Indiana Basketball: Road woes a major concern moving forward

Archie Miler, Indiana basketball. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Archie Miler, Indiana basketball. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The Indiana basketball program has continued to struggle on the road and have proved to be anything but a tournament team away from Assembly Hall.

It was more of the same on Sunday for the Indiana basketball program. Another big opportunity to improve its tournament resume, and another disappointing loss. The main issue, it was another loss on the road and another lifeless performance.

Now just 1-6 on the road, the Hoosiers have found little to no success away from Assembly Hall and are looking for way more answers than teams normally should have to halfway through February.

Sunday’s performance against Michigan was another afternoon in which the Hoosiers came in looking to build on a big win during the middle of the week, and bowed out after getting hit in the mouth early on. Not only was it their sixth road loss, but it was their fourth by at least 15 points.

So how does Indiana move forward? The answer is, I don’t know but it has to start with Trayce Jackson-Davis.

It’s always difficult to put so much pressure on a freshman, let alone a freshman in the Big Ten and a big man who doesn’t always have the ball in his hands. Regardless, Jackson-Davis needs to be more involved and more assertive on the road.

In eight road games this year, the freshman big is averaging just 9.0 points per game, down from 15.8 at home. Even more eye-opening is his shooting percentage which is down from 62.0 percent to just 50.9 on the road, as well as free throw attempts down from 6.9 a game to just 2.8 on the road. Getting Jackson-Davis involved early and in a rhythm is the recipe for success away from Assembly Hall, as it has been at home.

Like we said though, it can’t all be on the potential Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The team just needs to figure it out, and fast.

In the final six games of the season, three of them are away from home, with all three coming against either tournament teams or teams on the bubble. Assuming it goes as the rest of the season has gone, or even if the Hoosiers can squeak out one road win coming home, that leaves them with a 2-8 record. While the Big Ten is a different animal and has three tournament teams with one road win currently, if you look outside of the conference, the lowest total by a tournament team in another power conference is three.

You may be saying two wins doesn’t seem like much of a separation, but if the Hoosiers were to flip the script and have an 8-6 conference record instead of 6-8, they would move from 11th all the way up to a tie for fifth in the Big Ten standings. That sounds a lot better doesn’t it?

At the start of the season, the excuse about not winning on the road was, ‘well it’s the Big Ten and nobody is’ and that was the case through the first few weeks. But looking at it now, there are six teams with at least four wins.

Next. 3 Things To Watch For In Final Month Of Season. dark

"“We’ve got to find a way,” Archie Miller said following another road loss this weekend.  “When you’re on the road you believe in yourself, you believe in what you do.  That can’t just be a thing where you have it on Thursday but you don’t have it on Sunday.”"

Not only is consistency the issue, but just the will to win and belief. The Hoosiers need to change that immediately if they want to dance in March and if they want to take the next step as a program.