IU grabs second straight Big Ten road win


WHAT HAPPENED: With a strong defensive effort and four scorers in double figures, Indiana easily held on despite a miserable second half to beat Penn State 74-51 in front of 9,386 at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa.

The Hoosiers went on a 15-3 lead to start the game and never really looked back. They were up 31-13 by the 9:41 mark in the first half, and Penn State was never again closer than 12 points, despite the fact that the Hoosiers turned the ball over 12 times in the second half and attempted just 15 field goals.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Senior forward Christian Watford played perhaps his most aggressive game in recent weeks, attacking the rim on the game’s first possession and scoring inside and out to finish with 16 points and eight rebounds, knocking down three 3-pointers and also dishing out two assists.

Senior guard Jordan Hulls found his shooting groove again after an 0-for-10 outing at Iowa on Monday. He was 4-for-6 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers and 14 points.

Sophomore center Cody Zeller finished with 15 points and five rebounds, but was even more important on defense than offense. He finished with two blocks and four steals, including one steal in the backcourt that led to an easy fast-breakdunk. Junior guard Victor Oladipo also finished with 10 points.

Freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell scored just one point and was 0-for-5 from the field, but he may have been one of the game’s most important players. He drew the assignment of Penn State’s top perimeter option, point guard D.J. Newbill, stuck on his right hand and held him to 3-for-15 shooting and just eight points and three assists against five turnovers.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: The Nittany Lions are noticeably short-handed with All-Big Ten point guard Tim Frazier, their do-everything player a year ago, out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. That leaves Penn State without a lot of firepower, and Indiana took full advantage of that fact.

Though he was giving up four inches or possibly more to Newbill, Ferrell hounded the sophomore transfer from Southern Mississippi, taking away his right-hand whenever he could. The Hoosiers also did a brilliant job of helping on any and all occasions when Ferrell got beat and also did a solid job of trapping off of ball screens, making it difficult for Newbill or anyone else to make their lives easier that way. Zeller was very strong in that regard, protecting the rim but also hedging and trapping hard in the backcourt to create turnovers.

The Hoosiers had major offensive issues in the second half, missing free throws and turning the ball over, but it didn’t matter because the defense was strong throughout and Penn State was never able to capitalize on the opportunities they did have. The Nittany Lions actually won the rebounding battle with 35 rebounds to Indiana’s 33 and 17 offensive boards, but they managed just 14 second-chance points and often missed from point-blank range. Penn State shot just 31.7 percent from the field, including 28.6 percent in the second half.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: The Hoosiers got back-to-back Big Ten road wins for the first time since 2008. Penn State’s cavernous Bryce Jordan center was just over half-full according to attendance figures and didn’t look or sound that well-populated. Point being, there are clearly tougher places to win on the road than State College, but all the same, the Hoosiers have begun their season with two road victories, and it’s become quite evident that there won’t be many easy road victories this season. Still, the Hoosiers also showed some vulnerabilities they will have to sure up by Saturday’s home game against Minnesota, a very athletic outfit and a strong rebounding team. The Golden Gophers were the only team to beat the Hoosiers in Assembly Hall last year.

WHO SAID WHAT:

Tom Crean

“Extremely proud of our team’s effort defensively, on the road, to come in and hold a team under 32 percent shooting. … Bottom line is we defended for 40 minutes. The 3-point line. We game-planned hard for Newbill, for Marshall, for Taylor, for Collella. We could’ve done a better job on Travis for sure. We had some plans for their inside game, and our guys were extremely locked in to that. They were extremely locked in, and learned another valuable lesson in the sense that even sometimes when your shot’s not there, or when your free throw isn’t there, or when your decision making’s not there, as long as your defense is there, you’ve got a chance to continue to stay in the game.”

On Yogi Ferrell’s defense

“Extremely happy. Yogi’s drawing big assignments. D.J. Newbill is really good. When you start to think that he’s a sophomore, I mean, he’s really good. When you start to think that he’s a sophomore, I mean, he’s really good. He’s got some serious strengths. Our job was to do the best job we could do to not let him get to those. A lot of things obviously run through him and run through Marshall. They’re both very, very good players. … Yogi Ferrell is the epitome of somebody that’s been well-coached, a disciplined player that has great speed and quickness and just a presence and really, really wants to be a good defender, a big-time defender.’

