Indiana was able to hold off Iowa in a 69-65 victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Monday, and they did it without anything from Jordan Hulls, offensively. Literally.
The senior guard who has been the deep threat and the offensive stalwart on the perimeter for the Hoosiers finished with no points after missing all 10 of his shots, including four three-pointers.
Hulls had an off-day shooting, and finished with six assists, three rebounds and two steals in the win.
That’s got to be a disconcerting sign for Indiana fans. He’s the most reliable perimeter threat for the team and makes them tick whenever Cody Zeller is off. Hulls averages 11.8 points per game and is hitting a ridiculous 54.4-percent from the three-point line on the season.
Playing their conference opener, that’s a bad way to start. If a team that’s rebuilding like the Hawkeyes are can hold him — which they did. Iowa did a great job of hedging perimeter screens and always keeping an eye on him — what happens when it’s time to play Ohio State? Michigan? It’s nowhere near a time to panic or anything, just a something to watch. Hulls has been the model of consistency in terms of scoring for Indiana over his four seasons, averaging 11 points per game since he was a sophomore.
Zeller, however, did Cody Zeller things on Monday, finishing with 19 points and 10 boards on 7-of-12 shooting in the victory. Victor Oladipo had 14 and Christian Watford finished with 11. Will Sheehey had 13.
Aaron White finished with 15 in 33 minutes and Roy Marble had 14 in 33 minutes for Iowa, who stayed in it despite a 3-for-17 shooting day from three. That has to upset Fran McCaffery, knowing that even an average day from the perimeter could’ve meant an upset. Especially when Marble went 1-for-14 overall from the field. Iowa was 21-for-63 (33.3 percent) overall from the field.
David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.