The Minute After: Duke

  • 11/30/2017 12:39 am in

Thoughts on a 91-81 loss to the Blue Devils:

They turned the entrance of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall into a big movie screen tonight. Inside the Hoosiers and Blue Devils battled in an epic blockbuster, trading baskets and playing at a high level in one hell of an entertaining contest.

The audience had their popcorn ready, their cheers and boos and shouts and taunts as loud as ever raining down on Branch McCracken Court.

The No. 1 team in the nation came to Bloomington tonight and the Hoosiers did what they’ve done in recent history at home against highly-ranked opponents: Brought high effort, intensity and energy, fed off the crowd and put themselves in position to win in the closing minutes of the contest.

But Duke had a little more gas left in the tank during winning time. And so with it, despite multiple leads by the Hoosiers in the second half, went the shot at the upset.

Indiana got a number of strong individual performances in this one. Duke freshmen twin towers Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter got a lot of hype going into the game and rightfully so. Bagley was an absolute force at times this evening (23 points, 10 rebounds) as was Carter (18 points, 12 rebounds). They were a lot for the Hoosiers to handle. But after emerging from a foul-trouble-ridden first half, De’Ron Davis (16 points, five rebounds) showed for a stretch in the second half he can tussle with the big boys, too. When the Hoosiers went to Davis, he put in some serious work on the block for buckets against whomever Duke threw at him. Some late missed free throws down the stretch from Davis hurt Indiana’s ability to keep it a little closer, but it was still a strong performance from the sophomore.

Robert Johnson brought it on both ends tonight. He was tasked with guarding Grayson Allen for the majority of the contest. And while Allen did drop in 21 points, it did not come easy, as Johnson really made him work for most of what he got. Johnson also looked poised and aggressive for most of the game on offense, finding his way to the basket for scores on a number of occasions en route to a team-high 17 points. Juwan Morgan continues to stuff the stat sheet (14 points, six rebounds, two blocks, two steals). Collin Hartman’s minutes went up as he continues to work back into game shape following his groin injury. He delivered 11 points, three rebounds and an assist in 16 minutes of action.

Offensively, the Hoosiers did a great job of attacking the basket and moving Duke’s players around against the Blue Devils’ man-to-man defense. Duke’s defense isn’t super elite as it sits just inside KenPom’s Top 50, but Indiana’s 1.18 points per possession despite just a 5-of-21 mark from 3-point range and 16-of-26 mark from the line was still solid. And the turnovers continue to be a huge improvement over a season ago. Indiana’s now turned the ball over 10 or fewer times in its last three games. According to an IU spokesperson after the game, its the first time since at least the 1996-1997 season that’s happened.

It’s not a win. And it’s a little tough to swallow the closing run the Blue Devils went on after Indiana looked to have a serious shot to pull this one out for a large chunk of the second half.

Still, from the shaky start of things a few weeks ago to giving Duke a serious run for its money tonight? Indiana fans should be happy with the progress as Big Ten season arrives early on Saturday.

Filed to:

  • inLinE6

    I’m surprised Jones didn’t get to play. No injury report either.

  • Ivan Renko

    I feel for CuJo, but he simply hasn’t shown that he can hang with the “big boys.” Tonight it made sense that Al, RoJo, and JN got all the guard minutes

  • Agreed, even if it’s just a confidence thing with CuJo right now, that would have been enough to keep him out of the game.

  • Arch Puddington

    This is big time athletics, and the best players play. If he is not injured, the fact that he did not play tonight tells its own story.

  • Paul Talbott

    While I had a momentary pang of disappointment for not quite closing it out, I can’t help but be encouraged about the rest of season after this game.

  • inCMitrust

    In high school he was high% shooter. It’s hard to explain what is going on with his game since the Kansas game last year, but the sample size is getting pretty large that his game might not be good enough to get on the floor. I hope he turns it around, we need more outside shooting.

  • Guyton25

    I keep hearing the whole, “but he scored 30 on Kansas last season” argument but that was then and this is now.. and now he’s not showing that ability to rise to the occasion and own it. That can change in a blink of an eye though. Everyone on this team has shown a lot of growth already this season.

  • dwdkc

    Loved his lightning quick drive to the rim in the last game (or was it Ark state?), but he clearly has no confidence in his shot now. I still think he can get it back and give us some much needed shooting.

