IU uses 3’s, defense to hammer Penn State, 72-49

WHAT HAPPENED: For the second time in three weeks, Indiana beat Penn State by exactly 23 points. The No. 7 Hoosiers won 72-49 in front of 17,472 at Assembly Hall, holding an opponent under 50 points for the first time since beating Sam Houston State 99-45 on Nov. 15.

The Hoosiers opened the game with a 7-0 run, led 33-19 at halftime and got an 8-0 run to start the second half that effectively buried Penn State, getting 3-pointers from point guards Yogi Ferrell and Jordan Hulls and a layup by junior guard Victor Oladipo in the first 1:05 of the second half. They led 41-19 with 18:55 to go in the second half and never led by fewer than 17 points the rest of the way. The lead spiked at 25.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Junior guard Victor Oladipo had 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals and knocked down two 3-pointers. Oladipo’s outside shot was not long ago considered the weakest part of his game, but he’s now hit 12 of his last 14 from beyond the arc since Dec. 15.

Freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell had the best shooting night of his career. He finished with a career-high 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting. That included a 3-for-4 night from beyond the arc. He came into the game shooting 8-for-33 from 3 for the season.

Junior swingman Will Sheehey broke out of a mini-slump as well with 12 points, including three 3-pointers. He drilled back-to-back 3’s in the first half that gave Indiana a double-digit lead in this one for good and smashed up the Penn State zone.

Senior forward Christian Watford added 10 points and senior guard Jordan Hulls had eight, including a pair of 3-pointers. All of that made up for just two points from preseason All-American Cody Zeller, who the Nittany Lions based almost their entire defensive scheme around stopping.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: The Nittany Lions spent almost the entirety of the game in a 2-3 zone designed to pack the paint to keep Zeller from getting the ball. That mostly worked. The Nittany Lions were also cognizant of Hulls and Watford, who came into the game ranked first and third respectively in 3-pointers made. They made sure that just about all of the looks those two had were contested.

However, that meant Ferrell, Oladipo and Sheehey got open looks and they took full advantage of those. The Hoosiers got good dribble penetration and ball reversal. They got the ball into the lane and they got it back out, and they made 11 of 20 3-pointers and also went to the line 37 times. They only made 21 of those 37, which is a concern, but the fact that they were drawing so much contact and spending so much time at the charity stripe is a good sign for the Hoosiers.

Defensively, the Hoosiers were nearly as good as they were the last time they played Penn State. Ferrell, and Oladipo did a good job of making life difficult on sophomore point guard D.J. Newbill, attacking his right hand and forcing him to try to go to his left. Newbill finished with 18 points, but he needed 17 shots to get there and also committed eight turnovers. Junior guard Jermaine Marshall managed 12 points, but he was the only other Penn State player in double figures. The Nittany Lions shot 33.3 percent from the field (17-for-51) and just 2-for-15 from beyond the 3-point arc while turning the ball over 18 times. The Nittany Lions only had five assists against those 18 turnovers.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: The Hoosiers were favored big over the Nittany Lions, who fall to 0-7 in conference play with this loss, so in some respects, Indiana did nothing more than beat up on one of the most overmatched teams in the conference, a group that is still dealing with the loss of its best player, Tim Frazier. Still, it’s good to avoid a toe-stubbing, and the win is a confidence builder for a number of reasons, especially on an individual level.

It was a huge game for Yogi Ferrell, who was shooting just 34.9 percent from the field and 24.2 percent from the arc coming into the game. The progress in his jump shot has been slow but steady, and he now seems to at least be the above average shooter he was at Park Tudor. His mid-range pull-up game has become a legitimate weapon in recent weeks, and its been critical for him to see a few 3-pointers go down to give him confidence. On the flip side, it also lets opponents know thaey have to defend him that far out, and that might make it easier to blow by overly eager defenders on the dribble-drive.

Will Sheehey might not be a man prone to self doubt — and he certainly wouldn’t say if he was — but it was still helpful for him to see some shots go down while also playing like his energetic self. His performance against Northwestern was mostly strong, but this one was much closer to vintage Sheehey, and that was helpful to the Hoosiers as well.

