After escaping the tight clutches of the Cintas Center with an 81-79 win over Xavier University Friday night, No. 12 Indiana men’s basketball headed back to its home state with a stop in Indianapolis for its next matchup. The Hoosiers will face the RedHawks of Miami University in Gainbridge Fieldhouse Sunday evening as part of the week-long Hoosier Classic.
Before the thrilling face off against Xavier, Indiana opened its season with two dominant wins, defeating Morehead State University 88-53 and Bethune-Cookman University 101-49. The Hoosiers’ bench unit — especially the likes of junior forward Jordan Geronimo, junior guard Trey Galloway and freshman forward Malik Reneau — was highly productive, earning plentiful minutes and outscoring the starters in each outing.
On Friday, however, Indiana needed senior forward and preseason All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis to perform to his usual caliber. Jackson-Davis dropped 30 points in the win, sitting only three minutes on the bench.
Graduate guard Xavier Johnson also had a stellar performance, notching 23 points and seven rebounds in his time on the court. He had all of the game-sealing defensive rebound, free throw and steal to silence the Musketeers in Indiana’s first true road win since 2011.
The Hoosiers likely won’t need another 30-point performance out of its senior captain against the RedHawks, or much action from the starters in general. That means Geronimo, Galloway, Reneau and sophomore guard Tamar Bates will have another chance to step up.
Miami boasts a 1-3 record on the season with its only win coming against Goshen College, an NAIA team that competes in the Crossroads League. Marian University and the University of Saint Francis, who Indiana beat by 36 and 45 points, respectively, during preseason exhibitions, are a part of the same conference.
The RedHawks’ losses came at the hands of the University of Evansville, the University of Georgia and Marshall University. The faceoff against Marshall — the team against which Jackson-Davis had a 43-point outing last season — was the worst, showing a 26-point margin of defeat. Losses to the Purple Aces and Bulldogs ended with single-digit deficits.
Miami is led by graduate guard Mekhi Lairy and senior forward Anderson Mirambeaux, who are averaging 16.2 and 15.8 points per game, respectively. Sophomore guard Julian Lewis and freshman guard Billy Smith hold team-highs in rebounding with 6.3 per game each.
Jackson-Davis is averaging career highs to begin this young season with 22 points per game on 75.7% shooting from the field.
Indiana’s freshmen phenoms — guard Jalen Hood-Schifino and forward Malik Reneau — are off to strong starts in their careers as well. Hood-Schifino has recorded team-leading 16 assists and five steals, while Reneau is second on the team in scoring with 12 points per game and rebounds with five coming off the bench.
Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.