The Minute After: Bellarmine

  • 11/05/2016 9:45 pm in

Thoughts on a 73-49 win over the Knights:

After struggling to take care of the ball against Hope College earlier this week, Indiana did a much better job in its rout of Bellarmine on Saturday night — turning the ball over on 18.8 percent of its possessions, better than their average a season ago (19.6). The Hoosiers also come out in this one with some serious defensive intensity. Indiana got into the Knights’ faces on the perimeter. They switched and communicated well and forced a couple early shot clock violations. Bellarmine scored just .71 points per possession for the contest.

Between the fewer turnovers and strong defense, all Indiana had to do was be itself on offense and this had all the makings of a serious blowout. But that wasn’t quite the case. Despite a host of open looks from 3-point range, the Hoosiers just couldn’t knock them down tonight. They entered the locker room at half hitting just 3-of-16 and finished the contest just 6-of-29 from downtown. James Blackmon Jr. missed all seven of his 3-point attempts. Indiana did have a bunch of strong scores inside the arc (14-of-19) in the first half, so it entered the break scoring a pretty strong 1.23 points per possession.

But that mark fell to an average 1.01 points per possession by the game’s end, and so what could have been a 40-plus point blowout settled at a comfortable 24-point win for the Hoosiers.

Before the season began, some suggested OG Anunoby was going to need time to adjust to a bigger offense role. Others wondered whether he had a game that was ever going to truly translate to a focal point on offense. But Anunoby’s two exhibition performances have loudly proclaimed his offensive game has gone to another level. The sophomore scored 16 points, the most he’s ever scored for the Hoosiers, in Indiana’s exhibition opener against Hope College on Tuesday night.

He had 17 at halftime this evening on a perfect 7-of-7 mark from the floor. At one point in the second half he’d scored more total points (22 points) than Bellarmine had collectively as a team (21 points). On a night his teammates struggled with efficiency, Anunoby finished the night with a team-high 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting. He continued to connect from deep (3-of-4). He drove from the top of the key through the paint for a dunk. He threw down a effortless reverse jam. He hit 3-of-4 from the line. He also assisted on a Thomas Bryant alley-oop after blocking a Bellaramine shot on the other end of the floor.

And he would have had 27 points had a ridiculous transition highlight reel jam not been called off due to a Devonte Green foul call.

After airballing his first and only 3-point attempt on Tuesday against Hope College, it was nice to see freshman Grant Gelon show no fear from distance tonight. Late in the second half, Gelon dialed up a deep 3-pointer for the right wing and connected. He also hit Indiana’s final shot of the game, another 3-pointer, this time out of the left corner.

Josh Newkirk flashed some serious athleticism on a transition dunk and a nice block.

Indiana still has plenty to figure out, but there were plenty of encouraging signs in its two exhibitions. If the Hoosiers can combine the best from tonight’s game — locked-in defense, lower turnovers — with better 3-point shooting, they’ll give Kansas plenty to handle in Hawaii next week.

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  • BeneathTheBanners

    Second game in a row that RJ led the team in +/-, OG is a monster, and the rest of the cast can all contribute in meaningful ways. Is it a bad thing so far that TB isn’t standing out? Is it that he hasn’t dominated or that the rest of the team is looking so good that he’s just not setting himself apart? Either way, have to like these first 2 games.

  • ForeverIU

    TB is not spectacular but consistent. Consistency is better than volatility. Where was Green?

  • BeneathTheBanners

    At least we know that he (Green) can produce. He’s a freshman so I’m sure he’ll have his ups and downs. Every newcomer has shown they can provide something at this point, albeit against lower competition, although Bellarmine is a great exhibition matchup.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Looked good to me!

  • BL4IU

    Well, here we go, ready or not.

  • sarge

    I agree. It is a different matchup too. We had different players and ways to influence similar results. That is the sign of a good team adjusting to the challenge and the ability to be versital. We all know what style we want to play and when our opposition tries to exploit that, we can still win. We forced more turnovers and had fewer. I’m sure DG will show up when there is an opportunity for him to seize. McFly had 8 rebounds in 8 minutes! OGOGOG! If we shot like we should have, this game gets ugly for a decent Bellarmine squad. Bring on KU!

  • Larry Brown

    Seems Priller hasn’t pllayed in either game. What’s up with that? I thought at least he’d get on the court in the exhibitions

  • ForeverIU

    OG always reminds me of the character from The Brother from Another Planet (John Sayles). LOL.

  • randy

    Crean said in his postgame interview that Priller is injured and cannot play.

  • One of the commentators said it was a dinged up shoulder.

  • Defensively, I think we’re ready. That was an impressive display. Offensively, I think there’s a ways to go. KU will be an interesting game–I’m not confident, and in a sense I’m not concerned. The team might not have gelled by next Friday, but I’m certain things will come together by UNC, and then watch out.

  • I honestly think CTC has put most of his efforts into getting just about everyone else ready to go. Players returning from injury and new players need to get integrated into the system, and that requires a lot of teaching. I’m guessing–and of course, this is just a guess–that CTC hasn’t spent a ton of time on TB. As ForeverIU says below, TB is consistent, and the work to get him spectacular will come once some other players are up to speed.

  • Ole Man

    LOL! Great comparison and a really fun movie!

  • BL4IU

    Yeah, I was just reminded it’s Kansas in a week. No worries here. Like us, they have some kids stepping into new roles. We’ll be fine. Should be a great game.

  • I love the confidence. 🙂 Hey, I admit to some daydreams that our lock-down defense gives them fits and allows our offense to be a little less effective. Kind of like yesterday’s game. I also admit I’m not that current on KU, and so if you’re saying they could be in the same boat as us, then that’s good to know.

    Already getting little of the ol’ pre-game jitters, and it’s still Sunday.

  • adam

    it sounded like things were clicking on offense, the 3 ball just wasnt falling. itd be hard to believe that if we get 29 open looks from outside the arc we only make 6 again. i know not all 29 were probably quality looks but it read like a lot of them were.

  • CTC has mentioned a few times that he’s only rolled out about 25% of the offensive sets the team ran last year. And, on Saturday, I just thought the offense was less crisp than the defense. But yes, it wasn’t a terrible performance and if what I think will be a normal percentage of threes would have fallen we would have won by 40.

    And, many of the misses were wide open, including JBJ’s. That won’t happen again. But as has been mentioned, the best thing about JBJ’s poor shooting was that it didn’t stop him from making other contributions on defense and otherwise on offense.

    All of that said, I’m _still_ not confident about Friday, and only because it’s hard to imagine all of the pieces coming together in time. If we do beat KU, then oh. my. golly.