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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, December 04, 2016 6:16 pm

Notebook: Johnson credited for greasing IU offense

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

BLOOMINGTON — Robert Johnson posted 17 points and seven rebounds for Indiana in Sunday's 83-55 home win over Southeast Missouri State. But his performance went beyond the box score, according to teammate De'Ron Davis.

"He's very important from a leader and a player statement," Davis said. "Rob controls the tempo on the floor. And he controls everybody pretty much. As a team, we're working on our communication. But Rob really controls the tempo."

Johnson deflected credit and said teammates made Sunday's game easier for him.

"He's growing and onward," Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said of Johnson, a junior. "I said that to him when he came out of the game the last week. This is a big week to take the next step. This week and next week are huge weeks for improvement, individually and as a team.

"So we want to make sure that they have a good amount of time to get their projects done and all the stuff that they have this week. But at the same time when we're here we've got to be really locked into the improvement. And he's making improvements, without a doubt, in all those areas."

Praise for Blackmon: Southeast Missouri State coach Rick Ray indicated Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. will have an NBA career. "He's going to be paid to shoot the ball at the next level," Ray said. "I told our guys he is a professional shooter."

Unique achievement: Indiana center Thomas Bryant had seven points, 10 rebounds, four blocked shots, three steals and three assists. Only one other Division I player this season has matched those totals in a game. Jeremy Morgan had such a statistical line for Northern Iowa on Nov. 20 against Xavier.