Upon Further Review: Texas Christian

BLOOMINGTON – Coach Tom Crean's team blew open a close game with a dominating second-half effort on both ends of the floor against TCU. HoosierNation.com breaks down the game, including what we found most impressive, surprising and concerning about the contest. We also name our game MVP…

Game MVP - Tom Pritchard. The Hoosiers' big man had his third double-double in four games this season, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He was particularly good in the second half, when he had eight points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and zero turnovers. His play helped the Hoosiers turn a four-point halftime cushion into a 23-point lead late before TCU finished with a 12-0 run to close to within 10 at the final buzzer.

While Pritchard's point production and passing has been a key to IU's offensive success, his rebounding has been especially good as of late. Nine of Pritchard's 11 rebounds came on the offensive end, giving 15 offensive caroms in his last two games after totaling six on Saturday against Gonzaga. The freshman now actually has more offensive rebounds (37) than defensive rebounds (33), and his 4.1 offensive rebounds/game leads the Big Ten.

Biggest Surprise… Tom Crean went with a seven-man rotation. Earlier in the year IU was rotating in as many as 10 players into the games as the IU staff looked for combinations that would work, but Malik Story and Matt Roth were the only bench players that played more than four minutes against TCU. Part of the reason was likely the fact that TCU prefers to play a halfcourt game which allows players to log more minutes than if the game was played at a frenetic pace, but Crean does appear to be zeroing in on seven or eight players that will be a part of the rotation once Big Ten play opens.

One player who will be added to that rotation is Verdell Jones, who missed his third straight game and is still waiting to be cleared by IU's medical staff. Jones was injured 10 days ago against Cornell, and has still be suffering concussion-like symptoms from his backcourt collision. Crean said it would be a "bonus" if Jones is able to play this weekend against Kentucky, although he said he's not being ruled out for the match-up with Wildcats just yet. Jones has been participating in shooting drills and 5-on-none drills in practice, but is yet to be allowed to go full contact.

What I Found Most Impressive… Indiana's second-half dominance. While the Hoosiers' win over TCU wasn't a stunning outcome, the way it came about was a surprise to most. After all, this was a TCU team that had won six straight entering the game and had held five of its last six foes to less than 50 points. But Indiana dominated in the second half, outscoring the Horned Frogs 39-21 before TCU's final 12-0 run in the game's final minute.

Indiana did it with its best half of basketball on both ends of the floor. Offensively the Hoosiers made 14-of-25 shots from the field (56 percent), led by a 12-point half from Devan Dumes. Dumes entered the TCU game having made only six of his last 20 shots from the floor, but bounced back with a solid 6-of-12 effort against TCU. But besides Dumes' solid effort, Indiana also turned in a dominating defensive effort. IU forced 13 second-half turnovers and parlayed those miscues into 13 points off turnovers. Indiana rotated well, had quick hands, and frustrated Coach Jim Christian's team throughout the final 20 minutes..

What I Found Most Concerning… In a game that most would consider to be easily IU's best effort of the season, the Hoosiers still turned the ball over 19 times. Five of those turnovers came in the game's final minute, when a degree of carelessness on IU's part and some backcourt pressure on TCU's part added up to a 12-0 Horned Frog run in the final 60 seconds.

Indiana entered the game ranked 327th out of 330 Division I teams with 20.3 turnovers/game, and they don't figure to improve much in that category after committing 19 more turnovers against TCU. Primary ball handlers Daniel Moore, Devan Dumes and Malik Story combined for 11 of those turnovers, and it figures to still be an area of primary concern as IU prepares for this weekend's match-up with Kentucky.

Turning Point: The first five minutes of the second half. Malik Story's 3-pointer at the end of the first half gave IU a four-point lead, and the Hoosiers built on that at the start of the second half to keep the Horned Frogs from getting back into the game. Tom Pritchard opened the scoring with dunk, followed by a steal and a couple of free-throws by Nick Williams to extend the lead to eight. After the margin was cut back to four, Pritchard scored on a putback off an offensive rebound, and Daniel Moore then finished a fastbreak layup following a Matt Roth steal. That sequence gave IU a 37-29 lead, riled up the 13,129 in attendance, and forced TCU Coach Jim Christian to call a 30-second timeout to try to slow IU's momentum.

Quotable: "We knew we were going to have to have great energy, effort and execution tonight to win, and we did." – IU Coach Tom Crean

"(Pritchard) rose to the occasion today…we're trying to coach him as hard as anyone else. It's not like he has a tremendous amount of competition for minutes right now. He knows we need him on the floor, we want him on the floor. But we don't just want him to be a good player – we want him to be a great player. He's on the road to that." – Crean

"We didn't do anything that we had been doing well coming into this game. That's on us, but that's a credit to them, too." – TCU Coach Jim Christian

"I think (Daniel Moore's) a great player. He's one of those guys, you watch him on tape and he makes guys better, gets guys shots. He handles the ball well for them. Guys that can create and find people are hard to guard. He got a lot of easy baskets for them off penetration." – Christian

"I'm getting a lot more comfortable (running the point), pushing the ball, throwing it up to teammates and running the offense. It's still a new position, I still get a little nervous, but I'm starting to get more comfortable." – Malik Story

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