Strong defensive efforts always help, but it was also big for Indiana to put together two solid halves of basketball, even against an overmatched opponent. They had only “won” the second half once in Big Ten play, and even that half at Penn State was downright hideous on both sides. This performance was much closer to complete, and it sends IU into Sunday’s critical matchup with Michigan State with a strong feeling about itself.


Tom Crean

“The thing that I look at with our team is that they are really trying to put themselves in a place where they can hang their hat on the defensive end, and we’re getting there. The other day we told them that there are two teams in the country in the top 10 in field goal percentage defense and field goal percentage offense, and we’re one of them. We want to stay in that position. Right now, the biggest thing we can work on is making sure that we are getting better as individual defenders, collective defenders, that our rebounding continues to improve, and that we keep turning defense into offense. … The bottom line is that you’ve got to be able to defend. I think that tonight with 64 deflections, holding them to 13 percent from the three, 33 percent from the field, we had three guys with double-figure deflections with Cody, Victor and Jordan and Will had nine. Those are good things, those are really good things for us.”

“We’re trying to integrate a lot of different guys into the lineup at different times. Its easier said than done That’s why I know that we are going to keep getting better, because eventually some of those things are going to click.”

On getting so much 3-point production from Ferrell, Oladipo and Sheehey:

“I think it’s big. It will never be a one-on-one game for Cody in the post. They’re always going to build around stopping him, but it allows him more freedom, a little more movement. He can go to the rim quicker. There’s no doubt he can catch it a little deeper and not wait for the cutter to come through, and that’s something he’s gotta continue to get better at, but the ball moved. The ball moved at a really high level. It reversed. Sometimes for us, just one reversal is really good. Two and three is unbelievable. But when it’s moving even to that second side and not staying on the first side, it gives these guys space and time and they can drive the ball. But again, they just work so hard on their shooting, I think we’ll continue to get better there.”

On the bench

“I wanted to get Maurice in. Maurice has still not had a full practices, but he’s practiced longer. … I thought he did a nice job. I think the big thing now is that he’s gotta be come for us one of those shot makers. We know that he can do it. He stayed on the court tonight because he defended and he had really good energy. And he didn’t let a miss here or there affect him, and that’s crucial, but we’re also going to need him to make shots for us.”

On Sheehey:

“I think that’s who Will is. I think that’s what Will brings. I think that’s his game. I think his energy and his passion. He was very, very good defensively. I thought he was extremely good on Sunday at Northwestern even though it wasn’t a box score good necessarily, but it was a very, very strong game from him. He’s one of our best players. He really is. He’s an excellent shooter. He reads the game well, and that’s how he played tonight.”

Yogi Ferrell

On his shooting evolution:

“I was just getting in the gym. Especially with these guys Vic and Will (Sheehey), they have tremendous work ethic. They’ll pull me along with them to get extra shots up. That’s what we’re always doing after practice.”

Victor Oladipo

On Yogi Ferrell

“He can shoot. “It was all in his head at first, but he’s finally realizing that he can shoot the ball. A lot of the players were just coming off and they were just leaving him. I’m not just going to not kick to him and he knows that. He gets ready to shoot and it’s very hard for him to miss when he gets going and the confidence gets going and it all pours in after that.”

Will Sheehey

On Defense

“Points don’t win games, it’s your defensive effort,” Sheehey said. “When you talk and are active on defense, that’s what propels winning. I think we did a fantastic job tonight. … When you play defense, when you talk, when you have a complete defensive effort, you’re not going to lose.”

On shots not falling in recent games

“I never think about that kind of stuff as long as I’m playing hard on the defensive end.If you ever see me not playing hard on the defensive end, that’s when you know something is wrong and it’s never going to happen. The offense will come. The ball finds movement. The ball finds activity, so if you just keep moving these guys will find me. I’m not worried about it.”

AUDIO: Victor Oladipo, Yogi Ferrell, WIll Sheehey

AUDIO: Tom Crean

Share the Scoop!


