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Indiana's Green anticipates more playing time against Jacksonville
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana junior guard Devonte Green is coming off his best game of the season.
With Indiana starting freshman point guard Rob Phinisee going down early Wednesday night after taking a knee to the head, Green saw extended minutes against Central Arkansas. He produced 19 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.
"We're going to need him to step up," Hoosiers coach Archie Miller said.
Phinisee is going through concussion protocol and has been ruled out for No. 22 Indiana's home game against Jacksonville (7-6) Saturday night.
"I think each day since the night of the game he's gotten a little better, but he's still in protocol," said Miller, whose team is 10-2.
So Green will have to pick up the slack.
"(Green) is a huge part to what we are doing and his defense," Miller said. "He hasn't had a great shot at it, the month of November he was hurt and he's had to play his way into games and I was happy for him to be able to bust some shots. I think that's one thing that's been frustrating for him in games, he hasn't been able to make good ones, and he's work really hard on his shots. He does a lot for us when he's engaged and playing well."
Green, who is averaging 7.8 points in eight games, missed the exhibition season. He played two games, then re-injured the thigh. After missing four games, he has returned to play in the last six games.
"I'm just taking it day by day," Green said. "It was a long process coming back off recovery."
Green said he has been taking preventive measures to avoid getting hurt again.
Defense has been one focus for Green in his return.
"Because everything starts on defense and I think once the defense starts going, offense comes with it," he said.
Miller said Green definitely has a more offensive mindset when he comes into games.
"Sometimes it's feast or famine with him where he tries to do too much, and then there's times when he looks like a million dollars," Miller said. "Big thing is him running the team and him getting our guys going in terms of the movement, the ball movement, the sharing of the ball, making plays. He's definitely a guy that comes in with that type of a mindset."
Jacksonville coach Tony Jasick previously coached three seasons at Fort Wayne. His assistant coach, Dan Bere, is an Indiana graduate.
The Dolphins saw a four-game winning streak end with a 100-74 loss at Notre Dame Thursday night.
"Yeah, it's a homecoming, but most homecomings are a lot more fun than this," Jasick said.
The Hoosiers are 2-0 against Jacksonville, winning games in 2012 and 1977.
Sophomore guard JD Notae, who has started six of 13 games, averages a team-high 15.2 points for Jacksonville. Senior forward Jace Hogan is next with a 14.1 scoring average.
"They're going to present a number of challenges for us," Miller said of the Dolphins. "They have some guys that can really cause some problems with their ruggedness, their physicality. They play fast, and they can really drive the ball from five spots."
With Christmas break approaching, Miller said he has concerns about his players being focused.
"We were disappointed in the way we started (against Central Arkansas) and just taking care of the ball, and I think Jacksonville could take advantage of some of the same things," Miller said. "And we have to be prepared."
Updated December 21, 2018