HD Video: IU players react to win at Michigan State
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Victor Oladipo (19 points, nine rebounds, five steals), Cody Zeller (17 points, five rebounds, two blocks), Christian Watford (12 points) and Jordan Hulls (12 points) met with the media following Indiana’s 72-68 win at Michigan State on Tuesday.
Watch and listen to their postgame comments in the embedded media players below:
Hoosiers, Spartans expect “off the chain” environment for top-five matchup
When Michigan State coach Tom Izzo addressed the media ahead of Tuesday night’s game with No. 1 Indiana, he talked about the endless storylines involving the game. He wasn’t kidding.
Two top five teams. First place in the Big Ten on the line. A Magic Johnson homecoming. Victor Oladipo’s ankle. Mentor (Izzo) vs. student (Tom Crean). Indiana vs. Michigan State.
To summarize, this is sort of a big game.
“The environment is gonna be off the chain,” Michigan State forward Adreian Payne said.
Added Izzo: “I’d be willing to bet this maybe could be the greatest crowd ever at this place.”
The Hoosiers (23-3, 11-2) will certainly be tested Tuesday night at the Breslin Center in what will likely be their most difficult game of the regular season. Indiana hasn’t won at Michigan State since 1991, and the Hoosiers are playing against a team as hot as any in the country. The Spartans dominated Michigan 75-52 last week.
“They’re playing with tremendous confidence,” Crean said. “They just keep getting better. Their young guys are better. I think they’re one of the best teams in the country because they have so much.”
The last time the Hoosiers visited the Breslin Center, they left with an 80-65 loss. It was the first game of the conference season last year — Dec. 28, 2011 — and one of the worst games in the young career of sophomore Cody Zeller. Hampered by foul trouble and bothered by the physical play, Zeller finished the game with just four points and three rebounds in 23 minutes.
Zeller said he watched the tape of that game many times last season, but he doesn’t watch it much anymore.
“It was one of my rougher games,” Zeller said. “I was in foul trouble and never got in the flow. That’s just part of being a freshman in this league.”
Zeller’s no longer a freshman, and the Hoosiers are a much better team now than they were last season. When the two teams met earlier this season at Assembly Hall, Indiana got Keith Appling into foul trouble and won, 75-70. While it’s easy to say the Spartans should be in good shape as long as Appling doesn’t get in foul trouble this time around, Izzo also pointed out that Payne and Gary Harris played better than usual in the first meeting.
HD Video: Crean, IU players preview Michigan State
Tom Crean, Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls met with the media on Monday afternoon to preview Tuesday’s game at Michigan State.
Watch and listen to both press conferences in the embedded media player below:
What to Expect: Michigan State
After finishing off a two-game homestand with an 83-55 win over rival Purdue, Indiana heads to East Lansing on Tuesday night for a meeting with Michigan State. The Hoosiers and Spartans are tied for first in the Big Ten standings at 11-2.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 7 p.m. with Mike Tirico, Dick Vitale and Magic Johnson on the call:
In a Big Ten season that’s been full of meetings between highly ranked teams, the latest marquee matchup sends the Hoosiers north to face Michigan State at the Breslin Center. Michigan State is always tough to beat at home under Tom Izzo and this season is no different as the Spartans have amassed a 14-0 record.
While not a must-win for Indiana to remain in the race for the Big Ten title, a win would put the Hoosiers in good shape for the outright title as the Spartans still have trips to Michigan and Ohio State and a home date with Wisconsin remaining on their schedule.
As many expected before the season, Michigan State’s Keith Appling and Gary Harris, a pair of McDonald’s All-Americans, have formed one of the nation’s best backcourts. Appling, who battled foul trouble for most of the game last month in Bloomington, leads the Spartans in scoring at 14.1 points per game. Appling isn’t a great shooter, but he’s adequate enough at 33.7 percent on threes and 45.7 percent on twos. Known as a hard-nosed defender, a lot of his value comes as a ball stopper on the perimeter and as a guy who can create turnovers (2.7 steal percentage) and get the ball going the other way.
Harris, who scored 21 points and single-handedly kept Michigan State in the game at Assembly Hall, has been on fire from the perimeter in Big Ten play. The Hamilton Southeastern product is shooting 53 percent on his 3-point attempts in league play. Like Appling, he can really cause havoc defensively with ball pressure. Backup Travis Trice, who has missed four straight games with a concussion, is unlikely to play, so Denzel Valentine will get the majority of the reserve minutes in the Spartan backcourt. Valentine is making close to 35 percent of his threes and does a nice job of distributing the ball (22.4 assist rate), but is also mistake prone (31.3 turnover percentage).
Yet another McDonald’s All-American, Branden Dawson, occupies the three position in East Lansing and the Gary native is an elite athlete who is finishing 70 percent of his shots at the rim. Dawson is Michigan State’s best offensive rebounder (10.4 OR%) and also has a team-high 46 steals, but struggles at the foul line where he hits just 54.4 percent of his attempts.
Up front, few teams in the country can match the size and physicality of the Spartans. Both Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix average 9.5 points per game and are setting the Michigan State rebounding pace as well. Payne averages a team-high 7.0 rebounds and Nix averages 6.5. Payne is the more versatile offensive option of the two as he’s shown the ability to step out on the perimeter this season and knock down threes. Payne is also extremely efficient around the basket with a field goal percentage of 79 on shots at the rim. He’s the Big Ten’s best defensive rebounder and also has a team-high 32 blocks.
