Indiana jumped back into the Big Ten title conversation Thursday, and in the process, earned the signature win its resume lacked.
This was IU’s answer to Saturday’s gut punch on the road, a well-rounded and focused performance befitting a team with grand postseason aspirations.
The 85-78 win over No. 4 Iowa vaults Indiana back to the top of the conference standings, securing a first-place tie with the Hawkeyes and Maryland. After the weekend loss at Penn State temporarily kicked IU into third place, the Hoosiers knew they needed a win to remain in the conference championship picture.
Through a late push and a heap of resilience, they got it.
“It’s a great win,” junior forward Collin Hartman said.
No doubt about it. The Hoosiers outrebounded (39-35) and kept pace with one of the league’s quickest and most physical lineups. Perhaps most impressively, they didn’t allow the Hawkeyes to steal their legs. Credit an outstanding effort from IU’s bench, which outscored Iowa’s 28-0.
“We got so much good play from so many people,” IU coach Tom Crean said.
Indeed they did. Five IU players scored in double figures, led by Yogi Ferrell’s 14 points. Robert Johnson and Troy Williams each added 13, while Max Bielfeldt and Thomas Bryant each finished with 10. On a night when Indiana didn’t have one of the runaway scoring outputs from one of its stars, it could take solace that a collection of players were ready to assist when help was needed.
And after Iowa erased Indiana’s 16-point first-half lead, there was plenty of assistance required. (more…)
1. Bounce-back game for Yogi Ferrell?
Saturday was a night worth forgetting, especially for IU’s senior point guard. The Penn State loss marked one of the worst shooting performances of an otherwise sterling season for Ferrell, who went only 3-for-12 from the field. He also struggled to follow his nine-assist effort against Michigan, committing five turnovers —including one for every assist. But Ferrell’s track record shows that he seldom posts two sub-par offensive games in a row, and he will look to take over in his matchup with Iowa’s Mike Gesell.
2. Iowa’s many matchup problems.
Whether it’s center Adam Woodbury, forward Jarrod Uthoff or someone else, a list of matchup problems awaits virtually every team that lines up against the Hawkeyes. Perhaps the biggest of those matchup problems stems from Iowa’s use of reserve forward Dom Uhl. The athletic and versatile 6-foot-9 sophomore can play small forward or power forward, but his ability to play consistent stretches at center adds a different dimension to Iowa’s mixing and matching. “Our coaches are really concerned about that and who’s gonna guard him that way,” IU coach Tom Crean said. “I’m more (of the mind) that we just have to guard him.” (more…)
Indiana University’s investment in Kevin Wilson is now clear.
A copy of Wilson’s new contract amendment obtained by The Herald-Times through an open records request shows that the IU football coach’s base salary remains on par with his previous contractual agreement at IU, but his benefits have increased substantially.
Wilson is due to make $542,000 in base pay through the 2021 football season as part of his new six-year deal, after having been listed as making $542,227 in 2015. But he’ll also receive annual promotional income beginning at $1,608,000 — a significant bump from the $600,000 in promotional fees he received in his original contract.
All told, Wilson will receive $2.15 million for coaching IU’s football team this season.
The promotional income, which covers additional responsibilities like public appearances, media communications and sponsorship agreements, will increase annually by at least $100,000 during the length of the deal.
So Wilson stands to make $2.25 million in 2017 and $2.35 million in 2018. He’ll make $2.55 million in 2019 when the promotional fee increases by $200,000. The fee returns to a $100,000 increase across the 2020 and 2021 years of the deal, and by the end of contract in 2021, Wilson will be in line to make $2.75 million during the final year.
According to the USA Today coaching salary database, Wilson reportedly made $1.31 million in total compensation as IU coach in 2015.
The new contract also includes bonuses for bowl appearances. Wilson will receive $100,000 should IU play in any bowl that is not one of the “New Year’s Six” and the payout to the university is less than $2 million. If the bowl payout is $2 million or more, Wilson will receive a bonus of $200,000.
There is also an annual deferred compensation package of $60,000 that the university will deposit into a separate account each year that Wilson remains IU’s coach.
Portions of his original 2011 contract carry over to the new deal, including the annual additional benefit stipend of $100,000. This money is designed to cover personal expenses such as “spouse vehicle/insurance/license, social club membership(s), entertainment for football staff/families, iPad/other electronic devices, family travel and child care that are incidental to the position as head football coach.”
The buyout portion of the contract remains unchanged from the original document, so if Wilson is fired without cause before the deal expires, IU will owe him his annual base salary of $542,000 through the length of the contract. If he were to be fired during the season, IU would also owe him what was left of his promotional fees for that year.
But Indiana’s financial responsibilities to Wilson could evaporate depending on the coach’s next move.
Should Wilson find gainful employment either in coaching or media, IU’s salary obligation to him would be offset dollar-for-dollar by Wilson’s total compensation at his new job. So, for example, if he were to take a new coaching position that paid him more than what he was owed by Indiana, IU would be off the hook completely.
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When the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced its midseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award last month, Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell was not included.
In the meantime, Ferrell has done enough to change the minds of voters.
Ferrell was added to the Wooden Award’s Late Season Top 20 list on Wednesday, a fitting honor for a player who has authored the best basketball of his four-year career during the last month. For the season, Ferrell is averaging 17.3 points, 5.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game for IU. But since the start of Big Ten play on Dec. 30, Ferrell has increased his production.
Across IU’s first 11 conference games, Ferrell is averaging 18.6 points and shooting 50.8 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Ferrell is one of four Big Ten players included on the Late Season list, joining Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine, Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff and Maryland’s Melo Trimble.
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Indiana picked up its third straight win with a road victory Wednesday over Illinois, 80-68.
Tyra Buss led the Hoosiers with 21 points. Amanda Cahill produced her eighth double-double of the season with 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Kym Royster, Karlee McBride and Alexis Gassion each finished with 10 points.
The Hoosiers (16-9, 8-5 Big Ten) started off slow, getting behind 9-2 with 6:39 left in the first quarter. But IU charged back with a 9-0 run and led the rest of the game after a layup by Gassion made it 13-11 midway through the period.
IU took a 25-18 lead into the second quarter and a 44-34 lead into halftime. Illinois (8-16, 1-12 Big Ten) shot 8-of-21 from 3, but the Hoosiers outrebounded the Illini, 49-33, including 18 offensive rebounds. That translated to a 17-2 advantage on second-chance points for the Hoosiers.
This was the Hoosiers’ second Big Ten road victory of the season, and the Hoosiers’ sixth win in their last seven games. IU returns to Assembly Hall Sunday for a rematch with Wisconsin. The Hoosiers lost to the Badgers, on the road, in the conference opener.
The win also puts IU a half-game behind Minnesota (16-7, 8-4 Big Ten) and in fifth place in the Big Ten standings. Minnesota will visit Assembly Hall on Feb. 18.
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