Archie Miller’s second season in Bloomington has come with a lot of expectations, and its first test proved to be almost too easy for the Hoosiers.
- An impressive, shorthanded victory: Indiana came into this matchup banged up, as Zach McRoberts, Devonte Green, Jerome Hunter, and Race Thompson all missed the game due to injury. But that afforded increased minutes to others who made the most of their opportunity. Aljami Durham started in McBob’s place, posting 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists in 36 minutes while Evan Fitzner fought through foul trouble to put up 16 points in 18 minutes.
- Indiana’s freshmen will determine their ceiling: This has been stated plenty but it never more evident than tonight. Romeo Langford will, deservedly, grab most of the headlines and he continued to create highlights up and down the floor tonight, finishing with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. But, suddenly, Rob Phinisee looks like the heir-apparent to Yogi Ferrell, dropping eight dimes in addition to 12 points. If those two can contribute at that level against the top teams on the schedule, combined with the steady production of Juwan Morgan and the rest of the veterans, Indiana will be as tough an out in the Big Ten as anyone.
- Outside shooting remains a concern: In a game that gets played increasingly further away from the basket, Indiana’s three-point production has been lacking at the start. They were hitting only 31% of their looks coming into tonight and everyone not named Evan Fitzner went only 5-16 against the Golden Eagles. It’s still early, and the Hoosiers knew they would have to rely on the new guys to hit threes, and they all appear to still be adjusting to that facet of the college game. So it’s something to keep an eye on.
Indiana’s next game is at Arkansas on Sunday.