Indiana 83, Georgia Tech 79.

The box score.
Obviously, there were some big off-the-court stories: Jordan Crawford has been suspended for three games for violating some unspecified team rule and Mike White will not redshirt. Crawford was in the bench in streetclothes, so it wouldn't seem to be a highly serious violation, whatever it is. Perhaps the foul trouble against Xavier convinced Sampson that the Hoosiers need more depth up front this year. Given the number of newcomers on the team, I suppose it makes sense to have an experienced player to rely upon instead of just Deandre Thomas and Eli Holman.
As has become common this season, the Hoosiers started the first half slowly. After erasing GT's big lead, IU allowed the exact same thing to happen during the second half, but despite the four point margin, IU really did lock this game up with a few minutes remaining. This was a fairly quick game, at about 73 possessions.
The good:
  • Lance Stemler finally showed signs of shaking his year-long shooting slump. Stemler scored 15 points on shots, including 3-6 from three point range.
  • Eric Gordon, highlighting the difference between himself and the 2006-07 super-efficient version of Rod Wilmont, managed 13-16 from the line and therefore scored 29 points despite a ho-hum 7-14 night shooting.
  • DJ White continues his renaissance. White scored 18 points on 6-9 from the field, and could have scored many more with a better performance at the line (see below). White single-handedly grabbed 12 of GT's 41 misses.
  • IU's offensive rebounding total (11) looks superficially unimpressive, but thanks to a relatively small number of field goal attempts and high number of free throws, IU had only 28 OR opportunities, so 11 is nearly 40 percent (and thanks to the artist f/k/a/ Big Ten Wonk for gently reminding me that I needed to consider the missed free throws and dead ball rebound totals in arriving at the magic number--nothing wrong the official box score, just my brain. Since I'm too lazy to go back and edit, it's best to disregard anything I said about rebounding after first five games other than my citations of Pomeroy's stats). IU's offensive rebounding totals, which were terrible at first, have climbed into the middle of the pack nationally at 33.5 percent. Of course, the team's performance has been inversely proportional to this statistic.
  • Jamarcus Ellis had a solid night, despite three turnovers. He scored 15 points on 7 shots, thanks to 6-6 from the line.
  • Mike White, in only 20 minutes and despite only two points on four shots, grabbed four of IU's offensive rebounds (although at least a couple were of his own short range misses).

The bad:

  • Eric Gordon turned the ball over eight times. Yes, a couple of them were statement calls early in the game by the increasingly annoying Ed Hightower, but that's an unacceptable number of turnovers for one player, no matter the pace.
  • One of the complaints about the Hoosier offense to date has been the one-on-one play rather than a united effort to find someone a good shot. Last night, IU had only 10 assists on 24 made field goals.
  • DJ White, who otherwise was outstanding, committed four turnovers. White also managed only 6-12 from the freethrow line.
  • Even in such a fast-paced game, IU's turnover percentage was unacceptably bad (23.3 percent). While IU's overall 19.5 average ranks IU in the top quarter of D-I teams, 23.3 percent is a sub-200 average. Our next game is at Southern Illinois. SIU's opponents turn the ball over on 33.5 percent of their possessions, good enough to rank SIU #3 nationally. Gulp.
  • GT was nearly as good as IU on the offensive boards, grabbing 36.5 percent of their misses.
  • Armon Bassett hasn't been able to recapture his early season form. Bassett played 37 minutes but managed only 4 points on 1-6 from the field. He did, however, provide 6 of IU's 10 assists and only one turnover.

So, the Hoosiers now face their only true non-conference road game of the season against a formidable mid-major opponent. If IU doesn't play better in than in the last two games, it could be ugly.

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