Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Creighton

  • 11/19/2015 11:34 pm in

Indiana moved to 3-0 on Thursday night with a convincing 86-65 win over Creighton in the Gavitt Tipoff Games at Assembly Hall.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Bluejays:

· Bryant makes his presence felt: It’s not that Indiana freshman Thomas Bryant didn’t make an impact through the team’s exhibitions and first two regular season games.

But Bryant took things to a different level against Creighton, the first formidable opponent for the Hoosiers this season. The 6-foot-10 center made all six of his 2s, nailed a 3 and hit a pair of free throws to finish with 17 points. He also added seven rebounds and had a season-high four blocks. Bryant has yet to miss a 2-point field goal attempt this season as he’s now 15-of-15.

Not only did Bryant bring a presence in the post, but he also got the crowd engaged early and often.

“He’s been well-coached, he’s poised, and what I’m proudest of is that he’s playing with emotion, and it’s not emotional,” Tom Crean said of his freshman. “He’s got great emotion. If it was emotional, he wouldn’t be able to make the plays he’s making and he wouldn’t make the finishes that he’s making.”

· Indiana’s offense was as balanced as we’ve seen: The Hoosiers had five guys finish in double figures in scoring in their route of Creighton as the Bluejays simply had no answer for all of the weapons.

In addition to Bryant’s 17 points, James Blackmon Jr. poured in a game-high 19 points, Yogi Ferrell had 15, Troy Williams had 13 and Nick Zeisloft added 12. Zeisloft is now 9-of-13 on 3s over his last two games.

Creighton was on its heels defensively for most of the night.

· Efficiency at the rim, but IU still needs to get fouled: As pointed out in “At the buzzer,” Indiana only got to the line nine times in the win, but the Hoosiers still turned in an efficient 1.12 points per possession performance.

The Hoosiers hit just 10 of their 28 attempts from 3, but shot 68 percent at the rim. Still, as the competition picks up, Crean realizes that IU has to figure out ways to get to the line more.

“For us to get better, we’ve got to get fouled,” he said. “Whether it’s through the post, through the drive, whether it’s the offensive board, whatever it is.”

· Defense shuts down Creighton from deep: The Bluejays came in averaging 98 points through their first two wins and had 25 3s in those games.

Thursday was a different story as Greg McDermott’s team hit just three of its 18 attempts from deep. Creighton’s offense came to a screeching halt in Assembly Hall as Indiana did a good job of pushing shooters out further than they were comfortable.

In the second half, Creighton didn’t hit a 3 and it scored just .85 points per possession. Indiana held just three teams to .85 points per possession all of last season. This season, they’ve already done it twice.

· Turnovers still lingering as an issue: It’s a small sample size, but through three games Indiana is turning it over on 24 percent of its possessions.

Last year, the Hoosiers were able to make a huge leap forward offensively by cutting down on the mistakes. It’s not a cause for major concern just yet as IU is 3-0 and has the nation’s No. 2 offense through the first week of the season.

However, as the competition level picks up in Maui, unnecessary mistakes could be costly in a game that comes down to one or two possessions.

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  • straight no chaser

    I have always thought that RJ changes the choreography of our game, for the better.

  • Chappy Dan

    Ha! If only they could merge…

  • disqus_4UbWP6rS24

    I love Hartman for his ability to do all the little things. Last year he tended to present his self as the best defender on the team, and he was playing out of position most of the time. However, I really like what Max brings to the team as well. He has had solid performances thus far. Hartman should see plenty more playing time as he makes up for lost time. I guess an emphasis on the word “should” is in order, as no one but Crean knows whether more playing time will be granted. I think Crean loves Hartman’s work ethic and effort as much as anyone else, so I imagine he will soon see more minutes.

