Pack up your jerseys. Throw your candy stripes in a drawer. Basketball season in Bloomington is over.
On Tuesday night, Indiana fell 73-63 to the Wichita State Shockers to end its NIT run at Assembly Hall. The Shockers dominated this one, as they led for over 36 of the 40 minutes of the game. IU briefly held a lead early in the first half, but that was it. In the second half the Hoosiers played catch-up, chasing down Wichita State time and time again only to shoot themselves in the foot when they got close whether it was a turnover, an unnecessary foul, or a defensive breakdown. No matter how hot the Hoosiers got, no matter how big the run to get back in striking distance was, they couldn’t get over the hump. The Hoosiers end the 2018-19 campaign with a 19-16 record and won six of their final eight games.
1. Juwan Morgan
In the final game of his Indiana career the senior showed why he’s become a fan favorite during his time as a Hoosier. He led the team in scoring with 21 points on 8/15 shooting, he grabbed six boards, and he blocked three shots on the night. He also did things that didn’t show up in the box score. He set screens, he dove for loose balls, and he hustled.
Morgan’s versatility and willingness to work have earned him plenty of admirers across the country and it’s a safe assumption that Hoosier fans at large are appreciative of what he’s done for the program and wish him the best as he presumably pursues a professional career.
2. Hobblin’ Hoosiers
The Hoosier offense was rough to watch today. This wasn’t a surprise. This is something that’s happened repeatedly throughout the season. On Tuesday Indiana went minutes without scoring and struggled in just about every way on that end. They shot 38 percent from the field, 33 percent from downtown, and 54 percent from the charity stripe.
To the Hoosiers’ credit they did dominate the paint, scoring 36 points compared to Wichita State’s 16, and utilized the fast break to their advantage but it wasn’t enough.
3. The Future Starts Now
With the loss Indiana’s season is officially over and the offseason begins. That means it’s time to start looking forward to next season if you’re so inclined. There’s reason for optimism as Devonte Green and De’Ron Davis will be seniors and could build off a season in which each of them showed that they can play big roles for this team and play them well. Rob Phinisee and Al Durham combined nicely with Green in the backcourt during the NIT, we should see plenty more of that next season. There’s all of that, but Indiana will also add five-star recruit Trayce Jackson-Davis and Armaan Franklin, two of the best players in the state.