Hoosiers beat Braves ahead of trip to Duke


Last night in Assembly Hall, the Indiana Hoosiers dismantled the Alcorn State Braves, 112-70, behind a massive 33 point performance from James Blackmon Jr.

Indiana fans are already tired of losing, and it’s the first of December. After a disappointing struggle to drag themselves through Maui, the Hoosiers were welcomed back by Alcorn State, who sit in the bottom seven offensively in NCAA D-1 basketball.

Don’t tell Coach Tom Crean.

The Good
Indiana won by over 40 points and James Blackmon Jr., the high scorer of the night, had 33 points on 11-15 shooting, 6-9 from long-range. So for math fans that means IU could have still gotten the job done without their leading scorer. That’s not bad.

Also good, the shooting as a team. The Hoosiers fired up the flamethrowers in Assembly Hall, shooting 67% (!) overall and over 57% from distance.

Most significant, though, was Crean’s decision to shift Troy Williams to the PF spot last night and insert Robert Johnson into the lineup – Indiana’s glue guy – which proved a savvy move even against an opponent of this caliber. Johnson was perhaps the most underrated member of IU’s team last season, notching the second-most assists on the team and hitting for over 50 3-pointers, one of just four to do so.

With the way Duke plays, the same starting five from last night may find their way on the court again Wednesday as part of the B1G-ACC challenge at Cameron Indoor Stadium. But, Indiana needs to find a way to cope with a lack of front court presence that doesn’t involve “we thought we would have a player that we don’t have.”

The Bad
Good news for the Hoosiers – there’s not a lot that belongs in this section.

The Braves were as terrible offensively as advertised, shooting just under 42% from the field. They lost the rebounding battle, totaled just eight assists, and their best player had eight points on eleven shots.

The bad news for the Hoosiers – this is not Duke, and Duke is not playing at Assembly Hall.

Next: Indiana retains the bucket for another year

Indiana travels down to Durham to take on the Blue Devils on Wednesday, tipoff set for 9:15 pm and will be televised on ESPN.