Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Iowa

  • 03/09/2017 10:46 pm in

WASHINGTON – Indiana won for the third time in its last four games on Thursday night with a convincing rout of Iowa. The Hoosiers easily dispatched of the Hawkeyes, 95-73, to set up a Friday quarterfinal matchup against Wisconsin.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over Iowa:

· A second half offensive explosion: Through 20 minutes, it appeared Indiana would be locked into a battle with another team fighting for its postseason life in Iowa.

Instead, the Hoosiers crushed any NCAA tournament hopes the Hawkeyes had by scoring 52 points after halftime. Indiana shot 67.9 percent in the second half and hit six of its eight 3-point attempts. It was the third time in the last five games that Indiana scored 90 or more points.

Junior James Blackmon Jr. scored 18 of his team-high 23 points in the second half and now has 45 points over IU’s last two games.

After its offense sputtered through most of February, Indiana has found new life recently at the most important time of year. The Hoosiers followed up last Saturday’s 1.3 points per possession performance in Columbus with 1.25 against the Hawkeyes.

“As long as the ball is moving, we’re ready to shoot and we’re playing through the paint or the post,” Tom Crean said postgame. “Those are when good things are happening.”

· Indiana controls the free throw battle: Indiana’s trip to Iowa City in late February resulted in a hard fought, 96-90 overtime loss. Despite holding a double-digit lead in the second half of that contest, the Hoosiers struggled because they couldn’t keep Peter Jok and the Hawkeyes off the foul line.

Thursday night was a different story as Indiana adjusted to how the game was being officiated and made Jok uncomfortable all night.

The first team All-Big Ten guard finished with just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting. He didn’t attempt a free throw after taking 23 in the first meeting between the two teams.

“They were really keyed in the whole game,” Jok said postgame. “I wasn’t trying to force anything. I was just letting the game come to me. I was trying to find other ways to get involved on offense other than just shooting. They were always there when I caught the ball.”

· Freshmen rise to the occasion in first taste of tournament play: Indiana’s bench accounted for just three of its 96 points in last weekend’s win at Ohio State.

On Thursday, the IU bench scored 35 points and the freshmen were a major part of the equation.

De’Ron Davis stayed out of foul trouble and scored 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting. Devonte Green played 20 minutes because of foul trouble for Josh Newkirk and had 10 points, including 2-of-2 from behind the 3-point line. And Curtis Jones, who didn’t even play in Columbus, hit a pair of 3s and finished with six points in 13 minutes.

The three freshmen combined for just one turnover in 47 minutes.

· Morgan delivers another solid performance: Sophomore Juwan Morgan has been banged up for a majority of the season. But he’s getting healthy at the right time as the season nears the final stretch.

Morgan followed up an 11-point game at Ohio State with nine points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots against Iowa. He did have six turnovers, but having Morgan healthy is a difference maker for Indiana. His length, along with that of Thomas Bryant’s (five blocks), gave the Hawkeyes problems at times in the paint.

“He was really big,” Newkirk said of Morgan. “On the defensive end, he blocked a lot of shots, got a lot of rebounds. He’s an energy guy. He gave us the energy that we needed.”

· Hoosiers keep NCAA tournament hopes alive: Indiana still has work to do to get back into serious consideration for the NCAA tournament, but moving past Iowa gives the Hoosiers a chance to do just that on Friday.

As of late Thursday night, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had the Hoosiers as the second team on his “next four out” list. The teams ahead of Indiana: Rhode Island, Kansas State, Houston, California and Georgia.

A few weeks ago, Indiana’s viability for an NIT bid was up for debate. Now the Hoosiers are comfortably in that field, but can make things interesting if they keep advancing in the nation’s capitol.

Filed to:

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Go IU!!!!!!!!!

  • inLinE6

    If we get passed Wisky and other bubble teams start to lose, we have a greater chance than most people think. But I don’t like one game exit at the tourney. We gotta play better from now on. Otherwise there’s no difference making the tourney or not.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Congratulations Hoosiers. This is the first win Coach Crean has had over a higher seeded team in his tenure at IU. Let’s make it 2 and 3 and 4!!

  • Missing Moye

    Pretty odd set of games today in the B1G, when you consider the closest game of the four was Michigan’s 20 point win over Illinois.

  • I think that if the team can play like they did today, and cut down the TOs, then we can make some noise. I’ve always thought the ceiling was going to be significantly lower without OG, but had we played like this through the B1G season, then the floor wouldn’t have been so low, either. Not saying one game changes anything, so I’m just hoping for now that it’s a second game tomorrow.

  • JethroTroll

    It was great seeing this team FINALLY play at the level a lot of us felt they could, only wish they could have been at this point sooner. However, as good as this win was, unless they’re playing on Sunday, this team is headed to the NIT.

  • Ms hoosier

    Great win!! I don’t think Wisky is gonna allow us to play that fast!! They are gonna slow us down and make it a half court game IU will have to be commited to playing inside out with both DD And TB to win this game!! Oh yeah and limit the turnovers!!

  • BannerOrBust

    So you’re saying we got a chance to go dancing….. IU is clicking at the right time of the year, I hope they can continue playing this way.

  • Ole Man

    Win out and they go dancing.

  • Ole Man

    And stop Happ.

