Notebook: Hoosiers overcome slow start to beat Georgia

BROOKLYN — Perhaps it was the travel or maybe it was playing in an NBA arena in the nation’s largest city, but Indiana got off to a very slow start on Monday evening at the Barclays Center against Georgia in the Legends Classic. Senior guard Jordan Hulls hit a 3-pointer to start the game, but the Hoosiers missed their next eleven from beyond the arc. IU was 8-of-25 (32 percent) from the field after 20 minutes.

Shot selection was questionable. Ball movement was largely nonexistent. Important players like Cody Zeller got in early foul trouble. But fortunately for Indiana, Georgia was just as bad. The Bulldogs were only 9-of-26 (34.6 percent), allowing the Hoosiers to stay in the game and trail 30-29 at the midway mark.

“We just missed some shots and had different lineups,” Crean said following IU’s 66-53 win. “The thing that hurt us is we had eight turnovers in the first half and could never get into a rhythm. We never got the pace going the way we needed it to go. Georgia had a lot to do with that. The fact that we were sitting key players for long stretches of time had something to do with that.

“We just missed shots that we’d normally make. There weren’t many we’d have back, maybe a couple of them. Other than that, that’s going to happen.”

Hulls and Oladipo provide second half spark

There’s no doubt about it: Indiana took control in the second half thanks to Hulls. With 10:10 remaining in the game and IU leading 42-40, Hulls found Christian Watford open for a 3-pointer. He then sparked an 8-0 run – two 3-pointers and an assist to Victor Oladipo — that allowed the Hoosiers to run away with the contest.

“I thought we had a lot of energy sources tonight. No question tonight Jordan Hulls was a huge part of that,” Crean said. “With all the NBA people here tonight, that’s an NBA guard… That young man is a huge winner who has a lot of skills. A lot of skills. And he improves constantly. He brought a ton of energy.”

Added Oladipo: “It’s huge. He’s a senior and a pro. He’s a pro. Without him, we can’t win. He knows he has to hit shots, and he hits them. That’s why he’s so special.”

Like Hulls, Oladipo was a main contributor in terms of pure energy. In the second half he attacked the rim, hit the glass hard and defended well. The primarily pro-IU crowd also got much louder when he threw down a couple big dunks late in the game.

“Victor Oladipo’s energy was uncommon,” Crean said. “When he gets it going like that – anticipating and attacking and reading the game and reading the defense – it’s huge.”

Zeller limited to just six points

Sure, players like UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad or Georgetown’s Otto Porter are potential pros, but the multitude of NBA scouts at Barclays were there to see Zeller.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the performance they were expecting.

Zeller finished with just six points on 2-of-4 shooting from the field. The majority of his issues stemmed from early foul trouble, but Zeller is still recovering from being sick – he missed a couple days of practice, according to Crean – which didn’t help.

His coach, however, doesn’t expect a repeat performance tomorrow night against Georgetown.

“I expect him to be Cody Zeller,” Crean said. “There are a couple things we can correct in a short period of time, but you got to remember: you can go to him or you can play through him. Bottom line is they always got to account for him. They got to account for him with more than one person. He’ll be fine.”

Crean shares a word with Bob Knight

To the surprise of many when it was initially announced, former IU coach Bob Knight was the color analyst for Monday’s game against Georgia. After the game he and Crean shared a moment, and here’s how the exchange went, according to Crean.

“I just said hello and shook coach Knight’s hand,” Crean said. “He said ‘good luck.’ I just wanted to make sure I did that. He’s working, we’re working. I just wanted to make sure that when they were walking off I took a chance to shake his hand. That’s about it.”

But what does it mean to have him at the game?

“I haven’t thought a lot about it,” Crean said. “When I get a chance to sit there and listen to the broadcast, I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say about the team. I’ll learn just like I do when I listen to other people I respect in the way that they understand basketball. I’m looking forward to that.”

