Photo Credit: Anna Tiplick
Good lord that was ugly. Not much good came out of the 90-69 thumping Duke put on the Hoosiers in Durham last night. IU couldn’t get out of its own way with 20 turnovers and shooting a measly 39% from the field. Duke did what Duke does best: run in transition and let Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett make play after play after play. Nobody on the Hoosiers could slow down two of the projected top 3 NBA draft picks. Romeo Langford led the Hoosiers in scoring with 13 points, but only shot 3/15 from the floor and 0/4 from behind the 3 point arc.
IU has a long way to go – The Hoosiers have the potential to be a fun and exciting defensively minded team. Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford are two great anchors for the squad and the auxiliary pieces have the potential to be just good enough to make the Hoosiers a contender. However, none of the extra pieces have shown up yet this season and almost all were completely irrelevant last night against the Blue Devils. With a crucial stretch of Big Ten games coming up its important for the Hoosiers to show strides on offense and transition defense.
Al Durham looked pretty darn good – The lone bright spot for the Hoosiers was Evan Fitzner. The lanky senior forward finished with 12 points on 4/6 shooting from three. Though a defensive liability at times, Fitzner showed Hoosier fans again why Archie Miller wanted him in Bloomington so bad. He helps stretch the floor and when he’s hot he’s HOT.
Free Throw Shooting is less than ideal – The Hoosiers were able to reach the charity stripe 25 times, but only converted 14 of their attempts, a measly 56%. IU struggled last season from the free throw line and continues to struggle this year shooting just above 60% from the line. With slashing players like Romeo Langford, Justin Smith and the two big men Juwan Morgan and Deron Davis likely to draw a lot of fouls the rest of the season it is vital the Hoosiers can shake off some of their free throw yips.
The Hoosiers open Big Ten play with a matchup against Northwestern on Friday night. The Hoosiers took care of business last year against the Wildcats 66-46 in Bloomington. It should be good for the Hoosiers to be back in the saddle soon after the tough loss at Duke with an opportunity to continue to reintegrate players returning from injury.