The Minute After: Hope College

  • 11/01/2016 9:59 pm in

Thoughts on a 98-65 win over the Flying Dutchmen:

Tom Crean constantly subbed. He tinkered with a number of different lineups. Juwan Morgan played point. A walk-on (Zach McRoberts) started. Indiana’s biggest players, De’Ron Davis and Thomas Bryant, shared the floor at one point in the second half. During that stretch, Bryant fed Davis in the post off the left wing.

It was all a sign these Hoosiers are versatile, athletic and skilled. It was also a sign that with all the injuries, newcomers and gaps to fill from the departed, Crean and his team have a lot to still figure out. And that’s exactly what an exhibition game against Hope College is for.

Let’s start with the obvious: OG Anunoby looked very much like a player that’s ready to step into a more featured offensive role. The sophomore hit 4-of-7 from distance and finished with 16 points — the most he’s ever scored as a Hoosier. His season-high last year was 14. Anunoby could be seen on Indiana’s televised practice getting in extra shots during a water break and was out on the floor 90 minutes before tonight’s game getting up 3-pointers. After missing his final attempt of the contest from distance with 3:35 to go, Anunoby turned away from the basket and slammed his hands on his knees in disgust heading into a stoppage of play. It was a rare show of emotion for a stoic player. But with all the work he’s putting in on his shot, it’s also a sign he appears to deeply care about each and every one he takes, a perfectionist about his craft.

“OG spends as much time in the gym as anybody we’ve had here,” Crean said after the game.

Robert Johnson, James Blackmon Jr. and Josh Newkirk were thought of as the leads in Indiana’s backcourt heading into the season. But freshman Devonte Green is proving he can really play and deserves his share of minutes, too. Green hit five 3s for 15 points in Indiana’s Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage. Tonight he led all Hoosiers in scoring with 17 points (7-of-9). His performance included a 2-of-2 mark from distance where he flashed a smooth stroke and some nice moves and scores at the rim.

“I definitely feel like I belong,” Green said after the game.

His confidence is shared by some of his fellow freshmen, something #iubb Twitter noted tonight. Beyond Green, Curtis Jones (seven points, two assists, one block) and De’Ron Davis (six points, seven rebounds, one block, one steal) showed no fear and look very much like they belong, too.

Overall, this looked very much like a modern-era Indiana basketball team under Crean. When the Hoosiers defended at a high level and secured defensive boards, it allowed them to get out on the run, and led to easy, quick points — their bread and butter. But as we know, there’s sloppiness that can come with this style of play, especially early on with a host of different lineups and the Hoosiers still figuring a lot out. Indiana entered the half turning the ball over 27.2 percent of their possessions. Much too high. That came down in the second half and settled at 23.5 percent for the contest. So Indiana scored almost 100 points tonight despite turning the ball over on nearly a quarter of its possessions.

The Hoosiers get another opportunity to get their feet wet on Saturday against Bellarmine, a Division II power. Then Kansas looms next. The talent and skill level is here for Indiana to allow them to compete against college basketball’s elite teams. But it still needs time to figure itself out.

Filed to:

  • b_side

    Kansas committed 24 turnovers in their exhibition against DII Washburn. They have Frank Mason, their version of Yogi, running the show. These things happen early in the season regardless of who is handling the ball.

  • millzy32

    So if you have all the answers then why don’t we ever do well in tournaments? Any tournament? Pre-season or B1G or NCAA? Where are your answers or are you happy with doing poorly in all tournaments?

  • millzy32

    Nope.

  • Indiana_Banners

    Lol I see I still need to give you more time to cool your jets

  • Piker

    Can we steal NBA team music….Bulls…Allan Parsons Project Sirius. Ytube it then say….And now your starting lineup for the Chicago Bulls….at forward number 23 Michael Jordannnnnn….of course we would substitute.. And now your starting lineup for The Indiana Hoosiers number 3 OG Anunobyyyyy…..would get chills at the stadium in the day…..

  • Bill Graham

    agreed. TB improved dramatically over the season. But TB was a double double guy from the get go. While Davis seems to have defensive awareness and the body. He is no where near TB in terms of offensive talent.

  • Bill Graham

    7 assists isn’t bad. Honestly, given his track record I’d love for RJ to be our PG. But he just seems to be one step away from being that floor general we need. I’d rather groom a freshman to do it.

  • Bill Graham

    Oh I think this was very much an experimental game. Especially with Morgan playing point. But I also think we are seeing a top 11 team on paper that lost a 17+ ppg game guy who ran the offense. We have a ton of flexibility to do committee approaches and different lineups and thats very exciting but I’d like to see something consistent.

  • b_side

    The double-double is a bit hyperbolic. TB grabbed 5.8 rpg, finishing the season with just 2 games with 10 or more rebounds. Part of the problem was his inability to stay on the floor, averaging under 23mpg. I’m hoping he curbs the foul issues and gives us a Cody-like 30mpg.

  • HuntinHoosier86

    After watching the replay last night, I’m inclined to agree with you. I would absolutely prefer RoJo as PG at the moment. Newkirk was quick and moved with the ball, but didn’t do much else….at least from what I saw. I’m actually really excited about Devonte Green’s potential after watching the game! Holy schnikes! That kid can ball!

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    yeah that wouldn’t be too bad either. then every player could have their own intro music. ‘in 3’s’ by the beastie boys would be perfect for JBJ, for example

  • Lynn

    Write it down, OG will be the next NBA superstar!

  • Bill Graham

    I was wrong. I’ve always maintained strong opinions on here. But I’ve also always said that I’ll be the first to admit when I’m proven wrong. I thought Devonte was a gimmick to get some PR with his brother involved (similar to how CZ and Vic visit campus and the team). But he’s not. He’s a good guard who’s shifty, physical, and isn’t afraid to take shots and make plays. I can easily see him being our guy in a few years.

  • Bill Graham

    Fair enough. But even you acknowledged that was a small sample size. I hope he curbs the foul issues as well. But we are past the HMP and Tom Pritchard years. If anything happens we have competent backup centers available.

  • Bill Graham

    I was recently debating this with a good buddy of mine he raised some good points:

    1. Can RJ, JBJ, Devonte, and CuJo keep Mason and Graham in check (I believe so).
    2. Can O.G. lock down Jackson? (he believes so I still argue that Jackson will get 12+)
    3. Is TB better than Lucas (in the words of CTC “there’s just no question).

    – so ideally we matchup perfectly against them. But KU has experienced leadership under a proven system. We are coming off of replacing 30+ points and a PG that we lost to the NBA. I certainly feel we can beat them. And maybe the game against Hope was experimental and slightly irrelevant. But Self excels at switching defenses and playing the Kansas system. He’s not a personnel coach like Coach Cal. He actually coaches the game like Coach K and Izzo. He’ll figure out a way to exploit our weak parts, we just have to counter.

  • Piker

    Even better starting five get there pick. Short clips quick switch make it sound right…plenty of Jacob’s music kid to make it work.