  • Laffy says:

    I didn’t get to watch the game, and I know everyone is waiting with baited breath for my opinion (LOL!!!….plus, what does that even mean), but I have to give the team props….even if it was beating up on the worst team in teh Big Ten at home.

    Man, I can’t believe how so many top teams are getting their butts kicked lately. Minny lost bad at Northwestern? Wow.

    Are there are GOOD teams this year?

    We say The Dance is going to be wild every year, but this year looks like a TOTAL crap shoot.

    If we play our best, no one will beat us.

  • Debbie says:

    Why with a 1:30 left in the game and us up 23 is Vic still in the game? When they called the charge and he hit the floor hard, we could have lost a valuable player during mop up time. C’mon now. Put Perea and Jurkin in so maybe, just maybe, they could do something in the box score this season. Or put in walk ons. Playing 2 starters up by 23 with a minute to go is classless. Handshake at end of the game was swift between coaches. Not as swift as the Bo Ryan shake, but swift.

  • J Pat says:

    Laffy, I tried to tell you these teams, especially L’ville were overrated and beatable and you gave me shat!

  • Podunker says:

    Debbie is one of those women that can never be satisfied. Even after a huge blow-out win against a conference opponent, she digs really deep and comes up with a way to criticize Crean. Can you imagine the hell it would be to be married to Debbie?

    (Debbie’s husband) “High honey, I’m home! And I have good news for you. I met with my boss today and I got promoted to Vice President. The company is doubling my salary, increasing my vacation time to six weeks a year, and giving me a brand new Cadillac as a company car. Isn’t that great!”

    (Debbie’s response) “Did you get that big corner office on the top floor? No? What do you mean you got the office next to it? What the hell is wrong with you! It’s all about the location of your office. A real man would have made sure he got the corner office on the top floor. Some Vice President you’re going to be without that corner office. God, I can’t believe I married such a loser.”

  • François says:

    ^ Podunker has officially lost it.

  • Laffy says:

    Well, I never said any team is “unbeatable” as I think that’s a stupid thing to say.

    I also laughed at everyone calling every other team in the country “over-rated” while literally wetting themselves if I said the same about us.

  • J Pat says:

    Laffy, I am just having fun. I knew when I watched L’ville in the pre season they had issues and I also knew that Duke could not run with a team…just had NO idea it would be Miami. I have never seen another more negative poster like you other than 4 guards…difference is I agree with some things you write. Out of curiosity to help me understand your writings more…what year did you graduate from IU and from what school? Also, do you have season tix and/or donate to the varsity club?

  • J Pat says:

    Also, did you go by another name on here at one time and talk about gambling against IU at one time and the Vegas lines and so on? You sound a lot like that guy…

  • Laffy says:

    Dude, I’m just having fun too. I especially love yanking podunker’s chain…..and HC’s.

    In Dook’s defense, they had one of their best players out. Take away Victor or Zeller from us and put us on the road against a Top 25 team and see what happens.

    I never graduated from IU. Went there in ’82, stayed in school for 2 years and then lived in Bloomington for another 3 years.

    I watched IU win the Title in ’87 at Nicks. My buddy and I got there at 9 am…..am…..and we were the last people they let in because it was already packed. After an hour or so, one of the waitresses came up to my buddy, they knew each other, and said, “Join us upstairs to watch it on the big screen.”

    So, we went upstairs and watched TV all day. Drank beer and ate free all day. Watched the game, which of course, was amazing. And we even saw ourselves on national TV. You know how they always go to a bar and show the fans during the game?

    Well, since we were at the big screen, they came to our table….and we waved at ourselves on national TV during the Title game. Pretty damn sweet.

    And when Keith hit that shot…..biggest rush I’ve ever had.

  • Laffy says:

    I did talk about that but I don’t think I did it under another name.

    I’ve always used Laffy….except for that brief time to mess with HH and FTC since they were going crazy with fake names.

  • J Pat says:

    If you are serious, that is a hell of a story…good stuff. Yeah, Dook had a great player out but he was not enough to cause that beating they took. I go to most games so don’t have a great bar story but I did watch us in fall of 2004 beat a ranked Oregon team at Yogi’s, football. Lance Bennet took the opening kick back and before you know it there were hundreds of people outside watching and place was at capacity. The fight song was loud and clear and my wife was pregnant with our first…great memory!

