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Purdue’s E’Twaun Moore is fouled by Indiana’s Victor Oladipo on Tuesday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
Indiana’s Victor Oladipo dunks the ball over Purdue’s D.J. Byrd on Tuesday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaune Moore remain very good players.
Purdue’s seniors were the difference on Tuesday in Mackey Arena, combining for 40 points in a 67-53 Purdue win against Indiana.
“It’ll be interesting to play these guys someday, when these two aren’t in there dominating the way they do,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.
Overall, Crean said the Hoosiers matched the No. 14 Boilermakers in terms of physicality and did a good job of limiting Johnson (while he had 15 points, he was 4-of-10 from the field).
Will Sheehey continued to play with a lot of energy that leads to production (a team-high 14 points), while Victor Oladipo had 11 deflections.
Jordan Hulls played through the holds and grabs that happen on the road in the Big Ten, and Verdell Jones played more minutes (28) than he was expecting.
Still, the Hoosiers struggled to make enough shots to take a real run at the rival Boilermakers. Indiana was 0-of-7 from 3-point range in the first half and 2-of-13 for the game, never getting the baskets it needed when it had to have them.
Indiana’s Will Sheehey, center, and Tom Pritchard defend Iowa’s Melsahn Basabe on Saturday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
Michigan State junior standout Draymond Green’s determined play and game-winning free throws helped the Spartans edge Indiana in overtime Jan. 30, but he subsequently praised the Hoosiers and their fan base in a Feb. 5 entry on his ESPN “Conference Voices” blog. And Sports Illustrated college basketball writer Seth Davis echoed similar themes in his Feb. 7 “Hoop Thoughts” blog for SI.com. Here is what they wrote:
ESPN’s “Conference Voices” SportsCenter blog
“Only a matter of time for Indiana Hoosiers”
By DRAYMOND GREEN, February 5, 2011
Indiana’s motion offense — all those dribble hand-offs into ballscreens — has been working for them. They’re just playing together as a team. Christian Watford was out that last game and they still upset Minnesota. That just says that they’re playing together as a team, which eventually is going to grow that program into one of the elite teams again.
The Hoosiers upset Illinois, then almost got us and then beat Minnesota. They bounced back from not getting what would’ve been a good win and put up another great effort. They’re showing that they’re growing up as a team, to be able to handle that emotional up and down.
Since I’ve been in college, Indiana hasn’t been that competitive. I can only imagine how that building is when they are a competitive team. It rocks in there. Assembly Hall is one of the best venues to play in, and their fans are definitely a key to that program. You have to respect that about Indiana. You know it’s only a matter of time before Tom Crean, who’s a really great coach, gets that team rolling year after year.
And here is the Seth Davis excerpt:
FROM “HOOP THOUGHTS,” Feb. 7:
Speaking of Indiana, I have to say I have never seen a fan base so passionately support a struggling team. The Hoosiers still fill Assembly Hall for every home game, and the place is always rocking. (By contrast, Ohio State couldn’t even fill up the Schottenstein Center for its big game at home against Purdue.) The Hoosiers lose a lot of games, but they play their tails off and the fans know it. Their loyalty has been rewarded recently as IU scored home wins over Illinois and Minnesota in the last two weeks. The fans know things will get better in time, but they’re not waiting until it happens to show up. Bravo.
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