After a sluggish start to the game, the Hoosiers finished the first half well and put Howard away before halftime. With seven minutes remaining in the first half, IU led 20-18, but a 20-5 run to finish the half finished the Bison. IU's three leading scorers were freshmen. Unquestionably, Maurice Creek and Christian Watford are the class of the class, so to speak, but of the next "tier," Derek Elston has been extremely impressive. I'm not sure what I expected, but Elston has really impressed me with his strength and versatility.
Here's the box score. First, the essentials: this was a 72 possession game. The Hoosiers' 16 turnovers amount to a 22.2 percent rate. That's a modest improvement on last year's nearly-worst-in-the-nation figure of 26.4 percent, but it's still a concern. Three of the turnovers came in garbage time, so it's not the end of the world, but worth watching. IU had only 10 offensive rebounds, but there were only about 30 offensive rebound opportunities, so that's not a terrible outcome. Howard's 14 OR on 41 chances amounts to a nearly an identical percentage. The shooting percentages are as disaparate as would be expected in a blowout: Howard shot 36 percent from the field and 18 percent from behind the arc. IU shot 56 percent from the field and 50 percent from three, but only 61 percent from the line. How did the individuals measure up?
- Maurice Creek led the Hoosiers with 17 points, and he shot 7-11 from the field.
- Christian Watford scored 14 points, shot 4-6 from the field and 5-5 from the line, and had 11 rebounds.
- Derek Elston, in only 14 minutes, scored 14 points on 6-7 from the field, including 2-2 from three point range.
- Jeremiah Rivers scored 6 points, but shot only 2-8 from the field and had 4 turnovers to go with 4 assists.
- In 17 minutes, Jordan Hulls scored only 2 points, but had five assists and no turnovers.
- Verdell Jones scored 9 points, but needed 12 shots to do it.
It was, in all, an interesting game as far as warmups against one of the worst teams in Division I go. While it's hard to draw many lessons from a game like this, it does seem that Crean plans to make up for the lack of experience by using a deep bench. The Hoosiers have multiple options and multiple positions, and that's something IU fans haven't seen for a couple of years. USC-Upstate is next, and then it's off to Puerto Rico.