IU cruises past Houston Baptist for 103-61 victory

  • 12/10/2016 9:10 pm in

IU did what it needed to do in its 103-61 victory against Houston Baptist on Saturday afternoon. It left the game without any injuries and got to practice cleaning up some things after a full week of practice.

Although the Hoosiers got out to a rough start, missing their first five shots, it didn’t take long for them to pull away for their eighth win of the season.

IU took its first lead of the game at the 16:15 mark after Juwan Morgan made his 13th consecutive shot over the course of three games. Morgan missed a 3-pointer to end his school record 14 consecutive made shots.

The sophomore forward finished with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting and added seven rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal in 20 minutes of play.

“I think just being in the right spot at the right time and making the extra passes, and not thinking about it, those two things just going together,” Morgan said. “The mentality side of that, just being confident, knowing my teammates will find me. They will find you over the top or just making the back cut. They will always put you in the position to score. “

The Hoosiers had five players score in double-digits with Morgan, Josh Newkirk, Robert Johnson, Curtis Jones and James Blackmon Jr. After starting the game missing his first four shots, Blackmon Jr. helped himself out of poor shooting first half and led the way with 18 points.

“The biggest thing for James is, like today, with the tough first half, is don’t get down and focus on why you’re missing, focus on what you need to do defensively,” Tom Crean said. “Continue to rebound the ball and moving the ball to other people. In the second half he played with much better energy.”

As a team, IU shot 55 percent from the field.

Defensively, the Hoosiers shut down Houston Baptist from behind the 3-point arc, allowing them to hit just 2 of 17 three-point shots for 11.8 percent.

The key to that, Crean said, is not over helping or overreacting. They’re going to give up drives to the basket that way, but they’d rather do that than give up open looks with the competition and league teams they will face down the road, Crean said.

Defensively, IU held its fifth straight opponent to a shooting percentage of less than 40 percent, the longest streak since the 2012-13 season. Adding in Zach McRoberts off the bench gives IU a spark of energy and awareness on the court that has proved to be an advantage.

“Zach is just a guy that’s well aware,” Johnson said. “His awareness is really high on defense. As his feet continue to get better, I think that it will give him an opportunity to play even more. And I think that will be something that’s good for us, because he’s just such a smart player that he helps everybody on the court.”

Although all of McRoberts’ efforts don’t show on stat sheets, he did have a team-high and career-high four assists in 16 minutes. His ability to pass and play defense could find him seeing increased minutes as a role player off the IU bench.

Indiana returns to action on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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  • kennygeorge

    congrats on another win, pass the exams and let’s beat butler!!!!

  • vicbert caladipo

    This game should be a good learning experience for DD. Big ten officials are going to call a lot of fouls and good he learns now. CTC was certainly aware of it and will teach him to be aggressive without fouling. Once again a good opportunity to try multiple lineups and give a lot of role players good minutes. Would have liked to see more out of our big men but TB played incredible defense. Hard to believe 4 shots for both bigs, Freddie is looking more confident and hopefully ready to bang in the big ten. Anyone else enjoy Homer Drew. I always love a successful coaches opinion. He reminds me of Chuckie Gruden that hasn’t gone stale yet.

  • TomJameson

    I like the playing experience for all the new guys. The team is starting to play together all the time. Next milestone is butler.

    The defense started out a little sluggish, but then really took off! I think JBJ did a really good job.

  • vicbert caladipo

    How about Priller? !!!!!!!!!!

  • TomJameson

    Seriously?? I would love to see him get a few more minutes. Maybe he should’ve been getting more minutes all along, but then, I don’t see what the coach does every day. No matter, I like Tim getting into the game and playing well … especially scoring.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Sooooo….here we go with what a lot of us have been talking about for 2 weeks….a showdown with Butler in a week. Butler just improved to 9-1 by fairly easily handling #22 Cincy today. There was talk of our superior talent, talk about our size, and talk about whether OG plays. It is looking like OG will play and it is also looking like Butler will be a formidable opponent. Questions were made about a weak front line for Butler. Tonight against a lousy opponent our front line players, JM,DD,and TB scored 25 points. Against a quality ranked opponent Butlers top 3 bigs scored 41 points. Talk was about how our bigs will dominate and our backcourt is the weak link. I’m telling you all right now. This game will be a dog fight. I think the bigs will play equal and it will be up to our backcourt to win it. 3’s will be important. Hit a few and don’t turn it over we should win. I said days ago don’t under estimate Butler. This should be a really good game. TB and DD have to stay out of foul trouble. I’d be surprised if OG has a good game. Suspect he’ll get less than 20mins.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Totally serious. Anyone tell me he hasn’t made the most of his minutes? He used to be a joke lumbering around trying not to trip over himself. This year I have seen nothing negative about his play. Not saying he deserves more time, but who knows, one day when we have a ton of fouls he may be called upon to play serious minutes and I am way more confident he can hold his own in spurts. Some said he was a waste of a scholarship. I think he’s earning it this year. He’s more than just a comic figure now.

