The Hoosiers built a 15-point lead in the first half and held off a second-half charge from No. 17 Florida State to win 80-64 behind a career-high 30 points from Devonte Green, including five 3-pointers, and 15 points and eight rebounds from Trayce Jackson-Davis on Tuesday Assembly Hall in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
- Indiana has the talent be a very good defensive team: There were stretches of the game tonight where Indiana's defense absolutely suffocated Florida State. The Seminoles are not a great offensive team (their 3-point shooting in particular has been subpar, a trend that continued tonight), but Indiana made them look bad for much of the first half. The Hoosiers were aggressive trapping the ball, forcing Florida State's guards to give it up, and that helped create turnovers. That's a risky strategy, but Indiana made it work for most of the game with disciplined, fast rotations. That's high-level stuff for an inexperienced team. Maybe more impressive, the Hoosiers did a very good job of keeping Florida State's guards out of the paint much of the night. There were numerous examples of the Seminoles trying to drive and simply being blocked by quick feet from a Hoosier guard. That's what Archie Miller had been wanting to see.
- The Hoosiers' rebounding is real: Florida State is a long, athletic team and I thought Indiana might be bothered by that. The Hoosiers came into the game tied for third in the country in average rebounding margin at +12 and outrebounded the Seminoles 35-25, including grabbing 10 offensive rebounds. Trayce Jackson-Davis and Justin Smith led the way (I continue to be impressed by Jackson-Davis's instincts and ability to locate the ball as it's in the air), but this was really a team effort for the Hoosiers, with everyone crashing the boards hard. The "want-to" on the boards was there tonight in a way that could carry Indiana to some wins if it's consistent this season.
- Indiana didn't blink (mostly): Florida State came out in the second half picking up full-court on defense and pressuring the ball all over the court. This was a huge test for the young Hoosiers, who haven't dealt with that caliber of desperation from a team with that much athleticism and defensive ability. There were some shaky moments (a 5-second call on Damezi Anderson and some struggles to get the ball inbounds against the press come to mind), but generally Indiana kept its composure and broke the press, resulting in some easy baskets and fouls on the Seminoles. Perhaps more importantly, Indiana didn't let the pressure affect its defensive performance. Florida State made some more 3-pointers in the second half, but other than that the Hoosiers were mostly calm and collected. Florida State threw a punch and Indiana didn't go down. That's a big milestone for this team.
Player of the Game: Devonte Green
The senior guard sparked Indiana with 14 points in the first half, including 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions during one stretch that helped the Hoosiers build their lead. He finished 10 for 15 from the field, while also chipping in six rebounds, three assists and two steals. It was his first career 30-point performance.
Facts and Figures
Indiana is 8-0 for the first time since 2012-13, when the Hoosiers started the season 9-0 and were the No. 1 team in the country. ... IU is 8-11 in Big Ten/ACC Challenge games after tonight. This was the first time they'd met Florida State in the event. ... Jackson-Davis came in second among all freshmen nationally in shooting percentage (66.1%, also 15th among all players), third in blocks (2.3 per game) and fourth in rebounding (9.6 per game). He scored 15 points on 3 for 5 from the field (9 of 14 at the line), with eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals. ... Indiana entered the game leading the nation in free throws (21) and attempts (29) per game. The Hoosiers went 23 of 38 at the foul line against the Seminoles. IU also came in seventh nationally in field goal percentage at 51.4% and shot 56% from the field. ... Florida State came in forcing 18.4 turnovers per game. The Hoosiers gave the ball away 18 times, but held a 16-14 advantage in points off TOs. ... Freshman guard Armaan Franklin had a career-high nine points for the Hoosiers. ... Indiana was without sophomore guard Rob Phinisee, who has missed three straight games with an undisclosed injury. He was in a walking boot on the sidelines. ... Among those in attendance was former Hoosiers All-American and Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo. He sat courtside. He's scheduled to practice with the Mad Ants in Fort Wayne on Wednesday.
The Hoosiers are back in action Saturday when they travel to Madison to take on Wisconsin (4-3) in their Big Ten season-opener at the Kohl Center. The game will tip off at 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. The Badgers are coming off a 23-11 season and have a win over Marquette on their résumé, but have lost two straight against Richmond and New Mexico. They faced N.C. State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge tonight.