On Christian Watford

“We wanted to get him going,” IU coach Tom Crean said. “We went to him right off the bat. We felt that that was a big part of our game plan and he responded. … We want him to hunt offense by movement and reading what’s there. I think he did a great job of that, whether it was getting to the rim, whether it was making 3’s, the post-up game. He did an extremely good job, and he was one of our catalysts defensively.”

On Jordan Hulls

“I thought he really, really went to his pull-up tonight rather than shooting a floater or a push runner. There’s a place for that, but he’s got such a great shot, that you want to make sure that he’s getting that last bounce, that he’s getting his hand through the ball, that his follow through is good, and he did that, and he had that kind of week.”

On the turnovers

“Those were self-inflicted. Those were unforced errors, and they were errors of guys trying to make plays. I don’t think it was trying to do too much. We didn’t trust a couple of things. We didn’t get out there and sprint. It almost was like a 3-on-2 fastbreak drill in practice, which is not always the best. We want to be out running.”

Yogi Ferrell

On guarding D.J. Newbill

“I knew which way he wanted to go,” Ferrell said. “He’s a right-hand dominant player, so I just pretty much take that away. … I just took away his right-hand pretty much, and it worked out for the best.”

Jordan Hulls

“My teammates put a lot of confidence in me, and they knew last game was difficult. It happens, so we were able to get through that. They had my back with that, and just seeing the first one fall was pretty good.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Christian Watford

AUDIO: Yogi Ferrell

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls

AUDIO: Pat Chambers

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67 comments:

  • AWinAZ says:

    Another very solid road win, basically over in 10 min. This was the first game of the season where we came out and ran away in the first 5 min. & never looked back. Very impressive 1st half.

    On the other hand, we were pathetic in the 2nd half. Two points, if I’m not mistaken, in the first Pre-TO segment to the under 16 min mark. The team was clearly flat, aside from Olidipo who got things cooking again.

    Yogi played absolutely stifling defense. I was shocked he only had 1 pt., but he & Olidipo are one hell of a defensive backcourt. This is why we should dispatch Ohio St. In particular. But these two are tough to handle.

    The rebounding is weak. No passion to go rip the ball off the glass. This leads to too many opponent possessions. In tight, must-stop situations, this team needs to be tougher on the glass. Period.

    Kudos to CWat, best he’s played in a long, long time. Keep it up kid. More nights like this will result in a Big 10 title.

    Now to Zeller….not that we anointed the kid Player of the Year preseason, but he is not the best player in college basketball by a long shot. Not even the Big 10 POY. Clearly needs another year to grow his game. If he does go pro, it’ll be another example why pro ball sucks….it’s not about basketball as we know it. Z should be a triple double threat every night, but he’s weak on the boards. Played great D, ran the floor well tonight. But missed plenty of RB, turned the ball over so many times, and missed FTs again. Not a dominant player, and I’m not sure he should be at 19 yrs. old & a soph.

    Can’t wait for a BIG MN payback game Sat.!

  • Punjab says:

    A spot-on analysis, AZ. Couldn’t agree more. The only thing I would add is a lack of rotation. I thought Hollowell was steady in the few minutes he played, but where was Parea and Elston? (Parea at least got in the game. Did I miss an injury report on Elston?) I’ll say it again: When you’re up big at halftime and are never really threatened after that, why are we not getting the reserves more time?

  • vgBMG says:

    Elston tweaked his knee again****was held out as a precautionary measure.

    AWinAZ: Very good breakdown of IU’s game tonight.

    On Cody, maybe he has “ZEEK” disease. Isaiah Thomas throughout his freshman and 1st half of his sophmore year played great in fits and spurts. Then he became the opposing team’s nightmare for the rest of 1981. We know how that turned out. I’ve seen numerous IU players follow the same trajectory before and after Zeek. In summation, Cody is a very good player who makes fellow teammates better when he is on the floor.

  • vgBMG says:

    Is it Zeek or Zeke? Memory in old age sucks.

  • iuhoosier1992 says:

    I think one thing that needs to be remembered about Cody is the fact that last year and this year are the first time he is truly playing a post position. Most of his HS and AAU career was actually played away from the basket and rarely under the basket. I didn’t get to see the game last night because my daughter had a bball game last night. It sounded like IU was playing down to their competition and was disinterested in the second half. Fish and Coach were even saying that on the radio broadcast as I was driving home. Crean mentioned on the radio that his biggest issue with the offensive boards that Penn St. got was because not all five guys were crashing the boards and when they did get the board weren’t strong with the ball and would lose it. Sounds like defense was solid the entire game. A questions to Penn St., how do you not have guards at the D1 level that can handle a trap or pressure?

