IU Insider Blog: A Strong Debut

It was only one game against Chicago State but Indiana was impressive in a few key areas Friday night. It showed it is extremely athletic and it attacked the basket at every turn. Based on one game, I think the Hoosiers are going to be fun to watch.

Repeat after me: It was just one game. It was just one game. It was just one game.

Against Chicago State for that matter which hardly qualifies as a team that will come March register as a particularly big win for the program.

But I thought Indiana showed a lot of promise Friday night in its 100-72 victory over the Cougars in the season opener at Assembly Hall.

Indiana was active. It was athletic. It was out of control at times but it was forcing the action and attacking the basket. Those days of Indiana fans complaining that the offense is stagnant are over. You don't have to worry about this team getting inside 10 on the shot clock. It rarely happens. This Indiana team is looking to attack from the time it crosses half court.

And I find that refreshing.

Indiana is taking advantage of the new rules that no longer allow hand checking on defense. And with a lot of quick options, Indiana is taking the ball to the basket and either scoring or getting fouled.

And when the Hoosiers get fouled, they're converting their free throws.

IU shot 55 free throws on Friday night. FIFTY FIVE!!!

More impressively, the Hoosiers hit 45 of those foul shots for 81.8 percent. It was even better before Peter Jurkin missed a pair of foul shots with 17 seconds to play. At that point is was 45-of-53.

Check out the free throw numbers by the starting five. The starters combined to go 28-for-32 from the foul line. That's pretty good. That's darn good.

There was another number that showed off the athleticism. Indiana blocked 13 shots. That's the most ever in Assembly Hall in one game. It was one off the all-time school record of 14 set against Penn State in 2000. Jeremy Hollowell blocked four shots. Devin Davis and Noah Vonleh each blocked three. That's 10 blocks out of three players.

Here's a statistic for you. What was the most blocked shots Indiana had in one game last season?

The answer was seven. It happened twice. Once against Jacksonville in non-conference play and the other time against Purdue at Assembly Hall.

And this wasn't because Indiana was playing some 6-4 and under team. Chicago State had four players over 6-8, one that was 6-10 and another at 6-11.

No, the reason that IU had that many blocked shots is that the Hoosiers were active and they showed off their athleticism.

That's the thing I walked out of Assembly Hall thinking about the most on Friday night. This team just has great potential. They're fun to watch. They're athletic. They're unselfish. They look for the extra pass.

Now, repeat after me: It was one game. It was one game. It was one game.

Against Chicago State for that matter.

But it was clearly a step in the right direction.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch

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