Oladipo’s deflection record guides Hoosiers

Indiana couldn’t buy a basket. The No. 1 Hoosiers didn’t look anything like the team that carefully demolished North Carolina on Tuesday night.

It wasn’t necessarily that the energy or effort was lacking, but the Hoosiers struggled to get anything going in what turned into a sloppy first half.

As soon as the second 20 minutes began, Victor Oladipo changed all that. The junior forward stole a Coppin State pass on the first play of the second half and finished a dunk that awoke the Assembly Hall crowd. Oladipo continued to create havoc on the defensive end for the rest of the night and was a major reason why Indiana (8-0) cruised to an 87-51 victory on Saturday night.

“We had to find a way to get the pace going our way,” said Indiana coach Tom Crean. “They came in with a mindset and a gameplan, and that gameplan was to be deliberate at times. We wanted to take care of the ball, but we wanted to get the pace our way. And they made that hard for awhile.”

In an effort to change the pace and make the game more uptempo, Crean decided to go with a full-court trapping press in the second half. He took his team into the hallway outside the locker room at halftime and had them walk through their individual roles.

“They were very alert and attentive, it was quick,” Crean said. “We just wanted to make sure we knew what our shifts were going to be, and they went in and played hard. It was more of a reminder, more of a focus-centered thing.”

Crean put Oladipo at the top of the press, and the athletic forward gave the Eagles fits in the backcourt. Crean said Oladipo had 20 deflections in the game, a record for a player during Crean’s tenure at Indiana. The only player with more single-game deflections during Crean’s coaching career was Dwyane Wade, who once recorded 23 in a game for Marquette.

Oladipo also had 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals in 26 minutes.

“When you’re at the top of that zone, you’ve got to make them think you’re guarding him but you’re not guarding him,” Oladipo said. “I’ve been doing that for so long. We ran that press in high school as well. I’m glad he put me up there. It’s fun getting steals.

“We score in transition and we score in multiple ways but, essentially, we score off our defense. We got to continue playing defense at a high level so we can win big.”

Oladipo said there was no rhyme or reason for the Hoosiers’ slow start. It was just one of those nights where they couldn’t find an offensive rhythm for stretches at a time. Indiana missed its first nine shots from the field and trailed 9-2 at one point early in the first half.

“We were just missing shots, to be honest with you,” Oladipo said. “I don’t feel like we were unprepared to play the game or we came in second-guessing ourselves or playing down to the competition or thinking about the last game. We just didn’t make shots. We’re basketball players – everything we shoot is not going to go in the basket. But we did a pretty good job of bouncing back from that.”

Zeller, Hulls have quiet nights

Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls entered Saturday night’s game as Indiana’s two leading scorers on the season. Neither player, though, finished in double figures against Coppin State.

The Eagles played a compact zone throughout the game in an effort to keep the ball out of Zeller’s hands in the post. It worked, in large part, because the Hoosiers didn’t always work hard enough to make sure he got touches on every possession.

Zeller, who also dealt with some foul trouble in the game, finished with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting and seven rebounds in 26 minutes.

“We will see more zone, but we can still get the ball to Cody,” Oladipo said. “If we move the ball and get them in rotation, we’ll still find a way to post Cody up. We just have to keep working on that and working in practice to perfect it.”

Hulls, a senior guard, had his first real off-night of the young season. After entering the game with an unbelievable 31-to-5 assist-to-turnover ratio, Hulls committed three turnovers and had only one assist on Saturday night. He also struggled a bit from the field, hitting only 2-of-6 shots for six points. It was the first game this season in which Hulls did not make at least three 3-pointers.

Notes

· Crean reacts to Majerus’ passing: Legendary basketball coach Rick Majerus died at the age of 64 on Saturday afternoon. Majerus was an assistant and later the head coach at Marquette, so Crean got to know him a little bit during his term as the coach of the Golden Eagles.

“He never wanted anyone to know that he was giving me some tips and advice, but he was,” Crean said. “He was a guy I could call and he would give me a couple ideas. It was good. He was a brilliant, brilliant coach.”

· Abell stays hot: Sophomore guard Remy Abell continued his impressive offensive start to the season, posting 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting against Coppin State. Abell made both of his 3-point attempts, improving him to 10-of-12 (83 percent) from beyond the arc on the season.

