Hoosier State Hoops: Indiana Still Fighting in NIT

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The Indiana Hoosiers still have a season going on despite not making the tournament for the third season in a row. The Hoosiers were selected as a No. 1 seed in the NIT and have taken off from there.

The NIT run started against St. Francis (PA) Tuesday, who came into the NIT with an 18-14 record. Indiana came out sluggish in the first half, which did not leave Indiana fans pleased with how they showed up. It seemed as if Indiana did not care and honestly showed no fight. St. Francis (PA) even came out of the first half with a 40-34 lead because all the Hoosiers seemed to care about was just getting to the NCAA Tournament.

However, the Hoosiers were able to move on in the second half and dominate a team that they should have all along, winning 89-72.  The second half takeover for the Hoosiers was led by Juwan Morgan inside the paint. He was unguardable as he finished with 28 points and eight rebounds. Indiana outscored St. Francis (PA) 55-32 in the second half. Their 55 points were a season high in a half for the team this season.

Though the Hoosiers won the game, it still seemed that Indiana was never learning their lessons. They struggled with getting off to good starts all year and they just do not follow the scouting report on a team like St. Francis (PA) until the second half. This game for Indiana was like a recap of their season as they not only struggle early, but then they would all of a sudden figure it out when no one thought they would.

Next up for Indiana was a date Saturday against Arkansas, whom they played and lost to earlier in the season (73-72). That result  did not happen again as the Hoosiers won by a score of 63-60 as the Hoosiers played Arkansas at home in Assembly Hall this time.

This was a competitive game throughout and Indiana definitely played with more of a passion and it made me wonder what they had for breakfast. I was confused as to if I was watching the team that played Tuesday or if I was watching a team that has beaten Marquette once and Michigan State twice this season.

Indiana came ready to play and it was led by Langford’s replacement in the starting lineup, Devonte Green. He put in 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as he elevated the Hoosiers when they needed a playmaker. Green has proven he is capable of this type of a statline but at times he has also been a factor in why IU could have lost a game. In his defense, this might have been the best game he has played all year. It felt that way even more so due to the eleven rebounds he had, which was nothing short of sensational.

Not to mention, Indiana held Arkansas to zero points in the final 6:58 of the game and that shows what Archie Miller has wanted his team to understand. Miller wants his team to be a team with a defensive identity and that showed in this tight contest throughout.

The next matchup for the up and down Hoosiers will be either Clemson or Wichita State as they look to get to New York for the Final Four of the NIT.

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