Notebook: Zeller has a big night

After a week without a game, Cody Zeller‘s legs were certainly very fresh. He attacked the boards like a madman against Central Connecticut State on Saturday night, and his effort showed on the stat sheet in No. 1 Indiana’s 100-69 win.

Zeller finished the game with 19 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. Zeller’s previous high of 13 came in an NCAA Tournament game against Virginia Commonwealth last season.

“I think 19 and 19, that’s nothing to sneeze at,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said afterward. “That’s a big-time night. He was very, very aggressive. He was on the attack. It wasn’t like he was given any benefit of the doubt at the rim when it came to the way the game was called in that area. But 19 and 19 is pretty impressive.”

Added Central Connecticut State coach Howie Dickenman: “We didn’t have any answers for him.”

The Hoosiers (9-0) also attacked the glass well as a team, outrebounding the Blue Devils 53-31 in the contest. Junior guard Victor Oladipo, as usual, was everywhere. He finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals, three blocks and two assists in 22 minutes. He also tied his own Indiana record with 20 deflections, set last Saturday against Coppin State, according to Crean.

Oladipo had four big dunks on the night, including a posterization of Central Connecticut State forward Terrell Allen in the first half.

“He got me into the game too,” Dickenman said. “Where did you get this guy from? Fantastic athlete. We tried to find weakness with the Hoosiers and we had a tough time.”

Hoosiers’ defense shuts down Vinales

Much of the talk leading up to Saturday’s game was the fact that Central Connecticut State guard Kyle Vinales was the nation’s leading scorer at 25.9 points per game.

But Vinales had yet to see an opponent like Indiana. When he did, well, it wasn’t all that pretty.

Vinales finished with just seven points on 3-of-15 shooting and four turnovers in 37 minutes. That’s 11 points fewer than his previous season-low of 18.

The Hoosiers sent a host of defenders at Vinales, but mostly it was Oladipo and Will Sheehey who were responsible for locking him down.

“It was a team effort,” Oladipo said. “Will [Sheehey] was on him, Remy [Abell] was on him. We all did a pretty good job of not letting him get comfortable out there, getting to his sweet spots, making him use his off hand and things like that.

“I pretty much guard the best player on the other team every game. I’ve been doing that for awhile now. It’s a challenge every game. And Will does a great job of coming in and guarding them, too.”

Dickenman said he knew Vinales was going to struggle before his team even stepped foot inside Assembly Hall.

“When you have the leading scorer coming into this game, and you’re Indiana, you’re going to make sure he doesn’t get anything,” Dickenman said. “He really had some bad looks, got a little frustrated and took a couple of questionable shots.”

Indiana did give up 40 points to Matt Hunter, however, Central Connecticut State’s second leading scorer. Hunter entered the game shooting just 11 percent from beyond the arc, so the Hoosiers willingly allowed him to shoot from deep. But Hunter broke out of his early-season slump on Saturday, hitting 6-of-11 from long range and 13-of-25 overall.

That’s unacceptable to give a guy like [Hunter] that many points,” Crean said. “You don’t wanna take away the leading scorer in the country and have someone else become that guy inside the game. That’s not good.”

Etc.

· Watford breaks out: Christian Watford also had a big offensive night for the Hoosiers, recording 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting in only 20 minutes of action.

“He’s coming off his best practice of the year,” Crean said. “He’s had a good week. Yesterday he was unguardable because nobody could score on him.”

· Oladipo goes on a rant: After talking about shutting down Vinales on Saturday, Oladipo was asked by a media member who is toughest competition is in practice. That led to a pretty interesting rant.

“I guard everybody in practice, even Cody,” Oladipo said.

He was quickly interrupted by Watford, who said: “He don’t do too much.”

“Don’t let him fool you,” Oladipo replied. “I think I do a pretty OK job. I guard Christian, I guard Cody, he’s 7-feet, then I’ll guard one of the smaller guards like Remy or Yogi. So I can have different feels of who I can guard and who I can’t guard, but I can’t really ‘not’ guard anybody.”

That, my friends, is vintage Oladipo.

· Yogi continues to impress: He may not be putting up big point totals, but freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell has been solid for the Hoosiers through nine games. He looks like a savvy, veteran leader who almost always finds the right man at the right time. Ferrell had eight points, six assists and only one turnover against the Blue Devils.

