Trayce out, CJ Gunn and Logan Duncomb crack double digits as the Hoosiers beat Elon to go 9-3, but is anyone’s mind at ease? (Indiana postgame thoughts)

No Xavier Johnson, No Trayce Jackson-Davis in this one as the Indiana Hoosiers were able to take the commanding victory in Bloomington over the Elon Phoenix. The Hoosiers were able to utilize the rotation to its deepest in this one on their way to an impressive 96 points. Yes, they did give up 72 to Elon, but I am definitely happy as a fan for the performance we saw today.

As he did earlier this season against Little Rock, senior Trayce Jackson-Davis will not play for precautionary reasons.

-IU Athletics

That was the word on Trayce Jackson-Davis heading into this one, and if it is rest he needed then I am so grateful that he is getting it. Unfortunately, this still leaves a looming question in at least my Indiana-centric head, is he going to be able to provide the emotion necessary to fuel a tournament run come March? Indiana has had ample opportunity to step up to the moment this year, and they have not been able to match the energy of said moment. Ran out of the RAC when facing a historic losing streak, flat out of the gate against Arizona, flat out of the gate and then run out of Lawrence. It may be unfair to put this on Trayce Jackson-Davis, but this comes with the territory of All-American. This program needs this rest to prove beneficial enough for him to come back with a fire in the year 2023. It’s not getting any easier here on out, and we need Trayce to step up in the moment and be able to deliver consistently for the Hoosiers. He’s getting bullied, but the emotion he plays with and the standard he holds his teammates to can absolutely make up for any double or triple teams he may face. Trayce is a monster, it’s just about time he realized it himself. I have confidence in our captain. Get back soon.

Even with Xavier, Jordan, and Trayce all out, the Hoosiers were able to get 5 players with 10 points. Jalen Hood-Schifino had an impressive night with 17 points, 7 assists within 30 minutes on the court. Good to see the freshman get it going and establish a rhythm and a sense of distribution for the Hoosiers on the offensive side. Logan Duncomb had his first double digit night for the Hoosiers as he had 10 points, 5 rebounds in his 16 minutes of on court time.

Miller Kopp continued to hit the shots he needs to on his way to 13 points on the night. I can’t stress enough how Miller’s game should be appreciated right now. Even with the lax emotion at times on our side, Miller has stepped up and began to deliver everything we thought he would be when he came from Northwestern, great to see him continuing to find his shots.

CJ Gunn looked great. On his way to 11 points the freshman, looked to be trying to make his case to earn more minutes in this year. While we thought CJ Gunn was going to have to be a major part of our team in the years to follow, it appears that his time to contribute may come sooner than many have anticipated. I have to say, I love his game and I’m happy to see him get some more time to contribute. His put back even made it up on SC Top 10 for the night.

Race was the man of the hour, shooting 9 for 13 from the field. He was a large factor as the Hoosiers were able to outmuscle Elon, basically to the same tune Kansas outmuscled Indiana. 58-24 points in the paint in the Hoosiers favor. That spells victory. We need to find this intensity in the paint consistently. With 4 blocks, Race had a complete game.

Well, after a commanding victory over Elon, how are we feeling Hoosier fans? I have to say, I still am left wondering plenty of things. We knew this game couldn’t be a fair barometer of where the Hoosiers are at only a game out from the tragedy that was December 17th, 2022. While those questions will always be answered by the end of the season, I still think there is so much hope for what this team can do. Title’s still on the table. You can’t tell me otherwise. The Talent is there. The Talent needs to find THE ATTITUDE (Whatever that means, I’m not paid to find it).

On top of that, I’m going to choose to take this Elon victory and savor it for all it’s worth. I will take that as a nice palate cleanser for the games prior. There was a lot of good to see today. We need to find who is going to be able to contribute more and more on this squad moving forward, and I think games like this go a long way in Mike Woodson and his staff figuring out the right formula to compete. While stronger competition will impose more intense threats, seeing different combos on the court can go a long way in figuring out any on court chemistry issues that may be leading to our flatter performances. I choose to enjoy this one.

Thank you for taking the time to read these thoughts of an Indiana Hoosier fanboy. If you’d like to give me a listen, check out latest episode of the OFTEN DAUNTED podcast. I had my brother Pete, a current student home from Purdue (yes, my brother Pete went to Purdue), on to discuss my thoughts with the Kansas outcome prior to diving into this Elon game. So if ya got the time, feel free to listen!

Enjoy the win Hoosier fans, the time to answer questions will come. We still have plenty of ball to play.

LUX ET VERITAS!

-Burke

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