The Minute After: Penn State

  • 01/22/2012 3:55 pm in

Thoughts on a 73-54 win against the Nittany Lions:

Sometimes, you just need to make things easy for yourself. And then it all opens up.

After a grind-it-out first half where Indiana found itself trailing at intermission, an early Jordan Hulls steal after halftime led to a Verdell Jones bucket in transition. Jones smiled wide. From there, the Hoosiers returned to form and once again became that team they’ve shown they can be outside of their recent three-game losing streak. The 3-ball was falling (7-of-16, 43.8%) and the offense opened up in a big way. Cody Zeller played with great efficiency (7-of-8 from the field, 4-of-4 from the line, 18 points). And all the little things went Indiana’s way. An unmasked Derek Elston snagged an offensive board and put it back in for two, aiding in Indiana winning the second-chance point battle (14-8) after a first half where Penn State had several offensive boards. The Hoosiers were sloppy and turned the ball over at too high a rate during the losing streak. But things improved here, too. Indiana only turned the ball over on 16.3% of its possessions and had just nine turnovers in total this afternoon.

The defense did its job, as it held Penn State to only 25 points in the second half and an eFG% of 38 for the game. (Though, Penn State, a poor shooting team to begin with, certainly didn’t do itself any favors, as it missed plenty of good looks this afternoon as well.)

Things got chippy in this one. There were lots of whistles in the second half. The Nittany Lions were jawing at the Hoosiers. And it all culminated in Travis Ross’ hard foul of Christian Watford with six seconds to go. It was unnecessary and intentionally malicious. In the ensuing scuffle, Will Sheehey — the victim of an earlier hard foul at the hands of Penn State  — dropped some f-bombs, received his second technical (the first of which came from some earlier jawing after that hard foul) and was booted from the game.

It wasn’t pretty. But this sort of game also wasn’t the worst thing for Indiana to encounter. When nothing else was working for Penn State, the Nittany Lions got snippy. And the Hoosiers stood tall and did not back down. They simply continued to control the game all second half and never let Penn State sniff a comeback.

A double-digit win for the Hoosiers. The recent rough patch now in the past. Order, for now, restored.

QUICKLY …

+ Shout-out to Matt Roth. Many probably didn’t expect him to be contributing like he has this season, but he’s quietly established himself as a go-to rotation player for Tom Crean, squeezing out minutes from the likes of Remy Abell and Austin Etherington. His defense has been adequate enough to justify him getting minutes and his shooting has been pretty special to watch. Check this: He entered this afternoon’s contest shooting an incredible 59.5% from three, and hit both he took in this afternoon’s game. An afterthought Kelvin Sampson recruit who’s dealt with injury and stuck with this program during its darkest times, Roth is mattering this season. And well, he deserves it.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    Fischer would be incorrect.  The B1G does not have a mandatory suspension for an ejection, and CTC said that he won’t punish Will either.

  • Anonymous

    Yet another example of the NCAA holding kids to a higher standard than they do coaches.  Can you imagine if it was an automatic T for coaches?  (For all I know it is and they just don’t enforce it.)

    But if so, Coach Knight would have about 500 fewer wins, since he wouldn’t have been able to finish games without being tossed.

  • Anonymous

    Not a perfect game, but a very nice bounce back win today.  Hopefully, we get our swagger back due to scrum at the end of the game too! 

    Also, hope that the sky is falling crowd will dwindle a little bit after today’s game!

  • Shime

    Seen him play. He is going to be a really good player for us. A seventeen year old kid says something silly. OMG. I am saying his coach Greg Graham tudors him in all aspects of the game. The physial and mental parts of the game. This is a non-issue in my book. I n fact I cannot wait for him to get to I.U. Go IUUUUUUUUU.

  • MillaRed

    You cam blame Cincy-Xavier for that. Now they are all on this hypersensitive alert that is annoying.

  • MillaRed

    You cam blame Cincy-Xavier for that. Now they are all on this hypersensitive alert that is annoying.

  • MillaRed

    Something tells me CTC had no problem with Will’s passion at all. F bomb or not.

    Like John said, what the hell were they doing at our bench in the first place?

    Furthermore, that hack on CWat should have drawn a T. If they want to keep things under control, go to the source. They look at the monitor and see this kid throw a shoulder blow at a 3 point shooter up by 17? Ridiculous.

