A few days off from a road win against Rutgers, the Hoosiers capitalized against another inferior opponent — routing Minnesota 80-56 on Friday night at Assembly Hall. Indiana improved to 14-12 overall, and an even 7-7 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers are now tied with Penn State for 6th in the conference — and two games out of fourth place. Indiana hosts Illinois on Wednesday.
Here’s our Rapid Reaction:
Oh my, Devonte Green
It’s safe to say that Devonte Green played his best game in an Indiana uniform Friday night against Minnesota. In the first-half alone, Green tallied 17 points on 4-of-5 shooting — including multiple eyebrow-raising assists and a full-court, one-handed pass to Juwan Morgan in stride. Green finished with 19 points in a more passive role down the stretch, including seven assists. It wasn’t necessarily Green’s scoring that impressed, it was his craftiness and intelligence. Green’s decision-making was the sharpest we have seen in his two seasons at IU — and the decision to insert Green back into the starting lineup has paid dividends.
One must have wondered if Green would use his strong performance vs. Rutgers to jumpstart a resilient ending to his sophomore campaign — and it certainly appears that way. In the past two games, Green has been the clear choice at point guard over senior Josh Newkirk. Green will almost certainly start his third consecutive game on Wednesday vs. Illinois.
For technical interests, it’s a bit wild that Green fell short of his career-high of 20 in points, which was set a few games ago against Ohio State. But, as said earlier, Green seemed more interested in facilitating than scoring in the second-half. He took two shots in the second half.
Start to Finish
Avoiding cliches at all cost here, but it really was a complete performance by Indiana. More importantly, however, it was a *second-straight* complete performance by Indiana. After dealing with opponents of Michigan State, Purdue, and Ohio State in the past few weeks — it was interesting to see how the Hoosiers would handle a string of so-called inferior opponents. Two games through, and Indiana has dealt with them accordingly. The trend will continue against a 2-10 Illinois team on Wednesday, a team gifted with a victory in Champaign a few weeks ago.
It’s no secret that insanely, outrageously short turnarounds have plagued this Indiana club, especially in a stretch featuring three of the best teams the country has to offer. With four days in between Rutgers and Minnesota, the Hoosiers surely benefited from legitimate practice and rest. IU faces Illinois in five days.
For those looking for grievances, Indiana again struggled from the free-throw line — shooting 14-of-23 as a team.
Cold Like Minnesota
Whoa boy, Minnesota is not a good basketball team. There are many reasons why the Gophers have dropped seven consecutive games — one of those is being 1-10 since Reggie Lynch was suspended. Minnesota came out flat, trailing the Hoosiers 20-8 before eventually clawing back for a ten-point deficit at halftime. But the game was honestly never in serious doubt, and you’ve got to wonder who will finish last in the Big Ten this season. The Gophers, once picked as a possible tournament team, are tied for the lead with 11 L’s.