In its final tuneup before Friday’s season opener, Indiana beat the University of Indianapolis, a Division II opponent, 76-63, on Monday night at Assembly Hall.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win:
· Encouraging signs come with plenty of reasons for concern: We’ll dive into a couple of these topics a bit more in-depth, but after watch seven exhibition games (five in Montreal, two in Assembly Hall), there’s plenty to like about Indiana and there is a lot to be concerned about, too.
On the positive side of things, the ball movement is better, the shooters are better and the potential for improvement in taking care of the ball exists, although we didn’t see much of it last night. On the negative side of things, Indiana allowed the University of Indianapolis to rebound 45.8 percent of its misses last night and looked very shaky on defense early on as the Greyhounds built an early 11-point lead.
Should we draw major conclusions from any of these performances? Not quite. But the rebounding is a major concern and that isn’t changing give IU’s lack of frontcourt depth.
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· A little more on the rebounding: To put UIndy’s offensive rebounding performance into some perspective, Indiana allowed just three teams last season to rebound more than 40 percent of their misses. Coincidentally, Indiana won all three of those contests (at Penn State, at Northwestern and Iowa).
Early in Indiana’s 76-63 win over the University of Indianapolis on Monday night, sophomore Collin Hartman was substituted in and received his first look of the evening off a pass from junior Yogi Ferrell.
Without hesitation, the 6-foot-6 forward — donning a heavy brace on his right knee — caught the pass from behind the 3-point arc and shot it. It went in.
Despite not making a single 3-pointer last season, the Indianapolis native, who is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in March, finished the game with two, making both of his attempts. In his second game back — and still on a minutes limit — Hartman finished with eight points, two rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 18 minutes of action.
“He’s shooting it with more confidence,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “But I just liked the fact that he’s out there and getting real reps, real game speed, real game action. And frankly, if I had to look at this a couple months ago and say we would have had him for the exhibition games even though the doctors were optimistic, I wouldn’t have shared the same optimism.
“But, fortunately, I was wrong, and he’s worked really hard, and he wouldn’t be out there if he wasn’t helping.”
Just two days after Indiana’s 2013-2014 season ended, Hartman went down with a torn right ACL during a workout. After a freshman season in which Hartman rarely ever played — partaking in 16 of Indiana’s 32 total games and averaging 4.5 minutes of action per game — his offseason took a dramatic turn.
Instead of improving on his game over the summer, Hartman found himself having to rehabilitate, with playing time in the 2014-2015 season in question. But as he said on Monday, Hartman’s immediate reaction was that of optimism. He planned on being back in time for the start of this season.
Robert Johnson (15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists), Collin Hartman (eight points, two rebounds, two assists, two blocks) and Yogi Ferrell (19 points, five assists) met with the media following Indiana’s 76-63 exhibition win over the University of Indianapolis on Monday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch the full press conference below:
Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 76-63 exhibition win over the University of Indianapolis on Monday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch the full press conference below:
Thoughts on a 76-63 win over the University of Indianapolis:
As the Greyhounds connected on a shot after shot to start the contest, Hanner Mosquera-Perea picked up two early fouls and two early turnovers.
And yet: For a second straight game, the good outweighed the bad. No fouls or turnovers the rest of the game. The junior finished with a near double-double (14 points, eight rebounds) to go along with two blocks, two assists and a steal in 28 minutes of action. He’s still messy around the rim and with the ball in his hands, and maybe that’s just how it’s going to be this season. But he was able to parlay such efforts around the hoop into an 8-of-10 performance at the line, totaling nearly half the attempts of Indiana’s 19-of-25 mark from the charity stripe.
Mosquera-Perea almost brought the house down twice. Once, he slammed it home on a breakaway as Indiana was whistled for a ten-second violation. Another time near the end of the contest, Yogi Ferrell bounced it off the backboard for Mosquera-Perea to dunk it on another breakway, but he had to settle for a lay-in as Ferrell’s bounce off the backboard also hit the rim.
More opportunities to come.
Collin Hartman, Robert Johnson Shine
Collin Hartman wasn’t expected to be back on the court so soon. Yet, not only is he here now, but he’s making his presence felt. Hartman oozed confidence all game and was a difference-maker on both ends. He had two nice blocks on the defensive side of the ball and scored eight points, including a 2-of-2 mark from 3-point range. Hartman is unlikely to be the first man off the bench after Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson and Emmitt Holt come off suspension. But this sort of production out of the end of your rotation is a nice luxury to have.
Johnson struggled with his shot in last week’s exhibition opener. Not the case tonight. A perfect 6-of-6 performance (and 1-of-1 mark from the line) including two from beyond the arc for 15 points and three assists in 35 minutes of action. Johnson aided in Indiana’s 22-0 run to end the first half, as he, Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Nick Zeisloft (who had a night to forget: 0-of-6, five turnovers) and Hartman shared the ball well around the perimeter, which opened things up for wing and corner 3s.
This was Indiana’s offense firing at its best and it stands to have even more weapons upon Williams’ and Robinson’s return.
Check out 18 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 76-63 exhibition win over the University of Indianapolis at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. Purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.
Former Indiana guard Jordan Hulls is off to a solid start in his second season of professional basketball.
After spending his first pro season in Poland, Hulls opted for a change of scenery in year two and is playing point guard for Sigal Prishtina in Kosovo.
Sigal Prishtina plays in both the Balkan League and the Kosovo SuperLeague and is a combined 10-0 to start the season. Hulls is averaging 9.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, five assists and 2.7 steals in Balkan League games and 9.2 points, 5.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds in Kosovo SuperLeague contests.
“It’s been good so far,” Hulls told Inside the Hall. “The competition level is not as great as what it was in Poland, but I’m getting to play a lot more. I’m playing the one, getting to play a lot more free.”
Hulls, who is getting married next summer, says the toughest part of playing overseas is the amount of downtime when he’s not at a game or practice.
The opportunity to play basketball for a living is one that he’s tremendously grateful for, but the former Bloomington South Mr. Basketball and state champion said he’s taking things on a year-to-year basis.