Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Indiana defeats Bellarmine 73-62 in second exhibition game

The Hoosiers emerged victorious Monday night, completing their exhibition season with a 73-62 over DII power Bellarmine. Just like last week, the game was an opportunity for Indiana to work out some kinks, test out different lineups and generally tune-up for this Friday’s season-opener against Eastern Illinois. All in all, Indiana’s two exhibition games went about as well as any fan should hope they could have. There are things that are already clicking (offense), things that still need to be worked out (defense, turnovers), but the team looked good and won two games without injury.
Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams, Indiana Hoosiers, Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana University, Tom Crean
Box Score - Indiana v Bellarmine (exhibition)

The score in this game was all over the map. Indiana’s lead ranged from as much as 23 points down to just seven points early in the second half. The Knights actually outscored Indiana 42-38 in the second half. You can look at that as a negative, which is justifiable to an extent, but this is also an Indiana team that is still learning to play together. That’s the whole purpose for these games. Starting SG James Blackmon Jr played just 22 minutes as he is coming off an off-season injury. Troy Williams and Yogi Ferrell carried the offense, each scoring 20+ points while no other Hoosier had more than eight. Those two guys will be tasked with running the show at various points throughout the season, but this is a much more well-rounded offense than what we saw on Monday night.

There were definitely some encouraging numbers, as well. Freshman Thomas Bryant, who played just 16 minutes, was an efficient 3-4 from the field with eight points and five rebounds. The team overall committed less turnovers (13) than they had against Ottawa (19). The Hoosiers did a better job getting to the free throw line, logging 15 makes on 21 attempts. The aforementioned Ferrell and Williams had great games, especially the senior PG. Yogi had team-highs across the board, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing four assists to go along with his 21 points.

The thing I keep going back to is that Crean has so far not used the rotation he will be using during the season (assuming he has that figured out yet). Yogi and Troy shouldered the scoring load, but they also were the only two players on the court for more than 22 minutes. Playing time was limited across the board and different lineups were tried out, exactly what I expect to see in an exhibition. The team has things to work on as the season approaches (and then even more so as the likes of Creighton, Kansas and Duke loom in the not-so-distant future), but I think Hoosier Nation should be happy with what this team has done so far. To echo my statement last week, this is going to be a fun to watch so #buckleup. 

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