In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Containing Luka Garza
• Guarding the perimeter
• Must-win game for Indiana
Welcome Hoosier fans to today’s edition of Banner Morning — your daily rundown of IU basketball news and notes.
I’m Dylan Wallace and it’s time to preview Indiana’s matchup with No. 21 Iowa.
The daunting task that awaits Indiana tonight is obviously the play of Luka Garza. Garza is averaging 23.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per game.
At 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds, Garza can step out of the paint and knock down shots and can also finish plays in the paint and at the rim. He’s shooting 38.2 percent on 3’s, 59.5 percent on 2’s and is drawing 7.2 fouls per 40 minutes in league play.
Archie Miller said yesterday that if he had a vote, Garza would be his National Player of the Year.
Miller said, “To go through our league with how our league’s played this season, and to be averaging 26 in whatever it is, ten and a half in league play, you know, is about as impressive of a guy so far as we’ve seen.”
Even though Garza is a huge threat, there are other players on the Hawkeyes’ roster that can hurt Indiana. C.J. Fredrick and Joe Wieskamp, specifically, are dangerous from 3-point range.
Wieskamp is shooting 39.7 percent on 3’s, which is 12th best in the league. Wieskamp is Iowa’s second leading scorer at 15.4 points per game and second leading rebounder at 6.1 rebounds per game. Fredrick is shooting 47.2 percent from three, and as we know, Indiana’s guards have had trouble defending the perimeter this season.
Al Durham said, “We’ve had our lapses on defense for sure. I feel like we’ve turned the page on it. We have learned from it. We’ve looked over and talked about it and I feel like we are just trying to take a step forward to learn from the experiences we’ve had in the past and just become better from it.”
Miller said Iowa might be the best team Indiana will face this season. No matter how good the Hawkeyes are, the Hoosiers desperately need a win.
Indiana has lost four games in a row and is flirting with a disaster of a season. With tonight’s game being at home, it provides Indiana with a huge opportunity to get a win and get its season back on track.
Both Durham and Armaan Franklin said yesterday that they believe the team is together right now and they have what it takes to snap out of this skid. Miller spoke on the need for more leadership, but didn’t call out any specific player on who needs to speak up, but rather said any voice will do if they are saying the right things.
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We’ll be back tomorrow with a new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in, your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.