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Three Things: Indiana 89, Tennessee Tech 59

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Trayce Jackson-Davis was great, the freshmen are intriguing, and the shooting is still awful

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee Tech at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was a game of basketball.

We’ll be brief with this one. Here are Three Things about tonight’s 89-59 Indiana victory over Tennessee Tech:

So, about the shooting ...

... It wasn’t encouraging. In fact, it was terrible. Whether from deep or from the line, this game didn’t yield the shooting developments Indiana needed to calm some anxious nerves. The Hoosiers finished the night shooting 26 percent (5-for-19) from beyond the arc and 45 percent (10-for-22) on free throws. Yikes! We’d be more willing to trot out the “But it was the first game after a weird offseason” excuse if this weren’t a constant theme for Archieball teams. If you need a reminder of how bad it’s been:

2019-20: 32.6% (3-point) | 67.9% (FT)

2018-19: 31.2% (3-point) | 65.5% (FT)

2017-18: 32.2% (3-point) | 65.7% (FT)

Just awful, and Wednesday was not better. It’s probably not fair to nitpick a game like this, but the shooting is absolutely fair game. And if it doesn’t miraculously improve in short order, this is going to be another frustrating season.

Khristian Lander isn’t the only freshman who will have an impact

Lander, the five-star headliner of Archie Miller’s latest recruiting class, needed only five seconds to score the first of his five points on the night. And while Lander has understandably generated the most buzz of the newcomers, it was one of his classmates who seized top billing on Wednesday. Trey Galloway was super impressive, and he looks like he’s going to be a pain in the ass of Big Ten opponents for the next few years. Active on both ends, Galloway was especially excellent in transition. Late in the first half, IU went with a four-freshmen + TJD lineup and Galloway’s fingerprints were all over the place. He entered halftime with nine points on 4-of-4 from the floor before finishing with 13 in his debut. Did you know Galloway is the son of a coach? Anyway, between Galloway and Race Thompson, this team might have some GRIT.

Two guys IU will need to be good were good

Predictably, Trayce Jackson-Davis drew the spotlight against an undermanned opponent. But it took some time for him to get going. Jackson-Davis missed a few bunnies early, starting the night 1-for-6 from the floor. But he dropped in each of his next seven shots and finished with a double-double of 26 points — one shy of his career high — and 11 rebounds. Not only did he do his usual work around the rim, Jackson-Davis also teased a bit of touch from up top. We’ll have to keep an eye on that and see if that becomes a bigger part of his game in the months to come. Jerome Hunter did some good things, too, looking the part of a player poised to take the long-awaited next step. Hunter flashed an intriguing mid-range game and accounted for one of IU’s 3s. Generally speaking, he was a nice complement to Jackson-Davis, finishing with nine points, three assists and two steals. Indiana wants to build Hunter’s confidence early in the season, and it feels like his effort Wednesday is a great place to build from.

Up Next: Providence

The real games come quickly for IU this season, with a trip to the Maui Asheville Invitational up next. The Hoosiers will tip off against the Friars on Monday at 2:30 p.m., then draw either Texas or Davidson in the second of its three games in North Carolina on Tuesday. Providence starts the year at No. 56 in KenPom and No. 20 in BartTorvik. The Friars are led by former IU recruiting target David Duke, who’s taking on a starring role for his hometown school.