ScoopTalk: On Verdell and hoops

Indiana 81, Minnesota 78 (OT)

Verdell Jones III celebrates with teammates.

Photos today by new H-T intern James Brosher.

Verdell Jones hit the key basket at 0:32 of overtime to give Indiana its second league win Sunday night at Assembly Hall.

The Hoosiers (8-9, 2-3) are now tied with Purdue, currently the No. 6 team in the country, in the conference standings.

As the final buzzer sounded, the students rushed the court. Rising above the celebration was a huge cutout of Dwight Schrute’s head, his lips locked in that trademark grin.

Perhaps you’ve heard whispers of how unusual basketball in Bloomington has become. We’ll, it’s true.

Unusual and, on this night for these fans, magical.

More to come throughout the night.

Here are the final stats for you to review.

And a few audio files for you to listen to:

Tom Pritchard fights for a rebound.

Minnesota at Indiana: Discuss it here

Hoosier Morning


Indiana guard Jeremiah Rivers tries to drive around Ohio State’s David Lighty. Coach Tom Crean wants IU to cut down on its turnovers. Chris Howell | Herald-Times


Crean: Hoosiers have to cut down turnovers against Minnesota

Indiana coach Tom Crean watched film Friday of every turnover the Hoosiers committed in their four Big Ten games so far. He saw a lot of ugliness.

“I learned we’re not strong enough the ball,” Crean said. “I learned we’re driving into needless traps and places where we don’t need to be. Decision making is always going to be a part of it. Those are the things that we want to continue to address all the time.”

And they really need to do it by Sunday’s game. Minnesota ranks eighth in Division I in steals per game with 10.8 and seventh in turnover margin with 5.5. The Golden Gophers run one of the most successful full-court presses in the country, and they have plenty of shot blockers to serve as the last line of defense if the press is broken. Forward Damian Johnso and center Ralph Sampson III have already combined for 69 blocks this season.

“They have a great combination of energy, toughness, athleticism,” Crean said. “They’ve certainly got skill. And we’re going to have to play a very good game. They’re doing an excellent job of causing turnovers.”

After giving it away 55 times in the last three games, the Hoosiers need to do a better job of avoiding them. Those turnovers have turned into 66 points over the last three games.

“We’re hurting ourselves when we do it,” freshman guard Jordan Hulls said. “We’re just not being strong with the ball, like I said. It’s just careless turnovers. Unforced. You’re going to have some turnovers in the game. you can’t play a perfect game, but we’re just going to have to cut down on those and if we do that and play as a team, we’re going to be pretty good.”

AUDIO: Crean talks about turnovers and Minnesota’s pressure

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls talks about taking better care of the ball

AUDIO: Bobby Capobianco talks about gaining confidence in his shot

Hoosier Morning


Michigan students chanted “Bum” at Verdell Jones throughout Thursday’s game. Chris Howell | Herald-Times


Michigan runs away from IU at the end

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Manny Harris scored 17 of his 21 points in the last 11:03 of Thursday’s game, sparking a 21-2 run that turned a relatively close game to a 69-45 Michigan route.

Senior center DeShawn Sims also scored 20 points in the Michigan victory.

“Two of the better players in the country and two of the very best players in this league were too much for us to handle,” Indiana coach Crean said. “… It all came unglued because we couldn’t keep those guys from doing what they do best, which is get to the basket.”

The Hoosiers weren’t good offensively, either, shooting 36.5 percent (19-for-52) for the game, including 1-for-15 from beyond the 3-point arc. They committed 19 turnovers and made just six of 12 free throws.

Indiana was within four points at the 10:34 mark of the second half and five points with 6:32 before things got ugly.

“We kind of came unglued at the end after playing a very, very strong game for so long and never letting ourselves get rattled,” Crean said. “But we did get rattled at the end and it was because of the abilities of Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims.”

AUDIO: John Beilein talks mostly about Manny Harris and defense.

AUDIO: Tom Crean talks about Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims

AUDIO: Christian Watford says something about the defense

Scoop Poll:

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