With every game Indiana plays this season we will have a feature where we look back at what we learned about the Hoosiers in that particular game. Here is the report following IU’s 81-69 victory over Pittsburgh Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Assembly Hall.
So what did we learn Tuesday night after watching the Hoosiers pretty much lead from start to finish against Pittsburgh?
1. Hanner Mosquera-Perea CAN BE MOTIVATED:All it took Tuesday night was for Emmitt Holt to have a breakout performance after Mosquera-Perea had to sit the final 15 minutes of the first half because he had two fouls. Holt led all scorers in the game for IU with 15 points in 19 minutes and hit all six of his shots from the field. But in the first half with Mosquera-Perea looking on and likely wishing he was in the game, Holt had 11 points and hit all four of his shots from the field. He also had two blocks which led the team and was simply a solid front court presence on a team that is begging for someone to step up in that regard. But what we saw from Perea in the second half was encouraging. He got IU’s first basket of the second half when Yogi Ferrell made a pass down low and Perea made an athletic move to score inside. A few minutes later he had a tomahawk jam and then followed that up with an inside basket late in the shot clock off a pass from Robert Johnson. Perea finished with eight points and four rebounds and hit 4-of-6 shots from the field. That means the Perea-Holt combo scored 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting. I’m guessing Tom Crean would take that on most nights.
2. ROBERT JOHNSON CAN DO MORE THAN JUST SCORE:Johnson has proved in the early going that he can be a legitimate scoring threat on the floor. He can shoot from the outside and he can also take players off the dribble. But Tuesday night when Ferrell got into foul trouble, we found that Johnson can be a pretty good distributor from the point guard position, too. He finished with nine assists and just two turnovers in 28 minutes of play. Like AllHoosiers.com’s Justin Albers pointed out in our postgame video analysis, Johnson was able to change up his game Tuesday night when the Hoosiers needed it. That’s a big plus for this Indiana team as it continues to see that it has some good interchangeable parts.
3. Collin Hartman CONTINUES TO EARN HIS MINUTES:Hartman continues to be my most surprising player through the first seven games. He has had great energy on both ends of the floor and is making all the hustle plays. He had seven points and seven rebounds Tuesday night and was flying around the ball. He played 24 minutes without a turnover. He hit a big 3-pointer and got a huge rebound off of his own missed free throw that bounded into the corner where Hartman tracked it down. If Indiana can continue to get that level of consistent play from Hartman off the bench that will be big in terms of how this team will fare moving forward. Ready or not, here comes Pittsburgh
Video: Crean previews Pitt game