PARADISE ISLAND, The Bahamas – IU impressed in the initial of two exhibition video games right here in The Bahamas on Friday evening, defeating Serbian aspect BC Mega 79-66.
Trayce Jackson-Davis led all players with 21 points and 9 rebounds, but he was rarely the only standout on an encouraging very first seem at Mike Woodson’s team. In this article are three good reasons why:
Hoosiers combat it out
These sorts of points are intangible, of course, and thus tricky to quantify. But amongst the most standard issues we could’ve requested about Indiana going into Friday’s activity was how prepared the Hoosiers would be to harmony their hustle with their consolation in Mike Woodson’s technique.
By their possess admission, Woodson’s ideas have taken some time to take up, unsurprising given he’s almost certainly released some somewhat superior rules this summertime. Was IU likely to be ready — towards a qualified outfit with a possible lottery decide and lots of expertise against school competitiveness — to participate in hard and clever at the similar time.
That problem received an early and emphatic answer.
The Hoosiers outworked Mega at both equally ends of the floor. On protection, they battled a dimensions downside with really hard near-outs and excellent work on the boards. When they rebounded, they ran, as promised, and the Serbian facet struggled to maintain up in transition.
That the match was played in accordance to higher education guidelines, with Large Ten referees, possibly benefited the Hoosiers. It evidently took Mega time to modify to a tighter whistle and fewer allowed speak to. But none of that experienced to do with perform ethic. Indiana executed that quickly-paced offense with out as well lots of issues (only 6 1st-50 % turnovers), and the predicted faces paced the Hoosiers early on. Freshman guard Tamar Bates was especially outstanding, never ever on the lookout out of area on a courtroom crowded by professional college or university players and present execs.
A late-fifty percent dip apart, Indiana’s 41-32 halftime guide was extensively deserved.
Protection on stage
It was clear Woodson had new instructions in head defensively when, through a Zoom news conference in the early months of his tenure, he replied to a dilemma about Indiana’s desired pack-line protection underneath Archie Miller by asking what it was.
On early evidence, Woodson is likely very straight guy-to-gentleman. It looked great in its initial examination Friday evening.
Experiencing a crew with a resolved measurement gain, IU countered with excellent action. Mega tried using to perform significant on the ball, pressuring each individual screen and handoff. But Indiana experienced more achievements in benefits, forcing 27 turnovers and scoring 34 points from them.
There could not have been a more relevant statistic by the conclusion of the sport, equally for the real gap in details and also what it signified. Indiana punished Mega’s laziness in transition, stayed active in 50 percent-courtroom protection and designed a lot of alternatives to operate at the speed Woodson envisions. Only when BC was capable to limit giveaways and power the Hoosiers into more fifty percent-court docket offense did the readers have sustained results defending Indiana.
As with so considerably, we’re dealing with an huge sample dimensions difficulty listed here. But on initial evidence, Indiana is responding to Woodson’s obstacle — and his strategies — on defense.
New-seem backcourt acquits itself properly
Woodson spent the spring and summertime overhauling his guard rotation in the wake of Armaan Franklin’s departure.
Parker Stewart settled in soon after paying the back 50 % of past time on the sideline. Xavier Johnson transferred in from Pitt. Tamar Bates, a 1-time Texas signee, reopened his recruitment when Shaka Good remaining for Marquette and wound up signing up for IU.
Mixing them with returners Rob Phinisee, Khristian Lander, Trey Galloway and Anthony Leal was amongst Woodson’s finest summer issues, offered the importance of guard participate in to his scheme. And that built Mega an ideal early opponent — the Serbian aspect would be physical, athletic and knowledgeable ample to obstacle those people guards at equally ends of the ground.
Leal sat out due to harm, but the relaxation of Woodson’s initial backcourt appeared great.
Phinisee, who struggled virtually throughout the board final winter season, appeared as assertive on the push and as physical on protection as he ever has. Johnson offered the very same resourceful spark that produced him a standout at Pitt, regardless of foul hassle. Stewart strike hard photographs. Galloway and Lander gave strong minutes off the bench.
Bates was likely the star, scoring 14 factors and on the lookout every inch the borderline five-star recruit he was billed coming to Bloomington from IMG Academy. He received IU lovers out of their seats additional than when.
There will be harder times to come, of program. That is accurate of all observations following an exhibition. But that new-glimpse backcourt was far more than adequate to the process Friday evening, a deeply encouraging signal for Woodson ahead of the year to come.
Observe IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter for updates from The Bahamas: @ZachOsterman.