In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• We should find out Thursday if Rob, De’Ron, and Jake can play on Friday
• The specific roles De’Ron and Rob would fill on Friday that makes their presence so important.
• Andy Bottoms and the Delphi Bracketology Club have new bracket projections out … and you’ll be happy with where Indiana sits.
• Thomas Bryant has broken out in Washington.
• An interesting note to end on.
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Welcome to another edition of Banner Morning. We’re now two days away from Indiana’s next Big Ten road game.
In player news …
There have been no recent updates on the health of Indiana’s injured players.
Archie Miller has a media availability on Thursday, so that is when I would expect to get updates on the status of Rob Phinisee, De’Ron Davis, and Jake Forrester for Friday’s game at Maryland.
Getting Rob and De’Ron back this game would be huge.
One of Maryland’s strengths is its duo of big men, Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith. Fernando plays 70% of Maryland’s minutes and uses a good chunk of their possessions when he’s on the court. He’s also adept at drawing fouls. So obviously Juwan Morgan guarding him for 25-30 minutes is not ideal.
If De’Ron can at least give 10-12 solid minutes while Fernando is on the court, it will go a long way toward Indiana keeping Juwan out of foul trouble and fresh, because banging against Fernando’s 6-10, 240-pound body is a good way to wear Juwan down, not just for this game but in the big picture as well.
Maryland’s other strength, in addition to solid wing shooting, is the penetration of point guard Anthony Cowan. While Devonte Green is an able defender, Rob Phinisee has been the better of the two at consistently containing dribble penetration. Either way, just having an added backcourt body to throw at Cowan will help ensure that a fresh, active defender is tracking him all game long.
Another reason why Phinisee’s return would be key is that Maryland’s weakness on defense is in transition. Maryland really crashes the offensive glass hard and well, so Indiana will need to counter by getting easy buckets going the other way when they secure defensive rebounds.. This has been a big weakness for Indiana this season, with Rob being the one Indiana guard who has done a consistent job of leading breaks that produce points.
In bracketology news …
Andy Bottoms released his latest bracket projections over at Inside the Hall. He has the Hoosiers as a 5-seed with a whopping 10 Big Ten teams in the field.
Coach Tonsoni and the crew over at Delphi Bracketology have the Hoosiers as a 4-seed.
In Hoosiers in the NBA news …
In case you missed it, Thomas Bryant has broken out this season for the Washington Wizards.
As Candace Buckner wrote for the Washington Post, Thomas has shown growth during a recent stretch in which he had to face some of the NBA’s toughest bigs.
And here is an interesting note to close on …
Indiana is one of just 10 schools to have both its mens and womens basketball teams in the top 25. The men have been in the top 25 for several weeks, and the women debuted in the top 25 this week following their big win over Michigan State.
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.