In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Indiana moves into top half of Big Ten standings
• Rob Phinisee returns to starting lineup
• Another injury concern with Phinisee
Welcome Hoosier fans to today’s edition of Banner Morning — your daily rundown of IU basketball news and notes.
I’m Cameron Drummond and the Hoosiers now have two ranked wins.
The topsy-turvy Big Ten Conference has been unpredictable this season, highlighted by home teams holding serve and every team now having at least one conference win and loss.
From Indiana’s perspective, that unpredictability has allowed the Hoosiers to jump into the top-half of the conference standings.
Saturday’s 12-point home win over then-No. 11 Ohio State gave Indiana a 3-2 conference record, putting the Hoosiers into a four-way tie with Maryland, Rutgers and Wisconsin for third place in the Big Ten standings.
With two road games in the coming week at Rutgers and Nebraska, it was critical for Indiana to take care of business at home against Northwestern and Ohio State.
Not all of the issues that came to the surface after last Wednesday’s win over the Wildcats were resolved against the Buckeyes, but a key element in the change of Indiana’s energy and effort level was the performance of Rob Phinisee.
Oft-injured this season and throughout his Indiana career, Phinisee made his first start of the season Saturday, and played with the defensive intensity and the big-time shot making that has become a trademark of his game.
He helped pester Ohio State freshman guard D.J. Carton into committing seven turnovers, and hit three first-half three pointers en route to a 13-point display.
Postgame, Archie Miller praised the change Phinisee brought to the court for Indiana in what many people viewed as a measuring-stick game.
“Rob Phinisee being in the game and being ready to go and looking like he did today, that’s a big deal for us,” Miller said. “If you envision our team and you hope you’re at your best, you see Rob Phinisee like he was today.”
Phinisee’s health is a renewed question for Miller’s team though, after the sophomore guard had to exit the game late in the second half against the Buckeyes.
Miller said he had no idea what happened to Phinisee, but that Phinisee wasn’t comfortable at the end of the game, or at least not comfortable enough to play in crucial minutes.
Miller’s radio show with Don Fischer tonight will hopefully provide some clarification regarding Phinisee’s health ahead of Wednesday night’s trip to Piscataway, New Jersey to play the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, a venue that hasn’t been kind to Indiana in recent seasons.
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
Remember to use the URL iutickets.shop to visit SeatGeek for the best prices on IU basketball tickets. That’s iutickets.shop, promo code ASSEMBLY, for $10 off your first purchase.
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.