Notebook: Hoosiers show growth in loss to No. 1 Duke

  • 11/30/2017 8:24 am in

For 36 minutes, Indiana went punch-for-punch with the nation’s best team. In the end, the firepower and superior talent of No. 1 Duke proved too much as the Hoosiers fell, 91-81.

With several days to prepare a gameplan, Archie Miller had his Hoosiers (4-3) ready for a battle. The final score doesn’t reflect how close the game was.

Indiana, facing a fatigued Duke team at the backside of a nine games in 20 days stretch, pushed the Blue Devils (9-0) to the limit. The first half was a fast paced, back and forth affair featuring 11 ties and 10 lead changes.

“I thought we really competed,” Archie Miller said after the loss. “I thought we really battled. It was tough for us at times in and around the basket just due to the lack of size and depth. But at the same time, I thought we did some really good things as well, especially in transition, and some offense where we were able to really be right there with them step for step.”

Even when Duke built a 10-point lead early in the second half, Indiana was never rattled, going on a 21-7 run to take a four-point lead at the under-12 timeout.

But the Blue Devils, starting four five-star freshmen and a five-star senior, outplayed the Hoosiers when it mattered most. An Indiana team that was patient suddenly began to make ill-advised decisions and unforced mistakes, and Duke took advantage.

” I thought they made us play one-on-one a little bit too much, but that’s what they’re able to do with their length and size,” Miller said. “They switch. They deny. They don’t give you the normal catches there late in the game and weren’t able to convert.”

Still, Indiana, with a raucous crowd of over 17,000 behind them, proved to be a more formidable foe than many had thought.

“(Indiana) plays as one,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game. “They make you move on defense, it’s a well-constructed offense. Then when (De’Ron) Davis is playing like that, that takes them up another level.”

Sophomore De’Ron Davis was plagued with foul trouble in the opening half, playing just five minutes because of two early personals. As a result, Indiana had to rely on a variety of lineups featuring Juwan Morgan, Freddie McSwain and Collin Hartman.

“Collin, in particular, you’re starting to see him get back to form and how important he can be for this team,” Miller said. “Juwan and Freddie have been doing it together here for four or five games, giving us good effort. And I thought just for the most part those guys are fine right now. They’re confident.”

In the second, Davis stayed out of foul trouble and wreaked havoc in the paint. At times, the sophomore seemed almost unguardable, bullying Duke’s star freshmen Wendell Carter and Marvin Bagley and scoring 12 points in 16 second-half minutes.

Grayson Allen comes up clutch

At availability on Tuesday, Archie Miller called Grayson Allen the leader that Duke can “count on in big moments in road venues.”

Thirty hours later, Miller was proven right. In the last four minutes of the game, Allen was the difference maker, scoring five points and adding an assist over the final 3:57, turning a one-point lead into a 10-point win.

“Grayson is a great player, and he understands the tradition of Indiana and how much the people here love basketball,” Krzyzewski said. “He appreciated the cheers he got tonight.”

Throughout Allen’s 21-point night, the student section did all they could to rattle the senior, chanting profanities and booing him when he touched the ball. Allen seemed to bask in the hatred, using it to fuel his game.

“I’ve always wanted to play here. It’s an amazing, historic place,” Allen said. “Their crowd was incredible. They really brought it. They were loud from start to finish.”

Free throw frustration

Indiana’s season-long struggle at the charity stripe continued on Wednesday, costing them a chance at a resume-building win.

The Hoosiers had success drawing fouls as Duke committed 22 of them with Carter fouling out. But Indiana failed to capitalize.

Of Indiana’s 26 free throw attempts, only 16 found the bottom of the net. That equates to 62 percent, three percentage points lower than their season average.

It wasn’t just the volume of the misses either, it was the timing. Six of the 10 misses came in the final 14 minutes, and four of those were with under five minutes to play.

“Towards the last part of the game, we started getting fouled more, and that’s on us to hit our free throws,” said Davis, who connected on 4-of-9 free throws. “Although we didn’t match bucket for bucket we were getting fouled. We knock down our free throws, we’re right there.”

