In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Looking back at how Indiana’s four main frontcourt players fared last season
Welcome Hoosier fans to today’s edition of Banner Morning — your daily rundown of IU basketball news and notes.
I’m Cameron Drummond and let’s recap the season for Indiana’s frontcourt.
It’s not a secret that Trayce Jackson-Davis was the best player on the court for Indiana this season, and therefore the centerpiece of the frontcourt for the Hoosiers.
His final statline of 13.5 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game and a 56.6 shooting percentage from the field speak for themselves. Indiana’s default offense setting this season was to feed the ball inside to Jackson-Davis.
While that plan wasn’t always followed through on by the Hoosiers, it represented their most concrete form of offense throughout the season, and it usually had good results as Indiana went 11-1 when Jackson-Davis had a double-double.
But the true evolution of Indiana’s frontcourt play came with the pieces surrounding the freshman star.
Redshirt junior Joey Brunk, in his first season in Bloomington after transferring from Butler, started all but one game this season at the 5 and had plenty of up-and-performances.
His inability to successfully high-hedge in Indiana’s packline defense meant mobile opposing big men could have their way with Brunk, either shooting from distance or beating Brunk inside.
This helped pave the way for a fully healthy Race Thompson to take some of Brunk’s minutes, and with Thompson’s physical brand of basketball predicated on rebounding and toughness, this offered a contrast to many of Brunk’s performances.
Thompson changed the Indiana team dynamic, particularly on defense, as the season drew to a close.
But there was still an offensive tradeoff that came with Thompson, who had the lowest offensive usage rate among Indiana regulars at just 14.3, while having the best defensive rebounding percentage, 22.1 percent, of any regular Hoosier.
Then that leaves De’Ron Davis.
The senior big man was infrequently used during his final college campaign, but there were still moments of effectiveness for Davis, in particular when he earned a Senior Day start against Wisconsin and when he went 9-9 from the field during the loss at Michigan.
Considering he’s the only frontcourt piece to be lost for Indiana this offseason, there’s a fair amount to look forward to in terms of returning production.
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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.