Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Oakland

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Indiana picked up its eighth win over the season in convincing fashion on Tuesday night with an 81-54 rout of Oakland at Assembly Hall.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the victory over the Golden Grizzlies:

· Indiana’s first half offense was stellar: Indiana fans were spoiled by the team’s offense the past two seasons. Game in and game out, the Hoosiers produced an offense that was high scoring, efficient and a lot of fun to watch.

This season, it’s decidedly different as Indiana has stretches where it looks great and then goes long periods without producing a field goal. Against Oakland, the Hoosiers were very good in the first half, scoring 1.41 points per possession and posting an effective field goal percentage of 66.6.

So why was Indiana effective offensively through the game’s first 20 minutes?

You can certainly point to the 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting by Evan Gordon as a reason, but Troy Williams (4-of-6), Jeremy Hollowell (3-of-5) and Noah Vonleh (3-of-5) all pitched in to give the Hoosiers balance. We’ve written plenty about Indiana needing consistent scoring options beyond Yogi Ferrell and Vonleh and last night, seven different players scored six or more points, led by Gordon’s season-high 26.

· Gordon gaining confidence: He’s received far less notoriety than his older brother Eric and even his younger brother, Eron, but Evan Gordon is finding his niche as a scorer off the bench for an Indiana team that desperately needs the production.

In Tuesday’s win, Gordon backed a 15-point night against North Florida with 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting. Gordon said he hasn’t really changed his approach, but it’s clear that he’s become more aggressive in looking for his offense over the past two games.

“I think if you watch the game you can see that the team is moving the ball a little bit more,” Gordon said. “I’ve gotten open. I’ve stayed a little bit more aggressive than I usually have been, but it’s just kind of the ball movement, really.”

Indiana doesn’t need Gordon to become it’s go-to scorer, but if he can consistently put up double figures (or close to it) and shoot relatively well from the perimeter, the offense should take a step forward from where it’s been thus far.

· Indiana shuts down Travis Bader: Oakland coach Greg Kampe shrugged off the performance of Travis Bader in his postgame comments and said that Indiana’s defense on him was “nothing he hasn’t seen.”

Bader entered Assembly Hall leading the country in 3-pointers made, but didn’t make one all night and finished 2-of-15 from the field. While it’s true that Bader had some open looks that he just missed, he was also harassed for most of the night by Will Sheehey.

Tom Crean also credited his team’s ability to switch on defense as a big reason for its success on Bader.

“When you can switch the way our guards and wings and forwards can, that’s a real plus, and it’s got to become a real strength for us because what it does is it lets you determine as they get smarter here because they understand the game better and understand what we’re trying to do,” he said. “Some nights you’re switching, sometimes you’re not. Sometimes you’re flowing into a zone, sometimes you’re not. We’ll get so much more well versed. We’re going to get so much better with our defense as time goes on, being able to try to game plan and take things out.”

· Luke Fischer is beginning to emerge: One of the early storylines this season was the improvement of Hanner Mosquera-Perea, but as the season moves along, Luke Fischer appears to have the inside track as Indiana’s most reliable frontcourt option not named Noah Vonleh.

Fischer is getting healthier each day after a torn labrum forced him to miss significant preseason time and over IU’s last two games, he’s put up 12 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes. Fischer’s fundamentals such as being able to seal his man, get good position defensively and block out don’t show up in the box score. But those skills ultimately play a big part in helping to win games.

Fischer again played without a brace on his shoulder on Tuesday and talked about the differences he feels without the brace.

“The brace really restricted how high I could raise my arm because that was the main problem with it, and then also just the whole comfort factor,” he said. “I just have full movement and I’m not afraid to re-hurt it anymore or anything like that.”

· Greg Kampe’s postgame comments were interesting: If you haven’t watched his press conference yet, it’s certainly worth the five minutes. Here’s a quick sampling of some of the more entertaining quotes from the Oakland coach:

- On Indiana: “Tonight Indiana was really good. Coming in, after watching them on film, I wouldn’t have considered them an upper echelon team, but after playing against them tonight I think that’s the best a team has played against us.”

- On his team’s 2-8 start and its strength of schedule: “I don’t care what our record is. I really don’t. I could go to my grave and they could put my record on the tombstone and it could say `10-190 against BCS schools,’ and we will continue to play more.”

- On Evan Gordon: “I didn’t even know who (Evan Gordon) was, and he comes in and scores 20,000 points. I couldn’t tell you who he was tonight.”

  • IUMIKE1

    OK, finding the date for UW game and marking it down as such, ” BC says they will be left shortless, do not miss for any reason ” LOL

  • IUMIKE1

    Diamond Chuck, now there’s a guy that probably wrote the book on how to to take abuse from RMK and smile the whole time it was being done to him.

