Hoosiers defeat Gannon in exhibition, 84-54

As soon as Indiana coach Archie Miller sent his first lineup onto the floor Tuesday, one thing was evident.

“Everyone early on kind of realized, boy, there’s a lot of new guys out there,” Miller said.

Without co-captains Devonte Green and Al Durham in the backcourt, and sophomore point guard Rob Phinisee coming off the bench for limited minutes, there was more newness on the floor than anyone would have liked as the Hoosiers faced Division II Gannon at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Freshman Armaan Franklin, who hadn’t practiced much at the point until Durham’s knee injury last week, was the Hoosiers’ only true guard. Damezi Anderson, the 6-foot-7 sophomore, flanked him at the two. Another freshman, Trayce Jackson-Davis, worked alongside grad transfer Joey Brunk and junior Justin Smith in the frontcourt.

The result was some disjointed moments in the first half of an 84-54 exhibition win. At the 2:12 mark, Gannon held a 29-28 lead. It took a late burst from Phinisee, who played just under 14 minutes total, to give the Hoosiers a 37-29 cushion, draining a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws.

“I would say the first half was definitely a little awkward,” said Smith, who led the Hoosiers with 18 points. “We were kind of playing together for the first time, different lineups, really just seeing what a game atmosphere is like. Once we got settled down at halftime, we really got into our groove and got it going. Everything started clicking from there.”

There were some especially positive results. The freshmen finished with well-rounded lines, including 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists for Franklin and 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for Jackson-Davis.

Smith, in particular, was efficient from the floor, hitting 5-of-5 on field goals and 8-of-9 from the free throw line.

On the other hand, the injuries that brought newness to the floor remain a concern as the Hoosiers look ahead to their season opener with Western Illinois next Tuesday. In the first half, they started the game hitting five of their first six shots, but they went 10-of-26 (38.4 percent) the rest of the half. The absence of Green (hamstring) took an important 3-point threat off the floor.

A big lineup will also pose challenges on the defensive end.

“Defensively, we have a long way to go,” Miller said. “There are going to be a lot of mistakes and whatnot on the film.”

But as far as effort and comfort, the way Franklin and Jackson-Davis fit in was positive.

Franklin, who was the Hoosiers’ only guard in the final stretch of a closed scrimmage with Marquette, logged another 34 minutes versus Gannon. He was aggressive attacking the basket. On consecutive possessions, the Indianapolis product hit Race Thompson wide open in the paint for a bucket and then hit a corner 3-pointer.

Jackson-Davis was there to back up his freshman classmate, as well. Early in the second half, Franklin tossed a turnover to Gannon, but 2019’s Mr. Basketball got back on defense and stuffed DeAnte Cisero at the rim for a jump ball.

The 6-foot-9 forward then came back on the other end and deposited a two-handed dunk.

“They played confident, they were aggressive, and they didn’t really shy away from the competition or really try to be a little bit passive,” Smith said. “They really went at it.”

Smith had a block of his own, rejecting high school teammate Matt Johnson. But his offensive game also stood out, rising near the free throw line for two smooth, mid-range baskets.

His 8-of-9 mark from the free throw line was particularly encouraging, especially coming off of a season where the 6-7 forward was a 51-percent shooter from the charity stripe.

“Honestly, just not forcing anything, when it comes down to it,” Smith said of his offensive production. “The way our offense is organized, it’s very free-flowing. If it happens, it happens. It just worked for me tonight.”

What the Hoosiers will look like in a week remains to be seen. Miller said it was important to get Phinisee, who has been dealing with an abdominal issue, on the floor and see how his body responds. Green and Durham have another week to get closer to taking the floor, as well.

Franklin and Jackson-Davis took steps forward, too.

Straight into the fire.

“Both those young guys are good players. They’re going to add a lot of value here,” Miller said. “They’re just learning. And you’re looking out there and you’re mad at them and you kind of get frustrated with them and you’re saying to yourself, like, you never probably really imagined that Armaan was going to play 35 minutes tonight.

“It’s, like, you thrust those guys in there, they get their feet wet and next thing you know they grow up right before your eyes. I think both of those guys are competitive, they’re winners, they’re good teammates and they’re two really, really important pieces to what we have been trying to do and they’re going to play a big role on this team.”

44 comments

  1. This Freshman Franklin must have some boldness and fearless in him. Also liked more offensive aggressiveness from Smith and Anderson.

