Indiana Basketball: 2019-20 end of season awards

Indiana basketball (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Indiana basketball (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Indiana Basketball, Rob Phinisee, Trayce Jackson-Davis
Indiana Basketball, Rob Phinisee, Trayce Jackson-Davis. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Defensive Player of the Year: Rob Phinisee / Trayce Jackson-Davis

Year three for Archie Miller brought a lot of up-and-downs but one thing that the team finally bought into was the defensive mentality.

Towards the end of the season, it was the defense that started to help the Hoosiers come out of games with wins, something they wouldn’t have been able to do in years one and two.

In the final 14 games of the season, Indiana gave up just 65.9 points per game, but even better the Hoosiers gave up just 61.6 points in the final seven games. The defense in the final month and a half would have been atop the Big Ten team defensive ranks.

Two reasons for that was the play of Trayce Jackson-Davis and Rob Phinisee. Both players ranked in the top three of the team in defensive rating and played perfectly off of each other.

Phinisee was, and has been, a headache for all opposing point guards in the Big Ten for his two seasons and once again was a terrific defensive guard this year. Whether it was forcing the Ohio State duo of D.J. Carton and C.J. Walker into 6-of-20 shooting and seven turnovers, Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu into 6-of-15 from the field and three turnovers, or Minnesota’s Marcus Carr’s 2-of-8 shooting, Rob Phinisee was a huge reason for making Indiana’s defense take the turn for the better.

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If, and it didn’t happen too much, the guards were able to get by Phinisee, it was Jackson-Davis and his nearly two blocks a game that altered the opposing teams’ shots.

On the year, Jackson-Davis had three games with four or more blocks and a total of 22 games with at least two blocks per game. Overall, the Indiana freshman big was ranked fifth in the Big Ten in blocks.

Without both of these guys playing great on the defensive end, there would have been a big hole in the Indiana defense and would have changed the overall outcome of the year.