Indiana opened up their season on Thursday evening with an exhibition matchup with in-state Division 2 opponent, Southern Indiana. While the opponent certainly isn't up to Big Ten caliber, there were still a lot of positives Indiana can take away from this game. In this film breakdown, we go in-depth with sets the Hoosiers ran, important things to note going forward, and even a defensive clip that shows you Indiana's ball screen coverages.
Our hope is to do these for every game to help you go more in-depth with what the Hoosiers are doing.
Robert Phinisee Curl
I love this play design from Archie Miller, as Phinisee enters the ball to the wing, and then immediately cuts to put his head under the rim. Phinisee has his defender on his hip trailing him, and then he comes off of a downscreen from Justin Smith and curls it. The curl is open because on the other side of the floor, Juwan Morgan is setting a flair screen for Langford.
Morgan’s man ends up helping onto Phinisee and he dishes it to Morgan, who happens to miss a gimme, but the play design was still excellent.
Transition Offense – Drag Screen
It’s very clear that IU wants to get out and run. As you can see with this transition offense off of a missed shot on the other end, there isn’t just one guy that can bring the ball up. Phinisee traditionally plays ‘point guard’ but sprints the floor in transition here as Durham gets the rebound and pushes himself.
If IU can’t get a layup in their primary break, one of their options in their secondary break is a drag ball screen from their big. Morgan sets a ballscreen for Durham, and then rolls to the basket. Phinisee replaces Morgan as Morgan rolls to the hoop. Morgan then has a post clearout as Phinisee feeds him the ball and he scores it.
Pick and Roll Switch
This was a play that proved to me that IU’s defense is probably much farther along than most teams are in the beginning of November. As the ball screen is being set, IU’s coverage is for Morgan to hedge out hard on the ballhandler.
Morgan’s man pops after setting the ball screen, leaving Morgan quite a ways away. Instead of Morgan chasing his man and probably not getting there in time, Evan Fitzner steps up to take Morgan’s man, and Morgan sprints to switch onto Fitzner’s guy. That simple switch made USI go from probably having an easy basket to taking a contested shot and missing it.
Baseline Out of Bounds – Flex
This was a baseline out of bounds play that Archie Miller loved to use last season, as well. We saw the Hoosiers run it 3 or 4 times against Southern Indiana. It starts in a 4-low set with the bigs on the blocks and the guards out in the corners.
What this baseline out of bounds play turns into is a simple flex action (backscreen then downscreen) once the ball is thrown in. What’s great about this play is that after the downscreen is set by the big, he has a post isolation, just as Davis does in this play.
Unfortunately, Davis lowered his shoulder and got called for an offensive foul here, otherwise he had 2 easy points. Keep an eye out for this one as the season goes on, Archie will use it a lot.
Juwan Morgan in Transition
As we mentioned above, Archie Miller wants his Hoosiers to get out and run. Part of this philosophy requires more than one person being able to push the ball up the floor.
You won’t see too many guys playing center in college basketball get a rebound and take it coast to coast, but Juwan Morgan did just that for the Hoosiers in this play. With Morgan being able to push the ball up the floor, Indiana is able to get out and run without having to wait on making an outlet pass.
It’s very obvious that Morgan is a capable dribbler, and given the opportunity to get out and push, Archie Miller has no problem with him doing so.
With time running out in the first half, Coach Archie Miller ran a simple set to get his best shooter a wide open look by taking advantage of Southern Indiana’s ball screen coverages.
Archie knew that Southern Indiana was hedging ball screens hard, and sometimes even outright double-teaming them. What he did was have Fitzner sprint from the block to set a faux ballscreen and immediately slip to the top of the key.
What ensued was a wide open look from Fitzner and he knocked it down to end the half.
Juwan Morgan Clearout Set
To start the 2nd half, Archie Miller ran a set to get Juwan Morgan a clearout going to his strong hand.
As you can see, Morgan catches the ball on the left elbow, and Phinisee fakes a handoff as Justin Smith clears out to the left side as well. All this left on the ball side is Romeo Langford in the corner as a kickout option if his man overhelps on Morgan’s drive. Ideally, Morgan’s able to drive right to the rim, but his defender had good position on him.
Instead, Morgan utilizes his size and strength, backs his man down, then counters with a left-hand finish.
Screen the Screener Inbounds Play
This is another baseline out of bounds play that starts in a 4-low set. Morgan pops high just like he would in the Flex baseline play, but instead of receiving a pass from Phinisee, he receives a screen from Langford. What’s funny about this play is 9 times out of 10 Langford will set that screen for Morgan as a decoy action, because then Langford is coming off of a screen to the corner.
However, in this instance, Morgan’s defender is slow to recover and Morgan muscles his way in front of the player guarding the inbounds pass and gets an easy 2.
Justin Smith Lob
Another brilliant inbounds play from Archie Miller – who, once again, takes advantage of Southern Indiana switching everything out of bounds.
The play starts in a box set with Justin Smith setting a diagonal screen down for Juwan Morgan. The first option is to look at possibly hitting Morgan on a lob.
However, Southern Indiana switches, McRoberts comes down and actually screens his own man because he knows he’ll try to switch onto Smith, and Smith curls around for a lob dunk.
Romeo Langford Kickout
This is a play that is completely designed for Romeo Langford, and it also shows me that Romeo Langford is wise beyond his years when it comes to basketball IQ. After the initial action in which Romeo receives the ball, he passes it back to the top of the key, and this is where the real action starts.
Langford comes off of 3 screens, plus a dribble handoff to get the ball on a clearout going left. The floor is evenly spaced with only Fitzner in the corner on the ball-side.
Langford is in his first collegiate game, has a play run especially for him, and what does he do? He reads Fitzner’s man perfectly as he overhelps, and hits Fitzner in the corner. Fitzner makes a quick ball-fake and knocks down a triple.
Again, Southern Indiana isn’t going to be the most talented team the Hoosiers face this season, but they are a well-coached team that does have some talent.
Aside from playing a Division 2 opponent, I thought IU looked really good executing their offensive and defensive game plans. They applied brilliant ball pressure the entire evening on the defensive end, forcing Southern Indiana into numerous turnovers and bad shot selection.
On the offensive end, I’m sure Archie Miller would love to see his Hoosiers take care of the ball a bit more, but he has to be pleased with the early-season execution.