Indiana’s tough conference opener featured yet another game with a high percentage usage of the starting five roster. The Hoosiers showed signs off positivity as they were able to climb back from a 15-point deficit against the Wildcats, but ultimately they were unable to sustain that lead. Indiana head coach Archie Miller mentioned after the game that he believed some of the issues were caused by fatigue from the players.

He plans to “bite the bullet” and go deeper into the rotation down the road, which may result in more unique lineups for the games to come – specifically starting this Saturday against No. 18 Illinois on the road.

Notes:

  1. When analyzing the different player combinations in IU’s surprising seven-point loss, one thing that stood out was how much IU struggled when one of Race Thompson or Trayce Jackson-Davis sat. IU went +1 vs. Northwestern in the 24:28 when they played together. On the other hand, IU went -8 in the 15:32 when one of them was sitting. If Archie Miller is looking for a solution to this specific problem, playing Phinisee, Franklin, Durham, Hunter, and Jackson-Davis together might be the fix. That group went for a whopping +22 in the season opener against Tennessee Tech, but has only played 3:23 together in the seven games since.
  2. A key juncture in the game was when Northwestern went on a big 12-0 2nd half run to take an eight-point lead they would never relinquish. Miller used the same lineup (Franklin, Durham, Galloway, Thompson, and Jackson-Davis) for a 3:57 stretch midway through the second half, which overlapped that game-changing Wildcat run. Those five stayed on the court from 50-49 IU to 54-50 IU to 59-54 Northwestern. The back portion of that segment might have been a time to give Khristian Lander some more playing time or bring Rob Phinisee back into the game.
  3. Indiana’s offense hummed with Jackson-Davis in the game, as IU scored 64 points in the 35:38 he played, or 1.80 points per minute (PPM). In the 4:22 he sat, IU scored just three points, or .69 PPM.

Featured Photo: Indiana University Athletics

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