Indiana Basketball fans have been anticipating an update since last Thursday when forward, De’Ron Davis hurt his lower leg in practice. It was announced that Davis will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his Achilles tendon. He was a major asset to the Hoosiers, averaging 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Indiana will now look to fellow teammate and freshman, Justin Smith to replace the dominant presence that Davis has provided thus far. Although Smith lacks in height, his quickness and agility adds a value that Davis was unable to provide.
In addition to Smith, the Hoosiers have several players they can depend on. Juwan Morgan, star forward, will be expected to intensify his level of play and continue to be aggressive against their opponents. Morgan averages 18.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, he will strive to continue posting great figures in the absence of Davis. Freddie McSwain, senior transfer, will get more opportunities to show off his strength in the paint. Prior to Davis’ injury, McSwain averaged just 10.5 minutes of playing time per game. However, in the first game without Davis, he totaled his second highest time on the court this season with 16 minutes. Over the last two games, McSwain has accumulated over 15 percent of his total rebounds for the season, and 33 percent of his assists. Collin Hartman, fifth-year senior who played a significant role in Indiana’s offense in his first three years, has been battling a knee injury causing his production to come to a halt. Hartman does provide the senior leadership that the team needs, which is best seen by him coaching Smith this season.
There is no question that Archie Miller is changing the face of this franchise. Miller has started freshman, harped on defense and has kept Indiana in, except IPFW, all their contests. Zach McRoberts, red-shirt junior transfer from Vermont, is the pinnacle of Indiana’s defense. McRoberts, in games without Davis, is averaging 3.5 steals and 6.5 rebounds per game. The victory over No. 18 Notre Dame would have not happened without the heroic last second offensive rebound and assist to put Indiana up in the final 8 seconds of overtime. Miller’s style of coaching revolves around a tight nit defense, allowing McRoberts to emerge as a defensive monster.
In the absence of Davis, Indiana has begun a hot streak winning back-to-back conference games. On Sunday, the Hoosiers host Northwestern attempting to remain over .500 in conference play. Further updates to come on Davis’ progress.