Notebook: Foul trouble limits Zeller’s minutes

  • 01/27/2012 7:33 am in

MADISON, Wis. — One glance at the Wisconsin roster showed few options tall or athletic enough to stop Cody Zeller.

But Zeller, who entered Thursday night’s game averaging 15.1 points per game, went scoreless in the first half and finished with just seven points in 19 minutes.

The 6-foot-11 freshman picked up his second foul that forced him to the bench for the final 4:30 of the first half and as a result, he never established much of a rhythm.

“There were a couple times we tried to feed him the ball, they three-quartered, and we didn’t give him a chance to set up and post up the way that he needed to,” coach Tom Crean said. “We tried to force the ball in rather than allow him to get set.”

Christian Watford — who helped compensate for Zeller’s absence with 12 points — admitted that Zeller’s time on the bench made things difficult for the Hoosiers.

“It hurt us a lot, having an inside presence like Cody, he’s been there for us all year,” Watford said. “He was in foul trouble, but there’s still no excuse. Other guys got to step up.”

HOOSIERS SHOOT WELL ENOUGH TO WIN

Indiana had no trouble finding the bottom of the net Thursday night, but posted a season-low 50 points in large part because of Wisconsin’s deliberate pace.

The Hoosiers hit 50 percent of their first half shots, finished at 45.7 percent for the game and put together an 11-0 scoring run midway through the first half.

Though Crean felt his team adjusted nicely to Bo Ryan’s pass-heavy swing offense, he noted that key rebounds down the stretch may have been the difference.

“We answered the bell on the pace of play,” Crean said. “They’re going to play at a snail’s pace, it’s what they do, and you’ve got to steal possessions. We rebounded the ball very well for most of the game. They got a couple of big rebounds at the end. We struggled getting those balls.”

JONES SAYS HOOSIERS MUST WORK ON PLAYING 40

Verdell Jones III had no trouble scoring against the Wisconsin’s stingy defense in the first half. The senior guard finished the game’s first 20 minutes with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

But Jones went scoreless the rest of the way, and expressed his frustration with never bringing down the Badgers at the Kohl Center.

“This is my last go around here in Madison, and that’s the most frustrating thing about it, not getting a chance to beat them,” he said.

After dropping four of their last five games — three of them by seven points or less — the Hoosiers believe that nothing more than a few offensive boards or an untimely turnover is keeping them from victory.

“It’s very frustrating, especially when we preach in practice 40 minutes, 40 minutes, then we only play 38,” Jones said. “It’s tough and it’s something we got to work on.”

Ian McCue is a junior studying journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As the associate sports editor for the student newspaper, The Badger Herald, he has covered sports ranging from football to cross country.

(Photo credit: Andy Manis/Associated Press)

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  • Rikker68

    I don’t question Crean and his decision. Zeller has been in foul trouble  this year a few times.  Zeller doesn’t play aggressively at all in those situations. Most players don’t . He would be a defensive liability playing with 4 fouls. catronhoosier is correct in the fact that if he puts Zeller in at 4or 5 min mark and fouls out right away. Then people would complain about that. Talk about x’s and o’s of the game will always be questioned, but the announcers were even praising Crean on after timeout plays run.

  • calbert40

    Yeah, that ticked me off too.  Ridiculous.  But I did think they got the call right in the end.

  • calbert40

    Yeah, that ticked me off too.  Ridiculous.  But I did think they got the call right in the end.

  • calbert40

    I absolutely think that RMK would have had Calbert on the bench of a close game if his stat line for the night was 2-7, 7 pts, 3 rebs, 4 fouls and he was getting out played on both sides of the floor.  CZ is obviously awesome, but he had a bad game last night.  Nothing to worry about.  I think he will be huge on Sunday.

  • marcusgresham

    How much of Verdell’s success was the result of Wisconsin’s defensive players sticking to their assignments?  I get the feeling Bo Ryan had watched enough video of Hulls, Roth, and Watford shooting threes to tell his guys not to double down.  If that is the case, however, give Verdell credit for recognizing what was open and taking advantage of it.

  • marcusgresham

    Had he not had two phantom fouls, however, Cody wouldn’t have been on the bench.

  • DannerPerea

    On the subject of substitution patterns, i have simply one question:

    If we’ve been stressing “conditioning” in the off-season, why not leave the starting line-up on the court (assuming they’re our best options for the specific opponent) until they 1) foul out  2) are injured  3) make consecutive stupid plays or 4) ask for a breather? 

