In my game preview, I noted that Savannah State is one of the worst offenses in the country, and the Tigers did nothing to change that impression. IU held SSU to 32 percent shooting from the field and won a ho-hum 79-57 game. IU gained its first double digit lead of the game with 11:00 remaining in the first half, and gradually built it to 28 before Tom Crean cleared his bench at the 4 minute mark of the game. The Hoosier offense was proficient enough, as the Hoosiers shot 55 percent from the field, including 60 percent (and 6-8 from three) in the first half. The two trouble spots on offense were rebounding (29.1 percent, the second-lowest total of the season) and turnovers, where IU managed 19 in a 71 possession game (27.6 percent). The turnovers continue to be a source of consternation for IU fans, and I presume Tom Crean, who has mentioned the trouble spot more than once. And unfortunately, the usual suspects, namely Verdell Jones III (4.8 per game) and Christian Watford (2.1 per game) continue to accumulate them. At this point, I'm not sure what can be done. Jones and his aggressiveness are an important part of his offense. Crean knows about the turnover problem and cares about it. Jones certainly can enjoy coughing up the ball 5 times per game. My guess, given the progress that Jeremiah Rivers has made this season, is that if Crean thought he could rein Jones in without doing more harm than good, then he would do it. He leads the team in assists and steals. He is shooting 52 percent from the field, a very good number for a guard (although his three point shooting is law, 26.7 percent). The turnover numbers need to improve, but Jones is an important part of IU's offense and I doubt that the turnovers will reduce his playing time much. IU has a week of practice before the UK game. Perhaps this can be a point of emphasis.
Individual discussion and season stats below:
- Christian Watford scored 14 points on 4-8 from the field and 6-8 from the line. Still, only 3 rebounds.
- Jordan Hulls scored 11 points on a perfect shooting night: 3-3 from three point range, 2-2 from the line.
- Tom Pritchard scored only 2 points but had 5 rebounds.
- In 20 minutes of play, Victor Oladipo scored 9 points on 4-6 shooting and had 5 rebounds.
- Derek Elston's minutes continue to be limited, but he scored 6 points and had 3 rebounds in 14 minutes.
- Jeremiah Rivers played 20 minutes and didn't take a shot, but had 3 assists and 1 turnover.
Well, the Hoosiers now have a week to prepare for the evil Kentucky Wildcats. Pomeroy gives IU only an 11 percent chance of winning at Rupp Arena, but like the BC game, the UK game should be an important measuring stick.
|Verdell Jones III||8||25.9||5.5||10.5||52.4||0.5||1.9||26.7||2.8||4.8||57.9||0.4||3.1||3.5||3.4||4.8||1.8||0.0||2.0||14.3|