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Three takeaways from Indiana basketball’s final non-conference matchup

Juwan Morgan Indiana Basketball

Juwan Morgan registered just the second triple-double in Indiana basketball history Saturday night. (Mark Timko/HN)

In a balanced and team-oriented effort, Indiana cruised to a 94-64 win over Jacksonville Saturday night.

The Hoosiers were missing two key players in starting freshman point guard, Rob Phinisee, and senior and team captain forward, Zach McRoberts. This proved to be no big deal for Indiana as Jacksonville was much weaker competition and the fact that other guys stepped up for Indiana.

Five players were in double figures in scoring for Indiana, sophomore guard, Al Durham, led the way with 18 points.

The shot selection and ball movement were great too. The team totaled for 21 assists on a stellar shooting night where they shot 35-64 (64.8 percent) from the field.

The victory marks Indiana’s sixth in a row and closes out the non-conference schedule. They will resume play and re-open the Big Ten schedule at home on January 3 when they host Illinois.

Before then, here are three takeaways from the Jacksonville game.

Juwan Morgan Makes History

At a basketball school like Indiana, its particularly tough to put yourself into the history books. Senior forward and team captain, Juwan Morgan, did just that for the Hoosiers as he tallied the second ever triple-double in Indiana Basketball program history.

“You have to be an unbelievable, complete guy to be able to be that type of efficiency,” Coach Archie Miller said of Morgan’s play.

His ridiculous stat line included ten points, ten rebounds, ten assists along with three blocks and two steals. Not to mention that his ten points came off of five-for-five shooting.

Is it safe to call him a stat-stuffer?

Morgan continues to show why he is not only a fantastic player for the Hoosiers but that he is ever-improving. He understands the game the way only a senior can and is so versatile in the way he dominates it.

Morgan should be in discussion for All-American status as well as receive heavy consideration for Big Ten Player of the Year.

Al Durham Provides a Boost

On a night that was all about Morgan’s spectacular efforts, Al Durham put together a solid performance for Indiana.

Time and time again this year Durham has surprised people in his growth and development as a player in his second collegiate season. He may have had his best performance of the year against Jacksonville.

On six-of-eight shooting (three-of-five from distance), Durham put up a season-high and team-high 18 points to go along with three rebounds and two assists.

Durham was locked in from the start and had everything clicking for him with his teammates.

“I feel like they had the confidence in me,” Durham said. “I was just knocking it down, as Juwan would say.”

His improvement from a year ago is quite evident, particularly in shooting and scoring. As a freshman he averaged 4.8 points per game, this year that mark now stands at 7.6 per contest.

When shooting the ball from three, Durham has increased his accuracy by nearly ten percent. In his freshman campaign he shot 28.6 percent from the perimeter and currently has it at 38.2 percent.

Durham has become a steady contributor for the Hoosiers and could really be a difference maker for the team throughout conference play if his improvement continues.

Damezi Anderson Took Advantage of His Opportunity

Due to McRoberts’ nagging back injury and Phinisee out under concussion protocol, Coach Miller called upon freshman forward, Damezi Anderson to play an increased role against the Dolphins.

After seeing the floor, a plentiful amount early on in the season, Anderson’s role had practically been diminished following the UT-Arlington game back in late November.

His role had been reduced to garbage time minutes following that match-up and the freshman didn’t even play in four consecutive games following the Duke loss.

He picked up some decent minutes against Central Arkansas but when Anderson had his number called against Jacksonville, he came to play.

Anderson has had his fair share of struggles throughout the season, especially with turnovers, but his greatest asset is his three-point shooting.

Tonight, he had nine points, all off three-pointers, he shot three-for-five from beyond the arc.

Shooting from distance has been a struggle for the Hoosiers at times this season and if Anderson keeps hitting from deep, he will find his way on to the floor more often.

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