks ago. If we can make any progress on defense, we might yet end up a respectable team.

  • Miamihoosier

    I think we’re one game away max, from inserting Colin into the starting line up. We’re just a much better team when he’s on the floor. That’d give us 3 seniors and a junior starting…that kind of experience shouldn’t be undervalued. I’m so glad he came back. On another note, I know a lot of folks love the lunch pale element to his game, but if McRoberts is playing meaningful minutes this year we are likely in trouble. You dont ever want to be in a 4 on 5 scenario on offense, but that’s what it is when he’s out there. I just don’t think we have a strong enough offensive team to put guys out there who are no threat to score. Looking forward to Michigan on Saturday. Morgan on Wagner should be a great match up.

  • kaponya44

    This was a good effort, yet it was one of those games where a large number of little things added up to cost IU any chance at building a slim margin for error going into the last 5 minutes. The missed FT’s , the hurried 3’s, and the silly fouls all caught to Indiana and combined to do them in , on every possession where it wasn’t a Duke player making an absolutely clutch shot..Duke didn’t have to hit from deep because they converted so many regular 3 point plays on silly fouls.Then they converted the freebies mostly. There was still a lot more to like from IU than not, out there. Play that way up in Ann Arbor and they just might start off 1-0 in the B1G!

  • Oldguyy

    Wow. You couldn’t be more wrong about McRoberts. It’s amazing that you can’t see what he brings to the team.

  • Donnie Vick

    McRoberts is not why we lost the game.

  • randy

    I agree completely.

  • randy

    I like his effort. Any time he is on the floor you’ll get fundamental basketball and a high basketball IQ. With that said, I was a bit surprised by the little amount of time Justin Smith played, and equally as surprised that Curtis Jones didn’t log any minutes.

  • randy

    Outside of Michigan State, I don’t believe there will be any competition as difficult as Duke. I’m not saying IU won’t get there butts spanked by lesser teams occasionally, or that particular matchups will be even less in our favor, or that IU will always play with that amount of effort or always play that solid, but if they improve on free throws and three-point field goal efficiency, then they can compete with anyone in the Big Ten. They nearly knocked off Duke, albeit at home, and shot 25% from three and missed enough freebies at the line to send it to overtime.

  • RonMlarkey

    The rotation will get shorter in big and close games. Mcroberts seems to be taking cutting into minutes Justin smith was playing in the beginning of the year despite him bringing nothing to the offensive end and CuJo well, he is a poor shooter and does not bring much else to the table.

  • Kyl470

    Was Duke the better team? Yes. However, watching every bit of contact get called for a foul in the second half was tough. I’ve watched games where little bumps on lay up get called for fouls, but only when the player misses the shot. Duke had several “And 1’s” where the contact was minimal and clearly didn’t have any impact on the shooter. Either way when you shot 24% of 3’s and 62% on free throws it’s going to be tough to beat a team with superior talent.

    Also I don’t think this will have any real impact on the team the rest of the way. All teams (not just IU) tend to play to the level of their competition. I doubt we see this same level of intensity tonight in the games vs. Michigan and Iowa.

  • Hardwood83

    I completely agree about CH but mostly disagree about ZM.

    I sure don’t want (or expect) to see McRoberts playing 10+ mins a game regularly, but he generally plays smart. A player that you can trust not to do “too much” and hustles while providing a few spot mins here or there has value. Especially as thin as the IU is on the front-line.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I’ll disagree about McRoberts but only kind of. McRoberts playing alongside starters would be manageable. McRoberts playing with a lineup of Hartman at the 5, McSwain, Durham, and DG (or something close to that last night) is way too small, with not enough offensive power. So I think McRoberts by himself is not a problem and can provide valuable minutes, but man is this team shallow on the bench.

  • Ivan Renko

    B1G sure does stink. I was almost embarrassed sitting alone on my couch Tuesday scrolling through NW losing at the buzzer, wiscy getting manhandled, iowa getting manhandled, maryland and rutgers playing close but losing, illinois letting a BAD wake forest team slip away… then add in last night with Michigan getting manhandled, ohio state getting manhandled, and a close (ish) loss for penn state…. SAD!

  • Arch Puddington

    Well, when you put it THAT way it does sound kind of bad.

  • Outoftheloop

    IU needs to have superior effort every night! That is non-negotiable! There are no excuses: “away game, 2 games in 3 days, etc.”