  2. Gannon, Western Illinois, Portland State, North Alabama, Troy, Princeton, Louisiana Tech, South Dakota State:
    1. Lots of games for a team with new players to get acclimated.
    2. That takes care of November as IU basketball doesn’t want to interfere with IU football.
    3. Is IU undefeated December 1st?
    4. Who is the winner among Indiana colleges to have the weakest basketball schedule?
    5. Is IU pointing towards the South Dakota State game by playing the schedule prior to that game?
    6. Is IU basketball trying to create a happy locker room in November so it will carry over into December?
    7. Is IU basketball trying to create excitement among the major college arena or small colleges or even division 2 arena?
    8. Are there enough seats in the gym for all the fans?
    9. IU ladies vs IU men’s basketball schedule?
    10. How many IU men’s basketball players will make money off his respective image, likeness, or name…vs IU ladies… and which college player in all of college sports will be the first player to make a million dollars???

  3. T, very nice in comparing the women’s schedule to the mens……no comparison. I really like Archie Miller as a coach but, this schedule is embarrassing! This is not a good idea? I certainly at the end of the season hope our chances of making the “Big Dance” are not reflective on our strength of schedule? The Tournament committee has been saying over the last several years that strength of schedule will be a determining factor as to who makes it of doesn’t? Hmmmmmm???

  4. Gee, how did that tougher schedule work out last year? A lot of quad 1 wins but too many injuries. The schedule does get tougher as December arrives. Remember also, UK keeps ducking us. They were part of our traditional tougher December schedule but alas they still can’t get over 12/10/11.

  5. Disagree. Don’t blame it on KY. I will go along with both, IU and KY fault. If IU was good enough it would win wherever game is played. KY didn’t duck anything. Actually, IU wanted a home and home (don’t remember if every 3rd game could be played on neutral floor). However, home and home could increase IU chances for even win loss vs KY. I think KY felt in recent past KY could win every game on neutral court and avoid upsets.

    1. t,
      Don’t underestimate the revenue part of the equation on the IU/Kent series. The idea of Home & Home is to keep the money at home every other year. If it is not that important to the athletic department revenues, it certainly is to the local economy in B’town.

  6. The big neutral venue game has long been a part of Calipari’s MO. Not just with IU. For whatever reason he likes to get games off campuses. Even their own.

    I don’t recall the specifics but there is apparently quite a bit more money to be made (no student ticket discounts, for example) at a neutral site in a major city. They could play in Indy or Chicago or New York instead of Lexington or Bloomington or Durham.

    He also uses it as part of his recruiting pitch.

    I think I would be pissed if I was a UK fan living in Kentucky and I had to go to Madison Square Garden to see a game I could previously drive to.

    1. Neutral site games always seem to have neutral site fans in attendance. It’s like going to a play for many of them.

      ‘What a play! Listen to that polite smattering of applause from the fans.’

  7. Criminallipari doesn’t have much of a backyard to recruit from so he pushes for neutral site venues in BB rich areas of the country. There’s so much untapped graft in Kentucky home court revenue doesn’t compute. The operators of the Bait and Tackle store are crooks.

  8. We apologized during Crean…and we’re still apologizing during Miller. Didn’t see that coming. Crean can’t duck Calipari anymore. We shouldn’t either.

    We should play them on the moon if it gives us the national television audience and the opportunity to prove we belong on the same court with their slew of Mickie D’s All-Americans/5-stars.

    It’s a disgrace that the quarter century tradition of the border rivalry was wasted on fear and egos. The high school all-stars can keep tradition alive …but the two prominent schools long in hoops tradition from the respective states have too weak of leadership to bring the fans the game. With highway 37/69 improvements, it’s no big deal to shoot up to Indy for a neutral site game. Be a great game during holiday break…rather than all the Hoosier Classic cupcakes to add to the early season cupcakes.

    Afraid to play anyone in football..Afraid to play anyone in hoops. This is the product under Fred Glass leadership. Change names on iconic Assembly…Reunions to keep dusty banners and tradition alive instead of building back the grit and fearlessness once indicative of Hoosier Basketball. Weak men simply desiring their paws in the buckets of dollars.

    1. Even that high school series is on life support. Have you seen the attendance numbers for those games? They might have to go to smaller gyms just to make it look like there is a bigger audience than there really is.

  9. At least on the moon there would be no air balls …..

    An ‘Air Jordan’ would be marketed as a shoe and a breathing apparatus.

    Over-the-top announcers could no longer hype the immense gravity of any game.

    A deciding winning bucket hanging on the rim would include a concession stand and restroom break. Restroom breaks get complicated.

    White men can jump! Hulls with a 1080 slam!

    A dream of playing at the “next level” is realized for all benchwarmers leaving the atmosphere.