Filed to:

  • N71

    A product is being forged and it takes time, I think most understand that and those that don’t are a lost cause. A flashpoint like the Duke game is taken in and evaluated by the most apparent indicators…did we win? For anyone not to see elements of growth and understanding of the new system within the game means they aren’t looking or they can’t see. If you watch Archie’s interview with Andy Katz you’ll notice hints of impact the Indiana State game has for example. He didn’t come out and say it but he and his staff may have thought that just by putting on the Indiana uniform you’re entitled to winning. That loss was wake up for Archie and due to his competitive nature, that’s a really good thing. As the saying goes, immediate success for this group may not be the best teacher for the long run.

  • calbert40

    I’m having difficulty understanding your comment. Are you suggesting moral victories are stupid or relevant…or you don’t care either way? I don’t think I was “insisting” on anything, but I think this is a good debate to have one way or the other, Mark.

    To me, the idea of duality when it comes to our reaction as an IU fan to the game against Duke is way too simplistic. No, no one is happy we lost. Yes, we can be happy with the way the team performed. We don’t have to be one or the other. The reason for my initial comment was that quite a few people don’t share our opinion that you can be pleased with a performance yet unhappy with the results. It is either or, black and white, to them.

    I guess I don’t care whether we call them moral victories or something else. I just have difficulty understanding the opinion that some have shared saying that we shouldn’t be pleased about how we played.

  • calbert40

    This is a semantic debate. Based on your last sentence, you are happy with how they played; therefore, there is a form of “moral victory” to your thinking.

    Of course a coach is going to tell the media that he isn’t happy after a loss. Many of them aren’t happy after wins! That’s part of the profession. As soon as your players see that you are too happy, they don’t play as hard! 🙂

  • calbert40

    Exactly. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who remembers how aggravated our fan base would be with Crean after some wins, because we didn’t play well. If we can be less than thrilled with the team’s performance after a victory due to the reasons you outlined, then why can we not be pleased with how a team plays despite the loss for the same reasons?

    This isn’t the tournament where only the result matters. That game was against the undefeated #1 team in the country in November just a couple weeks after looking terrible. I find it unfathomable how people can be anything other than happy with how the team is progressing, tbh.

  • SCHoosier

    Yea but man he needs to hit some three’s. Rob was smart enuff in the second half to get to the hole more often when, he’s long ball wasn’t falling. Johnson played his [email protected]@ off trying to defend Allen & rebounding. Boy do we need his 3 ball to be more reliable.

  • SCHoosier

    The profanity was classless..IU is better than that. Calling Allen “cheap shot” would h ave been reward and accurate.

  • You know, I completely agree with you, and I wasn’t actually arguing. I was just trying (poorly, obviously) to say that we can just skip using the term if it turns people off — maybe they just don’t like associating the word “victory” with a loss, which is a bit pedantic but whatever. The way you and I worded it, generally: sad about the loss, but happy about the progress the performance demonstrated, seems to resonate better with people.

    Over in the premium forum, there was a couple pages of discussion were it seemed to me like everyone was agreeing about that more general takeaway from the game but got all caught up on the use of “moral victory.” And in the Facebook comments on Archie’s radio show yesterday, some guy was literally attacking people for using the term. Once it was clarified how people actually felt, he disappeared.

    So, carry on. Nothing to see here. 🙂

  • calbert40

    Ah…completely agree then. It seems to me that much of the discussion surrounding this debate has been semantics. People don’t like the term…and then talk about how pleased they are with how they played and how they are excited for the future. Ahem, that’s a “moral victory.” haha! I missed the discussion about it on the forum, though. The guys on the forum don’t seem to mix it up as much, and sometimes I like to argue 🙂

  • Fifer39

    So is it the outcome or the performance you’re happy with? I’m going to give it a go. I’m changing my pre-season prediction from 17-13 to 23-7 although 6 of the victories are moral ones. If that gets us in the tournament I’m all in, lol!

  • cbags05

    Me too. But man….he blew a couple HUGE opportunities for timely 3’s….one in particular maybe around the 15:00 mark in the second half in transition off a big defensive stop. You obviously can’t hit them all, but the timing can totally blow the roof off the building.