After Thursday night’s 74-68 win over SMU, Indiana has a quick turnaround as the Hoosiers will be back in Assembly Hall on Saturday night for a matchup with Lamar.
The game tips at 8 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network with Tom Hamilton and Shon Morris on the call:
Indiana’s four-game exempt tournament, coined the Hoosiers Showcase, continues with an opponent that could end up right in the conversation with Mississippi Valley State for the nation’s worst Division I team.
The Cardinals, who are led by Tic Price, come into Bloomington ranked No. 348 in the KenPom ratings and with a 1-2 record that includes road losses to SMU and Texas State. So who did Lamar beat? LSU-Alexandria, an NAIA team in its first season of competition, by just three points.
Price, who has gigs as the head coach at Memphis, the University of New Orleans and McNeese State on his resume, took over as the interim coach last spring when Pat Knight was fired after another dismal season. He was then named the head coach on a permanent basis in March.
It wasn’t easy, but Indiana passed its first legitimate test of the season on Thursday night with a 74-68 win over No. 22 SMU at Assembly Hall.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s win over the Mustangs:
· Turnovers tell the story: When Larry Brown and his staff go back and look at this loss, the glaring number that will stand out for the Mustangs is turnovers: 19 of them. SMU shot an effective field goal percentage of close to 62 percent, won the rebounding battle and still lost by six because it turned it over on 28.4 percent of its possessions.
Indiana, on the other hand, has been justifiably criticized for turnovers in the past but only turned it over on 10.5 percent of its possessions on Thursday night. Nick Zeisloft, James Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell combined for 49 points and no turnovers.
In a game that was played much more in the halfcourt than IU’s previous two contests (67 possessions), it’s solid progress for this group to take care of the ball that well against the length and athleticism of SMU.
· James Blackmon took over offensively: Indiana didn’t shoot the ball well from the field as a team, but James Blackmon Jr. again showed efficiency as he hit 7 of his 15 field goal attempts and also went 7 of 7 from the foul line for 26 points.
As Tom Crean spoke following his team’s 74-68 win over No. 22 SMU on Thursday night, the emotion in the voice of the seventh-year Indiana coach was noticeable and powerful.
“We’ve got a lot of places to get better at,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of games to play. But with what they’ve been through over a period of time, I’m proud of their work. I’m proud of how serious they are.
“I’m proud of – they’re trying to grow up. They’re growing up.”
Minutes earlier, his team had just completed an upset of the nationally-ranked Mustangs. His team that had nine newcomers to start the season. His team that faced so much adversity in the weeks leading up to the season — with the Devin Davis and Emmitt Holt car accident and the Troy Williams and Stan Robinson suspensions. His team that dealt with public doubts from fans, media and alumni.
On Thursday, in front of an anxious yet electrified crowd in Assembly Hall, it all reached a crescendo. This time, though, the adversity came on the court.
“You can’t plan for everything that they’ve been through and that they’re going through,” Crean said. “It’s not like we’ve been through it. I mean, we’re still in the midst of it. We’re still in the midst of maturing. We’re still in the midst of growing up.”
Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media following the Hoosiers’ 74-68 win over SMU on Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch the full press conference below:
Quotes are available after the jump.
James Blackmon Jr. (26 points, seven rebounds), Troy Williams (11 points, four rebounds, two steals) and Yogi Ferrell (13 points, seven assists and five rebounds) met with the media following Indiana’s 74-68 win over No. 22 SMU on Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch the full press conference below:
Check out 32 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 74-68 win over SMU at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. Purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.
SMU coach Larry Brown and junior point guard Nic Moore met with the media following the Mustangs’ 74-68 loss to Indiana at Assembly Hall on Thursday.
Watch both press conferences below: