The Minute After: Minnesota

  • 02/15/2015 10:27 pm in

Thoughts on a 90-71 win over the Golden Gophers:

Minnesota’s press had the Hoosiers a little skittish to start the contest. The Golden Gophers got out to the early lead and they held an advantage over the Hoosiers as late as the 7:33 mark in the first half. But thanks to some strong offensive rebounding, a parade of 3s and a phenomenal tip-in from Robert Johnson at the buzzer, the Hoosiers found themselves up six (44-38) at the half.

Despite the lead, Minnesota had turned the Hoosiers over on 26.2 percent of their possessions. They were shooting it well and you got the feeling a W wasn’t going to come easy. Another single-digit game appeared ahead on the horizon.

But Indiana was so masterful from beyond the arc, Minnesota simply had no chance at an upset bid. Shot after shot from 3-point range kept going up in the second half, and more often than not the Hoosiers were banging them home. Eighteen in total found the bottom of the net this Sunday evening. The performance set a new school record for makes in a game. Those came on 32 attempts, good for 56.3 percent from distance. It aided in an effective field goal percentage of 75.9 and the Hoosiers scoring a strong 1.37 points per possession.

James Blackmon Jr., after a forgettable shooting performance against Maryland on Wednesday night, led the charge from distance (6-of-10) for a team-high 24 points, as a total of six Hoosiers hit from 3-point range on this historic night. Fellow freshman Robert Johnson, who also shot it poorly against the Terps, went 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and also had a couple nice passes in the pick-and-roll to Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Emmitt Holt. Nick Zeisloft went 2-of-4. Yogi Ferrell was 1-of-6. Collin Hartman hit both his attempts.

Most surprising? Troy Williams hit two triples in the second half, the last of which coming in the final minute of the game to give Indiana the new program record. He looked smooth and confident taking both of them. Williams also looked good hitting a top of the key jumper in the first half to go along with his usual mix of aggressive dunks on putbacks and out of the half court offense on his way to 19 points. The sophomore, for all his improvement this season, had still severely lacked any sort of a jumper.

It’s just one game. But if Williams can start joining in on Indiana’s 3-point barrage with any sort of consistency? Watch out, world.

Jordan Fuchs made his Hoosier debut in the first half and the inexperience was evident. In his two minutes of action, he picked up an over-the-back foul going for an offensive rebound and was scored on easily by Maurice Walker on the other end.

Indiana ended up still turning the ball over on 27.4 percent of its possessions and Minnesota made five more free throws. But none of it mattered. Indiana burned up the nets with triples and cruised to an impressive 19-point victory.

A Purdue team that continues to establish itself as an upper echelon Big Ten squad comes to Bloomington on Thursday evening. After getting embarrassed in West Lafayette, the Hoosiers will be looking for revenge against a squad that presents a tough matchup. But shoot it like they have against Maryland and now Minnesota inside Assembly Hall, and few stand a chance to knock off the Hoosiers on their home court.



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  • Outoftheloop

    Wrong! Troy yes. But right now Stan just can not hit mid-range jumpers and has no chance on 3’s. I really like the way he is playing “smart” now for the team: controlled drives, good assists, good defense, good rebounding, no bad shots. That is all we need now. The off-season Stan needs to develop the shooting and scoring parts of his game!

  • Outoftheloop

    You have to credit Coach Crean for the turn-around on the Indiana 3-point production this year: 1) improve the roster (James, Robert, Nick and Max); 2) improve the young guys 3-point shooting (Collin and Troy); 3) free up Yogi from the constant pressure of always having to initiate our offense with his dribble. Well done Coach!

  • Outoftheloop

    MN overplays and doubles on the perimeter to force TO’s and IU killed them with ball movement and great 3-point shooting by 6 separate shooters!

  • Outoftheloop

    I am really a strong supporter of more minutes for Emmitt. But you have to play a kid to see if he can help your team. That is my big gripe against Crean’s non-use of Jeremiah. So I have no problem with Jordan getting some minutes, just not at Emmitt’s expense!

  • Outoftheloop

    Much less reckless this season than last! Much less reckless the last 5-6 games than before. Troy is getting better!

  • Outoftheloop

    Would you rather have either Harrison or Lee ahead of Troy? Even right now I would take Troy!

  • Ole Man

    Well said and really valid points.

  • Outoftheloop

    Not just shooting 3’s but showing a very smooth stroke and now he is hitting 3/8 = 37.5% for the season!