  • Ben says:

    If Cody wants to stay another year, and tweak his game, you won’t see my crying. With some development, I could see him being a positive influence to our freshman next season.

  • Punjab says:

    I read an interesting article the other day about Cody. I think it was ESPN but I’m not sure. Sorry. It basically compared him to Drew Gooden, from Kansas. He exploded on to the scene in’01 as a soph with a very similar skillet. Gooden stayed one more year, vastly improved his strength and rebounding, ended up 2nd for POY to Jay Williams, and helped lead KU to the Final Four in ’02. Then went on to a relatively successful career in the NBA.

    At this stage, Cody looks more like a project for an NBA team than an All-Star. I think with another year or two, with his game continuing to mature and the poise and headlines he already displays, I think he could eventually compare more favorably to a Tim Duncan.

    The last thing I want to see is another Kirk Haston, who jumped to the pros a little too early and ended up playing a few years in obscurity. Can’t speak for the man, but you have to wonder if he didn’t look back and regret that his presence probably would’ve put us over the top against Maryland title game the following year.

    Cody’s got a good thing going here, and I think the sky’s the limit. I hope he makes the right decision.

  • Ron says:

    That game was “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly”. But a road win.

    Numbers; 94 turnovers since the Butler game. Actually last night was somewhat better at 13. 19 last game.

    * Yahoo sports noted IU was the B1G’s best rebounding team. Did not realize that, if correct.

    * Coach Crean was open for a couple of two pointers last night. Seemed as if we had 6 players on the floor at times. Would be confusing if we had black uniforms such as Cincinnati.

    *IUHoosier tagged it. Seemed as if we playing to the level of the opponent in the second half.

    * The thing with Cody. He is not a surprise this year. Teams are learning how to neutralize him. Still, he is effective just being in the game. Ball handling, speed and BB knowledge. The guy is good.

    * Like to see more time for Remy. No misses, a steal and 2 assists last night.

    Minn game. KenPom has IU #1 and Minn #8. RPI has IU #14 and Minn #8. HoopsMath has Minn #7 with “field goal % at rim” and IU at #18. We’ll probably find out what “level” we are playing at. Must win at home..?

  • Ron says:

    sorry. 17 turnovers last night. Not 13. (Lost a couple of fingers as a kid and forgot to compensate)

  • Chet says:

    iuhoosier1992,
    They may not have anyone to handle the pressure now but they lost All Big Ten guard Tim Frazier to a torn Achilles tendon in November. He was as good as anyone in the league IMHO.

  • Laffy says:

    Does their “best rebounding team” include just Big Ten games or our entire schedule?

    Either way…….so what?

    If it’s just the Big Ten, we’ve played 2 games against 2 of the worst teams.

    If it’s the whole schedule, we’ve played a ton of cupcakes.

  • Geoff says:

    Well driving back from PA so I have a bit of time in the car…

    First off, it was great meeting Dustin and Mass Hoosier. We got together for a few at Champs before the game (although Dustin, always the consummate professional, only had water). Sorry I didn’t see your question Coachv, I wouldn’t been happy to share a beer and a story with you as well.

    As far as the game goes… Ugh. I thought the biggest issue was atmosphere. I feel sorry for PSU players. They have to generate all their own energy. What awful fan support. There couldn’t have been more than 5,000 fans in there at the peak, and in a 16,000 seat stadium it just felt empty… No noise, no enthusiasm, no energy… Even when they announced the starters you could barely hear any applause over the PA guy and the music. Second half was worse… All the students left at half time and there were maybe 2,000 in the stands for the last 15 minutes. Granted it is a football area, and the national championship game was starting, so that couldn’t have helped, but still it was just so blah in there.

    I think that contributed to poor play – IU always had a comfortable lead, and there was nothing forcing them to play with a sense of urgency. No intensity in the building, hardly any intensity exhibited by PSU players… Our host was my buddy who coaches soccer there, and he expressed his disappointment in how little effort the PSU kids appeared to play with on defense. He knows Coach Chambers a bit and is really impressed with how he has approached trying to build a team and how he runs his practices, but he thought the players really let the coach down with their actual effort on the court last night.

