IU faces Notre Dame in last marquee non-conference game

  • 12/18/2015 8:26 pm in

Saturday will see two of the nation’s top four offenses go at it at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as a part of the Crossroads Classic.

In what has turned into an extremely important game for Indiana, the Hoosiers will be forced to stop Notre Dame’s duo of point guard Demetrius Jackson and big man Zach Auguste.

Jackson leads the Fighting Irish in scoring with 17.8 points per game and averages five assists a game. Auguste averages a double-double, 14.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He’ll be the toughest test IU freshman Thomas Bryant has faced all season.

“He’s really aggressive on the glass, rolling well, posting up, facing up,” IU coach Tom Crean said. “He’s an aggressive guy and he’s been in a lot of games. He had a great ending to his year, so he has a lot of confidence. They’re good. They are a well-rounded team.”

Jackson will be the biggest test of the season so far for Yogi Ferrell. The two points guards have played each other before, as both hail from Indiana, and it’s a matchup that has Notre Dame coach Mike Brey excited.

“That matchup is probably worth the price of admission,” Brey said on Thursday. “Are there two guards who are playing better than these guys in the country right now? I don’t think so.”

Ferrell said he is aware of the challenges Jackson will bring.

“I played against him a lot,” Ferrell said. “I played against him in the junior-senior all-star game and in AAU.  He’s a great player, he brings a lot to their team, great point guard. But tomorrow it’s going to come down to more than just a one-on-one matchup, it’s going to come down to team versus team.”

Brey was complimentary of the Hoosiers offense, saying one of the things his team will need to do well is make stops on transition defense. He also noted that he may have his team play some zone defense, but that he doesn’t want to leave too many of IU’s good shooters open with good looks.

“We know how explosive they are and how fast they play,” Brey said. “They really spread you out with a lot of different guys. I think it’s going to be a fun game to watch. I’ll think it’ll come down to who can dig in more defensively to slow the other one down. Going to have to score to win this one.”

Brey was quite confident when talking about the state of his program on Thursday, mentioning that he’s the longest tenured coach out of the four that will be in Indianapolis on Saturday. He said he views the game against the Hoosiers as a true road game and that he thinks the crowd will favor IU.

“They should be enamored with us quite frankly,” Brey said. “We’ve been winning games in that damn building for a while now. We’re the most consistent program in this state and it ain’t even close.”

IU wasn’t interested in responding to Brey’s statement when asked on Friday, with Crean saying his team is focused on winning.

Last year at the Crossroads Classic, Notre Dame beat Purdue, and IU topped Butler.

“(Notre Dame is) outstanding as usual,” Crean said. “They are extremely talented offensively, a veteran group, battle tested, and they have had a very good year so far. They have a lot of guys that have played in a lot of big games for them.

“They score, they move the ball, and they can beat you in a lot of different ways. They can beat you in the post, with the three, and they do a great job of cutting and moving without the ball.  They can get you at their pace and tempo. That is a big part of their game.”

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  • TomJameson

    It should be a great game. Although I hate it that IU has a “must win” game in December, it will show what this team is made of.

    Defense, play under control, and take care of the ball. IU does that and they will walk away with the win.

  • Young Hoosier

    What if Notre Dame does the same?

  • Young Hoosier

    This morning on Kenpom… Indiana is ranked 6th in offense and 10th on defense. Notre Dame is 2nd in offense and 12th in defense. But you have to look at how close the numbers are. Notre Dame offense has a rating of 118.6 compared to Indiana’s 116.3. The defense, even though the rankings are 21 spots apart, are much closer. Indiana’s defensive rating is 99.5 compared to Notre Dames 100.4. Should be a tight and high scoring game.

  • henrymonte

    Indiana will jump out to a 10-2 lead in the first 5 minutes but through a series of “four point plays” – IU turnovers coupled with an immediate Notre Dame basket on the other end, the Irish will take the lead. Notre Dame will build the lead to as many as 10 points in the first half because IU will repeatedly get beat off the dribble. Notre Dame will settle for a 5 point lead at the end of the first half. At the start of the second half, IU will take poor shots, turn the ball over and continue to get beat off the dribble, ND will build the lead to as many as 20 points in the second half and end up winning by 15. This will be a foreshadowing of a losing Big Ten record for Indiana in 2016. Regardless of how explosive your offense is, if you repeatedly turn the ball over and show that it is impossible for you to play defense, you will not win. Feel free to remind me later how far off the mark I was. As Monk says, “I could be wrong but I don’t think so.”

  • Koko

    Well hell I guess I really shouldn’t bother to watch the game.

  • Koko

    Your question is answered in his first sentence.

  • Young Hoosier

    It’d be crazy if he was right…. I guessed the Duke game score. Told a friend it would be like the UofL Gane last year… both were 94-74…. crazier things have happened… but could easily go the other way as well.

  • Koko

    It would be crazy if he was right but I don’t think we get blown away if we lose. And I agree it could easily go the other way. So let’s get out the beer and popcorn and enjoy a good game.

  • MrNobody

    What could they respond to Brey’s comment. Over the last 10 years IU has not been the top team in the state more often by far than they have. IU should be the top bball program in state year in and year out. It should be expected.

