After two wins over MAC teams to start the season, Mike Woodson and the Hoosiers geared up for a tougher test against St. John’s, a top-50 team per KenPom. In front of a boisterous Assembly Hall crowd, the Hoosiers sealed a 76-74 victory against the Red Storm, led by Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jordan Geronimo and Tamar Bates. Which player combinations helped IU land a big non-conference win? Glad you asked.
- Mike Woodson made 10 substitutions in the first half, but no five-man group repeated itself. That’s a very rare occurrence at the D-I level, and it possibly gave St. John’s a lot to think about at halftime. The first duplication happened when IU’s starters took the floor to begin the second half.
- Always be ready. Based on raw plus-minus, Indiana’s most productive lineup on the night featured three bench players: Khristian Lander, Bates, and Geronimo. That group played together for a vital 3:29 stretch late in the second half, when Indiana’s grasp on the game felt tenuous. It was 56-56 when that shift started; when Lander came out for Xavier Johnson, it was 65-61 Hoosiers.
- Indiana’s best unit on a plus-minus per minute basis was Rob Phinisee, Johnson, Parker Stewart, Race Thompson, and Trayce Jackson-Davis. Once again, Woodson loved pairing Phinisee and Johnson in the backcourt, and that maneuver helped IU add to its first half lead. Due to Johnson’s foul trouble, Woodson could not deploy that strategy as much during the game.
- IU is +12 on the season in 15:44 when Phinisee and Johnson share the court.
- Geronimo was Indiana’s best player from a plus minus standpoint. He finished +7 and was the only Hoosier to record a positive plus minus in the second half (+2).
- Indiana’s starting lineup of Johnson, Stewart, Miller Kopp, Thompson, and Jackson-Davis finished in the red for the first time, dating back to the Bahamas exhibitions. To make matters worse, they had the worst plus minus out of the 17 five-man groups that Woodson used (-5).
- With 6:45 left in the first half, Trey Galloway received a hard foul that ended up as a flagrant-two on Montez Mathis. Of the remaining 26:45, Bates played 20:39 or 77% of those minutes. That could be a sign of things to come if Galloway needs to miss some time.
- IU used a different closing lineup than it did vs. EMU. Tonight, it was Johnson, Stewart, Bates, Thompson, and Jackson-Davis. That group hadn’t played together all season until 5:13 remained tonight. They got outscored 12-11 over that stretch. Geronimo did substitute in for Jackson-Davis for the final eight seconds.
- Indiana’s frontcourt duos performed as follows: Thompson/Jackson-Davis (-6), Geronimo/Thompson (0), Thompson/Durr (+1), Geronimo/Durr (+3), and Geronimo/Jackson-Davis (+4).
- Johnson leads all Hoosiers in plus minus this season (+33). He’s played the fourth-most minutes.
- IU’s offense was at its best with Stewart in the game, when looking at players that recorded at least 10 minutes. In Stewart’s 23:03, IU scored 46 points, or 2.00 points per minute (PPM). In the 16:57 Stewart was sidelined, IU scored 30 points, or 1.77 PPM.
- It’s no surprise IU’s defense was at its best with Phinisee on the floor. IU allowed 27 points in his 17:44, or 1.52 PPM. In his 22:16 on the bench, IU allowed 47 points, or 2.11 PPM.
Featured Photo: Collin Ebel / IndianaHQ