Bacot may be an All-American, but Trayce is THE All-American! (Indiana-UNC short postgame thoughts)

Final score out of Bloomington, Indiana Hoosiers 77 – North Carolina Tar Heels 65.

Well Indiana found itself in foul trouble, and took the court only to show that no matter who they’ve got on the court this season they will be playing relentless, smash-mouth defense. Utilizing depth in route to the victory, Indiana showed a toughness today. A toughness that is bleeding through this team and has the Hoosiers looking like one of the best teams in the nation.

Within the first 3 minutes of the game we saw a series of plays that was pretty indicative to how many thought this game would be decided. Armando Bacot looked to send it home, only to be blocked by Trayce Jackson-Davis. On Trayce’s transition attempt that followed, he was blocked by Armando in return. The whole country was going to stay up and see two All-Americans battle it out in the front court. A true clash of the titans down low.

Trayce made it his personal mission to make this game something else entirely, taking it upon himself to display an utter dominance that Bacot was entirely a stranger to. While Trayce Jackson-Davis has been nursing a back injury, it was awesome to see him going to work in the block against fellow All-American Armando Bacot. Yes, Armando is nursing what appears to be several injuries following that 2 game slide they had in the Phil Knight tournament, but none the less Trayce was able to take it to him. Armando did appear to play through some pain so credit where it is due. But, Trayce looked to be taking it upon himself to personally shame Armando Bacot, and I have to say… I loved it. Trayce looks like a different person this year, a man possessed. This Trayce is bringing an edge to the court that has this Indiana team sitting at 7-0 heading into conference play. In this matchup with the Tar Heels he dominated the game, putting back dunks like they were personal, on his way to a total of 21 points. He had the double double in this one with 10 rebounds and 4 assists as well. Trayce just continues to prove his dominance. In a battle of the All-Americans, Indiana’s went face to face and absolutely decimated North Carolina’s.

He led the charge as the Indiana front court absolutely dominated the interior. 3 point shooting was able to keep the Tar Heels in this as long as they were. Indiana seemingly dominated that game. While the score would have you believe that that was a closer game. The Hoosiers left little doubt in the dominance of the play they provided.

Xavier Johnson had a great night. Shooting 6 for 12 from the floor. Unfortunately, his hot hand from deep wasn’t found as he went 0-3 in this one. I’m confident that he will continue to find it, I fully expect him to play a large part in a trouncing of Rutgers come Saturday.

Jordan Geronimo continued to flash his finesse, his first bucket of the game coming on the tail end of some fancy footwork in post. Following a primo dish from Trayce, Jordan was able to corral the ball and deliver the bucket. Following that lone bucket, Jordan stepped up big time to fill the defensive void when Trayce had to sit due to foul trouble. You saw North Carolina looking to sub in Bacot to take advantage of Trayce’s absence at one point. Little did Hubert or Bacot know, Jordan wasn’t going to let it be much easier for you.

Jalen Hood-Schifino hit a 3 pointer from NBA range to highlight his high scoring first half. He stepped up huge for the Hoosiers in this one. While his shooting has been lacking, it was good to see the buckets begin to fall for our young superstar. Following his 10 points in the first half, he finished the game with 14. Tacking on 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Great night for him to find some shooting before Big Ten play is set to begin.

Trey’s development has come along greatly!

Trey Galloway stepped up in an elite way for the Hoosiers tonight. I thoroughly enjoy the addition of his fake alley-oop floater. Trey played stellar defense, playing pivotal roles in several highly emotional, momentum harnessing plays. He ended his incredible night off the bench with 11 points, going 5 for 7 from the field.

North Carolina entered Assembly Hall after two crushing defeats, the biggest heartbreak in the form of that 4OT marathon with Alabama. Their depth proving without a doubt to be their weakness again in this one. If it was a problem for the Tar Heels against Iowa State and Alabama, I thought North Carolina would be in way over their heads with the depth that Indiana is able to throw onto the court this season. Indiana dominated this game. Don’t let twelve points undersell how good the Hoosiers were. Limit the needless fouls, but not at the cost of this defensive tenacity. It’s next man up for the Hoosiers this season, and luckily for us fans we got plenty of talent to step up.

Indiana continues to roll forward looking like an absolute force. 7-0 never felt so good. If the Hoosier defense can provide 80% of what they did today on a reliable basis, few teams will contend with what the Hoosiers will be able to do. While the three may not fall, our defense along with utter interior domination, is a winning formula in and of itself. If the shooting continues to progress, don’t bet against the Hoosiers in March.

We’ve got Big Ten play coming up Saturday, so keep a look out for my pregame thoughts heading into that one. No Big Ten away wins are easy, as Indiana continues to pass test after test, I fully expect them to handle Rutgers as well.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read these short thoughts. Have a great day Hoosier fans. What a win! If you want to listen to a few of my thoughts following this one, Often Daunted is available wherever you get your podcasts.

LUX ET VERITAS!

-BURKE

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