    No big deal to be “dusted” by the competition….or the moon….or to have a dusty banner. Dust is for the lucky few making the moon trip.

    We nearly lose Joe ‘Lunar Landing’ Lunardi when he’s found drifting outside his bubble due to a busted bracket.

  10. Calipari said at the time that one of the reasons he wanted to play IU in neutral sites was because the sites would be larger, and he wanted his players to get experience playing in more cavernous arenas in order to prepare them for playing in final four games, which are played in larger arenas with larger crowds. He said that the bigger spaces in such arenas alter depth perception, affecting shooting accuracy.

    1. To some extent I can buy that. Say, for a game against Texas on nationwide TV at the start of the year. Something like that. Sure.

      But to cancel a home and home series split between Rupp Arena and Assembly Hall because they don’t represent NCAA tournament atmosphere?

      Gotta call bulls$it on that.

      1. Chet,
        I would say you deliberately stumbled into the truth on that one. On that note, keep callin ’em like you sees ’em!!

  11. So far I’m happy as hell we’ve told Criminallipari to take his ball and float back across the river. He’s the coach of the Bait and Tackle store. Not the Hoosiers. His only goal is to take advantage of the state of IU, it’s HS talent and the Luke. He needs to backup on his creative recruiting plans and not be afraid to play in AH. We’ll be no part of it.

  12. Chet, I didn’t mean to imply that I agreed with Califpari’s reasoning, I was just repeating what I remember him saying at the time. I happen to believe that Calipari was still a bit upset because an un-ranked IU team beat is top ranked team on a last-second shot, ruining his chance of producing an undefeated season. Calipari’s problem is that he believes he’s smarter than everyone else. No coach has ever enjoyed more talent and achieved less with it. He is the epitome of an overpaid under-achiever.

  13. Lost in this talk is that Indiana offered Kentucky a 4 game series: two would be home and away, and two would be neutral site games.

    Sorry, I know it’s reflexive to scream at what a bad job Fred is doing, but this proposal was fair and both schools compromise to get what they want. The fans win in both cases. It’s Calipari who refuses to play. He doesn’t care about history. He doesn’t even care about this history of his own school, let alone rivalries. He just cares about lining his pockets.

    I also think if we offered them 100% neutral court, he’d still find an excuse not to do it. “Timing is bad. We have to play Lipscomb and Alcorn State over the next 4 years. We’ll reopen the discussion after that series.”

    Cal’s program is built on really young guys who are untested, but massive potential. Big early season games are things he doesn’t want to be a part of. He’s going to duck and dodge until he gets into conference play and all his 5 star 18 yr olds can get into shape and gel. There’s been no intention more blatantly obvious in this history of the NCAA. Ok, maybe top 5.

  14. DD,
    If this is the actual case, then it is obvious what the problem is, and IUBB is best off not playing into Calapari’s game. It’s nice to have the traditional rivalry, but not worth selling out your own program to maintain it.

    1. Well said. I totally understand coaches trying to do what’s best for their program, but Cal has always thought himself bigger than any program, even his own. He was only going to coach at a place that would allow him to be bigger than the name on the front of the jersey. We won’t get UK back on the schedule unless we see them in the tournament, or Cal is being led out of Rupp Arena in handcuffs. Given the NCAA’s track record of smacking down hard on text messages, while letting full on institutionalized scandals run wild, I wouldn’t put much hope in the latter.

      1. Having Calipari, Pitino, and Petrino all coaching within 75 miles of each may indicate there is a portal to hell somewhere around Elizabethtown, KY.

  15. In case you were wondering why the recruiting for basketball players in state of Kentucky is so bad, let’s let the scientists speak:

    “Inbreeding lowers height, bad for intellectual development, and health more broadly (lung function, grip strength), and more.

    New study, including sibling analysis to address certain confounders.”

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12283-6

  16. The college basketball season gets it’s prime time ESPN start Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden with Duke vs. Kansas and Michigan State opening their season against Kentucky.

    We open up Tuesday night against Western Illinois ….and then Portland State…and then Northern Alabama…and then Troy (not to be confused with Troy Williams).

    Is there anything more we really need to know? I’m just wondering if Fred is trying to get our basketball team to a bowl game?

    Remember when the huge metal plank/beam came crashing down from high inside Assembly into a row of seats …as if in a scene straight out of ‘The Omen’? A miracle of sorts that it was a few hours before a men’s game tip-off and nobody was in the stands to be crushed or decapitated.
    Just think if one of the ticket holders would have been named Jim ….and that beam fell during the game? “Jim, BEAM!”