  • I’m guessing TP always earned his scholarship in practice. That said, I agree–he’s been much sharper this season, really hustles, and I think rebounds well. Glad to see it.

  • Agreed, it’s going to be a challenge. I’m fairly confident because 1) we’ve played the best teams so incredibly tough and 2) I think IPFW got that one horrible effort game out of their season. Last year’s was Penn State (after the turnaround, of course). These kids know now that they can lose to anyone, and so it’s not like their going to go up against Butler and thing it’s a gimme.

    I’m just hoping it’s not down to the wire. Been a stressful couple of weeks all around for me, I’d love a nice, dominant UNC-style victory.

  • Ole Man

    Our front line players haven’t been properly utilized for the most part. These cupcake games have, in a way, been wasted by not practicing the utilization of those players.
    You don’t just turn that on when you need it.

  • Ole Man

    Sorry, Tom.
    I take your comment about JBJ as satire.

  • TomJameson

    No Tony, not satire, just sort of a counter-balance to the anti-rose colored glasses concerning JBJ. 🙂

    Not sure why you (and others, you’re not alone 🙂 are so bent on mitigating JBJ and his worth in all areas, but if you watched the game without prejudice, you’d see that he is a much improved defensive player with a lot of effort being put forth.

    I’m definitely not saying he is our best defensive stopper, but he’s also not the only one who misses assignments. I’ve seen others let their offensive player blow past them, and it doesn’t seem to faze anybody watching. But if JBJ does the exact same thing, he gets panned for it … extensively.

    I guess I’d just rather point out the positives in his improvement in technique and effort, rather than dwell on every tiny little detail when he misses an assignment.

  • Ole Man

    I have been among his strongest supporters regarding his overall development, re: both his D and even his rebounding. And I said (in my comments in the paid forum) that when he worked within the system that he was “incredible/smooth/etc” (Paraphrasing myself–LOL). It’s simply those times he goes outside the flow, as at the beginning of yesterday’s game, that he drives me and others bananas.
    So, it’s more than “missing an assignment.” It’s a rather large adjustment that has to be made or it could be costly to the team down the road. If it isn’t made and practiced now, against the cream puffs, it won’t be made later on.

  • VanPastorMan

    He is getting better. His teammates, Bryant especially get on him to hold him accountable.

  • VanPastorMan

    If that young man takes his passion with him after leaving IU he will be successful in everything he does.

  • Robert Weber

    Is there no photo gallery for this game or did I miss the link somehow?

  • Darrell Allen

    LoL … “cream puffs” … Kansas & North Carolina? I think maybe the Buddha of Basketball knowledge must not have been on his game on this one? Rest assured, any major team would love to have JB on their squad! Probably the best pure shooter in college hoops!

  • Ole Man

    So Houston Baptist was a real challenge? Think maybe you should reevaluate who IU has played aside from KU and UNC. Ft. Wayne was the only other decent challenge and we know how that ended.
    Lots of pure shooters in college hoops. No, I wouldn’t put JB at the top of that list.
    Reread–maybe it will help your comprehension. He has received much praise, from me and others. He has, justifiably so, received some honest criticism.

  • pbhuff

    Its very possible that it just took Priller an extended period of time to get used to his size.

  • TomJameson

    That’s one of the things I like about this squad, they all seem to be holding each other accountable, and the one who gets chewed out takes it in a good way. You know, they don’t pout, they just take the “advice” and keep on playing … hopefully just a little bit better.

  • TomJameson

    I’m not saying, and never have said, that JBJ doesn’t go “outside the flow”, I just don’t think he does it as much as some think he does. To me he does force it too much, but I don’t think it is so much that he is a detriment to the team.

    No player is perfect, and JBJ isn’t the only one that forces the play now-and-then. He also isn’t the only one who lets somebody blow past him on defense. But he is the one who gets the brunt of the focus, so rightfully so or not, he is the one who gets “picked on” for his indiscretions. LOL

    And when most all basketball pundits put JBJ in the top bracket of shooters/scorers in CBB … well, you just have to believe some of them, right? Nobody said he is THE top dog, but he is one of the leaders of the pack.

  • Ole Man

    Tom, I want him to become “top dog”, which if he cleans up his “act” a little could certainly happen.
    It would probably mean another title for IU.

  • David Schwind

    Just to play devil’s advocate, if you saw nothing negative in Priller’s play, you weren’t watching his footwork on defense. He’ll never contribute meaningfully with those slow feet. Seriously. Cool to see him score 4 points, though.