Notebook: Ferrell has big offensive night

IUSMSith0003Indiana’s regular offensive weapons weren’t contributing. Jordan Hulls continued to struggle against Iowa (0-of-17 in two games this season), Christian Watford didn’t make a single field goal, and Victor Oladipo spent considerable time on the bench with foul trouble.

That left freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell, who rarely makes headlines for his scoring, to carry a heavier load. But as the season goes along, Ferrell continues to develop as an offensive player, and that was again the case in Indiana’s 73-60 win over Iowa on Saturday night.

Ferrell finished with a career-high 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting and five assists.

“The decision-making continues to improve,” said Indiana coach Tom Crean. “Tonight he went to the rim and didn’t try to get the contact. In the Minnesota game, he tried to get the contact, and he didn’t get either. Tonight he really focused on making the basket, and he did a much better job with that.”

When asked after the game what the difference is between the Indiana team Iowa played on Dec. 31 and the one the Hawkeyes saw on Saturday, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery pointed to Ferrell.

“Yogi is a little bit of a different player,” he said. “Early on, I thought he was a facilitator. Now, he’s a big-time weapon. He goes coast to coast, he can come off a ball screen and shoot, he can hit 3s. That really creates problems because everybody on the floor is an offensive threat, so they’ve got you all spread out.”

Zeller ‘phenomenal’ 

There’s no denying the fact Cody Zeller was outplayed in Tuesday night’s loss at Minnesota. It was one of Zeller’s worst performances as a collegiate player, and it came at an inopportune time.

But Zeller answered the bell in a big way against the Hawkeyes. The sophomore center had a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, marching to the free-throw line 13 times.

“Cody was phenomenal,” Crean said. “When he takes it up a notch like that, he’s at a completely different level. But he’s at a high level every night that he plays because of the attention he gets. … Nobody that I’ve seen has the physicality used against him [like he does].”

On one particular sequence in the first half, Zeller dove at an Iowa ball handler from behind near midcourt, stripped the ball, got up and accepted a behind-the-back pass from Will Sheehey for a dunk that brought the Assembly Hall crowd to its feet.

“Will being Will, getting fancy with it,” Zeller joked. “It was a fun play I guess.”

Zeller did miss five free throws, but he dealt with the physicality thrown at him much better than he did at Minnesota.

“There’s really nothing in the game that Cody isn’t capable of doing,” Crean said, “but at the same time it’s that much harder because everything is focused on stopping him.”

Notes

· 3-point struggles: The Hoosiers went without a 3-pointer for more than 39 minutes on Saturday night before making two shots from beyond the arc in the final minute (Victor Oladipo and Yogi Ferrell).

“We noticed we weren’t really making any shots,” Ferrell said. “We know we’re a good shooting team. We kept shooting them. We were hoping one would go down.”

· Senior struggles: It’s a good thing Indiana’s Senior Night is Tuesday against Ohio State and was not on Saturday night. Hulls and Watford were a combined 0-of-15 from the field and scored a total of only seven points. Derek Elston was actually the leading scorer among the seniors with five points.

· 14 points!?: Indiana held Iowa to 14 points in the first half, a low for an Indiana opponent for a half this season. Last season, the Hawkeyes scored 89 points in their game at Assembly Hall.

  • BrierBrax

    Yogi is such a winner. Getting him to buy into the revival of this program = one of the better things that have ever happened in my sports life

  • disqus_guok3g0k7L

    Yogi will be one of the best guards in the country next year. His work ethic is right up their with Vics and that’s scary to think about. Can’t wait to see the combo of Yogi and Noah! The best has yet to come….stay tuned!

  • kenny george

    Yes, YOGI is eally moving up the learning curve. His work ethic, skills, and mindset to become the best will begreat for the incoming freshmen to follow. Ths young man is only going to bring joy o our world….

  • Hoo Hoo Hound dog

    We all know how this team plays when Cwat shows up vs when he doesnt. Honest question from a big time Hoosier fan. I go ahead and give the Hoosiers a first round win but can this team win five in a row in the Dance if Cwat fails to show up for a game or two? Does the fact that this inconsistency in Cwats game is still going on three quarters of the way through his senior season a concern for anyone else?

  • http://twitter.com/AhoyMilloy Aaron Milloy

    I realize he has had 2 poor games in a row(Minnesota game he really just got into early foul trouble and had his lowest minute total of the season) but he has scored in double figures for every single conference game before that. His field goal average over the first 14 big10 games was also around 48%. And he has average around 7 boards a game before these last 2 as well. It may seem like some games he has disappeared but he has definitely been more consistent than people give him credit for. I mean did anyone else score in double figures every night over that same span of games? Nope, no one.

