Notes on a 79-57 win over Savannah State:
Tucked in between IU’s two non-conference road games was Saturday night’s meeting with one of Division I’s worst teams, Savannah State.
The Tigers, an independent in the midst of a transition to the MEAC, came into Assembly Hall on an eight-game losing streak and with one win on the books thus far — Brewton Parker, a NAIA school.
And so it’s with caution that we try to glean much from this win, IU’s seventh of the season, simply based on the quality of the opponent.
Truth be told, this game was mildly competitive at times in the first half, but once the Hoosiers turned it on for good in the final 20 minutes, it was over.
A few bullets and thoughts:
+ Maurice Creek, as Zach alluded to a bit on Twitter, seems to be regaining his stroke from the perimeter. He hit 3-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc and generally looked more comfortable as he continues to work back into form. His shot selection was also much improved from Wednesday night.
+ Jordan Hulls had another strong game — 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and just one turnover. He’s not flashy, but good things seem to happen when he’s involved and more importantly, you can count on him to make the extra pass or step in and take a charge. Neither of those show up in the box score, but they help the team tremendously.
+ With the Guy-Marc Michel situation finalized, it’s going to be important moving forward for the Hoosiers to get something from the post. And by something, I mean more than they’re currently getting. Tom Pritchard continues to be a non-factor on offense (two points in 17 minutes), Bobby Capobianco missed the game with an ankle sprain and Derek Elston, who isn’t a true post, played well in 14 minutes. Pritchard still seems like the best option as he’s the closest to a true five and is also the most experienced, but Tom Crean gave Elston the start in the second half, most likely due to Pritchard’s poor first half.
+ Stellar stat line for Verdell Jones — 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals — but the turnovers continue to be troublesome. Jones had five tonight and collectively, IU coughed the ball up 19 times.
+ Christian Watford continues to perform efficiently on offense, but his production on the glass is going to be an important storyline as the meat of the schedule arrives. Only three rebounds tonight for Watford, but he continues to do a nice job of getting to the line (6-of-8).
+ IU continues to get solid contribution from both Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey in the form of energy off the bench. Oladipo threw down a nice dunk over a helpless defender in the first half and Sheehey continues to make a case for more minutes with his aggressiveness.
+ Ted Valentine (yes, that Ted Valentine) returned to Assembly Hall for the first time since 1998, when he showed Bob Knight the door with three technicals in a game against Illinois. His return was largely uneventful, but it’s safe to say he won’t be getting his own big head anytime soon.
Beyond that, I’m opening it up for you to chime in. There’s a week off until the next test — Kentucky on Saturday at Rupp Arena.
Filed to: Savannah State