1. HOOSIERS HQ
Undersized Indiana stuck to its guns and shot its way past No. 22 SMU Thursday night at Assembly Hall, Mike writes.
On a night that was mostly a struggle for Hanner Moquera-Perea, he made a play when Indiana needed it most by taking a charge, I wrote.
Ohio State football has its eyes set on Big Ten Championship Game redemption, and Indiana marks the next step, Mike wrote.
Tyra Buss has proven to be more than a scorer with 15 steals in her first two games as a Hoosier heading into tonight’s matchup with Morehead State, Jon writes.
Indiana midfielder Tanner Thompson turned his brother’s accusation of fat into being fit, I wrote.
2. IT’S INDIANA
Troy Williams returned and even an imperfect performance was a big lift for Indiana, Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News writes.
Williams’ suspension is over and his contributions to the Hoosiers just beginning, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.
With suspensions over, Indiana enjoyed the soothing balm of victory against SMU Thursday, Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com writes.
Troy Williams hopes to make good on his second chance at Indiana, Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com writes.
IU displayed a bond that was missing last season in a resume-building win over SMU, Rick Bozich of WDRB.com writes.
Give Indiana an “A” after a tension-smoothing victory at Assembly Hall, Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports says.
Freshman and clipboard holder Zander Diamont has been thrust into the starting QB job at Indiana, Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch writes.
3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
A Troy Williams-inspired choice, “Second Chance” by .38 Special.
His punishment led him behind the scenes — the last place Troy Williams wanted to be as a new season unfolded.
But that’s where Williams was forced to watch Indiana’s first four games, including two exhibitions, as he and teammates Stanford Robinson and Emmitt Holt served suspensions for preseason missteps.
And that’s where Williams said he began to learn a lesson about appreciating the opportunity he has in front of him.
“After this experience, it actually means a lot more to me now, you know what I mean?” Williams said after Thursday’s 74-68 win over No. 22 SMU. “I wouldn’t say I take it for granted, but I see how other people see it. I now see what kind of position I uphold now, so it’s just a new look on everything.”
Thursday was Williams’ first game back after he and Robinson reportedly failed drug tests during the summer. The sophomore forward came off the bench to score 11 points and grab four rebounds in 23 minutes, adding some much needed length to the Hoosiers’ lineup rotation.
“I was really glad to be back and out there in the war again with my team and my brothers,” Williams said. “I just came in with so much anxiety because I was ready to play.”
He and Robinson made their presence felt off the bench. Robinson played only nine minutes, but entered the game as an aggressive backcourt option, who was able to penetrate and dish against SMU’s size.
“I think Stan didn’t play a lot of minutes, but he went in and impacted the game because he changed the dynamic of the game, and that is a huge thing,” IU coach Tom Crean said. “Momentum is always up for grabs in a game. It doesn’t come down to a starter. It doesn’t matter who it is. It doesn’t matter who it is, it can come a lot of different ways. Who has momentum the longest and last usually wins a close game. But he came in when we were a little more perimeter oriented and helped us get a little more attack oriented.”
Holt was suspended for role in the accident involving teammate Devin Davis. The freshman from New York was dressed and available to play, but did not see the floor.
“It just wasn’t the night to go in,” Crean said. “We went a little bit smaller, but he’s worked hard and confidence with playing him. He’s obviously been through a lot. He’s handling it, and he’s growing up, and he works hard every day, and there is a place for him on that court too.”
His familiarity with Bloomington is scant, but Larry Brown is no stranger to the state of Indiana.
Brown coached the Pacers to a 190-137 record from 1993-97, taking the NBA outfit to three playoff appearances in his four seasons, including the Eastern Conference finals in 1994 and 1995.
So Brown, a basketball hall of famer who’s now in his 40th season on the sideline and his third at Southern Methodist, was happy to be back in the Hoosier state on Thursday.
“When you are fortunate enough to be a coach in this state like I was and see the appreciation for this game that you love and are fortunate to be doing, it’s the best,” Brown said after Indiana’s 74-68 victory. “I remember when (IU coach Tom Crean) got the job and things weren’t going good, I marveled at the atmosphere. Mike Woodson is my best friend and we would talk about this all the time. I would always talk about Carolina and Kansas, and this is up there with the best places.”
