The Minute After: Minnesota

  • 01/16/2016 3:41 pm in

Thoughts on a 70-63 win at the Barn:

The numbers said Minnesota was no good. They implied Indiana was primed to march up to the Barn and come away with a comfortable victory over a struggling squad.

But that quickly got thrown out the window. Because Minnesota played with desperation. And a desperate team playing like it’s their last game on earth can seize control and flip the script. The Golden Gophers were physical from the onset. They packed the paint, double-teamed Thomas Bryant and held the Hoosiers out of offensive flow. On the other end, Minnesota went right after Indiana’s defense and forced fouls. Nearly a third (11) of their 34 first half points came from the charity stripe.

Minnesota got up by as much as nine in the first half as the Hoosiers missed 3-pointers and turned the ball over at too high a rate (27.4 TO% in first half). But Nick Zeisloft came to save the day. His shot’s been off a bit so far in Big Ten play — including an 0-for-8 mark against OSU — but it recovered in a big way today. Zeisloft hit four straight 3s during an impressive stretch in the first half and it helped the Hoosiers go into halftime tied up at 34.

As the first half came to an end, if felt like Indiana was beginning to figure things out. The Hoosiers were maybe, just maybe setting up to blow the doors off the Barn in the second half and cruise to a double-digit victory. An early steal by Robert Johnson which led a Yogi Ferrell 3-pointer had you feeling that way even more. But Indiana could only punch the lead out to eight on a couple occasions before the Golden Gophers came down and hit on their end to ensure Indiana didn’t extend the lead any further. A blowout just wasn’t in the cards today.

So the Hoosiers just had to keep things going and find enough success on both ends to get out of Minnesota with the W.

Yogi Ferrell was a big reason the Hoosiers did just that. With Robert Johnson saddled with foul trouble and Thomas Bryant not in the game the final 7:31, Ferrell was the do-everything Hoosier. On an afternoon he moved to second all-time on Indiana’s assists list (544), Ferrell got it done down the stretch. He didn’t shoot it great and took a few too many long 2s. But he had some key assists and scored four points in the game’s final minute. The first two came on a steal and score. The second two came at the line.

Ferrell was clearly fatigued down the stretch from all the minutes (37), but keep coming with everything he had in the tank and never turned it over. (Nor did the Hoosiers the final 16:34 of the game. One of their most impressive stats of the season and another key to the victory.) The senior (20 points, seven assists, six rebounds) wanted this win and he got it. These are the moments he came back to Indiana for and he deserves your praise.

Indiana’s defense also persevered once more and held its fifth straight conference opponent to under a point per possession (.91). It was all just enough to make sure the Golden Gophers never re-claimed a lead despite their desperation.

It wasn’t their greatest performance, but the Hoosiers took care of business yet again during their softer early Big Ten slate. They continues to find different ways to win when they aren’t firing on all cylinders. It should serve them well when the tougher conference challenges come.

(Photo credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)

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  • ForeverIU

    What’s your issue? He is happy about our win. He has probably watched more IU basketball than you have lived life. He is expressing his opinion. I’d be hard-pressed to find someone more real than Ole Man on ITH or anywhere else.

  • Ole Man

    Quite correct. Can not believe that people simply don’t accept him for what he is. His contributions far outweigh his negatives.
    He blocked at one end; and then followed the missed shot dunk at the other end with that thunderous dunk. An amazing 20 seconds!

  • Ole Man

    He blocked a shot at one end and then, immediately after, dunked the missed shot at the other!
    He had two TOs; actually slowed the offense down once because it was out of control; and was our highest rebounder.
    I get where you’re coming from.
    However, “Let’s nitpick Troy” seems to have become a sport on the boards lately.
    Maybe I’m the only one, but I have seen growth from him since the conference season began.

  • Ole Man

    One, please do not use run-on sentences. It makes understanding your thought difficult.
    Next, I’m against starting OG because I think the way Tom has used him has greatly contributed to his confidence and growth.
    Never said to not play him.
    To critique is not to be negative.

  • Ole Man

    Yep; those refs ignored the elbow to TB’s face.
    And I’m concerned about OG.

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    Well said Ole ma

  • SCHoosier

    Troy isn’t going to get a call when he charges head down into 2 defenders who knew exactly what he was doing and where he was trying to go. Williams should be embarrassed that he’s only getting minutes in the mid-20’s because of his TO potential. With his talent..he should be doing 30 min minimum in the conference. Brilliant against OSU..bumbling first half against MN):

  • IUDan

    Ole Man I disagree – his play has been excellent but I worry about his demeanor – what if he retaliates and gets a t in the final minutes of a close game? Maybe he was winded or banged up – either of which can lead to poor play or poor decisions.

    If he can keep himself in check a little better I think he’ll earn the right to finish games out.

  • SCHoosier

    Agree..MN came out with a great defensive plan/energy (block the lanes and double team Thomas) It worked for a while..had Nick not found his shooting stroke..it might have worked for a win.

  • IUDan

    Absolutely – I will take any win at the Barn, any day!

  • SCHoosier

    Tough game to officiate with all the bodies on the floor..they let them play thru the scrums. IU could have been called for several reach in fouls on double teams. But 32 to 12..geez.

  • SCHoosier

    Thank you..he wastes so much energy crying about contact and being blocked. Hell its the B-10..and he hasn’t even faced a dominating center yet. At one point the floor mike picked up another player screaming at TB to “chill out” No coincidence TB was on the bench thru much of the second half crunch time. Needed Max’s stability in there.

