MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The three-point line and Indiana had a difficult relationship in the Hoosiers’ 84-63 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday at Williams Arena. Truthfully, nearly everything else did not go right for the Hoosiers, either.
The Hoosiers went just 1-14 beyond the arc, while giving up 12 Minnesota threes. In total, Indiana made 20 shots from the field.
If the alarms have not gone off in Assembly Hall, they need to be on full blast when the team returns to Bloomington. The Hoosiers trailed early and the gap widened throughout the entire contest against Richard Pitino’s Golden Gophers.
Off of a six day break, the lack of readiness for the Hoosiers should point to broader and more dramatic adjustments. Something needs to be done differently, and it needs to be done immediately.
Heading into the contest, the Gophers were ranked last in the Big 10 in both three-point percentage and three-pointers made per game. In fact, in its last three contests, Minnesota made 12 total three-point shots.
Gopher Freshman Gabe Kalscheur went 7-10 from three; however, the play of the game came from fellow freshman Daniel Oturu who connected from deep on his first attempt this season as the shot clock expired early in the first half.
The story continued as Minnesota comprehensively routed Indiana across all areas of the game between their lights out shooting (12 of 22 behind the arc), their ball movement (19 assists to Indiana’s 8), and their defense that held Indiana to less than 12% shooting from three-point range.
Despite Minnesota’s constant barrage of three-pointers, it was Senior Forward Jordan Murphy who led the way. He controlled the paint against Indiana bigs Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis. He had 17 points in the first half and finished the game with yet another double-double – his 18th of the season.
“The game-plan was really set on him,” Junior Indiana Forward De’ron Davis said. “I feel like we did execute the game-plan to the best of our ability. He was catching easy things like airball threes, and threes that (were) hitting the glass hard coming right to him. So I feel like in all honesty you know, we did a pretty good job. We executed the red, he really didn’t get any one on one buckets. All of his buckets came from offensive rebounds or weird tip-shots that he got.”
All afternoon, the Hoosiers continued to make things difficult for themselves offensively.
Post players elected to shoot fade away hooks instead of driving towards the bucket. Point blank lay ups missed on multiple occasions. Small, but noteworthy, the team rounds out corners instead of making direct beeline cuts towards their next position. Indiana’s lack of crispness was magnified against Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy who is adeptly intentional in his body position, movement, and straight line bursts to the bucket.
The Hoosiers had double digit performances from 4 starters, but that was not enough to even stay competitive with Golden Gophers.
Senior Forward Juwan Morgan finished with 14 points for the Hoosiers, but it was Freshman Guard Romeo Langford’s performance that received all the attention. Langford scored 10 points, but only shot six attempts from the field.
Kalscheur credited combating the screen defensively as the the x-factor to Langford’s lack of usage.
“I was just trying to get over screens, and just play up on him because I know he likes to drive. He’s a hard driver, and he has a good shot too,” Kalscheur said.
For the Hoosiers to be successful for the remainder of the season, Davis simply stressed effort.
“I just feel like we need to play harder as a team,” Davis said. “We need to be more together in tough times.”
(Source: Indiana Athletics)
The Hoosiers rush back to Bloomington and get ready for their match up against 12th ranked Purdue. There will be very little time to prepare for an even tougher team at home. Game tips off 7:00 pm Tuesday on ESPN.