Well that wasn't exactly what we thought we'd see going into that game. It turns out Evan Gordon may actually have the ability to be an assassin for an Indiana offense that desperately needs at least one more option if not two. Last night, Gordon turned in a performance that likely tops any of his college career. Sure 26 points wasn't his career high, but the efficiency with which he did this last night was astounding.
Honestly Gordon looked just like big brother for much of the night. Gordon played 26 minutes and posted an offensive rating of 157. That's a sort of efficiency that you don't see a lot of. Cody Zeller only played those volume of minutes with that kind of efficiency twice last year. Oladipo did it three times. If Evan Gordon wants to do it every night from here on out, we'll let him. Gordon splashed in 26 points in 26 minutes on 10-12 shooting to go with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. That's a stat line worthy of cutting down a net. I hope they did so when everyone left last night. Then again, it wouldn't look all that attractive with the singed threads.
Along with the Gordon output the rest of the offense clicked very well. The Hoosiers put up their best offensive half of the season in the first with 1.44 points per possession and only turned the ball over 5 times. Quite a good showing and encouraging that the Hoosiers may be capable of more. Of course, they couldn't do it in a complete game as their second half was less fun. Still the Hoosiers managed the game well and didn't let Oakland back in it. IU got really sloppy late and only scored 4 points in the final six minutes and had 8 turnovers in that time span. A .26 points per possession over your final 15 possessions are going to screw with some metrics.
However, lift out the sloppy last six minutes when the Hoosiers were up 77-47 and you're looking at a performance of 1.35 points per offensive possession and only 8 turnovers total. That's a very good game. Add in that the defense shut down this year's version of Rotnei Clark and held the Grizzlies to .75 points per possession overall is very good.
Much of the offense started on defense tonight as Indiana owned the defensive boards. Only allowing 6 offensive rebounds while pulling in 39 defensive rebounds was huge for the Hoosiers. Oakland never really had the chance to ever set their defense as Indiana was constantly off in transition on rebounds. Overall Indiana won the rebounding battle 52-28. That's the real origin of the strong offensive output. Indiana needs to be doing that every game if possible. Our athletes may not be the most skilled at this point, but there's very few teams out there than can stop all five of them in transition ball.
Ultimately, this was a game everyone should be happy with. Jeremy Hollowell had a career high in rebounds and assists at 9 and 4. Troy Williams found his offense again and only Will Sheehey has left us scratching our heads. But you've got to have faith that will come. He's been so much better than this in the past and he's not being asked to shoulder the scoring load, so you have to think it will come in time. Unfortunately there isn't much left. Maybe we see him get clicking against Notre Dame this Saturday in our last big contest before conference season begins.