The Minute After: Florida State

  • 12/04/2019 12:18 am in

Thoughts on an 80-64 win against the Seminoles:

After a sleepy November inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, tonight’s atmosphere matched the moment. The students back in town and a ranked opponent in the building, the crowd rocked and roared as the Hoosiers faced by far their biggest test of the season.

Indiana had some sloppy moments against the Florida State pressure defense (26 TO%). So much so in the second half that it felt like Indiana might unravel for good and let Florida State escape with the comeback victory. The Hoosiers also shot just 60.5 percent from the line. But Indiana won this game and won big. Against a Florida State team sporting the No. 3 adjusted defensive efficiency in the country, the Hoosiers scored 1.15 points per possession. That’s the most the Seminoles have allowed all season.

Indiana’s free throw rate (FTA/FGA) was an insane 84 percent. While Indiana didn’t shoot it great from the line tonight — a couple times the Hoosiers missed both free throws on shooting fouls — the sheer volume they got from the line (38) meant 23 of their points still came from the charity stripe. Florida’s State full-court press, length and in-your-face style bothered the Hoosiers, but Indiana also used it to their advantage, drawing 25 fouls. The Hoosiers continue to lead the country in free throw rate. It’s a focus of Archie Miller’s offense that’s working eight games into the season.

Indiana also shot their best mark from distance this evening, hitting 46.7 percent (7-of-15). Devonte Green hit five of those, en route to an awe-inspiring 30-point career high scoring performance. Green was simply sensational scoring the ball tonight, going 10-of-15 from the floor. In the first half, he helped the Hoosiers punch out to a double-digit lead. In the second, he made timely buckets when the Seminoles got within a possession of tying the game.

Green did have four turnovers against three assists, but his scoring was an essential piece of the puzzle for Indiana’s victory tonight. When Indiana’s offense bogged down, Green was there to make a play and create a shot for himself. Trayce Jackson-Davis (15 points, eight rebounds) came close to another double-double in his young career. Justin Smith rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Hoosiers with 14 points, including a 6-of-9 mark at the line.

Indiana’s defense held Florida State under a point per possession (.92). The Hoosiers were particularly strong during a stretch in the first half, keeping the Seminoles without a field goal for almost eight minutes of game action, which helped them build a 15-point lead. Indiana’s defense did a strong job of keeping Florida State’s guards contained on the drive through strong on-ball defense, communication and connectedness.

This game was hard fought. The Hoosiers dove on the floor for loose balls. They played hard defense. They showed emotion throughout in ways we haven’t seen before this season. Florida State chipped away and chipped away at the lead, but Indiana held on and even threw another late run up to win this game with relative ease down the stretch.

“A lot of people have been saying we’ve been facing little teams,” Jackson-Davis said after the game. “How are they gonna do against the big dogs? Well, you witnessed it. I’d say we’ve just got to do our thing.”

One big dog down. Several more to go.

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