After what upperclassmen have been through, there’s no such thing as overlooking Purdue

IUPUITH0013WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Now that was a performance.

Indiana has played better in a half this season (See: Minnesota), but the Hoosiers had yet to put together a complete game like they did Wednesday night at Mackey Arena.

Some Indiana fans have acted spoiled at times this year, nit-picking small details from games the Hoosiers have won. It’s going to be hard to find much fault from them in this one.

No. 3 Indiana, who some had predicted would be looking ahead to Saturday’s showdown with No. 1 Michigan, completely dismantled rival Purdue on its home court. The Hoosiers played workmanlike half-court defense, they got out in transition, they hit shots, and they had the Purdue crowd leaving with more than eight minutes still to play in the game.

Indiana 97, Purdue 60. The worst loss ever for the Boilermakers at Mackey Arena.

“I was just excited we were able to play a full 40-minute game,” senior guard Jordan Hulls said. “We’re gonna need to do that to win in the games that we want to. Every game is a big game for us. It was great to see everybody play great team defense and watch that flow into our offense.”

Hulls and his fellow seniors were around in 2010 when the Hoosiers lost 74-55 in West Lafayette. They were 0-4 in their first four games against the school’s biggest rival, losing three of the games by double figures.

Even though the team’s younger players weren’t around to experience such embarrassment, there was little chance Indiana’s upperclassmen were going to let them take the Boilermakers lightly. This is Indiana-Purdue, after all, and the Hoosiers clearly own this rivalry again.

“We’ve had enough of a viewpoint of some of the great teams in this league, like Matt [Painter’s] have been when you had guys like JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Robbie Hummel,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “When you see enough of that over a period of time, you either become that or you keep getting it done to you. And our guys have really learned to become that type of team.”

This was a perfect example of how good this team can be when it plays up to its capability. The Hoosiers (19-2, 7-1) got production from their bench like they will need to win a Big Ten title. Jeremy Hollowell’s performance was especially encouraging, even though it only resulted in two points. Derek Elston got back on the floor, and Will Sheehey continues to play well.

Sheehey dished out seven assists to go along with his seven points, and he fired up the Purdue student section near the end of the game before Crean grabbed him and settled him down.

“Will’s got a great edge to him,” Crean said. “He’s not the player that he is without that edge and that energy. It’s no accident we’re playing better because he’s playing so well right now.”

And the starters, well, they didn’t play too badly themselves. All five scored in double figures, and they set the tone for this game from the beginning. Christian Watford, normally something of a ball stopper, moved the ball along with the rest of his teammates to find better shots. It was pretty special — and somewhat scary — to watch.

“When we live on the first side, we’re not very good,” Crean said. “And when the ball is moving and is going on the second and third side, that increases our rebounding, increases our offensive rebounding, gives us a chance at second-chance points.”

After the game, the Purdue players sat with blank stares on their faces as they addressed the media. It wasn’t only that they were disappointed by the 37-point home loss. They looked stunned by what they had just seen.

“They have a lot of weapons,” Travis Carroll said. “Really, it’s just going to take all five guys on Purdue to contain them. There’s no person who we have to look at.”

There’s no place to start right now when you’re game planning against Indiana. Earlier in the season, coaches gladly let Yogi Ferrell and Victor Oladipo shoot 3s. They doubled Cody Zeller often. They played Will Sheehey only for the mid-range jumper.

You can’t do any of those things anymore. The saying goes, pick your poison. Well, all the poisons are lethal right now for Indiana.

If the Hoosiers continue to play like they did Wednesday night, this team will be dancing late into March.

  • PDXHoosier

    So pumped that Elston got back in the game and contributed. And to do it against Purdont in their place his senior year… Awesome

  • Andrew

    Well done, Justin. One correction, however. If this team continues to play like it did Wednesday nite, it will be dancing into early April, not late into March. April 8, to be exact.

  • Geoff_85

    The Hoosiers played very well.

  • Geoff_85

    The Hoosiers played very well.

  • sghoosier

    Loved how Elston talk about Cody etc. A senior deferring to a Soph and no egos involved can only bode well for this team come March.

  • Johnny Lightning

    I sense that aside from the rhetoric in West Laf, in and around the program, there are kids on this Purdue team that, before wed nite, would tell you very quietly, they are laboring under a multitude of limitations. Neither Painter nor his team looked as though they were pumped up, ready for the State rivalry. I thought their demeanor was more NW from the previous tilt.

  • Benhyoung14

    Maybe we should play Sheehey at point guard next year.

  • Pops

    Didn’t particularly like Sheehey’s antics, but I do still remember a certain Purdue player stomping on our logo a few years ago. So I don’t think it was over the top.

  • Pops

    Didn’t particularly like Sheehey’s antics, but I do still remember a certain Purdue player stomping on our logo a few years ago. So I don’t think it was over the top.

  • Arsdale

    Three years ago the fans at Mackey chanted “Trans-fer Wat-ford” at the end of a blowout. I’m sure he remembers that. Enjoy this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13754840 Steve Bishop

    That might have had something to do with him pointing the 3-ball hand signs to his head. Usually he doesn’t show that kind of a response.

  • dtfreed

    Creek hit his first three too

  • SCHoosier

    Loved this win for our seniors and kids..present and past who fought thru the re-build. In fact..if TP was in the house..I wish Crean had brought him down to play in street shoes the last 1:00. Way things were going ‘ol Tom would probably have hit a 3!

  • SCHoosier

    Loved this win for our seniors and kids..present and past who fought thru the re-build. In fact..if TP was in the house..I wish Crean had brought him down to play in street shoes the last 1:00. Way things were going ‘ol Tom would probably have hit a 3!

