The Hoosiers dominated early and often, essentially ending the game for all intents and purposes before the first half was over. Tom Crean and crew are now 4-0 in B1G play, but what did we learn from today's blowout?
1. This was easily the best win of the year for the Hoosiers
This was the type of game fans have been clamoring for all season, and man was it refreshing to see. Against a very solid Ohio State team, one that beat #4 Kentucky just weeks ago, Indiana dominated in all aspects of the game, making the Buckeyes look like a cupcake non-conference opponent. From literally the get-go - Indiana started the game on a 10-0 run - the Hoosiers took control and never let up.
The offense was typically fast-paced and relentless, bouncing back from the slow-paced barnburner against Wisconsin on Tuesday to put up 85 points against a normally good defensive Ohio State team. There were contributions from all over, with Yogi Ferrell (16 points,5 rebounds, 6 assists) and Thomas Bryant (18 points, 13 rebounds) continuing their stellar play, but the real story on offense was the reemergence of Troy Williams, who was both flashy and under control all game long. He tied his career-high with 23 points (7/12 FG, 2/4 from 3), had 6 rebounds, and most importantly, only 1 turnover.
In the first half in which the Hoosiers built their 30 point lead, Yogi, Troy, and Robert Johnson combined for 0 turnovers. Safe to say there's a correlation there.
2. Indiana's defense is for real
There were no easy buckets for Ohio State to be had, the Hoosiers rebounded exceptionally well, and were extremely proactive in causing turnovers. For all the worry about what the loss of James Blackmon would do to this team, it appears as if his injury may have been the catalyst that helps form the identity of this team.
The main beneficiary of Blackmon's playing time has been OG Anunoby, and he has seized the moment. While he has had his share of highlights on the offensive end with spectacular And-1's and alley-oop finishes, his defensive contribution has set the tone for the entire team, and the team looks markedly better because of it. The freshman from Jefferson City, MO chipped in 7 points and 3 steals, but his value goes way beyond the box score.
3. The Hoosiers are SCARY at Assembly Hall
After the constant chatter of "not winning by enough" against Rutgers and Nebraska, Indiana silenced its critics by throttling the best B1G team they've seen yet in front of a raucous crowd at Assembly Hall. They are undefeated at home and play with a confidence that is easily apparent when in Bloomington.
IU has now won 9 straight, and with Minnesota, Illinois, and Northwestern coming up next, Indiana is in prime position to take charge of the conference. Funny how much a difference a month can make.