Anunoby, Ferrell and defense lead Indiana to win

  • 01/06/2016 7:55 am in

On a night that celebrated the undefeated national champions of 1976 at Assembly Hall, Indiana knocked off Wisconsin 59-58 to improve to 13-3 overall, and 3-0 in conference play. It was the eighth straight win for the Hoosiers.

It was slow and ugly throughout most of the game, different than what most games have been like at Assembly Hall, where the Hoosiers have been explosive on offense. Against the Badgers, however, it was the defense that won the game.

“I think the main thing was us getting stops defensively,” Yogi Ferrell said. “We came together and had a collective mindset that we wanted to get stops. We weren’t scoring, they weren’t scoring.”

Indiana held Wisconsin to 41percent shooting from the floor and just 25 percent from behind the 3-point line. It also forced 14 turnovers. Wisconsin’s top two scorers, Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, combined to shoot 7-for-25.

“I think it’s very important for us to build on,” Ferrell said. “I think this game the fans definitely helped us out a lot, so we thank them for being here and building a lot of energy.”

The Hoosiers also had four blocks and seven steals.

“You have to play defense for 40 minutes,” Ferrell added.

Anunoby’s rise continues

For the second consecutive game, OG Anunoby came off the bench to score 11 points. He did not miss a shot, and also grabbed two rebounds. The 6-foot-8 freshman has provided a spark in each of IU’s first three Big Ten games, and could potentially see himself in the starting lineup given the news that James Blackmon Jr. will be the remainder of the season after having knee surgery.

“I saw OG’s potential in the summer,” Ferrell said. “He was just a shy guy, a quiet guy, back then. But we’ve been on him about bringing that out. We’re going to need that to win. These three Big Ten games that we’ve played, I feel like OG has been a great factor for us.”

His continued improvement has also caught the eye of Tom Crean, who continues to give Anunoby more minutes.

“He’s an excellent defender,” Crean said. “His confidence is growing, you can see that with the way he’s shooting the ball. One of the reasons we recruited him is because of the way he could shoot. He’s getting more comfortable with it, but he’s very smart, he’s very athletic, he’s very strong for his age and he’s pretty fearless when it comes to defense.”

Bryant on ’76 champs: “That’s unbelievable when you get to meet those guys”

The 1976 national championship team was honored at halftime and the group clearly left its mark on Indiana’s freshman McDonald’s All-American.

“I think about that every day walking into Cook Hall and then seeing the history right there,” Bryant said. “That’s unbelievable when you get to meet those guys, you get to talk to them. There’s a certain humbleness you have to have to yourself and you try to pick up anything that those guys will try to give you. You just want to go out there and play well and get a win for those guys when they’re here to watch and just show that you’re representing them to the best of your ability.”

Other notes:

– IU is 9-0 in Assembly Hall this season.
– The last time IU opened up Big Ten play 3-0 was the 2012-2013 season.
– IU made all 10 free throws it attempted.
– IU didn’t trail in the final 13:57 of the game.
– Yogi Ferrell led the team in scoring with 19 points.

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  • MK

    I don’t think anyone would think basketball IQ conversation is about racism. It is pretty clear that he doesn’t make smart plays out there, it is actually quite unfortunate.

  • You’d be surprised.

  • MK

    I do not believe he would be a sub for that team, personally I think he would start at the three. Troy needs to learn that he can get himself involved in the game in more ways then by just driving the ball.

  • BL

    Shooting % will definitely come back to reality (hopefully very slowly) but we have yet to see his full offensive repertoire. As his confidence grows he’ll become much more aggressive. Can’t wait to see TC run plays for him; make him a primary option. Love to see us post him up.

  • BL

    Nah

  • BL

    Agree. Can u imagine adding Rawle Alkins? Legit final 4 team.

  • BL

    Sadly I agree with you. He needs to revamp his style. I would love to see him really bear down on D and become more of a jump shooter (particularly mid-range). With his length and jumping ability, he could be awesome as a catch and shooter coming off screens (e.g. Clay Thompson). He actually has good shooting form. Probably too late to make real change at the collegiate level although it’s possible TC could change his role when we go big with the freshman.

  • But the NBA has to want him.. As far as I know, he has really fallen in all of the draft projections.. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think he is even projected to go in the first two rounds… If he did go in a lower draft slot, it’d be developmental league and a fight for him to try to make someone’s roster.. He is just not NBA caliber product right now. Personally IU would probably be as well off if he did go. If he hasn’t changed his ways in three years.. guess what, he isn’t going to.
    Hey, he’s an athlete, a very good athlete, it’s just he hasn’t proven himself to be a very good basketball player..

  • vicbert caladipo

    The real sad part is he will be gone next year. He will either try to get drafted or simply quit. I became convinced after all the stuff his mom said went viral and things have actually gotten worse for the young man since she made those comments. He is finding his minutes and role decrease as OG and JM develop and he fumbles the ball away. Not sure if anyone noticed but Crean has been pulling him out at the end of games on the offensive end probably because coach has little confidence in his FT shooting. And I got to hand it to CTC, that move won us the game since we closed it out on the line without TW having to step to the line when the game is on the line. Last nights game was all on CTC. He coached that game to perfection even though the majority of his players had bad nights. I also think Gard did a great job game planning for us…..held a team averaging 83 points a game to 59. Coaching is key in a game that ugly and last night was uglier than my last GF.

  • IUMIKE1

    I think you and I both were making that point about O.G.

    Back to vow of silence. lol

  • ForeverIU

    LOL, IUMIKE, you made my evening. Where have you been hiding? You’re worse than me. You better break your “vow of silence” on a regular basis or else I might take a vow of silence until IUMIKE breaks his vow of silence.

  • IUMIKE1

    lol

  • mharv2631

    Thon could still be a Hoosier.

  • Young Hoosier

    Lol

  • curtis south

    I Think he does a damn fine job! If you watch him he is never just standing down there he is always looking to be in the rite spot! The defender has alot to do with that! This young man has done a GREAT job IMO!

  • curtis south

    Hey said the same thing about Troy! Dont get me wrong I LOVE what O.G. has been able too do but this isnt the 1st time CC said this!

  • curtis south

    I dont think so! His stock wont we that high with a turnover rate of 50%!

  • curtis south

    I have no dout RJ will be our starting PG next year! The kid can just flat out play! ! game with his shooting being off bothers me 0%!

  • ForeverIU

    Really? I didn’t know he compared Troy to Vic! No wonder then he wants to play him at guard. LOL.

  • curtis south

    There needs to be plays run just for Troy! The base line is where his bread and butter is! I dont understand not calling plays for him! O wait yes I do CTC runs a offence set and NEVER runs plays!

  • Young Hoosier

    There is no way in the universe RJ can be trusted as a main ball handler. He isn’t anywhere near being good enough.

  • mharv2631

    He still hasn’t signed yet, so I’m saying there is still a chance, but I understand your laughter.