Heading into Indiana's foreign trip to Canada last week, most fans were excited to see what freshmen James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson and others could do. It would be their first time in an IU uniform, and they arrived in Bloomington as heralded recruits.
But it was another newcomer, transfer Nick Zeisloft, that proved to be the biggest surprise during IU's trip to Montreal.
Zeisloft, a 6-foot-4 guard who transferred to IU from Illinois State, made smart decisions all week and shot the ball extremely well from beyond the arc.
**Zeisloft made at least two 3-pointers in each of the first four games on the trip. Over that stretch, Zeisloft made 11 of his 18 3-point attempts, good for 61 percent.
**Zeisloft scored in double-figures in back-to-back games against Carleton and McGill. He had 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting (all 3s) against Carleton and 15 points and six rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting against McGill.
“I thought he had a very good game the whole way," Tom Crean said after the win over Carleton. “I thought his desire to come out here and show that he was capable of more defensively that really got his offense going. And he’s no different than anyone else. He has been known for what he has done offensively but we certainly wouldn’t have signed him if there wasn’t defensive upside for him. And there is.
“Now I’m saying all of this, but we gave up some offensive boards. We had some balls taken from us. We’re playing against an experienced older group of people in these games which is great for us. And the bottom line is there is so much to learn, win or lose, that you can learn that there’s so much that you can get better at. I thought everyone of them including Nick came out and understood that they were capable of more tonight from a mindset area and from an energy and toughness area."
**Zeisloft didn't record a single turnover in Indiana's first four games on the trip, but totaled eight assists. He turned the ball over three times in the final game on Wednesday.
All in all, it was a productive week for Zeisloft, especially considering he didn't graduate from Illinois State until recently and had barely practiced with the team before the trip to Montreal. He could be a significant contributor for the Hoosiers this season.