Indiana needed a game like this after that debacle that happened in Madison just a few days ago. The Hoosiers used their length and strength to wear down the Warriors who just weren’t equipped to handle a team like the Hoosiers. This win will help Indiana get back on track going into finals weekend.
The now 8-2 Hoosiers came into this game with a sour taste in their mouths after that awful performance in the second half against Wisconsin 4 days ago. For the first 4 minutes it seemed like they were going to continue that against a lowly, undersized and under talented now 5-8 Warriors squad.
Merrimack came out shooting the three ball very efficiently in the first few minutes and the Hoosiers seemed a bit lethargic on defense. The Warriors were able to keep the game even through the first media timeout. Coach Woodson must’ve said something to his team in that huddle as they came out of it looking like a brand new squad. The Hoosiers began to understand how to exploit the Syracuse-esque 2-3 matchup zone that Merrimack plays and got the ball down low to Trayce Jackson Davis and Race Thompson who were brilliant all game in the post. The Warriors just didn’t have the bodies to deal with the length and strength of those two. The Hoosiers were on a nice run heading into the under 12 timeout.
One has to give credit to the undermanned Warriors squad through the rest of the first half as they found a way to hang around mainly because of their hot shooting and IU’s poor perimeter defense. The Hoosiers just seemed to be a step slow stepping out and contesting the three. Again the combo of Race and TJD kept IU ahead. There was simply no answer down low for the Warriors as at one point the Hoosiers had more offensive rebounds than Merrimack had total rebounds. The Hoosiers however did not show that killer instinct and went into halftime only leading by 6.
I can only imagine what Woody said to these guys in the locker room, because unlike 4 days ago the Hoosiers came out of half on fire. The Hoosiers started to utilize the open spots in the zone and move the ball to find the open man. Miller Kopp, being the zone-busting shooter that he has shown at times that he can be, had two big threes from both corners in consecutive possessions to push the IU lead out of reach for the rest of the game. The Hoosier’s bench then came on and continued to push the lead further getting some players a lot of much needed minutes during a real game situation. Even fan favorite Logan Duncomb got some PT and showed out in his limited time on the floor. The Hoosiers coasted to a 81-49 victory.
So can we learn anything from a game against the 256th, out of 368, best team in the nation per Ken Pom rankings? Well the answer is kind of. We all knew that IU would dominate the extremely undersized Warriors in the post. The question was would IU come into the game with the right mentality and demeanor to dominate a game that they should win by 30 points and except for the first ten or so minutes they did just that. We got to see a lot of the bench play in the second half and that experience could prove crucial in the always brutal BIG 10.
To put it simply IU came out and dominated a team that had no right even suiting up in Assembly Hall just as they should and that hasn’t always been guaranteed the past few years.
IU hits the floor again in 6 days against a very dangerous Notre Dame team in the Crossroads Classic. Let’s hope there is no finals hangover as IU is in desperate need of a quality win.
Offensive Player of the Game:
TJD showed up and showed out against inferior competition leading the game in points with 19. He was definitely the best basketball player on the court tonight, hands down.
Defensive Player of the Game:
If we’re going on stats alone then this award would have to go to TJD as well but the game of basketball is much more than stats. Race dominated in the paint and was seemingly always in the right spot for a crucial defensive stop or rebound. This is the type of player that you just have to love. He’s just a great all around basketball player.
Geronimo was easily the best player off of Indiana’s bench this game logging 13 points and 13 boards. We all know he can jump out of the gym and he showed that he can also contain and utilize that athleticism in a way that is helpful to the entire team. 5 of those rebounds were on the offensive side of the ball and “stealing” possessions are crucial in any game. Way to show out Jordan!
Logan Duncomb scored his first points, out of many hopefully, for the Hoosiers in this contest. The way the crowd reacted when he came in to the game was simply smile-inducing. Might we have another Tim Priller esque fan favorite on our hands? Well no disrespect to Mr. Priller Logan is definetly a great player that may just be the future of the center position at Indiana.
|J. Minor F||—||4-9||1-1||4-6||2||2||4||0||2||2||2||4||13|
|Z. Reid G||—||4-13||3-8||0-0||0||0||0||2||2||0||2||5||11|
|M. Edmead G||—||4-11||3-4||0-1||0||2||2||4||2||0||0||0||11|
|J. McKoy G||—||2-3||2-3||0-0||0||1||1||1||1||0||0||5||6|
|M. Watkins G||—||0-5||0-1||0-0||1||1||2||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|R. Isaacson F||—||0-0||0-0||0-1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|J. Connolly F||—||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||1||1||0||1||4||0|
|J. Berry III G||—||0-4||0-4||2-2||0||2||2||0||0||0||1||3||2|
|R. Miller G||—||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|M. Derring G||—||2-8||2-8||0-0||0||1||1||0||2||0||1||1||6|
|T. Jackson-Davis F||—||5-10||0-0||6-6||3||6||9||0||1||3||1||0||16|
|M. Kopp F||—||3-4||2-2||0-0||0||2||2||1||0||0||0||0||8|
|R. Thompson F||—||6-6||0-0||2-5||3||4||7||0||1||0||1||0||14|
|X. Johnson G||—||3-5||1-2||2-2||0||2||2||4||0||0||3||1||9|
|P. Stewart G||—||0-3||0-2||0-0||0||2||2||3||0||0||2||3||0|
|J. Geronimo F||—||5-8||0-0||3-5||5||8||13||1||1||1||3||1||13|
|L. Duncomb C||—||1-1||0-0||2-2||1||0||1||0||0||1||1||1||4|
|M. Durr C||—||1-1||0-0||3-6||1||2||3||1||0||0||3||3||5|
|K. Lander G||—||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||2||2||0|
|T. Bates G||—||2-7||1-4||2-2||1||3||4||1||1||0||0||1||7|
|A. Leal G||—||1-4||1-4||0-0||0||2||2||1||0||0||0||0||3|
|R. Phinisee G||—||0-3||0-2||2-4||1||2||3||4||0||2||1||0||2|
IU is 8-0 now when Coach Woodson wears a suit and 0-2 when he does not. I think we know his wardrobe for the rest of the season.