The Minute After: Purdue

  • 03/04/2012 9:05 pm in

Thoughts on a 85-74 win against Purdue:

This started with a dominating performance from the Hoosiers.

The entire first half — and for the first 10 minutes or so of the second — Indiana didn’t give Purdue any room to breath. It was go-go-go, score-score-score. And when the Hoosiers weren’t grabbing defensive rebounds, pushing the pace and getting easy buckets in transition, they didn’t have much trouble showing patience and getting good looks in their half-court offense. There were extra passes. There were several 3-pointers hit (8-of-14 in the first half). There was Cody Zeller passing out of double-teams and finding the open man. By half, Indiana racked up some impressive offensive statistics (49 points, 80% eFG, 1.37 points per possession). It was a clinic and this team’s offense at its best: A mix of easy transition buckets, turning defense into offense, operation into and out of Zeller, ball movement, high energy, getting to the line, feeding off the crowd.

But Purdue, even when it found itself down 18 with 13:58 to go, still made a game of this one. The Hoosiers’ offense stalled midway through the second half and Purdue forced them into contested looks late in the shot clock. Robbie Hummel (16 points) and Lewis Jackson (17 points) got it going a bit. A D.J. Bryd 3-pointer cut the lead to just seven with 6:01 to go. Plenty of time to continue the comeback, plenty of time to deflate an Assembly Hall faithful that smelled blood in the water all game. But Indiana never really lost a handle on things the rest of the way out. Its lead bounced back up to 13, then fell to six with 1:20 to go on a Ryne Smith 3-pointer, then climbed back up to 13 once again on the strength of some strong free throw shooting as Purdue was forced to foul late in the contest. (Indiana in that departement for the game: 47.2 free throw rate, 19-25 from the line.) Two Lewis Jackson free throws with 40 seconds to go inched Purdue within 11, and that wrapped up the scoring on the evening.

The Hoosiers beat the Boilermakers yet again this season. With the win, they beat out Purdue for fifth place in the conference. And it’s also one that gives them 24 regular season wins coupled with just seven losses. For all this program has been through the past three seasons, that’s impressive. Damn impressive.

All five seniors — Verdell Jones (who was smart with the ball all night), Daniel Moore, Kory Barnett, Tom Pritchard (who got a bucket tonight), Matt Roth (who hit three big 3-pointers to open it up before halftime) — finished this one out on the court together in the final seconds. It’s a group that will hold a special place in the hearts of this fanbase, not because of conference titles or individual awards, but because they were here when no one else wanted to be, when Indiana was down and out, and they helped bring it all back.

But this run, this great story isn’t over yet.

For the first time in the Tom Crean era, Indiana has the opportunity to make some noise in the Big Ten Tournament. Oh, and there’s that NCAA Tournament, too.

Beam with pride tonight. Strap it in for what’s to come.

Filed to:

  • Threewellers

    Correct, and without Hummel they WILL be horrendous. Purdue will not be a top tier big ten squad next year and for the next few years IMO. The natural order has been restored.

  • SCHoosier

    I share your concerns..I do hope that playing in Indy..gives IU a little smell of home cookin’…Frazier and Marshall have to be dealt with for PSU..but if IU plays like they did the first half..sharing the ball…pressing the shots defensively and getting on the boards…it should be a long day for  the Lions. Then again…..I don’t think this team has eraased all doubts that its learned how to win under every circumstance..but I’m likin our chances and really want another shot at WIS.

  • SCHoosier

    Maybe we’ll find out..I’ve said all season that one key to beating Indiana is making them play a half court game for as long as possible. IU has definately improved their half court offense the last third of the season..WIS could be a great test of that..if and when we handle PSU.

  • b_side

    I think you had it right in the first part of the sentence (Crean cares more about winning than worrying about Wat’s draft stock).  

    That said, I would have to think it’s more of a “kill two birds with one stone” type of scenario.  Watford’s length bothers point guards (displaying his perimeter defensive ability) and VO/Sheehey’s strength and athleticism allow them to play both post and perimeter defense against the Draymond Green’s/Hummel’s/Shurna’s of the B1G.

    These three guys are basically Autobots, transforming depending on the matchup. I mean, we even had Optimus Prime (i.e. Cody) guarding DJ Byrd at certain points.

  • Bucky

    Bronson Kessinger is the only one I’ve read about.  There were probably others.     

  • plane1972

    And Butler’s bubble bursts.

  • calbert40

     I did some more looking, and the 2 would be difficult to attain!  Right now, projections have UNC, Mizzou, OSU and MSU as the #2, and even with a B1G championship, it would be difficult to unseat any of those teams.

