That's about as good as November games get in Bloomington, with a ranked team coming into Assembly Hall and leaving a loser. ONTO THE LEARNINGS:
- Hanner Mosquera-Perea is still prone to a no-show. HMP looked good through the first handful of contests against lesser opponents but he was mostly invisible tonight, and when he did do something, it probably wasn't positive. He spent much of the game being too passive around the rim, as if desperately trying to keep himself out of a foul trouble and finished with zero rebounds and two fouls. He bit on every shot fake and even bit simply as guys started to dribble without any indication of putting up a shot. Hopefully he can study the film and settle down a bit going forward, build on his good performances and not worry so much about a bad night. Because we need him to.
- Troy Williams is what makes the engine go this year. Yes, Blackmon and the shooters are what will get the press, but Williams offers another dimension the others can't with his length and skill set. Without Troy, the offense just doesn't seem as dynamic because of its unbalance. Troy is a legitimate threat from inside the arc and can help loosen things up for shooters, especially if he can take on some of the distribution responsibilities. Tonight, with HMP struggling and the guards having issues getting the ball inside the arc, Troy's presence helped ignite the offense and an improved free throw stroke makes him even more dangerous.
- This team will take a lot of three-pointers, and for good reason. There are simply too many talented long-distance shooters to not build your offense around getting them open. Yes, in the future I'd like to see shots created on penetration and kick but they got plenty of open looks tonight even without the activity inside the arc. When those shots don't fall, as they didn't to open both halves, the offense looks pretty ugly, but swishes make things a whole lot prettier. Particularly in the first half, when IU opened with 5 three-pointers in their first 6 attempts, making only one of them, they were all open shots by good shooters that simply didn't fall. It was only a matter of time before they started connecting and they ended up hitting at a 36% clip for the game. It also didn't hurt that the Hoosiers took care of the ball tonight, with only seven turnovers. That will always improve your offensive fortunes.