The Minute After: Chattanooga

  • 03/17/2016 10:13 pm in

Thoughts on a 99-74 win over the Mocs:

Save for some dumb passes and allowing a little too much penetration at times, the Hoosiers played a solid enough first half in Des Moines against the Mocs. Was it their best half of the season? No.

But punching the lead out to 16 (46-30) before settling on a nine-point halftime advantage (46-37) was an encouraging sign after their loss to Michigan on Friday in the Big Ten Tournament. Scoring 1.27 points per possession with 24 points in the paint and a 4-of-8 mark from distance did the trick, too. Still, you didn’t quite feel like Indiana was in full control of this one. The Mocs — with 29 wins coming into the contest including some impressive road wins — didn’t look like a team that was going to roll over and die.

Indiana would need to keep it going and then some if it was looking for a comfortable victory. And that the Hoosiers certainly did.

Yogi Ferrell gathered his teammates for a spirited huddle as the second half began and his play over the final 20 minutes was that of a man on a mission. Ferrell hit 4-of-6 from the field — including three from 3-point range as well as a filthy step back long 2 — for 13 points. Indiana’s senior leader also dished out six assists after the break and finished with 20 points and 10 assists — his first 20-10 game of his illustrious career.

His play led Indiana to an absolute throat-stomping of the Mocs as a cast of characters got involved in the 25-point slaughter. Freshman OG Anunoby (14 points, 6-of-7) had 10 points in 15 second half minutes including two triples and a second breakaway steal and 360 finish after a fun one in the first half. Troy Williams was in get mine mode for much of the contest (as Tom Crean told him otherwise) and played just nine minutes in the second half. He finished with a team-high four turnovers due to overdribbling, though he also sported a team-high eight rebounds and chipped in 12 points to boot.

This was Anunoby’s second straight game scoring double digits after his 13-point performance against Michigan on Friday and he’s now 12-of-13 over Indiana’s last two contests. The freshman also continues to bring stellar defense. It’ll be interesting to see how Crean distributes minutes between the two on Saturday — regardless of how Williams plays. Anunoby has simply been to good to keep on the bench for long.

Thomas Bryant, forced to the bench with two early fouls, was a perfect 4-of-4 (nine points) from the field in 10 minutes of action after the break. Robert Johnson was a perfect 2-of-2 to go along with two assists. Johnson didn’t start the contest, but played 22 minutes, scored seven points and dished out six assists. He seems ready to step back into the starting lineup Saturday if need be based on how he was moving and playing tonight.

As the dust settled on the second half, the Hoosiers put up some silly numbers. They shot 69 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from 3-point land for an effective field goal percentage of 73.7. By game’s end they’d amassed 1.38 points per possession and left little doubt who the better team was.

The road gets much harder from here if Kentucky wins later tonight, but this evening’s performance was about as good of a start to the tournament as Indiana could have hoped for. When the Hoosiers’ offense goes this well, they’re a tough out.

Bring something close to this Saturday and a third trip to the Sweet Sixteen in the Crean tenure is well within Indiana’s sights.

(Photo credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)

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  • mharv2631

    OG wan Kanobi

  • TomJameson

    I was worried about all the injuries, but it looks like we’ll have just about everybody back at 100%, or very close to it. That is really cool!

  • TomJameson

    One game at a time…. one at a time. LOL

  • TomJameson

    I “hear” quite a few people say that they don’t think UK is great, but I believe you’re right in that they are peaking right now, and are playing some of their best BB of the season. Their 2nd half was pretty good last night. THIS is the game I really want to win, along with 4 after that of course, but this is the one that will be talked about for awhile.

  • TomJameson

    How about the one where TB was going for the rebound and actually was pushed from behind … that was a 2-handed push in the back that sent him flying off the court and on the ground. Horrible no-call!

  • BL

    I didn’t tape the game so I can’t review his form but my memory is, it’s pretty darn good. Can’t really opine on the Gasol comparison.

    I went back and looked at his FT shooting in the BIG because I thought he got off to a good start; similar to JM. Sure enough, first eight games he took a FT he went 14 for 18 (78%). In the last six games (including Michigan) he went 3 for 12 (25%). Because he plays very few minutes (btw, shocked when I realized he only played 15 minutes last night), he probably only averages taking a couple FT’s per game so it’s pretty tough to get in a rhythm, and I think it’s fairly obvious it’s gotten into his head. Needs to shoot a ton in practice and get back on track because you just know he’s going to be on the line in some crucial moments. Also, he’ll be going to the line a ton when he becomes more of a go-to player on the offensive end.

  • TomJameson

    If you think that was bad, just wait for the UK game. UK has ALWAYS been “protected” by the officiating. It doesn’t matter who they play either, but of course, we see it more clearly when it’s against IU. lol

  • BL

    Yeah, we’re going to need TB to come up big and stay out of foul trouble, and TW needs to bring his PU game. Honestly don’t know how Coach will defend Murray but that’s clearly a key as well as defensive rebounding (TW did that really well against Chatt).

  • IULore

    His form doesn’t look bad, but when you have arms that long (7’6″ wingspan) you can’t use the same form as a guard. Gasol packs his arm straight under the ball and guides with his left, leaving less movement. The less parts that are moving in a free throw form, typically the more accurate.

  • BL

    I think NZ could take Briscoe at times; sag him, he shoots under 20% from three.

  • IULore

    Their first 3 was a blatant shove to get open.

  • IULore

    I think you are right about that. I’d also like to see OG JW and TB on the floor at the same time some, maybe also that 5 forward line up we used against Maryland.

  • BL

    Makes sense and I can now picture Gasol shooting.

  • TomJameson

    TB and foul trouble … right … the way the zebras traditionally take care of UK, I wouldn’t be surprised to see TB get 2 fouls in the first 3 minutes … and for minimal contact touch fouls … the kind that don’t get called against UK.

  • BL

    Yeah, a real luxury when we have all our guys; fingers crossed RJ’s ankle doesn’t regress after playing.

  • BL

    Exactly.

  • BL

    Personally, I’d just like to see the refs let both clubs play. Funny, when I played, we never had any problem playing intense off season pick-up games without refs. If you fouled, you called it. Guys that didn’t call their own fouls eventually got ridiculed to the point where they changed their behavior.

  • Koko

    Try passionflower it works well for me.

  • ForeverIU

    Oh Koko you are so zen and radical. LOL.

  • Koko

    I don’t see that. If there was regression I would think it would have been towards the end of the game yet he was still in. Plus saw a shot of him and a couple other players watching the KY game. RJ looked fine and was munching on a salad.
    All is good.

  • Koko

    This is what games like these are about. Really good players on each side. Who is going to step up? I like our chances….I’m feeling a win over KY on Saturday.

  • Koko

    I like that….zen and radical….very accurate description.

  • SoCal Hoosier

    Or the fast break where Yogi fed him perfectly in stride, got pushed from behind and missed the layup but fortunately TW had the put-back. Or the post feed in the second half where TB is double-teamed, one guy flops trying to take a charge even though TB didn’t move, and then Tuoyo just flat shoves him but he holds his pivot foot and makes a little 2-footer. We got points both times but those fouls add up too if they get called.

  • SoCal Hoosier

    Count on it. Betting IU gets hit for somewhere around 10-15 more fouls than UK tomorrow

  • SoCal Hoosier

    “Anooby with the dunk on a great pass from Fur-relle!” Can we just have Fisch do the TV games please?