Around the Hall: Reaction to Indiana’s win over Kentucky

  • 03/20/2016 11:53 am in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.

· Tom Crean, one of the famously intense grinders in college basketball, wanted to enjoy the victory postgame, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports writes:

Tom Crean had just come down from the interview podium after describing how Indiana eliminated Kentucky from the NCAA tournament Saturday when he was accosted by his frazzled sports information director, J.D. Campbell.

Campbell debriefed Crean on several obligations, all of it sounding terribly urgent. And that’s when Crean, one of the most famously intense grinders in college basketball, looked at Campbell and laughed.

“J.D., lighten up,” Crean said. “You’ve got to enjoy it, man!”

· A battered, shorthanded Indiana team battled its way past Kentucky, Rick Bozich of writes:

Robert Johnson out with a re-injured left ankle after he made a pair of three-point shots. Juwan Morgan out after separating his left shoulder for the third time in a month. OG Anunoby to the bench, limping after scrambling for a rebound. They were all tucked on the bench next to James Blackmon, the team’s second-leading scorer who has been missing since December.

John Calipari sent a Jordan Brand all-American into the game. Tom Crean summoned Ryan Burton, a walk-on transfer who did not average 10 points at Bellarmine.

The Hoosiers had coughed up every inch a six-point lead in the second half. In fact, Kentucky went from six points behind to one-point ahead in less than four minutes.

· Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated has the “Book of Yogi” following IU’s big win over UK:

The transformative moment against Kentucky, and one that augured well for Indiana from here out, arrived with 8:40 to play. Crean subbed for Ferrell after he committed his second foul, looking to steal some rest for his indispensable leader during the imminent under-eight-minute media timeout. When that break arrived, the score was tied 50–50. The first team to stop crawling across broken glass to find anything resembling one or two decent offensive looks was probably going to take firm control.

And when the huddle broke, and Indiana’s five players took the floor, Ferrell was still on the bench.

On the first Indiana possession following the break, the Hoosiers fed 6’10” freshman Thomas Bryant, who converted a three-point play. On the next trip, freshman OG Anunoby drained a three-pointer from the wing. Kentucky coach John Calipari sensed the seismic momentum shift and called a timeout with Indiana suddenly surging and the Hoosiers fans in full throat. While his teammates celebrated the spurt, Ferrell trotted stone-faced to the scorer’s table to check back in.

· Indiana was tougher than Kentucky, Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star writes:

What Tom Crean has built this season and unleashed Saturday on a bigger, quicker, more athletic Kentucky team is a team straight out of Bob Knight. Indiana is a feral team, with senior guard Yogi Ferrell licking the blood from his lower lip and attacking SEC Defensive Player of the Year Tyler Ulis. It is a physical team, with 6-4 Nick Zeisloft ripping a rebound from 6-9 Marcus Lee’s hands and passing it to Troy Williams before falling out of bounds and onto a photographer.

· Crean should be coach of the year and even John Calipari knows it, Reid Forgrave of Fox Sports writes:

For anyone who didn’t think Indiana’s Tom Crean deserves to win every coach of the year award there is this season, Saturday’s statement win over dangerous 4-seed Kentucky was just one more piece of evidence for what should at this point be a pretty obvious argument.

Indiana 73, Kentucky 67. A ticket to the Sweet 16. The biggest win for this blueblood program since the 2002 Final Four.

· Kentucky couldn’t give Tyler Ulis enough help for the Wildcats to get past Indiana writes Eric Crawford of

It’s tough to tell whether this was just an off day, or if the late-season surge by the University of Kentucky basketball program was just the product of friendly environs and weak opponents, or if Indiana was just better than many of the teams the Wildcats had faced this season.

Maybe it was all of the above.

Regardless, this isn’t the kind of one-and-done Kentucky is known for. When the Wildcats faced Indiana in the NCAA’s Round of 32 on Saturday afternoon, the front line — as has been known to happen on occasion — didn’t show up.

Filed to:

  • Good read, thanks.

  • BT

    I don’t think you can overestimate how big it was to six points with Ferrell on the bench getting a blow in the 2nd. Turning point.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    It is a win and moment that my family and I will remember always in our lifetime. I can’t explain it clearer than that.

  • Uncle Kerfuffle

    FWIW, I believe that CTC has markedly grown as a coach this year; the proof is in the pudding. I would love to know the specific dynamics that brought this about this transition.

    My dad always told me that when things are going wrong figure out why and stop doing what you’re doing. If things are going well figure out why and keep doing what you’re doing.

    Regardless of what the catalyst was, keep doing what you’re doing, Coach.

    Proud of you, your staff and our Hoosiers.

  • Kevin

    Great stuf.
    What a great game. They played so well. The way they fought through the injuries was impressive.

  • ForeverIU

    Crean wants someone else to “lighten up”? LOOOOL. It’s what I’ve been calling for all along. Dude needs to “lighten up” himself. Finally!

  • Lance76

    Bench is starting to look like the “walking wounded” Hope we are healthy enough to bring down UNC on Friday. This team is great, not just because they are winning. They are playing team ball and holding each other accountable.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    ah yes, great stuff! been waiting to read these types of comments for a long time. and now a couple comments of my own…

    we knocked off one cheater, now on to the next! hoosier nation deserved that victory on saturday. hoosier nation deserves another one this friday.

  • IURob1997

    I think one of the biggest things on defense especially is we just seem to be playing more simple concepts but much better at them. I felt like previous years and even the very beginning of this season CTC wanted to do too much and be too fancy on defense with changes and stuff. Now it’s just let’s be simple and play solid defense. Of course guys like OG and Juwan developing has helped too immensely.

  • pcantidote

    I think somewhere along the way he realized that he had to calm down, simplify and quit running the kids into the ground.

  • Fifer39

    That Zeisloft rebound summed up both the game and the last 3 months for me – we ain’t quitting!

  • What he said.

  • bleeding crimson

    Alex, I love how you gather all of the different information and give it to us crazy fans.
    I was listening to Coach slim ball and he had the most pathetic excuses I’ve ever heard for a post game presser. He still praised his team for their performance and almost blamed the seeding as well as just as many other excuses. He did finally give credit to CTC for his team’s performance and his coaching, but he still had to put in at the end of the presser that he had the #1 class coming in next year and said “surprise” . He is a total disgrace for College BB and his arrogance about himself. He is just the biggest slim ball in College BB.

  • Fifer39

    Sounds like a pretty good coaching philosophy to me.

  • Adrian Bachnivsky

    Something the media, unsurprisingly, is ignoring is that two of the Naismith finalists are OUT of the tournament, one of who was beaten by Yogi Ferrell head-to-head. Valentine and Ulis can win all the individual awards they want, the Hoosiers have their eyes on a bigger prize.

  • TomJameson

    A lot of that “being fancy” was Crean just trying to get something to work at all last year. The perfect example of that is the switching from man to zone during the possession. He’s never done that before last year. I remember a statement he made once about some of those things were put in just to try to stop the bleeding.

    This year the defense got better because the players finally bought into what the coach was selling. At least that’s what the players have been saying.

    I also think that CTC has been learning and growing all along, but this season has been so spectacular that the “good coach” is a lot more obvious.

    Just an opinion.