Indiana hammers North Carolina, 83-59


WHAT HAPPENED: Indiana used a 15-6 run at the end of the first half and a 20-3 run at the start of the second to hammer No. 14 North Carolina 83-59 in front of 17,472 at Assembly Hall.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Sophomore center Cody Zeller had one of his best games as a collegian, showing off his phenomenal-for-a-big-man speed and muscle to beat North Carolina on the break and beat the Tar Heels up in the post. He finished with 20 points and eight rebounds and was also better at protecting the rim than ever before. he blocked four shots. He recorded just one assist, but his passing was much better than that, as he was able to find cutters and shooters through the post.

Junior swingman Will Sheehey had one of the best shooting nights of his career, shooting 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and scoring 19 points. He was also critical defensively. IU coach Tom Crean shifted him on to North Carolina’s James McAdoo after senior forward Christian Watford struggled against him and Sheehey locked him up for the entire second half. McAdoo scored 10 points in the first half, but went 0-for-5 in the second half and didn’t score at all.

Junior guard Victor Oladipo was equally outstanding on both sides of the ball. He attacked the glass and scored on dribble drives, baseline cuts and post-ups to finish with 19 points, and he was just as much of a lock-down defender as Sheehey. Oladipo held Reggie Bullock, North Carolina’s second-leading scorer, to just five points on 2-for-9 shooting.

Senior guard Jordan Hulls continued his lights-out shooting and had perhaps his best all-around game of the season. Hulls scored 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting with three 3-points and dished out eight assists without committing a turnover. The 6-footer also grabbed seven rebounds and recorded two steals.

Freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell couldn’t get any of his six shots to fall and finished with just two points, but he had six assists and just one turnover and was brilliant in his running of the offense.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: Most importantly, Indiana played phenomenal defense to start the second half. North Carolina started the game 16-for-33 from the field and the game was tied 31-31 with 4:14 to go in the first half. From that point on, the Tar Heels shot just 2-for-8 from the field for the rest of the half and then made just one of their first 20 second half shots. And that one shot came off a rebound and might have actually gone off Sheehey into the bucket. Sheehey and Oladipo were both critical to that, but all of Indiana’s defenders were excellent with ball pressure and Zeller was at his most imposing, cleaning up and challenging any shots that came his way.

The Hoosiers also played North Carolina’s game better than North Carolina. Knowing the Tar Heels were going to try to fast break at every opportunity, the Hoosiers ran right at them, sending Oladipo and Zeller to the rim off of made baskets, inbounding the ball quickly and finding them with passes over their shoulders for easy layups and dunks. That kept the Tar Heels from gaining any momentum and allowed the Hoosiers to take over quickly once they had the lead.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: That Indiana has made the most emphatic statement yet that it is the No. 1 team in the country, decimating a Top 25 team and a blue blood with a punishing effort. The win has lots of symbolic value, considering that four years ago in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Hoosiers were blown away by Wake Forest by a nearly identical score, losing 83-58 in Winston Salem in 2008.

It also means the Hoosiers are in a way, out of the woods in terms of their post depth. There are two games remaining in the suspensions of freshman forwards Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin. Indiana plays low-major squads Coppin State and Central Connecticut State in those games, and will have Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin back for the game against Butler in Indianapolis on Dec. 15. The Hoosiers were able to get past three significantly bigger teams in Georgia, Georgetown and North Carolina — Georgetown was the biggest of the bunch and that game obviously helped the Hoosiers on Tuesday, and they remain No. 1 in the nation as they improve to 7-0.

WHO SAID WHAT:

IU Coach Tom Crean

On Indiana’s fast break:

“Our guys are very confident in their running game,” Crean said. “The key against North Carolina is, everybody thinks its going to be a fast-paced game, but if you let them control and dictate the pace of the game, they’re hard to beat. We had to control the pace of the game. That meant that we needed to run to make sure we could get as many easy baskets.”

On Will Sheehey defending James McAdoo

“Will Sheehey did a phenomenal job on him. We gave up a couple of boards, but Will was fighting him, Will was making it hard for him to make catches. We knew that they were going to need to go to him to get it going.”

Victor Oladipo

On the significance of the win

“You guys know just as well as I know that this program, not last year, but over the past couple of years, has really been struggling,” junior guard Victor Oladipo said. “We’re trying to get it back to where it belongs. And that’s on top. For us to get a win like that, it’s a humbling experience, not only for us, but for this program as well.”

