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The Minute After: SMU

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Thoughts on a 74-68 win over the Mustangs:

This re-tooled Hoosiers squad had yet to see length and athleticism like Larry Brown’s Mustangs. And so early, SMU worked Indiana on the boards while its defense kept the Hoosiers out of the paint and settling for jump shots.

But Troy Williams entered the game shot out of a cannon, his infectious energy igniting the Assembly Hall faithful. Deflections and drives and suddenly Indiana was right back in his thing and kept with it till game’s end for the victory. From Williams to Stanford Robinson to Yogi Ferrell to Nick Zeisloft to Robert Johnson to Collin Hartman to James Blackmon Jr., the Hoosiers have playmakers and shooters abound. They were all collectively enough to hit buckets and make plays at crucial times despite a rocky shooting night to ensure a win over the No. 22-ranked squad in the country.

Williams and Robinson got into the paint when their time came, something Indiana desperately needed early. Williams would make 5-of-8 free throws and take the most of any player on the floor this evening. Robinson hit 2-of-3 in just nine minutes of action to go along with three assists. During a crucial period late in the second half, Zeisloft outworked the Mustangs for a defensive rebound that seemed as if he had no business getting. He followed it up with a trey on the ensuing Hoosier possession and hit another one for good measure not long after.

The list goes on: Hartman hit a left corner 3 in the second half off good ball movement from Indiana on that possession. Ferrell hit one as well from the opposite wing late. Blackmon Jr. kept it calm and cool and scored in transition and from beyond the arc all night long. He’s seemingly able to step into a 3-pointer whenever he wants with the ball in his hands, taking 10 in this one and hitting five of them. On a night Indiana didn’t shoot particularly well (46.5 eFG%), Blackmon Jr. was the steadying force, going 7-of-15 from the floor and 7-of-7 from the line.

Indiana also made good decisions within their offense for most of the contest and posted their lowest turnover percentage (10.4%)  since a win over Northwestern last season (12.7%).

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Hoosiers begin busy stretch tonight against No. 22 SMU

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Whether they are ready or not, Indiana is about to get plenty of game experience quickly.

In the span of the next five days, the Hoosiers are set to play SMU, Lamar on Saturday and Eastern Washington on Monday.

The quick succession begins with tonight’s battle at 8 p.m. against the Mustangs, ranked No. 22 in the latest AP poll. And as far as if it has come in good timing, according to Indiana coach Tom Crean, it actually proposes several challenges.

“As far as this next stretch of games, is it optimal? It is what it is,” Crean said on Wednesday afternoon. “Ask the players if they want to play games and they say they love it. As for the coaches, you have to make sure that you aren’t getting away from making your team better, and not just turning it into preparation time.”

Indiana’s first opponent in the three-game stretch will be its toughest. SMU, despite its loss on Monday to Gonzaga, is rebounding 41.4 percent of its misses thus far — and Indiana has allowed 30 offensive rebounds in its first two games alone.

But the Hoosiers will get some necessary help, starting with tonight’s game. Suspended players Troy Williams, Stan Robinson and Emmitt Holt all are eligible to play tonight after missing the Hoosiers’ first two games — and all should be able to help on the boards.

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Robinson, Williams talk to ESPN about suspensions

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ESPN.com: Indiana Hoosiers’ Stanford Robinson, Troy Williams apologetic before return

“I know we let a lot of people down, teammates, coaching staff, family and definitely the fans,” Robinson said. “But I think we’ve learned from it. Before I think we had a little idea of what it means to put on an Indiana jersey. Once this all happened and it went public, we saw what it really means to be a Hoosier.”

The players’ suspensions, announced just days after news of the car accident, made for a tumultuous start to the season for the Hoosiers and coach Tom Crean.

“He went through a lot more than we had to go through,” Williams said. “The fact that he kept us through all of this, we’re just grateful.”

ESPN also has a story on Emmitt Holt and how he’s dealt with the aftermath of the accident that left Devin Davis seriously injured.

Video: Tom Crean, Nick Zeisloft and Yogi Ferrell preview SMU

Tom Crean and juniors Nick Zeisloft and Yogi Ferrell met with the media on Wednesday afternoon at Assembly Hall to preview Thursday’s matchup with No. 22 SMU.

Watch both press conferences below:

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Devin Davis headed home, according to Devin Davis Sr.

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Indiana sophomore forward Devin Davis, who was injured in an accident early in the morning on Saturday, Nov. 1, is headed home today according to a post on Instagram by his father, Devin Davis Sr.

Indiana coach Tom Crean confirmed at his press conference on Wednesday that Davis has been released from the hospital and will stay in Indianapolis for outpatient care, but there’s no timetable for when he might be able to return to basketball.

“The fact that he’s progressed enough to the point that he can go home, that’s good, that’s very good.” Crean said. “I don’t know if there was ever a schedule that could be put in place on that. It’s like concussions and this was obviously worse than that. There’s no way to really put a timeline on that. And if the doctors aren’t putting a timeline on it, then there’s no way that we can.”

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What to Expect: SMU

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After just two days off, Indiana returns to action on Thursday night at Assembly Hall for a meeting with No. 22 SMU.

The game will tip at 8 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network with Eric Collins and Jim Jackson on the call:

What was once billed as a marquee non-conference home game for Indiana has lost some of its luster. Southern Methodist University, coached by Hall of Famer Larry Brown, was once thought of as a potential top 10 team this season.

But the Mustangs suffered a season-changing blow in the summer when the nation’s No. 2 recruit, Emmanuel Mudiay, headed to China to play professionally, rather than to SMU’s campus. The news for SMU hasn’t gotten better in recent weeks as last week it was announced that big man Markus Kennedy will miss the first semester for academic reasons.

SMU is still a very solid team that appears plenty capable of making its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1993, but without Mudiay the ceiling for this group is much lower. While it’s not the marquee non-conference home game that the IU administration is still searching for after Kentucky fell off the schedule following the 2011-2012 season, it’s an early chance for the Hoosiers to get a win that could hold some water come March.

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Film Session: Texas Southern

Indiana only outscored Texas Southern 39-35 in the second half on Monday night. Were it not for some Hanner Mosquera-Perea blocks, it could have been an even frame — or even one where the Hoosiers were outscored.

We’ll be taking a look at some easy looks Indiana gave up as well as two Mosquera-Perea blocks in the latest edition of Film Session:

I. Early in the second half, the Tigers get a two-man game going on the right wing. We can see Robert Johnson shading over and giving his man space to the right:

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Johnson keeps giving space right and even jumps in front of a ball screen, which gives his man even more room and he takes it right at Mosquera-Perea:

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He makes a move past Mosquera-Perea towards the rim:

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