    Moral of the story? Play UK….Put differences aside. You never know when a beam may fall from the sky.

    1. H4H,
      Sometimes I wonder whether your glass is half full or half empty, not to mention what you have in it. I understand your concerns over the direction of the IUBB program. However, when we do our research on the 4 big name teams you mention, they have exactly 4 banners between them since 2000. For all the talent flowing through those programs, that is not much to show for it. (Duke – ’15, KY – ’12, Kansas – ’08; MSU – ’00(

      On the other hand let’s look at the November schedules for the last two champions:

      Virginia – Syracuse, James Madison, Columbia, Vermont, UMass, Maine

      Villanova – Army, Ohio State, Ohio, Middle Tennessee

      Other than the Villanova/OSU game, neither team is playing another ranked team. Not much better in December for Virginia with the exception of their playing PU. Villanova plays Kansas and Xavier in the last two games of this year. So between the last 2 champions a total of 4 currently ranked teams are being played. At least by recent past performance, it doesn’t look like the bright lights of Madison Square necessarily equal banners being hung.

      1. Well, we did play James Madison not so long ago in the tournament. Didn’t Dustin attend James Madison before going to PSU? Doesn’t Vermont have a very respect coach as well?…Could be wrong on that one.

        Ohio? I think Armon Bassett transferred to Ohio…They knocked off Georgetown in the NCAA….Bassett had a huge game as did his teammate guard.
        As a 15 seed, Middle Tennessee took down MSU in 2016. Took down Minnesota in the 2017 NCAA tournament and only lost to Butler by 9 points in the second round.

        I don’t recall any of the first four we play as sniffing anything of postseason play in the last decade. Could be wrong…. I take that back, Troy did go to the tournament(as in Troy Williams).

  17. “I think KY felt in recent past KY could win every game on neutral court and avoid upsets.”

    Not so much.

    The last meeting on a neutral was in 2016 and IU came away with the 73-67 win.

  18. All bets are usually off in the neutral environment of the NCAA tournament….but I believe the conversation was about getting the ‘regular season’ rivalry game back.

    I guess we’ll have to “get back” (as in relevant on big stages) before we can open the season in the fashion of Duke, Kansas, MSU and UK on Tuesday night. We can spin this whatever way we choose to flatter ourselves. But after 10 years of bozo(minus the 2nd round bright spot during a year when UK didn’t possess the usual signature inside guy now tearing it up in the NBA), our getting calls for featured “neutral site” games to kickoff the college basketball season aren’t happening.

    If we don’t want to play the teams now part of opening night on their terms, we’ll sit on a lonely throne. It’s really our choice. More reunions….or reunite with the teams still considered “blue blood” programs to achieve some sort of high viewership stage and early competitive tests.

    In a very short time, we went from a win against UK to cue cards. Over the last decade, Loyola of Chicago and 10 other teams from the Midwest have gone to a collective 28 Elite Eights and 17 Final Fours while we stalled at Sweet 16s. Maybe we’re obsessing too much about UK?

    1. Absolutely no spin is needed. To HELL with Criminallipari and pUKe. Both have been undeniably dirty for more years than either have been clean. The IUBB program is not going to be run to please them. They can either get over it or die with a grudge. IUBB doesn’t entertain me less cause we don’t knuckle under to them.

  19. I agree with most of the comments above. I never had a problem with Fred’s decision or his strategy in trying to find middle ground with KY. In fact, I applauded Fred’s decision and agreed with his comment that the IU/KY home and home series should enrich the college experience for students on both campuses and create great memories.

    As far as some of the coaches that have been employed by universities in Kentucky, those folks seem to like morally and ethically challenged men, otherwise referred to as “scumbags.” Of course, none of us are perfect, but having sex with the wife of your subordinate should get your fired (back in the day, if a military officer did that, he’d get “fragged” or court-martialed and sent to prison.), or at least booed off the court. Having extramarital sex with an employee half his age, putting her in jeopardy by crashing a motorcycle and then lying about it should get a man a life-time ban from coaching in college, but that appeared to be music to Louisville’s ears. And then of course there’s the “I had no knowledge” that my assistant coaches were acting as pimps and bringing prostitutes to on-campus recruiting events.

    I guess that in relative terms, Calapari is the least rotten apple in that bunch. Or maybe he’s just better at hiding his private behavior. Nonetheless, he’s a pompous, arrogant jerk who will be remembered as a monumental under-achiever.

