Indiana All-Stars complete sweep


INDIANAPOLIS — There was a point early in the second half of Saturday’s All-Star game that the members of the vaunted Indiana basketball Class of 2012 decided amongst each other that what was occurring on the Bankers Life Fieldhouse floor was unacceptable.

Indiana was sending all 13 players on its squad to Division I squads and nine of those to major conference teams. Kentucky didn’t have a high-major signee and was sending just five of its players to Division I.

The game shouldn’t have been close, and Indiana certainly shouldn’t have been down 55-49 with 13 minutes to play as it was.

“When we were down five, I remember I looked at Yogi (Ferrell) and I said, ‘We can’t lose this game at home,’” said Gary Harris, Hamilton Southeastern guard, Mr. Basketball and a Michigan State commitment. “’We just can’t. We need to win.’”

From that point forward, the previously lethargic Indiana squad went on a 30-5 run to win 83-73 in front of 5,938 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Paired with Friday night’s 90-85 win at Freedom Hall, it gave Indiana its fourth straight series sweep in the all-star series.

Whether that was enough for Indiana — which boasts seven players in Rivals.com’s Top 150 for the Class of 2012 — to live up to its hype is debatable. But at the very least, it avoided the potential disappointment of breaking that streak.

Harris led the team with 17 points and five steals. Broad Ripple guard and Indiana signee Ron Patterson had 14 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Pike guard R.J. Hunter had 11 points and four assists and Lawrence Central swingman and Indiana signee Jeremy Hollowell had nine points and nine rebounds.

“We definitely didn’t want to let everyone else down,” Park Tudor point guard and Indiana signee Yogi Ferrell said. “… We just wanted to live up to what everyone else expected to us, and I think we did tonight.”

The reason that happened, they said, was that after a week of prodding from Jay County coach Craig Teagle, they finally put their collective efforts into defense.

It all started with Harris, who played worthy of his Mr. Basketball title all week. With Indiana down 51-47, he gambled on a pass at the top of the key, stole that and turned it into an easy fast break dunk.

Though Indiana fell behind by two more buckets after that, the squad realized what it had to do. Indiana hadn’t shot well up until that point — making just 35.7 of its shots (15-of-42) in the first half — and would make life much easier on itself if it could create turnovers and get out in transition.

“Defense carried into our transition game,” Ferrell said. “We were playing our game. We’re an athletic fast team. They weren’t really getting back at all. We would always have 3-on-1 opportunities. We were just getting easy buckets. Just talking on defense just led to easy buckets on our offense.”

Said Harris: “Once we saw we were getting easy buckets, we wanted to play defense so we’d get more easy buckets. I think that just gave us a little spark.”

The Indiana lineup of Ferrell, Harris, Hunter, Hollowell Hollowell, Avon forward Austin Burgett and Pike guard R.J. Hunter was on the floor for most of the 20-2 run that ballooned into the 30-5 stretch. Ferrell provided the on-the-ball pressure up the floor. Harris and Hunter gave them two long-armed wing defenders, and Hollowell and Burgett managed to provide post defense to a squad that didn’t have much inside. When they weren’t creating steals — Indiana had 14 of those in the second half — they were contesting shots. Kentucky shot just 11-for-30 (36.7 percent) in the second half.

“We kept getting them to try to buy in on the defensive end (all week),” Teagle said. “’Guys, you’re so athletic, you’re so intelligent, you’re long, you can just be a shutdown team.’ … It’s just one of those things, the longer we would’ve had them, the better they would’ve been defensively. I’m telling you, when a college coach gets these guys under their wing for four or five months during the season, you’re going to see some outstanding defense from all of them.”

They got just enough of it on Saturday night to make certain to meet expectations and continue Indiana’s sweep streak through 2012.

AUDIO: Gary Harris, Yogi Ferrell, R.J. Hunter, Craig Teagle

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53 comments:

  • Geoff says:

    So is Patterson the most competitive recruit? That’s what I’m getting out of all these summaries. Starting to think he is going to make more of an impact next year than i expected. I’m also starting to wish that maybe a nuclear accident happens and Hollowell and Buss melt into each other creating a super-talent called Grit Man, who destroys his adversaries on defense, flies through the air in transition, and has an offensive game as versatile as the utility belt on his his uniform.

