WHAT HAPPENED: After three days of brutal practices following Indiana’s 88-86 loss to Butler, the Hoosiers stomped Mount St. Mary’s 93-54 in front of 17,009 at Assembly Hall.
Indiana got out to a slow start and led just 30-26 with 5:39 to go in the first half, but then went on a 34-5 run which included a 20-0 stretch, turning it into the rout everyone expected it to be. The Hoosiers shot 70.6 percent from the field, which is the fourth-highest single game shooting percentage in Indiana history.
WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Sophomore center Cody Zeller and junior swingman Will Sheehey posted 16 points each to lead five Indiana scorers in double figures. Senior forward Christian Watford had one of his better games in recent weeks with 15 points and eight rebounds, shooting 3-for-5 from beyond the 3-point arc and 5-for-9 from the field. Junior guard Victor Oladipo added 14 points and five assists. Sophomore guard Remy Abell had 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting and four assists. Freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell had eight points and nine assists against just two turnovers and senior guard Jordan Hulls was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field for eight points and five assists.
Also, on a personnel note, senior forward Derek Elston played for the first time since his meniscus tear in late October. He had two points, two rebounds and a block. Freshman forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea was 0-for-2 from the field and 0-for-2 from the line in his second game, but he also had a rebound and a steal.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN: Indiana clearly took all the lessons about rebounding this week to heart. In the Mountaineers, they weren’t facing nearly as formidable an opponent as Butler, but they dominated in every paint statistic. They won the rebounding battle 41-18, allowing just seven offensive rebounds, three of which were team rebound. They won the points in the paint battle 50-14 and the second-chance points category 14-6.
Indiana also defended well, holding Mount St. Mary’s to 31.5 percent shooting. The Mountaineers hit nine 3-pointers, but that accounted for more than half of their field goals.Indiana caused 17 turnovers and scored 25 points off of those.
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers dismantled the Mount St. Mary’s full-court press, which was designed to look like the Virginia Commonwealth press that harassed Indiana into 22 turnovers in the NCAA Tournament last season. Indiana did turn the ball over 19 times in this game, but a number of those were unforced on foolish passes. Otherwise, they took advantage of the press and scored over it. Indiana scored 23 fast break points to Mount St. Mary’s two. The Hoosiers didn’t settle for two-point jumpers, taking the ball to the rim or hitting from outside, knocking down nine of 12 3-pointers.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN: There was little doubt that the Hoosiers would be able to beat Mount St. Mary’s with no trouble, but Wednesday’s game does serve as a proper bounce back. Everything IU coach Tom Crean asked the Hoosiers to do in practice this week — mostly, block out, block out, block out, was listened and responded to. They moved the ball, they played defense, they rebounded. Wednesday doesn’t prove that they’ll be efficient in those categories against Big Ten teams, but it at least serves as another reminder that the Hoosiers can respond to direction.
WHO SAID WHAT:
“I was really proud of our team and the way that they responded. Certainly when you come off a tough game and a loss, it creates a different level of urgency in our team and ours did. … I thought we moved the ball extremely well. I thought we kept the pace moving. I thought we good good contributions from guys that may not normally be in as early as they would be. It was great to have Derek back. It was great to have Hanner get some solid minutes. I thought our top, six, seven guys really, really brought it at a high level.”
“We needed to fix some technique things and I think we did a better job of that. It’s really about making the first contact. I thought we were much better in a lot of areas rebounding wise. Especially in the free throw rebounding. There’s always things, you can constantly improve. There’s no doubt about that, but there’s some things that you really pinpoint and say, ‘OK, we’ve gotta get better at this right now.’ I think the keeping our feet moving on the blockouts, things like that are what’s really important.”
“Great ball movement. Big key for us was to have great ball reversal. Get it inside early or get it inside as we reverse it, and I thought the ball moved at an extremely high rate.”
On whether Jeremy Hollowell and Peter Jurkin were among the sick
“We had a multitude of things we dealt with and we played the guys that were there to play for us and that could help us.”
In response to a follow-up on whether or not Jurkin and Hollowell were sick
“I went with the guys that I played. That’s who I went with. “
Remy Abell on ball movement
“We wanted to make the extra pass,” Abell said. “Move the ball, reverse it. Get the ball to the second side of the floor, not just have it stick on one side of the floor. When we started doing that, we started getting easy buckets.”
Derek Elston on his return
“It felt great to get back out there again,” Elston said. “You can only go through so many practices without it actually hitting you that you actually want to get out there and get in front of the crowd and see how well you can do.”
Will Sheehey on practice this week
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