    The game is hardly worth talking about at all. I thought Zeller looked really good, especially on defense. He continues to back up my statement that he is better than any big man in recent history at guarding high ball screens. He was also impressive protecting the rim. I thought Perea did a really nice job defensively as well… They challenged him a bit more, but he altered a couple shots and was pretty good helping and recovering on ball screens.

    My last note is as a Dipo-apologist. My theory is that this wasn’t his best game because he didn’t have a big defensive assignment to gear up for. He is so used to having to take away the other teams top perimeter scorer and creating a mindset of intimidation and domination. Yogi had that assignment last night, and I think Dipo had a hard time adjusting, which added into the lack of excitement in the building, left Dipo with nothing to feed off of.

    By the way, Dustin is an animal during the games. Moderating the live chat, typing in game updates, taking notes for his stories, following Twitter, all while carrying on a conversation with me.

    … Well my dad’s buddy took over behind the wheel, and has almost got in 3 wrecks as I’ve been typing this. Just hoping to make it back to Maine alive. Got our first baby in the oven and I really need to make it back for my wife. Everyone please say a little prayer for me… Or whatever is is you do Laffy.

  • Ben says:

    Just prayed for you Geoff. Hope your safe, and child is blessed. 🙂

  • Chet says:

    Hey, congrats on the new baby, Geoff.

  • Geoff says:

    Couple other thoughts…

    IU looked really good in man-to-man, and really bad in zone.

    Obviously defensive rebounding was not a strength last night, but I do remember at one point when I was particularly disgusted I did a quick personnel check and our 5 on the floor were Yogi, Hulls, Abell, Sheehey, and Zeller… I think they picked up about 5 or 6 of their offensive boards during that stretch. Is opulent go with that line-up again in a game that mattered.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    …young’uns nothing like em…

  • Laffy says:

    I pray……just not to an invisible sky daddy who sends people to hell for 10 trillion years for not believing a stupid fairy tale with no proof.

    Prayers to ya and your family.

    Thanks for your thoughts on the game.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    And you didn’t know about that horrible atmosphere at PSU before you ever bought a dozen tickets?

    If I didn’t know better(because there is sane or sensible reason to drive on winter roads for that amount of distance, lower Maine to Happy Valley)you made the trip to simply have a chance to schmooze with Dustin…The extremes a man will go to build his Scoop kingdom. Boy, oh, boy…The necessary steps it takes to remodel Hampton Court Scoop to properly crown the new king from the Northeast countryside. Could somebody get him a juicy turkey leg and a goblet our finest Laffy Orchards whine? Just love the way Goeff is easing back off the “Cody is soft” bandwagon…You know what the hell is soft? Every domino in the “Movement” that followed notoriety on Zeller’s coattails to Bloomington.

    Dustin-

    Was it Geoff’s unflattering patchy Dakich baldness or did he have a fauxhawk that screamed of cockatoo envy more than that thing Kartje spent hours stylizing every Hoosier Morning into a Hoosier Brunch?

    Is it just me or does Punkjab have a bit of bite in his tongue eerily familiar to the sound of Karen from Hoosier Hoopsta?

    Wow..Perea has currently shown me zero offensive game. How does that happen with so much hype? Without Yogi, and the subsequent loss of Patterson, where did this recruiting class really deserve to be ranked…Give me Matt Roth and Ron Patterson over the whole damn rest of projects and “softies.” Hollowell = Soft, Jurkin = Tijan, Perea = misplaced Cupcake team recruit.

    Karen is correct. Too much substituting in Crean’s so-called top recruiting class while screwing Elston out of his minutes; minutes that could help us far more in March than soft freshman and crudely developed basketball projects.

    Hopefully none of our future top recruits begin to bail…What is left on this team after the departure of Watford, Hulls, and Cody is a scary thought. Yogi and Remy? That’s enough left on a roster for any coach other than John Calipari to convince top talent to get the crap beat out of them on the road in the Big 10?

    Huh…? Appears Watford and Hulls are performing to my exacting predictions. Real talent never forces issues…They bring the same demeanor every night. They don’t put three fingers to their temples or plug their nose when they make an average play. They just prove season after season to be the true solid talent and backbone of a team when all the hype magnates to the showboats.

