Albers: How do we view New York?

After games against Washington and Connecticut, what have we learned about Indiana?

The 2K Classic is over, and as many expected, Indiana split its two games at Madison Square Garden.

The Hoosiers beat Washington 102-84 on Thursday night and lost to No. 18 Connecticut 59-58 on Friday night.

So, the question is, how do we view New York? Are the Hoosiers (5-1) a better team than we thought they were before Thursday? Or were the negatives that showed themselves more overwhelming than the positives?

I've heard both sides of the argument in the last 24 hours, so I thought it made sense to weigh in on the discussion.

Some people look back at the last two days and say, 'Hey, IU competed with a really good team and nearly beat the Huskies without freshman center Noah Vonleh. I'm feeling positive.'

Other people look at it and say, 'The Hoosiers lost to UCONN and played terrible defense against a bad Washington team, letting it crawl back in the game late. Jeremy Hollowell hasn't played well at all. Troy Williams didn't show a game after going for 22 points.'

And all of those points from both sides of the argument are true. But I think I take way more positives out of New York than negatives.

Here's why: Against a good team like UCONN, that slowed the game down and didn't let Indiana play at its pace, the Hoosiers competed all the way through, and should have won. Stop Shabazz Napier one time at the end, and the Hoosiers are still unbeaten.

Sure, it's true Indiana's defense wasn't always great against Washington, but look what it did against UCONN (59 points). That's fairly impressive.

And it's true that Hollowell didn't play well at all in either game in New York, but he's still young. Give him some more time. Hollowell is skilled and talented, he simply hasn't put it all together yet. Will he? I'm not sure. But he deserves more than six games to do so.

I said earlier this year that Indiana would win some games it shouldn't and lose some games it shouldn't this year. If the Hoosiers continue to compete like they did Friday night against UCONN, there will be far more wins than losses. Top Stories