The Indiana Hoosiers looked every bit like the #1 team in America on Thursday night.
No, the competition was not great. And no, Indiana was never really challenged from the moment the ball was tipped until the final second ticked off the clock. But the Hoosiers played with an energy, a focus, and an intensity level that we hadn’t yet seen through two games.
And it just might have been one of Tom Crean’s finest coaching performances.
First, there was the decision to sit Christian Watford – only the second time he has not started a game in his IU career. Watford responded to the benching by leading the team in scoring.
Then, there was Crean’s brilliant choice to leave Jordan Hulls in the game in the 2nd half so he could record his 1,000th point – becoming the 45th Hoosier to do so – in front of the home fans.
And, in general, Crean’s ability to have his team ready to play at such a fever pitch and focus against an inferior opponent on a pre-holiday Thursday night just showed how in c...