On today’s Banner Morning:
• Indiana collapsed after a solid start
• No bench production plagues Hoosiers
• More of the same struggles propelled the collapse
Welcome Hoosier fans to this Monday edition of Banner Morning — your daily rundown of IU basketball news and notes.
I’m Michael Dugan, filling in for Jerod Morris, the morning after IU was defeated Northwestern
In team news …
Well, the Hoosiers got out to a hot start and found themselves holding a 29-19 lead in this one. The offense was aggressive, the cuts were sharp, the passes were crisp, and shots were falling. The defense was good, too, forcing 4 turnovers in the game’s first 3 and a half minutes. That all changed in an instant, and it didn’t go back.
Rutgers went on a 27-3…yes, a 27-3 run after that 29-19 deficit to make it 46-32. From there, Indiana just couldn’t get back in. They cut it to 7 midway through the second half, then to 5 with about 2 minutes to go, but the hole was just too deep to climb out of.
The collapse was just more of the same. Bad switches defensively on ball screens, passive offense, and cold shooting. All things you can attribute to fatigue, sure, but at this point, Indiana has to find a leader in these situations.
For those of you searching for positive team stats, I present to you the following: Indiana did a relatively nice job taking care of the ball, turning the ball over 11 times and forcing 14 from Rutgers, including 10 steals.
In player news …
Romeo was the team’s leading scorer and took a step in the right direction after his scoring slump. He finished with 20 points off 3-7 shooting from beyond the arc, 6 rebounds and three steals.
Al Durham had a nice night, finishing with 11 points off 5-10 from the floor, and added 2 of the team’s mere 7 assists.
And, I want to give a shoutout to Damezi Anderson, who grabbed an offensive board and steal after two straight Indiana misses from three that would have cut the deficit to just 4 with over a minute to go. The Hoosiers just couldn’t capitalize and missed three straight three pointers.
Now let’s go around the horn and get some reaction to Indiana’s loss …
Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall addressed how the offense continues the fall into the abyss. Brace yourselves for the following statistic…Indiana scored .84 points per possession against Rutgers, a team that was allowing Big Ten opponents to score 1.08.
Zach Osterman of The Indy Star wrote about Indiana’s brutal offensive stretch and the lack of bench production when the Hoosiers needed it most. Indiana’s bench didn’t make a field goal all night and scored just two points — Clifton Moore free throws in the first half.
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We’ll be back Monday with a new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in and your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.