4 storylines for IU’s game at Duke

1. Hoosiers getting healthier
Relief could be on the way for IU’s short-handed rotation. Both Zach McRoberts (back) and Devonte Green (thigh) returned to practice on Sunday and both are likely game-time decisions for Indiana’s showdown at Duke. The two veteran backcourt players participated in non-contact, full-court work in this weekend’s practice and Miller seemed encouraged by their progress. By the sound of it, if Green and McRoberts don’t play at Duke, they could still return in time for Saturday’s Big Ten opener vs. Northwestern.

2. Plenty of firepower
Duke freshman RJ Barrett leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring at 22.8 points per game, while classmate Zion Williamson leads the league in field goal percentage (.653) and ranks third in scoring (20.7). Between Barrett and Williamson, Duke is the only power conference school with multiple players averaging at least 20 points per game. Cam Reddish, meanwhile, is second among ACC players with 19 3-pointers. He’s hit at least one 3 in every game, including a Duke freshman-record seven against Army.

3. Rising to the moment
Indiana learned to lean on its stars during the past week, looking for Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford to assert themselves down the stretch to score victories over UT-Arlington and UC Davis. Duke, of course, lives on a different level. IU needs to hit big shots, particularly from the perimeter. The Hoosiers have been a bit streaky around the arc, though they’re shooting nearly 38 percent from 3-point range through the first six games. Duke is also at its best when it’s on the run and playing fast. If IU can slow things down, it could work to its favor. Indiana needs heady play from Rob Phinisee and a steady effort from Justin Smith to keep up.

4. Monitoring fouls
Physically, this is just a tough matchup for the Hoosiers, though they’re far from the only team for which that’s the case. Duke has the superior athletes and the natural ability to play in ways that could create quick foul trouble for IU’s top players. Protecting Juwan Morgan and keeping him on the floor is a priority for Indiana, though it could be easier said than done. For the visitors, getting a friendly whistle at Cameron Indoor Stadium isn’t easy.

2 comments

  1. Duke has struggled in games that are slowed down and aren’t very good in the half court. Watch the Gonzaga game and you will see that. It turns into a one on one game and was easily defended.

  2. IU is missing too many players and is not big enough to beat this Duke team at Duke. Plus, our 3-point shooting is terrible right now. This game will be a humbling experience for IU, but it will serve as a benchmark from which they can measure their progress going forward. It does not matter how good you are in November, it matters how good you are in March, and losing to Duke is not going to hurt IU in the eyes of the NCAA selection committee. Play hard and don’t suffer any more injuries.

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