  • SilentBob

    Coach Crean may not have much room too talk, but Mike Brey is still a joke. I knew there was a reason I didn’t like that guy. Been a head coach at Notre Dame for like 15 years and still his greatest accomplishment is being an assistant to Coach K. We should be enamoured by the fact they lost to Indiana State by 13 on their home floor just two years ago? IU and Purdue being worse than them recently is solely an insult at IU and Purdue, not a compliment for Brey. Brey should just shut the hell up and be happy he doesn’t ever have to face Butler at this event.

  • cooper

    Last 10 years IU isn’t even top 2. Butler has been better

  • cooper

    That was a comment for recruits and voters. Why shouldn’t he say it? He’s right, though Butler may have an argument.

  • SilentBob

    No it isn’t right. Butler has been more impressive on every level. Next he has at home loses to Alabama and Monmouth this season. He shouldn’t be puffing out his chest at anyone. And I don’t buy it was just for recruits. He’s feeling himself cause he finally got past the sweet 16, upping his greatest accomplishment as a head coach to almost beating the best team in the country.

  • SeeingRed

    If Brey is a joke of a college basketball coach, I shudder to think what that makes CTC.

  • MrNobody

    My point exactly. PU had baby boiler run, butler 2 final fours in row, now ND has had some success. All with mostly lower ranked players as a whole. We had a little run with Cody and VO. Other than that have been pretty much a backseat party.

  • SilentBob

    Someone didn’t see where I said Crean doesn’t have room to talk. But for comparison over the last four seasons and a third…

    IU overall record = 101-48
    Notre Dame = 101-47

    IU conference record = 41-31
    Notre Dame = 44-28

    IU NCAA tourney record = 4-3
    Notre Dame = 3-3

  • SeeingRed

    I saw it. If you are going to make sweeping general statements, compare the big sample sizes. Brey at ND vs. Crean at IU winning percentage — not close. Career? Not close.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    If anything happens to CTC, then IU better go after Larry Krystkowiak,,, hard.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    It is amazing how bad IU is defensively against Note Dame. Pitiful.

  • SilentBob

    Oh I forgot Brey just took over Notre Dame 8 years ago after a “cheating” scandal nearly destroyed the program. But his statement wasn’t himself vs Crean. It was in recent years Notre Dame has been the program in the state and its not even close. Well that’s wrong and it’s not even close.

  • BeatDuke

    Stop switching to zone half way through possession- madness! I’m done with Crean. He is in over his head.

  • SeeingRed

    The guy made a pre game “pump the matchup” statement. I have no problem with it. This is entertainment, right? But you can’t honestly say he’s a joke of a coach, because he has won .670 of his games. Lots of guys, including CTC, would be pretty happy with that. Brey is, at the very least, competent.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    It is hard to watch this train wreck occur.

  • BtownBoss

    Can we PLEASE see some God D@*# DEFENSE!?! It should not be THIS hard to defend…I’m not even asking for lock down defense, just something that prevents them from getting 1.0+ points per possession

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    I’m done with Crean.

  • SilentBob

    It’s entertaining for its stupidity. Pump up statement? Please he was talking the media. And he is a joke cause he talks like he is better than he really is. Sounds kind of familiar really. But take away Creans first three years at IU and they’ve shared about the same level of success.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    What a waste of player talent. I hope we don’t tempt any more quality players into playing for us under this coach. But then again, they can’t be quality if they settle for a mediocre coach like ours. Enough. Can we please get a basketball coach? NOW.

  • BeatDuke

    Blackmon just killed our momentum.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    He never shows up big in big games. It’s ridiculous that Crean keeps empowering him with the cupcakes.

  • No discipline, selfish offense, lazy/selfiish defense, CTC has lost this team. These IU players could care less, it’s all about ‘them’ at this point with just a few exceptions i.e. Johnson, Bryant, Hartman and a few others. IU=Talent but no Team, Just roll the ball out and let them lose.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    Crean just needs to step down. He is killing IU basketball.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    I don’t blame them. They have no coach.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Bernie Colson has 20 freaking points! 10 minutes still to play.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    Bonzie.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Sorry. Spell check.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    Don’t you wish we had a player named Bonzie?

  • MikeinNC

    It’s astonishing to see a team with such talented blue chip athletes that has absolutely no understanding or commitment to playing defense. All an opposing team has to do is move the ball around for 15 seconds and wait for the defensive lapse to occur. It’s pathetic.

  • MikeinNC

    These guys need Ritalin. They have defensive ADD. They cannot concentrate defensively for more than a few seconds. They don’t communicate with each other at all.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    That is great! No Play some DEFENSE BRUCE! Tied game. $2.85 for bacon and scrambled eggs! 2am can’t beat it.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    It doesn’t matter if we win or lose. I’m done with this coach. Sick of seeing a team that can’t play fundamental D.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Agreed. I really thought in the summer IU would have a great year.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Bonzie or Bozo.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Valentine sure is a great referee.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    I am happy for our players. They deserve a better coach.

  • BeatDuke

    Ok, Credit to Crean for switching to a Zone – changed the game (and stopped switching D during possessions)

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Merry Christmas everyone. Have a great Holiday season.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    Don’t credit him. We should be playing 40 minutes of D. Notre Dame is not a great team. We will get killed in Nebraska.

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    Great win!

  • henrymonte

    I was wrong. Credit to IU for playing good defense for about 6-10 minutes. Finally hit clutch shots. Credit also to Troy Williams and Thomas Bryant. Did think it was going the other way when ND was up 16. ND collapsed but IU showed heart. Still not all convinced that they will maintain this consistently. I believe this is as good as it gets. Bryant is improving and Anunoby showed promise.