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CJ Gunn takes the floor during Indiana's exhibition win against Marian. (HN photo/Eden Snower)
CJ Gunn takes the floor during Indiana's exhibition win against Marian. (HN photo/Eden Snower)

Tommy's Three Takeaways: Indiana throttles Elon, but Big Ten play looms

Will Indiana be able to score on the road in conference play?

Indiana basketball got a much-needed bounce back win Tuesday after getting soundly defeated at Allen Fieldhouse by Kansas. The Hoosiers defeated the Elon Phoenix 96-72, improving to 9-3 on the season.

Considering both IU was without its top two scorers in Trayce Jackson-Davis and Xavier Johnson, it was pretty impressive the Hoosiers were able to score almost 100 points. However, there is some concern with it being unknown exactly when Johnson will return from his injury, as he is such a valuable piece to this Indiana offense. Here are some of my other takeaways from Tuesday night.

The 3-point defense needs to be better

A huge reason why Arizona and Kansas were able to score so many points on Indiana’s defense was because of how timely both teams made 3s. The Hoosiers would even leave some of the best 3-point shooters on both teams open to take a shot and kill IU’s confidence.

In the first half against Elon, it seemed like Indiana had that same problem. Sure the Phoenix did make some tough contested shots from outside, but most of these shots in the first half were wide open due to a miscommunication from Indiana. While IU did a much better job of at least contesting 3-pointers in the second half, a 2-10 Elon team shouldn’t have gotten the easy looks that it got Tuesday.

CJ Gunn and Logan Duncomb’s performance brings hope despite Johnson’s injury

Having Jackson-Davis and Johnson out for Tuesday night’s game, it was no surprise that Mike Woodson was going to give others a chance to earn some minutes against Elon. We had seen CJ Gunn get minutes from time to time, but not as much as he did Tuesday night. But dropping 11 points off the bench, Gunn proved himself as a guy that Woodson can go to if his backcourt is struggling.

But what really impressed me Tuesday night was the play of Logan Duncomb. We have also seen Duncomb only a couple of times this season, however Tuesday night’s performance from the sophomore was impressive. Duncomb gave the Hoosiers an efficient 10 points and five rebounds off the bench, as well as giving Indiana more size in the post. Both players took advantage of the opportunity to get more minutes, which can only help IU in the future.

IU can’t just have good offensive performances at home

Like last year, the Hoosiers have had some very impressive offensive performances at Assembly Hall. Tuesday night was surely one of those nights, as they put up nearly 100 points without their two leading scorers. But there comes a point in the season where the Hoosiers need to be able to make shots on the road.

With Big Ten play coming up soon, Indiana is going to run into a lot of hungry teams on the road who are going to want to upset them. To do that, they’re going to have to avoid what happened against Rutgers and Kansas, and be able to make shots. After a game against Kennesaw State on Friday, the Hoosiers will travel to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in their third Big Ten game, which will surely be a hostile environment come Jan. 5.

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