Indiana didn’t merely lose its second game at the Maui Invitational. The Hoosiers completely imploded.
Which — if you’ve watched any number of games during the Archie Miller era — is not a new concept. Play well one game, play a middling, mind-numbing brand of basketball for two games, play joyless, hapless ball for another game. Rinse, repeat.
It’s pretty tiring to watch such a cycle play out year after year, game after game, without any interruption. So let’s just jump in and jump out this stuff today.
Here are Three Things:
Archieball is back
On Monday, we noted how IU’s first-half performance was one of the best of the Archie Miller era. It was really, really good basketball! Tuesday’s start was the complete opposite. Well, maybe that’s not totally fair. Indiana’s defensive effort was present and recognizable, and for the most part, it was good enough to give Indiana a chance. But offensively? Yeah, that was the Archieball we all know and love, folks, wasn’t it? IU’s 19 first-period points were the second-fewest in the Miller era, as the team finished the half with only five field goals, shot merely 21.7% overall, and went 0-for-4 from beyond the arc. Texas’ pressure was a factor, but only to a point. For the most part, it was just poor, flat, uninspiring basketball. You know the kind. During the Under-4 commercial break, ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg summed up the period — and really the past three-plus seasons — pretty succinctly: “Indiana runs offense,” Greenberg said. “I’m not sure they run offense to score.” The second half wasn’t any better. Look at this:
- Indiana made 11 field goals and shot 24 percent from the floor.
- IU made two of its 10 3-pointers
- The Hoosiers scored their fewest points since Jan. 24, 2010 (Iowa won, 58-43)
- Indiana scored 0.65 points per possession
- Texas won on the glass, 48-29, and grabbed 14 offensive boards to IU’s six.
Again, it’d be easy to chalk this up to a weird off-season, early-season sloppiness, whatever. But it keeps happening. Archie Miller’s Indiana program just kind of is what it is.
IU’s best players looked like anything but
Texas coach Shaka Smart told reporters after Tuesday’s game that his objective against Indiana was to hold IU’s duo of Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson to no more than 24 points. Mission accomplished. Sure, Jackson-Davis scored 17 points. But seven of them came in the final six minutes. Early on, he was pushed around, tentative and soft around the rim. Against Texas’ size and length, Jackson-Davis was a non-factor when IU needed him most. Race Thompson, meanwhile, looked like a completely different player than the one who boosted Indiana on Monday. Thompson finished with only four points, while adding six rebounds. The duo finished 6-for-17 for the game with a combined eight turnovers.
And now Al Durham is hurt?
Indiana’s senior guard injured his ankle late in the second half of Tuesday’s game, and it doesn’t sound like Miller expects him to be available for Wednesday’s finale in Asheville. That’s a shame, too, because Durham played like he gave a damn from start to finish on Tuesday. And Indiana needs a little more of that, both on the court and on the sideline.