    However, I don’t think there is a 3 out there we can’t beat on a neutral court.  Right now, ESPN projects Baylor, Marquette, GTown and Michigan as the 3s.  I’d still be happy with a 4, but regardless of the seed, I think other schools will groan if they see us in their part of the bracket!

  • HoosierHawz

    I think Yogi was right behind the IU bench. 

  • marcusgresham

    Mellencamp said so–“Butler’s bubble bursts, come and save my so-o-oul…”

  • marcusgresham

    Mellencamp said so–“Butler’s bubble bursts, come and save my so-o-oul…”

  • marcusgresham

    Maybe that’s how he got kicked off the team.  That bar fight was a misunderstanding–he was gesturing to the bartender “I’m thirsty” and someone misconstrued it as “I’m-a choke you out!”  Poor kid.  Use your words, Kelsey.

  • marcusgresham

    Optimus Prime Number (1)

  • marcusgresham

    Sheehey is developing VJIII’s mid-range game.  The differences are that his outside shot and athletic ability mean you have to pick your poison moreso when guarding him (and no, please don’t take this as any kind of knock on Verdell or start any kind of “who’s better” arguments.)

  • dtfreed

    No I guess not, but do you want to play them again. . .?

  • dtfreed

    It was classy of Painter to call off the foul dogs with 30 sec. to go so CTC could get his seniors in, and what were the BTN game talking heads going on about CTC and Painter having bad blood. . . and based it on one hand shake at the end of the first game @ PU? Did I miss something else this year?

  • IUfanToby

    Great season so far, and thanks again to the seniors.  I hope Verdell is right about banner #6!
    Shout out to the student section…..the “Jail-Byrd” chants were awesome.  I’ll give it up for Hummel too……that guy is a great player and from everything you hear, a great person.  Best of luck to him in the future.

  • GaHoosier

    Kemba Walker?  Not likely!
     
    I think reading a blog might be too much for a man that has only read one book his entire life.  😉
     
    http://theweek.com/article/index/214433/kemba-walkers-ridiculous-reading-admission

  • Devout Hoosier

    Thanks for reminding me of this quote.  I love comparing people’s pre/early season expectations with actuals.  Especially from our own fan base, and A.J. wasn’t the only one skeptical.  I predicted 22 wins on this board at the beginning of the season and attended Hoosier Hysteria.  17/18 was considered the ceiling by most.

    I think the results show:
    1. The leadership displayed by our upper classmen!
    2. The improvement each player has made from last year!  FT, Shooting %, muscle gain, fewer turnovers, better defense, unselfish offense, etc… !
    3. Cody Zeller should be B1G Freshmen of the Year!
    4. Tom Creach should be National Coach of the Year!

    WE’RE BACK!

  • marcusgresham

    Hell yeah! That would mean they got past Illinois and knocked off Michigan St., and the IU/Iowa winner would be in the championship game (and IU still owes Iowa from the tournament when they had Luke Recker.)

  • marcusgresham

    Maybe they’re afraid Crean learned the backslap/karate chop from his brother-in-law

  • Outoftheloop

    What a great win! What a great regular season, 24-7; wins over KY, Butler, ND, Oh St, MI, MSU and Purdue twice! Break open the champagne, pop the cork, take a big swig, then put the cork back in the bottle, there is work still to be done! Go win the B1G Tourney! Make it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA! GO IU grab some glory!

  • OldIUGymnast

    I haven’t ever said this – but I love your screen name –  Jim Bogios and David Immergluck are buds of mine.  If you get a chance – run out and buy Tender Mercies one and only record (the band that lost 1/2 of their members to Counting Crows back in 93 reconstituted and finally recording their songs).  Also, the Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven and Counting Crows family host the coolest little music festival in Joshua Tree – at the Palace in Pioneertown.  Shoot me an  email at kto1243@mac.com sometime and if you are down to come out.  It is typically the 2nd weekend in September.  Anyway – I know off topic – and to bring it back… Go Hoosiers and lets hope Mr. Roth decides to hangout for his last year of eligibility!

  • Dstrase

    Great game to finish the season. Most everyone played well and contributed. If we have the same focus and intensity, we can go far in both the big 10 tourney, and the big dance.

  • Dstrase

    Someone mentioned that the big 10 tourney was a marathon with 4 games in four days. The problem with that many games in four days is that if you have one or two offensive players, you can get beat on any day if they have a bad game. IU has 6 or 7 guys who are capable of putting up big numbers anytime.  they can also put all 7 in average numbers at the same time. This gives you a lot more flexibility in a 4 game series for someone to have a bad game. I like this teams chances of winning the big ten tourney.

  • Hernan Varga

     “It’s a group that will hold a special place in the hearts of this fanbase, not because of conference titles or individual awards, but because they were here when no one else wanted to be, when Indiana was down and out, and they helped bring it all back.”   uhhhhhhhhhh…..sappy.