The Minute After: Kentucky

  • 03/19/2016 8:45 pm in

Thoughts on a 73-67 victory over the Wildcats:

Kentucky had the answers for Indiana.

The Wildcats’ length and athleticism made the Hoosiers uncomfortable on offense. They brilliantly denied Yogi Ferrell the ball on inbounds passes and let Troy Williams dribble as much as he pleased. We know how that goes.

Tyler Ulis looked like the first team All-American he is and won the opening rounds against Ferrell in decisive fashion. Indiana missed open 3s, never a good sign for the Hoosiers.

But this talented Kentucky team was not without faults. They were poor with the ball in the first 20 minutes (25.9 TO%) and outside of Ulis, they shot just 6-of-17. So after trailing by seven early, Indiana carried a one-point advantage into half in a low-scoring 33-32 affair.

Then Robert Johnson re-injured his ankle. OG Anunoby twisted his. Juwan Morgan’s shoulder was out of place once more.

Indiana was wounded, but not defeated. Broken down, but not dead.

The Hoosiers, as they have all season, just kept it going no matter who was on the floor. Ferrell came out for a breather before the under 8 timeout as Indiana trailed by one point, 48-47. Williams, for as infuriating as he was at times in this game — and boy was he ever  — converted a huge and-1 on a drive. Thomas Bryant followed it up right after with an and-1 on a move and score in the post. Ryan Burton grabbed a rebound on Kentucky’s end. Williams drove and found Anunoby on the left wing. The freshman drained a 3-pointer to put the Hoosiers up six (56-50) with 6:57 to go.

Just as they did at the end of the first half in their Big Ten-clinching win at Iowa, a group of Hoosiers without Ferrell on the floor extended the lead in a huge sequence.

When Ferrell re-entered the game, he went to work, hitting a tough pull-up jumper from the right wing to put the Hoosiers up eight with 5:27 to go. From there, Indiana never surrendered and held on for the victory over the final minutes of the game.

Ferrell’s senior story has dominated the IU landscape of late, but Bryant’s efficient post play all season has been incredible and it went a long way in this one to help Indiana emerge victorious. In a game the Hoosiers simply didn’t have it from deep (6-of-21),  Bryant’s 17 second half points were enormous. Indiana continued to feed its big man down the stretch and he delivered time and again. And when Indiana struggled to get the ball into Ferrell when Kentucky had to resort to fouling, Bryant hit 4-of-6 free throws in the final minute to help seal the deal.

Ferrell atoned for his first half performance and finished with a solid 18 points (6-of-13), five rebounds and four assists. Ulis was a brilliant 10-of-20 for 27 points, but he fouled Ferrell (and fouled out of the game) on Indiana’s final possession of the game. As Ferrell sunk both free throws to put the game away, Ulis sat on the bench with a towel on his head.

Kentucky was finished. Indiana rides onwards to the Sweet Sixteen. This special group of kids came up in a huge way against a great team. Heck of a performance. Heck of a win.

Filed to:

  • Smilinjayd

    My word for him is his “instinct”. It’s exceptional. Him picking off passes for dunks and layups only happens because he has that innate instinct of what’s about to happen. He’s truly a gift to this team and IU. Congratulations CTC, excellent job on adjustments and substitutions. Happy for you as much as you’ve had to bear. Yogi, couldn’t be more proud of your leadership, hard work and determination. This was a sweet week and win.

  • pcantidote

    He makes that “best ever” comment every year.

  • Smilinjayd

    The only team that can beat IU, is IU. When defense is not intense, corners are left open, and we dribble and dribble and dribble, we lose. This is a special team and since Jan. CTC has done a very good job and appears to have finally made the changes in his coaching style to sustain wins. I also feel that ridding the team of those involved in selfish activities has shown how they negatively affected the team. High character is much easier to coach. So much toughness from these young men. Play On! Beat UK and Turdue loses, makes for a great week…

  • Gary McIntosh

    Used to live in Charlotte myself. Now in Florida. Used to go to the Scoreboard on Monroe Road to watch IU games. I watched IU take down LSU and Shaq there.

  • BL

    Nice article Ryan. Love the line – Indiana was wounded, but not defeated. Broken down, but not dead.

