BLOOMINGTON – Christian Watford wore No. 32 as a tribute to his teammate Derek Elston.
Watford finished with a career-high 15 rebounds, to go along with 15 points, in a 97-54 victory against Bryant on Friday.
Watford normally wears No. 2. Elston, a fellow senior forward, is recovering from a knee injury.
"I just wanted to give a little tribute to Derek. He has definitely been with me from the beginning. He's endured some tough times. He's out, and he's just one of us. I just wanted to bring him out on the court with us," Watford said.
So, is Elston going to have to look for a new number?
"I'm not going to keep the number," Watford said with a laugh. "Coach (Tom) Crean may want me to keep it, but I'm not going to keep it."
IU players Cody Zeller, Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell and Watford talked about what worked and what the team needs to work on after the victory.
"Obviously we have to defend and rebound to be successful this year," Zeller said. "I thought we did fairly well throughout the game tonight. But there are certain plays here and there that we have to get better."
Indiana held a 46-29 rebounding edge.
Bryant did have 13 offensive rebounds to IU's 11.
"We let them get too many offensive rebounds," Watford said. "That was a big part of the game.
"I feel like we shared the ball well tonight. We played well off each other, especially for it being the first game."
IU had 16 assists. Ferrell had seven and Jordan Hulls had five.
Ferrell said the improvements can be made on defense.
"We should have gotten back better on defense," he said. "At times they had a man leaking out, and we wouldn't always get back. That's mainly on the guards. We have to get back and just contain the ball in transition defense and just try to get more stops."
The opponent's view
Bryant coach Tim O'Shea thought IU made the most of its size.
"They had a huge size advantage and the have the best player in the country," he said, referring to Zeller. "They played off of him, and I think he was 8 of 10 (from the floor).
"We don't have much size, and our two big guys fouled out, so it was very difficult guarding him."