IU Take-aways: Indiana 88, Louisiana Tech 75

Ramping up the defense.

Archie Miller has aspirations for what Indiana’s defense can strive to be.

He brought up Virginia and Wisconsin as programs that rank high in defensive possession time, forcing opponents to hold onto the ball and take shots deep in the clock. That is what Miller’s pack-line scheme is meant to create.

But as the Hoosiers near the end of a run of mid-major opponents to start the non-conference slate, they aren’t close to the defensive team Miller wants.

“I don’t think it’s going to get there until we get hit in the mouth a few times, but we’re not guarding and setting the tone for long stretches,” Miller said. “You’re seeing very few shot-clock violations. You’re seeing very few long possessions by the other team.

“You’re seeing quick shots in transition. You’re seeing fouls. You’re seeing drives that relate to 3s.”

Louisiana Tech was able to bury 10 3-pointers on Monday, a cause for concern considering the Hoosiers’ issues with perimeter defense — and also, the Bulldogs were hitting just under 30 percent from 3 coming into the game.

Miller is stressing patience, though. As he’s mentioned before, the Hoosiers are still meshing new and inexperienced pieces. Add the stop-and-go nature of Rob Phinisee’s season thus far, robbing IU of one of its top defensive pests, and there is a reason for the lag.

IU just doesn’t have too much time left to get things together. In a week or so, Florida State arrives for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Just a couple of days after that, the Hoosiers head for Wisconsin.

It would be relieving to hear a couple of buzzers for shot-clock violations versus South Dakota State on Saturday.

“That just shows you right now, there’s enough breakdowns early in possessions, early in transition, that we’re not tough enough and strong enough to get the other team to their second side or third side,” Miller said.

“We’re not anywhere near a Big Ten team on defense right now. And do I think we can get there? Yeah. There’s some experience things we’ve got to get done.”

The offense’s potential in full view.

While the Hoosiers’ offense was far from perfect in Monday’s second half, the first half was a display of what IU’s scoring potential can be.

Guards pushed it in transition. They also found forward Joey Brunk in the middle of Louisiana Tech’s zone, allowing him to pull up for open runners, or find Trayce Jackson-Davis under the basket in a high-low game, or kick out for 3s.

It’s all part of a simple formula: Push the pace, then play inside-out.

If that game plan is followed, the Hoosiers can score 52 points in a half, as they did in the first 20 minutes.

“Run hard. Play a lot of guys, share the ball. Get the ball moving,” Miller said. “Conceptually you’ve got to work inside-out, obviously.”
Ball movement is something Miller continues to really stress.

“The less this team dribbles, the better off this team’s going to be,” Miller said. “The more this team moves and shares the ball and runs hard and posts hard and plays freely, that team has a chance to be pretty good.”

Emphasis on the word “chance,” because the second half showed the Hoosiers still have some work to do.

Al Durham’s five turnovers, and Devonte Green’s four, killed the Hoosiers’ momentum. The return of a healthy Phinisee should help IU in the ball-handling department, but Miller needs his co-captain guards to be better, regardless.

“Devonte has to stay even-keel and grab the reins of the team. Al has to grab the reins of the team,” Miller said. “When things get shaken up, you need the guards, the leadership, the huddles, ‘Let’s get a shot, let’s get a stop, and let’s calm it down.’ You can’t go possession after possession of ineptness out there.”

TJD continues to shine.

IU has played six games.

Jackson-Davis has three double-doubles.

That’s a pretty good start for the 6-foot-9 freshman from Greenwood.

Durham didn’t have a hard time articulating why Jackson-Davis has been so effective, going for 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Louisiana Tech.

“His work ethic. He’s a hard worker and he’s willing to do the little things,” Durham said. “Trayce, great basketball player, and he’s going to do great things for us and he’s going to be a big part of us.”

Rebounding has obviously been a huge part of his game. But what’s even more encouraging, possibly, is Jackson-Davis’ ability to hit free throws.

After an 11-of-13 performance from the line Monday, Jackson-Davis is hitting 75.6 percent there. From a lefty forward who will get fouled a lot, that could be a steady source of offense for the Hoosiers this season.

It also fits into a much larger plan. As a team, IU was 28-of-38 from the line against the Bulldogs.

