Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Notre Dame

  • 12/16/2017 7:06 pm in

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana pulled out its first marquee win of the Archie Miller era on Saturday afternoon as the Hoosiers beat Notre Dame in overtime, 80-77, in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Hoosiers improved to 6-5 on the season with the victory. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Fighting Irish:

· Juwan Morgan was dominant: Bonzie Colson is a legitimate national player of the year candidate who is deserving of all of the praise he receives. And he was terrific on Saturday as he finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds in 43 minutes.

But Juwan Morgan was even better in IU’s win.

Morgan, who has been the best and most consistent player on the roster all season, was unstoppable against the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame had no answer for Morgan early, as he scored eight of IU’s first 10 points.

He was even better in the second half and overtime as he scored 22 of Indiana’s final 27 points on his way to a career-high 34 points. Morgan did it efficiently as he shot 13-of-17 from the field and 8-of-11 from the free throw line. He also had 11 rebounds in 40 minutes.

Morgan hasn’t tried to force anything offensively, but Indiana made an effort to get him the ball down the stretch and he delivered.

“Every day in practice, (I’m) bringing it as hard as I can and just showing everybody, ‘this is how we have to play in order to get these wins,'” Morgan said postgame. “And then just everybody on the team follows suit.”

· McRoberts shows he’s a “winner” in 31 minutes: The minutes for walk-on Zach McRoberts have been on the rise.

The redshirt junior isn’t much of a threat offensively, but he’s bringing enough in other facets of the game to warrant increased playing time. After logging a season-high 15 minutes in last Saturday’s loss at Louisville, McRoberts came up with seven offensive rebounds in 31 minutes in Saturday’s win.

And no rebound was bigger than his offensive board on a missed Morgan free throw with 11 seconds left in overtime. After securing the rebound, McRoberts passed to Morgan for the go ahead basket with eight seconds to go. It was one of three assists for the Carmel product.

“Tremendous effort all game long,” Archie Miller said. “Playing really, really hard. He’s an important piece to what we’re doing right now. Like I said, you don’t have to score a lot of points to be a terrific teammate, to impact the game.”

· Johnson breaks out of shooting slump: Early on, it looked like Indiana would again struggle to score from the perimeter.

The Hoosiers started out 0-for-7 on 3s, but a Robert Johnson make from deep at the 8:43 mark of the first half was a turning point.

After the Johnson make, Indiana was 7-of-13 on 3s the rest of the way. The Richmond (Va.) native finished 6-of-13 from the field, including 5-of-10 from distance. He finished with 20 points in a team-high 43 minutes.

“I just wanted to stay aggressive,” he said. “I was getting good looks in the first half, and that was one of the things we discussed, just trying to get good shots. If you get those, you’ll eventually knock them down.”

· This win salvages a disappointing stretch: Indiana played well against Duke and was in the game late against Louisville, but as the Hoosiers trailed multiple times by double digits, they appeared destined for their fourth loss in five games.

But Indiana never stopped battling, despite being down by eight with just over two minutes in regulation. For a team that hasn’t had great success so far in terms of wins and losses, Saturday’s win was important because it’s further proof that improvement is being made.

“We’ve been hanging tough here the last couple of weeks and just haven’t had the ability to find a way to win,” Miller said. “I thought today’s effort was outstanding. A lot of guys stepped up and made some tremendous plays on both ends of the floor. It was a team win against a really good team.”

· Turnovers nearly prove costly: If there was one team stat that was disappointing in the win, it was Indiana’s turnovers.

The Hoosiers had 16 turnovers that turned into 21 points for Notre Dame. IU’s turnover percentage was 21.9, marking the first time it has won a game with a turnover percentage higher than 20.

Indiana was able to overcome the mistakes because it shot 57 percent from the floor in the second half, including 50 percent on 3s. The Hoosiers also took 22 free throws in the second half and overtime. IU’s free throw rate of 45.5 percent was the highest Notre Dame has surrendered this season.

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  • Guyton25

    That’s what I figured it was. I think Archie has made it clear he likes DeRon. Like Juwan said in the post-game, they really liked that lineup. He even made it sound like we’ll be seeing a lot more of it.

