Indiana understands Illinois’ potential


Let’s say you’re coming off what is arguably your program’s second-biggest victory in over a decade and following that up with a road game against a team that has lost six of its last seven and is currently 2-7 in the Big Ten. How do you make sure your players stay locked in on the the opponent?

Remind them that this very same team was 12-0 and then 14-2 not long ago.

Indiana plays an Illinois team today at 7 p.m. in Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill., that had exactly that start. The Fighting Illini won the Maui Invitational in November and boast wins over No. 6 Gonzaga, No. 10 Ohio State and No. 14 Butler. However, since crushing Ohio State 74-55 at home on Jan. 5, they’ve dropped six of their last seven. That stretch includes four losses by double-digit margins and a home defeat against Northwestern. 

The No. 1 Hoosiers, however, realize they’ll be playing a team that is desperate and therefore dangerous.

“We know that we’ve gotta go over there and play Illinois like (it is) the team that played early in the year and has played at their best,” IU assistant coach Tim Buckley said. “Because they are very capable of that. They are a team that can score points. They can make 3′s. They can beat you off penetration. Our focus and our mindset defensively is going to be very important as we go into this game.”

That’s especially true on the perimeter. The Fighting Illini have made more 3-pointers (182) than any other team in the Big Ten except Michigan (193). They have also taken more (555) than any other team in the conference and they rank eighth in the league in 3-point percentage (.328). That means they’re inconsistent, but it also means that they’re capable of exploding from outside, and everything seems to work better when they are.

“When they’re making shots and they’re in their rhythm and they’re playing the way that they want to play (offensively), they’re probably playing better defensively and playing better on the backboards,” Buckley said. “You can’t let them get into that rhythm. I think they’re very capable offensively, so they’re going to even make tough shots. you can’t give them any of the easy shots.”

The greatest case in point, of course, is senior guard Brandon Paul. Paul ranks third in the Big Ten in scoring with 17.4 points per game, which is the best in the league among shooting guards. He scored 43 points in a win over Ohio State a year ago, showing that the 6-4, 200-pounder is as capable of an offensive explosion unlike any other player in the conference.

“He’s gonna hit some shots where you’re just gonna shake your head and say, ‘Wow, I thought he was covered,’” Buckley said. “‘The defense played the coverage the right way if it’s in the pick-and-roll or you’re getting back in transition and you’re draped all over him and he can just rise up and shoot it. I don’t think he has a range. I think it’s limitless. I think he can shoot the ball really deep. When he’s in that rhythm, anything that’s up there looks like it’s going in. I’d say he’s as good of a shooter or a scorer as there is in the country when he’s really got it going.”

Though Paul is the most dangerous weapon, he’s not the only one. Senior guard D.J. Richardson averages 11.8 points per game and point guard Tracy Abrams averages 11.4. Forward Tyler Griffey and center Nnanna Egwu score significantly less, but they still occasionally hit shots inside and outside as well.

“Their three guards can fill it up,” IU sophomore center Cody Zeller said. “They’re very talented and their inside guys are good pick-and-pop guys. They’re workhorses. They’re a good team. They haven’t won as much as they did early in the season, but we’ve gotta be prepared for their best, because that’s what we’re expecting.”

Hollowell talks improvement

IU freshman forward Jeremy Hollowell met with the media Wednesday for the first time since the early weeks of the season. The Lawrence Central graduate struggled to get on the floor much of the season after scoring in double figures his first two outings. However, he appears to have found a rhythm lately and is coming off a strong performance against Michigan in which he shut down Wolverines star freshman Glenn Robinson III and recorded four points, four rebounds, three blocks and an assist in 10 minutes.

“I’m just getting in the gym, doing extra things, working on my game,” Hollowell said. “And just slowing down out there. Just taking my time and making the right play. It’s really paying off for me. Just keep at it. Stay calm out there. Not force anything or rush anything.”

IU coach Tom Crean said the biggest motivator for Hollowell is the bench. He obviously spent very little time there at Lawrence Central, where he was the centerpiece toward everythign the Bears were doing. The Hoosiers obviously don’t rely on him nearly as heavily, and they wanted to see more from him in terms of scoring, but more so in rebounding and defense before he got more playing time.

“Sitting on the bench kind of made me hungry to get in the gym, work on my game and do whatever I have to do to get on the court,” Hollowell said. “Defend, rebound, block shots, whatever it takes to get on the floor. … The biggest thing is definitely defending and rebounding. Just trying not to let my man score. Being help side, helping my teammates out. Defintely helping out on the glass when I can. playing as hard as I possibly can.

Part of what held him back, of course, was a three-game de facto suspension that came about because of an NCAA eligibility issue that led to the filing of a secondary violation. Though a source said it had something to do with contact with an agent and a family member, contact itself is not a violation, and nothing specific has been reported as to what happened. Hollowell was asked Wednesday what happened, but on the advice of an IU spokesman, declined to address the issue.

