In this contest, Indiana jumped out to an early lead, but was tested by the athleticism of the Tigers. The Hoosiers moved well without the basketball and made crisp passes to cutters. They ultimately secured the victory against a Savannah St squad that plays without any senior leadership, but with a number of juniors.
Preston Blackmon- Blackmon is a quick guard with good body control and a nice change of pace dribble. He was capable slashing to the basket, and was able to draw contact against Indiana defenders. At 6'0, he has improved as a facilitator for his team, although he still should be considered a scoring lead guard. While he often moves the ball around the perimeter, Blackmon thrives finding players off the bounce once he beats his defender. This is because he has a good first step and can hit jump shots when open. With that said, he must become more efficient if he ever wants to play professional basketball overseas at any level.
Cedric Smith- Smith is an aggressive hustle player who is able to attack the basket. He regularly dives on the ball and is one of the best role players on his Savannah St. squad. Smith is a good rebounder for his size, and was willing to go head to head with Cody Zeller at times. Offensively, Smith struggles to connect on jumpers from the field and virtually never takes shots from beyond the arc. Despite this fact, he was rather efficient from the field in this one because he took high percentage shots. Further, he revealed his quick first step and was able to get to the rim with regularity. With that said, he must improve as a free throw shooter- he is hitting roughly 50% of his attempts at the line so far this season. Even though he has shot the ball poorly early on, this trend should change by the end of the year. On the defensive end, Smith is very aggressive and moves his feet well. He is capable of guarding bigger players. Overall, Smith is a serviceable role player who performed well in this contest.
Joshua Montgomery- While he has not shot the ball well in early action, Montgomery is an opportunistic outside shooter who is capable of keeping his team in the game. In this contest, he hit 40% from 3 point range and was able to nail shots from the mid range. Montgomery did a decent job pulling up off the dribble. On the defensive end, Montgomery did a good job of contesting Verdell Jones, and forced him into some tough shots. He has good hands and deceptive quickness on this end of the floor.
Rashad Hassan- Hassan is Savannah St.'s leading scorer, who was aggressive in this contest. Hassan attacked the basket and was able to get to the line frequently. He did a good job of attacking the body of Cody Zeller, the much bigger player. He is undersized at 6'7, but has some good athleticism to compensate. Hassan played virtually the entire second half with four fouls, but was able to finish through contact and avoid several potential charging calls. Defensively, he was limited and was not able to contain Cody Zeller; however, he did a good job of physically challenging him in the first half. Hassan should make an impact throughout the year and has the potential to earn attention as an Al'onzo Coleman-type player.
Cody Zeller- Zeller has great strength for an interior player. He was able to finish through contact and get to the line with regularity in this one. Zeller has a nice array of post moves and could be the best rebounder on Indiana. He is aggressive boxing out and employs considerable length to corral rebounds. Zeller has deceptive quickness and athleticism for a player his size. However, he struggled defensively against the quicker Savannah St. big men. He ended the game with four fouls and had a hard time containing the Tigers' dribble penetration.
Verdell Jones- Jones played under control, demonstrating considerable senior leadership. After entering college as a wing, Jones has since converted to the point, and he regularly looks to get his teammates involved. In this contest, he aggressively attacked the basket, but struggled to finish through contact. Further, he was not particularly efficient from the field and clearly struggled against the quick hands of the Savannah St. defenders.
Derek Elston- Elston was a surprise player in this contest, who was able to dial in from three point range. Elston is one of the most efficient offensive players on Indiana this season, hitting 10 of his 14 field goal attempts prior to this contest. At 6'9, Elston functions primarily as a spot up shooter with teammates like Watford and Zeller preferring to play inside. On the defensive end, Elston struggles and is more of a positional defender that attempts to draw charges. He is not vertically explosive, and this makes him a liability on this end.