Mon, 17 Jan 2022

Mike Woodson, Indiana seek 6-0 start vs. Marshall

Field Level Media
27 Nov 2021, 05:19 GMT+10

Defense has fueled Indiana's undefeated start through the first five games of Mike Woodson's tenure as coach.

The Hoosiers (5-0) will get another opportunity to display their connectivity on the defensive end when they host Marshall in the final game of the Hoosier Classic on Saturday.

Indiana has held its last two opponents -- Louisiana and Jackson State -- to an average of 39.5 points per game and 19.8 percent shooting from the floor.

"I like everything about how we're defending, man," Woodson said. "I mean, we're getting after it. I mentioned it to these guys early on when we first started as a team, we had to establish some kind of identity, and it had to start on the defensive end."

Offensively, Indiana has starting to find its range from the perimeter, shooting 47.1 percent (16-for-34) from 3-point range over its last two games. Parker Stewart has heated up, making 7 of his last 10 3-point attempts.

"We're starting to shoot the ball a little bit better," Woodson said.

Marshall (4-1) is coming off a 93-79 win over Louisiana on Tuesday night. Combo guard Taevion Kinsey led Marshall with 21 points and has scored 20 or more points in four of five games this season. Kinsey is averaging 19.6 points 5.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Marshall rallied from down five points at halftime with defense, scoring 32 points off 28 Louisiana turnovers. Marshall's 19 steals against Louisiana were its most steals in a game since also recording 19 steals against Salem on Dec. 3, 2009.

"We've just got to get better, be a little bit more disciplined," Marshall coach Dan D'Antoni said. "We are a freewheeling, risk-taking, get-the-crowd-on-their-feet type of team."

Indiana turned the ball over 27 times on Sunday against Louisiana, but improved against Jackson State, turning the ball over just 11 times.

"At halftime, we had eight and we finished the game with 11, so that's right where we need to be," Woodson said.

The Hoosiers have missed Rob Phinisee the last two games with a leg injury, but Xavier Johnson has picked up the slack at point guard. Johnson finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the Jackson State win.

"The mindset for every game is to be aggressive," Johnson said. "For the past two games I been in foul trouble in the first half, so where I can be aggressive in the first half? Today I was on the floor, I was available for my team to play."

--Field Level Media

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