(Photo credit: Associated Press)

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    So what do we know about Hanner and peter’s ability to play tomorrow ? As we saw tonight Zeller can have off nights and get into foul trouble . We need these guys . I noticed that Jurkin was the biggest cheerleader in the stands . when will they know if they can play tomorrow …been waiting to watch for Hanner for years !

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I like Crean talking about listening to Knight’s commentary

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I like Crean talking about listening to Knight’s commentary

  • Luke72

    This was the best overall game I have seen Jordy play. Coach Knight liked his play. I know there’s a family connection between the Hull family and BK but Jordy’s play looked at times not totally unlike Alford or a host of others determined players but of course without the motion offense. Fun game to watch! Nice to see them building confidence!

  • Luke72

    This was the best overall game I have seen Jordy play. Coach Knight liked his play. I know there’s a family connection between the Hull family and BK but Jordy’s play looked at times not totally unlike Alford or a host of others determined players but of course without the motion offense. Fun game to watch! Nice to see them building confidence!

  • jermhoosierfan

    Knight was best known for his teaching of defense. That is the one thing that makes me upset about Knight not going to Bloomington. He can be another voice to these guys about defensive situations. One thing Knight has always been is a student of the game, and hopefully, this game opens the lines of communication between him and Crean. It is all on the hard headed one now.

  • SCHoosier

    They keep pumping up 3’s within the first 12 sec of a possession without even taking a look at Cody down low… Its gonna be a long season..frankly..other than Hulls and maybe Wat..this team does not shoot 3’s well enuff to do that.

  • SCHoosier

    They keep pumping up 3’s within the first 12 sec of a possession without even taking a look at Cody down low… Its gonna be a long season..frankly..other than Hulls and maybe Wat..this team does not shoot 3’s well enuff to do that.

  • MillaRed

    I think RMK did fine but there were two things I found a little odd. The other guy was talking about the wonderful recruiting class and turnaround and all that was great to be IU and man did he avoid responding to that. He moved on to something else quickly.

    He made at least 2-3 references to “shooting” players with a gun. Is it just me or is that a little off with the crazy stuff that has been going on in campuses and movie theaters over the last 5 years? Seemed inappropriate.

    If the Hoosiers truly are a top team, they need to be mentally tougher than they were yesterday. They came out and played scared. We have too much talent for the entire team to struggle for 2/3 of a game. I was less than thrilled at half time.

  • MillaRed

    The 3’s would have been easier to stomach if Jordy and CWat would have hit the open ones in the 1st half. But man were they ice cold.

    The other frustrating thing was our attack of that zone. Not once did we flash to the free throw line to collapse the zone. Did not make good adjustments.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Just so you know…”the other guy” was Dan Shulman and he is one of the best in the business.

    Milla, I won’t disagree with you. Comments about shooting players and reaching for his gun are inappropriate. We can’t be surprised though. For some reason, ESPN allows Bob Knight to make his own rules (he is the only guy who doesn’t wear a shirt and tie). I enjoyed having him call the game but I’ll be just fine if he doesn’t call anymore all year. It’s a non-story to me.

  • Benhyoung14

    I’d expect to receive a basketball upside the head if I was 6’8”, 230 and shooting threes. Man I loved it every time he shot one, but yeah a little inappropriate.

  • Benhyoung14

    I’d expect to receive a basketball upside the head if I was 6’8”, 230 and shooting threes. Man I loved it every time he shot one, but yeah a little inappropriate.

  • Kris

    I thought Coach Knight demonstrated two things last night:

    1. He knows basketball as well as anyone. I very much enjoyed his commentary and insights into how the game should be played. A+

    2. He either knows very little about or chooses not to discuss the current 2012-13 IU Basketball program. Other than Jordan Hulls, he really didn’t know much about any player on IU’s team. It’s like he didn’t do his homework or he’s stuck in the past and can’t bring himself to acknowledge the current IU players and coaches. D-

  • gerald

    I thought that for a guy who demanded perfection from his players throughout his career that Knight’s lack of preparation for the game last night was despicable. He knew nothing about any of the players on either team besides Jordy. Pretty obvious why he always works a 3 man crew because Bilas picks up the slack for him in terms of knowledge of the players vs. knowledge of the game

  • Kris

    Yes, that was refreshing to read Crean said that.