On Jordan Hulls.

“He’s a bad boy. Bad boys bad boys. Whatcha goin, whatcha gonna do?” (Yes, he really sang that. Into the microphone. At a press conference.)

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey and Cody Zeller

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67 comments:

  • OldIUGymnast says:

    Oh my…. VO kills me and it is hard not to love these guys. And Hulls can be > Steve Nash…. What a ballet that kid is…

  • Wolfer says:

    You gotta LOVE this team!! Can’t remember when I saw such a complete & I mean complete game from IU. (Wish CWat would have come along for the ride, though). Last night we saw IU basketball. Offensive movement, great D, unselfish passing, hustle, steals, rebounding, you name it. I kinda wish the game wouldn’t end…it was that enjoyable to watch.

    This team hasn’t approached its potential yet. CTC needs to continue to push the right buttons. Keep working on the small things. Like I said earlier IU needs contributions from CWat. Yet, he needs to come ready to play on a consistent basis. IU had four guys playing lights out basketball. Need to get Mo Creek in there too. Keep up the good work IU. Go Hoosiers!!

  • E.J. Update says:

    So glad, and spoiled, to have guys like Zeller and Hulls – and also Dipo and Sheehey – playing so hard and giving their all for this university.

    And unlike Eric Gordon, we didn’t have to waste 4 years of our program to acquire their services!

  • Debbie says:

    CWat is a selfish player and a cancer on the team. Watching the game with all the team work from everyone, it became obvious Watford is in it for himself. No passes. Just focus on the rim and how he can score. Here’s hoping when Elston and Perea get back, Watford’s minutes diminish drastically. Either play team ball or sit. Simple as that. Other than that, great game.

  • Wolfer says:

    Debbie, you might be right about CWat. I dunno. He has never finished at the rim consistently & his jumper is not falling now. I think his biggest problem area is coming to the game mentally ready to play & then giving a good hard effort. He did pass out to Will once who knocked down a 3 & he got that monster dunk, but other than that…he was an empty uniform last night. I sense he wants to hit the game winner against Ky everytime IU plays. Just play hard Christian. If your jumper is falling, drive to the hoop and FINISH AT THE RIM!!

    It’s nice that IU has the depth to get play from other players. But if IU is too win a championship this season CWat has to be there. Go IU!!

  • Keith says:

    Debbie, I think you are partially right. I think he was also frustrated and was forcing it. I think with Elston and Perea coming in, Watford should prob be the 7th or 8th man. We have a lot of offense and he frankly gets in the way with Vic, Hulls, Sheehy, Ferrell and Zeller out there…

    Shout out to Mo Creek, I was looking at who was playing some amazing D and it was Creek. He had really good movement.

  • Chris says:

    Christian Watford did not look good last night, but it was one game. He was pressing. Without Watford, IU will not win it all this year.

  • Geoff says:

    Why can’t IU win it all without Watford?

    I’m not saying I want that. Ideally Watford finds comfort in his role and becomes a consistent contributor. But I don’t think you can rank him as any higher than our 5th best player. We legitimately could go 10 deep and maintain threats on the floor.

    I think the only 3 players that are indispensable to a championship run are Zeller, Hulls, and Dipo. They are the only ones who do irreplaceable things for the team.

    After that it’s just an overwhelming amount of depth and talent, and who is it going to be tonight… Oh you stopped Watford, well Sheehey had a big game… Yogi played like a freshman, well Remy knocked down a couple 3’s… Sheehey didn’t have a good shooting night, well we still got 25 points from the bench…

    More than anything we play better defense than ever, and I wouldn’t say Watford is one of our top defenders. I think his value in the tournament would be that he isn’t afraid of the big moment, but other than that I think everything he brings to the team is replaceable within the current roster.

    I’m really not trying to bang on Watford. I’m just looking out at the floor.

  • Ben says:

    Please excuse me for getting off subject, but does anyone cringe when Dick Vitale goes on his RMK kick? I can understand if its mentioned once a year, but its every game! Why would you want to name Assembly Hall RMK Hall, as Vitale suggested, when the man is still apparently bitter, and yet to come back, despite exhausting efforts? I respect RMK. I really do. Though this team has moved on without him. I just wish someone would take Vitale aside, and tell him to lay off of it. It’s getting really old.

