The Minute After: Miami (OH)

  • 11/20/2022 8:20 pm in

Thoughts on an 86-56 win against the Redhawks:

After Friday night’s win against Xavier, the predictable hangover came immediately in this one.

Without the size, strength or talent to match up with Indiana, Travis Steele and the Redhawks packed the paint to try and take away Indiana’s dominance inside. It left the Hoosiers with wide-open looks from the perimeter. Xavier Johnson hit two long 2s early, but Indiana’s shooting went cold. And with it not needing a ton of ball movement or work to get those open shots, the offense looked flat and stagnant with each miss.

Indiana only mustered an 11-10 advantage nearly halfway through the first half (11:16). So how’d the Hoosiers bust out of this one, finally get some momentum and assert themselves?  They turned defense into offense and used their emerging transition game to overpower the Redhawks. All these scores came either off Miami turnovers or in transition to close out the first half: Jalen Hood-Schifino’s pull-up 3-pointer, Malik Reneau’s bucket near the basket, Tamar Bates’ alley-oop finish, Trayce Jackson-Davis’ lay-up and-1 and Miller Kopp’s corner 3-pointer.

Beyond that, Jackson-Davis also continued to play his hyper-efficient, no-nonsense, man-amongst-boys game, scoring 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting and picking up 10 rebounds in the first half alone.

Add it all up and after the slow start, Indiana opened up a 43-26 lead at the break and never looked back.

Hood-Schfino shot just 1-of-9 against the Musketeers on Friday night and missed his first three shots tonight. But he started to find his rhythm as this one wore on, eventually making five of his next nine shots to finish the contest 5-of-12 for 12 points. He was Indiana’s second-leading scorer after Jackson-Davis (17). Kopp hit 2-of-5 from deep. He also showed he could counter the defense closing out on him, making a bucket driving to the rim after a shot fake. He finished with 10 points.

Xavier Johnson’s numbers won’t wow you (seven points, five rebounds, four assists), but he had just one turnover in 25 minutes tonight and played in control. Reneau continues to make the case for being a big part of the rotation. Beyond scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, Reneau had some nice passes tonight — in both the halfcourt and leading it in transition — and racked up three assists. CJ Gunn played hard on defense and came away with two steals for his efforts. He chipped in five points on 2-of-7 shooting showing confidence in his shot, even when it didn’t fall.

Jordan Geronimo had an insane five blocks in 19 minutes of action. He was part of why the Hoosiers held the Redhawks to just .79 points per possession.

While the competition won’t push Indiana the rest of the week, the schedule doesn’t let up. Indiana takes on Little Rock on Wednesday with a quick turnaround vs. Jackson State on Friday. Expect more of the same in those, especially with them being sandwiched around Thanksgiving Day. Indiana will be the clear and overwhelming favorite, but the play won’t always be top-notch.

“It’s set up like playing in the tournament, which I think is good for us,” Mike Woodson said post-game about Indiana’s stretch of four games in eight days.

That fourth game will be against the Tar Heels on Nov. 30, the next real test for these Hoosiers.

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