“Coach Miller makes it a big emphasis for us to get to the line and get free throws,” Durham said. “We use our depth, and we want to get to the line, and get it inside, and foul the other team out, basically.”

What’s next?

South Dakota State, 4 p.m. Saturday, at Assembly Hall

Miller mentioned that the Jackrabbits are a well-traveled bunch.

They have already taken road trips to USC, Nebraska, and Arizona. The latter contest was just a seven-point affair in the Wildcats’ favor.

South Dakota State (5-3) is led by 6-7 junior Douglas Wilson, who averages 16.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

34 comments

  1. Seems like Indiana State should be in one of these many holiday tournaments….in honor of ‘The Bird.’

    Instead, the same old boring elites of college basketball (you know, all those cheaters who never get any penalties for supplying/buying recruits grades, ghost classes and hookers) get to ‘gobble’ up the audiences on ESPN…Gobble…gobble…gobble. Does anyone still play basketball in Indiana? ESPN, would you please pass the gravy?

  2. I am not an IU Women’s Basketball fan, but I suppose the implication is that our WOMEN are playing in a prestigious tournament whilst our Men’s Basketball Team is gearing up for North Dakota State. I get that, but hope that, in the future, this thread concerns itself with the Men’s Basketball Team. Where IS Paradise Island, anyway? Puerto Rico????

    1. Geez Rock, I’m sorry. Just replying to H4H’s comment “Does anyone in Indiana play basketball”. I mean we have #17 IUWBB vs # 5 tonight and # 2 Friday. Hard to compete with IUMBB getting ready to sweat out # 188 South Dakota State, putting that #325 SOS at risk.

  3. The SOS for the Hoosiers has improved to 325 …. lol. This pathetic scheduling has inhibited their growth and will come back to bite them in March. Reality awaits. BTW Dayton’s SOS sits at 36 and have proven they can play with anyone. Someone knows what they’re doing.

  4. I don’t put much truck in SOS rankings…to me, it’s “location location location”.

    The difference is Evansville and Richmond recruit under-rated Indiana guys with a chip on their shoulder, and playing against rivals who got all the attention they can rise just as an Indiana Basketball player does. North Dakota State, however, recruits all those over-looked from the Nevada/Idaho/Montana vortex….with a sprinkling of the best Canadian Players (who aren’t snatched up by the ACC.) There’s really no comparison, ESPECIALLY after they’ve had to ride the bus all the way to Bloomington! I see us winning handily Saturday and entering December “undefeated, unblemished, and undaunted.” Again, I state: Bring on December!

  5. Ron, thanks for bringing my attention to this, (and t).

    Perhaps a visit to Assembly Hall when our Women’s Basketball Team is playing is on the horizon!

    Perhaps I SHOULD become interested in IU Women’s Basketball……

    1. And Glass, administration and whoever had best treat T. Moren and coaching staff competitively and fairly…no conspiracies to not let IU Ladies basketball program surpass IU men’s basketball program. So far it seems Glass has supported T. Moren, staff, and IU Ladies basketball program.

      1. t,
        I don’t think that is an issue. There are a number of schools where the women’s basketball programs have surpassed the men’s program, for which they should be proud of for its own merits, not for merely surpassing another program. The real issue is not about one team or another, but which programs are producing the revenue. Whether any of us like it or not, the push to pay college athletes is going to turn collegiate athletics upside down.

        The elephant in the room, revenue wise, is football, followed at a significant distance by men’s basketball, which is followed at varying distances by all other collegiate sports. The flash point will be when the athletes in the sports which produce the major amounts of revenue demand their fair share of the revenue being produced. That will create a major headache for administrators and policymakers all across the country. Anyone who does not think this issue is coming, is not paying attention to what is happening in collegiate athletics in this country.

      2. t the only conspiracies available to remark on are the 1’s in your imagination. Complete non-issue.

  6. think. If that’s the case then fans need to get paid for going to games, and rest of student body needs paid that make up university/college existence.

    HC. That’s good being assured that no conspiracy will take root.

  7. I agree with t. And paying college athletes beyond the price of a scholarship (including all necessary expenses to live and eat in a matter befitting a high level athletes and funds to allow immediate family members to attend home games) is a tragic idea for amateur athletics.