  • iuhoosier1992 says:

    All of these comments about CWat remind me of the same comments made about VJ3 last year.

  • Podunker says:

    “CWat is a selfish player and a cancer on the team.” With comments like that, Debbie is on her way to achieving “troll” status on this site. Debbie get’s the prize for the most outrageously offensive and ignorant comment posted on this site all year. One bad game and CW’s a cancer on the team? What if Zeller, Hulls or WS missed most of their shots?Would you accuse them of being selfish cancers on this team? Careful Debbie, with more comments like that, you may come to be seen as a cancer on The Hoosier Scoop and be subjected to some equally harsh and unfounded accusations.

    If CW hits four more shots last night, there would be no criticism. But he missed most of his shots, so suddenly he’s a selfish player and a cancer. What an irresponsible accusation and a profoundly stupid comment! With the depth that he now has, if Crean thinks any player on this team is selfish, that player won’t be playing. Given his emphasis on unselfish team play, he would not tolerate any player becoming a cancer.

  • Laffy says:

    I don’t know all the stats, but I’d guess Watford has had more than one bad game this year.

    And there aren’t many players in the country who have used less of their potential than Watford has.

  • twarrior87 says:

    Debbie… I think Watford was pressing last night, but its not something I feel is normally a problem. I don’t ever really remember thinking Watford was selfish before. He may have been pressing b/c there were 20+ NBA scouts in the stands last night, IDK.

    To say he is a “cancer” on this team is a bit dramatic. He’s been here for 4 years. Through the bad times and has been a key contributor on this team. He had a bad game, it happens. The bright spot is even when our 2nd leading scorer only had 2pts, IU still blew UNC out of the gym.

    I hope you were just writing that post in an emotional moment b/c if you really believe what you said your IU fan card should be stripped from you.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Debbie, you are the real cancer on all of the Hoosier Republic. I’ve read your comments in the past and they are all what one expects from an isolated, old, bitter, ignorant woman who knows she has begun to rot from the inside.

    I hope you get some solace from knowing, there is no hope for it.

    (And..in the quiet and secrecy of her private world, she thinks: ‘Ohhh, but for a minute with Watford…, as the temperature begins to rise. Coach, can I injure him a little bit?”)

  • Ben says:

    I just depends I think on what CWat you get. Sometimes it’s the one way saw late last year, other times it looks as if he’s trying to sleep, while playing. Last night, looked as if he was nervous. Perhaps because of the scouts? This much is certain. If Watford decides to be lethargic, we are at a point where we can bench him.

  • Debbie is a dumby says:

    Ya’ll know that Debbie and Firecrean2013 are probably the same person. Nothin but trolls…

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    To the President of the anti-Watford Society sitting away his ignorance posting to himself in the East Coast to veriify he still breathes(and repulsively enough, he is) and Florida State supporter obsessed with passing as a Hoosier because he hates them because IU turned down his application: First, wipe that drivel of your chin, clean up that snot (no!! not with your shirt sleeve or your pant front!)

    Watford and his place in this team are absolutely fundamental and organic. He is the Hoosiers, especially when he struggles. He is, in many ways, an allegory of our last decade’s Hoosier reality. There would be 10-15 very unhappy, depressed players if something happened to Christian, no less so than the impact that Mo’s injury had on this team for two entire years. When Mo went down, we went down.

    Obviously, you’ve never been a part of a Brotherhood where your own existence and experience take a meaning only through that of the rest of the Brotherhood. You’ll never understand that for the same reason you’ll never understand being a Hoosier…because you’ve never been one and because it doesn’t fit into your ‘model’, where mommy and daddy laid everything out for you expecting to protect you from,…exactly, being a Hoosier! Sad to grow up as an X or described as the proverbial ‘black box’.

    Have a little respect for OUR way, the Hoosier Way. We know people struggle, we know the capacity we have to F* things up. And we accept that; more… we assume it as a part of us. I’ve had moments when I’ve felt sorry for you; but then you reappear, a disease bearing virus that requires wearing a mask. Slide back into your latrine hole and hope the United Nations finds a way and the funds to fumigate you into disappearing, sort of like an endemic disease.

    Christian Watford…our Hero! There are literally millions of Hoosiers who have his back and would lay their shirts down on top of this virus to protect him from walking on it, even wearing insulated rubber boots and a protective rubber suit. Shoo disease, shoo!

