Quick Hits: Hoosiers have few negatives from season opener


When the Indiana Hoosiers beat down on the Eastern Illinois Panthers for their first win of the year, there was little negative to take away.

Yogi Ferrell extended his 3pt streak, Thomas Bryant made as big of an impact as expected, and the offense ran up and down the floor ending the night still shooting over 50%. All things considered, it was a successful night as Assembly Hall.

The Offense
The Hoosiers are projected to have the number one offense in the country this season, and after adding to an already solid arsenal with the additions of a few freshmen, it’s easy to see why Indiana could replicate last season’s success and more.

Led by Ferrell, the Cream and Crimson are extremely solid. Coach Tom Crean has not specified a set, consistent starting line-up, but the combo of Ferrell-Blackmon-Williams-Bielfeldt-Bryant impressed in the two exhibitions. However, in the season opener, Crean chose to replace Bielfeldt with the junior Collin Hartman – and it paid off. Hartman can be used to help spread the floor and create more looks from the perimeter, leaving Bryant to do a lot of the nit and grit in the post, something the freshman will love.

The Defense
Again, all things considered, Indiana should be pretty pleased with their opening win. Eastern Illinois was horrific from beyond the arc (like Ottawa was) and ended up shooting the ball under 40-percent from the field, which leads to the ultimate downfall against a team like the Hoosiers.

To beat Indiana, it’s crucial to stay hot on the floor. The way the Hoosiers run they can score the ball in buckets, meaning teams should focus on staying as efficient as possible on the offensive end to conserve energy shutting down IU on offense. Even if Indiana can’t be shut down completely, they can be slowed down which will only further kill momentum.

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The Cream and Crimson will be focusing on their efficiency offensively as the season goes on, but the question of how much they have improved defensively will determine how far this season can go. The expectation? A banner. The reality? A top-three finish in the Big Ten and a run in the NCAA Tournament. So, how far can Indiana go in the end? Perhaps somewhere between the two. Their next test is Austin Peay on Monday at Assembly Hall, tipoff set for 7 pm.