It was a tough day on 17th street.
And it didn’t get much better in Tallahassee. Indiana pushed the No. 20 basketball team in the nation to overtime, but couldn’t finish in a 69-67 loss to Florida State.
Here are Three Things:
IU will look back on this night as a major miss
We’ll start with the good news: IU’s defense was good enough to win and the Hoosiers fought their way through 45 minutes against one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s best teams. The effort was there. The finishing wasn’t. So here’s the part where we say what we always say after IU basketball games. This team can’t shoot — they still can’t hit open shots and they still settle for bad shots — and it continues to make for a pretty wretched viewing experience. Just look at overtime. Trayce Jackson-Davis converted an and-1 on IU’s first possession and hit some big free throws on IU’s last possession of the period. In between, there was nothing. It comes back to guard play. On Wednesday, Indiana’s starting guards combined to go 27% from the field and 18% from 3-point range. Its reserves were no better.
Trayce Jackson-Davis was a stud against a really good team
Never mind the size and length of Florida State, billed as the fourth-tallest team in the nation. Trayce Jackson-Davis did some damage. He was tough to stop in ball-screen actions, he was strong on the block, and he forced his way to the line. All told, Jackson-Davis finished with a double-double of 25 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Really good stuff! But it’s going to keep getting harder for him if he doesn’t have help.
Armaan Franklin is quickly becoming a guy you can’t take off the floor
It wasn’t a perfect game for the sophomore. Honestly, it was somewhat uneven. Even so, he’s starting to string together meaningful performances, building the foundation for what feels like will be a strong second season. He finished with nine points and eight rebounds, playing like an aggressive and confident guy with the ball in his hands. No, he’s not hitting shots, but he’s doing a lot of other things well. Don’t forget that. He’s IU’s best defensive player, and his absence is felt when he’s not on the floor. Just look at how IU performed when Franklin went off for a blow midway through the second half. Granted, it was with a mishmash lineup, but IU was outscored (and outplayed) 7-2 in the two minutes Franklin sat on the bench at that point. No, he can’t play all 40 minutes, but it is apparent when he’s not out there. Franklin is turning into a very good player, and on balance, he’s giving Indiana some quality minutes in a support role.
Up next: North Alabama
This is Indiana’s last scheduled buy game of the pre-conference season, a chance to get some run before finals week. The Lions are slotted at No. 246 in the KenPom ratings.