Indiana Basketball: Takeaways from tough loss against #20 Florida State

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Indiana basketball fell to #20 Florida State 67-69 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

It was a rough day for Indiana sports yesterday. First, the Big Ten paved the way for Ohio State to win the Big Ten East over Indiana, and then the Hoosiers lost to Florida State on a last-second shot.

IU Twitter was pretty down in the doldrums last night, but I think that the bad football news carried over to the basketball game. The Hoosiers actually played a decent game against Florida State, they just didn’t quite do enough. Still, it was far from a demoralizing game.

First things first, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Trayce Jackson-Davis was awesome. He had 25 points and 17 rebounds and dominated the game. There isn’t too much more to say about that, so let’s get to the more nitty-gritty:

No major self-inflicted damage

In many of Indiana’s losses, there is some major pitfall that the Hoosiers simply can’t avoid and it costs them the game. In the past, it has been stagnant offense, minimum effort, not closing out on three-point shooters, poor coaching adjustments, etc.

Many Indiana losses are a direct result of the Hoosiers shooting themselves in the foot. In a rare occurrence, they managed to walk out of Tallahassee with loss and without a bullet hole through their shoe.

Archie Miller‘s team handled adversity well when they began the game down 2-8. Miller called for a timeout just one-minute and 27-seconds into the game, and his team responded by making up the deficit and hanging around for the rest of the game. They competed hard and made the adjustments needed to give themselves a chance to win.

Ultimately, the reason for this loss boils down to poor shooting. Al Durham, Armaan Franklin, and Rob Phinisee combined to go 8-29 from the field and 2-11 from three (that’s 27% and 18%). Many of the three point opportunities were good looks that just didn’t fall.

The Hoosiers only had 10 assists in this game, but that isn’t really reflective of the offensive play. The guards actually had pretty good court feel in this matchup. The ball was moving around the perimeter, they were driving to the basket aggressively, and — most importantly — they were able to get the ball to Trayce Jackson-Davis in spots where he could score. The main cause of the low assist total is the 28 foul shots that IU took in the game.

The guards need to shoot the ball better, especially when Jackson-Davis is dominating down low and providing them with solid looks. The Hoosiers have shot just 28% from beyond the arc so far this season, and they need to hit those to keep teams from swarming the paint to stop Jackson-Davis.

You have to wonder if minimal practice due to COVID-19 has been affecting the shooting of Indiana. So much of shooting is repetition, and Durham, Phinisee, and Franklin may have been deprived of much-needed practice with their spot-up shooting work this offseason.

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