The Minute After: Minnesota

  • 02/26/2012 3:43 pm in

Thoughts on a 69-50 win against the Golden Gophers: 

An easy Big Ten road win?

It happened this afternoon inside The Barn.

The Golden Gophers just didn’t bring much. They were listless and disinterested and it showed in a myriad of ways. Little movement on offense and poor shooting. (Their 50 points and 31 percent FG% were both season lows. They only scored .72 points per possession.) Lackadaisical defense. (Indiana got some easy transition looks when Minnesota didn’t get back. The Golden Gophers also lost IU players in the half court at times.) And their fans in the stands didn’t have much life, either. Couple all this with an Indiana squad that came ready to play and got several strong performances in a balanced offensive attack, and it was all a recipe for an easy double-digit win.

Welcome back to the program, Christian Watford. After being bogged down in a slump the last few contests, Watford got back into the flow on offense. Though he was only 2-of-4 from the field, Watford was aggressive and got to the line seven times. He hit them all and finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds. IU is now 9-2 when Watford gets to the line five times or more.

Jordan Hulls returned to form as well. He’s been timid to get shots up of late, but took eight of them this afternoon. He connected on four (two of which were 3-pointers) to tie Watford and Victor Oladipo with a team-high of 12 points. Oladipo is still a little wild at times in his more unleashed role (five turnovers, yeesh), but the DeMatha product continues to pump in the points (4-of-7 from the field, 4-of-4 from the line). Verdell Jones also had a nice offensive game to round out IU’s balanced attack. He had 11, which included a rare dunk and 3-pointer.

The Hoosiers are at their best when they’re getting to the line and converting, and that was certainly the case today. Their free throw rate was 52.1; they hit 21-of-25 from the line (84.0 %). Indiana was also opportunistic on the break, outscoring Minnesota 8-0 in that category. And had they not been as sloppy as they were (23.0 TO%, 13 turnovers), this would have been an even bigger route. Same goes for their shooting. Indiana missed some 2’s around the hoop that could have pushed this to a bigger win, though they still did score a solid 1.06 points per possession. (Oh, and Matt Roth, who’s been so ridiculously good from beyond the arc, only went 1-of-4 this afternoon and even air-balled one of his attempts).

But these are minor quibbles. Indiana came in with the right mindset, executed and emerged victorious in their last Big Ten road contest of the season. Watford and Hulls re-emerged. And now it gets real. Michigan State on Tuesday inside Assembly Hall in what promises to be a battle. Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich and Jay Bilas will be in the house calling the game for ESPN. The Boilermakers seeking revenge on Sunday. The Big Ten Tournament, where Tom Crean remains winless, to follow.

Enjoy this one. Get ready for the battles ahead.

Filed to:

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    After watching him several times in high school (and I do understand the difference in competition), Cody has the skill set to pull his man away from the basket every once in a while.  He did it a couple times (one miss and one make) against Minny and I think it’s a weapon he should start utilizing a “little” more to loosen things up for him. 

    I wonder where his jumper has gone?  He doesn’t even look comfortable shooting the ball and he definitely did when I saw him last year!

  • IUMIKE1

    Think you, MIllaRed and I all seen pretty much the same things this game, good and bad.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I liked it too man.  I was actually responding to the fact that I thought IU still had a lot of room for improvement and won easily on the road.  I don’t think this team has reached it’s potential and I keep waiting for them to put it all together.  I hope that happens tomorrow night.  It would be awesome to see Hulls, Sheehey, Zeller, Watford, VO, and the rest of the guys hit their stride together!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Thanks SC.  That’s exactly where I was going.  This team has a higher ceiling.  They haven’t reached their potential yet.  Teams that make noise, especially surprise noise, come tourney time are the teams that maximize that potential at the right time!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Thanks SC.  That’s exactly where I was going.  This team has a higher ceiling.  They haven’t reached their potential yet.  Teams that make noise, especially surprise noise, come tourney time are the teams that maximize that potential at the right time!

