BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Hoosiers take care of business once again in arguably their most complete performance this season. Archie Miller’s squad handle the Troy Trojans with a final score of 100 to 62 in a game where Indiana never really looked back after the initial tip. Indiana moves to 4-0 on the season.
The energy that may have been lacking in the past contests for the Hoosiers showed up tonight in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Offensively the Hoosiers scored through the paint as the point of emphasis. Indiana’s guards consistently looked for the feed into the interior. Among those fed, freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis controlled the paint with an early 10 points and 5 rebounds that he quickly converted into a double-double in the second half. He had no problem scoring face-up or with his back to the basket against the undersized Troy defenders. The Center Grove high school graduate finished the evening with a final line of 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Aside from Jackson-Davis, veterans Justin Smith and Al Durham played very comfortably against a Troy team that struggled to find any method to slow down the Hoosiers. The two did more of what they have been known to do. Smith finished effectively around the rim with a number of easy layins and athletic put-backs. Durham displayed his versatility and all-around with his ability to shoot the three and also be effective in the interior. The pair finished with a combined 39 points and led both teams in scoring.
Also worth noting, sophomore Damezi Anderson played a career game with solid shooting in the first half. He drilled two mid-range shots from the baseline and added a pair of threes from the distance. Anderson was heralded for his shooting when he was recruited by Indiana, but fans have yet to see him show off his skills in a game setting. He finally backed up the comments we have heard from Archie and other players tonight.
The only way that Troy could really stop the Hoosiers was by fouling, which is exactly what they did. Indiana reached the foul line 14 times in the first half and and another 15 times in the second. This Indiana team is going to heavily rely on the charity stripe and the early set of games have shown that in full force. IU converted 21 of 30 tonight.
On the other end of the court, Indiana made improvements in departments that Archie Miller mentioned during the media availabilities leading up to this game. First, the on-ball defense for the Hoosiers was dialed in for all players. Hands were thrown up early, the players were quick on their toes, and initiated the defense with a highly practiced gap close.
Speaking of gap closures, the Hoosiers three point defense showed signs of improvement as well. Coach Miller said that Indiana’s three-point defense was improvable and quite simply it had to improve. Combine Indiana’s quickness around the perimeter and a consistent theme of hands in the defenders face, you end up with Trojans struggling mightily. By half time, Troy was only able to make 4 of their 14 attempts from the distance. They finished with a final three-point shooting percentage of just 20 percent.
Throughout the game, the defensive energy did in fact dwindle down, but not after the Hoosiers had built a substantial lead.
By the under-12 minute timeout, Indiana held a commanding 27 to 12 lead on the visiting Trojans. Indiana then took a 26-point lead into the interim with a halftime score of 58 to 32.
After not appearing at all for this season, including Hoosier Hysteria and Indiana’s exhibition game, senior captain Devonte Green had an opportunity to run with the team on the floor. After dealing with a hamstring injury, Green return to the line up today after fellow backcourt teammate Rob Phinisee was declared out due to illness. Green tallied 6 points, 4 assists, and just 1 turnover in 20 minutes of action.
Green had a bit of rust coming into the game, as he missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc in the first half; however, the New York native had no problem running Indiana’s offense, one that may still be a bit unfamiliar for him given his absences from practice. Troy called up double-teams and full-court presses against Green, but that did not phase him.
Indiana will take this win and go back into practice in tuneup mode as they prepare for their next opponent the Princeton Tigers, who visit Bloomington next Wednesday night. Princeton is currently 0-3 on the season after losing to Lafayette last week. With a Kenpom rank of 225, they will be Indiana’s toughest match up yet, but that is not saying much.
Featured Photo: Anna Tiplick / IndianaHQ