    Never forget the show where Chuck made an observation and Bobby said, ” well Chuck we could take everything you know about bball and put it in a shoe box and you know what that box still wouldn’t be even near full so don’t act like you even come close to knowing even that small amount ” Poor Chuck just took it and kept smiling the whole time.

  • IUMIKE1

    Yep, the ole channel 4 games were a struggle to get a good picture on at times in southern Indiana that’s for sure. My dad made me stand at the side of the TV & hold onto the rabbit ears for a big part of a game once and when I complained about it he told me I shouldn’t complain cause I had the best seat in the house and besides it was IU vs PeeU and sometimes certain things just have to be done. LOL

  • IUMIKE1

    Speaking of knowing Will one of the things that perplexes me the most is how he has went to rim so softly so many times this year. After it happened the first time I remember telling myself that I wouldn’t want to be around the rim the next time cause he was gonna break somebody’s arm if they get between the rim and him throwing it down. With the way things have gone so far for him one would think that he would take his frustrations out on the rim but it hasn’t happened.

  • IUMIKE1

    Same thing I was thinking only without the probably part.

  • Earl Scheib

    I’m worried about that as well. But I will put my faith in the law of averages which, I’m hoping, at least, means that he will turn it around and make up for this slump with some blazing performances during the BIG season. If not, well, I don’t want to think about that to be honest. . .

  • A TRAIN

    he shouldnt hav been in the game dude get a clue

  • A TRAIN

    i dont remember many jordy deflections just 3pointers

  • alford bailey

    Is Chuck still alive? Is Laz still around B-town?

  • MillaRed

    Uh, you have 13 players in basketball and like 500 in football. In other words, you’re wrong.

  • Andrew

    Maybe I missed something, but is Devin Davis injured?

  • RMK

    Jordy was a better help defender. He also was better moving off the ball offensively. Gordon has had 2 good games against nobodies. Lets see if he can produce against more quality opponents. He hasn’t been able to this year. And as far as him starting goes, that would not be the best move. He fills a role off the bench. There has to be someone who can create their own shot and score points off the bench.

  • Snookafly

    Ankle sprain. Crean didn’t want to risk making it worse.

  • MillaRed

    Whatever is going on with him offensively is just …………awkward.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’ve got a few things to get off my chest:
    1) I want to see more of Troy Williams!!! Stop sitting him for long stretches and let him develop now!
    2) Stop playing starters during garbage time! Players get hurt . . . anyone ever see a guy get a break-away dunk opportunity late in a game only to get taken out by some overzealous sub trying to prevent a rub in dunk?
    3) Please, please, please can we see more of Luke Fischer and Noah Vonleh on the floor together, maybe with Yogi, EG, and JHoll?

    4) Is Jeff Howard really going to get contested minutes in B1G play?

    5) Where are all the lobs to HMP I saw when he played next to Yogi a couple summers ago? – this one’s minor

    I still love this team and think their ceiling is extremely high. If Evan Gordon develops into that second outside threat it opens up the middle for the long athletes and makes this team an even better offensive rebounding team. I think Yogi was smarter last night than he has been of late but still makes some dumb decisions. He is still only a sophomore so it’s a bit understood. I mentioned a week ago that I thought having a player on the floor like Luke Fischer, who is very fundamentally sound, would help to stabilize a team with several freestyle type players. It’s nice to see Alex mention his fundamentals. Young players can learn from him. You don’t always have to be the most athletic player to be successful if you are the smartest and most fundamentally sound player on the court. I’m not saying he is, but he’s sure earning more minutes in my eyes. The one rebound he ripped down last night was truly impressive. If the opponent had stuck his hand in there I think Luke would’ve broken it off!

    A little venting, but I still love my Hoosiers and CTC as well. I just wish he would quit risking injury to players like TW in junk time!

  • kaponya44

    Gordon isn’t Remy.Gordon is a fifth year Senior experience wise and has played major college ball BEFORE getting to IU and is much more aggressive than Remy.I would take Ev Gordon over scared Remy any day.Gordon was playing it too safe but he go off if he gets a green light to shoot.But get this ….since Gordon’s family is beyond overflowibg with talent and ball IQ his mental approach to the game is all around strong most of the time.Some of you should actually watch EG without the ball.Totally different especially since EG is coming off screens ready to catch and drive or pull up.He doesn’t look scared like Remy did at times.I was sad to see Remy go but Gordon is an upgrade offensively due to confidence.

  • slojoe

    He’s already said that he has no rotation and that he is experimenting with different combinations at this time.

  • Ole Man

    This discussion on CTC’s subs goes back beyond one game or one season.

