PC’s David Duke tries to score in loss to Indiana. (Photo courtesy Brian Spurlock/Camping World Maui Invitational
By KEVIN McNAMARA
Well that sure was ugly.
The Indiana Hoosiers took the Providence Friars to the old woodshed Monday at the Camping World Maui Invitational here in Asheville, N.C.
It sure was ugly.
Indiana jumped on the Friars quickly and never let up in a 79-58 blowout win. The Hoosiers led by as many as 17 points in the first half and by 37-24 at the break.
“We just didn’t pay attention to detail,” said a frustrated/stunned coach Ed Cooley. “We had a lot of mental breakdowns.”
Despite some moments of aggression in the second half by the Friars, Indiana never blinked. The Hoosiers return seven of their top nine scorers, including four starters, from last year’s 20-12 team. They look like a stout, experienced team.
The Friars, however, did not. One fear before the game was just how smoothly the team’s offense was going to run against a Big Ten defense.
I was right.
But what was unexpected was how much Indiana killed the Friars off the boards. The Hoosiers ripped PC off the glass, 42-33, and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. They scored 36 points in the paint. Race Thompson, a redshirt junior who averaged 3.6 points and 3.9 rebounds last year, played the game of his career. He set career-highs in points (22) and rebounds (13). Eight of his rebounds came off the offensive glass.
Asked about the whopping rebounding disparity, Cooley said “The word would be flabbergasted. “
He then promised that “there will be a big, big change tomorrow,” when the Friars face a very good Davidson team.
Here are some game highlights – all Indiana, of course.
*Nate Watson – 12 points, 5 rebounds.
*Jared Bynum – 9 points.
*Race Thompson. Indiana forward set his career-highs with 22 points and 13 rebounds and coolly did whatever he wanted in the paint. Thompson averaged 3.7 points last season.
*Sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, a Preseason All-Big Ten pick, was saddled by foul woes early yet still finished with 12 points and 7 boards.
*Send out a search party for David Duke. The Friars need their junior guard to be a star but he was simply not good in this one. He was out of rhythm on offense and, surprisingly, beaten on defense too many times. He finished with 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting.
“I believe in David,” Cooley said. “He had a tough game. He probably was on top of their scouting report, like he will be for a lot of teams this season.”
*Remember when we were typing about how deep and dangerous PC’s big man trio could be? Well Nate Watson had his moments and Noah Horchler grabbed 9 rebounds in 16 minutes but Indiana killed the Friars in the paint. Basically Indiana did what Providence usually does to its opponents – bully them in the paint.
“Our guys scrapped, played hard,” said IU coach Archie Miller. “This is a team that has to pride itself on a tough-mindedness, a scrapiness.”
Cooley agreed with the obvious: “They out-toughed us. They man-handled us on the glass.”
*Got to give some props to Jared Bynum. While it seemed some Friars were running from the challenge, the transfer from Washington, D.C. played tough in the second half.
*I’m sure he drove Friar fans crazy, but I’m a little miffed I missed Bill Walton on ESPN2. He’s high, and he has some great lines.
UP NEXT: PC faces Davidson Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The Wildcats pushed No. 17 Texas to the limit before losing in the Maui opener, 78-76.