“He’s growing up,” Crean said. “He’s worked very hard. He’s becoming a 365-day-a-year guy. He’s not quite there like Will [Sheehey], Victor and Jordan. But Remy’s getting really close to that and I think that’ll continue to go. He’s a confident player with a lot of room to grow.”

· Etc…Sheehey finished with 14 points and six rebounds, his third consecutive game in double figures. The junior forward has scored 52 points on 21-of-30 shooting (70 percent) during that stretch.

Quote to note: “It won’t be the last time someone tries to play a deliberate style, it won’t be the last time that someone wants to get it down in the shot clock.”

– Crean on Coppin State’s methodical style at times

  • Evansville Hoosier

    The best part is when you can tell Vic is having fun out there… After another steal/dunk I remember him clapping his hands at the top of that zone while staring at the ball handler and saying something like “let’s go”. Just looked to really be enjoying himself.
    I swear, I guess it’s that you can always play defense and drive the lane, but Victor Oladipo saves us from every poor performance we have.

  • JerryCT

    Very happy to see us put on an aggressive press designed to create offense . Well done CTC

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    I hope to see the press implemented every game the rest of the year. As deep as we are there is No reason not to be that aggressive on D.

    Another note: Kentucky doesn’t deserve to be ranked after this week.

  • Jack Nolan

    Watching the game on BTN, there was a shot of the crowd during the 1st half I just loved. A mom was talking strategy with her younger daughter. She was motioning this way and that. Pure Hoosier Basketball!

  • Kris

    Great adjustment at halftime by Coach. And his acknowledgement of Coppin State’s style of play and needing to get better when facing it. Teams
    will copycat whatever slows us down. He’s on it.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Saw that too. Only in Indiana.

  • Kris

    Another highlight game for the NBA scouts by Oladipo!

    I’m sure he’s honored to nearly match D-Wade’s deflections record. If only he could shoot like D-Wade and we all know he’s working on that.

    What a talent and what an attitude, he speaks like a coach.

  • SCHoosier

    MVP….MVP!

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t wanna say “I told you so,” but who’s been calling for a full-court trap since, oh, about May?
    Also, VIc pointed out that the offense feeds off the defense, but the opposite can also be true, as you have a better opportunity to set up your defense when you score.
    Get Jeff Howard the ball, he’s unstoppable!

  • Noah Cook

    They used to give the stats of recruits on a weekly basis for FREE on here last year. Why do we have to be on the forum to get that info now? I thought everything we have had for free will continue to be free? Sorry I’m just a poor college kid that really enjoys all the recruiting coverage but I can’t afford a premium membership.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Ok, so the team started out slow. I’m just used to that happening now. Instead of worrying about that, all I care about is their ability to put it together in the end, and this team has shown that it can indeed do that and do it well.

    Do I wish they’d not dig holes for themselves to climb out of? Of course. But do I worry? Not anymore. Not with their explosiveness.

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    First Round draft pick IMO

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Fischer/691470077 Steve Fischer

    Whoopie Central Connecticut State is up next. Looking at this in the best light however I can unlike some of IU’s mighty opponents- I can alt least figure out where this one is located.

  • iuoiu

    I’m showing Vic’s 2nd half defensive clinic to my son tomorrow who has just gotten back into basketball after not playing for 3 years. I’ve told him that his offense will come in time but what he can do immediately is make an impact on defense. Vic shows that you can be an MVP for your team with or without scoring a bunch (although Vic certainly can fill it up).

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Wait… what??

    ““When you’re at the top of that zone, you’ve got to make them think you’re guarding him but you’re not guarding him,” Oladipo said.”

    Either Victor’s been philosophically indulging with Taoist Yin-Yang concept or there’s an odd conundrum to his statement. Was he saying that he was actually trying to make it look like man pressure when in reality he was covering an area in the zone? I think that’s what he meant, but I admit, his phrasing makes me unsure.

  • Earl Scheib

    Oladipo is amazing. Just amazing. Size, speed, talent, he’s got it all. One of the most entertaining, athletic, talented, and upbeat Hoosiers ever to wear the uniform.

  • Kenneth234

    I have to agree about the utilization of the full court trap; however I think it may be best suited for a lineup that features Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, Abel, and Sheehey. I think utilizing Watford’s reach in the front of the trap would make the trap much better than having Yogi chasing and having the ball thrown over him. Zeller could play the back end with Abel and Shelidipo looking to capitalize off of the tough passing angles that Watford’s length would present.

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