  • SCHoosier

    Best defensive effort I’ve seen by the Hoosiers in a while. Offense still sputters but is coming. Impressed by IU’s tenacity to come back multiple times in the game. I think we have to remember that the Hoosiers were two missed ND FT’s in the final seconds away from another “close but no cigar” outing. B-ball gods wore Cream and Crimson yesterday.

  • sarge

    Good morning Hoosiers! Didn’t get a lot of sleep last night and I feel amazing! Think about the improvement we have shown in a month. Notice the consistent effort and relentless. I want this team to do great things. They are proving they are deserving. Sky is the limit if they continue to bring it everyday. Now we have to prepare for the team that wrecked our confidence last year and another Scott guard. Let’s get the W this time men.

  • Guyton25

    I’ve been thinking about what Archie said about the turnovers in his post-game conference.. he was surprised that he was being told we had a TO problem stating that he thought we handled the ball well and even said he thought there were less TOs in the second half, but there were 9 and 7 in the first. He then finished that with saying he wants to work on rebounding.

    I know I’m probably overthinking this, but we outrebounded them 41-32 (I think those were the #s)and had 16 TOs. I know in games like these sometimes, the stat sheet can’t tell the story (like if the pace was lightning on both ends all game, 16 TOs is more like 11 in a game with fewer possessions. Especially due to OT.)… but I guess I’m just wondering what Archie meant by that. Does he mean the focus needs to be on other issues he feels are more pressing, like rebounding (which it can be), or does he mean he knows we can take care of the ball, it’s just about being more consistent with our decision making? I’m guessing a bit of both.

  • sarge

    Or maybe he thinks, like I do, that several of the turnovers were due to poor officiating and doesn’t want to say it bluntly.

  • Dave Carnes

    Indiana had 14 turnovers the first out of bounds on RJ was close but his foot was off the line when he caught it the second wasn’t even close and could have cost us the game

  • MrNobody

    Loved the TV timeout where Al was concentrating on every word Arch said. Gonna be a complete fan favorite. Also please JM take Clifton under your wing.

  • dennis powell

    Great performance by Morgan and McRoberts. When we have those two, Hartman and Greene on the floor our basketball IQ is about as good as it gets. If this is the defense we get to see from now on, then Archie thank God you are in Bloomington. We never lost our cool in the first half. We couldn’t make diddly and they were pouring in 3’s. As good as Morgan was I have to say McRoberts was right there with him. He works his butt off the whole time he’s in there. The offensive rebounds were game changing especially the last one. The feed to Morgan was brilliant. Johnson had one of those offensive games that makes you want for more. If we got something similar from him on a consistent basis we could do some damage in the conference. Go IU!! Man this is really starting to be fun again!

  • dennis powell

    Totally agree

  • Koko

    Yes it is really starting to be fun again.

  • As fans of well played basketball we have to feel excited with the way the ball is entering the post, the good catch, and patient ‘read option’ we are seeing from both Morgan and Davis. Morgan is just better conditioned and more consistent.

  • Ms hoosier

    The toughness I’m seeing in this team and this coach is what IU b-ball is all about!!! With each game it seems we have somebody step up and improve. Juwan and Zach are giving us everything we need from them. Rob and Devonte gave us 32 points combined and great defense!!!! I believe we are gonna see DD improve the next few weeks he is trying too hard not to and he is too skilled not to improve!! With DeRon getting better and Newkirk giving us solid point guard play IU can finish in the top 5 of the B1G

  • Michael R

    We needed this win and the Big Ten needed it too. Notre Dame is going to be the best if not one of the best in the ACC this year.

    Oladipo continues to impact IU as he was quoted having chats with Morgan before season started and the talks centered around Morgan’s “motor”.

    Davis and Hartman both were called for phantom fouls yesterday, however they need to do a better job of moving their feet on the defensive side. Foul trouble has plagued Davis, but once he gets it figured out our front court of Davis/Morgan is scary.

    Love the defensive effort, but someone has to emerge as a consistent shooter on this team. Hope that shooter is Green because his vision is the best I have seen at IU since Coverdale.

