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Friday, November 22, 2013
Five things: Indiana-Washington

By Kieran Darcy

NEW YORK -- Here are five quick thoughts from Indiana’s 102-84 win over Washington on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden:

Diaper dandies: Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh has gotten more headlines thus far, but fellow frosh Troy Williams was even better Thursday night.

The 6-foot-7 swingman scored a team-high 22 points, shooting 8-for-12 from the field and 6-for-7 from the foul line (plus eight rebounds). He scored from all over the floor, displaying highlight-reel athleticism. In fact, his most exciting play was a missed dunk over a Washington player that might still make the "SportsCenter" Top 10.

Vonleh wasn’t bad, either, by the way -- 18 points, nine rebounds, despite being limited to 24 minutes because of foul trouble in the first half. He fell one rebound short of his fifth consecutive double-double to start his collegiate career.

One-sided: The Hoosiers took a 50-37 halftime lead by dominating the Huskies on the offensive glass and at the foul line. Indiana had 15 offensive rebounds and shot 16-for-18 from the foul line in the first half.

“We knew that Indiana was a really good offensive rebounding team, but what they did just decided the game on the boards,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “Right away they established themselves, 15 offensive rebounds -- that’s tough to overcome."

Indiana kept on coming in the second half, never allowing Washington to get closer than nine points. The Hoosiers finished with a 50-29 rebounding advantage overall and made 31 of 36 free throws. (The Huskies were just 19-for-28 from the foul line.)

Hold your horses: Indiana, picked to finish in the middle of the Big Ten, is now 5-0 -- but let’s not get carried away. This is their first victory against a major conference opponent, and not a particularly impressive major conference opponent.

Coach Tom Crean is relying on a lot of freshmen and sophomores, too.

Will Indiana be exciting to watch? Absolutely -- it has already topped the century mark three times and is averaging 94 points per game. But let’s see the Hoosiers pull this off against stronger competition.

Consolation prize: Five players scored in double figures for Washington. Senior guard C.J. Wilcox scored a game-high 24 points, is averaging more than 20 points per game on the season and should be among the leaders in scoring in the Pac-12.

The Huskies will put up plenty of points this year. That won’t be their problem.

The bad news: Washington was picked to finish eighth in the Pac-12 in the conference’s preseason poll, but if they don’t step it up on defense, they’ll be hard-pressed to finish even that high.

The Huskies were like a sieve Thursday night, allowing the Hoosiers to pick them apart with ease. Penetration was a piece of cake. They got beat on backcut after backcut. It wasn’t pretty. Washington must play hard at both ends.