    But if they do begin to pay, I don’t see it as being an ultimate tragedy for sports not part of the current cash machine. Just think of the dollars Lilly King could have made marketing herself for the Olympics? Many athletes will also be able to profit off their looks, sex appeal, personality, etc, etc, etc.
    I don’t think paying to play will close the door on the lower revenue sports…It may turn them into reality TV shows and elevate the status of the forgotten sports swept under the greed rug to merely promote football and March Madness.

    Bottom Line: Don’t wish for something too much, you might just get it.

    And let’s not forget cheerleaders…as college cheerleaders market themselves on calendars like the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL while arguing they should also be considered stellar ‘athletes’ imperative to the college sports product.

  8. We should also pay concession workers above and beyond…It’s all part of the game “experience.” When in the hell did athletes begin to get this idea that I only come to a college game to experience their expertise? I appreciate Don Fischer…I appreciate the fan sitting next to me treating their kid to a loving thought of taking them out to be part of a larger experience not part of individualism and narcissism.
    I appreciate the ‘Mop Lady’ …I appreciate her voice…and her beautiful rendition of the fight song…and her gifts akin to Fred Astaire with the mop as a partner. The concession worker always pleasant …The parking attendant. They all deserve a big slice of the pie instead of minimum wage…

  9. t & Rock,
    Only one little fly in your ointment. The fans in the seats are of more economic value to the local community than to the school. Doesn’t mean ticket sales are not important, but the much bigger stream of revenue is the tv contracts. The biggest driver of the tv contract revenue for any P5 conference is by far the football part of the equation. Without the football ratings, the contracts would be a small fraction of current market value.

  10. If there are no fans in the stands, tv contracts will dry up faster than bird poop on your windshield.
    And maybe it takes much longer for the 10 biggest college football venues to dry up and have less-than-capacity fans in the stands due to revolt/disinterest, but the day will come. Nobody will care to watch many of the football games on television without mega crowd noise and stands filled to capacity.
    With emptying stands, you might as well be tuning into bowling.

    Bottom Line: Opening Pandora’s box to pay athletes their fair share of profits, will create endless options for the less cash cow sports to get in the game. I’d watch a reality tv show featuring the IU women’s rowing team(as they get part of the viewership profits) before watching the men’s basketball team play North Fartington State….(or IU Football against the slew of early season bottom of the batter bowl cupcakes).

    1. Not so fast H4H,
      We already have a sport which has less than capacity crowds at their games, it is called Major League Baseball. Think they make money from the ticket sales? Money is made from the tv contracts.

      1. Must be losing money somewhere because they plan on wiping out a lot of minor league teams/cities (at least that’s what I believe to have been reported).

        Yes, baseball does make money from ticket sales….It’s called Wrigley, Yankee Stadium and Fenway (the viewership on Fox, ESPN and WGN for Cubs, Yankees and Redsox likely subsidizes the television coverage for the whole league). But, in general, I would guess many stadiums/organizations have attendance issues.
        Also, I would imagine those glorious corporate skyboxes likely bring in quite the chunk of committed revenue. But when the “average Joe” in the stands finally begins to feel removed from the experience…or disenfranchised, even the seats at the historic places of baseball will begin to go empty. Then we shall see if corporate interest and television contracts continue with the same pace while the iconic baseball franchises see stadiums are half full at best.
        Do you really think sports will survive without the fans in the seats? Do you think athletes will have the same passion to play in front of silent stages?
        Maybe you’re right…Maybe mankind has become so narcissistic that playing merely for a mirror or camera …or privileged group of ‘movers and shakers’ watching behind skybox glass is enough….From my vantage point, sports is dead then. That will be a very sad day.

        1. H4H,
          Not saying everything is as it should be, but rather, it is what it is. Hate that old cliché, but it is the truth. Need to remember the Yankees have their own network call the “YES Network.” Highly lucrative for the organization. Even with normal Yankee Stadium attendance, nothing compared to the alternate revenues. Which is why they continually try to buy a championship, plenty of money.

          We just all need to remember, like it or not, modern sports is about the dollar. Either making it, or getting into position to make it . . . and yes, you are very correct, it is very sad.

