Confidence has been building for Indiana Basketball, most recently propelled by three consecutive conference wins. After a slow start to the regular season, under first year head coach Archie Miller, the team is finally finding their niche on the court. Recently capturing wins over Minnesota, Penn State, and Northwestern, the Hoosiers have established an emerging presence in the conference standings. These victories were led by improvements in ball control and a high motion offense.
Last season after the Hoosiers failed to reach the NCAA tournament, Indiana cut ties with head coach Tom Crean and sought out new talent in Dayton’s head coach Archie Miller. Miller led the Flyers to four NCAA tournament appearances, a conference tournament final, and posted a 139-63 record. The successful tenure Miller had at Dayton can be attributed to his ferocious coaching style. Miller’s recognition is accredited to his ability to break down a defense with his “Phoenix fast break” offensive approach. Indiana’s traditional upbeat style of play, in addition to Miller’s coaching style, is beginning to take form, therefore causing havoc on the court for their opponents. The next challenge will be to minimize the turnovers that the Hoosiers have constantly issued to their opponents.
Although an overall record of 11-7 is not the most aesthetically pleasing to the eye, we must remember that Indiana scheduled early meetings with Duke and Seton Hall. The Hoosiers are a young team, therefore it is extremely optimistic that they performed considerably well in these tough matchups. In an effort to continue their recent success, the Hoosiers will travel to East Lansing to face the No. 9 ranked Spartans. Indiana has proven they can compete at a high level with wins over previously ranked teams, however the team must stay confident. The Hoosier defense is putting pressure on their opponents, which has kept the opposing team’s scoring to a minimum. The team’s offense has been dominant this season, in their last matchup against Northwestern, Indiana shot 60.9%.
The “hot-hand fallacy” is a notion that when a person experiences success, then individuals will continue to ride out that player’s luck. In basketball, this is a perfect depiction of Juwan Morgan for the Indiana Hoosiers. Morgan is having a career year, averaging 15.6 points while grabbing 7.4 boards a game. Morgan is not the only rising star, fourth-year starter Robert Johnson has added 18.3 points per game over the course of their winning streak. On the season, Indiana has allowed 70.4 points a game, however the Hoosiers have reduced their opponents’ output to just 62.3 in their last three contests. If the Hoosiers maintain their progression, they will continue to climb to the top of the conference. Indiana is firing on all cylinders just in time for their rivalry game against No. 3 Purdue on January 28 at Assembly Hall.