IU basketball stock watch: One step forward, two giant steps back
BLOOMINGTON – Steps forward, steps back.
Indiana’s season seems bound to be defined by its wild, sometimes inexplicable mood swings. Coach Archie Miller’s program experienced another one this week, when an exhilarating overtime win against Notre Dame was backstopped by a stunning, 20-point home loss to Fort Wayne.
On the back of such contrasting results, here’s what’s trending for IU:
Juwan Morgan’s profile: Like his teammates, there won’t be many places for Morgan to hide after the Fort Wayne loss. But it’s impossible to ignore the week he had, or the season he’s having. The 6-7 junior scored a game-high 34 points in the win over Notre Dame, and even given the Fort Wayne defeat, he now has double-doubles in three of Indiana’s last four games. Morgan is doing it efficiently, and he’s starting to get more attention for his effort. He was named Big Ten player of the week Monday, and garnered national weekly honors from both NBC Sports and NCAA.com.
Zach McRoberts: The last of his nine rebounds against Notre Dame — over Bonzie Colson, then dished to Morgan for a go-ahead slam dunk — will be remembered most. But McRoberts repaid Miller’s faith in him with nine boards in 31 minutes in that game, including seven at the offensive end alone. No one will feel good coming out of the Fort Wayne defeat, but McRoberts’ nine points and three rebounds off the bench were a quiet positive. It’s worth noting that, while Morgan is IU’s only projected scholarship senior for next year, McRoberts will be a senior as well and could help ease some of the leadership load if he continues like this.