Tom Crean. After Indiana’s abysmal last couple games, starting out on the road in the Big Ten — no matter what the team — and having the Hoosiers in it at the end impressed me. Credit the coach for having his guys ready.
The defense. In the first half, Indiana’s press coupled with some good defense in the half court kept them close. They trailed by only six at half. Iowa shot better in the second half, but they never got a lead so big a mini-run by IU couldn’t bring them right back into the game.
Rebounds. Despite Cyrus Tate’s monster game inside (22 points, 11 rebounds) IU out-rebounded the Hawkeyes 30-27.
Free throws. There were some frustrating front-end one-and-one misses for the Hoosiers in the first half, but they shot a respectable 17-of-22 for the game.
Turnovers. IU only turned the ball over 11 times against the Hawkeyes.
THE BAD AND UGLY
Fouls. IU had a bazillion of them. Both Kyle Taber — who was having a pretty solid game — and Devan Dumes fouled out, and Tom Pritchard had four for a good section of the second half. In the final moments of the game, having a guy like Dumes — no matter how erratic he sometimes is — would have been the best option for IU to get a quick bucket. Without him, IU was limited in their already limited offense.
The offense. We know the talent isn’t quite there, and this team is young and inexperienced. (In the waning moments of the game, we had five freshman on the court.) Those are hindrances that are hard to overcome. But there were many times this afternoon when the shot clock would wind down, and this team looked more like a squad at the HPER. Threes from way behind the line were jacked. Dribbling with no purpose ran rampant.
And for as much as IU showed some resolve and almost came back to steal a win at Iowa, it was hard to have much confidence in them when they absolutely needed to score, because they haven’t proven an offensive juggernaught at all this year.
But all and all, I think this is what we call a “moral victory.” It was a solid first Big Ten showing for this team. There’s no denying that.
Filed to: Iowa Hawkeyes