  • BL

    Bingo!

  • BL

    It was a bad call. I don’t believe that’s a foul under the current rules.

  • ellisja

    BL, you mentioned Karma. I’ve been telling my IU grad friends that I sensed something special about this team. Carolina’s next and my son’s a grad., so I’ve seen the Heels play a lot here in NC. They’re scary, but Friday will be our day in Philly.

  • Missing Moye

    It was nice seeing him play pretty well. I wish Butler could have pulled that game out.

  • dwdkc

    Someone complained on the Forum game thread when he came in. I think we have to realize we are short-handed, and the coaches trust him. They know what they are doing. He won’t turn the ball over but will be in the right spot.

  • dwdkc

    We have 6 days before our next game, thank g*d. Might be enough to get a 90% Rob that can keep bringing that sweet 3 point stroke.

  • dwdkc

    11. Last 2 FTs…..”ONIONS!!!”

  • MK

    Name me ten better players u would rather have then OG

  • MK

    You can’t measure Thomas’s heart and love for IU. Amazing kid

  • todd

    This is the sweetest win I can remember in a long time. I love when POSITIVITY overcomes Hoosier nation! Consider; OG blocked 3, but, two of those were 3 point blocks! This is rare and very telling about his abilities. Why? Because 3 point shooters have subconscious calculations that tell them how much time they have to get their shot away based on the defensive spacing. It’s a refined skill from years of playing and shooting. Rarely are the calculations wrong. OG has longer arms, perfectly attuned timing, legs like a gazelle, and reflexes that are quite frankly the sharpest on the floor. He disrupts the calculations because he is an anomaly in the game. There is no other explanation for his two outside blocks tonight. Most all shooters would have missed their calculations and figured he was clear and in the safe zone. Uh-uh!

  • Eljay

    “Ana-nooby”?…

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Great analysis. I was simply too jacked up to recognize how we were defending the pick and roll. Generally, I was amazed at Murray’s shot selection. Turn around jumpers, long range threes……I will give them that all day. Great defense. Anyone that OG guards is just shut down.

  • BL

    Awesome you’re feel in it down on T Row. Go Hoosiers!

  • Hoosier89

    I don’t think the move was bad at all. We need penetration and Troy is the only player other than Yogi that can do it. The problem was Troy was making awful decisions with the ball when he got into the paint.

  • BL

    Hoping he just tweaked it and can hang in there. He’s another big weapon.

  • tate14

    Has anyone heard what time the Hoosiers play Friday?

  • True. I’ve seen them play a few times. They are a horrible shooting team. But, they’re also pretty big and athletic. I think we can beat them if we’re healthy, but it won’t be easy.

  • I was surprised Niego didn’t come in at that point. I wonder why he didn’t play, but Burton did.

  • RJ can take it inside, too.

  • cheering for kentucky so that the coach will be fired.

  • Bill Russell

  • Great points. Also, if I remember correctly, at least one of those blocks was against Murray, one of the most highly touted freshman in his class…unlike OG. This was a big time statement made by OG, for the second straight game, on the biggest stage possible. He’s going to make us great next year. Freshmen generally aren’t stand-out defenders. He should be spectacular next year.

  • IUMIKE1

    OG had more blocks than Kensucky did as a team.

  • IUMIKE1

    OG aka ” The Eraser “

  • IUMIKE1

    Exactly, OG aka The Eraser, had more blocks by himself than Kensucky did as a team.

  • IUMIKE1

    Bet he’s still burping leather.

  • IUMIKE1

    Better yet, can you imagine a frontcourt of TB, DD AND The Eraser (OG) and with CH and JM coming off the bench.

  • AZMBNZ

    Bleacher report is listing 1PM EST.

  • AZMBNZ

    So easy because the Crean haters were completely unwarranted and illogical. Easy now because stupid then.

  • AZMBNZ

    The eraser…lol and the bear.

  • Ben thorne

    Then I am stupid. I was not calling for his job, but was disappointed with the product and effort that was on the floor early in the season.

  • Ole Man

    Very true, Clyde. Will take IU’s best game of the year. But it can be done.

  • AZMBNZ

    Well that was off, sorry! Its 10pm now, crazy late.