In Eric Gordon's first official game with my beloved Indiana Hoosiers the frosh phenom from Indy poured in 33 points, and the Hoosiers dominated their over-matched opponent 99-79. Yes, I am aware that IU was hosting the Chattanooga Choo-Choos from the Southern Conference and not a team from the suddenly unstoppable Atlantic Sun conference.
For those of you unfamiliar with NCAAB, the Atlantic Sun is a "mid-major" conference comprised of small, ususally private schools which are supposed to be shelled by the public universities from the "major" conferences such as the Pac-10, Big East, and SEC. Evidently, the Atlantic Sun didn't receive the early season memo. As of today, three Atlantic Sun teams have defeated teams from the aforementioned big-time conferences.
All of these games were road wins for the upset kings from the Atlantic Sun.
Yes, Chattanooga is a team the Hoosiers are supposed to beat, especially since they played at Assembly Hall, but UK, UC, and USC were supposed to beat G-W, Belmont, and Mercer respectively; only they didn't. Yes, Eric Gordon was supposed to play brilliantly, and he did. OJ Mayo also played like everyone expected. He put up big numbers, leading his team in points (32), assists (4), and steals (2); too bad his team lost. Gordon had a sweet box line as well: 9-of-15 from the field (much better than Mayo's 12-of27), 7-of-11 on 3-pointers, six rebounds, four assists; plus his team won going away.
Even though IU trailed at the half, and even though DJ White had his customary brush with an injury, this team looked explosive and entertaining. This year there will be no long scoring droughts. They will not put up an anemic 49 during this campaign, as they did against UCLA in last year's NCAA Tournament. IU is a young team, so there will be significant growing pains, but they are a talented team. Newcomers JaMarcus Ellis, Jordan Crawford, and DeAndre Thomas all contributed to last night's dominating effort. (By the way, DeAndre Thomas is one large man. It's about time that IU had a big bruiser down low.)
Next up for IU are the Longwood Lancers. This may be a tough one.