It only took his second game back for Devonte Green to start playing like himself.
Green fueled a second half charge for the Indiana Hoosiers, who turned a closely contested game at half against Princeton into a 79-54 rout by the time the final buzzer sounded.
The senior guard scored 16 points, including two of the team’s three three-pointers, and added 4 assists for a Hoosier team that improved to 5-0 for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.
The Hoosiers pulled away in the second half with an inspired defensive effort, allowing the Tigers to shoot just 7-of-25 (28.0%) after allowing them to shoot 12-of-26 (46.2%) in the first half.
Green played a huge part in the second half turnaround, playing 16 minutes in the second half and posting a +21 differential during that time (+29 differential for the game).
Joey Brunk was also a huge factor for the Hoosiers on Wednesday night as he had season-highs with 16 points and eight rebounds. Justin Smith added 14 points, Trayce Jackson-Davis had 11 points, and Al Durham dished out six assists.
However, the main story was finally getting to see a true glimpse of what Green brings to this Indiana team.
Green was seamlessly filling the role of playmaker, as his amazingly accurate passes and his ability to shake off his defender (including an incredible step-back three-pointer) had the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall buzzing with each play he made.
“He’s so aggressive and he knows he can impact the game,” said Indiana Head Coach Archie Miller. “I think the only thing I stress to him is to play smart and play simple. If he does that, he’ll play a big role with what we’re doing.”
Wednesday night also marked the first time this season that the Hoosiers’ four major rotation guards all played. Durham and Armaan Franklin got the start and played 29 and 12 minutes respectively. Green finished with 26 minutes and started the second half while Phinisee played 11 minutes before getting hit in the face midway through the second half and not returning to the game. He did return to the bench very quickly after getting checked on so it appears it wasn’t serious.
The Hoosiers will look to keep rolling next week as they finish The Indiana Classic with games against Louisiana Tech and South Dakota State before hosting Florida State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.