Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
After a very sloppy game, the Hoosiers pull off a comfortable 13 point win.
Good lord was that an ugly game. In the Hoosiers first game against a decent team they came out sluggish and looked terrible if we're looking at the whole 40 minutes. The best adjective to describe Indiana to start the game was lethargic but despite the terrible game (for a #1 ranked team) they were able to grit it out in the end. Tom Crean said it in the post game and he may be right, this win will do wonders for the Hoosiers sometime down the road.
In complete awareness that this may sound homeristic this bad game will likely be good for IU in the long run. The Hoosiers had to play from behind for most of the game with very few shots falling throughout the game. Not that it was entirely just bad luck for the Hoosiers. As Bob Knight stated during the game, "when shots aren't falling it is likely because your team isn't taking good shots." Indiana certainly was not doing that. The whole first half was a clinic on how to poorly select your opportunities. IU was taking bad shot after bad shot and even when they were taking good shots they weren't falling. Such is life sometimes.
Luckily Indiana still has Jordan Hulls. Hulls hit Indiana's first three pointer 14 seconds into the game and the team didn't hit another three until the second half. However, a lot of that can be put on Hulls' difference in his first half play compared to his second. Hulls was not super aggressive in the first half and it showed. As it turned out when Hulls decided to assert himself in the second half the Hoosiers took off. In fact, Hulls either assisted or scored 18 of the last 20 points IU in the game. Afterwards, Hulls' game prompted Crean to rant in the post-game about how he knows what an NBA guard looks like and Hulls is an NBA player. Is that a bit of a stretch? Sure. But the point stands that Jordan Hulls is incredibly important to this team.
In the end, this was still a "good" game for IU. When it comes to rate stats, IU held Georgia to less than .85 points per possession and scored more than 1 ppp on offense. Could it have been better? Certainly. However, in a poor game by IU they still looked pretty good in a rate stat sense.
Indiana will now take on the winner of Georgetown or UCLA at 10 pm tomorrow night. Certainly we'd like a shot at UCLA with the chance of taking on a ranked team. Hopefully the NCAA judiciary board comes to their senses and we can get our first look at reinstated Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin. If not, the Hoosiers need to make sure that they stay out of the foul trouble that they got themselves into tonight.