  • Chet says:

    I can remember when that game packed Freedom Hall and Hinkle Fieldhouse.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Geoff, I’ll offer my synopsis on Patterson. “D” with in your face ATTITUDE and hi-energy offense welcoming opportunity. He was criticized for having mediocre range with his shooting. Over the last 2-3 years he has been called a ball hog. You are a BB man how do you improve your shooting range and marksmanship? He was ridiculed last year when he left his future IU teammates and their AAU team for another. All for the sake to hone his offensive talents into skills. He set the scoring record at Broad Ripple while breaking former IU Mike Woodsons old one. The end result after all the criticism is he has polished his offensive game so when he gets to Bloomington he can make as solid an impact as possible and as a team player. But make no mistake about it, he is the most fierce HS school defender I have ever observed and that will be his ticket to play early on at IU. Hollowell is a hell of a rebounder on both ends of the court as well as good scoring skills.

  • Chet says:

    HC, right on target. You can learn offensive skills (not that there isn’t skill to defense) but D comes from deep within. You don’t see many players become great defenders late in their career.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Geoff, To add just a little more about RP and “D”, I watched him last year eat up Marcus Paige at an AAU event. Paige is high ranked PG who is committed to the Tar Heels for 2012.

  • Math456 says:

    u.K. Big yellow nation!

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Hope these guys don’t sit on their laurels once they get to IU. That’s why the whole ranking/star system for recruits has gradually damaged the game. These kids have such big heads that they think their greater than any game. Every team pursuit becomes tiresome and blaze…just another game while the grandeur stage awaits.

    Coaches that ruined the IU vs. UK series no different in my eye. Care more about Twitter and personal philosophies to elevate their own images. It rubs off on the high school kids…More about their personal mark than something intrinsic and lasting.

  • IUMIKE1 says:

    HC, I totally share your sentiment about RP. He will be instant improvement for IU in the area of defense where we lacked it the most, on the perimeter. He may not be arriving with the most fanfare out of the incoming freshman but he will almost assuredly be the biggest surprise to a whole lot of people that have not seen him play or have only seen him play a time or two or only in all star game type settings.

    Dustin, let me just say at the start that the following is not a dig at Harris because he didn’t pick IU but rather it is the opinion of myself and as well as the person that went to the game with me who is a very successful IN high school coach. While Harris may have played well last in last night’s game and that performance was worthy of that honor (I was not at it), I would have to disagree on the “all week” part. His play in the game in KY, (I was at this one), left something to be desired (IOHO), especially on defense. He was scored on at will by the KY Mr. Bball at the beginning of that game, so much that the IN coaches finally had to have him switch with another player defensively so that KY did not pretty much just throw the ball into him and let him score on Harris each time. His overall game in KY, again IOHO & several other people’s, left something to be desired. I know this was technically an all star game but I think most would agree it is not your run of the mill all star game or it sure didn’t look like it on Yogi’s face when he pretty much sealed the game in KY at the end with the steal accompanied with the and one. I know that Harris probably understands that he can’t play like that when he gets up there with Izzo, cause if he does, even at first, Izzo will have his ass between his clenched teeth and won’t let go. Again I know it was still an all star game but I would have expected alot more out of him than he gave.

  • BballFan says:

    “I’m also starting to wish that maybe a nuclear accident happens and Hollowell and Buss melt into each other creating a super-talent called Grit Man…”

    Oh great. One more clown coming here to float his own theory on how Crean is going to solve the oversign problem.

    *vbg*

  • bear3440 says:

    I was at the game last night, and I thought #9 (J Hollowell) did alot the firing up, in the second half. Rebounding,blocking shots and some monster slam dunks!!
    Some of these guys did’nt fit together well, that’s why the score got a little out of hand. As soon as he chsnged a few things, BOOM, big difference. I must say #10 (R. Johnson), played extremely well also!! Just IMHO

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Chet, me too. I was really lucky, I had a part-time job for 4-5 years as a correspondent/stringer for the old United Press wire service (later became UPI- my boss was a great guy named Kurt Freudenthal) and he would assign me Indy sectional and regionals, state semi-finals and the finals-(as a dressing room interviewer). He also had me cover Indiana-Kentucky all week and the game; and track and field. Watched Butler Fieldhouse(later renamed Hinkle Fieldhouse) literally exploding at the seams for Indiana-Kentucky; saw (the Coalmon brothers, Jimmy Rayl, the great and later heart-breaking Ray Pavy, Bo Crain, the Van Arsdales, Herbie Lee), followed it all week, traveled to L-oo-vull; and it was a very important story.

