Well that was a lot tighter than it needed to be, as Indiana defeated Lamar 85-72. ONTO THE LEARNINGS:
- Defense is a work in progress that might be a season-long issue. Particularly on the interior, Lamar had it about any way they wanted it regardless of who Indiana stationed around the rim. Indiana played far more passively than they did against SMU, but it goes to show that this team simply cannot afford to give anything less than their best effort if they want to hang in games defensively, even against teams like Lamar. Whether it is man, 2-3 or 1-3-1, Indiana has GOT to find a defensive identity and commit to it. Take pride in it. They are (largely) athletic enough to match-up, it's all a matter of staying engaged.
- Emmitt Holt could very well play a big role this season. Little was known of Holt as a basketball player, as he came to the team after the Canada trip and was suspended for four games due to his role in the Devin Davis accident. Tonight, in limited minutes, he showed a knack for rebounding and cleaning up around the basket, while also looking great in the open floor after a steal and transition bucket, especially for a man of his size. Now, it's one thing to do it against Lamar, it's another to do it against top B1G teams.
- Devin Davis seems to be progressing through his rehab, and that's awesome. Forgetting what impact this may have on his basketball career or his timeline to return to the team, it was just great to see Devin Davis in attendance without any obvious abnormalities. He was talking and laughing with his teammates and taking in the game from just behind the bench like a normal kid his age, and that's wonderful to see.
People will be upset about the final score margin, but it's what Indiana learns from a game like this that really matters. A defensive effort like that against a team in the KenPom's top 50 would result in a fairly lopsided defeat for the Hoosiers, so I'd advise them to improve in that area.