Game Analysis: IU 102, Washington 84

Indiana improved to 5-0 with a 102-84 victory Thursday night over the University of Washington at Madison Square Garden. Terry Hutchens breaks down the game in his game analysis feature.

Here is an analysis of the 102-84 victory by Indiana over Washington Thursday night in semifinal action in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.

WHAT LOOKED GOOD: Tonight we'll begin with Indiana's ability to punish Washington on the glass. Indiana came into the game averaging 52.2 rebounds per game and was right there at 50 against the Huskies. Most impressive was the job that IU was able to do on the offensive glass. The Hoosiers had 20 offensive rebounds led by Noah Vonleh with five and Troy Williams with four. Indiana held a 50-29 edge on the boards overall. One quirky statistic was that Washington ended up with 29 total rebounds – 15 offensive and 14 defensive. Those were Indiana's statistics in the first half alone to the rebound. IU had 15 offensive rebounds and 14 defensive rebounds for 29 total in the first 20 minutes of play. Beyond rebounding other statistics stood out. Indiana appeared to be passing the ball at is best of the young season and the statistics bore that out. IU had 16 assists on 34 baskets. One game after really struggling was the free throw line against Stony Brook when the Hoosiers went 30-of-49 from the line, IU was 31-of-36 against the Huskies, 86.1 percent. Overall, the Hoosiers shot 51.5 percent from the field including 62.1 percent in the second half when IU hit 18-of-29 shots. Three IU players, Vonleh, Troy Williams and Will Sheehey combined to hit 22-of-34 shots from the field.

WHO LOOKED GOOD: Troy Williams had his own little coming out party. He had a season-high 22 points, nine more than his previous high of 13 against Chicago State. He made 8-of-12 shots from the field including 8-of-10 inside of 3-point range. He made 6-of-7 foul shots including his final six. He also had eight rebounds in 29 minutes. Tom Crean said after the game that Williams got better as the game went along. It would be hard to argue with that way of thinking. Another individual standout for the Hoosiers was Yogi Ferrell. As a freshman, Ferrell never scored more than 19 points in a game. Now he has had three games in a row over 20. He had 26 against Samford, 24 against Stony Brook and Thursday night he had 20 against Washington. He also had five assists and just one turnover in a game-high 35 minutes of play. Finally, Vonleh came up one rebound shy of his fifth consecutive double-double (Crean joked that he though Vonleh missed his final free throw because he thought he might get an offensive rebound for this 10th board). Vonleh had 18 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals in 24 minutes of action. He made 7-of-11 shots from the field.

WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Indiana is 5-0 but still there's lot of room to grow. Washington seemed to have an easy time on dribble penetration and scored way too easy around the basket. Indiana had 54 points in the point but Washington had 42 which is way too high. C.J. Wilcox, who Crean said may be one of the best guards IU faces this season, had 24 points on 9-of-20 shooting. Inside the 3-point line, though, he was 7-for-10. Washington also had some success on the offensive boards. The Huskies had 15 offensive rebounds despite not having a great deal of size. One of Washington's best inside players, Shawn Kemp Jr., was in foul trouble the entire game and really didn't contribute. He didn't score and had one rebound before fouling out after 9 minutes of play. Perris Blackwell, though, was all over the offensive glass. He had six of the offensive rebounds and 10 overall. He was the only player in the game with a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards.

FOR STARTERS: Indiana has now used the same starting lineup in all five games: Will Sheehey, Jeremy Hollowell, Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams and Yogi Ferrell. Against Washington, the starters combined to score 82 of the 102 points. Four of those starters scored 16 points or more. Hollowell was the only player that didn't have a big offensive game. He had six points. The starters also had 26 rebounds, 13 assists, four steals, two blocks and 12 of the 13 turnovers. The starters were also 19-for-24 from the line.

NOVEMBER STREAK INTACT: Indiana has won 26 consecutive games in the month of November, the second longest active streak behind Syracuse. IU has also now played 24 games in the New York City metro area since 1972 and the Hoosiers are 16-8 in those games.

INDIVIDUAL OBSERVATIONS: Here's a look at my own thoughts on three Indiana players from Thursday's victory over Washington:

1. WILL SHEEHEY: I liked Sheehey's hustle on both ends of the court and his constant awareness of attacking the basket. Sheehey had several dunks among his 16 points. He was hitting from inside the 3-point line, and realized he didn't need to shoot from beyond the arc Thursday. He only had one attempt. But he had five assists, three rebounds, a block and a steal in 34 minutes of play. IU clearly got senior leadership from Sheehey in this one.

2. Stanford Robinson: Robinson made about as much of an impact as a player could make in 6 minutes of action possible. He scored six points including a pair of buckets where he penetrated the lane and put up soft floaters. He also made two free throws. His only other numbers were one assist and one rebound. When you talk about players who have barely scratched the surface at IU at this point in the season I think Robinson has to be at the top of the list. He's only going to get better.

3. JEREMY HOLLOWELL: Five games into the season, Hollowell still doesn't look completely comfortable. He showed signs Thursday night of driving to the basket and creating his offense but he still seemed a little bit off. His nice move to get open and then miss a slam dunk that caromed off the back of the rim was the epitome of his frustrations of late. He did have six points and four rebounds in 24 minutes but he struggled shooting the ball and was 3-of-10 from the field. He's another player that I keep expecting to have a breakout game. Whether that happens Friday night against Connecticut, though, seems like asking for a lot right now.

NEXT UP: Indiana (5-0) is back in action Friday night at Madison Square Garden when it faces the University of Connecticut in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic. IU and UConn will tip at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. Connecticut beat Boston College 82-80 on Thursday night in the other semifinal.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Top Stories