  • Ivan Renko

    i think McRoberts grabbing the rebound over Bonzie Colson off the missed JM free throw will forever be etched in my memory. followed by the slam by JM. I remember thinking to myself… don’t shoot a contested 3, let JM drive and draw the and-1 opportunity. Archie knows what he’s doing, it’s so great to see.

    Not sure if people here listen to the CBS Sports Eye on College Basketball podcast, but Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander said some things that should make IU fans happy.

    Matt Norlander talked about how in 5 or 6 years when Archie is hanging the 6th banner in Assembly Hall, he’s going to remember the Indiana St loss and the ND win in his first year and reminisce about how far he has come

    Gary Parrish talked about how Archie is one of the most respected coaches in the NCAA among his fellow coaching peers, and that’s how you know when you’ve got a good coach. he then added that he NEVER considered Archie not working out at IU long term. i think we’ve got a good one for the long haul.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • dennis powell

    I’m with you all the way on the first half of your comment. Davis is a beast but has a hard time finishing moves with buckets. Newkirk is not going to help us much. He has moments but I think we play better without him. I think his limited time on the court against ND contributed to our win. Greene needs his minutes. Devonte is a player who sees the floor much better. He can create offense with pressure off the dribble and is a better jump shooter. I can only imagine he’s a poor practice player which accounts for his time behind Newkirk.

  • Couldn’t agree more. That was the best-coached game of basketball we’ve seen at IU in a long time. In fact, I think all of the games have been extremely well-coached, and this is simply the first one where things truly clicked for the players and they were able to execute. I haven’t been this excited about IU basketball since 1992-93 (and yes, I know we’re 6-5, the rest of the season is going to be tough, and odds are that we still don’t make the NCAA tournament this year).

  • TomEke

    To your point about best vision since Coverdale…

    Yogi Ferrell holds IUs All Time Assist Record.

    Earl Calloway also comes to mind as an effective point guard.

    I think you’re mistaking flash for vision, which DG does make some flashy plays. However in terms of effectiveness, which is more important as a PG IMO, he averages 2.5 Assists and 2.0 Turnovers per game. Yogi and Earl both accumulated more assists, but more importantly had higher assist to turnover ratios — closer to 2.0 while DG around 1.2 right now. Jordan Hulls was also better in this category.

    DG has the potential to be a solid point guard, but he has a ways to go in terms of effectiveness.

  • Outoftheloop

    No problem with giving a scholarship for the rest of the year. No problem with annual renewal or not. Football does it all of the time. Then wait until recruiting is finalized this spring. Then consider making it a permanent scholarship.

  • VOXAC30

    Yep… For a Freshman he seems very smart and smooth under pressure. I would like to see better 3 pt shooting though. As an unharolded freshman could you ask for much more? Definitely a legit starter!

  • Mark Bando

    If davis gets cranking anywhere near morgan on a consistent basis, look out.

  • Mark Bando

    Toughness is the right word. It is the word most used by archie after the early losses. And you can see the players developing more toughness, mental and physical.

  • Mark Bando

    I noticed and enjoyed that also.

  • MrNobody

    Can’t ask for much more considering poor shooting was supposed to be knock on him. He’s only going to get better. Between him, DG, RP and (dreaming here) Romeo would be great next year.

  • MrNobody

    Big ten had good day yesterday when you consider what Rutgers and Nebraska done. Seems we’re not the only team getting better in the league. It’s not as bad as it looked early in the year

  • dwdkc

    I thought Green really hurt the team for the first 2/3 of the game yesterday with his continued poor judgment leading to turnovers and near turnovers. At the same time, when he went up for the 3 in OT I was glad he was taking the shot, because I think he is one of those guys who is fearless and has absolutely no short term memory (i.e. after a bad play). Lots of people comparing him to Troy; you get good Devonte and bad Devonte and just hope you get a lot more of the former.

  • dwdkc

    Green gets limited minutes because he just makes way too many mistakes; too many errors in judgment. He does bring some great plays and swagger that we can use, but it will be a work in progress.

