Notebook: Indiana sets season-opener scoring record

  • 11/15/2014 8:23 am in

As Indiana’s score kept rising on Friday night in its season-opener against Mississippi Valley State, the accolades became more and more impressive.

Most points ever scored under head coach Tom Crean. Most points scored in a game since 1993. Most points ever scored by the Hoosiers in their first game of the season.

By the end of the game on Friday, the Hoosiers emerged with a 116-65 victory over the Delta Devils. They finished with a 75.4 effective field goal percentage, as well, their highest since a win over Mount St. Mary’s during the 2012-2013 season.

“We improved in the game,” Crean said. “We had our largest lead with just two minutes to go, and I thought for the most part, our guys didn’t play the score. They played to improve.

“Guys came in even at that five minute mark and tried to do the right things. We’re excited about that. Something for us to build on.”

As much as the Hoosiers shot well on Friday night, the points did not come easy at first. Though undersized, the Delta Devils utilized trapping on defense to cause 13 first-half Indiana turnovers. At halftime, 12 of Mississippi Valley State’s 31 points came off Hoosiers turnovers.

“We have a big emphasis on taking care of the ball regardless of how fast we play,” junior Nick Zeisloft said. “We know we have been scoring it at such a high rate that every turnover affects us.  You value those possessions and they’re going to matter every game coming up.”

But after halftime, the Hoosiers cleaned up their act — all the while maintaining their scoring pace. In the second half, Indiana turned the ball over just six times (with nine assists) and even outpaced last season’s single-game high with 11 three-pointers.

And by the end of Friday night’s game, the still-depleted Hoosiers had set a scoring record last held by the 1973-74 team. They finished just two points shy of the all-time Assembly Hall record.

“The challenge at halftime was to get better in the game,” Crean said. “And if we’re going to build and be a good team, then we can’t take steps back in the game. And it’s not about not playing the score, we don’t even know what the score is, we want to play better.”

Blackmon scores 25 in debut

Making his official debut for the Hoosiers on Friday night, James Blackmon Jr. finished with 25 points — the second-most ever by a freshman in his first game at Indiana (Eric Gordon scored 33 points against Chattanooga in 2007).

“When you got a guy like that that wants to be great, is very serious about his work, that doesn’t take himself serious, he’s confident,” Crean said. “But he doesn’t take himself serious that he’s all this or all that. He’s got a tremendous work ethic.”

On the night, Blackmon shot 7-for-10 from the field, 3-of-4 from behind the arc and 8-of-9 from the free throw line, also recording four rebounds, one steal and one assist in his first regular season game.

The 6-foot-4 guard also, for the second straight game, produced a one-handed slam — already showcasing his athleticism early in his college career.

“We don’t want him to get away from knocking down threes,” Crean said. “But at the same time, as he gets more explosive with pushing the dribble out and dropping that shoulder — and his strength, he’s gained a lot of strength in a year, I mean a lot of strength.

“So his body is still growing into that, his game is still growing into that. So I think he’ll continue to improve, and he’s very hungry and that’s the bottom line.”

Other notes

  • Two Hoosiers were just one point — or one rebound — shy of double doubles on Friday night. Junior Hanner Mosquera-Perea finished with nine points and 12 rebounds against the Delta Devils, while freshman Max Hoetzel recorded 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
  • Despite being limited throughout much of the preseason, freshman Jeremiah April made his debut on Friday against the Delta Devils. In seven second-half minutes, April scored two points and recorded two rebounds.

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  • SCHoosier

    There was a lot for fans to be pleased about last night. But until IU plays somebody who can defend..be physical…and really attack on offense..we won’t learn much about the Hoosiers. IU has the shooters..the speed and the potential. TX Southern ought to be more of a challenge. Great to see April on the floor..

  • Hoosier Hall

    In a couple years Max Hoetzel is going to be a very important player for us. Gotta love his confidence and swagger. Anybody else notice that Max took the most shots on the team last night? Lol, CONFIDENCE!

  • I was thinking last night that a junior or senior Max will be a nightmare for other teams!

  • Randy

    All the new guys have swag…..good to see!

  • HoosierDawg

    I know it’s only one game, but he reminds me of a young Brian Evans. Not highly recruited but surprisingly athletic and a very good outside shooter. I really think he’s going to have an important role on this team.

  • Bill

    Yes. New guys are fearless. Cocky. We needed some attitude. The guys that transferred out last year lacked the fire inside. These guys will be leaders on the team in a few years regardless if they get floor time.

  • Ole Man

    He couldn’t hit outside last night; so I hope his outside shots do start falling.

  • SCHoosier

    ..and some poor shot selection judgment late in the game when others were open. He does indeed have a shooters mentality.

  • Hoosier Hall

    With time and experience his shot selection and decision making should improve. Then, with all that cockiness, he will be fun to watch. He’s the kind of guy that will flex on the Purdue crowd like Sheehey.

  • SilentBob

    Oh I’m sure they will with his confidence. Even though he went 1-6 from distance he still managed to finish the night going 6 of 12 from the field and got to the line the second most on the team. That’s promising. Not to mention he finished with 9 boards, a steal, and an assist. Looks like he isn’t satisfied being a one trick pony.

  • Bill

    We will miss Fischer this year. If we keep winning , who do you think we can get a commit from. Big that is. Bryant , Zimmerman , other? Need a big to go with the two recruits we got.

  • SilentBob

    According to the recruiting board on here we’re still targeting Swanigan. I believe he is good friends with Blackmon. It’s been before Zellers class that we didn’t bring in a kid from in state. I’m kind of old school in the sense I like to bring in as many Indiana kids as possible that fit the system. I’m not quite sure if he fits the system as well as ZImmerman or Bryant, but we need a big regardless.

  • Bruce Clark

    Going to be fun watching the shooters this year. After game #1, nationally IU is #1 in scoring, 11th in rebounds, 26th in assists and 3rd in field goal percentage. I know it’s just one game, but I’m hoping recruits take notice…

  • Bruce Clark

    With Skal Labissiere committing to KY, I’m hoping this helps in our recruitment of Zimmerman.

  • Ole Man

    Zimmerman just isn’t interested in IU.

  • Ole Man

    Swanigan is MSU’s to lose.

  • Outoftheloop

    But he calls me every night and we talk about how much he loves the candy-stripped pants. I keep telling him there is only one way to get them LOL.

  • Outoftheloop

    But that was THE class that solidified the “New Indiana” (the 24/7 worker mindset), the “Sheladipo Class”!

  • Outoftheloop

    Which can always happen with 17-18 year old kids!

  • Outoftheloop

    That is why the “point-forward” position should help his development.

  • Outoftheloop

    I said when we first had Max sign the NLOI that he reminded me of Hayward at Butler (now an established NBA player). He still does!

  • SilentBob

    Agreed I loved that class (and love the class we have so far for 2015) and I wouldn’t have traded them for a single in-state player, but still love to see in state players wearing the candy stripes. If we ever become like UK and stop heavily recruiting in state I will probably go into a corner and cry lol.

  • SilentBob

    Yupp and they been saying that for a while. Just like they’ve been saying Bryant is Syracuse’s to lose. I don’t believe anything until a player signs an LOI. There’s obviously still some question there if he hasn’t even committed yet.

  • Ole Man

    ROFL! Thanks for that laugh, loop!