In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Indiana’s poor start was inexcusable and insurmountable, but there are reasons to feel okay about the way the Hoosiers played from there on out.
• The Hoosiers’ defensive rating took a hit after Sunday’s game …
• … but the offensive rating went up.
• Happy birthday to one of the smoothest Hoosiers of all time, who is now a legend in Japan.
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Welcome to another edition of Banner Morning. We’re now four days away from Indiana’s next Big Ten road game.
In team news …
Indiana fell yesterday on the road to the #2-ranked Michigan Wolverines. The score was 74-63.
The game featured yet another horrendous start by the Hoosiers, including two fouls each on Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford before the first media timeout.
And whereas lesser IU opponents this season haven’t proven up to the task of fully capitalizing on Indiana’s habitual start-of-game malaize, the Wolverines were primed and ready to take full advantage and bury the Hoosiers within the game’s first 10 minutes.
Michigan led 30-13 at the second media timeout of the first half. It felt like the Duke game all over again.
But from that point on, over the game’s final 30 minutes, Indiana actually outscored Michigan 50-44.
And therein lies the reason why it’s perfectly okay to have conflicting feelings about this IU loss.
On the one hand, the predictable poor starts are infuriating and bewildering. It was only a matter of time before one of these bad beginnings proved too much to overcome, and that time was Sunday.
But on the other hand, even with Indiana’s severely depleted roster, the Hoosiers were able to play toe-to-toe with the highly regarded Wolverines, in their building, for the majority of the game. Call it crimson-colored glasses if you wish, but it’s simply a statement of fact.
And while that reality doesn’t take away the sting and lasting impact of the awful first ten minutes (and issue that must get corrected), it is a reason to be optimistic about this team’s long-term potential — especially if the health gods smile kindly on Indiana at some point this season.
If this kind of nuanced, big picture view speaks to you, then you should listen to last night’s IU-Michigan Postgame Show at our website, assemblycall.com.
In rankings news …
We’ll find out today if Sunday’s loss was enough to drop Indiana out of the AP and coaches’ polls.
As for the computers, the Hoosiers are currently 28th in KenPom. In giving up more than 1.2 points per possession to Michigan, Indiana dropped to #32 in adjusted defensive efficiency. But in scoring more than 1.1 points per possession against the nation’s #4 defense, Indiana moved up to #34 in adjusted offensive efficiency.
And we had a birthday over the weekend …
Happy birthday to one of the captains of All-Time IU All-Smooth team: Jeff Newton.
He is Indiana’s career leader in blocked shots and was a key member of the 2002 Final Four team. He also had a fantastic pro career in Japan, where he was a 6-time champion and league MVP.
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
We’ll be back tomorrow with a brand new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in and your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.