  • marcusgresham

    Funny, my wife, who is by no means a basketball pundit, just said the same thing about Bryant kind of “taking over” next year after Yogi should he choose to play a 2nd year.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    TJ, no, not pure and simple. Last year Yogi threw his arms up in disgust, on the court, at his team mates, how many times? How is that leadership? And all the finger pointing that is too late to be anything other than a distraction? That isn’t leadership either. And as other posters to this thread have stated, Yogi was statistically the worst defender on this team last year (which is really saying something). I don’t think it is “pure and simple”. And recall that CTC basically said no, yogi isn’t the leader in his summertime comments. There is a lot of room for other IU players to develop. As an IU fan, that’s what I am looking forward to watching this year.

  • kaponya44

    A player like Bryant has been the missing component every year for that matter..He is a scrappy ,intense big who is damned good at allraound basketball and only getting better..Cody wasn’t scary at the rim for opponents and Bryant will be ..he intimidates or will if not yet .

  • TomJameson

    4putts .. I think most everybody knows how you feel about Yogi, I’m not going to say you hate him, but the impression you give when you speak about Yogi is that you extremely dislike him.

    He is the on-court leader, pure and simple. He is the floor general and shows it by directing people into position, and sometimes losing patience with them. He is also one of the teams best defenders, when he doesn’t have to defend the center position. You like to use statistics to point to things, but stats are skewed because he had to defend that way.

    CTC said he couldn’t point to a team leader. He said it at a hugely upsetting time in this teams history. He didn’t point out Yogi, nor even say his name. He just said he couldn’t point to a team leader at that time.

    If Yogi wasn’t on this team you would find a whole lot more to gripe about, I assure you. But you sound to me like the type of person that is never happy … never.

  • TomJameson

    My point is that I don’t think RJ whines to the referees about calls that go against him. Especially like that Creighton player that kept motioning (complaining) to the ref about an arm-bar. At least I think that’s what he was complaining about.

    There is always arguing the point … any point. That’s pretty much what goes on here, right? LOL

  • TomJameson

    Golly, I hope you are wrong Oregoniu! LOL

    I’m hoping that the love of college will be one of the factors keeping TB his 2nd year. It was a deciding factor for Zeller, just hoping for a repeat on that one.

    Troy will most definitely go into the NBA after this year. No doubt about it. The only question is JBJ … and unfortunately TB. It probably depends on how good those two do this year. All this just my opinion of course. Didn’t mean to make it sound like a fact or anything. lol

  • TomJameson

    Maui tournament should tell the tale for sure.

  • Darrell Allen

    I think well of CH, but I think in general, starting MB matches up well with TB, especially against the bigs down low. He has a good shooting touch and can rebound with the best. CH is obviously quicker and more athletic, so bringing him off the bench makes more sense. They probably will share minutes equally. Both offer special contributes to the team!

  • Outoftheloop

    I disagree! I can think of a dozen NBA teams that would be better tomorrow with James and his shooting, including Charlotte, Orlando, and Portland! Enjoy James while we have him! He led IU in scoring so far at about 18/game on a team that has 4-5 double figure scorers every game. Not too shabby!

  • Outoftheloop

    In a month Collin will be a much improved player! Who is the fifth starter just doesn’t mean much on this IU team. IU is 8 good players deep. But to go to the Final Four OG and Juwan must become good 10 minute players by February!

  • Outoftheloop

    I agree. See my post above.

  • Outoftheloop

    It is the “soccerization” of basketball, lol!

  • Outoftheloop

    Yogi will graduate as the greatest point guard in IU history! Not as the greatest leader, Quinn Buckner has that title wrapped up!

  • Outoftheloop

    Any player, including Troy, can learn to play under control at any point in their career. It may not happen. It may not be easy for some athletically precousious players like Troy. But Westbrook of OK City showed that it can be done!

  • Dave Carnes

    Agreed,I can see him hanging on in the NBA but that is about it.Four years in a good College program would help him a lot.

  • Dave Carnes

    Troys game has not changed one bit since he got to B Town.The rest of the player are better and more experienced but troy is still playing with his eyes closed.

  • Dave Carnes

    If I have to watch Dickie V doing his Dickie V impersonation one more time I will ??? well I don’t know but it aint good.

  • Jtime

    Agreed. Best IU PG ever.