2022 NCAA Tournament: Wyoming vs. Indiana, Get To Know The Hoosiers
Cowboys take on the Hoosiers in the opening round game
Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire
Who are the Hoosiers?
The Wyoming Cowboys are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015 and they will be in the opening round game vs. Indiana. The Hoosiers come from the Big Ten — obviously — and their season ended with an early exit in their conference tournament.
Them like Wyoming have a chance to make a name for themselves in the NCAA Tournament with a chance in the First Four set of games.
WHO: Indiana (Big Ten) vs. Wyoming (Mountain West)
WHEN: Tuesday, March 15, 7:10 p.m. MT
WHERE: Dayton, Ohio
STREAM: NCAA March Madness Live
To get to know the Hoosiers, Kevin Brockway covers Indiana for CNHI Sports Indiana, He answered a few questions for us to preview the Hoosiers.
1. What is the elevator pitch for people who didn’t follow Indiana basketball this year?
Indiana built an identity under first-year coach Mike Woodson based on defense, leading the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (39.1 percent), ranking third in the league in scoring defense (65.9 ppg allowed) and second in the league blocked shots (4.97 bpg).
Junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (18.1 ppg) and senior forward Race Thompson (11.5 ppg) are consistent scorers in the post. Point guard Xavier Johnson has been more productive and is making better decisions with the ball in the last three weeks, averaging 18.1 points and 6.8 assists over his last eight games. Off the bench, senior point guard Rob Phinisee, sophomore swingman Trey Galloway and sophomore forward Jordan Geronimo are all back healthy and contributing.
2. How did Indiana’s preseason expectations compare to where they ended up as a play-in game for the NCAA Tournament?
The goal before the season was for Indiana to reach the NCAA Tournament. It was achieved, albeit barely. There was hope that Indiana would finish higher in the Big Ten standings after starting the year 7-4 in the league and upsetting rival Purdue, but the Hoosiers lost seven of their last nine regular season conference games to finish with a losing record in conference play (9-11) for a fourth straight season. Indiana did win two games in the Big Ten Tournament to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2013, which has re-energized the fanbase.
3. What is the status of sophomore forward Jordan Geronimo and sophomore guard Trey Galloway, snd how would that impact the Hoosiers if they don’t play?
Geronimo took part in Monday’s open workout in Dayton, Ohio and Woodson said he expects him to be available for Tuesday. Galloway played all three games in the Big Ten Tournament after missing the final five games of the regular season with a groin/hamstring issue.
Both are plus-defensive players. In Indiana’s Big Ten Tournament win over Michigan, Geronimo was plus-21 in his 12 minutes on the floor and played down the stretch because of his ability to guard Hunter Dickinson and Moussa Diabate in the post. Galloway has improved his offensive game this season, getting to the basket and finishing as a point guard, while creating for others as well. Galloway had 10 assists in three Big Ten Tournament games over last weekend.
4. It seems like forward Trayce Jackson-Davis will be matching up with Graham Ike, what does Jackson-Davis do that makes him such a good player?
Jackson-Davis plays with excellent quickness and footwork with his back to the basket and is starting to develop a better face-up game. Of late, Jackson-Davis has been effective with Xavier Johnson on screen-and-roll plays. Johnson has taken advantage of Jackson-Davis’ leaping ability by feeding him more lobs for alley-oop dunks.
5. How do you see this game playing out?
I see it as a tight game for 30 minutes with Indiana pulling away down the stretch to win by 5-10 points. Fatigue will play a factor, especially with Wyoming crossing two times zones, and Indiana has more quality depth to rest its starters for longer stretches. Hunter Maldonado could present a problem for the Hoosiers because of his size as a point guard, but I’d expect Indiana to switch enough on defense to match up bigger defenders against him. I’d also expect Indiana to pressure Maldonado with strong on-ball defense throughout the game, given Maldonado’s issues turning the ball over.