    Depth of our bench is one of our best assets – but i agree that tinkering with a line-up when the flow is good seems…unwise. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

    I just wonder what would happen if we tried that and..you know..let guys play the full 40 if they’re up for the challenge (of not making consecutive stupid plays).

  • SCHoosier

    Anybody have a general email for IU b-ball or Glass??..school needs to send a tape of that game with specific plays highlited to the B-10 office..if nothing else just to make the point.

  • SCHoosier

    would aagree..maybe just needed some fresh legs and a burst of energy hoping for a steal on defense.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I agree!

  • Kokomo_Joe

    even with 4 fouls, CZ is by far our best interior defender.  Oh, by the way, when losig you have to score to win the game.  He is our best in the paint, has an excellent fg  and ft%.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    Not when no one else that plays CZ’s position can even score 7 points.

    We are obviosly going to disagree a lot on this site.

  • MillaRed

    Not sure but a few of those layups were pretty darn sweet. The 12 points VJ got in the 1st half were not easy ones.

  • IUSTL

    RMK is not relevent or important to this conversation. I only watched the game once and with 5 to go the game was a 1 or 2 point game and nothing to indicate either team was going to put it away.  It held that way until around the 1:30 mark when Wisc went up by 3 then 5 . The final score was not determined until inside the final minute when they nailed down some FTs , IU missed some shots , including and air ball by Zeller, and pulled a 3 point lead to a 7 point final.
     
    Coaching is about using your resources properly. CTC made a decision that it was most Important to have CZ in the final deciding minute and not worth the risk of bringing him in earlier. It was a sound and good decision. Also CZ was relatively ineffective for the game, what makes you think he would have made big difference in the final 4 miinutes when he hadn’t in the first 36 minutes. We do agree that you need your best players on the floor at  the deciding moments and if had not put CZ back in I would have questioned that decision.
     
    I am guessing CTC is not thinking along the lines of “I had my best team on the floor and we lost” hat hanging when he is trying to devise tactics to WIN games.  
     
    I am also guessing you would be one of the first on here complaining that  CTC brought him  in too early if CZ  had appeared at the 4 minute mark and  fouled out in the next minute.

  • IUSTL

    RMK is not relevent or important to this conversation. I only watched the game once and with 5 to go the game was a 1 or 2 point game and nothing to indicate either team was going to put it away.  It held that way until around the 1:30 mark when Wisc went up by 3 then 5 . The final score was not determined until inside the final minute when they nailed down some FTs , IU missed some shots , including and air ball by Zeller, and pulled a 3 point lead to a 7 point final.
     
    Coaching is about using your resources properly. CTC made a decision that it was most Important to have CZ in the final deciding minute and not worth the risk of bringing him in earlier. It was a sound and good decision. Also CZ was relatively ineffective for the game, what makes you think he would have made big difference in the final 4 miinutes when he hadn’t in the first 36 minutes. We do agree that you need your best players on the floor at  the deciding moments and if had not put CZ back in I would have questioned that decision.
     
    I am guessing CTC is not thinking along the lines of “I had my best team on the floor and we lost” hat hanging when he is trying to devise tactics to WIN games.  
     
    I am also guessing you would be one of the first on here complaining that  CTC brought him  in too early if CZ  had appeared at the 4 minute mark and  fouled out in the next minute.

  • calbert40

    For the season, yes, CZ is our best scorer in the paint.  In that game, no, he wasn’t.

    Look, we all want CZ in the game.  I’d wager CTC wants him in more than the rest of us!  But, Thursday night, he couldn’t stay away from the whistle (he committed a foul every 4.5 minutes).  He couldn’t hit his shots (2-7, and one was an uncontested dunk).  He couldn’t rebound (1 defensive rebound in 19 minutes).

    He just struggled.  It happens.  If VJ3 had a night like CZ, everyone would have been upset if CTC had kept him in the game!

  • calbert40

    No one on the entire roster is a Center besides CZ.  Should he play 40 minutes?  How many D-I teams even have a true center?  20 percent or less.  Should CTC play CZ constantly without regard to his performance?  I think you and I both know that RMK wouldn’t agree with that!!

  • calbert40

    No one on the entire roster is a Center besides CZ.  Should he play 40 minutes?  How many D-I teams even have a true center?  20 percent or less.  Should CTC play CZ constantly without regard to his performance?  I think you and I both know that RMK wouldn’t agree with that!!