  • Oldguyy

    Yes, forget about all the evidence from his entire body of work. A single random game is all you need to think about. Or is it all you’re capable of thinking about?

  • IUMIKE1

    Think Chuck may have went to that big bball court in the sky, but don’t know that for a fact. Don’t know where Laz is these days, someone told me they thought he was doing bball games but on the radio somewhere.

  • IUMIKE1

    Not the adjective that I’ve been using to express my bewilderment when it comes to his offense of late but, yea, awkward is pretty fitting too.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Chuck’s total basketball knowledge may have been in question but he was no dummy when it came to knowing which side of his bread the butter was on; RMK was his meal ticket.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    IUMIKE,
    I thought we played them once at home…I didn’t realize we played them twice…not that I’m back peddling….maybe just a little…but I say we will sweep them just because we are due. If IU continues to improve each and every game bring them on. It used to be pUKe, then cry baby at Illinois butj now since he’s gone may hatred for them is not so bad but Wis just really has my goat because they have our number and it’s time for a change. Too bad many of our players can’t remember all of these bottled up feelings that need to be spewed out like a 40 yr old virgin.

  • IUMIKE1

    I feel your pain when it comes to Bo & his boys. I not only feel your pain, but know your pain all too well.

    Now that we don’t play Calislimy’s pro team any more Wisky has pretty much become my, ” probably better to watch this game by myself due to how worked up I get when it comes to them “, game. Hollering at the TV and accompanying that hollering with various hand gestures just doesn’t look as deranged some how when I do it with no one else around. However watching by myself does make it harder for me to stay calm enough to give sound adlvice to Coach Crean when he calls at halftime for suggestions. lol

  • IUMIKE1

    And he earned every little bit of that butter too. I know I couldn’t have done it or not for near as long as Chuck did that’s for damn sure.

    I just imagine that the first thing that went through his mind after that mistake was, ” coach Knight is gonna eat me a new a$$ over that one, but you know what I don’t have that much a$$ left to eat so whatever “.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I totally understand…sometimes my wife will watch a game with me only when she knows that it’s one that we should win but once the B1G starts…we have four kids and we are Christians on top of that….I have a hard time controlling my mouth and gestures toward the TV. Many games I’ll start with the entire family and then end up watching by myself.
    Maybe they are trying to telling me something.

  • dwdkc

    Right, and since Will went 9 for 9 against Purdue last year, he obviously can’t score in the Big 10?

  • dwdkc

    Typical slump. Gets in his head a little bit; he presses, you see the results. But these things usually go away with no notice also and the confidence returns. Some of the things he does are slump proof (communication, defense, rebounding) so he is still earning his minutes.

  • dwdkc

    Notre Dame lays an egg. Arggh. Now they will come out crazy intense and IU will need to match it, not to mention it hurts the strength of schedule. Well the Big 10 will solve that issue at least.

  • Michael Whelan

    Jeremy Hollowell is not a starter, He has a long way to go, Too many turnovers and poor defense, when I watch Him I get the feeling He wishes He was back in High School where it was easier.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Last year is well last year…Will stats this year speak loud and clear….he has been awful.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    If Will isn’t going to score for this team then he can lead from the bench and give Fish and Davis more minutes…The senior is lost on offense.

  • PDXHoosier

    My wife thinks I’m insane…

  • Provider_UNE

    This takes me back to the 75-76 season, when I was a ten year old and during the Big Ten season, on occasions I would decamp to my room and finish the game on the radio attempting to recreate the plays off of my wall with the nerf hoop. The old man was a particularly enthusiastic supporter of the team and occasionally the enthusiasm would chase people from the room.

    I have been similarly afflicted over time and 15 years later I started hosting game viewings with some friends who were as enthusiastic as I. But there were rules:

    1. The door is locked 30 seconds prior to tip-off.
    2. Regardless of who was late the door was not to be opened until the first time-out.
    3. Upon entry one was not to say anything not involving the game except during commercials.

    There were other rules…In one case I had to wait outside as it took a little longer than I thought to retrieve provisions. Even though I had the keys, I felt that I had to follow my own rules.

    At one point during the 91-92 season (December, IIRC), we had serious discussions about setting up a camp in Dunn Meadow protesting free-throw percentage.

    Yup, I’m a nutjob.

  • IUMIKE1

    Yep, one year for Xmas I received Cream & Crimson control pills (white & red M&M’s) and a set of bad call busters (foam bricks to be thrown at the TV). The control pills were gone after the first game and the bad call busters have been whittled down to just one over the years. LOL

  • sometimes I comment

    Have your own opinion, coach. He is a starter and I stand by my statement on Jeremy.

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