(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)
BLOOMINGTON, IN — The ASUN’s Jacksonville University Dolphins visited Indiana after an offensive shootout with Notre Dame earlier in the week. The Dolphins put up 74 points against the Irish, which was unfortunately not enough to take down the 60% shooting Notre Dame team.
Tonight Jacksonville faced a much stingier Hoosier defense who held them to just 29 points in the first half and Jacksonville finished the game with 64 – good for 0.90 points per possession. Juwan Morgan led the Indiana offense and defense early in the game. After 7 minutes of gametime, Juwan Morgan racked up an efficient 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. He would then make Indiana history, scoring the second ever Indiana University triple-double behind Steve Downing. In his 30 minutes, he tallied the most efficient triple-double with 10 points (5 of 5 shooting), 10 assists, and 10 rebounds.
Morgan played like the captain and senior of the team. In the paint, Juwan cleanly battled and won against the frontcourt of Jacksonville University. In situations where Juwan received the double team, he relied on his court vision to facilitate the offense and open up for other players on the Indiana roster.
When De’Ron Davis got injured in the first half, Juwan Morgan had to settle with a quick breather, but he picked up right where he left off. He immediately joined the game and emphatically branded the game as his. After a quick interior feed, Juwan used his improved footwork to navigate towards an easy bucket.
Even without the ball, Juwan Morgan conducts the offense and is the vocal traffic conductor on the floor. He leads the team not only in his production, but he also acts as an extension of the coaching staff. For a team with such young players, that should not go under-appreciated.
One of those recipients was Al Durham this evening. While Al has recently struggled against specific match ups, Jacksonville was not a match up that would hold him back. He led all scorers with 12 points at the intermission and shot a perfect 4 of 4 from the field, including 2 important three pointers. He finished a career high 18 points.
For the most part, Al looked very comfortable this evening and did just enough. Al, including the rest of the entire Indiana team, has to clean up the turnovers and take care of the ball better if they are looking to have long term success in the conference schedule; however, today he played well enough to earn the trust of Archie Miller.
Devonte Green dropped his name to be considered one of the candidates for the open third scoring option on this roster. The polarizing guard had moments of NBA level passing and scoring ability. While not very successful beyond the three-point line, he had reasonable shot selection and created space for himself. Tamed with the understanding the Jacksonville did not shoot well as a team, Devonte Green controlled and locked down his assignment, which was one of the more important aspect of his game this evening.
Romeo Langford displayed his offensive capabilities around the rim. Despite the continued unluckiness behind the arc, Romeo Langford continued to have the ability to understand the necessary steps it takes to navigate to the rim. Although he was not the star of the show tonight, Romeo still managed to score 15 points on the night.
Other noteworthy rotation minutes this evening included Evan Fitzner and Damezi Anderson. Evan Fitzner seemed to continue his struggle working around the paint. For a player of his size, he seems to reach the ball, but infrequently comes away as the victor of 50-50 balls. Archie and the staff certainly need to monitor this as an area of development.
Indiana’s lack of guard depth tonight benefited Damezi Anderson with minutes. He took advantage of that opportunity tonight. Within the first offensive possession of him coming into the game, Anderson converted behind the arc. He would later finish with 3 of 5 three-point shots.
Indiana was not able to shake off the slow start this game per se; however, the slow start only lasted about a minute, before Indiana began to pick it up and break the seal. Frankly speaking, that may be the best that the staff can do with a team struggling this way. Instead of attempting to cure the start completely, the staff just has to do their best to manage the symptoms. Turnovers were manageable tonight with 5 in the first half and 12 to end the game. Against a tougher Big Ten team, including the next team on the list Illinois, the Hoosiers have to protect the ball if they want to have deep postseason potential.
(Source: Indiana Athletics)
Archie Miller and the Hoosiers have a 12 day hiatus before they reopen Big Ten play against 4-7 Illinois at home on January 3rd, 2018. That game will be broadcasted on FS1 at 7:00 pm EST. As noted in earlier in this week’s press conference, the players will have an opportunity to return to their respective homes and spend Christmas with their families. The staff plans to slowly kickoff practice again on Wednesday, December 27th.