Crean is counting on Watford to build on his early-season success.
Behind the steady play of sophomore Christian Watford, the Indiana Hoosiers are enjoying their first four-game win streak in the Tom Crean era.
In the initial two weeks of the 2010-2011 campaign, IU has defeated visiting opponents Florida Gulf Coast (88-60), Wright State (67-44), Mississippi Valley State (71-54) and Evansville (67-54).
While it would be misleading to define those games as "quality" non-conference tests, the cream and crimson have nonetheless "taken care of business" by beating each by double digits.
Here's a quick look at the good, the bad and the worrisome through IU's first four games.
The 6'9" forward leads the Hoosiers in scoring (17.8) and rebounding (7.8), and is second in assists (2.8). Watford is also netting 51 percent of his field goals and 85 percent of his free throws.
Verdell Jones III
Third-year starter Jones III has put up 14.3 points per game in the young season, including a career-high 27 against Wright State.
Indiana is shooting 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc.
The Hoosiers are limiting opponents to 53 points per game and 35 percent shooting.
Victor Oladipo (5.8 ppg) and Will Sheehey (4.5 ppg) have offered solid contributions in 2010-2011. Can these two make a difference when tougher opponents come calling?
IU has committed 19.3 turnovers per game against weakish foes. What would that equate to in the Big Ten? Jones III, who has 22 turnovers, is the prime lack-of-ball-control culprit.
Aside from Watford, Indiana's interior play has been suspect. Junior Tom Pritchard (3 ppg) and sophomores Derek Elston (3.3 ppg) and Bobby Capobianco (2 ppg) have produced little in four games.
While Creek had his first breakout performance in 2010-2011 against Evansville on Sunday (19 points), he still looks passive on the court. It's apparent that the knee isn't fully healed, which begs the question: When will Creek be 100 percent?
According to reports, Roth's injury is "not serious," yet he hasn't played a regular season minute.
Michel's eligibility status is still unclear. Indiana is fine for now without a center, but once the Big Ten begins the Hoosiers will need his inside presence, especially on the defensive end.