I wanted to title this post something like "IU fails to hit free-throws, takes food out of fans' mouths" or "The Great qdoba Escape!" but thought better of it. The story here is not so much that IU came so close to breaking the 100 point barrier, and the fans so close to capitalizing on a local giveaway, but that Indiana utterly dominated a team that had outshot and outboarded a decent Arkansas team that is expected to contend for a NCAA tourney spot. The fact that Indiana doubled their score hardly even describes what happened. Crean was emptying his bench at the end of the FIRST half. This wasn't the toughest test, perhaps, but Indiana did what elite teams are supposed to do: crush inferior opponents. There were some beautiful performances:
- Cody is Cody - Zeller notched two blocks to keep his average at 2 this season, to go with 13 points and 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Good passing from Cody makes this Hoosier offense fearsome, but his defensive presence is so key to the Hoosiers' championship hopes.
- Jordan Hulls dominates highlights: Sure, Jordan got to 1000 points on a three-pointer, which is nice. I thought his 5 rebounds and 5 assists (several of which were highlight-worthy) and no turnovers was every bit as important. Hulls only notched 5 rebounds (or more) twice last season, so some continued scrappiness here would help the defense going forward.
- Christian Watford hits all ten free-throws, goes 3-for-3 behind the arc, doesn't turn the ball over, gets 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block to go with 23 points. He puts in the effort and focus like this for the rest of the season, and both his and Indiana's seasons will shine.
- Will Sheehey gets 18 points, Yogi gets 7 assists, and Remy finally missed a couple of shots from the field. Overall, it was a productive team effort up and down the bench. I really loved that Austin Etherington got a chance to get loose a little bit. And of course, who didn't love this?
- Free-throws were perhaps the only bugaboo here, as the Hoosiers only hit 30 of their 44 attempts. Still, there were even encouraging signs there as Jeremy Hollowell missed his first four, and then sank his last two.
I don't even really know what to say here. IU dominates, and moves on to play Georgia on Monday. Indiana has to feel pretty good about their chances against a team that is coming off losses to Youngstown State and Southern Mississippi. A match-up with Georgetown or UCLA should be a much stiffer test, and while I'm a little concerned about how the Hoosiers will handle the plethora of bigs that the Bruins have to throw at IU, but mostly just excited to see these Hoosiers play more games, and soon!
What did you all think? What was your favorite moments from last night?