Written by Andrew Fish
For the first time, the Indiana Hoosiers played a regular-season game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall without any fans in the seats to cheer them on. This however didn’t stop the Hoosiers (1-0) from starting the season with a 89-59 win over Tennessee Tech.
The Hoosiers were led by star sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis who lead the game in scoring and rebounding with 26 and 11 double-double. Jackson-Davis is expected to continue his success as he was selected to the All-Big Ten First Team and the Naismith Award watch list for the national player of the year.
Hoosier fans also got their first look at some of the freshman on the roster this season. Led by 5-star point guard Khristian Lander, the freshman on the roster earned big minutes and did not disappoint. The four newcomers combined for 20 points including 13 from guard Trey Galloway. Reining Indiana Mr. Basketball award winner Anthony Leal and athletic forward Jordan Geronimo played meaningful minutes as well.
Head coach Archie Miller is expected to have his best team so far since joining IU in 2017. After a slow start the Hoosiers came alive halfway through the first half with a spark of scoring from Jackson-Davis and Robert Phinisee following the under eight minute media timeout. Miller’s fiery personality and coaching style was on display as it seemed like he applied an energy spark the Hoosiers needed during this timeout to get the Hoosiers on track.
Indiana would continue to add onto their lead throughout the second half despite being without senior caption Joey Brunk who was held out of the game due to a back injury. Coach Miller explained the decision for Brunk not to play was due to “an abundance of caution” and he is expected play on Monday for their next contest.
There was some worry that the game was going to be postponed after Tennessee Tech head coach John Pelphrey had a positive Covid-19 test result along with three additional players. Those members did not travel with the team to Bloomington but both programs felt it was safe enough to play with these precautions in place.
The Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech came out of the gates and played the Hoosiers tough for the first ten minutes. They were led by sophomore standout Keishawn Davidson who tallied 17 points to lead the Golden Eagles in scoring. Tennessee Tech was without their leading returning scorer Jr. Clay who was one of the three players that did not travel due to health precautions.
The Hoosiers are now 3-1 in openers under Coach Miller and 5-0 against Tennessee Tech all-time. Indiana was not alone in the Big Ten with victories however as each of the 12 teams in action began their seasons 1-0 as well.
Indiana will now head to Asheville, North Carolina where they will play in the Maui Invitational. The tournament was originally scheduled to be played in Hawaii but was relocated due to Covid-19. The Hoosiers will tip off their tournament run against the Providence Friars on Nov. 30 at 2:30 p.m.
A Unique Basketball Season Begins With a Win For The Hoosiers
Written by Andrew Fish