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Indiana 60, IUPUI 57.

My cooling-off period following the Bucket game continues, but I do need to catch up on old business and wrap up the IUPUI game. Here are the stats. This game provided some of the roller-coaster effect that we should expect from this young team this season. IU fell behind 18-12 with 7:30 remaining in the half, but finished the half with a 19-2 run and led 31-20 at the break. Like many Hoosier fans, I'm sure, I began thinking, hey, we're not that bad. IU then let IUPUI almost catch up, although the Jaguars never again led the game, but had a shot to win in the last minute.

The Pomeroy game plan reveals a 61 possession game, a complete opposite of IU's 86 possession game against Northwestern State. IU's offensive production remains below average on a points-per possession basis, mostly because of a high percentage of turnovers. IU's effective field goal percentage is 49 percent, good enough for a rank of 135 nationally, and IU especially excels in getting to the line (#36 nationally) and two point field goal percentage (52.3, #88 nationally). Still, this is a guard-dominated team that, however it might bother Tom Crean, is never going to dominate the offensive or defensive boards. If IU is to flirt with a .500 record, which I think is a reasonable if fairly optimistic goal, the Hoosiers simply cannot allow 25 percent of their possessions to end in turnovers. We have good shooters, and have to get them the ball. The prettiest number? 73 percent of IU's field goals have been the result of assists, good enough for #10 nationally. We certainly haven't seen the likes of that number in a while.

Defensively, IU's raw numbers are respectable, but that's probably mostly a function of competition. We will have a tough time guarding people this year, I would guess, starting with Luke Harangody tomorrow. Still, at this point IU's defensive turnover percentage and defensive field goal percentages are excellent, so perhaps there is more there than I am willing to acknowledge.

As for the individuals:
  • Tom Pritchard was outstanding, scoring 19 points on 7-8 from the field and grabbing ten rebounds.
  • Nearly all of the guards struggled shooting, but Matt Roth literally saved the game with his 4-9 three point shooting.
  • Both Devan Dumes and Nick Williams struggled with turnovers.
  • Walk-on Daniel Moore is an assist machine, although he did not attempt a field goal.
In sum, IU will take any wins it gets this season, and showed some character in refusing to surrender the lead after it mostly evaporated. The team is now in Hawaii, and I'll try to preview the Notre Dame game sometime today.