  • Lee Timmer

    I went to Floyd Central with Pat Graham and saw quite a few games. I’ll never forget when Bedford-North Lawrence and Damon Bailey came to town during the 1988-89 season. There was a scramble for a loose ball in front of the BNL bench, and Graham and another player were jawing at each other and had to be separated. Two great players who went on to play on some great IU teams.

  • LeeTimmer

    Exactly. The refs from Xavier-Cincy have taken so much heat for their inaction that most refs have a quicker whistle now.

  • IUJeff

    It’s okay to disagree but you are wrong. 

    Frazier averages 18 PPG, 5 Rebounds, 2 steals, and has almost a 2:1 assist / TO ratio for the season. He leads his team by far with 37 minutes played per game this season.  

    I’d say that is a real B1G pg.  

  • Shime

    I may not agree with his language but I sure do like his fight. It was like someone going after a family member ,and he was not going to allow it. Before somebody would try that and they would back down . Not now as long as there were no punches thrown. They tried to intimidate us and they failed. May not like it but I am glad he showed some fight.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t feel too excited at half time.  For a stretch there no one that we put on Frazier could stop him……why not give Remy a shot?  Whatever CTC said at halftime seems to have lit a fire under the guys.  But what has happened to CW?  He made some shots tonight, but doesn’t seem like the same guy who played so big against pUKe, OSU and NC st, especially on the defensive end.  Zeller continues to impress.  Some of the moves he makes and his decisions…..it’s hard to believe he’s only a freshman.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t feel too excited at half time.  For a stretch there no one that we put on Frazier could stop him……why not give Remy a shot?  Whatever CTC said at halftime seems to have lit a fire under the guys.  But what has happened to CW?  He made some shots tonight, but doesn’t seem like the same guy who played so big against pUKe, OSU and NC st, especially on the defensive end.  Zeller continues to impress.  Some of the moves he makes and his decisions…..it’s hard to believe he’s only a freshman.

  • 888

    First time these guys have played  with some guts in a month. Sheeheys got the attitude the rest of them need to get. Loved when Cody blocked the last shot. Almost like he said enoughs, enough to the BIG. Were not giving anything else to other teams their goona earn it. PSU getting chippy with them may have awakened a sleeping giant. VJ3 was a catalyst not a liability. Happy for him cause its been rough on him. Lets build of this and make a run. 

  • phil ross

    Way to go Verdell, I knew he was playing without forcing anything but didn’t realize that he didn’t make a turnover, and finally Elston showed up for a game.  It appeared to be a very sloppy game but I think that was due to Penn States’s intensity.  It was good to see the hoosiers fight thru more adversity and win.  I am going to try and remember that they really are just a couple of plays from being 18-2.

  • InTheMtns

    Josh, you’re correct – there isn’t a NCAA rule that requires a suspension for being ejected with two technical fouls. I think Fisch was confused and thought Will was ejected for fighting. Will’s actions were only verbal. That earned him his second T and that second T earned him his ejection. Physical fighting will get you tossed from a game and an NCAA automatic one-game suspension. 

  • InTheMtns

    And lots of palming by Frazier, none of which was called.

  • CreamandCrimson

    It was very, very nice to not need to worry about a game in the closing minutes.  Well done Hoosiers, thank you for taking care of business.

    -Criticism gets heaped on CTC when we lose games.  I am going to give him some compliments for moving Cody around in order to get him the ball.  We saw Cody score on a drive where he got the ball on the wing.  We saw him stationed on the perimeter and at the free throw line to be a facilitator.  If we can’t do a good enough job getting the ball on the block, move him around.  Anyway we can get him the ball, it needs to be done.

    -Same thing goes for the guards.  VJIII and Hulls played the kind of game we will take from them every time out.  No turnovers!

    -Very nice job frustrating Frazier.  We will need to do the same to Taylor but it will be much, much tougher.

    -Good minutes from Elston off the bench.  Way to be tough on the glass.

    -Sheehey driving to the basket is much better than Sheehey doing anything else. 

    -Way to get back on track and finish off an opponent.  We wanted to see them step on somebody’s neck when given the opportunity.  We did that with Penn State.  Next three are at Wisconsin, Iowa and at Michigan.  If we can figure out a way to go 2-1, I would take it in a heartbeat. 

  • Pinehurst

    Congrats Verdell, wow 25th all time scoring at IU. I appreciate everything you have accomplished in helping turn our program around.

  • Anonymous

    Ditto on congrats to Verdell. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to be any member of this team over the last few years,but especially one as criticized as Verdell. I think he is doing a good job settling into his role.