Notes on a 78-65 overtime win against Ferris State:
Vic does it again.
On a night when IU shot the ball poorly and were without last year’s go-to crunchtime player in Verdell Jones — he again sat due to his ankle injury — it was freshman Victor Oladipo who brought it when it mattered most this evening inside Assembly Hall.
Down four with 10.7 seconds to play, Vic nailed a three-pointer and was fouled in the process. He hit the free throw — nothing but net — to tie the game.
On the ensuing possession, Olapido picked up Ferris State’s Kenny Brown full court. He was screened just after halfcourt, and Brown got a few steps on him en route to a wide-open layup, and maybe the game. But Vic stayed on his tail until he began to go up for the layup, timed it perfectly and swatted the ball away for an impressive, game-saving block from behind.
After a made basket by Ferris State’s Jerrell Sanders was called off at the buzzer, IU rolled in OT as the threes they were missing all game started to fall. Oladipo helped out in that extra frame as well, stealing the ball for a breakaway dunk at one point.
This kid is a playmaker.
And he stuffed the boxscore again: 14 points (4-of-8 from the field, 1-of-2 from three, 5-of-5 from the line) to go along with nine rebounds, five steals, two blocks and only two fouls in 31 minutes. Tremendous line.
Vic is becoming an early fan favorite, as Assembly Hall chanted OL-A-DIP-O after that breakaway dunk in OT.
I have a feeling it won’t be the last time the crowd chants his name this season.
First: Props to IU for getting back into this game late in the second half when they were left for dead, and taking care of business in overtime. Perhaps it’s a sign this team can figure out a way to win games they should all year.
That said, they also shot and turned the ball over a lot like last year’s team. The shooting was woeful from both the field (24-of-65 for 36.9 percent) and from three (7-of-27 for 25.9 percent). They had 20 turnovers.
Ferris State — a Division II team, mind you, but one with a lot of experience and upperclassmen — took IU out of their game offensively. The Hoosiers were working a lot of motion around the perimeter, and that 1-2-2 zone the Bulldogs utilized in the second half left IU looking for answers on several possessions.
In the first half, IU settled for a lot of contested shots early in the shot clock instead of making the extra pass and waiting for things to develop.
Without Guy Marc-Michel in the middle, Jones to try and break someone down on a drive (and Jeremiah Rivers, who has the ability to do that as well, seeing a diminished role) the Hoosiers are a very perimeter-oriented team. And if they’re not making shots, it’s going to be tough to pull out the victory.
Live by the three, (almost) die by the three.
There were times when they were able to get the ball into the lane for higher-percentage shots in the second half, but even those shots were having a hard time finding the bottom of the net tonight.
It’s early. Things will get better.
But tonight’s performance showed this team still has plenty of room for improvement.
Lots else to discuss here, including Matt Roth’s injury. Here’s hoping for the best there. Have at it.