Three takeaways from Indiana’s 91-65 win over North Alabama at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall:
• Free throws win basketball games. Indiana was able to get to the foul line at a high rate against North Alabama and converted, going 37-of-45 (83.3 percent) from the charity stripe. For an Indiana team that struggled shooting free throws last season, it is an encouraging sign. Indiana is not just getting to the foul line at a high rate early this season but is cashing in as well. The Hoosiers are averaging 33.3 trips to the line in three games while shooting 76 percent (76-of-100) from the line so far.
• Sophomore point guard Rob Phinisee showed some good assertiveness off the bench as he continues to work his way back from an abdominal injury. Phinisee had 13 points and six assists in 22 minutes, including 10 points and five assists in the first half to help IU maintain a 47-40 halftime lead. Phinisee could work his way back in the starting lineup soon, and his on-the-ball defense will be valuable as IU continues to try to find ways to shut down dribble penetration.
• Indiana allowed North Alabama sophomore guard Jamari Blackmon to get too comfortable and in an early shooting rhythm. Blackmon made open 3-pointers on his first two attempts from the floor and carried that confidence through the rest of the half, going 4-for-4 from 3-point range to help North Alabama hang around and stay within 47-40 at halftime. Simply put, IU players need to do a better job on the scouting report and harass the best shooter on the opposing team early and often.