Nix has the size and strength to back opponents down in the post and his free throw rate (56.5) leads the team and is a major concern for IU as the Hoosiers must avoid foul trouble. The primary backup options in the frontcourt are redshirt sophomore Alex Gauna and freshman Matt Costello, but neither guy will get more than spot duty unless Payne or Nix have foul issues.
Will Sheehey finished a perfect 9-of-9 from the field en route to a career-high 22 points in Saturday’s blowout win against the Boilermakers. That 9-of-9 mark set an Indiana record for most makes without a miss. Sheehey scored on the break and in Indiana’s halfcourt offense — often making smart reads from the wing to sneak around the defense and score.
A look at three smart reads and a 3-pointer in the latest edition of Film Session:
I. Derek Elston sets a ball screen for Yogi Ferrell on the right wing as Sheehey is set up down in the left corner:
As Ferrell crosses over right, Sheehey starts to curl into the lane as Terone Johnson is watching the action on the strong side of the court:
As Johnson looks left for Sheehey on the baseline with Ferrell curling around and drawing the attention of Sandi Marcius, Sheehey fills the open space in the lane:
Crean expects Oladipo to play against Michigan State
On Monday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference, Indiana coach Tom Crean said he expects junior Victor Oladipo to play in Tuesday’s game at Michigan State.
Oladipo left Sunday’s 83-55 win against Purdue after suffering a sprained left ankle late in the first half and did not return.
“We practiced some yesterday and he went through that,” Crean said.”He’s doing a great job of rehabilitating it. He’s spending a lot of time with Tim Garl so I don’t anticipate that he won’t be ready to go tomorrow night.”
Crean said that despite his injury, Oladipo’s approach to getting in extra work hasn’t changed since the Purdue game.
“He’s getting extra shots, he’s working on his ball handling. It’s just what he does,” Crean said. “He’d probably have to be forced to not come to practice to not have a day where he wasn’t in the gym working. Nothing distracts him, nothing ever gets him out of his commitment. Some players have a routine of work, he has a commitment to work. And I think that really comes forth in his his development as a player.”
Oladipo is averaging 13.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game and is shooting 63.9 percent from the field.
Standings through thirteen games are here. (Note: Everyone who made a pick the first game was added to the spreadsheet even if they didn’t get the pick correct. After that game, only new people that got a correct pick were added to the spreadsheet. As a result, some people might not see their names on the spreadsheet if they didn’t pick the first game and haven’t gotten any correct picks in the following games. If a scoring error is identified, please email us at email@example.com. Comments addressing scoring in this thread will not be addressed.)
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Big Ten Power Rankings: February 18
After a (somewhat) routine and unsurprising week in conference play, the Big Ten Power Rankings remain pretty much intact. But with perhaps the biggest game of the conference season looming Tuesday night in East Lansing, things could very well change in a hurry.
12. Penn State (8-17, 0-13) (LAST WEEK: 12) … There’s no doubt the Nittany Lions are improving under coach Patrick Chambers. Last week, they lost a close home game to Iowa by two points and played Michigan tough on the road for more than a half. But at the end of the day, Penn State is still winless in conference play.
11. Nebraska (12-14, 3-10) (LAST WEEK: 11) … Tough week for the Cornhuskers playing against the conference’s top two teams, but they gave Michigan State a bit of a test on Saturday night before a late run helped the Spartans win the game.
10. Purdue (12-14, 5-8) (LAST WEEK: 10) … After Saturday’s 28-point loss at Indiana, Purdue coach Matt Painter said this is the most frustrated he’s ever been with a team because he feels like the Boilermakers have the talent to compete. But the effort hasn’t always been there at a high level, and Purdue is in the middle of a total free fall. Next Sunday’s home game against Northwestern might be the Boilermakers’ last chance for a win.
9. Northwestern (13-13, 4-9) (LAST WEEK: 9) … The Wildcats won their first two road games in conference play, but they’re 0-4 away from home since then. It’s been yet another tough season in Evanston.
8. Minnesota (18-8, 6-7) (LAST WEEK: 7) … The Golden Gophers have the talent to be an elite team, but they haven’t always done a good job of taking care of the teams they are supposed to beat. Losses to Illinois, Northwestern and Iowa leave you scratching your head a bit.
7. Iowa (17-9, 6-7) (LAST WEEK: 8) … They squeaked out a road win at Penn State and dominated Minnesota at home. The Hawkeyes aren’t quite ready to make a jump into the top half of the Big Ten, but they could still potentially make the tournament. Next year, though, they could be a team to be reckoned with.
·Collin Hartman (Indianapolis Cathedral): Thirteen points in a 73-53 win over Ben Davis on Feb. 15 and team-high 22 points in a 70-59 win over LaPorte La Lumiere on Feb. 16. Hartman scored his 1,000th career point in the win over La Lumiere, the No. 6 team in the USA Today Super 25.
·Devin Davis Jr. (Warren Central): Eleven points in a 54-47 loss at Carmel on Feb. 12 and 16 points and seven rebounds in a 54-48 win at Bloomington South on Feb. 16
·Luke Fischer (Germantown, WI): Thirty-two points in a 99-45 win over Nicolet on Feb. 15. Germantown finished the regular season 22-0.
·Noah Vonleh (New Hampton Prep, NH): Eleven points and nine rebounds in a 77-73 win over the Tilton School on Feb. 15 and was not among the leading scorers in a 83-42 loss to Brewster Academy on Feb. 16.
·Stanford Robinson (Findlay Prep, NV): Ten points and five rebounds in a 71-28 win over God’s Academy on Feb. 15.