The Minute After: Notre Dame

  • 12/16/2017 6:07 pm in

Thought on an 80-77 win against Notre Dame: 

Down eight with just 2:01 to go, the Hoosiers looked just about sunk.

Sure, they’d rallied from a 14-point deficient in the first half to draw within one early in the second half. And they’d rebounded from another big hole — this time 13 points at the 16:50 mark in the second half — to pull within two (51-49) with 10:16 to go.

But unless something big happened, someone really caught fire, Notre Dame seemed destined to run out the clock on the Hoosiers, another chance to beat a marquee team slipping through the hands of the Hoosiers.

That something big happened.

Juwan Morgan, who with each game puts Indiana on his back as he asserts himself as the alpha of this squad, went on an absolute tear to close out the contest. Morgan’s dominance was a sight to behold, one of the greatest individual performance from a Hoosier in the Inside the Hall era. The junior closed out the second half scoring the team’s final 12 points to put this thing into overtime tied up at 65-all. Morgan knew he had the hot hand and played with a supreme confidence. He simply wouldn’t be denied.

Morgan wound up scoring 22 of Indiana’s final 27 points en route to a career-high 34 on a hyper-efficient 13-of-17 performance from the floor. The junior added 11 boards to boot in 40 minutes of action.

But Indiana’s come-from-behind victory had another hero as well: Zach McRoberts. McRoberts did his typical dirty work, keeping possessions alive and defending with vigor. He also snagged nine rebounds this afternoon, none more key than his final of the contest. Down one at 77-76 with 11 seconds remaining in overtime, Morgan stepped to the line for an and-1 opportunity. He missed, failing to tie the contest. But despite not having position, McRoberts was able to snag the offensive rebound. He quickly found Morgan who’d run down to the open right block with a pass. Morgan dunked it home to put Indiana up for good.

It was a remarkable play you almost never see. But it couldn’t be more indicative of these two as players. McRoberts making the hustle play, Morgan seemingly everywhere down the stretch to bring this one home for the Hoosiers.

Morgan’s performance was particularly important on an afternoon Indiana got no-show performances from De’Ron Davis (two points) and Josh Newkirk (zero points, fouled out). Robert Johnson came to life in the second half on his way to 20 points and a 5-of-10 performance from distance. But the senior had six turnovers — including two where he lacked court awareness and stepped out of bounds beyond the 3-point line. Indiana just can’t have that from him.

Johnson’s six turnovers contributed to an Indiana turnover percentage of 22 percent, which Notre Dame converted into 21 points. If not for Morgan, this could have been the difference, as Indiana’s cold start turned around into 1.09 points per possession, besting Notre Dame’s 1.05 PPP which was below the Irish’s season average. While Bonzi Colson did score 29 points (9-of-21), the Hoosiers really made him work for them as he had to find other ways to score. Indiana consistently harassed Colson with double teams. The Hoosiers also flashed strong team defense, often making Notre Dame take less-than-ideal attempts late in the shot clock.

Indiana is through its brutal five-game stretch with a 2-3 record and a win over a ranked opponent on its resume. This was a hard-fought, impressive win, one this evolving team in its first year under Archie Miller was bound to get at some point.

Filed to:

  • Outoftheloop

    Wrong. Football does it every year for walk-ons. It is fine with the B1G and with IU. You reward great effort by a walk-on. The player did not enroll in IU for a scholarship. The scholarship money will be going to waste otherwise. Totally different from “yanking” a scholarship from a kid who came to IU for the scholarship.

  • JethroTroll

    Well, first off vicbert caladipo is the one that made the initial assessment, so maybe you should start with him. And i stand by my response, regardless of how good Morgan has been playing, he’s not the ‘front runner’ for B1G POY. This shouldn’t even be an issue, but unfortunately it is on this board. And lastly, maybe you should concentrate on the subject matter instead of my name, which clearly went over your head.

  • dennis powell

    The way you defended him in your initial comment and your response of “get a real life” indicates a bias towards him. You base your defense seemingly on one play as you’ve mentioned it twice. Only someone with an irrational love for a player could possibly defend him on a single play. As a starter shouldn’t we expect more.

  • dennis powell

    If you haven’t seen Langford play then maybe you should. He’s the real deal

  • IUMIKE1

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I think I’m pretty safe in saying that you’re in a small club if you’re thinking that RL wouldn’t make us a much better team than we will probably be without him. I’m not saying we can’t be good without him but rather we can be a better team with him.

  • dwdkc

    This team, and next year’s team with Romeo would be so much better. We desperately need outside shooting and he brings that and much more. I was surprised when Brey said he didn’t double Juwan because he wanted to make sure he took away 3 point shooting. I expect much more doubling of Juwan (and De’Ron) in the Big 10 and a continued hard time converting the 3 to make them pay. Next year with Romeo the inside will be a much easier place for De”Ron and Juwan to continue their damage. He makes the pieces fit together better.

  • Koko

    To start with it is obvious you didn’t fully read my first comment to you…I was not asking you a question or for some explanation on why you think JM isn’t a front runner for POY. I never asked for you to repeat the same thing you wrote to loop. And yes of course it’s all vicbert’s fault for saying it in the first place. Better yet why didn’t you go after vic like you did loop…they said the same thing didn’t they? Understandably vic, loop and many others on this board are totally excited about the game yesterday and will say things like vic and loop said about JM. It was an exciting and gritty performance by JM yesterday and I’m sure you can agree with that. And please explain to me how the name jethro troll went over my head…..Jethro is a name a hick from French Lick would have and troll says what it says. Besides I doubt you are old enough to know who Jethro Tull is.

  • Ole Man

    Not going to “debate” this with you loop.
    Google is your friend.
    The B1G and IU accordingly adopted a different policy a few years back, think it was 2014.

  • JethroTroll

    Trust me, i fully understood. I find it amazing that you questioned and have attempted (poorly i might add) to belittle me for not thinking that Morgan is the B1G POY frontrunner, yet you gave free pass to the OP. And how you’ve somehow turned this into me blaming him for bringing up. That couldn’t further from the truth. You obviously have an agenda, and have resorted to odd assumptions add assertions to assert it.

    All i did was disagree with a statement, and have gotten inane, irrelevant smug responses(from you) and name calling. Keep in mind, I haven’t attacked anybody, but it’s me you’ve chosen to come after. That is why i mentioned the OP’s original statement. Didn’t realize that would be so hard for you to follow either. There’s way too many posters like in this board to make worth while, informed discussion possible.

    And no, you don’t understand my name. But nice try at trying to demean or assume how old i am, or everything else you’ve swung and missed on about me.

  • randy

    There is someone in East Lansing who was expected to earn that spot (his numbers are still very good, especially considering the team he is surrounded with), but Jordan Murphy in Minneapolis is averaging 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game as well as shooting over 60%..

  • Outoftheloop

    That was a game winning play, as was Zach’s rebound and assist. Only an imbecile would presume to intuit my bias, if any, from so paltry a simple size. “Only someone with an irrational love”, such drivel! I repeat: get a real life!

  • Outoftheloop

    You do not know that policy. There are different policies for recruits and transfers versus walk-ons. I did look it up.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Hard to argue Davis wasn’t a “no-show”. He barely played, so was a virtual non-factor in the game. Glad he got that bucket when it was needed but we need a lot more out of him.

  • IdahoHoosier

    And he probably tipped the other 3 offensive boards. The guy is just everywhere you want him to be. Great timing and effort.

  • dennis powell

    That is actually the first time you’ve said it to me. You used it on someone else you didn’t agree with. I’m guessing it’s your go to line.

  • Outoftheloop

    Name and date please, I doubt your recollection.