IU assistant Tim Buckley

AUDIO: Cody Zeller and Jeremy Hollowell

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11 comments:

  • Laffy #1


    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 8:35 PM EST

    I thought the game was tomorrow.

    Your article says today.

  • MN Tom #2


    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 8:51 PM EST

    I assume this is the game story for tomorrow’s paper. No time travel involved.

  • coachv #3


    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 10:56 PM EST

    dustin,

    now that you’ve established a strong rapport with crean, can you ask coach during the next presser if he remembers saying he considered hanner one of his 8 starters?

  • Lou #4


    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 11:27 PM EST

    Dustin,

    A message post on Peegs.com said The Hoosier Scoop was being absorbed by The Indy Star, along with massive layoffs. Is this true?

  • Geoff #5


    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 11:51 PM EST

    This would be sad news…

  • Jeremy Price #6


    Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 12:47 AM EST

    I think Gannett (the Star’s parent company and clearly a member of the Establishment) is just trying to absorb itself. Or in other words, not true.

  • Punjab #7


    Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 1:07 AM EST

    This game scares me more than OSU. if we lose a close game in Columbus, there’s no shame in losing to a top ten team on the road. But Illinois is just as dangerous, albeit inconsistent, and the haters will be having a field day losing to an “unranked” team again.

  • psych #8


    Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 1:19 AM EST

    Please beat Illinois. My idiot older half-brother talked smack earlier this year after IU lost to Butler because Illinois was still sporting a gaudy record (and had crushed Butler). I kept my mouth shut at the time, but if Indiana wins tomorrow evening…

  • psych #9


    Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 1:20 AM EST

    I should also note my half-brother is an Illini grad, and an ass.

  • Geoff #10


    Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 1:27 AM EST

    Malik Story with a nice effort tonight in a tough loss to 19-4 CSU… 31 pts

    Looks like he’ll finish his career with 1700 pts, 350 reb, 250 assists, and 100 steals

    Good for him.

  • coachv #11


    Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 2:47 PM EST

    good for malik. having a nice career in obscurity.

Scoop Poll:

How many games will IU basketball win in 2014-15

  • 16-19 (45%, 145 Votes)
  • 20-23 (36%, 117 Votes)
  • 15 or less (12%, 38 Votes)
  • 24 or more (7%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 324

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IU vs Ohio State football

Men's Basketball Player Pages

[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_blackmon1.jpg]2700James Blackmon, Jr.
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard James Blackmon Jr. (1)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_zeisloft1.jpg]2020Nick Zeisloft
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Nick Zeisloft (2)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_hoetzel1.jpg]1740Max Hoetzel
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Max Hoetzel (3)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_johnson1.jpg]1560Robert Johnson
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Robert Johnson (4)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_williams1.jpg]1410Troy Williams
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Troy Williams (5)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_burton1.jpg]1320Ryan Burton
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Ryan Burton (10)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_yogi1.jpg]1300Yogi Ferrell
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Yogi Ferrell (11)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_perea1.jpg]1240Hanner Mosquera-Perea
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea (12)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_robinson1.jpg]1080Stanford Robinson
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Stanford Robinson (22)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_ritchie1.jpg]1070Nate Ritchie
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Nate Ritchie (23)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_holt1.jpg]1250Emmitt Holt
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Emmitt Holt (25)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_hartman1.jpg]1200Collin Hartman
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Collin Hartman (30)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_priller1.jpg]1370Tim Priller
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Tim Priller (35)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_april1.jpg]1500Jeremiah April
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers center Jeremiah April (44)

Women's Basketball Player Pages

[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_walter1.jpg]1060Jess Walter
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Jess Walter (2)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_buss1.jpg]2640Tyra Buss
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Tyra Buss (3)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_brooks1.jpg]1380Larryn Brooks
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Larryn Brooks (5)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_agler1.jpg]1200Taylor Agler
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Taylor Agler (10)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_bell2.jpg]940Nicole Bell
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Nicole Bell (12)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_stratman1.jpg]940Liz Stratman
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_hulls1.jpg]930Kaila Hulls
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard/forward Kaila Hulls (15)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_mcbride1.jpg]940Karlee McBride
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Karlee McBride (21)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_gassion1.jpg]990Alexis Gassion
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Alexis Gassion (23)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_muensterman1.jpg]760Maura Meunsterman
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Maura Muensterman (31)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_mize1.jpg]720Andrea Mize
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Andrea Mize (32)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_cahill1.jpg]750Amanda Cahill
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Amanda Cahill (33)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_jakubicek1.jpg]800Claire Jakubicek
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Claire Jakubicek (34)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_leikem1.jpg]710Lyndsay Leikem
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Lyndsay Leikem (40)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_anderson1.jpg]700Jenn Anderson
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers center Jenn Anderson (43)
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