Five takeaways from Indiana’s exhibition win over Marian

  • 10/29/2017 11:32 am in

In our first exhibition look at the 2017-2018 Indiana Hoosiers in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, the result was a comfortable 93-62 win over NAIA Marian University on Saturday night.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Knights:

· Devonte Green continues hot shooting … and stuffs the stat sheet in other ways: Devonte Green, who primarily came off the bench last season, is making a case that he deserves major minutes as a sophomore.

Green was his team’s leading scorer in the Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage and he followed up that performance with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting against Marian. He was particularly impressive from inside the arc, as he hit seven of his nine 2-point attempts, including several mid-range jumpers.

But it wasn’t just the scoring that made Green stand out on Saturday. He also had seven assists, six rebounds, two blocks and a steal while committing just two turnovers in 30 minutes.

“That’s who he’s been every day in practice,” Archie Miller said postgame. “He does a little bit of everything for us. I think you’re starting to see a guy, if he stays with it, he’s going to be a very, very important player for us.”

· IU limits turnovers in debut: The Hoosiers committed just 10 turnovers on Saturday night for a turnover percentage of 13.8. That number would have been a season-low in 2016-17.

In IU’s two exhibition games a season ago, the Hoosiers posted turnover percentages of 23.5 and 18.8 percent.

Miller was pleased with the performance, especially when you consider the source of several of IU’s miscues.

“We had 10 turnovers in the game, 17 assists,” he said. “Obviously, very good. If you look at our guards, they kept it down. Justin (Smith), being in his first college game against somebody else, had four. You’re going to hope a freshman obviously is going to learn the ropes a little bit. Even Clifton (Moore) had one. So five of our ten came from two freshmen in their first game. They’ll get better.”

· Newkirk, Jones also standout in backcourt: Senior Josh Newkirk and sophomore Curtis Jones also put together strong performances on Saturday, combining for 26 points and no turnovers in 49 minutes.

Newkirk was efficient – 3-of-4 on 3s and 4-of-6 from the free throw line – and Jones hit two of his four attempts from distance. The pair helped pick up the slack on an off night for Robert Johnson, who was just 3-of-13 from the field.

Given that Newkirk and Jones both had turnover percentages over 20 last season, the fact that neither guy had a miscue on Saturday is notable.

“Just being self-accountable,” Newkirk said when asked what the key is to limiting turnovers. “Just making the right play. Getting into our offense. Just getting into our offense and making the right play and just things like that.”

· Encouraging moments for a pair of freshmen: Justin Smith was the first freshman off the bench and his performance had its ups and downs.

On the plus side, Smith finished with nine points (5-of-5 from the free throw line) in 14 minutes. However, he committed a team-high four turnovers and also committed four fouls.

Clifton Moore, meanwhile, didn’t play until late in the second half and finished with five points and five rebounds in 11 minutes. Moore still has to gain strength if he’s going to play regularly in the paint against Big Ten opponents, but his agility for his size is impressive.

“These guys have been very coachable,” Miller explained. “They’re trying their best to learn what we’re trying to get them to do. If you have a player that’s willing to learn and willing to go through it the hard way, then they’re going to experience at some point in time some good moments. When? That’s all up to when they can find a way to become a college basketball player.”

· A few changes to the game day experience at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall: As you expect when there’s a change in leadership, there were changes to the game day experience at Saturday’s exhibition.

Most notably, the big heads are gone from the end zones behind the baskets. There was pre-game music, but no DJ live on the floor. And the pregame introductions were completely revamped with a much more modern look and sound.

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  • kennygeorge

    Happy for the team on their first win under coach Archie and ass’ts. Way to go. Only one thing is showing on the 5 things we learned.????

  • VegasHoosier

    Yeah, I’m only seeing one thing too.

  • It’s fixed now.

  • Mark Bando

    My #1 takeaway is the improved defensive play. And with freshman Smith’s 4 turnovers, only 6 for the rest of the team….wow. Also like having numerous players in double figure points.

  • Jay Skibbe

    Miller Time, better defense, less turnovers !!! DISCIPLINE IS BACK AT IU !!!

