The Minute After: Penn State

Thoughts on a 75-58 win against the Nittany Lions:

About what we expected, right?

Sure, Penn State kept it close in the first half thanks to 19 points from Tim Frazier. And despite Indiana being hot from beyond the arc (55.6%) and shooting plenty of free throws (55% FTR), the Hoosiers allowed Penn State to remain close because they turned the ball over too much (25.0 TO%) and missed some close-range shots (27.8% on 2-pointers). They also didn’t get much offense beyond Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls. But once the second half hit, Indiana’s offense began to roll with others getting involved, and Penn State simply had no answer. The Hoosiers also did a better job on Frazier in the second half, as he was held to just seven points. It was about all the change that was needed. Indiana extended its lead to 22 a the 7:10 mark, and Penn State never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.

Heck of an offensive game today from Hulls. He was hot from the start. Hulls converted from beyond the arc (4-of-6), excelled in making moves off the perimeter, hit some pull-up jumpers in the mid-range and even got a bucket at the rim. He finished with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Zeller was his typical efficient and productive self. 19 points on 4-of-9 shooting (11-of-15 from the line) along with 10 rebounds. Christian Watford continues to be assertive on the boards, notching a double-double of him own — 14 points and 10 rebounds. Indiana ended this one hitting 29-of-35 from the line (80.5%) and 8-of-18 (44.4%) from three, but never got it going inside, hitting just 32.4% on 2-pointers.

And then there was Verdell Jones. What a cruel twist of fate.

He’s risen up as a leader of this team and played his role with much poise since returning from his shoulder injury. His senior speech was poignant; he spoke of raising a sixth banner. And if there’s anyone that deserves to play in the NCAA Tournament, it’s a senior who’s endured so much as this program has returned to relevance. But it’s not sounding like his right knee sprain is going to have him back soon. Tom Crean broke down while discussing it after the game, and it’s easy to see why: It’s a heartbreaking story.

The Hoosiers now face a quick turnaround; the Badgers loom tomorrow afternoon in Indianapolis. And even if Jones won’t be able to play, he’ll still be there rooting and cheering and his presence will be felt. These Hoosiers are likely to play for him, and play for him hard.

And they just have to keep moving and  keep getting it done without their senior leader on the court.

  • 1in17456

    Think the B1G logo is part of the court. They use a whole nother floor for this tournament.

  • jayrig5

    That would obviously change things. 

  • Outoftheloop

    This was a very impressive win when you consider that Watford (2/11), Oladipo (1/8), and Sheehey (2/7) were a combined 5/26 = 19.23% from the field. The rebounding was the best it has been all year 45/29 and the TEAM shot 80.6% on FT! GO IU!

  • Outoftheloop

    The injury looks bad. Verdell deserves to play in the NCAA. There really is no downside to playing him anyway-not in the B1G Tourney-but in the NCAA Tourney. Wrap it, brace it, numb it, ice it, etc and get him a minute in the NCAA’s.

  • Grannyshrink

    So proud of these young men, each and every one.
    So sad for Verdell, and yes, praying it is a simple sprain.
    He deserves to go to the NCAA’s dressed and able to 
    play!

  • Grannyshrink

    So proud of these young men, each and every one.
    So sad for Verdell, and yes, praying it is a simple sprain.
    He deserves to go to the NCAA’s dressed and able to 
    play!

  • Eastwood88_2

    At the game today and finally broke my losing streak, but at a cost. Checked out after vj3 wen down. Straight bs and can’t get over it. Just not right. Saw his fam rushing back. No slip no slide just a freak accident. Thoughts go out to him and regardless what anyone says this is going to hurt. A moment will come in the tourney up by 4 with 4 to play that we would need him!

  • IU_Alum96

    “They also didn’t get much offense beyond Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls.”  I think you must have inferred “from” instead of “beyond” which was written.

  • CH

    Terrible injury for VJ3 the whole arena went quiet for about 5 min. CTC has to regroup and these guys have extra motivation to go on a roll and win this tourney.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Here I was worried about CTC rotation so we would have fresh legs tomorrow but I never gave that one thought…Great Point.  I wonder how much shoot around Wisky gets prior to tip.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Calbert40,
    Well said.  That was my point earlier about the pic above with CTC and Hulls…true passion for his players.

  • Drewp1

    Will we see more Roth or Remy?

  • brosallman

    My quess is that you don’t have an IU journalism degree. Read the first paragraph again.

  • brosallman

    My quess is that you don’t have an IU journalism degree. Read the first paragraph again.

  • Petefaggen

    Gritty win and great to get that first post-season win in Crean era out of the way. Heart goes out to Verdell. Tough break and I hope his injury isn’t very serious. Is it a confirmed sprain, or worse, like an ACL? Either way, it’s time for someone to step up. And hope the team can rally around Jones’ absence. Where no Jones will hurt is ball handling against big athletic guards and his ability to make shots off the bench. Jones finally found his role with his team as a 20 minute player off the bench… But time for IU to march on and Abel and Oladipo must be good ball handlers, like that Purdue game in Mackey. Will definitely need that vs. Wisky — guard play is magnified in tourney games. .. If we rebound like we did against Penn State and limit turnovers, we can beat that team. I hope we can push the ball a bit.. I wouldn’t mind seeing Zeller shoot a jumper a bit vs. Wisky….and Hulls rocked it. Terrific shooting and ability to create his own shot. Huge.  Bitter sweet day, but good to get this one out of the way, we have experience on that floor in Indy, and let’s get er done boys!!!! Hooky tomorrow!!! HAHA .. Go Hoosiers!!

