Indiana too much for Troy in Green’s return, 100-62

Devonte Green was in midseason form in Saturday’s postgame press conference.

“I feel good,” the Indiana senior guard said after his first appearance of the season in the Hoosiers’ 100-62 rout of Troy at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

A followup question elicited a longer response.

“I mean, feels good to be back,” Green said.

IU was glad to have him back. It was even more glad that it didn’t need to lean on his offensive firepower, which was not in midseason form.

Green finished his season debut just 2-of-8 from the field and 1-of-6 from 3 for six points and four assists in 19 minutes and 57 seconds.

“I think athletically he’s back, but he’s got to shake some rust off and get his feet under him,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said. “He’ll be fine. He plays an important role in what we’re doing. When he was in there, four assists and one turnover. He took some shots he’ll make down the line. But it’s good to have him back.”

The Hoosiers (4-0) needed even a rusty Green, as his backcourt mate Rob Phinisee sat out recovering from strep throat, but is expected to return for Wednesday’s game with Princeton.

But it didn’t need Green to generate offense. His teammates did just fine with four players in double figures, 53.8 percent shooting from the field and the most points since IU scored 104 against Chicago State just over a year ago.

Freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis led the way with his second double-double of the season — 17 points and 14 rebounds. Justin Smith had 22 points, Al Durham 17 and Damezi Anderson came off the bench with 14, including a pair of 3-pointers during a monster first half in which IU shot 57 percent and built a 58-32 halftime lead.

Green made his first appearance of the season at the 15:54 mark of the opening stanza. The Hoosiers already had a 13-7 lead at the time and were in the midst of a 10-0 run that pushed the lead to double figures.

The North Babylon, N.Y., native didn’t score his first points until a runner in the lane in the closing seconds of the first half and finished with six points and four assists in 20 minutes.

“Oh, (having Devonte back)’s a big, big help,” Smith said. “It’s another shooter, another spacer, another ball handler. Also, he makes things happen defensively and offensively.

“We’re glad to have him back. We’re looking forward to him getting back into a rhythm.”

Everybody else got in a rhythm against the Trojans (0-3).

The Hoosiers were in the bonus by the 14:26 mark and in the double bonus with 12:12 to go in the half, connecting on 13-of-15 free throws.

A 15-2 run followed shortly after that initial surge, pushing the lead to 33-12.

Anderson scored 12 of his points in the first half, including a pair of 3s, as the offensive onslaught never let up.

“(Damezi)’s playing with a lot of confidence,” Smith said. “He’s shooting with confidence. He’s really using his body well on rebounds and inside, so he’s just confident. Way more confident than last year. Shooting the ball well, and that adds to it.”

While the offense was rolling, the defense made some strides in the right direction.

Troy came into the game shooting better than 40 percent from 3 on the season and ranking in the top 10 nationally in percentage of points scored from beyond the arc.

The Trojans scuffled from long distance all night long, finishing 5-of-25 (20 percent), the lowest total by an IU opponent all season.

“We were better on details getting back. Not giving up many easy ones in transition was a huge part,” Miller said. “Our guys on the ball, I thought, did a much better job to start the game in terms of our pressure and just not letting them be comfortable.”

His team’s been listening.

“I think definitely in the first half, (the defense) was a building block we can take going into the next couple games,” Smith said. “Coach Miller has been preaching on-the-ball pressure. With on-the-ball pressure it allows us to really get in and help on the pack line, so that’s really been our main focus and making sure our rotations are correct. Really just honing in on our defensive scheme.”

The offensive scheme picked up in the second half where the first half left off with an 8-0 Indiana run. Freshman guard Armaan Franklin hit a 3, Durham hit a 3 and Franklin a short jumper, while Jackson-Davis quickly grabbed the two rebounds necessary to record his double-double. Rebounding has been a focal point for the 2019 Indiana Mr. Basketball.

“Going against bigger competition, so you really got to carve out (space),” Jackson-Davis said. “In high school, you could really just jump up and get the ball, but you’ve really got to make an emphasis on hitting your guy and anticipating the ball.”

The lead peaked at 43 in the final 20 minutes, and Green finally hit a 3 with 4:11 remaining to break the ice, but that wasn’t the most important thing to Miller and the Hoosiers.

“Nineteen minutes,” the IU coach said. “Nineteen good minutes for him. Hasn’t practiced at all really. Had a couple days leading into tonight. We were hoping 15-20 he could give us knowing Rob was gonna be out. I’m just glad he’s not hampered or sore.”

“At some point,” Miller continued as he knocked on the wood podium, “we’ll get them all back, especially in the backcourt, which is where we need our depth to come through. I think Rob will be fine. Hopefully, he’s over being sick the last few days, looks better here in the locker room, so if we can get him back and into the mix and get some chemistry into our backcourt, that will be really important for our team.”

