(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)
BLOOMINGTON, IN — The Hoosiers walk away Thursday evening victorious 96-62 against the University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles. Indiana rolled with the punches even with a number of minor injuries that created novel lineups for Archie Miller. Devonte Green, Race Thompson, and Jerome Hunter were all held out of competition. Al Durham suffered a minor injury in today’s skirmish and was forced to walk into the locker room at halftime. He did not return back on the court.
Interestingly enough, the story of the evening was the play of Robert Phinisee, Justin Smith, and Damezi Andersonand less about senior Juwan Morgan and freshman Romeo Langford. (Not to take away from their performances.)
Robert Phinisee truly was the best player on the court for the first half. With Devonte Green sitting out, Phinisee conducted Archie’s offense and showed his maturity as a freshman. He played controlled, did not attempt any home run plays, and found seams to cut to the basket at opportunistic times. He finished the first half with a game high 10 points. For the game, he finished with 13 points, 4 assists, and most importantly 0 turnovers.
In the second half, the attack was much more balanced. A number of players hit a barrage of threes, led by freshman Damezi Anderson who hit 4 of 6 from behind the arc. Anderson ended up leading Indiana in scoring and made all 14 of his points in the second half.
McRoberts, Jager, and Fitzner contributed to the distance shooting.
Justin Smith and Juwan Morgan had incredible athletic plays during the game. Exposing the differences between a high major team like Indiana and a Division II team like Southern Indiana, the pair towered over opponents for blocks, dunks, etc.
Freshman superhero Romeo Langford did not quite play like the player Indiana high school fans have seen. In 31 minutes of play, he scored 13 points on 4 of 12 shooting. Notably he also accumulated 5 turn overs on the day – nearly half of Indiana’s 11 total turnovers. There are still adjustments that he and Archie Miller will need to work on for him, including getting adjusted how college games are officiated. During a handoff pass to Zach McRoberts in the first half, Romeo was called for a travel as he took too many steps before the ball left his hands.
Fans still saw glimpses of what Romeo Langford can do and they would be considered unreasonably to have any level of panic at this time. Romeo will get there.
Indiana got the opportunity to play an in-state team that handled the competition very well. In many parts of the game, the Screaming Eagles matched Indiana shot for shot. Archie Miller rotated players and got to see who exactly on the team is game ready.
Now, onto the regular season.
Box Score (Source: IU Athletics)
Indiana faces Chicago State on Tuesday, November 6th back in Assembly Hall. At the time of writing this article, the Cougars are ranked 344 out of 353 on Kenpom. We will have the scouting report on Chicago State coming out soon.