  • sloan screen #45

    Looked to be alot of red in Mackey last night. Most of the time I would have said Wills antics last night were over the top. But its PUke, you cant stomp on those fools enough. Loved the pick with Will flexing and the podunk hemale PUke cheerleader in the background. That says it all.

  • sloan screen #45

    Looked to be alot of red in Mackey last night. Most of the time I would have said Wills antics last night were over the top. But its PUke, you cant stomp on those fools enough. Loved the pick with Will flexing and the podunk hemale PUke cheerleader in the background. That says it all.

  • Kenneth234

    It is absolutely wonderful to see this team playing near its potential…and I mean close, because they are even better than they played last night as well. Really, I feel that although everyone played well, I do not believe anyone really had their A+ game last night, more of an A- game. But the fact that everyone seemed to have somewhere near their top level holds a lot of promise in and of itself.

    My biggest take away though was how terrible the officials in last nights game were. In my opinion, the only reason that the game was even as close as it was is because of how poor of a game the officials called. People often say that if the fouls are called even than there really is nothing to complain about. I do not believe that is true. There were plenty of opportunities that Purdue was given to be more physical on loose balls, on screens, and gaining position for rebounds. The amount of touch fouls called on IU dwarfed the amount of fouls that Purdue received for either being in poor position defensively or from simply not wanting to allow an easy bucket for IU.

    The most glaring example of this is the charge call against Yogi, and later not getting a charge call on the other end after Yogi got destroyed, resulting in a slam for Hammons. I won’t go into the many travels that could have been called on Purdue as well, but there were plenty examples of to point out as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amiller23 Aaron Miller

    Have you ever seen Watford have so much fun in a game before? Also saw several smiles from Zeller, extremely rare. Loved it, nothing like a boiler beatdown in Mackey.

  • chiswede

    How about that foul that Hulls had called on him for getting elbowed in the jaw?

  • chiswede

    How about that foul that Hulls had called on him for getting elbowed in the jaw?

  • OldIUGymnast

    I pretty much flipped out on that one. My son – 5 – said “Daddy, how come it is a foul on Jordy when that guy punched him in the face?”

  • SCHoosier

    Ya gotta know when to “jaw” and when not to “jaw” at the refs:) (bad call for sure)

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    And how about the choking gesture that Barlow pulled a couple years ago? Not to mention the “Trans-fer Wat-ford” chants from 2009-10. I’d rather have Sheehey skip the antics in any other game, but the Taint Crew had it coming. I loved it.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I don’t think I’ve seen that many moving screen calls (4?) in a single game. Very tick-tacky, but calling more fouls generally favors our squad because we’re so aggressive on offense.

  • Eastwood88_2

    I second your thoughts. The officials were down right awful in the seond half. At the end of the first Abel was destroyed on the lose ball by bird, then he traveled. Purdue played way more physical in the seond half and the officials allowed it. Hammonds went over the back several times and fouled cody at least 3 times with no call. We should have scored 120 points last night, but oh well. They were getting home cooking and still lost by 37

  • Eastwood88_2

    I second your thoughts. The officials were down right awful in the seond half. At the end of the first Abel was destroyed on the lose ball by bird, then he traveled. Purdue played way more physical in the seond half and the officials allowed it. Hammonds went over the back several times and fouled cody at least 3 times with no call. We should have scored 120 points last night, but oh well. They were getting home cooking and still lost by 37

  • Eastwood88_2

    Purdue’s team is in a state of flux. Painter completely dropped the ball from the Moore, Johnson and Hummel years. He didn’t work hard and lost recruits to Michigan and Michigan St. At least, Harris should be playing at Purdue. His mother played for them. IMO Painter should be on a hot seat. Butler and Notre Dame are out recruiting Purdue at this point. Hammonds is a pleasent surprise for them, but the rest of the team is quite limited. I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel with Painter. Unless their goal is to be average for a very long time.
    They have no chance at edwards or gordon after last night.

  • BFowler

    Even when Capo and the Pritch were Frosh/Soph?

  • Mike G

    very impressed with the way jeremy hollowell played last night.

  • marcusgresham

    You beat me to it.

  • PDXHoosier

    How about when the ref called WS for a foul when he was giving the “travel” sign in front of the PU player without touching him?? I assume it was for the reach in he did before that, but there was such a delay it looked ridiculous.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    HA!

  • PDXHoosier

    yeah they’ve were clowning us for the few years when we were down. I usually don’t like that crap either, but I can make an exception for Purdoosh

  • PDXHoosier

    How is their class next year? I have no idea

  • Andrew

    Taint Crew, awesome. Wish I had thought of that one myself.

  • http://twitter.com/erikholm Erik Holm

    He should’ve taken that job at Mizzou.

  • Geoff_85

    You should see what they were saying on hammerandrails – Crean can’t coach and doesn’t have to since he recruits the best players, has no class, painter would have suspended Sheehey like he did barlow for his choke gesture but Crean only sat him for 2 seconds, (the rest is from the game thread which I looked at to see what they had to say about recruits at the game) hope Zeller breaks his ankle, the officials were all IU which I found COMICAL but I guess not out of the ordinary, Hulls looks like a hobbit, referring to Sheehey as ‘heshe’ and wanting various things to happen to him, and had the nerve to say Crean has no class lol. There was tons of other stuff, but some of it was really surprising, stuff I’ve never seen make it to comment sections on here or game threads.

  • Florida Hoosier Girl

    What are the chances of Hammond being one and done? My husband looked him up after the game and he’s 2 months older than Cody.

  • sloan screen #45

    Butler is quickly taking over the #2 spot in cbb in the Hoosier state. PUke has got a decent class next year I think, but I look for Stevens to start getting some of those mid level in state guys that PUke have always relied on. Top level recruits going to PUke are going to be few and far between.

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