What to Expect: Purdue

012913akFollowing Sunday’s win over Michigan State, the No. 3 Hoosiers hit the road for West Lafayette and a showdown with rival Purdue. The Boilermakers are 11-9 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten. 

The game will be broadcast on BTN at 8:30 p.m with Dave Revsine and Jim Jackson on the call.

The second contest in a three-game stretch over six days sends Indiana north to Mackey Arena where Purdue, a club hovering around the .500 mark for much of the season, awaits. Matt Painter and the Boilermakers would like nothing more than to play spoiler and knock Indiana off track prior to Saturday’s meeting with No. 1 Michigan on ESPN’s College GameDay.

It’s been a tough first half of the season for Purdue, which struggled early without Robbie Hummel, who graduated last spring. Some of the losses on the Purdue resume are head scratchers: at Eastern Michigan, Xavier at home and Oregon State on a neutral court. But the Boilermakers have started to play better in recent weeks and have won four of five coming into tonight.

PERSONNEL

Purdue’s roster underwent a significant overhaul in the offseason with the graduations of Hummel, Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith. There are reinforcements in place in the form of a freshman class that has shown promise, but the reality is that Purdue is 11th among Big Ten teams in terms of experience.

In recent weeks, Purdue has essentially started four guards with the Johnson brothers — Ronnie and Terone — along with D.J. Byrd and Raphael Davis. Byrd, a 6-foot-5 senior, would be a guard on most Big Ten rosters, but plays the role of undersized four for this group. He’s a volume shooter from the perimeter with 131 of his 177 field goal attempts coming from behind the 3-point line. His percentage has dipped considerably from his junior season (35.9 percent compared to 43 percent), but he’s certainly capable of filling it up if given space.

Junior Terone Johnson is the team’s leading scorer and is most effective when using his strength in driving to the basket. But Johnson’s efficiency isn’t a strong suit as he shoots just 34.9 percent on threes, 41.1 percent on twos and 57.4 percent on free throws. Keeping Johnson out of the lane isn’t always easy to do, but look for Indiana to use Victor Oladipo to slow him down. His younger brother Ronnie, a freshman, has stepped in as the starting point guard and is Purdue’s most effective player at getting to the foul line. He’s not shooting well on those attempts (60.2 percent) and has also struggled shooting from the field as he’s just 39.4 percent on twos and 13.8 percent on threes.

Davis, another freshman, has shown promise in recent weeks and has replaced Anthony Johnson in the lineup because of his ability to score. Although it’s a much smaller sample size, the Fort Wayne native boasts a 53.9 effective field goal percentage, the highest mark among starters.

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Pick to Click: Purdue

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Rules are here, for those unfamiliar.

Standings through five 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 insidethehall@gmail.com. Comments addressing scoring in this thread will not be addressed.)

Pool for Purdue: All players are eligible to be picked.

Picks are due by 8:00 PM ET on Wednesday.

A few reminders:

· State the name of the player (not a nickname) that you’re picking. If you use a nickname for a player, your pick will not be counted. Also, please state who you are picking as the first thing in your comment. We’re tracking hundreds of picks per game. It’s more difficult to keep track of everyone’s pick if it’s not the first thing in your comment.

· Please make sure you are using a valid e-mail address if you are not registered.

· Please make sure you are using the same name each time to pick if you are not registered. We are tracking wins by the name you use to submit your pick. If your name changes on a game-to-game basis, credit for your pick will be given to the name used to submit the pick.

Film Session: Michigan State storylines

Victor Oladipo’s steals. Michigan State’s jumping of the outlet pass, its ability to exploit Indiana’s zone on the backline and with inside-out play for 3-pointers. Cody Zeller’s huge drive to seal the victory.

A look at the biggest storylines from Sunday’s win against the Spartans in the latest edition of Film Session:

I. AN OUTLET JUMP, AN MSU INSIDE-OUT 3

Christian Watford rips down an Adreian Payne miss:

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He instinctually turns around and throw an outlet pass to Oladipo. But with everyone else hustling back down the court, Travis Trice is pouncing on the pass:

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He intercepts it with Oladipo helplessly still heading the other way:

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HD Video: McClain, Hulls and Sheehey preview Purdue

Steve McClain, Jordan Hulls and Will Sheehey met with the media on Tuesday to preview Wednesday’s game at Purdue.

