.@ChefBoyArGreen is currently playing the best basketball of his career. He's using his defense and his passing to open up opportunities to use his impressive ball-handling skills as an iso-scorer. Here is two minutes of just that. #iubb— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) February 6, 2018
Story: https://t.co/iXwtXW2h6d pic.twitter.com/cdgiyrhKGe
At North Carolina State, Archie Miller used his expansive basketball IQ to help him serve as the perfect point guard in the Wolfpack offense.
Miller ran the offense and shot the ball efficiently, finishing his career with a 42.9 three-point field goal percentage, and 218 three-pointers. As a coach, it's easy to now look at Miller and determine the importance of him having a point guard he can rely upon. In the past three games, Devonte Green has seemingly established himself as that guard.
"He's the one guy right now that can deliver the ball from an assist standpoint," Miller said. "He's the guy that when he wants to distribute, he's the best guy on our team at that."
Over the last three games, Green has strayed away from his early season inconsistency to develop into a player in which Indiana Basketball is reliant upon to succeed.
"He's a key player on our team," senior Freddie McSwain Jr. said. "When he gets going, playing well, we all play well. And he works just like that every game. If he keeps going like that, we'll be a good team."
That change in Green has come from an altered approach. From the moment Green walked on campus, he has had a sense for the dramatic. Coming from Long Island, New York, Green has always approached the game of basketball with a skill-set defined by flair and style. The obvious downside to an approach such as that one, is the continuous pendulum that sways from beauty to chaos.
Athletes with flair have a tendency to do too much at times. For Green, that idea hasn't represented his performance in a long time.
"I just simplified my game,” Green said. “Just keep doing what I’ve been doing, but much simpler.”
In this recent stretch, Green has allowed his defense and his passing to open up opportunities to use his impressive ball-handling skills as an iso-scorer. For Indiana, this has been crucial.
In four of Indiana's last five games, Green has played at least 27 minutes. In those games, the Hoosiers have a 61-percent assist rate.
Against Purdue, Green only played four minutes. In that game, Indiana had an assist rate of 37-percent.
In simple statistics terms, that's not correlation, it's causation.
Green has pushed Indiana's offense by focusing on ball movement. Defensively he has driven the Hoosiers by shutting down some of the best guards in the Big Ten averaging a steal per game.
With Green in the starting lineup on Monday, Indiana held Rutgers to a measly 43 points in a 65-43 win.
Green held Corey Sanders, a guard that scored 31 points in his last game against Purdue, to just nine points on one-of-11 shooting.
Against Michigan State on Saturday, Green fed the post with ease and put up six assists without a single turnover.
On the road at Ohio State, Green broke out with 20 points and replicated his turnover-less performance in what head coach Archie Miller described as "one of the lone bright sports."
Overall, Green has provided a sense of optimism for a basketball team that hasn't exactly warranted it in the past. Green has seen his minutes grow rapidly and with two more years of eligibility, he has become a sign for the future.
If Green can keep his game simple over this last stretch of the season, there is reason to believe that Green can become Indiana's point guard for the long haul. The key moving forward is mentality.
"I think it's just attitude," Miller said after Green's performance against Ohio State. "I thought he had a humbleness about him. I think most guys can react in certain ways when they don't maybe play as well or didn't play as much minutes as he wanted against Purdue. I thought he had a humbleness about him. I thought he paid attention...You could tell on game day, through our game day prep, in the shootaround, he was pretty dialed in. I thought he had a pretty good attitude going into that game. He played really well. He was under control. He was one of the lone bright spots in the game."