The Iowa men’s basketball program has played more than half of its regular season schedule for the 2021-22 season, but somehow it still feels too early to tell what the future has in store for this team. On one hand, the Hawkeyes are 13-4 and boast one of the top offenses in college basketball, buoyed by the sensational two-way play of the nation’s leading scorer Keegan Murray. On the other hand, Iowa is only 3-3 in Big Ten play and currently sits at 7th in the conference standings, raising serious questions about whether Iowa can actually compete against other strong teams from major conferences.

Iowa’s win against Indiana on Thursday night was a nice feather in the cap for the more optimistic strain of Hawkeye fans. Despite struggling to get stops in the first half and getting only 22 minutes from Keegan Murray thanks to nagging foul troubles, the Hawkeyes wore down the Hoosiers in the second half by excelling in two areas where they normally struggle: defense and rebounding. Iowa’s aggressive defense forced 23 Indiana turnovers and outrebounded the Hoosiers, a team that has been excellent on the glass all season, 31-27 with a +3 offensive rebounding margin.