  20. • Schilling was a member of Calipari’s coaching staff at UMass along with fellow Hoosier assistant Bruiser Flint during the 1995-96 season. That year, the Minutemen advanced to the Final Four and posted a 35-2 overall record (courtesy: IU Athletics).

    There is no doubt that Ed Schilling was a major part of Archie Miller getting his foot in the door with high schools across the state. The Indiana staff have done the right things and invested the right time in the right places (courtesy: IndianaHQ)

    Ed Schilling did leave last June…but Bruiser is still on the staff. Both of these guys had very close coaching relationships with Calipari. I’m not sure if either would really appreciate the vilification. Not even sure if Archie would appreciate it.

    I’m not a Calipari fan…I think he’s a terrible representative for college basketball. But there really is no denying he’s had pretty strong influences on the guys Archie brought in to get the job rolling at IU.

    And I do like to play Kentucky….Sure, we’re most often the underdog…but that’s the beauty. We can try to beat an NBA beauty contest with coaching, a dusting of Mickie D talent, grit and higher b-ball IQ. Would have been a fun match-up this year since we do have a much stronger front line than in the last few years. Maybe another NCAA meeting? The selection committee does seem to do their best to put us in the same bracket.

    You fellas sure get worked up….IU vs. UK needs to get done.

    1. H4H,
      I agree IU/KY needs to get done, but for how many years did IU play home and home games with KY without it being a problem? All of the sudden after all those years it now becomes a problem? I do not believe IU has a problem playing Kentucky every year, but I also believe they want to maintain the tradition of the home and home games. What would Duke/NC be if they were not alternating sites, for that matter, IU/PU?

      I know KY is not a conference rival, but they have been a regional rival for an extremely long time. There has been a smell to this since the negotiations first broke down, and I don’t believe the smell is coming from the north side of the river.

      1. 1988-89 @ Kentucky
        1989-90 @ RCA Dome (Big Four Classic/Indianapolis)
        1990-91 Bloomington
        1991-92 @ RCA Dome (Indianapolis)
        1992-93 @ Freedom Hall (Louisville)
        1993-94 @ RCA Dome (Indianapolis)
        1994-95 @ Freedom Hall (Louisville)
        1995-96 @ RCA Dome (Indianapolis)
        1996-97 @ Freedom Hall (Louisville)
        1997-98 @ RCA Dome (Indianapolis)
        1998-99 @ Freedom Hall (Louisville)
        1999-00 Bloomington
        2000-01 @ Freedom Hall (Louisville)
        2001-02 @ RCA Dome
        2002-03 Bloomington
        2003-04 @ RCA Dome (Indianapolis)
        2004-05 @ Freedom Hall (Louisville)
        2005-06 @ RCA Dome (Indianapolis)

        Above 18 year span(1988-89 thru 2005-06 seasons):
        1 game @ Rupp
        3 games in Bloomington
        14 Neutral Site games alternating between Indy and Louisville.

        I sure as hell don’t recall anyone complaining or bitching about compromising our values during the 14 NEUTRAL SITE locations during that nearly two decade span of match-ups. You guys have a way of talking out your back quarters. ONE GAME @ Rupp in that 18-year span….

        Play the damn game. It’s for the fans of the state…It’s for the love of basketball in two states long in basketball tradition. It’s not a conference rivalry.

        1. Don’t know what you’re “smelling,” but Bobby Knight smelled the RCA Dome and Freedom Hall…for the majority of his last 10 years at IU.

          What I smell is reasons not to play them having little to do with the truth.

  21. They did …and I doubt they believe he’s some sort of “criminal.” I read a piece from not too long ago where Bruiser was giving heavy admiration to Calipari….
    And if we want to talk about criminals, there are just as many so-called respected names in the game filling those spots of late (Sean Miller and Bill Self to name a couple). And then there’s that UNC “ghost classes” thing..It may have been just fine with the NCAA, but it’s “criminal neglect” concerning the concept of student-athlete.

  22. For anyone interested to learn or be reminded of how IU BB fell from amongst the elite programs in the country, Zack Osterman’s article in the IndyStat.com does an excellent job of chronicling three decades of almost criminal neglect by a revolving door of incompetent fools that ran IU. These Presidents, Trustees and ADs were arrogant, overpaid buffoons. It wasn’t just BB, but the entire athletic department was ignored. As many of us have suspected, the neglect was profound. I will admit that this article makes me a little more sympathetic toward Fred Glass given the dumpster fire he inherited upon taking the AD job. I encourage everyone to read Osterman’s article.

    Now we have to hope that IU’s next President is not one of those incompetent morons who will allow IU Athletics to backslide into the morass. Because “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

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