On today’s Banner Morning:
• A tale of two halves
• Juwan leads the charge
• Al’s career night
• De’Ron’s postgame thoughts on playing to win
Welcome Hoosier fans to this Wednesday 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 defeated St. Francis.
In team news …
Talk about a tale of two halves. At first, the Hoosiers jumped out to a pretty underwhelming start. After going up 18-9, there was little energy, Juwan didn’t look focused on some of his shots that are usually his bread and butter, and the team was taking some bad shots overall. Soon, Indiana found itself battling to keep the game within one possession. Turnovers, missed free throws, and fouls sent Archie Miller over the edge heading into halftime, where he picked up a technical foul just moments before. The 15 minute halftime period felt like a restless eternity inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, with thousands of fans hoping and praying to see the Hoosiers come out and fight in the second half down by 6.
And, they did just that. Before the first pass of the half was even made, the cuts were sharper, the screens were cleaner, and Indiana was running faster. Rob Phinisee went right to Juwan Morgan, who went to work and scored within the first 9 seconds.
After a layup by Rob and a three from Devonte, Indiana took the lead thanks to a Juwan layup and never looked back. A 16-2 run over the first five minutes of the second half helped propel the Hoosiers to a round 1 NIT win. The Hoosiers will play Arkansas in the next round.
In player news …
Juwan Morgan got past his low-energy start to put together a great statistical night and leading the charge in the second half, finishing with 28 points and 8 boards.
In Romeo’s absence, Al and Devonte combined for 34 points, highlighted by Al’s carer-high 22 on 9-15 shooting. Devonte grabbed 5 boards and had 6 assists, in what was a pretty solid passing night from him.
He, Rob and Al all looked very capable of running the offense, combining for 12 total assists.
And, Bloomington native Johnny Jager sunk 2 free throws at the end, pleasing the home crowd.
Now let’s go around the horn and get some reaction to Indiana’s win …
Zach Osterman of the Indy Star wrote about the slow first half, Juwan leading the response, and IU running through the finish line, thanks to a 63.6% shooting percentage in the 55-point second half.
And, De’Ron Davis did not mince words postgame, saying: “There’d better be nobody in there that doesn’t want to (get to New York), because we need everybody in here to play. Our goal, our thing, in practice, we’re here, we might as well win it.” Well, De’Ron, hard to argue with that given how you guys played in the second half tonight.
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
And remember to use the URL iutickets.shop to visit SeatGeek for the best prices on IU basketball tickets. That’s iutickets.shop, promo code ASSEMBLY for $10 off your first purchase.
We’ll be back tomorrow with a new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in and your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.