  • Kelin Blab

    This is probably one of the most enjoyable games I have watched this year. I know it was a blow out but I also understand how tough it is to stay dialed in when you know you are a lot better than the other team.

    + Cody is looking more comfortable facing the basket
    + 19 rebounds is man’s work!

  • Kenneth234

    This was the final game of Jurkin and Perea’s suspensions, correct?

  • jermhoosierfan

    Yes it is. It will be interesting to see how they will be put in the rotation. Perea’s time has now come.

  • Kenneth234

    I’m really interested to see how Jurkin plays when he is on the floor against Butler’s Andrew Smith. I watched a few of their games this year and he has certainly made a big leap in his ability and effort this year from a couple of seasons ago. Have to admit I didn’t watch much of them last year just because the Hoosiers were finally showing their potential and Matt Howard graduated (same hometown).

  • xCowHoosier

    After a “famous” coach referring to VO (and WS) as “no names” and now the CCS coach asking “where did you get this guy”….wow….the work these no names have put in is certainly paying off. Keep throwing those “comment logs” on the fire boys, #6 is there for the taking…go Hoosiers!

  • Jack Nolan

    What really struck me about Cody and Christian is that they got their stats in a very “workman” like way. It was flashy or jaw dropping (that would be Victor) they just got them. It seemed to me that either were taking over the game. When the commentators mentioned Watford’s totals, I was stunned. Never would have guessed it just from watching a portion of the game. I think that’s a good thing. Just go out and get it done. Flash is certainly fun, but it isn’t necessary to be a good team.

  • millzy32

    Another game another WIN. Not the best competition but a win regardless. Now on to more important matters. Purdue lost to Easter Michigan, I repeat Eastern Michigan, Purdue lost to Eastern Michigan. I remember the Purdue fans chanting IU sucks a couple years ago. Man oh man I can’t wait to watch IU win by 40 against a Purdue team that is playing as bad as we did a couple of years ago without the sanctions. Bring on the Fire Painter chants from those lowly fans. He probably wishes he took the Missouri job now. Woohoo Purdue sucks.

  • HoosierDavey

    I absolutely love Vic. That kid is so sure of himself, yet keeps working his butt off to get even better. If he develops that jump shot, we’ll see him playing ball for years to come.

  • MillaRed

    I would be surprised to see Jurkin on the floor vs Butler unless it’s at the end in a blowout. Hanner will see significant minutes.

  • DeeLyle

    Why are you writing about Purdue on this thread? Yes, we have a long running rivalry with them but you are just as bad as the Purdue fans when you gloat over their misfortune.

  • marcusgresham

    He won’t play much, but he’ll get in. Kid’s been sitting 9 games, he deserves to hit the floor.

  • DeeLyle

    Ha! Where did that comment come from?

  • CreamandCrimson

    Let me start by saying my prayers are with Austin Etherington, he has a long recovery ahead of him.

    + Watford played well. He was very efficient, took smart shots and continued to rebound well.
    + Oladipo is the most electric player in the country. He is so exciting and his energy is absolutely contagious.
    + The quick-scoring ability of this team is a real strength. This game was tight for about 8 minutes and then before you knew it, the Hoosiers were putting on a dunk fest and up by nearly 20.
    + Zeller with 19 rebounds, six more than his previous career-high. I think it’s safe to say he is over his illness.

    Butler is going to be a good test on Saturday. I think we will pull away from them in the second half but Andrew Smith is playing very well right now. Rotnei Clarke and Kellen Dunham’s shooting ability makes Butler dangerous. They have a few very good perimeter defenders (Barlow will guard Hulls and Roosevelt Jones is a good defender). Khyle Marshall tends to play well against good competition. I think if IU plays well, we will win fairly comfortably but if we don’t play well, Butler has the ability to make us pay. Remember, these guys have beaten Marquette and UNC on a neutral court and just won a good game at Northwestern. I’m looking forward to this one.

    Good win Hoosiers, way to keep taking care of business and making it look easy.

  • HoosierdadX2

    Are you sure? Pretty sure if Jurkin starts putting up 3’s he wont see much playing time at all.

  • http://twitter.com/danbrown1982 Daniel Brown

    and hulls has to work on his post moves.

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