IU wins exhibition opener over Ottawa, 82-54 #iubb

Indiana’s first exhibition looked the part.

It was early November basketball, ripe with turnovers and mix-and-match lineup combinations. It was a dress rehearsal for IU’s four scholarship newcomers and a first look at IU’s attempt to shore up a porous defense.

And by the end of Tuesday evening, it was a 82-54 Indiana win over the University of Ottawa before a half-full Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers scored 23 consecutive points late in the second half to run away with the rematch win over the Gee-Gees, who won last summer’s exhibition in Montreal.

James Blackmon Jr. led Indiana with 15 points, while Thomas Bryant posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Troy Williams nearly joined Bryant, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds for the Hoosiers, who close the exhibition season at home next Monday against Bellarmine.

Turnovers were an issue for both teams, with Ottawa committing 23 errors to IU’s 19. Guard Caleb Agada led the Gee-Gees with 17 points. The Hoosiers shot 49 percent (34-for-69) from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range (8-for-20), and scored 44 points in the paint. IU also outrebounded a slighter Ottawa side, 46-34.

Ottawa, recognized earlier in the day as Canada’s No. 1 team in their nation’s preseason poll, stood as a quality preseason opponent. But the Gee-Gees, known for their penchant for 3-point shooting, didn’t connect at their normal rate from the perimeter.

Perhaps it was the quick turnaround from a 3-game weekend tournament in Canada and the quick trip to Bloomington, but Ottawa didn’t resemble the same hot shooting team the Hoosiers saw last summer on their five-game Canadian tour.

The Gee-Gees shot only 19 percent from outside the arc, hitting only 5 of their 26 3-point attempts. The team was averaging nearly 43 percent from the perimeter before its trip to IU.

Prior to Tuesday night in Bloomington, the Gee-Gees had never played before a crowd larger than 10,780, and the Assembly Hall stage seemed to rattle Ottawa as the Hoosiers built their lead to as many as 14 points midway through the opening half.

Once the nerves were no longer a factor, Ottawa held up its end of the exhibition bargain. A 9-0 run late in the half brought the Gee-Gees within five points of tying the game, and they later inched as close as four points from IU with 3:10 to play in the half.

The run was mostly a product of turnovers, of which Indiana had 13 at halftime.

Crean sought to manage minutes in IU’s first game action of the season, and mixed lineups and subbed frequently. Indiana started the game with a more traditional lineup of Bryant, Max Bielfeldt, Williams, Blackmon and Yogi Ferrell. No one played more than Ferrell’s 28 minutes on the court.

Ottawa cut its deficit to six points at 57-51 on back-to-back 3s midway through the second half, but IU responded with 23 consecutive points to seal the win.

This story will be updated.


  1. It was a sparse crowd until I got to the parking lot. Maybe people pay $10.00 to park than listen to the radio broadcast in the car? Hope Bryant hangs around a couple of years. The guy has energy. Won’t be confused with Cody running the floor, but that’s OK. Lot of difficult passes that didn’t work from everybody. Sure was silence when Yogi jumped the bench and disappeared. Come on, it’s an exhibition game, don’t need a broken leg. Can tell they have been working on defense, was good – at times. Not seen any other teams play yet but think a #15 ranking isn’t going to last long. Just me & 10 cops in the balcony for the first 10 minutes of the game. Somewhere around 50 students showed up at the 10 min mark.

  2. The first time I was able to view Bryant, Morgan and Anunoby. Anunoby I told my friend of 40 years as us old timers who might know a bit about IU BB, though he not having BTN Plus, that Anunoby reminded me of what we said when Olidepo then now Williams were gangly IU newbies, Anunoby is interesting and has his own athletic game and could be a force on the court. Bryant on the other is possibly one of the best pure post players I have seen in an IU form, he is more of a beast on the boards than the recent stars (Zellers, Vonleah, though maybe not as polished around the rim than Zellers, he has some board toughness as Tolbert, stronger than Henderson, White, Turner, Garrett, but more athletic than Benson, he might be analogous to McGinnis or Wright. But he is a beast and appears to know the paint game more advanced than merely a true freshman. Rounding out the freshman was Morgan which I didn’t see much so it probably was forgettable. The other add is the “how did UM let a senior froward who can play get away” Bielfeldt where with Ziesloft, Hartman and Ferrell IU has enough experience and presence to really be much better than a 15th ranked marque BB team.

    Now as they tune up for Creighton then Wake Forest this month we shall see if they truly are the dark horse contender in the B1G.

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