Most figured it would be an extremely tough task for Chicago St. to compete in Bloomington on Opening Night. The new-look young and athletic Hoosiers made sure of that. Although any game ends in a Jeff Howard bucket to give IU 100 points was likely a good game, host Jerod joined Andy & Ryan to dissect exactly how and why the cream & crimson’s debut on ‘Branch McCracken Court’ was a success.
As most of us expected, there was some sloppiness from IU … especially in the very early goings of the game. Chicago State, however, tried to push the ball up the floor quickly like the Hoosiers, which led to the Hoosiers basically controlling this ball game for 40 minutes.
Early on, freshman star Noah Vonleh was an absolute force on the boards, but as discussed during ‘Ryan’s Rant,’ much of his early offensive success came while he showed off his versatility with the ball in his hands. He finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds in just 22 minutes of game action.
Other freshman like Stanford Robinson (6 pts-10 min.), Troy Williams (13 pts-22 min.), and Devin Davis (10 pts, 9 reb-14 min.) also showed some impressive flashes of raw talent and extreme athleticism, which definitely got the guys on the postgame show excited.
But you can’t overlook the more experienced trio of Yogi Ferrell, Will Sheehey, and Jeremy Hollowell who all played great as starters. Although this was a game in which head coach Tom Crean wanted to see what others could create on offense, Yogi still scored 11 points, pulled down six rebounds, and and dished out six assists in just 27 minutes of game action. Sure, he’ll have to be a consistent scorer for this team, but it’s good to see that he isn’t forgetting how to spread it around despite missing his favorite weapons from last year.
Sheehey got off to a quiet start like he did in the exhibitions, but finished with a very fine ten points and nine boards in 24 minutes. He was efficient from the field, which will be huge considering how much Crean is going to need him to create and take shots.
Hollowell shook off a shaky start en route to 16 points, four rebounds, and four blocks by the end of the night. Though he definitely will need to handle the ball quite a bit for this squad, it’s nice to see that he can still play like a defensive stopper around the rim. We’d expect him to stay in the starting lineup to give the Hoosiers some nice size, like Andy has discussed quite a bit already. Hopefully he can just be a bit more efficient, though getting to the line and going 9-10 is certainly a good thing.
We want to come as close to leaving out nobody as possible, so we’ll also note that Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Evan Gordon had nice games. Hanner threw down a rattling tomahawk dunk in the first half and finished with five points, three boards, one block, and one steal in only 13 minutes of action. Gordon provided a nice jolt of eight points in 17 minutes on the floor.
You can check out all of the game stats for both IU and CSU by clicking here.
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