Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Chattanooga

  • 03/18/2016 12:20 am in

DES MOINES, Iowa – Indiana advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a 99-74 blowout win over Chattanooga on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena.

The win sets up a Saturday matchup between the fifth-seeded Hoosiers and No. 4 seed Kentucky. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Mocs:

· Ferrell commands the floor on the big stage: As hard as it is to believe, Thursday’s 20-point, 10-assist performance from Yogi Ferrell was his first career double-double in an Indiana uniform.

“Amazing, every time I watch Yogi, I just get amazed,” freshman Juwan Morgan said postgame of the performance. “The stepbacks he does, the passes he makes, how he finds and see defenses, it just amazes me.”

Ferrell did a little bit of everything in IU’s win.

He hit six of his 13 shots from the field, including 4-of-7 from behind the 3-point line and also hit all four of his free throw attempts. He committed just two turnovers in 36 minutes.

“He was really focused in tonight,” Max Bielfeldt said. “He and all of the other seniors, we really want this. It’s our last go round, so you’ve got to make the most of it. He did an incredible job with film study and seeing what was there and just executing.”

· Freshmen shine in NCAA tournament debuts: If Indiana’s three freshmen were nervous in their first NCAA tournament appearances, it didn’t show on the floor.

OG Anunoby made an impact early with a steal and a 360-dunk on a fast break. Thomas Bryant had two early fouls, but settled down and was once again efficient in finishing plays at the rim. And Juwan Morgan once again did the little things – he had two blocks and two steals – and showed no signs of being held back by his left shoulder injuries.

Both Anunoby (14 points) and Bryant (13 points) were major reasons why the Hoosiers shot an efficient 27-of-41 on 2-point field goals.

“They played with a lot of confidence,” Ferrell said. “That was the main thing I told them, ‘don’t go out there and play timid. Play free, confident and go onto the next play if it’s a bad play that happens.’

“I feel like they’ve stepped up all season. They’re not freshman anymore. They’re veterans just like everybody else on this team. They’ve played like that all year.”

· A healthy Johnson at the right time: Indiana’s decision to be cautious with the return of Robert Johnson from a high ankle sprain and a bone bruise in his foot was the correct one.

The sophomore guard looked fresh and was a major contributor on Thursday. He finished with seven points, six assists and no turnovers and more importantly, appeared to be close to or at 100 percent.

Moving forward, having Johnson at or near full strength could be a significant factor for the Hoosiers.

“It was very important (to get him back),” Bryant said. “We were really happy to have him back. He’s a defensive threat, a pure shooter, is always talking and always wants us to get better. He’s a downright dog out there.”

· Defensive concerns: If there was a downside to Indiana’s performance against Chattanooga, it was the defense.

The Hoosiers allowed the Mocs to score 1.03 points per possession, which qualifies as a below average defensive performance for this group.

Indiana allowed far too much dribble penetration against the Mocs, which is something that will need to be cleaned up prior to Saturday’s showdown with No. 4 seed Kentucky.

· Indiana, Kentucky wins sets up terrific Saturday theater: If the NCAA tournament selection committee was aiming for a Saturday showdown between two of the greatest programs in the history of the sport, they got their wish.

After the Hoosiers dismantled the Mocs and the Wildcats crushed Stony Brook, the matchup is set. Indiana and Kentucky will play for the first time since 2012, when the Wildcats beat the Hoosiers 102-90 in the Sweet 16 in Atlanta.

We all know the history since then between the two programs and their inability to work out an agreement to continue a storied rivalry. But by virtue of the selection committee under-seeding both teams, they’ll play arguably the most intriguing matchup of the opening weekend of the tournament.

(Photo credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)

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  • And TW has typically responded well after either bad performances (MSU) or being benched for significant minutes in a game. I think he got his lesson yesterday and should be primed for tomorrow.

  • Oh, man, great point. It’s scary to imagine if MB had started out at IU. One of the great stories so far this season.


    Be glad you don’t live in southern IN, I say that because you sound a little bit surprised by what happened and those of us that do live there are never surprised by anything a pUKe fan does or says. Just another day in the life of a pUKe fan. If someone had asked him, in a serious way, if he thought he went over the line, even just a little bit, he would go on another rampage defending himself and trashing the person asking the question…..CAUSE WE’RE THE CATS !! Their number on the EPA’s toxic waste site clean ups can’t make it to the top quick enough.

  • Ole Man



    Guess I was preaching to the choir then, wasn’t I ? lol At times it almost seems like those of us that live in southern IN and put up with all of the stupid stuff they say and do should get some kind of badge or something. lol

  • Well, then, let’s just hope the kids come to play. I do NOT want to come here after a UK loss and have to explain it away due to officiating. This team deserves so much better.

  • I’m nervous as hell, which is a good sign. The more nervous I am, the bigger the win, or so it seems. But you need to define “bad shooting night” in the context of this team. Yes, we shot lights out yesterday, but that was the result of great ball movement and transition offense resulting in wide open shots. It wasn’t simply a hot night of shooting. And even if we shoot a more average (for this team) percentage, we still win by 10+.

    I’m not saying we can beat UK by shooting 30% or somesuch, but I don’t think we have to shoot 60%+ to win. I’m far more worried about turnovers and pick/roll defense but still staying on perimeter shooters. If those two are good, then I’m relatively confident.

    And ultimately, I think that Yogi has a will to win that’s unprecedented at IU for some time. And the way he’s leading this team and picking apart defenses can tip us over the edge against the best teams.

    Did I mention how nervous I am?

