It was not as much of a blow out as what many Hoosier fans might have expected, but Indiana was able to get a 86-77 win over Howard last night.
Indiana was able to bounce back after the 21 point beating they took Friday night and looked improved in a few areas. The Hoosiers led for most of the game Sunday night in Assembly Hall. Here are some things from their 9 point victory that really stood out to me.
The New Guys Are Good:
There was a lot of hype around Justin Smith and Al Durham as they entered their Freshman season, and Sunday night, they were excellent in all aspects of the game.
Smith recorded his first double double of his young career and finished the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Smith also provided a huge alley-oop slam in the first half that brought Assembly Hall to its feet. Smith looked like a man on a mission and was a major reason for Indiana’s win over Howard.
Durham also played extremely well and provided 2 big three pointers in the first half that helped Indiana stretch the lead going into halftime. Durham finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists and shot an efficient 3 of 5 from deep.
We will see how Smith and Durham continue to perform as we move through the regular season, but if they can continue this type of play, they could find themselves being some of the top Big Ten Freshmen.
Davis was great once again for the Hoosiers, leading them in scoring for the second straight game. Davis finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Davis was a big factor in the second half, scoring 15 of his 17 points after half time.
Davis has tallied 31 points so far this season and looks to be a bright spot for the Hoosiers front court. With Juwan Morgan’s injury, Davis could be “the guy” down low for the Hoosiers, assuming Morgan misses some time with what seemed like an ankle injury.
Indiana was able to take care of the ball reasonably well in Sunday night’s victory. Indiana only allowed 12 turnovers versus 25 team assists against Howard.
Limiting turnovers will be a key factor in every game this season as Indiana looks to find their identity. If Indiana can continue to take care of the ball, they can continue to grow throughout the season. Indiana has done a good job so far in the early part of the season taking care of the basketball.
Indiana will go on the road as they travel to 23rd ranked Seton Hall Wednesday night.