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Three Things We Learned: Savannah State

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It's hard to learn much from playing an opponent so poorly, but Indiana did defeat Savannah State 95-49 on Saturday night in their last game before the big tilt against Louisville.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana just beat the 310th team on KenPom by 45 points. I don't think we learned much in this game, so I'll focus on learnings and trends that have developed over the first ~1/4th of the season. ONTO THE LEARNINGS.

  • The turnaround in the shooting and turnover departments is incredible. Last year's team shot an eFG% of 49.8% (159th in the country) while turning it over on 21.8% of their possessions (330th) and through eight games this year, they're shooting 60.5% (3rd) and turning it over at a 17.3% clip (60th). The turnovers may increase as the competition stiffens, but the shooting certainly won't. This team will struggle to guard a lot of teams, but they won't struggle to score on anyone, and that can keep them in a lot of games. A college team that gets into the 70s and the 80s with the ease these guys do can put a lot of pressure on the opposition to keep up.
  • Emmitt Holt deserves the majority of minutes in the post. While Indiana has been "awaiting the emergence of Hanner Mosquera-Perea," Emmitt Holt went ahead and emerged ahead of him. His instincts and wingspan make him this team's best option right now. Ideally, HMP and Holt will work as an efficient binary down low throughout the year, but Holt has shown in the early-going that he can step in and be the kind of post player this team needs: play defense, grab missed shots, and chip in on offense. IU does not need a Cody Zeller or Noah Vonleh type player this year, the scoring burden is being carried by the guards and the wings. It should also be noted that, with his huge wingspan, giant shoes, and age, it's a safe bet to say that Emmitt Holt has not stopped growing. He may be the most projectable player on the roster right now, and that's awesome.
  • Troy Williams needs to teach this whole team how to move without the ball. By and large, the offense is moving with much more purpose and effectiveness than they did at any point last year, but Troy Williams is quickly becoming a darling here at TCQ for his off-ball movement. He has been crushing things on the baseline this year a a result of it, and getting everyone to move that way will make this offense even more deadly.