    I loved sitting at the press bench, best seats in the house, but also loved to go up in the Eagle’s Nest and see the entire 17,000 in the Fieldhouse divided into colors of the schools, beating like a heart, like in a Disney cartoon.

    Yesterday, when I read the attendance, I could not believe it…I still can’t believe it. The Indianapolis City Tournament used to fill it up, hell Shortridge-Crispus Attucks used to be moved to the Fieldho0use because it would draw 8000 on a regular basis 2-3 times per year (between scheduled games, City tournament and sectionals).

    Beating Kentucky was an important part of growing up and learn how to hate something worth hating. Can’t believe the number Dustin described (I think it was in his story).

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Thanks Bear, good comment. It helps to know who’s who and the ‘insides of the game’.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    HC…I’ve been reading the threads from the bottom up, so I just read the Patterson post. Great post and evaluation…especially your comments that seem to show someone knew how to improve his game. Part of the problem I see with the summer basketball that it seems the club/coaches compete with each other but in the process they may not focus on what the kids need individually to improve. Seems whoever is advising Patterson knew what he/she was doing.

    Broad Ripple has been one heck of a school for a heck of a long time. Of course, they don’t come better than Woodson so if Patterson broke his records he must be something to see and glad he will do what he does in Hoosier Red. Loved your comments about his defense and rebounding. You obviously know how to watch this game.

  • Reggie says:

    Wow, Buss is a beast!

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    OK…I give…Reggie, you wanted to contribute,…then contribute! who are we calling ‘Buss’? I do not follow these guys but nicknames.

  • Geoff says:

    Bus’s = Patterson…

    Bball fan #9 – that was brilliant. Hilarious.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Geoff….thanks

  • Chet says:

    I don’t know how they draw these days but when I went to Jeffersonville HS they would have had over 5000 in attendance for a Tuesday night non conference game.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Yep…my jaw dropped when I read that Indiana-Ky drew 5000.

  • Podunker says:

    Yep. Glad I’m not alone in being surprised by the attendance figures quoted. Maybe, since the KY All Stars were not supposed to be any good, people were not excited by what they thought was going to be poor competition.

    Anyone have a hypothesis as to why to the attendance was so low?

  • Reggie says:

    “Bus” not Buss = Ron Patterson. I think everybody thought the game would turn into a blowout, that’s why attendance was so low. Also, I believe the state’s top player not going to an Indiana school contributed to poor attendance. People seem to like big dominant guys (Cody Zeller) and we didn’t have that this year. Too bad only IHSAA guys could compete in the series. We really needed an Alex Olah or Hanner Perea.

  • Chet says:

    Well, maybe. The Plumlee’s won all sorts of national high school awards in North Carolina, after escaping the Zellers’ shadows, but nobody I knew gave a rat’s a$$ about them. They weren’t seen as North Carolina products.

    People generally feel the same way about Christ School, where they matriculated. They always have D1 recruits. I went to a game there. It looked like gym class. Maybe 50 people in the stands. Even though they don’t draw like Hoosier high schools, the public schools can usually get one or two thousand in the seats. At least 700-800. The quality of basketball isn’t very good, though.

  • great blog, keep it up!

  • Geoff says:

    Reggie – actually the correct spelling is Buss. It is short for busta, and was given to him by his grandmother because he used to cry and whine so much as a little kid.

  • chris says:

    From everything & everyone that I’ve heard over the months, Patterson is indeed an intense player that hustles & plays good defense. We coud use that immediately. We’re all drinking the top ranked kool aid going into next season, but to see it through the defense MUST improve. The offense will be there in spades, but Crean needs to find a way to pick up the D in order to join the true elite.

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