Indiana’s season got here to an finish Thursday night time in Indianapolis with a 61-50 loss to Rutgers within the 2021 Large Ten event at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Hoosiers led by 10 within the first half earlier than surrendering the lead by halftime. A putrid second-half efficiency capped off a sixth straight loss as this system enters an offseason filled with uncertainty.
Listed below are 5 takeaways from the loss to the Scarlet Knights:
• A clumsy offensive efficiency: That phrase describing Indiana’s offense – inept – has been applicable to make use of steadily over Archie Miller’s four-season tenure in Bloomington.
Indiana has been troublesome to observe offensively for many of Miller’s time on the helm as factors sometimes haven’t come simple for the Hoosiers on that finish of the ground.
Thursday’s efficiency was the most recent instance of Indiana laboring to get something carried out offensively. Within the second half, Indiana scored solely 18 factors, didn’t make a 3-pointer, and made simply two of its eight free throw makes an attempt.
None of these statistics had been a shock to anybody who has adopted this system intently during the last 4 seasons. Indiana has carried out little to generate simple offense in transition underneath Miller. IU’s incapability to make free throws undermines its main energy offensively, which is attending to the road. And its indifference to taking and making 3-pointers doesn’t actually jive in an period of basketball the place having the ability to efficiently house the ground is necessary.
• With followers in attendance, an unpleasant scene emerges: A postseason being performed solely in its yard ought to have been a positive improvement for Indiana.
The Hoosiers had a chance to journey simply 45 minutes north for postseason play and a postseason run would have been nicely supported by a fanbase hungry for any style of success.
For a short stretch on Thursday, it was clear Indiana followers had been making an affect even with their small presence in Lucas Oil Stadium. The BTN broadcast crew made point out of it as followers cheered as IU opened a 10-point lead within the first half.
However as momentum waned and Rutgers took management, those self same followers set free their frustration and let their displeasure with this system’s efficiency be identified. There have been chants of “Hearth Archie.” There have been additionally boos within the second half as Indiana missed subject aim after subject aim and quite a few free throws
Whereas Miller mentioned postgame that he didn’t discover the jeers, it’s onerous to disregard the prospect of what Indiana may very well be taking a look at when it comes to the environment at Meeting Corridor subsequent season if he’s retained for a fifth season. Fan dissatisfaction isn’t the one issue that needs to be thought-about by Scott Dolson, nor ought to it’s. It’s, nonetheless, clear that the athletic division has work to do to encourage confidence that Miller is the appropriate man for the job if that’s the path chosen for subsequent season.
• Quite than peaking in March, Indiana sunk to a brand new low with sixth straight loss: Whereas this school basketball season was shorter than traditional, it most likely felt longer to coaches and gamers due to the circumstances surrounding it.
Every day COVID-19 testing was required. Gamers and coaches had been sheltered from the day by day actions they’re accustomed to due to the pandemic. There isn’t any doubt psychological well being was a problem for all concerned.
Finally, nonetheless, each coach and participant that opted into the season did so with the intent of successful video games and peaking on the proper time of the season.
Indiana neither gained sufficient video games nor peaked on the proper time of the season. In reality, the Hoosiers bottomed out over the ultimate month and a half of the season and dropped 9 of their final 12 video games.
“We didn’t make the most of the alternatives, we weren’t adequate,” Miller mentioned. “Now it’s a must to take some stock, and also you’ve obtained to just remember to’re doing every thing you’ll be able to to progress and get higher, which I do know we are going to.”
• Jackson-Davis once more units the tempo offensively: Trayce Jackson-Davis completed his sophomore season with one other strong offensive efficiency.
The sophomore from Middle Grove scored a game-high 19 factors on 8-of-14 taking pictures in 36 minutes in Thursday’s loss. Over 27 video games, Jackson-Davis averaged 19.1 factors, 9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 assists in 34.3 minutes per sport. He’s deserving of the person accolades he has obtained and any others which might be nonetheless to come back.
The main focus now shifts to the longer term for Jackson-Davis, who has aspirations to play within the NBA. Unsurprisingly, he was not but able to make any definitive assertion on his future within the fast aftermath of the season’s finish.
“Proper now, I gained’t fear about that,” he mentioned. “I’ll most likely take two weeks off and attempt to get my thoughts proper, simply be capable of make the most effective choice for me proper now.”
• The offseason is right here … what’s subsequent? It was already going to be an attention-grabbing offseason in faculty basketball with the expectation that gamers will be capable of switch with out sitting out at their new faculty.
The switch portal is already including names each hour and Indiana goes to must dip into the portal as a useful resource to enhance for subsequent season.
However earlier than subsequent season’s roster begins to take form in any tangible approach, there must be a definitive assertion from Dolson on a path ahead from this system. If the plan is to maneuver ahead with Miller, Dolson must reply questions and clarify why that’s the applicable path ahead.
To Miller’s credit score, he had no subject answering robust questions on his future on Thursday night time.
“I’m not coming into any offseason questioning if I’m going to be again,” Miller mentioned. “These choices are made approach increased than me. My job is to run this system. We’re doing our factor right here. I discuss to our administration day by day. We’re in a great place.”
If Dolson, nonetheless, doesn’t imagine that IU basketball is in a great place, he’ll then be tasked with figuring out learn how to repair a program that hasn’t been to a Remaining 4 in 19 years and hasn’t been to the NCAA event since 2016.
Filed to: 2021 Large Ten event, Archie Miller, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Trayce Jackson-Davis