The Minute After: Central Connecticut State

  • 12/08/2012 9:25 pm in

Thoughts on a 100-69 win over the Blue Devils:

I.  Christian Watford has had his struggles finding shots in the flow of Indiana’s transition-heavy offense of late. At times, it’s as if he’s been on his own island hunting for shots to no avail. But Watford was engaged from the onset and actively scoring early in this one. (Tom Crean said after the game he was coming off his best practice of the year.) By game’s end, he’d have a hyper-efficient offensive output  —  21 points on 8-of-12 shooting in just 20 minutes. Watford did have three turnovers, but the speed of this game — Central Connecticut State, a team that can put the ball in the basket, had no issue going at a quick tempo with the Hoosiers  — dictated that mistakes were going to happen. Each team shot the ball on 72 occasions. So the 16 turnovers the Hoosiers amassed? It worked to turnovers on 18.3 percent of the team’s possessions. Not great, but not glaringly worse than the team’s season average of 17.2 percent — a mark that was 33rd best in the nation coming into the night.

II. Because of the fast pace of this one and Indiana’s 100 points, we had some gaudy stat lines. Beyond Watford’s offensive output, Victor Oladipo carried over his strong defensive stand last weekend with another top-notch performance in that department tonight. The junior wing had a career-high five steals and was part of the three-headed monster along with Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey that shut down the nation’s top scorer, Kyle Vinales (3-of-15, seven points). (The weird part about it, though? The Blue Devils still had someone go off. Matt Hunter had a ridiculous 40 points on 13-of-25 shooting.) Oladipo also had a number of highlight reel dunks — including this one — on his way to 15 points, nine boards and two assists. It was a dominant performance and one where the potential his game has to translate to the next level was on display.

Cody Zeller pumped in a 19-point, 19-rebound performance. Those 19 boards were a career-high. Indiana was also strong on the offensive boards tonight, rebounding 59.4 percent of them for 22 second-chance points. The Hoosiers also scored 1.31 points per possession. They held the Blue Devils to just .83 points per possessions and an effective field goal percentage of only 38.9 percent.

III. Indiana was rolling in the first half, and Assembly Hall was rocking. But as Austin Etherington lay on the court under the basket writhing in pain near the end of the first 20 minutes of play, the air went out of the building and a somber silence set in. As the severity of the injury became more apparent — a stretcher eventually made its way out to the court — the entire Hoosier team encircled their fallen teammate. Jordan Hulls put his arm around Maurice Creek. Cody Zeller followed by putting his around both Creek and Ferrell. And as Etherington began to be wheeled off — and Will Sheehey said a final something into his ear — he flashed a No. 1 sign with his right index finger to the crowd.

Assembly Hall roared once more.

A though break for Etherington, as his injury was deemed  “significant” Crean in his post-game press conference.

Filed to:

  • Feel bad for AE. Hopefully they turn this into motivation, and knowing that the injury bug is always looming, that they need to take advantage of the opportunity this season presents.

    Prayers for AE and family.

  • shknqk

    A butterfly flaps its wings in China and a hurricane forms of the coast of west Africa. Austin whispers in Cody’s ear, and a dynasty forms off the shores of lake Monroe.

    Thanks Austin, speedy recovery… See who James Blackmon jr used.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    hate, hate, hate it for ae! dude was really playing hard tonight, looked the best i’ve seen him look so far. hope we see him again this year

  • Miamihoosier

    After that sick VO dunk in the first half, (3rd best in CTC era behind Pritchard’s, and the Sheebag) I was so pumped and in to this game, we were scoring at an insane pace and then the AE injury happened and the rest of the night just wasn’t the same. At that point, we were headed for a 110+ point game, and while we still got a 100, we only won the 2nd half by 12, and it was hard to have fun with it knowing one of our guys was in the back with the rest of his season in the balance. Very proud of our guys and the way the held it together. We were so close to having our whole team back…..let’s keep our fingers crossed it will still be possible at some point (even if it’s not till the national championship game)

  • If only it was a video game and we could set injuries to “off.” I hate seeing kids get hurt. Recover quickly, Austin! You’re in good hands at IU!

  • Did anyone else think Cody had that many rebounds or that CWat had 21? I was shocked when I saw the stat lines. Everything came so effortlessly tonight. Can’t until next weekend’s game against Butler.

  • Kelin Blab

    Agree on Victor

  • Kelin Blab

    Wish Austin a very speedy and full recovery. Enjoyed seeing him out there and getting some good minutes.

    + VO is a pro! Hopefully NBA scouts get that
    + Mo is looking better moving and cutting.
    + Butler will get beat by 15, not enough fire power against IU
    + Yogi’s shooting is awful but his passing is great.
    + And that Dunk is one of the few times I cussed where my kid could hear me…

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Looked like a blown ACL for AE> He reacted as I did when I blew mine. I think it is a 3 month recovery on an upside and months for a downside. Prayers go out to him for a speedy recovery . . .the response of the Hoosier players to his injury/fallen commrade indicate how close they all are > one tight knit family!!

  • Not to pick at this, but Zeller had 3 turnovers as well, although no footnote to that on his performance as is noted with CWat. I’ll chalk that up to Watford’s TOs being relevant since the story noted he has been forcing the issue and not because we constantly look to bag on CWat for anything. I just found it interesting that Cody and Will had 3 TOs too, and there’s no mention of it.

  • Kenneth234

    Stay on them for the Watford bashing! It is not deserved, I am glad you are taking the stand!

  • SCHoosier

    Hoosiers did some of the best defensive switching I’ve seen in the first half..and against a team that had some athletes ..if not a very structured offense. Hated to see AE go down..looked like knee to knee contact..tough injury. We still go 9 deep plus have PJ and HMP in the house for Butler. Defense is really the key to this team. Butler mugged N-W last night and got away with it…that won’t work against the Hoosiers. N-W had nothing inside.

  • joebull

    despite Hunter’s performance, we still had far too many turnovers to be considered our most complete… although that was a FUN game to watch!

  • IUMIKE1

    And while he was asleep no less.

    Oh well he was unconscious last night during the game too.

    40 by just about anybody under any circumstances at home is a little bit discomforting.

  • marcusgresham

    He was 2-18 on the season and went 6-11 last night.

  • Pritch24

    There are just so many times when Watford forces things that aren’t there when, if he makes one more pass, someone else on the team had a better look. It’s almost as if he’s trying to prove something or trying to pad his stats NBA GMs, perhaps. Either way, he needs to work more in the system, instead of trying to go 1 on 1 so much.

  • jayrig5

    There was one instance where he took a slightly contested 3 instead of swinging it to a wide open Hulls in the corner. He made it, which is good, but it was in no way the smart play. He forces things way too often.

    But, to be honest, I feel like a lot of the team could do a better job finding Hulls for open looks. If I was playing with a shooter like that, I’d always be aware of where he was. Whenever I see IU turn down a pass to an open Hulls it bothers me. An open Hulls jumper is one of the highest percentage looks any team in the country can get.

  • The guys should start their own fraternity, “fly slam-ma jam-ma.”