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Indiana Hoosiers 95, St. Joseph's Pumas 67.

Again, I haven't seen this one yet (1 pm on the BTN this afternoon if you are near a TV), but here are some quick thoughts based on the box score:

  • Yet another quick game: 79 possessions.  In light of that, IU's 18 turnovers aren't good, but aren't as terrible as they would be for a slower-paced team.  Still, 22.7 percent is not good, and it's a bit troubling to see such high turnover numbers against a physically overmatched team (and SJC had only 14 turnovers). 
  • IU shot well from the field (56 percent from the field, 50 percent from behind the arc).  Free throw shooting slipped a bit, to 69 percent for the game. 
  • Both teams had offensive rebounding percentages of about 38 percent.  That would be a top 30 type number as a season average, but it's a bit troubling to allow such a high offensive rebound percentage to a Division II team. 
  • St. Joseph's shot as poorly as IU shot well: the Pumas shot 32.5 percent overall and a ghastly 3-25 from three point range.  SJC ended up with 23 second chance points despite shooting only 40 percent from two point range, so only the Pumas' excellent offensive rebounding prevented an even uglier final score.  

The individuals:

  • After a so-so game against Grace, Maurice Creek played well.  In only 19 minutes, Creek scored 16 points on 4-5 from the field and 7-8 from the line.  He pulled down 7 rebounds and had two assists, no turnovers, and a block. 
  • Christian Watford, the other highly touted freshman, had another nice game, scoring 13 points on 3-5 from the field and 7-8 from the line. 
  • Jeremiah Rivers continues to play well and to shoot surprisingly well.  For the second consecutive game, he was 6-10 from the field and finished with 15 points, 5 assists, and 1 turnover.
  • Verdell Jones scored 15 points on 9 shots but turned the ball over 5 times.
  • In his first game action, Bawa Muniru scored 7 points and blocked 3 shots in only 8 minutes.  Again, Division II competition, but three blocks in eight minutes seems like a good yield against any team.
  • Jordan Hulls scored 7 points only only two shots but turned the ball over 5 times to only one assist.
  • Derek Elston didn't play as much as in game one, but in 16 minutes scored 8 points on 5 shots and had 8 rebounds.

The regular season begins Friday night at home against Howard University.  To date, the freshmen and other newcomers, particularly Watford, Creek, Rivers, and Elston, have excelled.  Verdell Jones has struggled a bit, and Devan Dumes has been hurt.  It seems inevitable that the Hoosiers will be improved over last season, but it's impossible to say by how much.  We will know more after next weekend's tournament in Puerto Rico.