The goal for every college basketball team is to make an appearance in the NCAA tournament, and unfortunately Indiana basketball fell short of that goal. Although the Hoosiers are missing out on March Madness, they got an opportunity to play in the NIT tournament, and the team is taking full advantage of their postseason time. Indiana advanced to the NIT Quarterfinals after squeaking by Arkansas, 63-60 on Saturday.
The Hoosiers had a slow start to the game, trailing for most of the first half until Devonte Green shot a three-pointer with just three minutes left in the first. This shot was exactly what Green needed to gain momentum for the rest of the game. The junior had a career high in rebounds (11), and he also scored 18 points. This game is not the only time Green made a significant impact for Indiana. In the past six games, he is averaging 14.3 points per game and shooting more than 55 percent from behind the arc.
Senior, Juwan Morgan is making the best of the remaining time he has with Indiana. He helped the team out of their slow start and scored 15 points, along with seven rebounds and one assist against Arkansas. Throughout his four years at Indiana, Morgan has exemplified the true meaning of what it means to be a Hoosier, and he will be missed by many. It was certainly disappointing for Morgan to fall short of the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season. Although the NIT was not the intended goal for Morgan, he will look to make his mark to better his chances in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Romeo Langford missed his second game in a row due to a back injury he suffered in the Big Ten tournament. Langford is the freshman leading scorer for Indiana and has helped his team secure some major victories. Many were worried that the absence of Langford would cause a void for the Hoosiers, but surprisingly players are stepping up. Rob Phinisee made significant contributions to the team and is rising to the occasion. Phinisee helped lead the backcourt against the Razorbacks with seven points, seven rebounds and five assists. His contributions will be very important for the team moving forward especially if Langford declares for the NBA Draft.
Indiana basketball has had a season filled with highs and lows, and they are continuing to prove they are a team that has a lot of potential for the future. Although the NIT is not exactly what they hoped for, this is the time for the younger athletes to learn about postseason play. Indiana’s next matchup will be against the winner of the Wichita State – Clemson game. Be sure to be on the lookout for the game date and time, which will be announced later.