    During the game there were a few times I thought Coach Knight made some good points and I was like “I wish Crean could hear him say that”.

    I give Crean credit for being humble and eager to learn from others. And I have a feeling Crean will do some of the things that Knight suggested during the game, he’s that type of guy.

  • KevOMG

    They let him go without a shirt and tie because the sweater is the Bobby Knight classic.

  • JerryCT

    I was very impressed at the number of IU fans at the arena last night. It looked as if only IU fans came to the games. We were all over the place. Nice job fans !

    I can tell you that during warm ups I was shocked at how lethargic UCLA seemed to be and then…………. they played the same way. Howland has to be upset at that.

    Their bootyfull cheerleaders had more energy than the team

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daren-Patrick-Collentine/1498325427 Daren Patrick Collentine

    When he was talking about that foreign guy shooting threes he said something along the lines of “if he shoots another three I’ll shoot him before he gets the shot up.” Definitely not appropriate but I loved it. Classic Knight. We all knew what we were getting when we heard he was calling the game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daren-Patrick-Collentine/1498325427 Daren Patrick Collentine

    Sheehey was super-cold too. And I think Cody is much more effective when he stays down low. He was away from the basket way too much. I know he wants to expand his game but last year he stayed down low all season and thats what made him so good. We don’t need him to become another Ben Allen.

  • b_side

    Totally agree about the crowd.

    Re: those cheerleaders, let’s just say that besides playing against the higher ranked team and Shabazz, there were six other reasons why I hoped we’d be playing UCLA tonight.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I essentially said the exact opposite thing about point two on the minute after. But my comment was really relative. Bob Knight never preps for games by learning the player names. He usually just say the player for… I thought he actually displayed some command of the players on both sides.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I essentially said the exact opposite thing about point two on the minute after. But my comment was really relative. Bob Knight never preps for games by learning the player names. He usually just say the player for… I thought he actually displayed some command of the players on both sides.

  • JerryCT

    That’s funny ……….and echo my sentiments exactly.

    Whats with the Gtwn band ? Are they playing Thelonius Monk tunes or what ?

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Can we talk about our D a bit? What are we doing with this high-pressure-at-the-center-circle D? Is it just me, or does it seem like that is creating about 4 hand-check-40-feet-from-the-basket fouls for us every game? Jordy playing tight D at the center circle makes no sense to me. And Cody out there trapping makes no sense either.

    It’s like that VCU D, but that doesn’t work with refs who actually call fouls. I’m still p*ssed about that VCU game last year. I guess if you think of a catchy name (“Havoc Defense” sounds better than “Fouling the crap out of the other team’s ballhandlers”), you’re good.

  • b_side

    Oh really? Didn’t even notice. I was on the UCLA side and my eyes were fixated elsewhere, ha.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Hutchens guessed mid- afternoon we’d know something. Based on what, I have no idea.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Also it’s pretty funny Milla. Indiana fans shouldn’t care what Bob Knight thinks, because he’s allegedly betrayed us. But he should be pretty well immersed and versed in the Indiana team.

  • HoosierTrav

    For those of you who are freaking out about last night, relax a little. I for one had a feeling that we would be cold from the floor due to the large NBA arena. For those of us who have experienced playing in a large arena, this does have an effect on a shooter. I see this team being much more efficient in the game tonight. We wont have many games like this all year. We didnt pass the ball well, we didnt shoot the ball well, Cody looked awful, and we won by 13. I dont see the negatives i just listed continuing on. This game did, on the other hand, really show how badly we need Peter, Hanner, and Derek in the front court. We could have used all of them in abundance last night. Am I the only one who thinks that Yogi is being too conservative? He needs to use his speed and ball handling skills to get into the paint. We are going to need him to hit shots to draw the defense on him. He was also a non factor last night.