24 comments

  1. Where is Troy Williams these days…? Is he playing in Maine with Romeo?

    Trayce ‘Groot’ Jackson-Davis can start for any college team in the country. He has the maturity, awareness and All-American look to his game I never really saw from Romeo. Really like his demeanor on the court…Can tell he is well grounded and doesn’t play with the inflated ego so many so-called superstars carry around in unneeded heavy baggage.

    Backcourt is still the big question mark. Durham looks solid, but once the competition level gets higher we’ll need a top orchestrator. This team would be crazy dangerous with a 5-star point guard….or, simply, with a more matured and settled in Romeo to complement the ‘serviceable” backcourt.

      1. Wow…They are charges and he may have a side to his story. It’s too bad…and it certainly doesn’t sound good (along with the G-League team immediately cutting him).
        He had/has a ton of athletic promise and I honestly thought he would be the real surprise of the ‘next level’ sort of guys Crean was always searching out.

  2. I watched the first half of this game and then turned off the TV. Troy should never have been on the same court with IU. Troy may have been the worst college BB team to ever have played in Assembly Hall. They were just terrible. So aside from a workout, I’m not sure what this game did to help IU prepare to play against Big Ten competition.

    TJD is an outstanding talent, but he needs better competition. He actually looked bored out there tonight, as if he was playing against a high school team.

    1. Po,
      In games like these I look for certain things which need to be consistent regardless the level of competition. The primary thing I look at is the FT shooting. It fell off a little against Troy and that is concerning. The other area is the 3’s, which ticked up a bit as it should have against this level of competition. It didn’t help that DG & JH are still shaking off the rust, but hopefully they will both be up to speed by December.

      1. After 4 games the NET SOS for the Hoosiers is now 321. Not exactly a post season resume builder. Does nothing, nil, nada, zilch to test or improve the young Hoosiers either. The next game with Princeton (SOS 53, NET rank 180) will be the toughest game in non-con until Florida State. Certainly won’t be a shocker if the Tigers win.

    2. I watched the whole game. Intently. The good this contest served was to give game playing minutes to Green, for obvious reasons, Hunter and non-starters against different players than IU teammates. Perimeter D was much better this game than the last. Positive progression. I have no bitch with the early season opponents.

    3. Confused for a minute with the ‘Troy should never be on the same court’ which followed the mug shot of the other Troy.

  3. Have to admit IU took care of business against KenPom #275, #279, #297 & #311. The good news – No one has been injured and everyone getting a few minutes. Come 12/3 with #16 Florida State followed by #50 Wisconsin (gasp) on the road. IU currently at #31 has NCSOS of #342, by far the worse of the higher ranked 30 teams. (current KenPom #’s Seems to me TJD may have a bigger impact than Romeo? Would love to see De’Ron brake out with his potential.

  4. I’m up on this squad. It certainly is time to play better competition to see where we really are, but the schedule is set & nothing can be done about it. And let’s face it, over the past 2 yrs. we’ve been stressed by these kinds of games due to poor focus, poor fundamentals and ego.

    I look at this team and see good guard play, experience, toughness and size. Don’t look now but the depth to compete is there. Plenty of 3 & 4 yr. players who bring a maturity that didn’t exist when Archie took the reigns. I’m a big fan of Jr. & Sr. leadership. Last year all things went thru Morgan & Romeo, and Davis was our big. He’s now be a nice piece to sub in all season.

    I also like how this team doesn’t let up. With depth comes fear that someone is going to outwork you and take your job. The bench is a good motivator. Finally, we have that luxury & a strong pipeline behind them. When players screw up, Archie is now in their face & sitting them down (s.a. Durham & Thompson last night). Signing players like Anderson, Thompson, Phinisee & retaining Crean recruits like Green, Davis, Smith, Durham who will all put 4 yrs. into this program puts strong fabric behind the program.

    I’ll keep my predictions to myself until mid-Dec. but I like our chances to win 20+ & finally make the dance.

  5. I still believe Phinisee to be a Crean recruit…

    Phinisee was pursued by former Indiana coach Tom Crean, who was the first to offer him a scholarship, and the Boilermakers weren’t far behind [……..]
    Phinisee had a nice relationship with Crean and he admits to being a bit nervous when Crean was fired in the spring of 2017. However, Crean’s replacement (Archie Miller) wasted no time establishing a relationship with Phinisee and his family (courtesy:. News Sentinel)

    And DeRon Davis, though arriving under Crean, was more of a McClain recruit(McClain was familiar due to his experience/past in Colorado/West).

    1. Harv,
      Just because Crean was interested didn’t make Phinisee a Crean recruit. Like a lot of in-state kids, Crean offered early (first, actually) but there was never a guarantee Crean wouldn’t lose focus in favor of the next shiny recruit. And Archie still had to sell Phinisee on fitting with his vision of IU. Coming out of Lafayette, Phinisee was never an IU lock, regardless of coach.