  • Outoftheloop

    Good post.

  • Outoftheloop

    We are not that “shallow on the bench”. Our freshmen players: Al and Justin, are good, but not ready for the top team in the country, just yet. Clifton is not ready for any good team, just yet. The entire team is getting better every game, including the freshmen and the bench.

  • Outoftheloop

    I applaud Zach’s effort and playing within himself. But he is 6’5 and not strong or a great jumper like Freddie. He is no help to our thin “front-line”.

  • Outoftheloop

    After MSU, clearly #1, and MN the B1G is not good. IU, Purdue, MD, NW should all compete for 3rd-7th with WI.

  • Outoftheloop

    I totally agree!

  • IdahoHoosier

    Agreed that everyone is getting better. But you just strengthened my argument. You named only 3 guys on the bench who you admit aren’t ready for big games. I think IU has a very bright future and some good players, but that is a pretty shallow bench with no size beyond DD. It just is what it is. No shame in dealing with what we’ve got.

  • TomJameson

    Out “big men” had a lot of foul problems, and that’s one reason McRoberts was playing. Then there is the hustle he brings to the game, IMO, more than any other player. If he was a scoring threat it would be a lot better, but he still brings something to the game… hustle and a spark.

  • bg12

    I just hope and pray that this team can play close to that level of intensity in other games. Lack of consistency has been a common theme for these teams the past few years. If they can stay healthy and bring consistency, this team has the potential to get some good wins and hopefully make the tourney. We just have to trust Archie

  • Ole Man

    We are shallow in the front court.
    Sorry, but aside from DD there just isn’t any height.
    No matter how they hustle, giving up 5 and 6 inches doesn’t work very long.
    You’ve got JM, CH and ??
    McFly is okay for certain situations.
    Other than that, little experience and just not up to speed yet.

  • Ole Man

    If the B1G stinks, then the teams that beat them aren’t really that much better.
    How about the B1G beyond the top 2 or 3 is a muddy mess.
    The ACC beyond the top 3 or 4 is a muddy mess.
    That is far more accurate.

  • StudentHoosier

    Great game. Loved watching it up close in the student section. Here are some of my takeaways:

    6. I’m not sure if this was able to be seen on TV, but this was one of my favorite moments of the game. Right before the under 8 in the first half, we made a basket and were running back on D. Juwan was clearly gassed and made a motion to the bench that he needed to be taken out. 5 seconds later, as Duke was setting up, they made an entry pass that Juwan, visibly exhausted, was able to tap away and set up fast break points for us (this may have been the Freddie dunk, not sure). But it was just great to see someone so gassed still give it his all and make a play. I loved it.

    7. I love Deron Davis, and this comment isn’t to mean anything other than what it states. But for the last half of the second half, Deron was a walking liability. Our offense totally stalled because of his inability to make free throws. We couldn’t do anything, because when we got close, he would get fouled and there was practically no consequence for Duke to foul him. Love the guy, but his inability to make free throws down the stretch completely derailed us.

    8. How about Collin? IMHO, last night he looked like the missing piece of this offense. The guy is a LEADER. He does everything on the floor, and our whole team just looks different and improved with him out there.

    9. I’m going to use logic on this take that might sound like an exaggeration but I think makes a lot of sense. So let’s say we won last night. People would rightfully say things along the lines of “We beat the #1 team in the country. We can beat anybody.” Now there would have been a lot of truth to that statement. So now let’s look at what actually happened. We battled like hell for 35 minutes and had Duke’s back against the wall. We came THAT close to beating them, so I think it’s safe to say we can come THAT close to beating, and potentially beat any other team in the country. Just using the logic of the counterfactual of last night.

    10. What an environment. This student fanbase is obsessed with Archie, and for good reason. We all love him. We showed last night that even with a 4-2, young, not expected to do much team, SSAH can be a very intimidating place to play. Let’s keep that up.

    We lost to Duke. Oh well. Let’s move on. Go Hoosiers. Godspeed.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Justin wasn’t quite ready for Duke. Or Duke level bigs. But we won’t play duke level bigs often …. so I think he’s ready for 80% of Big 10 teams

  • IUBizmark

    ACC teams in the Top 25 on Kenpom: 5
    Big Ten teams in the Top 25 on Kenpom: 2 (Minn. at #26)

    Big Ten has earned a lot of losses to low level teams thus far on top of getting blown out in the Challenge.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    The B1G consists of 3 teams, maybe 4, that could realistically get to the sweet 16, the rest is a mess …. I thought we’d be lucky to win 4 games in the challenge …. now just 2….. ugh!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    The upside is that if IU continues to improve as they have so far, a top 7 finish is definately attainable

  • SeeingRed

    Agree. The league appears to be gawdawful. Everything goes in cycles but I didn’t think it I would see it go backward this much. Upside is maybe this IU team has some opportunities to get a few more league wins than expected, gain some confidence, etc.

