Trayce Jackson-Davis scored a career-high 25 points, including 22 after halftime, and made it a double-double with a career-best 15 rebounds to lead the Hoosiers to their first Big Ten win, a 96-90 triumph over the Cornhuskers in overtime at Assembly Hall on Friday.
- Indiana's outside shooting woes aren't a thing of the past: The Hoosiers went a dreadful 2 for 13 from beyond the 3-point line against Connecticut and followed that up with a 5-for-25 game tonight, including a 1-for-10 start to the contest and nine straight misses in the first half. After the Hoosiers clanked and bricked their way through last season from the outside and teams packed the lane every night, this season seemed like it would be different. Instead, Indiana is essentially right back where it started. Armaan Franklin seems to lack some confidence in his outside shot, while Justin Smith has reverted into some bad habits after appearing to be improved earlier in the year. Devonte Green is the best shooter, but he's streaky and when he's not hitting, half-court offense is somewhat difficult to come by. That could become a real problem in the Big Ten season.
- The Hoosiers have a deep bench: This was already known to a certain extent, but I don't think it's really set in yet exactly how many different lineups the Hoosiers can put on the court. As much as they might be limited by poor outside shooting, they have so many players available that they might be able to simply overwhelm some teams this season. Twice in the first half, coach Archie Miller made four substitutions at one time, putting in entirely new groups when he wasn't satisfied with what was happening on the court. Being able to do something like that and believe that all the players you put out there can contribute is a luxury most teams don't have. Indiana outscored the Cornhuskers 28-3 on bench points and Rob Phinisee played 26 minutes with 16 points as he continues his return to full health.
- Miller will be unhappy: Sometimes a team plays well and shots don't fall, leading to a closer game than there should have been. This was not one of those night for the Hoosiers. In addition to struggling to put the ball in the basket on anything but layups, Indiana was far too mistake-prone tonight, giving Nebraska opportunity after opportunity to hang around. The simple truth is the Hoosiers were the better team and there was no reason for the Cornhuskers to keep this game close. IU turned the ball over 15 times, leading to a 21-10 advantage for Nebraska in points off TOs. In addition, the Hoosiers had far too many mental lapses on defense: not getting back in transition, two players closing out on the same shooter, getting beaten on backdoor cuts, bad fouls. Winning basketball teams don't make those mistakes as often as Indiana did tonight. Miller's body language in the second half – frequently turning away from the court in disgust – told the story. The Hoosiers have a week to tighten up those details.
Player of the Game: Trayce Jackson-Davis
This is becoming a nearly every game occurrence for the freshman. After struggling to just three points in the first half, he finished with his fifth double-double of the season. He was a workhorse under the glass, giving up Indiana repeated second chances and adding two assists, three blocks and a steal. He was Indiana's emotional leader in the second half and the extra session, refusing to be denied.
Facts and Figures
Indiana is 9-0 at Assembly Hall this season. Last year, Nebraska beat the Hoosiers 66-51 in Assembly Hall. ... The Hoosiers entered the game leading the nation in free throws made (20.1 per game) and attempted (28.5 per game) and went 27 for 38 at the foul line tonight. Jackson-Davis came in tops among freshmen in both of those categories and went 7 for 11. ... Jackson-Davis was also third among freshmen in field goal percentage at 62.7% and scored his points on 9-for-12 shooting. ... Indiana outrebounded Nebraska 54-31, including 19-11 on the offensive end, leading to a 26-10 advantage in second-chance points. ... Nebraska was without junior guard Jervay Green, who had started the team's first nine games and averaged 10.3 points per game. He traveled to Bloomington, but was suspended indefinitely before the game for a violation of team rules. His absence left Nebraska with eight scholarship players available. ... The Cornhuskers entered tonight giving up 77.2 points per game, 324th in the country. ... Dachon Burke led Nebraska with 25 points. ... Indiana's Green rolled his ankle in the second half and did not return. ... Smith had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hoosiers have a week off and are back in action next in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for a matchup with Notre Dame (7-3). The game will tip off at noon and the broadcast information is TBA. The Crossroads Classic has been played annually since 2011, with Indiana alternating matchups against the Irish and Butler. Last year, Rob Phinisee hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the Hoosiers to a win over the Bulldogs. Notre Dame is coming off a 110-71 win over Detroit Mercy. The Irish have losses to Boston College, North Carolina and Maryland.