Indiana knocks off 22nd-ranked Ohio State in their Big Ten home opener, moving to 2-1 in the conference on the year.
What did we learn?
1. Maybe they won't always live or die by the three. The Hoosiers shot an ice-cold 22% from long range in this one, just making four 3-balls on 18 attempts. A previous incarnation of this Indiana team might have let that combine with Ohio State's early 9-2 lead to let this game get out of hand, quickly. But Tom Crean seemed to light some type of fire under his team's rear end around the Under-12 timeout in the first half and things began clicking in other areas -- especially on the boards. Indiana won the battle on the boards against the also-undersized Buckeyes 48-39.
2. Turnovers are still a massive problem for this team. The box score indicates Indiana maybe should've lost this contest. The Buckeyes took care of the basketball, only surrendering 5 turnovers -- compared to the Hoosiers' 15. Indiana can't expect to win Big Ten games being minus-10 in the turnover margin when shooting that poorly from long range. Today, Ohio State, frankly, just couldn't make a thing -- shooting 14% from long range and 33% overall.
3. Indiana goes as Troy Williams goes. Hoosier fans saw this demonstrated in the Crossroads Classic in December -- but his performance today only reassures this point. Troy Williams might not be Indiana's best player, but he is certainly Tom Crean's most important. It was Williams motor and versatility on both ends of the floor that kept Indiana afloat, while shooters were slumping, for the middle part of the basketball game. He poured in 15 points and grabbed 12 boards on national television -- something that will likely have NBA scouts reaching 2015 Draft notebooks. Oh yeah, and this.
Overall, it's a solid 2-1 start to the conference slate for the Hoosiers when many, including yours truly, thought an 0-3 start was a strong possibility. The Hoosiers will return to the floor Tuesday night when Penn State comes to Assembly Hall. (7PM, BTN).
We'll have a full recap coming tomorrow.