      1. Also, in the same piece, Phinisee is quoted as being a bit nervous to come to IU after Crean was fired because they had a “nice relationship.”

        Offered a scholarship by the former coach….? Had a nice relationship with the former coach? Sounds like Crean recruited him. Archie didn’t withdraw the scholarship and followed through on the offer (that’s called being a decent guy).

        I like Phinisee….but I don’t consider him as someone Archie initiated in bringing to Indiana. Archie didn’t have much at point guard returning upon Crean’s removal. Phinisee is certainly an upgrade from guys like Newkirk….but I don’t know if he’ll evolve into a premier point.
        As I said, this team is crazy dangerous with an all-star in the backcourt.
        All of our guys in the collective backcourt have great abilities….Just don’t see all those abilities in one package.
        Lastly, Crean was taking a lot of heat for losing out on Indiana kids(or not establishing solid recruiting relationships with high school coaches throughout the state). I don’t know if it was poor relationships…or simply not having ‘Indiana’ as his priority. Phinisee may have been a late (as in “too late”) effort by Crean to make false those feelings/beliefs…And what better way than to snag a kid from the backyard of Purdue? Conclusion: It all points to the manipulative tactics of the former coach. Always interested in the ‘next level’ next phenom in his quasi role as an NBA developmental agent…while halfheartedly duping the fan base he cared about the local passions and the local talent (often higher in b-ball IQ than the recruiter).

  6. the early “soft schedule” has an upside none of you recognize or have recognized. Last years team decimated by injuries (as far as a full compliment of players to practice ).Durham said it best “Its nice to have full practices to push and compete against; this “soft schedule” allows for the freshmen and red-shirt players to work together . I am impressed with the continuation of communication by the team on both offense and defense. the “comfortability” and trust they seem to be building with each game. We have seen and learned in the past that no matter the competition ; IF you play sloppy you lose; and as Archie has pointed out confidence is a great thing to have.

    1. Well said TJ,
      Here another interesting point. If RP is available against Princeton, and no one else goes down, does anyone realize how long it has been since IUBB had it’s entire team healthy for a regular season game????

  7. IU men’s basketball beat a inferior team by 38 makes IU blog report headlines.
    IU ladies basketball beat inferior team by 40. It’s no big deal just T. Moren and IU ladies expectations and yes, the IU freshman and sophomores are playing well for the IU ladies. With remaining pre conference games the IU ladies are about to play a stretch of games that represents the toughest pre conference competitive/high level teams in the country.

    1. This many references to “ladies” from a mysterious ‘t’ calls for a classic sung for the ladies.

      Only 12, 000 hits…Can you say, “gem,” Jeremy? Pure Tom Jones…Jacket ripped off…Strong and abrupt gyrations in a wicked convulsive manner to drive the ladies crazy. Classic Tom “Leather Pants” Jones. Just a shy boy from the Wales countryside…..killin’ the hearts of “the ladies.”

  8. I’m getting excited about this season after reading AWinAZ’s and others comments.

    Truly, if ALL that our team does is to play as a TEAM, I’ll be happy.

  9. It gets frustrating when a handful of commenters always feel the need to complain that Men’s Basketball gets more attention than Women’s. This isn’t some conspiracy against women. There’s orders of magnitude more interest in men’s than women’s basketball. And this is voting with eyeballs on TVs and butts in seats at the games by ALL genders.

    There’s a real passionate group of fans on here that love the women’s team and follow them passionately. That’s awesome. But the HT is feeding content to relative size of their audience. Personally, I think they do a wonderful job of covering the women’s team. It gives those who are interested in it a lot of coverage. But it’ll never be at the same level of the men’s basketball team. The men’s basketball program is worth in excess of $243 million (2017). It’s like people who complain the United States gets more news coverage vs Guatemala.

  10. AWinAZ, Archie’s team had better win at least 23 games this season, otherwise his seat is going to start getting hot. Given that IU should be undefeated in non-conference games, 23 wins this season should not be too difficult. FSU will probably be the toughest pre-conference test, and playing teams like Troy won’t help IU prepare for that higher level of competition.

    Someone needs to work harder to schedule better cup-cakes for IU’s 2020/2021 schedule. IU should never play a team ranked above KenPom’s #250. I think Troy was ranked over 300!

    1. Po,
      Don’t look now, but that supposed “soft” schedule may be a little tougher than first thought. December opponent UConn knocked off #15 Florida yesterday.

  11. That’s great, think. The sooner the better. This team needs to play a few teams in the pre-conference schedule that make them uncomfortable and learn to overcome it, especially while playing somewhere other than Assembly Hall.

    Against Troy, they were so comfortable they looked like they were playing in a fund-raising exhibition.

  12. So. UCONN knocks off Florida.
    Fort Wayne Mastodons knock off Iu couple years ago. Pre conference schedule still weak.

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