  • Sandra Wilson

    Hammonds developed a great deal over the 4 years and could have easily left last year and decided to stay…..There has been far more to developing him than just basketball…..From his high school years until the present, his improvement (both b-ball and mental state) was far greater than Zeller’s…..If you saw Zeller play his first game at I.U. and his last, I doubt you could say there was great improvement…..His progress was non-existent against Syracuse (his last game)….Much of Hammond’s problem yesterday was the lack of point guard play and poor execution of coaching strategy…..I’m not a Purdue fan, but I don’t hate them either…..If you actually think that Zeller , Vonleh, and Perea were stellar I.U. achievements, then I’m sure nothing I can say will change your mind about Hammonds…..Try not to look at everything through Cream and Crimson glasses….Also, to BL above, Painter probably deserved a great deal of blame for yesterday’s pathetic performance (and I’m sure he’s getting it), just as Crean would have received…..I’m still trying to figure no timeout call with 6 seconds to go in regulation……You want the money, you take the blame !

  • IULore


  • vicbert caladipo

    Hopefully the officials have grown tired of calacheaters constant whining and crying. He cries more than a contestant on American idol. Cries at the refs, cries at the selection committee, cries about his seed, his location, cries about there being a rule against having someone smart take your players tests. I think one thing CTC has been really good at this year is realizing how the game is being called and adjusting. I will take the officiating we had in the second half. I think we’ll know early on how it will go. I’m guessing TW does a lot of moving and penetrating early to feel the D out. Not sure what game it was, but I remember the refs were calling it tight and to open up the second half Troy penetrated the D 4-5 straight possessions and I think he got to the line four of them. This will be a donnybrook.

  • IULore

    1. Zeller did improve! 2. Voleh was here one year. 3. Perea did improve, his off the court antics and injuries hurt him. Face it! IU has a great track record of developing players under Crean. Hammons would be a much more diverse and skillful player at IU, he definitely wouldn’t get away with mailing it in like he did at Purdue.

  • vicbert caladipo

    The office pool is going quite well for me. 4-0 first round. 13-3 second round…so far. 1-0 today and I’ve got Hawaii in another upset of the greatly over-rated Pac-12 which is 1-3 so far. Didn’t pick It but wouldn’t be surprised if Oregon is the first #1 to go down to a 16. Tell Bill Walton and the California committee that the Pac-12 ain’t so good.

  • BL

    See PSU and Michigan; I believe 20% and 15% from three, respectively.

  • Yes, that would be devastating. Although if I’m not mistaken, ball movement and transition were the two things missing in those games. So if we’re stagnant on offense generally, we lose, in addition to turnovers and pick/roll defense. Dammit.

  • calbert40

    Good point, though I’d argue that IU football fans do NOT have high expectations.

  • calbert40

    It will be interesting to see how those schools handle the situation. IU bungled it, and it set us back a decade. UNC did fine…until they hired Doherty. The common thread for both was hiring from within. While the IU situation was very different, I still think if we had gone out and hired a coach that was on par with our program, we may have not dealt with some of the things we did in the last 10 years.

    I think hiring from within is a mistake. Duke, UNC, UL and to a lesser extent SU should be able to hire nearly whomever they want. Hiring the loyal assistant coach seems noble, but it typically is not great for your program’s longterm success.

    Note: Of course, there are exceptions to the rule – Tom Izzo.

  • Honestly, not sure how you can compare one- and two-year players to a four-year player. Particularly when the two-year player, Zeller, was already at lottery pick level by year two. I don’t really think much about HMP in general, so can’t comment there. But unless you’re just pointing to developing big men, then I don’t think you can discount CTC’s player development. VO is just one example of excellent player development–from raw talent to #2 pick in three years can’t be ignored. And there are many other examples.

  • Dereck Johnson

    I agree & I’m a lil surprised at your optimism lol. I thought his defensive rebounding was huge. Although it makes me very nervous. I noticed how dangerous they can be, when Troy gets the rebound & pushes the tempo. Yogi gets a lot better looks & it allows them to spread the court with 4 shooters. I believe that’s what CTC sees as well. It just puts so much pressure on the D, when he makes the smart play.

  • Dereck Johnson

    There’s no way he’s taller than 6’0″, but Yogi’s prob 5’10” at best. I hope the Spurs or GSW pick him up in the 1st round.

  • BL

    Your correct in noting bad shooting can result from not playing the right way. That hasn’t happened yet in a big game and I don’t believe it will happen against UK. However, the point of this thread was, I’ll support Coach and this team no matter what.

    Btw, I was wondering when Valentine was going to go cold. Bad timing for MSU; especially with Forbes cold as well.

  • BL

    Optimism based on the fact that TW came up big in the biggest games down the stretch following the MSU game. Counting on him to continue his trend. ?

  • bleeding crimson

    What do you get with 32 PukE fans?………
    A full set of teeth.

  • bleeding crimson

    I hope you’re right on. He does seem to collect himself after such events. TW has to play and has to be under control for us to win. I almost think sometimes he is still going for the highlight reel when he can just dish off instead of driving the land when you have more than 2 def’ers. But on the other hand We have all seen him do some remarkable moves that totally defy gravity.
    So it’s give and take with him. I hope he is not too concerned about making a statement to up his stock in the NBA….there are so many good players this year and I don’t see him in the 1st round and well as TB…no disrespect at all on our players and talent that they bring each and every night.
    Go Hoosiers.


    Gotta love jokes like these !!

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Well… maybe. The cross section I’m exposed to have unrealistically high ones (Wilson should’ve been challenging OSU and Michigan for conference dominance by now? For real??…). But I admit, I don’t pretend that’s the entire fanbase.

  • Oops, then I completely missed the thread’s point, and agree: this has been a great season, these are great kids, and I already consider this season a success. But man, do I want to beat KY.