  • And the defense got better as the game went on — specifically, problems during the first half were fixed in the second half. Archie knows how to utilize that 15 minute break, for sure. And I too was incredibly impressed with the lack of turnovers — the guards in particular were taking really, really good care of the ball. And that’s something that should only get better with time, along with the defense. I didn’t see any inherent weakness in the team that I don’t feel confident Archie can and will address. So my biggest takeaway from the game is that I’m even more certain that this team will improve and hit its absolute ceiling based on the roster’s talent — so it’s just a matter of finding out how high that ceiling really is.

  • I really like Archie’s demeanor, in-game coaching style, and lastly, his rotation philosophy of sticking with the players with the hot hand and contributions instead of wholesale, momentum killing, line changes. Now that is one long sentence.

  • iugradmark

    Couple of positives for me. First the defensive technique is better. Players are in their stances, have hands up, etc. They struggled at the beginning getting out to 3 point shooters but that improved as the game went on. On offense, I liked what we were doing on out of bounds plays. We usually got a good shot coming out of those. Having good out of bounds plays and sets shows an attention to detail and I was glad to see us execute. Justin is going to be good. He looked like a freshmen and had some really good and really bad minutes, but if we can get him some minutes and he can work using film study and coaching, he is going to be able to help us some this year.

    Some things I am looking for improvement in are on the offensive side. Archie said he would do more scripted stuff in the first half and then just let players that are producing play in the second. I thought we came out way too eager to shoot 3’s and that wasn’t the kind of thing I was expecting from a “scripted” effort. Would really like to see us work on doing some inside out type of things early in the shot clock. RoJo looked out of sync a lot to me and not just because of the way he was shooting. We need to see more from our senior.

  • MrNobody

    Probably in minority and probably sound old but glad to see big heads gone. Always believed IU basketball should look better than that. Kudos Arch

  • IUBizmark

    Will this game be replayed on BTN?

  • Ole Man


  • SCHoosier

    Encouraging but the Knights were not defensive demons. Let’s see how IU protects the ball going forward a few games. Obviously Coach has their attention on the defense and TO issues.

  • SamWow123


  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Happy Halloween!!!

  • Ole Man

    See above.

  • HoosierBballNut

    I thought the Hoosiers settled for a lot of threes early on, but the stretch in the second half when they pulled away was exciting to watch!
    Devotne had a great game.. I was wondering where he was last year – what a Sophomore jump !! Except for may be 1 or 2 ill-advised early in the short clock three, he almost had a perfect game.. He was completely engaged on the defensive end as well !!

  • Mark Bando

    Good point on halftime adjustments. Such an important part of the game. The beginning of the second half was always a critical part of the game to Coach Knight.

  • Mark Bando

    It sure is….thank god!

  • The only way to measure this today is too look at last season’s exhibition games. As Alex points out in the story, yesterday’s TO percentage was 13.8 compared to 23.5 and 18.8. So at least at this point in the season, this squad is taking care of the ball.

  • millzy32

    The Big Heads are gone. Can I get an Amen? Finally. Big Heads gone and turnovers gone? Coincidence? I think not.

  • millzy32

    Cool. I will look for this and DVR. Gotta get some value out of my enormous cable bill.

  • millzy32

    You beat me to it but I’ve been against them from the start. IU does not need gimmicks. Good to see that stuff gone.

  • millzy32

    It figures. The guy I’m high on has four turnovers. Good to see him in action though. Expecting good things from Smith this year.

  • You’re probably right, but it is a bit early to celebrate. Let’s give it some time.

  • VOXAC30

    I will sorely miss the crying Jordan

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    Not a fan of NBA Jam or NFL Blitz?!?! lol

  • onehoosier

    No issues here. A new coach should have his own style. I though the big heads were fun, but it’s not a core tradition.

  • weitrhino

    Good riddance to the bigheads – a pointless and needless distraction from the game

  • John D Murphy

    Pointless, needless, and unoriginal. At IU we don’t need to borrow tradition from San Diego state.

  • bleeding crimson

    Yes it was, I think he referred to the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half specically….was the make or break period. Forgot that. Nice to know there may be folks on here older than I, except for Ole Man.