  • J Pat says:

    “bettor” was one name I think…

  • Laffy says:

    Of course I’m serious. It was amazing.

    If/when IU makes the Title game again, I’m seriously thinking of going to Bloomington to watch it.

    Going to the Fountains after that was amazing also.

    That person was probably impersonating me or something.

  • Larry says:

    Debbie, at this junction of the schedule, THIS IS NOT TO BE USED AS MOP UP TIME, DUH!!!!! IT IS PRACTICE TIME, ALL THE WAY TO THE END OF THE GAME, WE HAVE MICHIGAN ST COMING UP DUH!!!!!!!!! And a host of other Big10 contendoers after that…DUH!!!!!!!

  • Punjab says:

    I was at work and didn’t get to watch the game. But following it online, I was inclined to agree with most of what Debbie said. Starters dont need to be in up 23 with 90 seconds to go. Almost nothing good can come of it (other than potentially giving the reserves a chance to get more comfortable pkaying with starters and seeing if certain lineups can play well together…)

    However, a closer look at the box score shows that all five reserves that got in the game played at least nine minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to see that. Aside from Sheehey, none of them really seemed to make the most of their increased playing time– at least from a statistical perspective. But box scores doesn’t tell the whole story. How effective were our subs moving and protecting the ball or playing defense? Did Hanner look lost again? Was Creek able to play hard minutes or does it look like he needs more time to get his conditioning and game-shape back? Can someone please illuminate and fill us in those for who haven’t been able to watch it yet?

  • Larry says:

    Po, she is simply an attention seeking junkie, would not whatsoever wanna be her kids or husband, period.

  • Larry says:

    Oh Podunker, I missed your post on being Debbie’s husband before making my post, you hit the nail on the head.

  • Punjab says:

    Larry, in a way it was mop up time. At least that late in the game. Cody only played 21 minutes, and there’s almost no way you ever sit an All-America candidate that long unless he’s either injured or in foul trouble– or his services just weren’t needed. Based on that, you have to assume Coach wanted to finally play some guys and get them more experience for when the time comes that we NEED them to step up. Good to see them get in, and glad that we built (and sustained) a big enough lead that we could afford to try different sets.

    Different people have different philosophies, but at some point you have to balance what’s best for sustaining momentum vs risking injury unnecessarily.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Laughed at again Laffed-At, I do not wear a chain.

  • Bart295 says:

    My first post here on the Scoop…I just wanted to say that I do get tired of the IU bashing that seems to permeate throughout the threads. Declare yourself a fan or a critic! We know Laffy and Debby are critics because they lack skilled or accurate expressions of judgment!

    Every time I log on I do expect to read Laffy calling others names or belittling women!
    ie: Cody play like a girl!!

    Some definitions some might want to read and UNDERSTAND!

    A fan, sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something, such as a band, a sports team or entertainer.

    A critic is anyone who expresses a judgment. Informally, criticism is a common aspect of all human expression and need not necessarily imply skilled or accurate expressions of judgment.

  • vgBMG says:

    Laffy, you put a smile into your posts on this thread. That made for very enjoyable reading.

  • Laffy says:

    Using those rules, if you ever criticize Obama, you hate America.


    Also, using your rules, that means the VAST majority of “fans” hate IU because they crucified Davis when he was the coach…..even when he got us to the Title game.

  • Bart295 says:

    Those are not my rules…those are definitions of words…and WTF does Obama have to do with IU BB???

    I fully expect you to start your name calling rants in future post!

  • Bart295 says:

    Coaches never get teams to title games…players and coaches are part of TEAMS…TEAMS get to title games!

    Criticize individuals all you want but if you have ever been around competitive sports you would understand the meaning of team!

  • Funjob says:

    ^ Aaaahpsholoootley!

Comments are closed.


Hoosier Sports Report is live!

Scoop Poll:

How many games will IU football win in 2016?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Find Notre Dame football coverage on NDInsider.com. © Hoosier Times Inc., all rights reserved.