Between the Bucket game and the Lynch firing and everything else, I didn't get around to recapping IU's 100-66 win over Northwestern State. The Hoosiers broke the 100-point barrier for the first time in the Crean era. IU shot 56 percent from the field and held NSU to 34 percent. IU's offensive rebounding percentage was 49, and IU held NSU to 27. IU turned the ball over on 19.5 percent of its possessions, not great but the second-best of the season. There were many excellent offensive performances:
Indiana stands at 6-0, and the competition has not been fierce. Of IU's opponents, only #158 Evansville and #140 Wright State rank in Pomeroy's top 200. Still, considering that Tom Crean's first two years included losses to #154 Lipscomb, #166 George Mason, and #214 Loyola Maryland, simply taking care of the supposed easy games is progress. How's this for a sobering fact: at no point in the two previous seasons did IU ever win more than two consecutive games, so the 6-0 start is worth enjoying. All six of IU's wins have been by double digit margins. In Crean's first two years, IU won only eight games by ten or more points.
IU's Pomeroy profile is a mixed bag. IU's turnover numbers remain poor. IU is turning the ball over on 24.2 percent of its possessions, which is #288 in Division I. The Hoosiers overall rank is better than last year's percentage, but IU's overall percentage last year was 23 percent, so the raw number was better. Presumably turnovers in general become less common as the season goes on. The positive aspect of the turnover numbers is that IU is forcing turnovers on 27 percent of its possessions, which ranks #18 nationally. The turnovers are very frustrating to watch, but at least we are in the black this year. The Hoosiers have been very effective on the glass. IU's rebounding percentages on both ends of the court rank them in the top 40. IU is shooting nearly 40 percent from behind the arc and 54 percent from two point range. I certainly don't want to oversell these numbers. They were accumulated against what Pomeroy calls the #315 schedule in Division I. Still, those of us who thought meaningful improvement was possible this year should be encouraged so far. We will know more tomorrow night when IU plays Boston College.