  • Guyton25

    De’Ron Davis really is looking good but in every single game this season he has committed the worst off-ball silly fouls and has gotten himself in foul trouble. I think that’s the #1 thing right now that I want to see changed on this team. Other than that we’re looking like we’re continuing to improve in every facet.

    When they showed that we had only just committed our first TO late in the first half, I think that highlighted the night for me. Of course the last 10 minutes were atrocious with TOs, but to take care of the ball that well against the top talent in the country is pretty telling about our improvement.

    Limiting TOs, winning the points in the paint battles, and getting boards are the keys to this team’s success in my opinion.

  • JethroTroll

    I’m surprised that the first post after this game is about a role player.
    That pretty much sums up all you need to know about our fanbase right now.

  • inCMitrust

    The first post after the game was in At the Buzzer.

  • JethroTroll

    LOL I used to laugh @ Excusemaker fans absurdity, now Im laughing at our own.

  • cbags05

    Good effort by our team. Exactly what I was hoping for, minus a W. literally the only thing I have to comment on is….What the heck were the students chanting at Grayson? If it was what I think, completely classless and embarrassing.

  • mharv2631

    Well played basketball by both teams. Thought IU had them after that nasty pass by Green to Davis, but they missed to many free throws. Duke is well school on how to “hook” by their bigs. The refs only called it once. Fun game to watch as I had planned on going to bed at half, but just couldn’t after seeing such well executed bball. We just couldn’t match their height. Recruit some of that in the next few years and IU will be scary. Still love our coach!

  • Missing Moye

    I was really glad to see Devonte get 28 minutes and play pretty well. His decision-making seemed much improved and the effort was consistent. I think it might have been a career-first for him when he dove for that loose ball last night. We’re going to need him to play like that as the season progresses.

  • N71

    Encouraging for sure, it seems like there’s this hump we’re trying to get over, kind of like tire alignment, once there its noticeable. I certainly see a general trend towards being better but if I could waive the wand so-to-speak I’d ask for more effective 3-point shooting. If we look ahead for a moment to next year setting aside Romeo, what kind of shooters are Damezi and Jerome? My only source of info are highlight videos and I haven’t seen them miss yet.

  • N71

    That pass he had was electric.

  • pbhuff

    My feeling was that it wasn’t so much conditioning. I think it was the foul trouble which had IU playing tentative defense. And without getting things going on D, IU starting trying to force things on offense

  • pbhuff

    Can’t really complain too much about “hooking” with the amount that Zeller got away with it while at IU

  • Slappy

    Damezi is a streak shooter. He can get a score in a lot of ways, but isn’t a “pure” shooter. That said, he looks a little cleaner already than last year. I have only seen the same highlights as you on Jerome, no idea.

  • Sandra Wilson

    When one team’s best player would probably be the 8th best player on the other team, I don’t think you can blame the loss on conditioning. This was a perfect setup for us to stay close. A rested Duke on a neutral floor would have made this much worse. It’s very possible you saw the next undefeated team last night, particularly considering their schedule. As bad as the B1G looks right now, and with the way we played, there is much more hope for the rest of the season.

  • BreathinHoosiers

    I was hoping RJ would get going from the 3-point line, but something just looked a little off on his form or his follow-through to start the game. It just looked odd. The dude worked hard though

  • sd chuck

    Watched the game again this morning. When it came to game time, the last 4 minutes, and tied, we did not impose our will, they did. We missed shots open shots, free throws (ugh), a turnover, we go from tied to down 9. Allen made a couple of tough shots. Overall, IU moving in the right direction. Just a note, we not “soft” anymore, loved the hard foul by JM! Archie is the right man, love his attitude, we should have won! This will eventually be reality!

  • Adam Alva

    Give us Langford and watch out

  • mharv2631

    I think he left a few years ago, and last nights game was last night.

  • grayson allen is also classless and embarrassing. he deserves worse considering all he’s done and the kind of person he is

  • he is only a sophomore and it’s still only November. give it time.

  • better and more athletic teams will also draw a lot of fouls. it was to be expected, to a certain degree. there also a lot of ticky tack calls.

