ASHEVILLE, N.C. – One of the great things about playing in a holiday tournament with a loaded field is that you even get a quality opponent in a third-place game. That's certainly the case for Indiana, which will take on Stanford on Wednesday in the final day of the Maui Invitational.
Both teams suffered disappointing losses on Tuesday, with the Hoosiers getting drilled by Texas 66-44 and Stanford letting a second-half lead slip away in a 66-63 loss to North Carolina. Stanford was dominated on the boards 43-23 by UNC, which has to give Indiana some hope in that department. But they also forced 24 Tar Heels turnovers, which will be a concern for Indiana, as well.
Indiana and Stanford have played four times in history, with Indiana winning all four games. They haven't played since Nov. 20, 1988. The Hoosiers will play a team from the Pac-12 for the first time since taking on UCLA on March 17, 2007 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Stanford is coached by Jerod Haase, who played for and coached with North Carolina coach Roy Williams for years. The only current connection to Indiana was that Haase came up just short in recruiting Indiana freshman Anthony Leal. His choice came down to Indiana and Stanford. The Cardinal are led by freshman Ziaire Williams, who was a five-star recruit out of California, and the highest ranked basketball recruit in school history.
Indiana likely will be shorthanded in this game. Center Joey Brunk has missed Indiana's first three games with a sore back and then senior guard Al Durham went down with what looked like a serious ankle injury during the second half of the loss to Texas. Indiana coach Archie Miller said after the game that Durham would be "doubtful'' for Wednesday's game.
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Here are the particulars on Wednesday's game:
- Who: Stanford Cardinal (1-1, 0-0 in the Pac-12) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (2-1, 0-0 in the Big Ten.
- What: Third-place game of the Camping World Maui Invitational.
- When: 1:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Dec. 2.
- Where: Harrah's Cherokee Center, Asheville, N.C.
- Latest Line: Stanford is a 1-point favorite on BetOnline.ag as of 8 a.m. ET Tuesday. On Monday, Indiana was a 2-point favorite over Providence and covered easily in the 79-58 win. Indiana was a 2-point favorite against Texas but lost 66-44.
- Poll rankings: Neither team is ranked in the Associated Press top-25 poll, but both are receiving votes.. Indiana would be ranked No. 32 in the Associated Press poll , and Stanford would be No. 36.
- Kenpom.com rankings: Indiana dropped 13 spots from No. 14 to No. 27 after the loss to Texas. (FYI: Texas went from No. 9 to No. 4.) Stanford is one spot behind Indiana at No. 28.
- TV: ESPN
- Announcers: Jason Benetti (still good) and Bill Walton (atrociously awful). See link to Bill Walton column below.
- Radio: Indiana Radio Network
- Announcers: Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith
- Streaming: IUHoosiers.com/broadcast
- Tuesday's Results: Seminfinal — Indiana 66, Texas 44; Seminfinal —North Carolina 66, Stanford 63; Loser's bracket —Providence 63, Davidson 62; Loser's bracket — Alabama 86, UNLV 74.
- Other Maui games on Wednesday: Championship game — North Carolina vs. Texas, 4 p.m. ET; (TV: ESPN). Fifth-place game — Providence vs. Alabama, 7 p.m. ET (TV: ESPN2); Seventh-place game – UNLV vs. Davidson, 9:30 p.m. ET (TV: ESPN2)
Here are three things I want to see from the Hoosiers on Wednesday:
1. Guards step up in Durham's absense
With Durham out, junior guard Rob Phinisee and sophomore guard Armaan Franklin both need to pick up their games. Phinisee played well in the Providence win (11 points, 5 assists, no turnovers in 28 minutes), but he was a non-factor in the Texas loss, going 0-for-4 from the field and scoring only three points. Miller is going to need a lot more of him vs. Stanford.
Franklin had six points in the Texas loss and will certainly need to play a larger role today with Durham sidelined. He was 2-for-7 from the field and 1-for-4 from three-point range. He's protected the ball well thus far, committing only three turnovers in 81 minutes of playing time.
2. Jackson-Davis has bounce-back game
There's no denying that Trayce Jackson-Davis is Indiana's best player, but he's been a little quiet in this tournament thus far. He said Tuesday that he's been rushing his shots a little bit, and needs to settle down more and just play his game.
The first thing the 6-foot-9 sophomore really needs to do is not let one miss affect another. Playing center, he's had to battle a lot of size these first two games, and getting easy looks have been hard to come by. He's just 10-for-27 shooting in the tournament, and most of his baskets vs. Texas came after the game had already gotten away from the Hoosiers. It would be nice to leave Asheville with a solid performance in his pocket.
1. Freshmen have more impact
Indiana's vaunted freshman class has been quiet here in Asheville. In the Texas loss, Trey Galloway, Khristian Lander, Anthony Leal and Jordan Geronimo played a combined 48 minutes but didn't have a single basket, missing all seven shot. Lander was 0-for-4 and Galloway 0-for-3, with the only points coming on two Galloway free throws.
Sure, they're just freshmen learning their way, but they really need to step up in a hurry now. Galloway has played well in spurt through three games, but he needs to still aggressively attack the basket when he can and Lander needs to start knocking down some perimeter shots. He's 0-for-7 from the field here in Asheville, and 0-for-4 from three. With Durham out, Lander will probably see even more minutes vs. Stanford.
Related stories on Indiana basketball
- GAME 3, TEXAS SPANKS INDIANA: Indiana's offense struggles all day in 66-44 loss to No. 17-ranked Texas in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational. CLICK HERE
- BILL WALTON NEEDS TO GO: Publisher Tom Brew wonders why ESPN still has Bill Walton doing games. He was awful on Monday's broadcast and he needs to go. CLICK HERE
- THOMPSON CHANGES HIS GAME: It's Race Thompson's fourth year at Indiana, and his time has finally arrived. He has a new body and, even more importantly, new-found confidence that he can play at a high level. Tom Brew column. CLICK HERE
- GAME 2, INDIANA BEATS PROVIDENCE: Indiana dominates on the boards and runs away from Providence in the first round of the Maui Invitational. CLICK HERE
- GAME 1, INDIANA BEATS TENNESSEE TECH: In the Hoosiers' season-opener in Assembly Hall, Trayce Jackson-Davis scores 26 points to lead IU to an 89-59 victory over Tennessee Tench. CLICK HERE
- COMPLETE INDIANA SCHEDULE: Here is the full Indiana basketball schedule for the 2020-21 season, including links to stories on games already played. CLICK HERE