The Minute After: Iowa

  • 02/17/2018 4:52 pm in

Thoughts on an 84-82 win over the Hawkeyes:

Robert Johnson was today’s star. His nine 3-pointers — which tied an Indiana single-game record — saved the Hoosiers on a day their Big Ten best defense allowed 1.23 points per possession to the Hawkeyes.

But, late in the contest, as Juwan Morgan’s four fouls left him more timid than usual defending Iowa’s own star, Tyler Cook, Archie Miller made the decision to switch Freddie McSwain onto Cook. And McSwain came up huge.

With just over a minute to go and the game tied at 82-all after Cook had scored Iowa’s last four points with Morgan on him, McSwain stayed strong against Cook near the right low post and forced him baseline. Cook’s foot landed out of bounds. Indiana ball.

On the ensuing Hoosier possession, Devonte Green found McSwain rolling to the rim on a seriously nifty pass. McSwain scored to put the Hoosiers up 84-82. This nail-biter of a finish continued with Cook again getting the ball out past the right low post. McSwain stayed strong once more, muscled against Cook and forced him into a miss. Johnson missed the front of a 1-and-1 on Indiana’s next possession, which allowed Iowa to either tie or take the lead in the final possession. The Hawkeyes failed to get anything good and so the Hoosiers escaped a snowy day in Iowa City with a victory.

It was not without struggle. Iowa couldn’t and didn’t miss from the field to start the contest. The Hawkeyes made their first 10 shots, knocking the Hoosiers back on their heels as they struggled to contain Iowa’s high-low action. The Hoosiers trailed by 13 (23-10) at the 13:41 mark. But they stayed the course, started to make things harder on the Hawkeyes and slowly eroded the lead all the way down to three points at the break.

Indiana looked like it might win this win going away as it mounted a 13-point lead of its own in the second half as Johnson poured in 3-pointer after 3-pointer. But some slippage for a stretch on defense left the door open for the Hawkeyes, setting the stage for a close finish as the Hoosiers never led by more than four over the final 4:20 of the contest.

Iowa played a lot of zone in this one, which was part of the reason for Johnson’s hot 3-point shooting (9-of-12) and 29 points, as he got looks over the top of it off because of ball movement. Devonte Green was a beneficiary at times as well, as he hit 4-of-5 from distance en route to 18 points of his own. For the contest, Indiana hit 14-of-24 (58.4 percent) from distance, a season-high.

Playing with a brace on his knee and a bandage on his thumb, Collin Hartman deserve a nod for his performance. The senior didn’t score, but dished out five assists and played great defense as he recorded a block and two steals. Those steals helped the Hoosiers turn the Hawkeyes over on 25 percent of their possessions.

Today’s win guarantees a .500 record in conference for Indiana as it heads to two tough tests to close out the season. Can the Hoosiers keep their improved play rolling and pick off an upset (or two?) against Nebraska and Ohio State next week?

Filed to:

  • Arch Puddington

    I’ve seen a lot of silly things posted here, but this is the first actual threat. Well, “threats”, since you have made several of them. I’m sure you’ll be shown the door.

  • It didn’t go in, did it? ;-D

  • Q46

    So do you think DD would have done a better job of defending Haas or Ward or do you think he would have added enough offense for them to pull out the win?

  • VAHoosier

    So, you can file this under “what the hell do I know,” since this is just my own instinct, but I think we would have defended better in those games. DD’s problems defensively arise when he is asked to hedge ball screens far from the basket set by bigs who have range. This reared its head badly in the early losses against teams who played small. However, Haas and Ward are not really perimeter threats, thereby nullifying that limitation. Meanwhile, DD’s bulk was badly missed on the block in those games. I recall PU just tossing it to Haas in the post nearly every possession and Freddie and Juwan could not stop it. DD would have forced them to at least try some other stuff, I think. This all depends also on DD not fouling, which is a big if against those guys.

  • VAHoosier

    Over a grammatical correction. Overreact much?

  • HoosierFan08

    I know this is crazy optimism but what happens when Michigan and Nebraska lose out and we win out and we end up with the 4 seed and a double bye. Then it’s darn near impossible for them to keep us out right?

  • Kwang

    Yes they have.

  • Kwang

    Settle down, dude. It is all cool. We won.

  • Ivan Renko

    Agreed! Going forward we won’t be asking ourselves whether we’ll make the dance or not, but how high our seed will be

  • Chappy Dan

    Andy Bottoms is NOT a prognosticator!

  • VAHoosier

    I have a different take. I think missing DD this year may have cost us a couple wins, such as the PU and MSU games. But I do think there is a causal connection between our defensive improvement and DD’s absence. He simply did not have the speed to do what was asked of him on defense. Now, those are things he can work at and improve, and I hope he will. And we will be a better and more versatile team with DD than we are without him. But I’m not positive we’ll be better on defense just because of his return–in fact, evidence suggests otherwise.

  • Ole Man

    They will “begrudgingly” take four B!G teams this year.

  • Ole Man

    No; Devonte began to start when he finally matured into the role. He’s still not all the way there.
    But his improvement is fun to watch.

  • marcusgresham

    No big wins yet. If IU can finish out with wins against Ohio St. and Nebraska and then knock off one or two quality teams in the conference tournament the resume looks far more impressive–it also puts those wins late in the season, and the committee tends to prefer teams who are peaking at that the end of season.

    It’s still a longshot, but it wouldn’t look nearly as preposterous as it does now.

  • marcusgresham

    ….but, if nothing else, that’s five more fouls to give (and those will be needed with McSwain graduating.)

    There’s also the hope that Moore will have gained enough strength to contribute next season, and Race Thompson should help down low, too.

  • marcusgresham

    That could be a spot for Durham to shine if he can improve his shooting enough to be more of a consistent factor on the other end of the floor.

  • marcusgresham

    Green’s mistakes are frequently just the result of supreme confidence in his ability to execute the incredible. With him it’s just a matter of learning to accept that every play doesn’t have to make a highlight reel.
    In a lot of ways it’s like a singer who can hit every note under the sun. Just because you can doesn’t mean things won’t go better if you don’t shoot for it on every line.

  • Ole Man

    Good analogy, Marcus.

  • coachv

    not relevant. how in the hell did cook manage to hit the side of the backboard from that close?

  • coachv

    i think michigan is in so by your thinking nebraska is out. 11-4 in big ten but i think i heard they have only beated one tourney bound team this season

  • coachv

    probably need to make it to sunday which would put us at 21-13

  • coachv

    i keep forgetting about thompson. hope he is good

  • Ole Man

    I believe you are correct.
    And their loss to ILL today certainly doesn’t help.
    They will be in a foul mood when we visit!

  • coachv

    then our mood must be more disgusted

  • IUMIKE1

    From what I’ve read and heard, the achilles injury is one the hardest injuries there is to make a complete come back from and that it almost always affects lateral movement/quickness. I’m like you in that I think he struggled with more than one aspect of the defense that Archie is going to run and this injury isn’t going to make it any easier when he returns. Having said that I do believe there is a definite role for him on this team, (especially against teams like M.St & PU) it just probably won’t be the role that was laid out for him at the beginning of this season.

  • IUMIKE1

    Correct

  • IUMIKE1

    And playing the schedule that IU has played

  • IUMIKE1

    Yea, a case of the first Illinois game and the Wisconsin game coming back to bite us.

  • IUMIKE1

    I don’t think we needed that scenario to know that the ncaa is a scam and rightfully also called the taliban of college sports.

  • alwaysiufan

    Agreed