In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Trayce Jackson-Davis continues dominant play
• Race Thompson brings the physicality
• Justin Smith shows importance
Welcome Hoosier fans to today’s edition of Banner Morning — your daily rundown of IU basketball news and notes.
I’m Dylan Wallace and Indiana’s best frontcourt lineup has emerged.
In Indiana’s last three wins, which have come against a ranked Iowa team, Minnesota on the road and a ranked Penn State team, the Hoosiers’ best players have been Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson.
Now, I feel inclined to throw Justin Smith into that category as well. They are Indiana’s best, and potentially most important trio, and it showed on Sunday against Penn State.
Trayce Jackson-Davis was relentless in the post, scoring 13 points and attempting 17 shots, so it was good he was so aggressive again.
Thompson continues to be the difference maker for Indiana. The physicality he brings to the table and his ability to crash the glass has sparked Indiana in a number of ways. Thompson had eight points and four rebounds on Sunday and he even went into the post and had some nice moves that resulted in baskets.
Miller said, “Race is big, big minutes in the game. His minutes are big. He’s changed the course of our season here as we’ve been able to get through February.”
When talking about doing all the little things on Sunday, Smith joined Thompson in that category. Smith and Thompson played terrific defense on Lamar Stevens despite him putting up 29 points.
Smith came down with some huge rebounds on both ends of the floor and scored nine points with eight rebounds.
Miller said on Smith that “When the energy was up and we needed the plays to be made, I thought last eight minutes he stepped up, did a great job.”
Jackson-Davis, Thompson and Smith were a combined plus-18 on Sunday, and it showed down the stretch.
Their versatility and quickness on defense is huge. And all three of them being so athletic bodes well for Indiana when it comes to rebounding. There were numerous times against Penn State where one of those three would go up above everybody else and snag a rebound in traffic.
Indiana needs all three of these players going forward. You’ll be pressed to find a moment in any game going forward where all three of these players are off the floor at the same time. The Hoosiers are at their best when Thompson, Smith and Jackson-Davis are on the court together, dominating the paint.
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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.