Brown said his relationship with Crean goes back to the latter’s days at Marquette, where Brown would travel to watch practices on occasion.
Brown’s return to the state of Indiana came three days after former IU coach Mike Davis made his first trip to Assembly Hall since 2006 on Monday night. Brown said he took a moment Thursday to admire the banners that hang beyond the south baseline of the building, and asked reporters after the game whether legendary coach Bob Knight has his name stamped on any property inside the arena.
“I hope some day we can figure that out,” Brown said. “Am I allowed to say that?”
Indiana hit 12 3-pointers and James Blackmon scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Hoosiers to a 74-68 win over No. 22 Southern Methodist on Thursday at Assembly Hall.
Yogi Ferrell added 13 points and Troy Williams poured in 11 points in his first game back from a four-game suspension.
This was the Hoosiers’ first test of the season, and also their first game with a roster resembling full strength. Williams, Stan Robinson and Emmitt Holt were all available after serving suspensions related to preseason transgressions.
The Mustangs outrebounded IU 40-27, but those boards were mostly muted by SMU’s 19 turnovers. The Hoosiers scored 19 points off those errors despite shooting only 36 percent (21-for-58) for the game.
SMU forward Ben Moore added a team-high 16 points for the Mustangs, who went 29-for-51 (56.9 percent) and saw 42 of their points come from the paint.
Kevin Wilson ranks No. 13 in salary among Big Ten coaches, according to USA Today’s college football salary database.
Wilson’s total pay of $1,301,644 puts him at No. 66 in Division I and ahead of only Rutgers’ Kyle Flood ($987,000) in the Big Ten.
Alabama coach Nick Saban is the highest paid coach in the nation at $7,160,187. Four coaches in the Big Ten are ranked in the top 10, including Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio ($5,636,145) at No. 2, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer (4,536,640) at No. 6, Penn State’s James Franklin (4,300,000) at No. 8 and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz (4,075,000) at No. 9.
View more in Football
Indiana’s Troy Williams, Stan Robinson and Emmitt Holt spoke for the first time since their four-game suspensions were handed down, talking with ESPN’s Dana O’Neil on Wednesday.
Here’s an excerpt from her story on Williams and Robinson:
“I know we let a lot of people down, teammates, coaching staff, family and definitely the fans,” Robinson said. “But I think we’ve learned from it. Before I think we had a little idea of what it means to put on an Indiana jersey. Once this all happened and it went public, we saw what it really means to be a Hoosier.”
The players’ suspensions, announced just days after news of the car accident, made for a tumultuous start to the season for the Hoosiers and coach Tom Crean.
“He went through a lot more than we had to go through,” Williams said. “The fact that he kept us through all of this, we’re just grateful.”
Meanwhile, Holt said he’s forever changed by the accident with Devin Davis. An excerpt:
“It was just an awful night, to be honest, that probably changed my life forever,” Holt said in an exclusive interview with ESPN.com. “It did actually change my life forever. When I went to visit him in the hospital for the first time it was like … it was … crazy.
“Then when we talked the first time, I don’t want to go into great detail, but he was trying to comfort me, telling me it wasn’t my fault. But deep down, I’ll always feel like it was my fault. It was one of those moments where you realize you have to be a better person.”
Clearly still shaken, Holt paused frequently for deep breaths and spoke quietly during a 15-minute interview following Indiana’s practice Wednesday. He said he is emotionally and mentally prepared to play basketball but admitted the past few weeks have been the toughest and longest of his life, weeks in which he said he has been forced to grow up quickly.
View more in Men's Basketball
The Indiana women’s basketball team is coming off a program record 115 points Saturday and will face Valparaiso, which scored 91 points in its opener against Butler.
Let’s see how the Hoosier shoot it following a performance where they hit 12-of-19 3-pointers in the first half and finished with a program record of 16. Should be fun. (more…)
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