4 storylines for IU’s NIT game vs. Arkansas

1. Moving on
In Tuesday’s opening round win at Providence, Arkansas didn’t seem to miss leading scorer Daniel Gafford (16.9 ppg), who declared for the NBA Draft on Monday. Freshman forward Reggie Chaney scored a career-high 14 points and blocked a career-best seven shots, while Gabe Osabuohien scored 11 points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds. With Gafford gone, Chaney and Osabuohien become the inside focus for the Razorbacks. “Without (Gafford), they become way more wide open in terms of the way they attack and shoot the ball from five positions and drive it from five positions,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “Their motion allows them to really move, and it’s just one of those things where it’s not a very structured game. They’re very free flowing.”

2. Not your average Joe
Gafford’s absence also means that freshman guard Isaiah Joe is now Arkansas’ top scorer. Joe is averaging 13.9 points and shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. He’s set a school record with 110 3-pointers this season, and ranks fifth on the NCAA all-time list for 3s by a freshman in a single season. Joe ranks second in the SEC with 3.33 3-pointers made per game, and has made at least one 3-pointer in 31 of 33 games. Overall, he ranks 18th nationally in 3-pointers per game. “Isaiah Joe, making 110 threes on the season as a freshman, leading the league in three-point shooting makes and percentages, (it’s) incredible,” Miller said.

3. Davis’ revenge
Arkansas’ 73-72 win over IU in November went down to the wire, with the Hoosiers falling short in the final seconds. A missed tip-in by De’Ron Davis proved to be the difference, overshadowing what was an otherwise solid showing from the Indiana junior, who finished with 10 points and five rebounds off the bench. This week, Davis didn’t play in the second half against St. Francis, the result of a poor showing in Tuesday’s first period. During the last few days of practice, Indiana coach Archie Miller has challenged his 6-foot-10 big man with the hope of inspiring a more complete performance in the rematch with Arkansas. “Coming off the Big Ten Tournament and moving into that first one, he wasn’t very dialed in,” Miller said. “Physically and mentally, you have to be dialed in at this time. You have to be motivated, you have to be ready to go. (He’s had a ) very, very good attitude the last few days.”

4. Close calls
The Nov. 18 meeting between the teams was a sign of things to come. Both Indiana and Arkansas have found themselves in a long list of close contests this season. The Razorbacks have played in 11 games that were decided by five points or less. Arkansas has lost four one-possession games. On the other side, eight of Indiana’s last 12 contests have been one-possession games in the final minute, including three overtime contests.

6 comments

    1. I think Jon posted a game wrapup about the same time as your post. As I’ve said before, we have stories in print that don’t always make it here, especially with not having anyone actually in Eugene.

  1. OSU survives. 7 of 8 BigTen teams move on to next round….Only Wisconsin falling to Oregon.

    I think it’s going to hit us tomorrow. No NCAA tournament letdown, that is…
    I’ve enjoyed watching the little schools move on …along with those who put up some great fight against teams with just too much talent. Still a lot of dreams coming true for kids who rarely get the big stage and bright lights. A lot of fine coaches as well…Very impressed with Iona. Nearly broke my heart to watch the emotion of their senior point guard, Ricky McGill, hugging his coach after his final college game…He kept pulling his the front of his jersey to display his pride in wearing his school colors while holding back the tears.

    My sour grapes from IU not making it in have worn off. I think college ball needs to be more about these 4-year kids who give their hearts and souls to schools. This tournament means the world to them…Their coaches mean the world to them. I’m so tired of indifferent faces from prima donnas. Nice to see the NBA hasn’t destroyed all of college ball….

    Thought it was sort of funny when one of the commentator’s for the Iona vs UNC game told the story of the coach of Iona’s long break between his one meeting with Roy Williams. Cluess(coach of Iona) said he hadn’t seen Roy Williams since Roy came to watch Danny Green while Cluess was coaching him in high school….”I hadn’t seen Roy since.”

    Posted: Jul 14, 2015

    He(Danny Green) remembered his first practices at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset, New York, where coach Tim Cluess’ workouts were exhaustive exercises in running and gunning.

    All of Cluess’ practices were high-energy and meant to be conducted at game speed.

    “We wore you down, and Danny struggled in his first few weeks,” Cluess said. “He was not a natural shooter, so everything took time and effort. And for the last two years, he never lost a competition in practice. Running, shooting, anything.”

    Cluess mentioned a coaching philosophy that it takes about 18,000 to 20,000 repetitions of an action for it to become second nature. For a typical high school player taking 100 shots a day, a process could take six months to master and bad habits may form along the way.

    Danny Green, Cluess said, was taking 1,000 shots a day.

    “Practicing has to be kind of like a religion with the amount of time you put into it,” Cluess said. “Danny put in the work to get to a point where a 3-point shot feels as natural as a layup.”

    Cluess is a Division I college coach now at Iona College.

    Iona made 344 three-pointers last season, tied for most in the nation.

    1. H4H,
      You hitting on something here which is important – the 4 year player. When you look at the last 20 years of IUBB, it is the 4 year players who stick out the most. Compare Juwan, Yogi or Jordy to the guys who moved on. Yes, it was nice to have the VOs, Cody’s, and OGs, but it is different. A lot has been made of the nba’s one and done rule which is causing great disruption to college basketball. I don’t think the nfl’s rule is the answer, but maybe major league baseball could be.

      The problem I see is from a team personnel management standpoint. Not having roster certainty for a specified period of time is difficult to manage. Right now, if Romeo hasn’t made his intentions for the future clear to Archie, CAM is sitting there trying to figure out how best to recruit for Romeo’s spot. This is not the best way to run a railroad, but MLB may have come upon the best solution. If you are going to go pro out of HS then make your decision, but if you’re going the college route, you’re there for 3 years. I think college baseball has benefited mightily from the cooperative effort by MLB, which includes both the owners and the players association.

  2. thinkaboutit- I did thinkaboutit briefly. Agree and disagree per usual. Don’t take da bait…if you can’t debate! I sort of like choice in all things….including a woman’s right to choose to go to the WNBA early. See what I did there?
    Would love three mandatory years of great players…but I think I love three or four years more from guys who really want to be here…along with wholeheartedly valuing the college game and representing a school.

    I don’t know if you can force a prima donna with any amount of college requirement to adopt a love of classroom, team game, or a desire to play for championships. You can’t make a phenom whose brain is set to fast track to the top….to be the turtle winning against the hare.

    Bottom Line: Maybe it’s the mix(one-and-done/two-and-done with the turtles) that keeps it all interesting. Or maybe I just don’t have the answers….as society becomes more and more “me” centered where everyone thinks/wants/deserves to be on a fast track.

  3. Do I really want the level of unbelievable talent that goes to Duke or UK to be forced to stay for two or three seasons? I think most schools’ only hope is for places like UK or Duke to slightly miss their stride on each one-and-done reset. Maybe it’s a slightly down overall recruiting year and they(UK, Duke, UNC, etc) can’t reload as strongly per usual….? Then the door opens for places with just the right mix of varied/experienced ‘classes’ along with having their shorter supply(one or two) Mickey D player/players.

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