  • Brad

    Move over Clappy! Here comes Archie!

  • StudentHoosier

    Wow. What a day it was.

    From being a childhood fan, to a current day student, and eventually an alum, there are just certain moments that will stick out to me forever, and like Ivan Renko mentioned, the McRoberts rebound will now always be engrained in my mind. What a play!!

    I’m all on board the ZMR train now. Kid can play Big Ten basketball. The thing I love most about him… watch when he’s in and someone else takes a shot (Lord knows he doesn’t take many), he is flying to the basket to try to make something happen off a miss. Every. Single. Time.

    I swear. Look for it next time. He had 9 boards yesterday, but that doesn’t even account for how many times he was able to slap a miss away yesterday and allow someone else to snag a rebound. Man, I’m starting to tear up now.

    BTW, what a day this was. Immediately after the game, I raced to Carmel (ZMR’s alma mater ironically) to see Romeo. Don’t feel like I need to recap anything I saw from him – dude is a beast and we all know it.

    Funny story though… a cousin of mine is actually an assistant AD at Carmel, so after the game I was able to hang out on the court with the parents, administrative staff of the world while waiting for the Carmel players to come back through. Because this game was such a spectacle, Romeo, a couple NAHS coaches and some other players also fluttered back through the gym (mind you, the whole gym had been emptied besides relatives etc). I was on my way out, Romeo was on his phone at the time by himself, so I just shook his hand and told him good game. He said thanks, and then as I was walking away I almost instinctively asked him if he was able to catch any of this game, to which he responded, “Yeah, wild one.”

    Go Hoosiers.

  • Earl Bright

    You have to really like how Coach Miller is approaching building the program back up. My suggestion would be to take all in moderation… we’re playing pretty smart, but you have to imagine a .500 record, at best, in the B10 would be a considerable achievement. This team is limited, no two ways about it. Was a very good win yesterday, but let’s be real…one of the greatest in IU history? Well, probably not. But a solid win over a decent team…and a nice building block for Coach Miller with his program. Have to believe the future is bright in the next few years.

  • IdahoHoosier

    What were the things that stood out to you as examples of this game being well-coached?

  • Excellent roster management (the way the coaches were plugging and playing lineups was like a chess match, and Archie won). Great timeouts, and great use of them. Late in the game, it seemed like we scored on every play Archie drew up during those timeouts. And the game plan was excellent heading into the contest.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Ok all good points I think. I felt like roster management in this game was interesting. Lots of ZM, almost no DD even though Notre Dame had no one who physically could’ve matched up with DD. Pretty tight rotation. I felt like the success was due more to execution from JM, RJ finally knocking down shots, and ZM working his butt off.

  • Ivan Renko

    not that it’s ideal to alter your own team’s play to your opponent instead of forcing your opponent to alter their play to you, but DD simply wouldn’t be effective on defense against ND’s shooters within Archie’s defensive scheme.

    DD would have struggled to move quickly off helps to close-out on perimeter shooters launching 3s. we got lucky that ND didn’t shoot particularly well……but IMO it wasn’t luck, it was our smaller lineup closing out effectively. Wouldn’t have been so much the case with DD playing more minutes.

  • Bankshot

    These are all products of good coaching!!! How’s that JUCO high light working out for ya jock sniffer???

  • Of course, the players had to execute, I’m not taking anything away from them. It was great coaching, great execution, and great hustle.

  • I decided there’s no point to respond to any particulars here. Frankly, if someone watched that game and didn’t come away impressed with the coaching, then I’m not going to spend a second trying to convince them otherwise.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I don’t disagree with your assessment on good coaching, but I think people assign blame/credit at random sometimes. A player scores 30 points and someone says it’s “good coaching” because he shot well. Or a player shoots 0 for 10 and it’s “bad coaching”. On the flip-side, a coach sets up a great play and a guy gets an open dunk and fans say “what an athlete!” even though credit should go to whoever drew up the play. I think sometimes as a fan, not knowing when a player is on or off script so to speak, it is hard to determine what is good/bad coaching and what is good/bad execution. Appreciate your willingness to discuss these things Mark!