    As I said, disappear you imptnt (hint, o after the p and e after the first t) little excretion. Hoosiers are not disease bearing.

  • E.J. Update says:

    Hey Tsao, Debbie=Karen.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Ben is a close to what may have happened to CWat. His defensive assignment was the McAdoo kid and McAdoo, an otherwise very good player, got position and some early points on him. The IU approach was based on controlling McAdoo and keeping him from going inside.

    CWat realized this. This was happening in front of the 25-30 scouts whohad comandeered their freebies to watch exactly this type of head to head confrontation. And, CWat thought ‘the only thing at stake is my career and my life after IU’. At that point you could have thrown a pass at his hands in front of him and hit his nose. You could literally see him deflate like a birthday baloon. And, his offensive basketball started squeaking and crazily floating through the air like popped balloons do.

    You know what CWatt. It’s happened to every individual that ever has an ounce of expectation from themselves? You know what else…**it happens! Go to practice, take shots from 57 feet out, grab Jurkins and throw him in the toilet, gop up to Coach Crean and say “keep listening to me Crean and you” become a good coach; call Hulls ‘shorty’ and Zeller ‘wheat shaft’, moon AD Glass or Coach Buckley and laugh…lots of laughing. You’ve done something exceptional…you f***** something up, no one has ever, ever done that, not among the 17,000 plus millions who watched you do it.

    And because you did, at the end of the year you know what they are going to call you. Champion! (At that point face your audience in the NBA Draft Parade and, wearing a crimson red glove, and holding the thumb and forefinger and the fourth and pink finger in your other hand, lift the one finger in the middle straight up in the air. It will loo a whole lot like the I in the IU logo (without the U)

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Hey EJ…Debbie=Karen=0… but life during m***pause sucks just the same. They call it irritable syndrome. Known to happen to people who have had full-filling relationships that only last a short time (measured in seconds).

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Laffy…don’t guess look it up. CWat has played well to this point (do look it up). Part of CWatts ‘unfairly gained fame’ is that his movement (his gait and body build in particular) appear ‘not-urgent’. He can’t help that. Just like Toby always hold his head as if he is not getting enough oxygen that high. (until you see him run). Look…he had a generally bad night. I have them, you have them, Chet has them…even HfH, one of the happiest, optimistic individuals I ever came across had a bad moment here and there.

    Give him a break…he’s more than earned it. (Consider this, if you don’t HfH will come back and tell us about the tragedies of people born in the back seat of a car).

  • Geoff says:

    Yep, now I’m the President of the Anti-Watford Society…

    And, I know this hurts Tsao, but if I had applied to IU, not only would I have been accepted (my wonderful IU graduate parents passed on genes decent enough for an academic scholarship), but I would have gone for free, since they were professors. Instead I chose to go elsewhere because of my love for the game of basketball, and desire to play at the college level.

    I may never be a Hoosier like you Tsao, but at least I’ll never be a prick like you either. It’s no wonder you and Bobby get along so well. 2 old, stubborn dicks.

    Don’t worry though Tsao. I forgive you. It’s more for me than you… Ya know.

  • Zeller=POTY says:

    Debbie, that is the most ignorant rant that I have read on here this year. Take your medication and go back to knitting socks for your cat friends. On a more positive note, does anyone else think that we could have taken every spot in the top ten plays segment of ESPN? This team is incredibly fun to watch when they bring their A game.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Just the thought that I don’t ever have to accept you are a Hoosier is enough to satisfy my sense that God knew what he was doing when He went liberal and opened up admission to breathing mechanisms.

    By the way, don’t ever think for one second people who read the blog don’t get the ‘I’m better than being a Hoosier’ cr*p that oozes out of many of your posts. You seem to enjoy proving ‘they’re farmers’. That’s kind of a game for you, isn’t it? There-by, goofy, the origin for my very deep but satisfying dislike for you. By the way, did you go to high school around these parts? I’ll bet not…’not our goofy, cute little clown ballerina’. ‘We raised him that way because that he was we wanted to keep him away from the ‘common folk’ and farmers’, ohh well, Noblesse Oblige..

    I do doubt

  • DT says:

    You people and your Watford bashing. This is nothing new for him. The only difference is the improvement of everyone around him and the team in general. He will have a monster game is a couple weeks and shut all you people up.

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