The Indiana men’s basketball team has finally begun their regular season, and the game lived up to the hype. The team steamrolled the Chicago State Cougars with a whopping victory of 104-55. The Hoosiers were clearly the favored team, and they appeared to capitalize on nearly all of their opportunities, which is an excellent sign at this point in the season.
Indiana dominated the boards, outrebounding the Cougars 48-29 with 35 of them occurring on the defensive side of the ball. It appears that Indiana has an attack plan for anyone who dares to challenge them, especially on the defensive end. The team forced 12 turnovers and swatted away five shot attempts, resulting in Chicago State shooting a mediocre .359 from the floor. It is also encouraging that the Hoosiers are capable of performing at a high level on defense without committing an excessive number of personal fouls. They finished the game with a total of only 19.
On the other side of the ball, Indiana was making two out of every three field goals on 48 total attempts. The main reason why the team was able to find open looks to the basket was because of their ability to share the rock, totaling 20 assists on the game. Indiana has struggled to capitalize on spreading the ball around in past years, but it seems that times are changing in Bloomington. A significant concern for the team will be addressing the struggles from the free throw line, as they were only able to convert 19 of 33 attempts.
In his first game as an Indiana Hoosier, Romeo Langford lived up to the hype, leading the team in points scored. Langford was held scoreless from behind the arc but was near perfect from within the paint shooting 7-9. He was not alone as a standout though, as Rob Phinisee led the team in steals and assists. Phinisee is also in his first season at Indiana but appeared to have shaken off any lingering cobwebs in the team’s preseason contest. Other notable players in the matchup were Juwan Morgan, Devonte Green and Evan Fitzner who collectively scored 36 points on the night.
The Hoosiers are trending in the right direction, but the team still has plenty of work to do. If the team wants to fulfill the requests of the Crimson Guard and make an appearance in the NCAA Tournament come March, then they will need to tidy up their free throw shooting. Be sure to tune in for the team’s next contest against Montana State at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall Friday at 8 p.m. ET.