Indiana had plenty of positives Friday night to show for its first game in a five-game foreign trip to Canada.
Three other Indiana players scored in double figures including incoming freshmen James Blackmon Jr and Robert Johnson with 14 and 12 points respectively. Sophomore guard Stanford Robinson scored 11 points. Sophomore forward Devin Davis had eight points and 16 rebounds to lead IU.
“What impressed me the most was the spacing on the court,’’ Ferrell said. “Since we had more shooters on the floor, the floor was spaced out and we got more drives and kick-outs. I was also impressed with our running. Everyone pushed the ball - myself, James, Robert, Stan - we all got the ball and pushed it up the court."
Ferrell said the better spacing allowed him to be able to get more in the flow offensively.
“There was a lot of space out there tonight,’’ Ferrell said. “It is definitely a lot of fun for myself, as a point guard, being able to dish it out to these guys (Johnson and Blackmon) so they can knock it down for me. So I can just go out there and do my thing, distribute the ball and find different guys to help us score."
Ferrell played 27 minutes for the Hoosiers in the opener. Along with his 22 points, he had six assists and three steals. He hit 4-of-7 from the international 3-point range.
IU started five guards: Ferrell, Williams, Robinson, Johnson and Nick Zeisloft. That group combined to score 75 points on 29-of-52 shooting. They also had 18 assists to 11 turnovers.
Williams said he didn’t really think the five guard lineup was that big of a deal.
“Really, I think everyone can play any position on any given night,’’ Williams said. “We don't really call out positions anymore, it's just wherever you are on the court, do whatever you can do to your advantage. Tonight, I was one of the taller ones on the court for us. I am used to playing guard but it doesn't really matter to me where I play because I can always get a rebound and push it up the court myself. We have a lot of players like that so we try to use that to our advantage."
Williams had 21 points in 21 minutes. Six of his baskets were on dunks. Blackmon Jr. had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. Johnson had 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Johnson said he thought IU made a good first impression, especially on the defensive end.
“I think with (our team) being as small as we are and using 3-guard lineups, playing well on the defensive end is something that we have to do,’’ Johnson said. “Other teams might think they have a mismatch against us because of our size, so we have to hit the boards hard, offensively and defensively, and that will open a lot up for our whole team."
One thing IU showed Friday night is that the Hoosiers have some players who can knock down shots. That was something, that overall as a team, was lacking a year ago.
Johnson said that’s an area where he thinks the freshmen can make an immediate impact for Indiana this season.
“I think we can help this team make a big jump, especially from the guard spots, where we can help Yogi,’’ Johnson said. “A lot of times last year, the other teams would pack it in because they might not have had as many shooters on the floor. That made it hard for Yogi. This year, it might be easier for him because James (Blackmon) and myself will be running the wings. It will open up the floor for him and allow Yogi to do what he does best."
Indiana led by 12 at halftime before outscoring Laval 55-27 over the final two quarters.
The Hoosiers are off on Saturday and return to action Sunday at 3 p.m. against Canadian Collegiate runner-up Ottawa University.
Freshman Max Hoetzel had nine points in 10 minutes off the bench.
The Hoosiers played without Hanner Mosquera-Perea who is currently not in Canada because of passport difficulties.
Here is the box score from Friday’s opener. Box Score: Indiana 110, Laval 70
Stay tuned for AllHoosiers.com for coverage from IU’s five-game trip to Canada.