  • Outoftheloop

    Yogi is clearly the most important player on this year’s IU team! The top 3 players in the B1G are Kaminski, Russell, and Yogi! Then there are about 7-8 about equal (including Troy, Hammons, Dekker, etc.).

  • TomJameson

    To be a REALLY good defensive team will first of all need an off-season of work, that just isn’t going to happen this year. This year we can be more intense and active, and possibly stop dribble penetration a little better. I just don’t think we HAVE to have an elite big man to be a great defensive team. With the addition of the 2 new recruits (as it stands now), we have what can be an effective shot-blocking, rim-protecting team. Look at that one awesome block by Troy last night as an example. Now if we do get a premier big, I don’t want it to be at the expense of our perimeter game or offense as it stands now. I just want a big to be a defender.

  • ForeverIU

    A player who is not allowed to put the ball through the hoop. Brilliant! LOL.

  • ForeverIU

    CTC has already said that Stan is working his butt off. It’s a matter of confidence, not skill. And attempting these shots during games does make a whole lot of difference when the issue is confidence.

  • You might, but let’s face it, you’re not the one making the decision.. I probably would also. However, Troy, even though he hit a couple of jump shots last night, he doesn’t have the reputation as having a really good jumper. I personally think another year where he works on that, would really benefit him, in terms of how high he might go in the draft. But that’s just me, and face it, I am biased by wanting him here another year. We really aren’t in a position to make a valid appraisal of that, since we have a Hoosier bias. I guess the thing that is always a cause for concern, is that some scout or agent will ‘blow up’ his potential so that he is swayed to go… where he in actuality may be better off to wait one more year. I personally think
    another year for Noah would not have been a bad thing either. I’m really not convinced he’ll ever have the ‘star’ potential that Oladipo has exhibited. This after staying in college and really in my opinion was much more ready to enter the draft when he went, than was Noah.

  • IUfanforever

    First of all Troy and Yogi would be 2nd rounders at best this year…..so they are not going no where. Troy needs another year to develop his ball handling and defense…plus he can graduate next year and get the degree. Yogi is intriguing…..he doesn’t need the money….his parents are well off financially….he will graduate in May….but would be better served to play one more year and go down in the history of IU basketball as one of the all time greats. The draft is loaded this year so one more year to work on his post graduate degree and to play on a title contender next year and a top 5 team in the country will serve him well…..So IMHO they both are back next year. We will get bigs and next year we will deep and powerful. Tons to look forward too!

  • IUMIKE1

    Was also glad to see him get his feet wet. Just like there is nothing that helps a player advance his game like actual game time minutes, there is no better way to figure out a player / get a feel for the best approach to take to help him get better than actual footage to show him and for the coaches to look at that comes from actual game time minutes.

  • IUMIKE1

    Short, precise, to the point and in a nutshell, exactly right !! I think the two already committed will help us next year, but I just worry that without the addition of a shot blocker / rim protector, and one that can contribute right away, we will find ourselves discussing many of the same things we are this year when it comes to our D and why we lost the way we did to certain kinds of teams.

  • Outoftheloop

    Your response is absurd. Of course he is “allowed” to put the ball through the hoop. But the old Bob Knight rule holds: “if you can’t hit 50% of those shots, or 40% of the 3-point shots, then don’t take them!” So hit the uncontested lay-up but don’t take the contested drive or mid-range jumper (.317%) or the 3-point shot (0/9)! Stan is showing good improvement on his FT’s now up to .574 %.

  • ForeverIU

    If Stan’s criterion for whether or not to take another free throw were his record earlier in the season, he would have never attempted another free throw this season. He raised his free throw percentage for one simple reason: he kept shooting free throws. Stan needs to shoot when the opportunity avails itself. If he misses we need to focus on rebounding the heck out of the ball than blasting him for missing. If we follow the Knight principle you mention, how do we ever raise our shooting percentages? Stan needs to start shooting again before the season is over.

  • bojak

    Are you and Stan related? lol I just sit here and shake my head.

  • ForeverIU

    My brotha from anotha motha. No need to make this personal. LOL.

  • bojak

    Gotcha young man.

  • Outoftheloop

    If you read my post I specifically excluded FT’s from the 50 % rule. They are, after all, FREE! The rule is NOT that you can’t take the shots that “you think are 50% makeable by you”! But there are periods of “reckoning” where the stats must support your shooting decisions. And then you must refine your shooting decisions based on the facts. That is how you “raise” your shooting %! By taking ONLY good shots for you!