    A few positives: (1) We won w/o Zeller being a factor (2) We played outstanding defense (Refs called anything that looked like a foul) (3) We were in much better shape than GA (4) We went up big VERY FAST in the second half.

    Look for the cobwebs to be shaken off in this game. Lets pray that we miraculously get Hanner and Peter back for this one. We need to offset some of G’Towns size. I suspect we will see a lot of Sheehey & Oladipo on the court together tonight.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    cody can’t have back 2 back bad games so i say we win bigger than people think!!

  • KnightEraCurmudgeon

    A pet peeve of mine as well; it never seems to produce much in the way of turnovers but does quite well in producing goofy fouls. I remember a few years back when Purdue tried that, including sending their biggest big out there, in the tournament against Duke. Duke had a white guard whose name escapes me that literally ate Purdue’s version of the high double-team alive and it seemed like Painter never caught on. A merely decent ball-handler immediately sees a four on three behind the double team: Isiah used to be absolutely phenomenal at reading and exploiting this, often by simply shifting to the 2 spot and then cutting behind the double team.

  • Jack Nolan

    Same here. I thought, “well that’s Knignt being Knight.” But it makes one cringe.

    I also thought about the difference in how he would handle those players- he would pull them off the floor right away and yell at them as the walked to the bench. Crean just clapped his hands, talked to the kid as they went back down the floor. Guess who gets more out of their players?

  • Jack Nolan

    Same here. I thought, “well that’s Knignt being Knight.” But it makes one cringe.

    I also thought about the difference in how he would handle those players- he would pull them off the floor right away and yell at them as the walked to the bench. Crean just clapped his hands, talked to the kid as they went back down the floor. Guess who gets more out of their players?

  • marcusgresham

    Derek Elston was virtually that same size last year and I was usually pretty happy when he let one fly.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Yep. Just play great halfcourt help D and you don’t need all that risk. Forcing a bad shot and grabbing a rebound is the same as a turnover, unless time is a factor.

  • KeeneIU11

    By far my favorite quote of the night. The Colorado Chapter of IUAA rented out a bar for the game, and the whole place lost it when he made that comment. Classic Bobby.

  • Outoftheloop

    In some respects Crean and Knight share some coaching similarities-like when it comes to player time on the court. We were all reminded of Knight’s refusal to give Landon turner the minutes that he deserved. I always felt that Crean did not give Elston, Oladipo, and Sheehey the minutes that they deserved. But Coach Crea MUST put Remy Abell on the floor at least 20 minutes every game fo Indiana to stay #1 and to have a chance at a Banner! Remy is playing “lights out”. Jordan Hulls may not be drafted in the first or second rounds, but he will be invited to more than one camp, and he will play in the NBA!

  • Daburns0

    I remember that Coach Knight never wanted bigs shooting threes. I am in the middle on this. Watford shoots way to many, but it is still good to have him going out there a few times a game to clear the middle. His problem is, he needs to work the paint a little harder to become a more rounded player. Jason Collier left IU and all he did was shoot threes the whole time. That was way too much.

  • IUMIKE1

    If we play even a first half tonight like we did for 2/3 of the game last night, the postgame report will be described aptly and correctly as us having our butt tocks handed to us in a handbasket. IMHO that was, overall, the worst game I’ve seen CZ play since he arrived on campus. It sounds like he must have been really sick last week but even with that I fully expect him to have a much better game than he did last night and that doesn’t mean he has to score a whole bunch of points to be a lot bigger help.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    I do hope shot selection and ball movement improve tonight. Playing uptempo doesn’t mean taking a quick shot. IF we are going to get out and run we need to do it off turnovers or defensive rebounds and not take a (first pass) shot after the defense is already set up.

  • Taskmaster75

    But…but….Ben Allen be the truth down low!

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