Three takeaways from IU’s 98-65 win over Western Illinois at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall:
• Justin Smith looks comfortable in the small forward spot. Smith displayed his athleticism on both ends of the floor, getting steals, getting out in transition and finishing inside. He even made a corner 3-pointer. IU will have an interesting decision to make when Devonte Green returns, whether to start three guards with Green, Rob Phinisee and Al Durham and move Smith to the power forward spot. But given Smith’s size and length as a 6-foot-7 small forward, his ability to go inside and create mismatches could make him more valuable where he’s playing right now.
• Indiana was efficient at the 3-point line, making 5 of 11 attempts. The Hoosiers don’t have to take many to be effective, given the physicality of the frontline should get IU to the foul line between 20 to 30 times per night. Ultimately, it’s about the right players taking the right shots, and Durham, one of IU’s best pure shooters, went 3-for-3 from 3-point range.
• Redshirt freshman forward Jerome Hunter showed promise in his first career IU game after sitting out last season following a leg surgical procedure. Hunter had seven points in 19 minutes off the bench, including an early steal and breakaway layup. Hunter doesn’t appear to have the explosiveness he had going to the rim in high school fully back yet, but he was able to get to the foul line four times and has range out to the 3-point line that could materialize during the course of the season.