IU v. IWU - Recap On a Surfboard

Let's start out with the team bad news:

1. The first 10 minutes were horrendous. Bad passes. IWU got tons of open 3s (and seemingly hit them ALL). The defense just looked lost.

2. Right out of the gate the Hulls and Yogi experiment didn't look promising. The offense wasn't really clicking and the defensive liabilities were concerning. We just didn't look big enough.

3. We shot free throws like Purdue shoots FTs. It was bad. That needs to improve. Yogi misses the front end of a 1 and 1 and the entire crowd groaned. Here's to hoping it was an abberation and not the norm.

4. In the first half Crean used hockey-esque subs. 3 guys in and 3 guys out every couple minutes. I think there will be times this season where this will work beautifully, but in the first half it seemed like it kept everyone out of rythmn.

4. IU missed WAY to many open 3s. That can happen against teams like IWU but against real opponents those need to fall.

5. Too many turnovers. You might be seeing a trend here with the first 10 minutes and it continues. IU was very sloppy with the ball in the early goings and IWU took advantage. There were miscommunications and flat out bad passes and ball handling. It will improve but it wasn't encouraging.

Now the team GOOD news:

1. IU was dominant on the boards and was unstoppable in the paint.

2. The athleticism was superb. Our depth will be a real weapon. There wasn't much drop off if any between the 1st and 2nd unit. Everyone looked like they were well conditioned although it was kind of tough to tell because of all the subbing. The 1st unit did play together for a good stretch in the 2nd half and I never saw a single player that looked gassed.

3. Very active hands on D. Crean must have stressed that quite a bit. Everyone ALWAYS had their hands up. There were deflections, blocks, and steals galore. IWU only had a good showing on offense in the very early goings and after that Crean made some adjustments that locked them down completely.

4. Effort. This was an exhibition game against a lesser opponent that players easily could have taken for granted. They didn't. Everyone went hard on every play and they went after every loose ball. I could tell that they knew they were playing for future PT. Crean has this team motivated.

5. Offense. Given this was an overmatched IWU team so you have to take a lot of things with a grain of salt, but the offense at times was unstoppable. Offensive boards were plentiful and all our big men and wings (except Jurkin - I'll get to him) were finishing strong at the rim. When the offense got in rythmn it was glorious to watch. So many options and so many unselfish players. I saw more than a few plays where a guy could have taken a relatively high percentage shot but made the extra pass to someone who was wide open. The teamwork was definitely there.

Now for the bad individual efforts:

1. Jurkin didn't get passed to I don't think a single time on offense. In his defense I saw him calling for the ball once or twice, but no one obliged him. His hands just aren't where they need to be yet. He lost a couple of sure rebounds out of bounds because he couldn't get a handle on the ball. That's a problem. His teammates not having confidence in him on offense is also telling.

2. I haven't looked at the stat sheet but I don't remember Hulls having much of an impact. IU didn't run many plays for him and when we did it didn't work out. As I mentioned before I have doubts about he and Yogi playing at the same time. His defense wasn't awful, but then again this was IWU.

4. Watford missed a few WIDE OPEN 3s. One was even from his magical spot. Don't think it will be a long term problem but from behind the arc this wasn't his night.

5. Hanner didn't play. I was expecting that going in but it still obviously isn't good. Hopefully it's just a precaution and he'll be ready for Nov 9th.

6. Yogi forced a couple passes down to Zeller and tried to get too fancy more often that I would have liked. Freshman mistakes. Crean will set him straight.

7. Hollowell wasn't very aggressive on offense.

Now for the GOOD individual performances. Hooray! This will be a long section:

1. Mo Creek. What can I say? First of all the crowd went absolutely insane when he came into the game. It was the loudest that it was all night and he got a standing O. When he scored his first bucket (a silky smooth cut into the lane for a layup) the crowd went bonkers again. He hit his first 4 shots (one a hand-in-his-face 3) and looked absolutely sublime. I read a couple guys on Twitter that said he looks to have lost a step in his lateral movement. Full disclosure - I'm getting old and he hasn't been a freshman for a long time so I can't remember exactly how quick he used to be. Even so he looked pretty damn fast to me. I don't believe that lateral quickness or lack thereof will hinder him. His stroke is beautiful. If he keeps hitting shots like he did tonight Crean will be forced to give him minutes. Oh his D wasn't too shabby either. Very active hands and he was on top of the help defense.

2. Christian Watford. Looks stronger. Focused. Determined to get drafted. He was constantly crashing the boards. Great passing out of double teams. Spectacular on the ball defense. Finished extremely well at the rim. I love me some CWat.

3. Cody Zeller. Cody is Cody. Got in a bit of foul trouble by being aggressive on D but he can get away with that now and during most the non-con schedule. Crean might have to tell him to be a bit more passive during games where we need him in for 32 minutes. Just my opinion. Man, he can force some turnovers, though. We're truly blessed to have him.

4. Victor Oladipo. Steal machine. I think he'll be an even better defender than last year. Small sample size but his 3 ball and midrange game didn't look much improved. Got in some trouble dribbling into traffic too. My guess is that he'll be pretty much what he was last year but with even greater defensive intensity. I'm ok with that.

5. Remy Abell. I can't say that it was a dagger because at the time I think we were up 27 but Remy hit a 3 as time was running out and IWU was thinking they had FINALLY gotten a stop. Not so. I love that Remy isn't afraid to take those shots. Dude has icewater in his veins. Defense looked to be improved too. He's really a do-everything kind of guy. Solid ball handling, shot, D, passing, everything. I saw nothing about Remy tonight that I didn't like.

6. Yogi. Twice tonight Yogi did his patented fake-slash to the rim, stop, and hit a pull up 12 foot jumper move. The first time he broke the guy's ankles. Crowd let out a long 'Oooooooooooooooo'. We're going to see a lot of that. I think he needs a little more confidence on D (he played a little too far off the bar which led to a couple early 3s from IWU), but that's to be expected playing mostly zone in HS. We all knew this already but the dude is fast. Combine that with his mid-range jumper, which he can apparently hit at will, and he'll be tough to guard.

6. Hollowell. After tonight I truly believe that Hollowell will be the 2nd best defender on the team. He was absolutely everywhere. Fast, long, and smart on D. I don't think there's many players that he can't guard. Future superstar.

7. Sheehey. Looked great. Nothing really jumped out at me regarding him so you'll have to forgive me. I know he made some great plays on D and some great plays on O. He looked as passionate as ever and his early 3 brought life back to the Hoosiers when they were playing some subpar basketball. Didn't see any mistakes out of him. That's all I got.

8. Jurkin. The best thing I can say about him is that he seemed to improve from the 1st half to the 2nd. The 1st half he looked a little lost and the 2nd he had more confidence. He's a BIG boy who takes up tons of space and you can tell he's always looking for the block and/or the rebound. Which I guess is good. That's what he does best. He didn't have any trouble running up and down the floor which I initially worried about. Hopefully by B1G time he'll be a solid backup to Zeller. Doesn't have a problem with asserting himself on D. Does well jockeying for position and did a great job denying the ball down low.

Sorry for the lack of stats and the whatnot. That's not my thing. I'm sure AJ or John will fill you in. Feel free to add, correct, or call me a dumbass. Oh, one final note - AH was 90-95% full and was hopping like 21 jump street. People didn't start filing out until about 4 minutes to go. We are without a doubt the premiere basketball program in the state. Not that there was ever any question about that.

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