Around the Hall: National reaction to IU’s win over Kansas

  • 11/13/2016 10:55 am in

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

Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com writes that Indiana and Kansas helped open the college hoops season in style:

It was particularly fun for the Hoosiers. For Tom Crean’s team, Friday night wasn’t just proof of its own abilities, or its potential for the next five months; it was a marquee success in its own right. There’s a reason the Hoosiers threw the ball into the rafters and ran into each others’ arms when the final buzzer sounded: There are few better ways to guarantee your participation in the NCAA tournament than to notch a win over a team that has won the past 12 Big 12 titles.

Forget that it’s November. For years now the NCAA tournament selection committee has made a concerted effort to reward teams for their major victories no matter how early or late they come in the season. Seeing as it has been seven years since KU was anything but a No. 1 or No. 2 seed (and have never been seeded worse than No. 4 under Bill Self), you can pretty much guarantee that Kansas will be good — and that Friday night’s win will be a major argument in whatever high-single-digit-seed case the Hoosiers are themselves planning on making come March.

Rob Dauster of NBCSports.com writes that he underestimated Indiana going into the season:

To be frank, I can already tell that I totally underestimated this Indiana team heading into the season. I did not expect their guards to be as good as they were tonight. They are still lethal in transition, they still have plenty of shooters up and down their lineup and, even without Yogi Ferrell, there are enough playmakers on the roster that they’ll be OK.

Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports writes that James Blackmon Jr.’s return makes Indiana a better team:

Seeing Blackmon make such a big impact was a mild surprise considering he’s still barely 10 months removed from ACL surgery — his third major knee injury in recent years. He appeared to have fully regained his previous quickness off the dribble, which complements his feathery shooting stroke.

While Blackmon will still never be mistaken for a defensive stopper, his strengths are more valuable to this year’s Indiana team and his weaknesses are easier to hide.

The presence of versatile defenders O.G. Anunoby, Juwan Morgan and Freddie McSwain gives Indiana coach Tom Crean plenty of options to deploy against opponents’ top scorers. By contrast, with Yogi Ferrell having graduated and Troy Williams having entered the NBA draft, Crean needs a prolific perimeter scorer like Blackmon who is capable of spacing the floor and creating his own shot.

Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com on IU’s offense: “It’s just a clinic”

Offense? It’s already there and poised to be among the most fluid and beautiful in college hoops this year. IU’s ball movement, it’s just a clinic. Tom Crean has all of his players moving constantly, almost anyone on the floor can take shots from mid-range and beyond — and a lot of them want to take big-boy shots.

The positionless scheme works with this personnel. Crean has something with a lot of potential here. Thomas Bryant — a big man! — was stepping out and cashing buckets from deep. The Hoosiers won this game thanks to 15-of-31 shooting from 3-point range. An incredible clip against a top-three team and it being the opening game of the season in a faraway spot.

(Photo credit: Darryl Oumi/Getty Images North America)

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  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Vicbert, What are you doing with all the upfront money from your new NBA contract?? No injuries in IU’s next bball game,,,Please! Take care Vicbert. Quite a weekend for IU bball.

  • ODhoosier

    You can watch the replay online @espn3 under threat replay tab

  • HardRockHoosier

    I agree with your assessment. If the refs are calling them that close, you either don’t crowd you man on defense or you foul out. I thought in some cases we may have been able to guard them a little closer, but hey Kansas is good.. They’ve got some very good athletes as well. I’ve watched the game three times and really thought we played defense against them about as well as the refs would allow, most of the time.

  • chris

    I saw U of L in person on Friday night…I wish we had them this week…cuz they looked pretty sloppy on offense,

  • millzy32

    Pretty sure we would have taken him. He chose elsewhere. Team looked good Friday. Would have been nice to add a 5 star next year since 3 top players are most likely gone after this season. On to Preston I guess. I’m hoping this season is so good I don’t care what we do next season.

  • IUowns

    The full game is on YouTube. I don’t know if we are allowed to share links here but I think you should be able to find it if you try for more than 2 minutes!

  • IUowns

    UNC at home, with this team an the crowd at AH should be a win. so should Butler. Louisville would be a challenge but its not till more than a month. Lets focus on the current games and enjoy this ride!

  • I think there needs to be a distinction made between “predicting” a championship, and when people (like myself) say that IU is fully capable and strong enough a team to win it. Seems like a lot of people conflate the two. I agree that IU has what is needed to win a national championship, not simply the conference. That does not mean I’m saying it is guaranteed, which would obviously be ridiculous. Too many variables and unknowns, to say nothing about a lot of other good teams. It only says IU is really good and has a really good chance and fans should be super excited about this team. There is a difference between saying they belong in the final four, and saying that it is a done deal. If that makes any sense.

  • Yeah, I’ve never really been a fan. I do wish their coach all the luck in the world. But they’re not very interesting in my opinion. I guess I hope Wilkes lots of luck too, no bad feelings. Disappointing, but hardly the end of the world.

  • good points

  • I rewatched the game and thought the exact same thing last night. It was almost exclusively IU players who were slipping. Someone needs to seriously investigate into this. Were they new shoes that maybe has some sort of film on the bottoms? Managers need to clean the bottoms of shoes before games and make sure nobody is tampering somehow. If it was only the flooring, the other team would have fallen to the ground just as much. And that didn’t happen. It accounted for at least 5 IU turnovers. That’s huge…to say nothing about possible injuries. It was really strange and it happened way too often to only one team.

  • RJ slipped a few times, too. Might have been another, too.

  • Yep. I did the same last night and was really struck by the degree to which the officials helped keep KU in the game. There was no reason for it, just bad call after bad call. Some were made in the opposite direction, but really only as make-ups for crap calls against IU. Mainly with Mason getting the Hayes treatment.

  • adam

    we shot 31 times from outside the arc and made 15 of them. im not saying that is a good or bad thing. (percentage wise, fantastic) but i would allow that it is relying on the outside shot, at least in this game.

  • adam

    as far as team athleticism goes we have it in spades this year. 12-13 was a bit more modest in that department.

  • Watched the game again, everyone was slipping all over the place, just not as obviously as OG. The commentators said the floor is new, so I think that was the problem.

  • Yep, and this time, the kids managed to overcome it and pull out the win. So, that’s different.

  • KU was getting away with mauling our guys when they drove, for one thing. Otherwise, the offense was definitely rough against KU, no doubt about it. I do think most of the threes were good shots in rhythm–although, sure, some were poor shots taken too quickly, but then again some open looks outside were passed up for drives that were stuffed.

    So, I don’t know if it was “relying” on the three. Not arguing, just really thinking about it. That’s something that will definitely need more games to evaluate. When you field a team where all five players on the court are legitimate three-point shooters, isn’t it just natural that they’re going to take a lot of outside shots?

  • I hope so, so it shouldn’t happen again. Watching it again, I was really struck by how often it happened. Lucky nobody got hurt.

  • Dyerhoosier

    Thanks! I will search for it

  • Snowdizzle

    I was looking at the new rankings and we even got one first-place vote!

  • Mikie d

    I wouldn’t go as far as to say the offense is fluid and beautiful. I seem to recall seeing a lot of standing around and one pass shots. I loved the win and was going bonkers, but I don’t think that is going to fly in the Big Ten season where if you live by the three you usually die by it.

    Love the confidence, that will go a long way. need more defense from OG, Bryant can’t foul out and also live by the three. Need the big man going the distance and contributing inside first.

  • david r

    This is gonna be another fun year. Not so much for our opponents. How about Curtis Jones! Not bad for his 1st game. Impressive.