In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Indiana’s first Big Ten road game is tomorrow.
• We await word on whether Juwan Morgan will be available to play.
• KenPom continues to like the Hoosiers a bit more than the human polls.
• Indiana’s defensive turnover percentage and opponent free throw percentage are helping to offset the Hoosiers’ biggest weaknesses.
• With Trayce and Armaan in the fold, what will Keion do?
• Happy birthday to one of the best players in IU history and one of the best athletes in IU history.
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Welcome to another edition of Banner Morning. We’re just one day away from our first Big Ten road game.
In team news …
Indiana travels to Happy Valley tomorrow to face a solid Penn State team that recently beat 11th-ranked Virginia Tech.
A major storyline entering the game will be the availability of Juwan Morgan, who will be needed with Penn State forward Lamar Stevens off to a very strong start. We continue to await official word from Indiana.
Mike DeCourcy and others who covered the Northwestern game have indicated that Morgan’s injury does not appear severe, despite what it looked like as he was helped off the court. Let’s hope those early indications prove true.
We’ll have more on this game later today in this week’s Banner Monday.
In statistical analysis …
After a week in which Indiana went 1-1 with a blowout loss at Duke and a close-shave win at home against Northwestern, don’t expect the Hoosiers to be included in this week’s top 25.
KenPom, however, continues to like the Hoosiers a bit more than the human polls. The Hoosiers entered Sunday’s game ranked #25 overall, with the offense ranked 30th in adjusted efficiency and the defense ranked 29th.
And if you dig deeper into Indiana’s statistical profile, you’ll uncover these two interesting statistical nuggets:
First, while Indiana is turning it over on 21.1% of their possessions (269th in the country), Indiana’s opponents are turning it over on 23% of possessions, a rate that ranks Indiana 31st in defensive turnover percentage. So despite their struggles with ball security, Indiana is still winning the turnover battle thanks to its active, pressuring defense.
Second, while the Hoosiers are making a dismal and unacceptable 62.4% of their free throws, Indiana opponents are shooting just 62.8% from the line. Both of these numbers are significantly below the national average of 69.3%, and they underscore the urgency with which Indiana needs to improve its free throw shooting. Opponents are unlikely to keep shooting this poorly from the line, which will only exacerbate the impact of Indiana’s misses.
In recruiting news …
Did you hear? Trayce Jackson-Davis not only committed to Indiana, but he actually signed with the Hoosiers as well. The announcement came on the same day Trayce’s Center Grove team faced off against Cathedral and fellow IU signee Armaan Franklin.
Now Hoosier Nation turns its eyes to fellow in-state 5-star Keion Brooks. His La Lumiere team faces Jackson-Davis and Center Grove this Saturday night in the Forum Tipoff Classic. Interesting …
And we had two birthdays yesterday …
Happy birthday to Alan Henderson, who by any measure is one of the top 10 or 15 players in the history of IU basketball. And happy birthday also to Freddie McSwain, one of the best pound-for-pound athletes Indiana has ever seen.
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
I’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.