Jerome Hunter

Jerome Hunter made a pair of three-point shots in Indiana's loss to Rutgers Sunday. IU Athletics photo.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On a team filled with overthinkers, Jerome Hunter doesn't think at all-and that's a compliment.

"Jerome is a confident guy," IU head coach Archie Miller said. "He doesn't shy away from taking shots. He doesn't shy away from big plays."

Hunter brings a bit of swagger to this IU team, especially when he is contributing which is starting to become the norm. He is averaging double figures in scoring in the team's last three games, a stretch of good play that comes after Hunter was benched for two consecutive games by Miller.

"I just felt like I let my team down, so I had to come back with a bigger chip on my shoulder to show everybody that I apologize and I'm here to help us win some games," Hunter said.

Hunter wowed early in his freshman year before an undisclosed leg injury required surgery and forced him to miss an entire season.

"Right now, he's not messing around. He knows his time has tome to step up and play for our team," Miller said. "Jerome has had a tough go of it. His injury isn't one that most people have, and he's not the same athlete he once was, and he hasn't had the same ability to recover and do some of the things other guys have the ability to do."

He spent much of last year getting back in shape, and now, late in his redshirt sophomore season that spark is back and was on display as Minnesota tried to challenge him physically.

"They did try to test me," he said. "I think everyone from here on out is going to try and test us just because the team they think we are. But as long as they keep doing that, we're going to keep showing them we're not going to be pushed around. We're not soft over here."

That's the attitude that is unique on this Hoosier team.

"He's playing like he's practicing, and he's playing to win," Miller said.

It is a welcomed confidence.

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