  • slim

    Alot of the late fouls were iffy. Two guys going for the floor ball, foul IU. Collin standing straight up, IU foul. We got fouled to tho. Just couldnt get and one or hit ANY freethrows. I didnt like DD comments about freethrows. He should have taken some blame. Team yes but take some blame, 4 in a row hurt. Effort was a plus and i look forward to more games…

  • HoosierEconomist

    I flew home (Bloomington raised) for the game and managed to stick around until everyone had left only to see Rojo and Deron get back onto the floor to chat with family and friends. Not knowing either of them personally, I didn’t hesitate to approach either of them, shake their hands, and thank them for leaving it all on the floor that evening. Gentlemen. Scholars. Hoosiers. Now time to fly back to Durham and face the music.

  • RonMlarkey

    Two freshman played and one started and its only November. Curtis Jones has shown nothing this season to give any incentive to play him.

  • RonMlarkey

    If cows were eels, they too would be benched, for smelling like cinnamon.

  • sd chuck

    Guys I would like to see on the floor in the last 5 minutes of the game, DG, RJ, CH, JM, and DD. DG, what a ankle breaking cross over in first half, 2 sick passes, 1 oop to FM, 1 to DD for last lead, active on defense, RJ great defense all night, needs to start hitting 3’s consistently, CH, team is just better with him on the floor, right place at the right time doing the right things, JM playing like a man, really giving 100% all the time, DD, very effective when he gets the ball low enough, going to have to hit free throws, form looks ok, just his distance is off, and he has to stop with the silly fouls, at least 1 and maybe 2 25 foot from the rim. On to Mich!

  • IdahoHoosier

    Could DD be even more fit? Probably. But last night I felt the guy earned the right to be gassed at times. He was pounding in the paint on both ends, pretty much single-handedly kept IU in the game with tough baskets and strong D on Duke’s bigs. The real problem is/was IU had no one on the bench who could come in and do what DD does. The big man deserves the right to be tired and rest for a few minutes, there was just nobody to help him out when he sat.

  • Outoftheloop

    This team could be very good if they can consistently play as well as they did against Duke at The Hall, on the road and at home, AND hit 38% on 3’s and 73% on FT’s. Last night they were 16/26 (61.5%) on FT’s, at 73% that would be 19/26 (73%), or +3 points; 5/21 (23.8%) on 3’s, at 38% that would be 8/21, or +9 points; that is a total of 12 points. Instead of a 10 point “good” loss, IU would have a 2 point “great win”. Yes I know that a game is a “happening” and that if 1 or 2 things change, the whole game is different. But can this team hit 73% on FT and 38% on 3’s? If “NO” is the answer, then it will be a long year!

  • IdahoHoosier

    I don’t like Allen either, but agree with you that I hate seeing fans stoop to that stuff. So a guy is a jerk, do you want to make yourself look like one too? The high road is a lonely one I’m afraid.

  • Lance76

    My thought exactly. Assuming he was watching, I wonder if he could see himself as the missing piece in an IU uniform.

  • Outoftheloop

    Correct, we are not “soft” anymore!

  • Lance76

    A good big to work with DD and Romeo Langford and we will not be good, but great. Archie is the right person for this job. If you have not listen to MK post game presser, he was very complimentary to Archie and seemed not to be just “blowing smoke”

  • Outoftheloop

    That is the IU roster now! Clifton Moore is not ready to “bang” now. Priller: no way. Next year we add Race Thompson and Jake Forrester and Clifton will be ready. Until then hope that Freddie can do a better job against lesser players.

  • Outoftheloop

    Other than Devonte I saw no forced shots. Devonte played a good game.

  • Outoftheloop

    Correct. But fouling is also related to going up against really talented players who are bigger and longer than you are!

  • Richard Boandl

    Johnson only looked that good because he got away with alot of offensive fouls not being called on him and wrongly assessed to Wendell carter

  • Outoftheloop

    Rob Phinisee is now shooting lights out.

  • IdahoHoosier


  • Outoftheloop

    Agreed, but he must hit 38%+ on 3’s and 73%+ on FT’s for the year.

  • Outoftheloop

    You are totally correct about the Duke Big’s “hooking” as they make a move to score. Why not when only 1 out of 9 gets called! It is always better to be “Duke”!

  • Arch Puddington

    Two passes were electric! The lob to McSwain and that one-handed bounce to Davis (I think) were both highlight reel deals. And he had another really slick pass to Morgan on a break as well. He can get sloppy and force things at times, but at his best he is our best passer.

  • Sylvia Shanks Masingo

    WOW !!! thanks for the show guys, I love what the future will bring

  • Outoftheloop

    Devonte got 28 minutes and played well.