Tip Time: 6:00 PM Eastern
Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana
How to watch: Big Ten Network (Sean Monaco and Jess Settles)
Indiana will conclude its non-conference schedule on Saturday as they welcome the Jacksonville Dolphins (7-6) to Bloomington for their final game before jumping back into conference play after the new year. Jacksonville will come in fresh off a 26-point loss to Notre Dame in South Bend and they look to avoid dropping their second consecutive game, while also attempting to break Indiana’s five-game winning streak.
The Dolphins have struggled mightily so far through the early season, they have three losses to teams ranked 300th or below in the Pomeroy ratings and their best win of the season came against South Alabama, a team ranked 213th in the current Pomeroy ratings. Jacksonville relies heavily on both sophomore guard JD Notae and senior forward Jace Hogan on the offensive end, both of which are their only two players to average double figures in scoring on the season. Other players to keep track of for Jacksonville include promising freshmen wing Tyreese Davis, who comes into this game averaging 9.2 points per game as well as 4.2 rebounds per game, along with sophomore guard Jalyn Hinton who leads the team in rebounding at 6.2 per game along with adding 8.8 points per game.
The offense for the Dolphins can best be described as inefficient. Jacksonville possesses solid length as a team and their offensive scheme prioritizes attacking the basket. However, their lack of shooting ability continues to severely limit their potential on that end. They have only one rotation player (JD Notae) shooting better than 34% from three, and their three-point average on the season sits at just 31.5%. 20.8% of Jacksonville’s points have come from three-point range, which ranks 343rd nationally. Jacksonville’s points per possession ranking has not been much better and has them sitting just at 297th in the country with their estimated field goal percentage putting them at 270th in the nation. Archie Miller has talked at length about wanting to see his team’s perimeter defense improve, especially against shooters, and Jacksonville should prove the perfect opportunity for Indiana to get back on track in that area.
As for the Indiana side of things, expect to see junior guard Devonte Green continue to play a big role for this team moving forward. Miller confirmed that freshmen guard Rob Phinisee is still in the concussion protocol and will be expected to miss tomorrow’s game. Green set a season high in points, rebounds, and assists filling in for Phinisee after he left Wednesday’s game due to injury. Luckily for Phinisee, Indiana will take a 12-day break from action following Saturday’s game, and will return home against Illinois on January 3rd to resume Big Ten action.