The Hoosiers tipped off their season last night with an exhibition game against Ottawa. The upcoming season will be an interesting one for Indiana, as the team has made early preseason polls and is expected to contend in the race for the Big Ten title, yet it's still being considered a "make or break" season for Tom Crean. Or in other words, while Indiana has the talent to be one of the nation's top teams, recent underachieving has soured some people on Crean.
Indiana got off to a good start in their first exhibition game though, routing Ottawa 82-54. It didn't take long to open things up, starting off the game with a quick 17-4 run. While Ottawa eventually narrowed the deficit down a bit, a 23-0 run in the second half slammed the door shut and let Indiana coast to an easy enough victory.
Leading the way for the Hoosiers was James Blackmon Jr., who scored a team-high 15 points. Highly touted freshman Thomas Bryant also added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Also reaching double digits was Troy Williams with 12 points. Defensively the Hoosiers were able to stifle Ottawa outside, holding them to 5 of 26 from beyond the arc. The Gee-Gees also committed 23 turnovers, failing to get the offense rolling in Bloomington.
While the Hoosiers shot nearly 50% from the field and hit on 8 of 20 three pointers, it was somewhat troubling to see the team commit 19 turnovers. That shouldn't be a major surprise considering this is a exhibition game and the team is working on getting everything operating smoothly, but it's still a somewhat troubling number. Troy Williams was the biggest culprit last night, committing 6 of the teams 19 turnovers. Outside of the turnovers, the only other troubling statistic was Thomas Bryant's inefficiency offensively, shooting 16 shots in 23 minutes and only converting on five of them.
Indiana's win on Tuesday was a bit of revenge from last season when Indiana lost to Ottawa on their Canadian exhibition trip. Also of note, Michigan transfer Max Bielfeldt had a nice start with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals in 19 minutes.
Highlights of the game can be seen below: