Hoosier State Hoops: Evaluating IU Basketball

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As the Indiana Hoosiers are concluding their regular season, the question with this team is simple: will they get to the NCAA Tournament? Fortunately for the Hoosiers, they have two more games to prove it but both games are at home against Minnesota and Wisconsin. They should be winnable and for the Hoosiers, an NCAA Tournament bid is a real probability, and they need it. But, let’s not get into the idea that a deep run is everything they need. 

For the Indiana Hoosiers, forward Trayce-Jackson Davis is crucial to their success. Jackson-Davis needs more than nine shots a game to get to the NCAA tournament. He needs to do exactly what he did against Minnesota on February 19 on the road where he went off for 27 points and 17 rebounds on 11-15 from the field. 

If you ask me, it is not about the dominance of 27 points and 15 rebounds. It is about getting 15 attempts to create plays for himself. This Indiana team is fantastic when they commit to playing on the block. There is nothing else that is more crucial than that since, after all, he is THE BEST PLAYER. 

Yet, there is plenty to think negatively about. Let’s look at the road record this season for the Hoosiers. It is terrible when it is a big deal that they need a win against Minnesota on the road, not to mention that the only other road game they won is against an incompetent Nebraska team. This is a situation where if Indiana wants to get back to where they believe they should be, road games should be finished off with a win. 

IU needs its “J.R. Smith” to be more consistent. Devonte Green needs to be a factor that remains reliable for this Hoosier team. The preparation every day from someone like Green is crucial to IU and their success. For example, Green on Dec. 3, 2020, against a legit Florida State team goes off for 30 points, yet in the next game against Wisconsin, he finished with 10 points. The consistency needs to be better. If it isn’t, then, unfortunately, De’Ron Davis and Green won’t see an NCAA Tournament berth as a Hoosier in their four years. That hasn’t happened to a class of players since the ‘70s. 

For Hoosier fans, that should be inexcusable. Yet, they need to be understanding. The foundation that Indiana coach Archie Miller is providing is improving, particularly with his recruiting (Khristian Lander, Anthony Leal). It all leads to hope, but patience for Hoosier fans is crucial. 

The foundation is coming along and the idea of Jackson-Davis staying another year while only losing two scholarship players on their roster leads me to think that an NCAA Tournament trip in the next two seasons is absolutely a goal that needs to be accomplished. 


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