  • Arch Puddington

    “If the B1G stinks, then the teams that beat them aren’t really that much better”

    The B1G just took the biggest beat down in the history of the ACC-B1G challenge. To say “and therefore the ACC isn’t that good” is a total non-sequitur. Miami beat Minnesota at Minnesota. UNC ran Michigan out of the gym. Wisconsin only scored 37 points — and got beat by 12. Clemson crushed Ohio State. There is simply no way to conclude that victories like this somehow diminish the victors, although I salute you for the pretzel like logic. The ACC may or may not be good, I’m taking no stand on that. But my original statement stands up just fine based on what we know at this point.

  • SeeingRed

    Two bad losses not withstanding, Purdue is the second best team in the league. Big step down from MSU, but come on. PU is not in an even mix with the teams you list. After Purdue there is Minny, close behind.

    Then you can throw about 5 teams in a blender and anything could happen.

  • bg12

    Very good post!

  • IU_Nation

    Question: what happened to those cardobard heads that the students would wave behind the backboards to distract the other team during free throws? Does anyone know?

  • Kyl470

    That was a Crean thing.

  • IU_Nation

    Takeaway 6- Marvin Bagley is the best draft prospect I’ve seen since Anthony Davis. He is that good in my opinion. Scary to think he could still be in high school right now, too

  • Ivan Renko

    great post. I wasn’t at last night’s game, but any chance you were there for 2011’s UK win or 2012/2013’s UNC & Michigan wins? wanted to compare the atmosphere in AH last night to those games, which were the best atmospheres I’ve ever experience there.

  • Calbert_

    The 2012 UNC game was the loudest I have ever heard SSAH.

  • Ivan Renko

    what a game. luckily sheehey was on fire. IIRC watford’s only bucket that game came from an uncharacteristic dunk.

  • Fifer39

    The best game from a ‘performance’ perspective in the last 10 years.

  • Koko

    But if we do see last nights level of play against Michigan and Iowa who do you think will win? I came away from last night with the point of view that after the final buzzer against Iowa we will be 2-0 in the B1G. The boys can play and the coach is pushing the right buttons. I look for them to play as well in Michigan.

  • MrNobody

    I think with this coach there will be no excuses. I’ll leave it at that.

  • Ole Man

    I’m sure if we had beaten Duke someone would have posted “overrated.” Thus diminishing the victory.
    How many ACC games have you watched?
    B1G is down this year. ACC beating them means nothing.
    But you stick to your story of how your statement doesn’t diminish any victories by IU; and how it doesn’t diminish the accomplishments of the ACC.
    I’m tired of words like “stink”, “suck”, and all the other lousy adjectives.
    Don’t think they belong in a basketball discussion.
    But if your PRETZEL vocabulary demands the use of them rather than objectively discussing it, then by all means go for it.
    I’m done arguing.

  • Ole Man

    Your last statement is patently false.

  • Arch Puddington

    Huh? I’m not sure you even know what it is you are arguing. This started with me saying the B1G stinks, which you originally disagreed with by making the nonsensical point that you can’t tell that since the ACC also stinks, but which you now agree with by saying “B1G is down this year.” Then you tell me to “stick to my story” that that my statement doesn’t diminish IU’s victories, which is not a story I’ve told in the first place.

    I’ll say again: Huh?

    You are returning to your petty and personal antagonism, Ole Man.

  • gokartmozart89

    I was at both, and nothing compares to the Kentucky game.

  • IUBizmark

    How are you liking today’s article on the Big Ten?

  • Ole Man

    A lot better than anything written by our membership which includes idiotic words such as “stinks” and “sucks.”
    He lays it out in an analytical method and supports what he has to say.
    That’s much more acceptable than the “armchair quarterback” nonsense that has been posted on here.
    Sorry, but your attempt to rub something in my face is a fail as one of the first responses to the article was a very reasoned one by yours truly.