Ready for some nostalgia?
7 years ago today the 13th ranked Hoosiers took down the 3rd ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. OG Anunoby, likely the top former Hoosier currently competing in the NBA, led the charge with 16 points and 5 boards. While he was the catalyst, it was truly a collective effort as all five starters scored in double figures. Former Hoosiers coach Tom Crean also got some solid supplementary minutes from De’Ron Davis and Juwan Morgan off the pine.
In the clash of college basketball blue-bloods, it was all Hoosiers right from the opening tip as North Carolina never led for the duration of the game. While that particular IU team may not have been the most talented in the program’s storied history, they did boast one of the more formidable starting lineups in recent memory. The unit, which featured Josh Newkirk, Robert Johnson, James Blackmon Jr, Anunoby, and Thomas Bryant, were on the floor together for a majority of the contest, and proved too cohesive at the time for the Tar Heels to overcome.
Those guys came out of the gates strongly, and played with a ton of energy from the jump. That energy translated to an incredibly raucous environment inside Assembly Hall, as the roar from the crowd never settled throughout the night. Anunoby and Thomas tussled in the paint, and dominated the boards with the help of Rojo and JBJ. The backcourt duo of Johnson and Blackmon Jr also hit some big shots, with Blackmon Jr knocking down a couple of big treys early on. With Newkirk serving as a stabilizing presence on both ends, the game was a clinic on basketball chemistry. Everyone was doing what they needed to do, and the end result was a direct reflection of that.
While the night was a success for the Hoosiers, the biggest moment of the night was a setback. That occurred when OG rolled his ankle after landing awkwardly in the waining minutes of the game. Hoosier Nation was extremely worried about the status of their star, as he was initially listed as being out indefinitely following the injury. However, he wound up missing just three games before a relatively quick return against state rival Butler a few weeks later.