          1. No disagreement concerning it “being about the dollar.” But once you bring it down to amateur athletics(far more than it already is), I think you’ll begin to lose the passion from fans. Once you lose the sense of community and a feeling of belonging to something bigger than a a price tag, you’ll kill sports.
            How far down into amateur athletics do you want that to go? Are the Olympics merely about the dollar? To cover their cost of broadcasting and generate a profit for the networks? Sure.
            But is there a greater value to claim something for the love of being the best at it and appreciating all those competing worldwide attempting to do the same? And would the experience for the athlete be the same(along with the desire) without the crowds and the sense of pride residing in country, state, community, hometown?
            The debate shall continue…..as greed and image fight the battle with shared experiences and the intrinsic value of caring about things bigger than oneself (whether it be in human endeavors..or protecting a precious earth, its nonhuman inhabitants of land and sea, and its fresh air and water valued beyond a dollar to gain in its further abuses to deny future generations a quality of life).

  11. It seems as to pay athletes could create a field day for athletes, lawyers, politicians (crazy California), and others that could create a 4th branch of the federal government. Everyone might be in court of law more than they are on the football field or basketball court or whatever sport one might play. Chaos…maybe not at the beginning but no one is ever satisfied thus creating or ending in more chaos than what is the current situation. A fan whether students, parents of students, or other fan category may just want to turn their backs on athletes getting paid other than what H4h mentions.

  12. Speaking of those fans in the stands, it appeared to me (at the Princeton game) that there were less fans than in years past. and Hoosier Clarion mentioned the same thing……And…even though I WAS there for the Princeton game, it was not the same thing as I remembered. First of all, no enthusiasm from the crowd. 2nd, the Noise System was So Loud and played up until the Very Moment the game began. 3rd, it was surreal to be told “we are basketball country” and know that we’ve not been in the top 16 of the NCAA for…..a long time. Finally (and most damning, in my solid opinion), those Luxury Seats were not filled, and those “up there” were not by any means having the same experience of following the game. Actually, now that I think of it, “up there” is a very good phrase for those luxury seats that make a mockery of the concept of Assembly Hall.

    My point is that the Game, and the Athletes, are not the Attraction anymore. As Harv notes with his usual refreshing clarity, it is the Concession Workers, the Parking Lot Attendants, the COMMUNITY (much like this thread) that draws People to the experience. Alas, (and I’m referencing Shakespeare because I’m setting up a December post), our Men’s Basketball Games are more like a Dallas Maverick experience…(and I won’t post again UNTIL December).

  13. Actually, now that I think of it, “up there” is a very good phrase for those luxury seats that make a mockery of the concept of Assembly Hall.

    You nailed it….The “luxury” is living a shared experience. The “special” place for those of privilege to watch from behind the glass is to divide the ‘haves” from ‘haves not’. It is akin to sacrilege in a state where basketball was an avenue to bring all economic levels and communities together in a connected purpose; from the rural small towns to the cities, the game of basketball was a glue for all (fan and player alike) because we made it so without discriminating between wealth or ethnicity…or where you grew up.

    We live in a time when people want to display their differences in wealth…That, in my humble opinion, is what all the push in paying college athletes is about. It’s to show the fans (the vast majority not in the glass box) they have less in common rather than more.
    Heroes of sport used to make the guy or gal working the concession stand…or ticket office…or the admirer only able to afford a balcony seat feel as if a cheer feel valued. Their recognition of the athlete was grounded in knowing they were also appreciated. There was community on and around the hardwood. The game bridged us together and made us feel as one against the opponent. Now we are in a world abandoning such ideas. There are only bridges to more wealth…and burning those trusses behind for those losers who cannot keep up.

  14. Maybe we should have “luxury seats” behind glass walls at movie theaters too?
    Rich guy/gal: “Yes, I could just as easily buy a movie screen for my mansion and watch this film in a glass room with no need to hear a peasant obnoxiously crunching on his popcorn, but I’d much rather come to the movie house and display my ability to flaunt wealth in the special seats.

    No more fun in trying to pick out the wealthy or “classy” looking couple filing into a sea of people in search of seats at a movie or basketball game. Fun is gone. Guessing is gone. They now just have the bought and reserved special seats up in the “sky” (because heaven is also in the sky) They don’t want to smell your roll-on…or pretend to stoop down to your level for a seat beside you. It’s too much a hassle to act as your equal.

  15. I so want to design a time machine, just so I can put you guys in it and send you back to 1976. Insufferable.

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