Jacksonville was hot from beyond the arc in the first half (5-of-9) in their loss to Indiana on Friday night, and it’s a theme that continued until the final buzzer (10-of-17, 58.8 percent).
The Dolphins did hit a few of the contested variety, but some defensive miscues by the Hoosiers also gave them open looks. A look at four such miscues in the latest edition of Film Session.
I. We start this sequence with the Hoosiers on offense. Jacksonville is applying a little pressure in the full court. Yogi Ferrell has the ball and Tom Crean — as you can hear in the video — yells “Get it down to Jordan!” to Ferrell. Hulls is down on the right wing unguarded:
Hulls — as he did five times in the first half — hits the three.
But Jacksonville turns it right back around and gives the Hoosiers a taste of their own medicine. Both Ferrell and Hulls are calling for someone to pick up Jeremy Bogus, as he’s left unmarked. (For the record: Christian Watford — the last one across the timeline — had been checking Bogus during this stretch of the game):
Bogus has plenty of space once he receives the ball:
I. Though Indiana eventually won this game by 34 points (Jacksonville actually covered the 36-point spread thanks to a late 3-pointer), it was a slow burn to get up to that mark. The Dolphins trailed by a respectable 15 at half and Indiana didn’t punch the lead to 30 until the 8:52 mark of the second half. They were able to keep it somewhat close because they were working their offense for open looks early and connecting. The Dolphins hit 47 percent of their first half shots and were particularly strong beyond the arc (5-of-9). And it ended up being a solid night from distance for the game for them as well (10-of-17, 58.8 percent).
What ultimately did Jacksonville in were two things. No. 1) It sent the Hoosiers to the line at a high rate. IU was in the bonus by the 11:34 mark of the first half and got over a quarter of its points (24 on 31 attempts, 77.4 percent) at the line. Jacksonville also coughed the ball up 20 times (27.7 turnover percentage) which Indiana, as it often does, converted on heavily (34 points). So from the line and off turnovers alone, Indiana scored 58 points — 62.3 percent of its offensive output.
You simply can’t give a team as good as Indiana that many gift points and expect to stay close enough to be in striking distance. Especially if you’re already giving up a sizable advantage in the talent department.
II. A night to remember for the likes of Jordan Hulls and Yogi Ferrell. Hulls was hot in the first half from beyond the arc — 5-of-7 — and even banked one in. After he hit his sixth early in the second half (18:39), it seemed as if he may be on pace to challenge the IU record of nine made threes in a game (a co-record held by Rod Wilmont and Matt Roth). But Hulls never made another shot from beyond the arc the rest of the contest. He finished 6-of-9 from 3-point range and scored 20 points.
Ferrell continues to set his teammates up left and right, but tonight was particularly impressive: The freshman tallied 10 assists against zero turnovers. He’s been great at finding teammates on the break and in the halfcourt, and such vision and skill will come in handy when Indiana gets slowed down by teams that have more equivalent talent during Big Ten season and need a creator and facilitator against better defenses.
After a week off, the No. 5 Hoosiers return to action for their final non-conference game on Friday night with Jacksonville at Assembly Hall. The Dolphins (5-7) are coming off a 65-53 win over Furman on Dec. 22. Indiana will be looking for its 17th consecutive win at Assembly Hall.
The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with Kevin Kugler and Jim Jackson on the call.
Unlike the last two seasons where Indiana jumped straight into Big Ten play following Christmas break, the Hoosiers will have one game to get back into the swing of things before heading on the road to Iowa City on New Year’s Eve.
The final non-conference opponent, Jacksonville, also appears to be the weakest according to both the Pomeroy (308) and Sagarin (315) ratings. Two of their five wins have come over non-Division I opponents and their best win is over 2-10 Missouri State — the Missouri Valley Conference’s worst team.
Just two players are scoring in double figures for Jacksonville — freshman guard Jarvis Haywood (11.2) and junior guard Keith McDougald (10.0). Neither player is particularly efficient as Haywood’s eFG% is 45.4 and McDougald checks-in at 38.3.
Forward Glenn Powell is the primary front court contributor and the senior averages 8.3 points and 7.5 rebounds. Powell has been effective on both the offensive (14.0 OR%) and defensive (23.6 DR%) glass. But like most bigs at the lower levels of Division I, his 6-6 frame is a obstacle when trying to compete against high major talent.
One other player to watch is 6-6 forward Dylan Fritsch, who has taken 77 of his 107 field goal attempts from behind the 3-point line. Fritsch is shooting 50% on 2-point attempts, but just 32.5 percent on 3-pointers.
The Hoosiers opened as a 37.5 favorite in this game and for good reason. Jacksonville has one of the worst defenses in the country and their offense isn’t far behind, either.