4 storylines for IU’s game at Minnesota

1. Two middling teams
IU and Minnesota each started the season with 12-2 records, but since turning the page to a new calendar year, it’s been a slog for both squads. Minnesota has lost four straight and seven of its last 11. IU, of course, has dropped two in a row and nine of its last 10. Minnesota has proven to be a slump-busting opponent for Big Ten teams this season. Nebraska (seven games), Michigan State (three) and Illinois (five) each ended losing skids against the Gophers. Indiana will try to do the same.

2. Homecoming for Thompson?
Redshirt freshman forward Race Thompson continues to work toward a return to action. IU coach Archie Miller said Friday that Thompson, a Minnesota native, has practiced hard in recent weeks and could return to Indiana’s playing rotation for the first time since making his college debut on Nov. 9. “I think we’re going to give that a look here this next opportunity at Minnesota and on,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “He’s got to be ready and when he gets his chance, hopefully he can continue to do it. Our bench has been something that we’ve tinkered with all season long, injuries have given guys certain opportunities here of late. We’ve played a lot of different types of guys in certain games, and that’s key to your team’s development and morale and everything, and I feel like we’ll keep firing guys in there to the best of our ability.”

3. Lineup change?
Indiana has rolled with the same starting lineup — Rob Phinisee, Romeo Langford, Al Durham, Justin Smith and Juwan Morgan — for four straight games, and 14 contests overall. Might a change be in order? Forward De’Ron Davis has been a key component to IU’s team across the past thee games, and the Hoosiers are clearly a better team with him on the floor. Problem is, after a year full of injuries, his conditioning is still a work in progress. Phinisee has struggled since returning from his concussion, averaging 5.3 points and 1.6 assists across the past nine games. But does IU have a better option? Devonte Green has flashed with big shots in big moments. Consistency, coupled with his high-risk approach, remains the issue.

4. One of the Big Ten’s best.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy is carving his name into the Big Ten record book as he approaches the final stretch of his college career. Murphy’s 1,208 career rebounds rank second in conference history after passing Joe Barry Carroll. He’s also the 10th player in Big Ten history with at least 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds. Murphy ranks second in Big Ten play with 11.0 rebounds per game. “(He) probably doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves in terms of his rebounding,” Miller said. “… Obviously, his career speaks for itself. He’s having a tremendous year for them right now, but he is a load to deal with.”

8 comments

  1. I’m very intrigued by the awesome photo….Is that of recent times? Beautiful image. If you could give me any specifics, I’d love to have my curiosity quenched. Can’t really make out the players….And who is in the business suit near the Hoosier huddle? At first I thought it was DJ White….

  2. Looking more closely at the haircuts tells me its from quite a few years back? Possibly a Sampson team?

  3. Found it. January 16, 2016. Taken by Chris Howell. Only three years ago… though its artistic quality gives it a much older nostalgic feel.

    Guess how I found out the details? Initially couldn’t get any hits via searching “IU Hoosiers at Williams Arena”….After noticing the “Carmax” logo on the basketball goal support system, I decided to type “Carmax Williams Arena” into the search bar….and voilà!

    https://www.hoosiertimes.com/herald_times_online/gallery/sports/iu-vs-minnesota-men-s-basketball/collection_a80b8333-d84c-5de0-957e-a85c4dd7a851.html#17

  4. Gosh that’s great, Harv. I looked at the site briefly at 5:00 A.M. (as per my usual routine on game days), and since then, as I’ve been doing my roadwork, lifting, and yoga (added as per Chet’s diagnosis on heartbeat rate during games) I was truly wondering how you successfully sleuthed the scenario.

    No one can say you’re a magician! (A “magician” never reveals his tricks).

    Now let’s see if Race enters and somehow, perhaps even magically, this team ceases to be so doldrumistic (my word to describe dead-beats) and becomes Energized and RACE up and down the court with gusto and comraderie. The deafening silence of Williams would be an appropriate soundtrack, and, of course, you’ve already alluded to the appearance of this upcoming Adventure!

  5. If I were coach (hint hint in case there’s a call for a change), I would START Race!

    Pitino is, of course, notoriously neglectful, but, just as in a high-stakes Chess match, sometimes it is worthy to make a surprising first move in order to eliminate any “preparation”. And the fans! How would they react to Race being introduced as a Starter?????

    And…..(in an ideal scenario)….how sublime would it be if, at the first call of “foul” against Race, Archie just went completely bat-dung and earned (and I mean EARNED) a technical foul!!!

    Stand by Race and by extension the rest of the Team will know this is ‘a new beginning’.

    It does not matter IN THE SLIGHTEST whether the call is justified. What matters is the signal from Archie that “things are different now”…..

  6. Found my Archie song….I dedicate this tune, “Wand’rin’ Star,’ to Archie Miller.

    Maybe we’ll have a great day in the “paint” while attempting to steal some gold off of those Minnesota uniforms?

    Wand’rin’ Star
    Lee Marvin
    Produced by Alan Jay Lerner
    Album Paint Your Wagon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    I was born under a wandering star
    I was born under a wandering star

    Wheels are made for rolling, mules are made to pack
    I’ve never seen a sight that didn’t look better looking back

    I was born under a wandering star

    Mud can make you prisoner, and the plains can bake you dry
    Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry
    Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to
    Which with any luck will never come true

    I was born under a wandering star
    I was born under a wandering star

    Do I know where hell is? Hell is in “hello”
    Heaven is goodbye forever, it’s time for me to go

    I was born under a wandering star
    A wandering, wandering star

    (Mud can make you prisoner, and the plains can bake you dry
    Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry
    Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to
    Which with any luck will never come true)

    (I was born under a wandering star
    I was born under a wandering star)

    When I get to heaven tie me to a tree
    Or I’ll begin to roam, and soon you’ll know where I will be

    I was born under a wandering star
    A wandering, wandering star

  7. If Indiana finishes next to last in the BIG TEN how would this year be classified?? Failure, rebuild, success or what? With seven games left on the schedule, the only victory seem to be against Rutgers.

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