The Indiana Hoosiers have cruised through their first two games against Eastern Illinois and Austin Peay, but now will get their toughest test yet as the Creighton Blue Jays fly into Assembly Hall on Thursday night.
The Hoosiers have definitely scored a lot of points in their two games this season with 88 and 102 respectively, but in those first two games there were some things that Indiana could clean up a bit.
One of the biggest questions coming into the season was their defense, and there have been some visible lapses so far this season on the defensive. On Monday following their win versus Austin Peay, coach Tom Crean addressed the good and the bad with the defense.
"Our defensive energy was really good, even when we made mistakes, we played with energy," Crean said. "We probably gambled a little bit too much, a little bit too reckless. There is a give and take to that."
That was the good part of the defense, but there were also some things, like anything, that need some tweaking especially at this early stage in the season.
"We gave up too many points in the paint, and that combined with us giving them the ball back," Crean said. "So, to answer my own questions, we're finding the criticisms right now. But we can get a lot better. I have no doubt about that."
Indiana has had some time to work out the kinks and now it will be time to start to put it together with a big stretch of games coming up that starts with Creighton Thursday and continues with the Maui Invitational next week, followed by a visit to Cameron Indoor and Duke in two weeks.
Creighton, however, is not a team to look past and Tom Crean thinks it will be good preparation for Maui too.
"It's going to be very important because they're really good," Crean said. "I know they can usually score inside and outside, and they put all skilled players on the floor. They run numerous actions and sets, and I think Maurice Watson is really good, really good. He brings another dimension to their team."
The Blue Jays are coming in to their matchup with Indiana off of two wins against Texas Southern and UTSA in which they also scored a lot of points (93 and 103 respectively).
"They will come in here with a great mindset like they always do," Crean said. "They'll come in here physical, and they'll come in here really believing they can make shots."
In Creighton's matchup against UTSA Tuesday, the Blue Jays had six players in double figures including Isaiah Zierden who put in 24. Indiana may not have to be at their best to beat Creighton, but the Blue Jays cannot be taken lightly.