The Minute After: Austin Peay

  • 12/22/2016 9:41 pm in

Thoughts on a 97-62 win over the Governors:

In their final cupcake contest of the season, the Hoosiers feasted on the Governors.

We’ve mentioned a couple times since the weekend that after back-to-back seasons of elite 3-point shooting, Indiana’s taken a step back so far in 2016-17. But in their final two non-conference home games this week since then, the Hoosiers have trended upwards from distance, hitting 50 percent (26-of-52) from behind the arc in wins over Delaware State and Austin Peay. Tonight they hit 15-of-26 for a blistering 57.7 percent. Indiana also shot over 60 percent in both games this week, the first time the Hoosiers have done so since the 1998-99 season.

Tonight’s barrage was aided by an early zone from the Governors against which Indiana had no problem finding open shooters. Robert Johnson was particularly hot, hitting a career-high six from deep on ten attempts. He finished with 20 points, one off his career-high. Since the Butler loss, there’s been some talk about Johnson needing to be more involved offensively. He finished 7-of-14 in both contest at home this week. In both of those games, he took the most shots of any Hoosier.

There had also been talk about Josh Newkirk downshifting his shot attempts in favor of more of a distributor role. Newkirk was terrific at setting up teammates tonight on his way to an 11-assist, 11-point performance. Newkirk found shooters in the half court and teammates streaking to the basket on the break during his 26 minutes of action. Newkirk was also part of the “Don’t Hop” moment, perhaps the most entertaining part of a game an Indiana win was a foregone conclusion.

Zach McRoberts plays hard, makes the hustle plays and has proven to be a solid defender at times. However, what McRoberts has had a tendency to do too often is pass up good looks and hot potato the ball to anther teammate, making the extra-extra pass. In the first half, he had a drive from the left corner where he decided against a possible shot at the rim for a pass out to the perimeter. But in the second half, McRoberts got involved streaking down the paint and putting up two shots. The first he was fouled and hit both from the line. The second he splashed in. His four points were a season-high. If he at least proves he can keep defenses honest against him as conference play begins next week, it may help him continue to be a part of the rotation.

Juwan Morgan came down with an ankle injury near the end of the first half, but Alex noted he appeared to be walking fine on it despite not taking the floor in the second half. So it’s possible Morgan won’t be out for too long, if at all, with the Big Ten opener against Nebraska tipping off this coming Wednesday.

The Cornhuskers will provide a tougher test than this week’s contest, as they currently sit at No. 99 in the KenPom rankings, one ahead of Fort Wayne (100).

Filed to:

  • Devout Hoosier

    More assertiveness by RJ and more facilitation from JN is exactly what this team needed and didn’t get in the loss to Butler. Nice to see these “live practices” put to productive uses. Get ready for the Big10 and lville. Defending conference champions, go two in a row!

  • Makes sense that we hit so many threes if they were playing zone. No reason not to take open shots if they’re being handed on a platter.

    Good to hear about JM. Fingers crossed that it’s indeed nothing serious. And no way he should have gone back in if he was the slightest bit dinged up.

    Can’t wait to get started on the real season.

  • ForeverIU

    I agree it’s what we need, but achieving it against the #347 defense means very little. If anything it could make us lazy. Soon we’ll be facing the #1 defense in the nation.

  • bpw97214

    Can someone explain what the “don’t hop” means? I didn’t catch the game….

  • It’s briefly explained in the linked tweet. Sounds like the hop that’s either caused a couple of fouls on three-point shots or the rash of travelling calls we’ve seen. Otherwise, I have no idea.

  • Bring ’em on! Only way to see where we’re at.

  • Zach

    It has to do with hopping to get into defensive position instead of sliding your feet. Crean trying out a new tactic to get his point across and enforce proper mechanics

  • Robert Weber

    Anyone know where to find the list for the current homecourt win streaks? I’ve googled it and all I can find are historic records.

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    Ryan, you have a paragraph starting with Josh McRoberts. I’ve seen it spelled Zach and Zack and even Zak, but never Josh. =)

    As always, thanks for the analysis.

  • bpw97214

    Gotcha. That’s what I would’ve guessed, so thanks for confirming.

  • Ole Man

    CTC said he could not have come back in.
    Hopefully, he’s a fast healer.

  • Gpbeachlife88fan

    Agreed Mark , going be handed 25/30 shot then attemt every shot , 10% made is a sizeable amount on scoreboard points …..

  • vicbert caladipo

    CTC singled out JN as the culprit for the sign. Instead of moving his feet on Dhe hopped. Coach said it’s not unusual for them to use props to remind players

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