Film Session: Xavier
After an uneven start against the Musketeers on Friday night, Indiana needed a steadying presence on offense. Enter Xavier Johnson.
At the end of last season, Indiana relied on a steady diet of high ball screen action between Johnson and Trayce Jackson-Davis to break through to the NCAA tournament. So far this season, the Hoosiers haven’t run it as much. But with Jackson-Davis getting pressured down low and outside shots not falling in a hostile road environment, Johnson and Jackson-Davis teamed up midway through the first half to steady the waters and keep the Hoosiers afloat.
We’ll take a look at four such plays in the latest edition of Film Session:
On our first play with the Hoosiers down four, Jackson-Davis sets the ball screen near the left slot and Johnson makes his move on a re-screen from TJD. With Jack Nunge in drop coverage, it allows Johnson to get a head of steam and use his quickness to blow by him. Nunge opens up as Johnson gets downhill, allowing an uncontested score for Johnson at the rim.
Good work here by Johnson to use his speed against a slower defender.
On Indiana’s next possession, Jackson-Davis calls out the screen near the left slot. This time Nunge hard hedges, which allows Jackson-Davis space on the roll. Johnson immediately makes the pass, meaning the weak side help from Kam Craft comes late and Jackson-Davis scores for two.
Smart, quick decision-making from Johnson on this one.
A few minutes later, Jackson-Davis again calls out the left slot ball screen. Nunge plays drop coverage again this time around and Johnson attacks it. Nunge contests at the rim much better this time, but Johnson absorbs the contact and scores, picking up a foul from the trailing Souley Boum. IU’s point guard would make the ensuing free throw for a three-point play.
High-level stuff from Johnson here.
Down six, Indiana runs the left slot high ball screen once more. But this time, Johnson eventually opts to run a decoy here, calling for the re-screen but rejecting it by driving left on Desmond Claude and getting fouled. Johnson hit both his free throws to pull Indiana within four points.