DURHAM, N.C. -- Admit it, we were all thankful when the schedule makers of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge awarded college basketball the matchup of Indiana playing at Duke for just the second time ever and the first since 2006.
The Hoosiers and Blue Devils were both preseason top-10 teams and it was supposed to be one of the better nonconference games in the nation.
Instead Duke's 94-74 pounding of Indiana suggested two teams headed in different directions.
Ingram isn't fading after all
Duke freshman forward Brandon Ingram has had a hard time managing expectations. Ranked third as a recruit in the class of 2015 in the ESPN 100, Ingram opened the season playing like a rising star with 15 and 21 points, respectively, in his first two games.
After scoring just four against Kentucky, it seemed he started regressing. During the Utah State win on Sunday, a couple of fans sitting in the student section had quietly taken to calling him “Weak Daddy” and bemoaned his every shot.
Members of the media even asked Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski after that game if Ingram's confidence was shot, knowing he was just 14-of-40 from the field over the past five games.
He erased any signs of a struggling shooter before Indiana had a chance to get its defense set. Ingram made seven of his first eight attempts -- including four 3-pointers -- en route to 18 points in the first half. He finished with a season-best and team-high 24 points.
Zoned out from rebounding?
Indiana will not be a great defensive team this season. We get that. But the way the Hoosiers play zone doesn't appear to be helping them much at all.
Even when the Blue Devils missed shots early, more often than not, they grabbed their misses because the Hoosiers were out of position. Duke collected 10 of its 19 total offensive boards in the first half and outscored IU 26-8 in second-chance points.
Indiana's starting frontcourt of Thomas Bryant, Collin Hartman and Troy Williams did not record a single rebound in the first half. Bryant entered the game as the team's leading rebounder and did not have any the entire game.
Guard Yogi Ferrell, who seems generously listed at 6 feet tall, tied Williams with three rebounds on the night.
Eight is enough, or is it seven?
Krzyzewski told last season's team after Rasheed Sulaimon was dismissed that having an eight-man rotation was good enough to win a championship. Against Indiana, Krzyzewski primarily stuck with his starting five and used Derryck Thornton and Luke Kennard as reserves.
Grayson Allen, Matt Jones and Amile Jefferson are all averaging more than 30 minutes per game for the Blue Devils. Allen said on Sunday that he figured that would continue, although he expected younger players like Chase Jeter, who did not play against Indiana, to develop and earn more time as the season progressed.