As I noted in the preview, SIUE is one of the very worst teams in Division I, and looked every bit of it, particularly in the first 10 minutes of the game, when IU jumped out to a 24-0 lead and never let the Cougars closer than 21. Stats here. Again, while a close game would have been a concern, the blowout by IU doesn't necessarily mean much. Again, Iowa beat this team by 61.
More than anything else, this game provided lots of playing time for lots of guys who need it, including Derek Elston. I'm not alone in my belief that Elston is a key to this season, and so it was nice to see him play well, scoring 14 points on 5-8 from the field and to add 5 rebounds in 19 minutes. The Hoosiers shot 61 percent from the field and held SIUE to 33 percent. There were some trouble spots. IU had only a 17 percent OR number, although they rebounded very well defensively, holding SIUE to 10 percent offensive rebounds. Also, IU had 17 turnovers, which is too many even in a 75-possession game. Individual notes:
- Verdell Jones III dressed and apparently was available, but did not play after injuring his ankle against Kentucky;
- the freshmen played well: both Will Sheehey and Victor Oladipo scored 8 points on 4-6 from the field.
- Maurice Creek still hasn't found himself: 8 points, 3 turnovers.
- Christian Watford continues to be steady offensively, leading IU with 18 points on 6-8 from the field, but had only 3 rebounds
IU has a fairly quick turnaround, playing South Carolina State tomorrow at 4 p.m. before heading to Las Vegas. IU should enjoy its three-day layoff: beginning on Thursday, IU will play 4 times in ten days: Northern Iowa on Wednesday, Colorado or New Mexico on Thursday, Penn State on Monday, and Ohio State on the following Friday. Both Big Ten games are at home, at least.