Film Session: Michigan State
During their three-game winning streak, the Hoosiers have increased their off-ball movement when teams throw extra pressure at Trayce Jackson-Davis in the post. Against the Spartans on Sunday afternoon, Indiana took it to another level, sending multiple divers to the rim off the perimeter and replacing the strong-side wing with a 3-point shooting threat.
Combining the movement with Jackson-Davis’ renewed health and improved game? It’s led to Indiana’s senior sporting the sixth-best assist rate in Big Ten play thus far. He finished with the 31st-best assist rate in conference play a season ago.
And even when Jackson-Davis isn’t picking up the true assist, he’s picking up the hockey assist instead — his initial pass eventually leading to a bucket after his teammates keep moving the ball.
We’ll take a look at all this in action against Michigan State in the latest edition of Film Session:
In our first play, Jackson-Davis snags a rebound and brings the ball down the court himself, eventually backing down Mady Sissoko to the right low block. Joey Hauser effectively then doubles Jackson-Davis. It’s here where both Jordan Geronimo and Jalen Hood-Schifino cut to the basket through the paint drawing their defenders with them. This leaves room for an easier skip pass for Jackson-Davis to make to Miller Kopp on the left wing. As AJ Hoggard closes out on him, Kopp passes up a good shot for an even better one, finding a wide-open Trey Galloway in the corner. He knocks down the 3-pointer.
Galloway has quietly become a reliable 3-point shooter for the Hoosiers this season. The junior has now made 15-of-29 (51.7 percent) on the season.
Here Hood-Schifino enters the ball off the right wing to Jackson-Davis on the right low block. Hood-Schfino then cuts through the lane. Bates moves over from the top of the key to the right wing, replacing Hood-Schifino. As Tre Holloman digs on Jackson-Davis, this allows Bates space on the wing. Jackson-Davis makes the simple pass back out and Bates connects on the 3-pointer.
In a game Bates got red-hot from distance (5-of-6), there was no Hoosier better to be set up on the strong side as the Spartans dug down on TJD. This was one of a couple of occasions that Bates could easily step into a 3-pointer like this.
To start this one off, Jackson-Davis sets a ball screen for Bates on the left wing. It eventually leads to Bates entering the ball to him on the left low block. This time around, the initial ballhandler (Bates) doesn’t cut through the lane, though he does fake it a bit. Instead, when his man (Jaden Akins) digs down on Jackson-Davis, Bates bounces more to the left wing, ready for another kick out. But with Tyson Walker rotating out to Bates, Jackson-Davis opts for the skip pass to Galloway on the right wing.
Galloway swings the ball to Kopp in the corner. But instead of rising up on a 3-pointer, Kopp sees he’s got the baseline open and decides to attack it, leading to a rare dunk from the Northwestern transfer.
This one does a good job of highlighting Indiana again passing up a good look for a great one, Kopp opting against a 3-pointer for a wide-open dunk at the rim instead. It’s another hockey assist for Jackson-Davis as well.
In our last play, we see Galloway entering the ball to Jackson-Davis on the right low block and cutting through to the basket. Bates then starts to come over to replace Galloway.
But this time around with Galloway’s man (Walker) paying a bit too much attention to Jackson-Davis as Galloway cuts, Jackson-Davis knifes through a nifty pass to Galloway, who scores at the rim for two.
All the movement kept Indiana’s offense active on Sunday afternoon, this pass was one of many options Jackson-Davis had at his disposal.