Three Takes: Jess Settles on Indiana, Melo Trimble & Eron Harris
We’re almost two weeks into the college basketball season, so it’s a good time to break out my Three Takes feature.
Here’s what on my mind after the first week and a half of the season.
1. Defensive Hoosiers
One thing we learned over the past week is that if Indiana is clicking on the defensive end of the court, it has a chance to play deep into March. OG Anunoby is the most versatile defender in the country and is unique in that he can guard all five positions. With Thomas Bryant defending the rim, the Hoosiers can can take more risks. Robert Johnson takes pride in his defense, Josh Newkirk is laterally quick, and Juwan Morgan has the strength to battle offensive players on every possession. Indiana’s offense is already one of the best in the country and there will be several night’s this season when defenses feel their wrath. If Indiana’s defense continues to improve, it will be troubling news for the rest of the nation.
2. Trimble Takeover
Maryland didn’t play its best against a legit Georgetown squad, but with a healthy Melo Trimble on the attack late, it was able to snag an early resume-building win. Trimble scored 10 of the Terrapins’ final 17 points, including two clutch free throws to seal the deal. Rebuilt Maryland is 2-0 because Trimble has once again shown his ability to make winning plays down the stretch. Maryland is one of the most intriguing teams in the Big Ten. After losing a lineup of stars to NBA and graduation, it looks like the freshmen are not afraid of the spotlight. Anthony Cowan Jr. and Justin Jackson made timely plays against the Hoyas pressure, proving that they can be major factors going forward. Once Maryland’s cleans up its turnover issues, it has a chance to take giant steps forward by the time conference play begins.
3. Eron Harris
With Ben Carter and Gavin Schilling injured, a new crop of freshmen playing heavy minutes, and a schedule that leaves no room for error, Michigan State knew it was in for a challenging November. I wrote last week about Harris needing to step up his game this season, and so far the results have been lacking. Harris has struggled in both of Michigan State’s losses, to Arizona and Kentucky, and Tom Izzo needs the West Virginia transfer to find his game quickly. The senior high-flyer has a total of nine points, on 4-of-11 shooting, to go along with seven turnovers. Miles Bridges has serious talent, but for Michigan State to compete for a Big Ten title, it has to get healthy and it needs the real Eron Harris to show up big on both ends of the court.