Welcome to another edition of 6-Banner Sunday, where we highlight the six most essential IU basketball stories of the past week.
It was a rough week for Archie Miller and the Hoosiers. A close loss to No. 1 Duke on Wednesday was followed up by a dud Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.
In this week’s edition:
- Michigan rolls Indiana
- IU pushes No. 1 Duke to the limit
- Get to know Jerome Hunter
- Big Ten has historically awful week
- Katz chats with Archie Miller
- IU Soccer on to the College Cup
Michigan rolls Indiana
Archie Miller’s first Big Ten game was over just after it started.
On an early December afternoon, the Hoosiers began their road matchup at Crisler Center rather lethargically, falling behind big early and never mustering enough firepower to come back. An 18-4 deficit less than eight minutes into the game left a hole too deep to climb out of, eventually ending in a 69-55 defeat.
Indiana’s defense gave up far too many open looks from deep, while the offense settled for long twos and early shots while failing to take care of the basketball. The streak of games with single-digit turnovers that stood at three? That’s now history, as on Saturday, Indiana coughed up the ball nine times in the first half alone.
The lone bright spot was Juwan Morgan. The junior has shined of late, and on Saturday, Morgan scored 24 points and added 12 rebounds. After the loss, Miller credited Morgan for his work ethic:
“He was the one guy, he really went to work. He had an advantage size wise, in most cases. He was aggressive.”
Indiana will attempt to get back to .500 in Big Ten play on Monday evening when the Iowa Hawkeyes visit Assembly Hall. Iowa has had a disappointing start to their season, dropping two games to mid-majors and losing a home to Penn State in their conference opener.
More from Saturday:
- Assembly Call postgame show hosted by Galen Clavio and Ryan Phillips
- The Minute After: Michigan (Ryan Corazza/ITH)
- Postgame video: Archie Miller, Juwan Morgan and Al Durham (ITH)
- Flat start dooms IU (Herald-Times)
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IU pushes No. 1 Duke to the limit
After Saturday’s result in Ann Arbor, it’s not hard to dismiss the encouraging performance against the nation’s best team. The No. 1 Blue Devils, fresh off a title at the PK80 in Portland, were faced with a stiff test at Assembly Hall.
Many had discounted the Hoosiers’ odds, but Miller and his staff had his team ready to play. With a raucous crowd behind them, Indiana held Duke in check for more than 35 minutes. It wasn’t until Grayson Allen hit a ridiculous stepback triple late that the result was decided.
Allen, by the way, had some thoughtful postgame comments on the experience of playing at Assembly Hall.
More from Wednesday:
- Assembly Call postgame show with Jerod Morris, Ryan Phillips and Andy Bottoms
- Film session: Duke (Ryan Corazza/ITH)
- Postgame video: Coach K, Archie Miller, De’Ron Davis and Robert Johnson (ITH)
- Hoosiers go toe-to-toe with No. 1 Duke (Zach Osterman/Indy Star)
Get to know Jerome Hunter
Gamebreaker Magazine’s Aaron Blankenship published a feature story on 2018 four-star IU commit Jerome Hunter, and it’s a must-read.
The story chronicles Hunter’s journey from raw talent to Ohio’s top prospect. The Pickerington North forward, who once preferred football to basketball, recorded 21 double-doubles as a junior and lead his team to a section title.
Hunter’s drive to improve, writes Blankenship, is what has turned him into an elite prospect. The future Hoosier credits his late sister, Maleika Lewis, as his inspiration. Lewis passed away at the age of 18 after a battle with a lung infection.
“My sister, Maleika, has always been my inspiration. We were very close. She was basically like my second mom and she taught me to work hard at the things that are important to me. I think about her every day, and everything I do in basketball, I do for her.”
Hunter said he hopes to one day make the NBA for Maleika.
