It was sloppy at times, but you’ll have that when you’re packing lots of games in a short period of time before finals start at Indiana University.
On a weird, sleepy Sunday afternoon in Assembly Hall, Indiana knocked off Southeast Missouri State 83-55 to pick up their 7th win on the season and 4th win in eight days. Rob Johnson paced the Hoosiers with 17 points, while Thomas Bryant added 7 points and 10 board after playing the first half without a single shot attempt.
Here’s three things we learned.
Rob Johnson, as he always has been, is quietly one of Indiana’s stars -- and he can thrive in OG Anunoby’s absence.
With Anunoby still out of the lineup and Thomas Bryant silenced for the first half, Rob Johnson picked up the slack for Indiana. The Virginia native & junior was 7-13 shooting from the field in this one, adding 17 points and 7 boards for the Hoosiers.
If Johnson continues to perform at his current level, it’s bad news for the rest of the Big Ten. He had plenty of big-scoring games in 2015-16, but the Hoosiers didn’t need to rely on him like they might on evenings when James Blackmon isn’t stroking it from deep and Thomas Bryant can’t get his hands on the ball for an entire half like tonight.
A fourth bona-fide all-conference player is one reason why the Hoosiers are likely the favorites heading into the Big Ten season, right now.
This team might not actually be all that great of a shooting bunch? Or at least not like last year’s.
There’s something of a chance Indiana’s lights-out performance to start the year from long-range against Kansas was something of an mirage. After shooting it from outside at 48.4% clip in that game, the Hoosiers’ haven’t breached the 40% mark since the Liberty game before the trip to Fort Wayne. They’re 67th in the nation in 3ptFG% to date — a big drop off from last year’s team. That’s probably to be expected, but could certainly improve if Indiana could add Collin Hartman back to the line-up later in the year.
Who’s fifth in that same statistic nationally right now? Purdue. Hm.
Indiana did it 20 times in this game. Don’t do that. (Even though there’s little correlation between losses and turnovers, but whatever.)