As a fan of IU basketball, you have to come away very pleased after watching this game. Ball State is a pretty bad team but winning by 48 against any Division I opponent is impressive. There was a noticeable gap in skill level between the two teams and it showed as the game turned into a rout, late in the first half. This was a good tune-up game to get ready for North Carolina on Tuesday since Coach Crean was able to rest his starters (nobody played more than 24 minutes).
I was a little surprised that Crean continued to press although the game was well out of hand. Being that the Hoosiers were in Ball State’s position just a few years ago, I would figure that Crean had a little sympathy to call back the dogs and not make it so embarrassing for the Cardinals. I just didn’t want to see a Rob Gronkowski incident happen when it wouldn’t have been necessary.
Jordan Hulls and Will Sheehey stole the show tonight. Hulls continued his hot shooting he showed in New York, hitting 7 of 10 from the field. Sheehey’s mid-range pull-up was money tonight. I thought Will struggled with his shot in Brooklyn but it was nice to see him back to form, especially with a huge game coming up tomorrow.
Something I have noticed so far this season that hasn’t gotten a lot of talk is Watford’s mentality on getting rebounds. He seems like he actually wants to get rebounds and has shown a sneaky amount of explosion that he hasn’t displayed up until this year. We will have to see if he keeps bringing that same tenacity during the rest of the season but as of now, it is encouraging.
Overall I was extremely happy with how the team performed last night. They seem to be a very confident bunch right now and I feel bad for opposing teams trying to game plan against our offense.
Team Grade: A
On to the next one:
Looking Forward- IU’s premier non-conference game is here! The Big Ten/ACC Challenge has IU set to face North Carolina tomorrow night with a late tip-off at 9:30p.m. The Tar Heels are 5-1 this year but were upset by Butler (also a future IU opponent) in the Maui Invitational last week. UNC will still likely be ranked and I fully expect Assembly Hall to be as loud as ever.