Other news regarding IU commits and targets:
- 2018 commit Rob Phinissee scored 39 points in a win for McCutcheon on Saturday
- Fellow 2018 commit Damezi Anderson eclipsed the 1,500 point mark Saturday, becoming South Bend Riley’s all-time leading scorer
- 2019 target Trayce Jackson-Davis put up 35 points in a win over Bloomington North
- 2018 five-star guard Romeo Langford continued his dominant senior season by recording a 47 point game. Langford has now scored 2,198 points as a member of the New Albany varsity team, just 396 shy of Damon Bailey’s state record
Big Ten has historically awful week
The 19th edition of the Big Ten/ACC challenge is in the books, and the Big Ten wishes it could have a do-over.
The conference had its worst showing in the history of the event, losing 11 of the 14 contests. The lone winners were Nebraska, Purdue and Michigan State. Now, with Big Ten play already underway because of the conference tournament moving up a week, the league has some serious soul-searching to do
Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun attempted to put the Big Ten’s debacle in context. Long story short? Even before the challenge, the conference was in real trouble.
Until Purdue beat then-No. 2 Arizona in the seventh-eighth-place game in the Battle for Atlantis tournament last week after both teams had lost twice in the Bahamas, the Big Ten was 0-for-the-Top 25.
The Big Ten is in serious need of signature non-conference wins, and the condensed schedule doesn’t help. When conference play goes on pause in a few days, the Big Ten will have to make the most of limited opportunities to boost its status in the conference hierarchy.
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Katz chats with Archie Miller
Longtime college basketball reporter Andy Katz was in Bloomington last week to cover the IU/Duke game. While he was there, he grabbed an exclusive eight-minute interview with Miller for NCAA.com.
The interview covered the current state of the team, how he goes about recruiting, and the incredible atmosphere in Assembly Hall on Wednesday.
It’s hard to really express what it felt like last night. It was almost like you were on a runway and jets were all around. I mean, to play in front of that crowd would be incredible, but to stand there and to be the head coach at Indiana was pretty jaw-dropping, so to speak. I just keep going back to the same thing I always say, the better we get, the more it’s going to be like that. One of these days, it’s going to be almost impossible to beat us in there, you have to think. Because it’s probably one of the real wake up calls for me in terms of what is at our disposal when it really comes to Assembly Hall.
IU Soccer on to the College Cup
For undefeated No. 2 Indiana men’s soccer (17 wins, 0 losses, 6 draws), the run to a ninth national championship will head to Philadelphia.
The undefeated Hoosiers qualified for the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament after a thrilling win over No. 7 Michigan State in penalty kicks in front of more than 5,000 fans at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
Freshman goalkeeper Trey Muse has been outstanding between the posts all season. Through 23 games, Muse has allowed just six goals. In the penalty shootout, Muse was the difference, saving three of five Spartan shots. After Muse’s final save clinched Indiana’s ticket to the College Cup, students rushed the pitch.
Teddy Bailey has more on Indiana’s momentous victory:
Indiana’s senior class has longed for the opportunity to leave its mark on a historic program. The 2017 College Cup will be IU’s first College Cup since 2012 — when the Hoosiers won their most recent national championship.
“When you come to Indiana,” Swartz said. “You always talk about wanting to win a national championship. The Big Ten championships are special trophies and we want to win those too, but the ultimate prize is the national championship.”
Indiana’s quest for a ninth NCAA title resumes on Friday when Indiana faces No. 3 North Carolina in Philadelphia. The match will air on ESPNU, with a start time yet to be determined.
Before you go:
- IU women’s basketball fell to No. 4 Louisville in the Big Ten/ACC challenge (Herald-Times)
- Griffin Oakes named Big Ten Kicker of the Year (Indiana Daily Student)
- Katherine Receveur wins Big Ten Athlete of the Year for cross-country (IDS)
- IU wrestling sweeps Saturday duals (IU Athletics)
- IU athletic director Fred Glass announced a parting of ways with volleyball head coach Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan after 11 seasons (Herald-Times)
And with that, the joy of hanging Banner #6 is now one week closer.
Thanks for your continued support for The Assembly Call. We’ll be back next weekend with a new roundup.
Now go enjoy yourself a 6-banner Sunday.