  • Ole Man

    In the B1G tourney.
    pUKe was a higher seed in the NCAA last year.
    I believe they were a four? Can’t remember.

  • myrddin

    Extra minutes for freshmen yesterday will help the strain on the starters . . . if we can get through today you have to have some concern for stamina. Plus, good experience.

    This group of freshmen should give us optimism for next year. Playing well! Starting 5 of Newkirk, Green, RJ, Morgan, Davis? Nothing not to like about that.

  • IULore

    beat wisky and maryland and in.

  • Ole Man

    Maybe.
    I’m still one game at a time.
    BTW, how are you liking the paid forum. Thought you would flourish there! Ha!

  • IULore

    Ha! it’s pretty cool. Should be an interesting offseason

  • IULore

    That is correct.

  • Ole Man

    Indeed. It will “get lively” when TC’s fate is known.

  • IULore

    Heck yeah!

  • Ms hoosier

    Thanks for the reminder!! He always kills us

  • SCHoosier

    Others have held him down recently with double teams..cause WIS wasn’t shooting well from three and the kick outs weren’t working. TB can not guard this guy one on one. Another key will be the FT’s Hayes is likley to get awarded. Quick Hoosier foul trouble could be a problem. WIS will of course force us into a a half court game where TO’s may again prevail. Another 60% shooting game might do the trick..hard to expect….that to happen. IU playing well now though..got a shot if we don’t give them a lot of extra possessions with TO’s.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I meant bigten and why and why said 2,3 4,,,cuz we just got the one, next is 2………..

  • vicbert caladipo

    It’s more about what he makes. He for sure will shoot a bunch as well as Happ, but lately the 2 can’t shoot FTs worth a $#^%. Hope that continues.

  • vicbert caladipo

    You have got to be kidding? Bench JBJ?? People complain all the time about CTC pulling players when they are hot. James is playing the best basketball he’s played all year right now. Guessing this is an oversight?

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    This is true for every team in every conference tournament 🙂

  • myrddin

    Many are assuming he’s leaving with TB and OG, so I was rolling with that. Ceiling goes up if he stays.

  • IULore

    JBJ will go pro i believe. OG and TB? I’d say it’s 50/50.

  • SilentBob

    A couple of the analysts last night seemed to think if we beat Wisconsin were in. By credentials alone that sounds incredibly silly, but when ya think about the size of the fan base and how well it travels compared to other bubble teams it makes sense. The conspiracy theorist in me makes me believe that’s why we, and UCLA, got in two years ago and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen again this year for us.

  • Sandra Wilson

    If we don’t double him, he’ll do it again….and it needs to be the whole game, not just the first 4 minutes.

  • Sandra Wilson

    Keep in mind that OSU and Iowa are horrible defensive teams. Wisc. will be completely different and CTC never seems to have an answer for them.

  • BannerOrBust

    I agree, however it was the game at Wisconsin that we showed a lot of fight and should have won that game. I like IU’s chances, Wisconsin has been on a downward slide lately. Should be a good game, and I hope we finally get past the Wisconsin curse. #dancingshoes

  • vicbert caladipo

    I’m sorry. I misread the “next year”. I thought you meant tonight. My bad

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    Best leadership I’ve seen out of Blackmon. He didn’t force his offense, he made smart passes, he rebounded, and he played excellent defense.

  • MikeinNC

    This is going to be an interesting situation.

    If the Hoosiers flame out in the B10 tourney, then do not get into the NIT (or get a bid and do not do well) then it seems there is a clear case to make a change in head coach.

    But if the team catches fire, wins the B10 tourney, and has a nice run in the NCAA tourney, does that support the case to retain Crean? Or does it point to the theory that they underperformed for the majority of the year and that this coach was incapable of getting them to play to their potential?

    And what if the even blurrier scenario comes to fruition – they get into the NIT and have a nice run – or even win it?

    I’m not sure what scenario I am rooting for – I want the team to do well, and can’t imagine rooting against it….but it’s challenging balancing between today’s game and the long term good of the program….I guess it’s a little like when a pro team is having a miserable season and has more to gain by losing their last game and securing a great draft pick.

  • vicbert caladipo

    See ya later Peeeeyooo!!!! On to their choke job in the NCAA!! Boiler up!

  • JethroTroll

    The only way this can be an interesting situation is if Crean’s job is truly on the line. While I believe it should be, I believe and I think most people believe that isn’t the case.
    I’m a diehard Hoosier fan, and I’ll always root for them. What’s interesting to me is if this team can string high level games together, beat a team that has absolutely owned them in recent years, and make a run in this tournament to get a bid. I, for one, would much rather see the Hoosiers in the NCAAs than the NIT.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    Not to mention that we are the only bubble team to have beaten what will likely be two number 1 seeds!

  • Kwang

    It’s “HAW! it’s pretty cool” Get it right. 🙂

  • Kwang

    It is also historically hard for a team to beat another team three times in one season.

  • Kwang

    Wait until the full body of evidence is in, as in after the season, then we will see.

  • dwdkc

    I also have little interest in the NIT and would love a run to the dance. As for Crean, the smoke is blinding and I think there is fire. The biggest tell is Glass’ silence. In the past he has said supportive things.

  • Piker

    I did not see anything different from CTC this game so maybe?