  • SCHoosier

    I think it was part of the MN game plan to physically attack. IU’s three pt shooting was suspect…with JB out..Nick and RJ struggling. TB’s emotional issues are now well known..and we bring rookies off the bench. Plan worked for a while..and in the fist half IU helped them with TO’s. “Desperation” was a good description of the D MN played. Yogi took over the game in the second half…and the physical beating that went with it.

  • He definitely has the kind of ‘friends’ ya wanna hang with…lol.. I’d better be careful, my ‘Hoosier Hottie’ comment, on another post, got me chastised by a female blogger on here…lol..

  • Hahaha, you are absolutely right..
    So… you’re out there in Iowa country, are they showing any respect for our Hoosiers? I just home we can derail them when we meet them… especially the game in B’ton on Feb. 11th. Hopefully we’ll still be unbeaten by then, but the Hoosiers have a couple of really tough one’s (at Michigan and at Wisky), before then. I guess none of our remaining games are really ‘gimmies’… but hopefully we win the next two now at home.

  • Yes, I saw that.. But when watching, it just appeared everything especially in the first half, and even to an extent in the 2nd, it seemed the refs. were trying to keep Minny in it.. really some terrible whistles.. Maybe they were trying to imress the Senior Mr. Pitino. Or maybe Ricky promised them some of his daddy’s type of entertainment after the game for a ‘W’…

  • PBzeer

    The one thing I find a bit troubling is that once again, we kept it close and then let Yogi take over. Troubling, because it has to take a toll on him and how it can affect our mindset by becoming too reliant on it. While it’s a great Plan B, I would hope we can come up with a better Plan A.

  • I worry about that as well.. Course I worry about a lot of stuff.. i.e., I would’ve liked to have Bryant on the floor in the last 7 minutes.. (I imagine there was a reason for it, and it turned out ok, but still), and why do we seem to play so poorly in the first half, some team is going to bury us, before we can react… and why does Troy sometimes when we need some really good ‘D’ out of him.. he just stands there doesn’t even put his arms up to defend?.. why?, why?, why? And that isn’t supposed to sound, like ..Wa, wa, wa… Cause I’m not whining, I am so happy they’ve been turning out positively for the Hoosiers…… But, they have a lot of room to improve.. if they’re going to keep going..

  • That’s true, we always get annihilated up there by the refs and I expect no different the next time. Hopefully we’ll be hot and can overcome it.

  • mharv2631

    Not sure how to do that, but you can see it on ESPN web site.

  • Outoftheloop

    That is always Plan A for every good team playing away games within their conference if they are lucky enough to have a great PG: i.e. Indiana and MD!

  • Outoftheloop

    Nobody cheats or lies more, but he can recruit and coach.

  • Outoftheloop

    The old joke: there are 3 great days in Bloomington: 1) when Notre Dame loses in football, 2) when Kentucky loses in basketball, and 3) when Purdue loses in anything!

  • RDD#76

    I agree I never said start OG I said after the Duke game OG needs more minutes and you said why. Now on the Thomas issue when he got hit in the face inadvertently it looked like he fell funny maybe he tweaked something didn’t look like he was up cheering like he usually does from the bench.

  • Outoftheloop

    Come on Ole Man, when you lead by 4-8 points the entire second half it is NOT an escape! It is a tough road win! The rule on the road is get a lead and never let it get under 4! IU did that.

  • Outoftheloop

    Good point, but you can call him back before he steps on the court. OG was “on fire” at that point! Use that fire.

  • Chappy Dan

    I’d like for us to beat a top 25 team before we ourselves are ranked.

  • BL

    Pomeroy now has ND 25th.

  • Hoosier gal in Iowa

    Most of the folks I see daily at work are Cyclone fans. The Hawkeye fans haven’t really said anything to me one way or another. We’ll see how they do if they keep winning like this though…..

  • CreanFaithful

    Troy had 2 turnovers. While I share your concern with his consistency while initiating the offense, your comment exaggerates the point. Bench time probably helped him calm down a bit. Still need him to do his thing. Nothing new, need to slow down at times.

  • Ole Man

    Loop, IU didn’t lead by 4-8 points the entire second half.
    What game were you watching?

  • Ole Man

    Thanks!

  • IUMIKE1

    What pi$$ed me almost as much as the horrible officiating, was that TC wouldn’t get up get into them real hard about it.

  • IUMIKE1

    TC has got to learn to get up, and in no uncertain terms, let them know that he sees just how lopsided the calls were going and that they were going to hear it from him as long as it was remained that way. I know he says that it doesn’t do any good to do that, or get T’d up, but I just do not agree with that at all. Him just standing over there with his hands clasped behind his back while ” he listens ” instead of ripping, damn sure doesn’t change anything.

  • calbert40

    TB also overplayed the pick and roll a few times in the 2H that led to easy buckets underneath too. It isn’t as though Max was awful and TB world class down the stretch. I thought they both played well. For whatever reason, Crean went with Max down the stretch, and we won the game. Seems to me that he pushed the right buttons down the stretch.

  • IUMIKE1

    Probably should throw in a ” except ” there for Kensucky and Calislimy’s sake. I don’t see anybody topping them.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I was quite surprised when OG came back into the game in the final minute. He still might not play on Tuesday but at least he was able to come back in to close things out.

  • Outoftheloop

    I have the tape. Once IU got a 4 point lead, there were only seconds, not minutes, where the lead got to 3. Check it out. Give me the number of seconds you can count. Thought so!

  • Ole Man

    But the lead did get to three.
    Stop being a jerk.
    “Thought so.” Really???????????????