Hoosiers hoping to get healthier this week #iubb

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana is getting healthier, and not a moment too soon.

Freshman forward Juwan Morgan returned to action and played through a nagging shoulder issue in Friday’s Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal loss, while sophomore guard Robert Johnson dressed and participated in pregame warmups for the first time since suffering a high-ankle sprain on Feb. 20.

As the Hoosiers wait for their NCAA Tournament destination and opponent to be announced Sunday evening, the hope now is that the team will be much closer to full strength when it returns to action late next week.

Though he played, Morgan was clearly limited. He once again wore a shoulder brace under his uniform and logged only six minutes after leaving his second consecutive game on Sunday with a shoulder issue.

Playing through the nuisance of injury is nothing new for Morgan.
He’s done it for much of this season, plowing through his freshman year at a level far less than 100 percent due to a foot injury suffered in the Maui Invitational and the shoulder injury that continues to pop up.

At least with the shoulder, Morgan has an idea of how to manage it.

“It’s been happening since my junior year of high school,” Morgan said. “It’s the only recurring injury that I’ve had. I don’t think I’m trying to prove anything to myself, but I’m just trying to give my teammates what I came here for, and that’s being a good teammate, hustle plays, getting on the floor and playing defense.”

Johnson, meanwhile, dressed in uniform but did not see the court. He went through warmups, shooting and participating in the various drills.

A regular starter, he was not wearing any sort of brace or tape around the ankle, which has bothered him since late in IU’s win over Purdue last month.

Johnson will be nearly a month removed from suffering the injury when IU begins NCAA Tournament play next week.

“He’s a dog defensively,” junior forward Collin Hartman said. “He can shoot the ball and he’s just aggressive. He’s a leader and he knows what he’s doing out there on the floor. He really, really does help defensively, just by being aggressive and being athletic. It’ll be great to have him back.”

For his part, Hartman became the latest IU player to require monitoring by the training staff. Hartman took a couple hard falls to the court Friday, and appeared to favor his right wrist late in the game and in the postgame handshake line.

“It’s a little sore,” Hartman said. “I’ll go back and get some treatment on it and let Timmy G (athletic trainer Tim Garl) work his magic on it. Hopefully, I’ll get back at it.”

Assist records fall
Yogi Ferrell broke one record, then Derrick Walton did him one better.

Ferrell dished eight assists on Friday, breaking Bobby Wilkerson’s senior record of 171 in the process. Ferrell passed Wilkerson on his THIRD assist of the day, and carries 177 into next week’s NCAA Tournament.

On the other end of the floor, Walton was rewriting the Big Ten record books.

The Michigan point guard broke the conference tournament single-game assists record with 12. Five players previously had 11 — the last coming from IU’s Ryan Tapak in 2004.

Career day for OG
While the rest of his team struggled to maintain its edge, OG Anunoby once again delivered some energy off the bench.

This time, he found a career-high 13 points while doing so.

Though his turnover on IU’s final offensive possession turned into Kameron Chatman’s game-winning 3-pointer, Anunoby had an otherwise fine day. The freshman finished with three blocks, two rebounds, two assists and two steals that led to dunks.

Anunoby shot 6-for-6 from the field.