  • SCHoosier

    I was watching VCU gut Butler with their very physical press yesterday..remembering how IU almost collapsed under that same pressure a year ago. VCU was sooo good on both ends of the court yesterday..didn’t make me very anxious to have to play them again this year. But IF we do..Yogi will be invaluable…if we can get the ball in bounds and in his hands. U wouldn’t wish that on most freshmen..but with Yogi’s ability to take on a challenge…I’d like our chances..to turn that suffocating press into some easy buckets.

  • A TRAIN

    i think yogi gona b a gr8 one..he can do it all and hes smart with good leadership skills..go iu lets get that big ten title!

  • A TRAIN

    i think yogi gona b a gr8 one..he can do it all and hes smart with good leadership skills..go iu lets get that big ten title!

  • shknqk

    Can’t wait to see the lil General get in Noah and Troy and Stanford’s grill next year. Succession of the program to perennial power will rest on Yogi over the next four years. Cody established excellence. Victor showed how its achieved and yogi will ingrain it in the system.

  • SCHoosier

    Yes it’s a concern..last night was really strange. Wat played like he was exhausted..Jordy as usual didn’t get any help from the offensive scheme to get a good look and when he did..he had no stroke. VO didn’t get his number called much but always makes up for it in other ways. Nice minutes from Remy and Elston. Truly the “gang that couldn’t shoot straight”. That defense will win a lot of ballgames ..unfortunately our next two games and the post-season will require both O and D..in spades. These guys rise to the occasion…I think they will prove that on senior night. Do U think TC will start all his seniors?

  • InTheMtns

    I take it that you are saying that CWat didn’t show up in the last two games and if so, I have to disagree. I thought he played hard in both games and played good defense in both games. Tubby said in his pre-game interview that he thought stopping Watford was the key to the game if Minnesota wanted to win and we saw that they went right at him. Plus he got into early foul trouble trying to guard Mbakwe and only played 18 minutes in the game. He certainly had an off-night shooting (0-8) against Iowa and only played 28 minutes, but he rebounded well, played good defense and helped get their bigs in foul trouble. I agree with you that neither of these games were good games for CWat but I can’t agree that he didn’t show up.

  • Hoo Hoo Hound dog

    None of that matters in the Dance. He is too much a part of the offense to have a couple of games like he has just had. If he does, odds are the Hoosiers are headed home early IMO.

  • BrierBrax

    seeing how important Yogi has proven to be to this team makes me appreciate the result we came away with from that game last spring

  • AZIU71

    You sound like a glass half empty type of guy. How about, He fails to make a basket and the game is still never in doubt, how about, he is now due for some monster games, how about, Big games=Big Watford (Kentucky x2, VCU, ect.). Think negative, negative things will happen. “Luck favors the prepared mind.”

  • Tom S

    And Jordy’s too much a part of the offense to have two games like he had against Iowa, and Cody’s too important to have a game like he had against Minnesota, and…

    You get the idea. Lots of things can go wrong. So you’re right – if Watford has a bad game, or Cody has a bad game, or Jordy has a bad game, or Ferrell or Oladipo have bad games, and they have them at the wrong time, the Hoosiers may very well lose. Really good teams lose basketball games, and guys having bad nights is one of the reasons.

    But as of now Indiana is probably the #1 seed in the tournament. And that’s not because anyone feels sorry for them. It’s because they’ve played their way there.

  • IUJeff

    H3dog, IU just beat a tournament team (IMO) w/out 2 major scorers scoring a basket. We are fine. Others will step when they are needed. Jordy’s job was to shut down their 3 pt scorer and he did. CWat played tough when he was out there. TC worked the bench. Relax. We are good.

  • IUJeff

    We need CWat to play hard and he has been. He does not need to score big for IU to win. There will not be another game where the opponent is allowed to be as physical as Minny was. Minny HAD to have the game and the refs let them play football on the ball court. Won’t happen again. Iowa tried it and we shot a LOT of free throws. CWats backups are pretty good as a group by the way so we are good.

  • IUJeff

    Got that title. Now need to beat OSU and get the outright title. And yes Yogi is going to be great. His ability to score over the trees was very impressive.

  • IUJeff

    We’ll be very young next year. One senior I think in Will. Here’s to hoping CZ and possibly Vic comes back.

  • IUJeff

    Yogi said “If you bring him (CZ) I will come”. I am exaggerating of course but thank goodness TC is such a great recruiter.

  • Tom S

    I don’t think he will, since it’s for the outright title.

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