INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana improved to 4-0 with an 86-56 win over Miami (OH) at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday.
Here are five takeaways from the win against the RedHawks:
Trayce Jackson-Davis dominates (again)
In four games, Trayce Jackson-Davis lived up to his preseason All-American tally.
After 17 points and 16 rebounds in 25 minutes against Miami (OH) on Sunday, Jackson-Davis sits fifth in Ken Pomeroy’s National Player of the Year rankings.
Jackson-Davis has been hyper-efficient this season. He shoots 75.6 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the free throw line. He averages 20.8 points and 8.8 rebounds despite averaging just 26.3 minutes over four games.
We still haven’t seen Jackson-Davis edge out and probably won’t, but his improved free throw shooting is a key development.
Last season, Jackson-Davis led the Big Ten in free throw percentage (FTA/FGA) but shot just 66.1 percent from the line in league play. If he can maintain the improvement throughout the season it could make all the difference in a tight game.
Miller Kopp keeps knocking down 3s
Indiana doesn’t take a high volume of 3-pointers, but the Hoosiers are downing 36.8 percent from distance in four games.
Fifth-year senior Miller Kopp continued his hot shooting Sunday, knocking down two of his five tries in IU’s 30-point win.
The 6-foot-7 senior doesn’t have a high usage rate — just 15.4 percent so far — but he’s making the most of the shots he takes. Kopp has hit nine 3s this season, six more than anyone else on the roster.
It’s unrealistic to think that Kopp can continue shooting 52.9 percent on 3s. But if he can continue to ground clearance and put down timely shots, he will remain a key figure in Indiana’s rotation all season.
Malik Reneau makes the most of his minutes
The freshman forward came off the bench in all four games earlier in the season but is making a big impression.
Reneau is Indiana’s second-leading scorer with 11.5 points per game in just 17.5 minutes per game. He shoots 73.1 percent on 2s and has the highest usage rate on the team among regulars at 28.7 percent, according to KenPom.
His performance against Miami (OH) was highly praised by coach Travis Steele.
“Listen, like I said, Malik probably isn’t getting enough play as far as I’m concerned with how good he is,” Steele explained. “He’s phenomenal. He’s really, really good.”
The addition of Reneau has given Indiana legitimate depth behind Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson that the Hoosiers didn’t have last season.
Indiana makes a quick turnaround after Friday’s win
It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise that Indiana got off to a slow start Sunday night.
The Hoosiers had to fight a full 40 minutes to earn a win against Xavier less than 48 hours earlier at the Cintas Center.
In a similar turnaround to the start of the NCAA tournament, Indiana overcame a slow start and eventually wore down an overwhelmed Miami, OH team.
“I thought it was a great job on our part to manage the short days to prepare for this game,” said Mike Woodson. “The way the schedule is set up, it’s set up like playing in the tournament, which I think is good for us.
“We play a ball game every two or three days. We’ll be taking breaks here and there, but hey, that’s the schedule, man. I just have to get these guys up and ready to play every time we step onto this floor.
Hood-Schifino delivers his best game of the young season
Jalen Hood-Schifino looked like a newcomer in Friday’s win against Xavier.
Montverde’s product only scored three points in a 1v9 shootout against the Musketeers.
Hood-Schifino rebounded with the best game of his young career at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The 6-foot-6 guard scored 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting and added five rebounds, two assists and made just one turnover in 20 minutes.
While his four-game shooting totals aren’t strong, Indiana has to hope Hood-Schifino can build on Sunday’s performance.
“He puts in the work,” Miller Kopp said of his teammate. “It’s one of those things that maybe it’s not – we’ve all been through it as players but you know you’ve put the work into it and sometimes it doesn’t show up right when you want it to.
“It’s like marinating chicken. You know, you might have to let it sit in the fridge for six, eight hours and then put it on the grill. It tastes so much better that way. It’s coming, and the guy is working his ass off, so I’m not worried about that.
Though Kopp’s use of the word “chicken” has nothing to do with Hood-Schifino’s performance, it was explained on TikTok:
@millerkopp This will be an ongoing series #fyp #primalsonly ? Original sound – Mill
Filed by: Jalen Hood-Schifino, Malik Reneau, Miami Ohio Redhawks, Miller Kopp, Trayce Jackson-Davis