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Resurgent Green doing wonders for Indiana's offense

Rewind two weeks, when Devonte Green was merely an afterthought in Indiana's admirable loss to No. 3 Purdue. After all, the sensational 6-foot-3 sophomore guard played only four minutes, a career-low, in arguably the Hoosiers' biggest game of Archie Miller's first season in Bloomington.

It was no secret that Miller, and Indiana fans alike, were frustrated with Green's decision-making on the offensive end of the floor. Defensively sound, yes. But offensively destructive, as well.

As much of an afterthought as he was, following a game in which Purdue's Isaac Haas scored an easy 26 points, the aura of Devonte Green remained. You should know what I mean by that -- his frequently untapped potential. Throughout Green's relegation to the end of Miller's bench, his dazzling skillset was put on hold.


As evident by his 19 points, seven assists, and four rebounds to pace Indiana past Minnesota 80-56 Friday night, Green's recent trend of consistency has elevated Indiana's offense to newfound promise. Green's first half, fueled by 17 points on just 4-of-5 shooting, was highlighted by a one-handed, full-court pass to an in-stride Juwan Morgan.

"It's not always a home run," Miller said of Green. "You can go for the single every once in a while, and I think he started to go for the singles... and then every once in a while, you're going to see him make a couple plays that a lot of people can't make because he's really talented."

In short, there are things Green can do that many Big Ten guards simply cannot fathom. And there are things Green can do, that Indiana has desperately needed in order to function offensively. Green shot 4-of-6 from 3-point range on Friday night, wisely choosing his open looks and shooting accordingly. His seven assists, compared to three turnovers, aided a well-balanced Indiana scoring effort; five players finished with at least eight points for the Hoosiers.

The latter statistic -- Green's facilitation, might just be the most important -- at least in the eyes of Miller.

"To me right now, he's playing as good as we've had a guard play all season just in terms of the ability to make plays," Miller said. "We haven't been a team that really has been a sharing team. It's more pound and ground. Now I think you're seeing the ball move a little bit more, and he's a guy that I think can see the game a little bit, couple steps ahead."


Friday's blowout win against Minnesota marked the third consecutive game in which Green has logged at least 30 minutes of Miller's precious playing time, including his second straight start. Green's sudden trend in playing time has to do with his everyday approach and decision-making. In the past three games, Green has 17 assists to five turnovers and has benefited from developing a rhythm as a starter.

"In his mind, I think he started to see to himself that this way wasn't working," Miller said. "At the end of the day, he started to come with a little bit more humbleness in practice, a little bit more approach that we liked. And with that approach, he got opportunity. Once he got his opportunity, he took advantage of it."

For the soft-spoken Green, the attribution to his late-season resurgence goes to simplifying his play, and merely "seeing what's there and making that play."

As eluded to in Miller's baseball reference, there are indeed singles and home runs, in which Green can do both -- whether hitting the wide-open three, or making an unbelievable pass through traffic. Regardless of the difficulty, Indiana's offense is certainly welcoming the resurgence of Devonte Green's aura.


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