Notebook: Hulls, Sheehey shine against Cardinals

Jordan Hulls pulled up and knocked down a 3. Then he found Will Sheehey for a pull-up jumper. Then on an alley-oop, and then another 3-pointer for Hulls.

It looked so easy.

Hulls and Sheehey were the main contributors in a Hoosiers’ offensive clinic against Ball State on Sunday evening. The duo combined for 36 points on a remarkable 15-of-19 shooting in Indiana’s 101-53 win.

Hulls and Sheehey also scored the Hoosiers’ final 15 points of the first half.

Hulls’ play wasn’t all that surprising given his clutch performances in two games last week in Brooklyn. But he was particularly aggressive on Sunday, knocking down 7-of-10 shots and 3-of-6 3-pointers for 17 points.

“I’m just trying to be more aggressive and do whatever the team needs me to do,” Hulls said afterward. “I was just waiting to get in the flow. I just wasn’t trying to force anything. I just let it come to me.”

Sheehey, though, certainly had his struggles at the Barclays Center. The junior forward was just 4-of-10 with three turnovers in the two games in Brooklyn, including a 1-of-6 performance against Georgia.

But Sheehey was dominant against Ball State, scoring a game and season-high 19 points on a nearly flawless 8-of-9 shooting. He also had six rebounds in 19 minutes.

Sheehey described his success simply.

“Took open shots, teammates found me. That’s it,” he said.

But associate head coach Tim Buckley examined Sheehey’s play a bit more deeply.

“Where it starts with our guys is where they feel like they haven’t played well,” Buckley said. “And Will probably didn’t shoot it as well as he would have liked when we played in Brooklyn. He got in the gym and worked, he got shots up. That’s the only thing we know is work.

“I don’t think it was a surprise or anything new, that’s how he plays. He just got a little off track when we played in Brooklyn, and he came back and worked himself out of it.”

The only flaw in Sheehey’s night came when he made one too many crossovers and lost the ball out of bounds in the second half. Sheehey turned, dropped his head, and started to walk down the court. Indiana coach Tom Crean screamed at Sheehey from the bench and promptly removed him from the game. But Sheehey reentered moments later.

As for what was said: “I’m not answering that,” he said.

Running up the score?

Late in the second half of Sunday’s game, with the Hoosiers up by 40, Indiana continued to use a full-court press. When asked after the game if a coach needs to explain to his opponent that there was no malentent after the game, Buckley shot the idea down.

“I don’t think that needs to be said, that’s how we play,” Buckley said. “It’s very difficult to back guys off when they’re trying to get minutes and they wanna play as much as the starters are playing. I think that goes without saying.”

Etc.

· Christian Watford quietly put up a double-double on Sunday, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

· Cody Zeller scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting and pulled down eight rebounds, looking much more like his usual self then he did last week in Brooklyn.

· Maurice Creek scored nine points in 14 minutes off the bench, including two big 3-pointers and a beautiful drive to the rim. He didn’t look at all hesitant, something that has been a bit of an issue for him at times this season.

“I feel comfortable as time goes on,” Creek said. “I just want to get a feel of the game again, so every game is going to be different.”

· Austin Etherington got a steal and converted a three-point play to push the Hoosiers over the 100-point mark. The crowd erupted when Etherington scored because it meant free Qdoba food for 100 Indiana fans with a game ticket.

“His eyes lit up when he saw it was 98,” Sheehey joked. “He wanted to get that burrito. He’s probably at Qdoba right now.”

  • Luke72

    So do we have a new rallying cry “Bring home the Burrito”?

  • Luke72

    So do we have a new rallying cry “Bring home the Burrito”?

  • Bibble

    #32 is getting some popcorn so he can watch the show.

  • Bibble

    #32 is getting some popcorn so he can watch the show.

  • Indiana_Matt

    Buckley’s comment doesn’t even answer the question. It wasn’t about the players getting after it. It was why did they keep pressing when up 40 in the second half.

  • DarkSouth

    He did answer the question, IU is a running team that will match up full court. And you can’t tell somebody like Etherington to let up because it’s their chance to show they deserve more minutes.

    Telling a running, pressing team to pull back with 10 minutes to go creates bad habits. It’s explicitly telling a team they can “flip a switch” to play hard or not. UNC has some big blowouts every year due to their style of play. Michigan beat IUPUI pretty badly but I know Beilein wasn’t intending to run up the score, he’s trying to make UM better in a game situation.

  • Kenneth234

    Is it just me or was Yogi trying too hard to dish out a spectacular highlight reel against Ball State? Sure it was only 2 turnovers, but it could have easily been many more if the Ball State defenders would have caught the ball instead of deflecting them out of bounds. Maybe all he will need is to look at the game film to see that he is forcing the game rather than letting it come to him. I think that if he continues to seem to press he may need to see it better by starting on the bench for a game or two.

    I know when Perea becomes eligible, I would not mind seeing him get a nod in the starting lineup with Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, and Hulls. Just to see how well Watford plays against opponents small forwards. I have no worry about his ability to defend that position, I am just wondering if he will look to post up a smaller 3, and if it is a better matchup than having him try to stretch a 4 out on to the perimeter.

  • jayrig5

    They don’t press all the time, though. It certainly wasn’t necessary, and it was a bit of a dodge. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong.

  • anthony conaggio

    I agree, or give Sheehey more mins in place of Yogi, who’s so far taken VJ III’s place as a creative yet erratic and poor-shooting guard. Obviously Yogi is going to be better than VJ III and a potential All-American PG over time, but so far I think having Hulls at the point alongside Oladipo is much more effective … Hulls’ assist-turnover rate has been phenomenal so far, not to mention his shooting, including many shots created by himself ….

  • anthony conaggio

    I agree, or give Sheehey more mins in place of Yogi, who’s so far taken VJ III’s place as a creative yet erratic and poor-shooting guard. Obviously Yogi is going to be better than VJ III and a potential All-American PG over time, but so far I think having Hulls at the point alongside Oladipo is much more effective … Hulls’ assist-turnover rate has been phenomenal so far, not to mention his shooting, including many shots created by himself ….

  • HostileHoosier

    Kenneth REALLY Yogi has 1 bad game and your dumping on him? The way I see it he only had 1 bad turnover in that game! The second turnover Ball state got lucky with the pass to Zeller and had a defender looking his way!
    I love the way Yogi plays and I for 1 hope it stays as it is now!
    He plays out standing D with his feet, gets a block and a rebound now and then and I cant help but think his shot will come to him.
    If he slows down at the start of games plays a little slow with his dribble then when needed turns it up he will score many point when IU spreads the floor!
    Love ya Yogi! Play your game your FINE!

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