There will be more challenging competition down the road, but one thing is becoming clear — this Indiana team looks different than what we’ve grown accustomed to over the last five years. Much different. Ranked the highest they’ve been in six years, it seems reasonable to conclude this 2022-23 Hoosiers squad really is a top-15 basketball team.
IU’s talent, depth, length and athleticism overwhelmed Bethune-Cookman on Thursday night, as the Hoosiers dismantled the Wildcats 101-49.
Let’s take a deeper look at how the Hoosiers won with another edition of The Report Card.
IU (2-0) will next play at Xavier on Nov. 18.
We try to take the opponent into account when handing out grades, but sometimes you just have to take a step back and appreciate what just happened.
Indiana seemingly did whatever they wanted on Thursday evening — inside, outside and in transition.
After IU attempted just 11 3-pointers in its first game against Morehead State, there were questions about shot selection. Was IU going to shoot enough threes? And could they make them? On Thursday, the Hoosiers answered the real question — showing they can take what the defense gives effectively, inside or out, and on the break. They made 8-of-16 from three in the first half, 70 percent from two for the game, and scored 33 fast break points.
While we don’t want to overstate things in an obvious mismatch, Indiana’s performance forced multiple openings of the program’s record book over the course of the evening.
The end result was 1.42 points per possession, the highest such mark by IU since a 2017 game against Eastern Michigan according to stats maintained by Bart Torvik.
Indiana assisted on 27 of their 35 made field goals, good for a 77 percent assist rate. Their team assist rate a year ago was 56.6 percent. The 27 assists were the most as a team in a regulation game since the Hoosiers’ 103-56 win over Delaware State on Dec. 19, 2016.
Mike Woodson expressed concerns about free throw shooting following the first game, and his team delivered in a big way against the Wildcats. Indiana made 21-of-22 free throws on the night. This was their seventh-best shooting performance from the charity stripe with a minimum of 10 makes since the start of 1996-1997 season.
The Hoosiers were impressive on the defensive end as well, allowing less than half the points per possession they produced. Bethune-Cookman managed just .687 per trip, a mark IU only bested three times a year ago.
Once again, we need to be measured considering the opposition, but IU delivered a performance difficult to poke holes in.
Indiana’s ability to force turnovers has been particularly noteworthy so far. On Thursday night they produced 19, and they are forcing 20 per contest over the first two games. Their 28 percent turnover rate on defense is top-25 nationally, and well ahead of their 17.6 percent rate a year ago.
The approach appears to be the same as what we’ve grown accustomed to under Woodson — pressure on the ball and heavy switching on screens. But Indiana doesn’t switch everything, which necessitates recognition of personnel and communication, and they were sharp on Thursday. The defense limited Bethune-Cookman to just 20% (3-of-15) shooting from the 3-point line.
IU simply cut off everything against the Wildcats. The Hoosiers allowed just three fast break points, five offensive rebounds, and BC didn’t get to the free throw line until they were down by 40 points with just over six minutes remaining.
If you want to nitpick, you could point to Bethune-Cookman nearly getting to 50 percent (17-of-36) on 2-pointers despite IU’s significant size advantage. Indiana only had two blocks.
Indiana delivered on another area of concern from Woodson after the first game, as they outrebounded Bethune-Cookman, 41-19.
MORE GAME COVERAGE
- Son of IU legend makes emotional return to Assembly Hall as Bethune-Cookman assistant
- Watch: Woodson, Galloway, Kopp discuss win over Bethune-Cookman
- IU basketball: Indiana 101 Bethune-Cookman 49 — Three keys | Highlights | Final stats
- Long form highlights:
Trayce Jackson-Davis (A) TJD looked the part of an All-American. He made 9-of-10 from the line, all three of his free throws, and produced six rebounds with no turnovers — all in just 21 minutes. Perhaps most encouraging, the wrap on his right hand was less cumbersome, and Jackson-Davis appeared more willing to use that hand on dunks.
Race Thompson (B) Indiana seems to have him out on the perimeter more than in this year, but he’s off to a 1-of-5 start from three for the season. No reason to panic, but that does seem like a story to watch, especially as he’s pushed for minutes by Malik Reneau.
Xavier Johnson (A-) It continues to look like Johnson will produce lower numbers this year. But if they look like this — 7 points, 6 assists, 2 turnovers — along with strong defense, then he is clearly a major asset to this team.
Miller Kopp (A) Kopp played his role at high level, making 4-of-6 threes in just 18 minutes. He’s opened the season 6-of-8 from long range. While that’s obviously not sustainable, Kopp is showing how he can be a pivotal part of this team.
Jalen Hood-Schifino (B+) Hood-Schifino had an off shooting night, and perhaps he takes too many long twos. But he wasn’t recruited for his perimeter shooting. His eight assists highlighted one of many aspects of his game that contribute to winning.
Malik Reneau (B+) The freshman once again produced near-instant offense, as “Reneau for two” reverberated throughout the building early and often, as did Reneau for three. He did have three turnovers in 16 minutes, however.
Trey Galloway (A) Galloway made two first half threes as part of the stretch when Indiana pulled away. If he can add consistent production from three to his repertoire, Galloway becomes one of the most complete players on the team.
Tamar Bates (A-) Bates produced a career-high four assists on Thursday. He tends to be a shot hunter, so improved floor vision would be a noteworthy addition to his arsenal if it continues.
Jordan Geronimo (A) Geronimo has been elite from an offensive efficiency standpoint so far, making 9-of-12 shots to start the season. On Thursday he eliminated some past shortcomings, with no turnovers and a 2-of-2 night form the line while delivering four rebounds and two steals in just 12 minutes.
C.J. Gunn (A) It’s limited late game duty, but Gunn continues to look like a young player Woodson could turn to. His confidence and athleticism translate.
Kaleb Banks (A) There are some raw elements to Banks’ game, but his attacking mentality will ultimately serve him well as he develops.
Logan Duncomb (A) The sophomore big man appeared to come in on a mission. He continues to look the part of someone who will see key moments and hold his own as the season unfolds.
Indiana had all 13 scholarship players healthy and available on Thursday, and all 13 saw the floor. Anthony Leal saw late game action, along with walk-on Nate Childress.
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