  • CreanFaithful

    That is a fair statement.  I guess my point was that I think our team is best off with him staying in the post THIS YEAR. With our lack of rebounding ability and/or other post scoring options, I think having him post up in the paint (shooting 63% from the field) is just what the doctor ordered (the doctor being CTC).  Next year we add more size and athleticism that will not only free Cody up to step out/face up more, it will also be encouraged in hopes to open lanes for flashing guards and other bigs to post up.  I have no doubt that he has the ability…

  • Guest

    How exactly does that work, I live in Jeffersonville and am really hoping to see us get the Yum Center.  I hear Kentucky has the YUM center locked up now, is the only way for us to get there is to be put there with Kentucky?

  • Outoftheloop

    Right now it is all about being ranked 16th or above for the field = a 4th seed in one region of the NCAA Tourney for IU. But if we could win the B1G Tourney, that would be sweet! This team is still capable of coming out very flat and digging a big hole, especially on the road. But when they are tough on defense and rebounding, sharing the ball, value each possession, and take good shots, they can beat any team (i.e. KY). This has been a fun year and it is not over with yet!

  • Outoftheloop

    Right now it is all about being ranked 16th or above for the field = a 4th seed in one region of the NCAA Tourney for IU. But if we could win the B1G Tourney, that would be sweet! This team is still capable of coming out very flat and digging a big hole, especially on the road. But when they are tough on defense and rebounding, sharing the ball, value each possession, and take good shots, they can beat any team (i.e. KY). This has been a fun year and it is not over with yet!

  • InTheMtns

    You can listen to the live stream 12-3pm (E.T.)  weekdays on 1070 the Fan’s website. Same site also has the live stream of CTC’s coaches show Monday at 7:05 pm. Dakich’s show also has several podcasts from the show available later in the day on the website.

  • IUJeff

    I’d say he needs to keep up what he is doing. He is 14th in the nation @ 64% FGs. 

  • Gsefox2

    Really? Maybe it had something to do with the way IU dominated them in every logical way.  If thats how you feel then maybe it was IU played horrible when Minnesota beat the Hoosiers in bloomington….get a life!!!

  • Gsefox2

    Really? Maybe it had something to do with the way IU dominated them in every logical way.  If thats how you feel then maybe it was IU played horrible when Minnesota beat the Hoosiers in bloomington….get a life!!!

  • Geoff_85

    If you’re talking RPI, yes. However, there are teams in the top 16 of the RPI that are not going to get a better seed than Indiana. Consider Wichita St (10), Southern Miss. (13), Temple (14), and maybe even UNLV (11) to a lesser extent. I think as long as UNLV doesn’t lose another game that they will get a 4 seed, but I don’t think Southern Miss and Wichita St. will get seeded above Indiana. If Temple can win out, then they probably get a 4 seed as well, but when you look at the resumes of those schools compared to Indiana’s, IU will get the better seed. While Indiana’s RPI is not as good as those schools’, Indiana has played more games against the RPI top 50 and has a better winning % in those games. The Hoosiers have played 10 games against the RPI top 50 and have 2 remaining on the regular season schedule. If IU can manage to win those games, with a little help, they may be looking at a 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This of course is all speculation on my part, but just for good measure, I just took a look at Lunardi’s bracket and he has Wichita State and UNLV as 5 seeds, Southern Miss as a 9 seed, Temple as a 6 seed, and Indiana as a 4 seed. Let’s hope they can maintain it!

  • Outoftheloop

     No, I was talking about being ranked by the NCAA Selection Committee as a top 16 team in the entire field. All of the other rankings play a role in their ranking, but their decision has a practical meaning that the others lack.

  • Outoftheloop

     No, I was talking about being ranked by the NCAA Selection Committee as a top 16 team in the entire field. All of the other rankings play a role in their ranking, but their decision has a practical meaning that the others lack.