  • SS8941

    This is one of the worst feeling wins ever. I think that Verdell Jones means more to that team than any other player. Possibly more than anyone else in Indiana history, Verdell has been beaten down, scapegoated, and scorned. No one deserves this, but if there is any one player that deserves to play in the NCAA tournament it is Verdell Jones. He is an embodiment of what an Indiana player should be, he stayed with it through the worst times, because he loved his teammates, the game, and the name on the front of his jersey. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it looks, but if it is, well done Verdell.

  • SS8941

    This is one of the worst feeling wins ever. I think that Verdell Jones means more to that team than any other player. Possibly more than anyone else in Indiana history, Verdell has been beaten down, scapegoated, and scorned. No one deserves this, but if there is any one player that deserves to play in the NCAA tournament it is Verdell Jones. He is an embodiment of what an Indiana player should be, he stayed with it through the worst times, because he loved his teammates, the game, and the name on the front of his jersey. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it looks, but if it is, well done Verdell.

  • http://twitter.com/hoosiersmitty HoosierSmitty

    Feel terrible for Verdell. Hope he recovers quickly. 

    Can’t shoot 37% from the field and beat Wisconsin with the limited opportunities you get against them. 

  • http://twitter.com/RatKingCole Cole Phillips Allen

    I, like everyone else, feel horrible for Verdell.  We will not know until the medical staff releases to the media the extent of the injuries, but I sure am hoping for something minor (although, knowing how tough Verdell is, his face sure looked like it was something pretty serious).  I agree with the other posters in regard to this incident maybe (and hopefully) sparking an added motivation or a “Win it for Verdell” type attitude among our team.  I hope it adds so much motivation, that the team goes on a “Win it for Verdell” March run, enough to have him back, let’s say in… NOLA…?  Regardless, my heart goes out to Verdell.  Go Hoosiers.

  • Hoosier1982

    I have an app on iPhone for College Hoops Radio and I get the IU broadcast. It was also a free app that gets many NCAA teams. It has been great since I don’t get BTN and live out of state.

  • IUeconAlum

    If Verdell is gone, I will sure miss his sweet mid-range pull-ups. They always looked smooth.

  • jmbennett22

    had verdell not gone down it would have been a perfect day! marquette and gtown go down… which means we have a shot at the 3 seed with a win tomorrow.  as it stands, an L tomorrow (due to the emotional drain that can’t be underestimated) and a mich win means a probably matchup with either belmont at there place, or VCU’s press…  without our #2 ballhandler.      i’m a pessimist, but hope i’m selling their hearts a little shy

  • jmbennett22

    btw…   
    whoever was messing with jordy in his presser needs to stay at it!
    they need to stay loose and not get frazzled.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I’m not going to go quite is far as Geoff, but the last two days have still left me with a sick feeling in the pitt of my stomach.  And I agree with you totally.  Something just feels wrong.

    But like a wise man once said, “sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes, well he eats you.”

    The Colts chase out a superstar and are left in a unique financial situation to acquire a potentially top caliber quarterback on the cheap, early in a rebuilding effort, with the potential to add more pieces with the extra cap room, the likes of which we’ve never seen in the salary cap era.

    And the Hoosiers are hot, with all the motivational speech they need at the end of the bench.  Just in case they weren’t fired up enough over the Tournament.

    Let’s just see how this turns out.

  • IUMIKE1

    Should have made myself a bit clearer. I was wondering if anyone knew how I could back and listen to it after it being aired live. I can pick up the broadcast I just wasn’t able to be in a situation to be able to hear it when it aired. Thanks anyway though and I’m sure more than one person will find that information very useful.

  • Geoff_85

    Don’t worry, you’ll have no trouble getting pumped when they win in honor of VJIII tomorrow. This team now has a new motivation. Win for VJ. That’s exactly what they’re going to do tomorrow.

  • Geoff_85

    The weird part is I didn’t expect tears in either situation, but if I had, I would have more expected them over Manning, not Verdell Jones, but it’s just really sad that he isn’t going to play in the NCAA Tournament after IU is guaranteed to get in, and my heart breaks for him.

  • Hoosier4life23

    I’m gonna go out on a limb on this but once we get done kicking around the rears of these teams in our quest of a B1G title. I think CTC should have a good ole prep rally before heading in to the NCAA tourney. So the fans can send them off to hopefully will be a great run thru the tournament. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • Hoosier4life23

    I’m gonna go out on a limb on this but once we get done kicking around the rears of these teams in our quest of a B1G title. I think CTC should have a good ole prep rally before heading in to the NCAA tourney. So the fans can send them off to hopefully will be a great run thru the tournament. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • marcusgresham

    It’s either ESPN or ESPN2.

  • marcusgresham

    Purely situational

  • HoosierHawz

    Its on ESPN @ 2:00

  • HoosierHawz

    Its on ESPN @ 2:00

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