    Geoff- Congrats on baby Cosell. So cold and isolated are the winters in Maine. No matter how distasteful the thought, biological instincts cannot be curtailed.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    correction: [no] sane or sensible reason

  • Mass Hoosier says:

    I echo Geoff’s comments. Good time Meeting Geoff and Dustin last night. Dustin had his game face on.
    To summarize, Indiana played good Defense. PSU didn’t play well because of it. Indiana seems indecisive at times, a problem with so much talent. But that talent enables them to dominate in spurts. Just to many miscues and unforced turnovers.
    I must admit I was let down by the atmosphere in the Bryce Jordan Center. I have come to terms with how opposing(good) football teams fans feel when visiting Memorial Stadium. Haha, hopefully thats changing.
    It was great gathering with fellow Hoosier fans, and watching our team. Safe travels Geoff. Dustin, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. I know you had work on your mind and were ready to get with it.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    …when all the hype [magnetizes] to the showboats.

  • Geoff says:

    Harvey

    1) didn’t buy a single ticket. They were gifts from the PSU athletic department.

    2) the 9 hour drive is no big deal when you’re hanging with one of your best friends in the world who is a great story teller and can make you piss your pants laughing.

    3) if the trip had only been about the game it wouldn’t have been worth it, but I got to hang out with my best friend, my brother who lives in Asheville and I only see a couple times a year, got to give my father the gift of seeing another IU game live, see a cousin I hadn’t seen in 15 years, meet Dustin, meet another Scoop member Mass Hoosier (great guy), and probably the coolest part of the trip, get the VIP tour of all the athletic facilities including meeting most of the coaching and training staffs for about half the teams at PSU. Got to meet Kael Sanderson, have an extended conversation with Bob Warming (Tsao youre probably a fan of his), and hang out with Erica Walsh, whose house we stayed at.

    4) once again you put words in my mouth… I never said Cody was soft. I said I want him to play tougher, and that he hasn’t been playing like a MAN. I never throw out opinions I don’t think through thoroughly… I don’t think there is much chance of me backing off any of my stances. You may perceive me doing that because you completely make up half of my stances and of course I won’t be standing by those.

    5) thanks. My wife and I are thrilled. You may remember that she’s a breast cancer survivor, and the chemo did a number on her insides, so it’s literally a miracle we’re in this position now. Due in late May… Little baby boy.

  • Laffy says:

    Geoff–

    HH is just worried you’re going to get too cozy with Dustin and he won’t be his BFF anymore.

    He’s also jealous of anyone getting more attention on here than him.

  • Geoff says:

    My dad can’t drive either… Wow. It took us 3 exits to find a place to grab lunch because He was trying to go off memory… His first exit there was a lake and a dam where he swore he remembered a Burger King being. Next exit down he saw a sign for a McDonalds, but refused to go more than a half mile in either direction off the exit to track it down…. A u-ey in 4 lanes of traffic and drove up over the opposite curb. We go back over the highway to see if it’s there and don’t immediately see it, so he pulls into a 7-11 then goes thru the parking lot to a perpendicular street that has a light where we can get to the other side of the median and back to I-84 east… Except that he decides to stay all the way to the left… Not a one way street, and now he’s blocking oncoming traffic. Not pretty. Finally we take another exit that has an actual golden arches sign we can see in the distance. It’s in a strip mall parking lot and my father only realizes where it is at the last second, so he yanks across 2 lanes of traffic at 40 mph into this parking lot barely missing the curb again.

    Luckily he’s only hit the rumble strip once as he was trying to show Mike how to use the CD player…

    I can’t wait to kiss my driveway…

  • Podunker says:

    Geoff wrote; “What awful fan support. There couldn’t have been more than 5,000 fans in there at the peak, and in a 16,000 seat stadium it just felt empty… No noise, no enthusiasm, no energy… Even when they announced the starters you could barely hear any applause over the PA guy and the music. Second half was worse… All the students left at half time and there were maybe 2,000 in the stands for the last 15 minutes.”

    Kind of ironic that PSU football fans have exactly the same feelings about IU’s football team. A few years back, I tailgated with a bunch of people at the IU-PSU game in Bloomington. It’s the one that IU had a good chance to win, but fumbled away in the fourth quarter. After the game, some PSU fans were with us and one gentleman said, “gosh, I feel sorry for your football team, your team played very well and should have won this game, but the IU fan support is just pathetic.” During that game, I remember thinking that there were as many blue and white clad fans in the stadium as there were fans dressed in crimson and cream. And even though IU was playing them tough and the game was close, at half time, most of IU students and many of the older fans left Memorial Stadium to go and tailgate.

    Fan support, passion and attendance matters a lot. We have it for basketball, we need it for football.

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