BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — On an afternoon where the program celebrated the 1980 team that eventually lost to Purdue in the NCAA tournament, the current-day Hoosiers fulfilled the ironic destiny by losing to Purdue on their home court 62-74. The Hoosiers move to 15-8 on the season, which includes a 5-7 conference record. Indiana is now currently back at risk for missing yet another NCAA tournament.
The Boilermakers earn an important road win and move to 14-10 overall.
Would the Hoosiers be able to match the energy that circulated Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall created by the rumors of the return of a former coach? Well, any momentum that Indiana could pick up with quickly deadened by Purdue’s efficient shooting combined with Indiana’s continued troubles in handling the rock.
Frankly by the second half, the depleted Hoosiers simply had no offensive answers to a Purdue team that more aggressively closed out on defense and never lost confidence in their own shooting ability.
Both teams opened up strong from behind the arc, shooting three of four. Purdue’s Eric Hunter made the Boilermaker’s first two buckets — two deep threes. Sophomore Aaron Wheeler then took on sharpshooting responsibility, hitting his first three attempts.
With a fresh haircut, Indiana freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis led Indiana with 16 points in the game. All afternoon he battled against Purdue’s double team and was again denied the ability to exercise his movements in the paint. In other news, Jackson-Davis mentioned to the media earlier today that he plans to stay for his sophomore season.
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The Hoosiers let off the gas pedal near the end of the first half. After keeping up with the Boilermakers bucket for bucket, Indiana gave up a 12-0 run to end the half that allowed Purdue to take the nine point lead into halftime.
That’s not quite what the Hoosiers were hoping for going into an extended halftime where the program would celebrate one of the best teams in program history and one of the most legendary coaches in college basketball.
Indiana kept up on the glass, something they could not do previously against Ohio State; however, the caretaking of the ball was still missing. After just six turnovers at home against Maryland, Indiana tallied 17 against Penn State and 13 against Ohio State. They had 14 turnovers this afternoon.
At the 13-minute mark of the second half, Purdue had 15 points off of turnovers to Indiana’s 9, which happened to be equal to the score differential.
Indiana’s backcourt had another one of their less memorable performances. The core group of four has been consistently disrupted as the Hoosiers’ game plan is very obvious: pass along the perimeter until an opening inside appears.
Unable to get over the stagnant offense and a lackluster defensive performance, the Hoosiers will take their fourth loss in a row in embarrassing fashion considering the stakes of the opportunity.
Bob Knight returns to Assembly Hall
It happened. It finally happened.
After nearly two decades, the former Indiana head coach finally returned back to Assembly Hall and made a public appearance on the court during the halftime celebration of Indiana’s 1980 Big Ten championship team. Emotions were strong in the air as former players teared up as if they saw their “estranged father,” as the ESPN broadcast described.
Bob Knight hugged all of his former players that on the court and made sure to stop by the broadcast booth where he messed with his close friend Dick Vitale.
Before heading back into the locker room area, Bob Knight started a “defense” chant, something that seemed to be lacking for the Hoosiers during the first half. The clip below shows the scene at halftime.
It was later revealed that Archie Miller did not allow his players to watch the halftime celebration. He wanted his team to keep focused on the task at hand: overcoming a halftime deficit against Purdue.
Number of the Night: 33 to 17 bench points
The Hoosiers had no answers for Purdue’s depth this afternoon, largely driven by Wheeler, Matt Haarms, and Isiah Thompson. Purdue attacked the rim at will without the Hoosiers being able to establish themselves in the interior. Consistent three point shooting forced IU to spread their packline wider than they surely preferred. Indiana, who has prided themselves in their deep 11 man rotation all season long, has been shortening the rotation, but we have yet to see if that tactic is paying off.
Among players on the bench, Jerome Hunter had a noteworthy performance this afternoon. The redshirt freshman played nearly 25 minutes and was just one of three Hoosiers in double digits. Hunter finished with 10 points, including two makes from distance.
Source: Indiana Athletics
Next Up: Iowa
The Hoosiers will remain in Bloomington to host No. 17 Iowa on Thursday, February 13. The Hawkeyes are coming off one of the worst conference losses this season against Purdue and they will be facing Nebraska later this afternoon. You can watch that game on BTN at 6:00 p.m. ET.
The full schedule can be found on the Indiana Basketball schedule page.
Featured Photo: Indiana Athletics