Watch and listen to both press conferences in the embedded media players below:

Troy’s Story

From humble beginnings, Oak Hill standout Troy Williams has become a star

By Justin Albers

Watch highlight videos of Indiana commit Troy Williams, and it’s easy to understand why so many college coaches coveted him. Few players can do some of the things he can on a basketball court.

But it wasn’t always that way. Williams wasn’t always good at basketball. He didn’t even always love the sport.

One night when Williams was a freshman at Phoebus High School in Hampton, Va., his entire family came to one of his varsity games. His aunt and uncle, and his mother and grandmother traveled to watch him play in this particular game, but Troy never got off the bench.

He played only sparingly that entire season, and admits now that he didn’t take basketball all that seriously at the time.

“We didn’t see the potential in Troy til late,” says Boo Williams, Troy’s uncle, legal guardian and AAU coach. “He was clumsy and unorthodox. Sometimes we get kids that have always been good basketball players. Troy wasn’t always a great basketball player. He hardly ever played his ninth grade year.”

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Indiana releases details for Saturday’s College GameDay

012813bVia IU Media Relations:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – ESPN’s College GameDay covered by State Farm will broadcast live from Assembly Hall on Feb. 2, leading into Saturday night’s matchup between No. 1/2 Michigan and No. 3/3 Indiana at 9 p.m. ET.

ESPN College GameDay Details (all times Eastern):

7 a.m. – Line-up for College GameDay show begins at the southeast corner of Assembly Hall at the Crimson Guard entrance

8 a.m. – Doors open to Assembly Hall

10 a.m.-12 p.m. – ESPN College GameDay Covered by State Farm broadcast

Saturday’s show is free and open the public. Parking for fans in attendance for the show is free and will be available at Gate 4 (Orange Lot – Southwest of Assembly Hall) and Gate 12 (Green Lot – North of Assembly Hall). All Assembly Hall parking lots will be cleared by 1 p.m. to allow for men’s basketball gameday parking.

IU students are encouraged to make signs for the College GameDay broadcast and to wear their best IU spirit gear and costumes. One lucky student will be selected from the crowd to hit a half-court shot presented by State Farm during the GameDay show. The student will have 18 seconds to make the shot. If they make the shot, they will receive $18,000.

Camp Crean line-up for Saturday night’s game will begin at 3 p.m. at the Crimson Guard entrance to Assembly Hall.

Recruit roundup: Williams, Oak Hill move to 21-3

TroyWThroughout the season, Inside the Hall will keep you posted on how IU’s six 2013 signees and James Blackmon Jr. are performing at their respective schools.

You can send us stats or results for this report at insidethehall@gmail.com.

2013 SIGNEES

· Collin Hartman (Indianapolis Cathedral): Nineteen points and seven rebounds in a 70-61 win over Franklin Central on Jan. 26. Visited Indiana on Sunday for Michigan State game.

· Devin Davis Jr. (Warren Central): Eleven points in a 69-62 loss at North Central on Jan. 25. Visited Indiana on Sunday for Michigan State game.

· Luke Fischer (Germantown, WI): Twenty-six points in a 75-51 win over Grafton on Jan. 25 and 25 points and 11 rebounds in an 88-53 win over Dominican. Germantown is now 16-0.

· Noah Vonleh (New Hampton Prep, NH): New Hampton fell to Northfield Mount Hermon, 58-53 on Jan. 25, but no stats for Vonleh are available.

· Stanford Robinson (Findlay Prep, NV): Two points, three rebounds, a steal and a block in a 62-59 win over Montverde Academy (Fla.) in the Spalding Hoop Hall Classic on Jan. 21. Game on Jan. 25 was canceled.

· Troy Williams (Oak Hill Academy, VA): Eleven points, eight rebounds, two steals, an assist and a block in an 81-68 loss to Chicago Simeon in the Spalding Hoop Hall Classic on Jan. 21. Twenty-one points and seven rebounds in a 95-64 win over Christian Faith Center on Jan. 23. Twelve points and five blocks in an 83-80 win over Faith Baptist Christian Academy (Ga.) on Jan. 26.

2014 COMMITMENT

· James Blackmon Jr. (Ft. Wayne Luers): Twenty-seven points in an 85-76 loss to Ft. Wayne North on Jan. 25 and 41 points and nine rebounds in a 94-78 loss to Bowman Academy on Jan. 26. Visited Indiana on Sunday for Michigan State game.

Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Michigan State

IUMSUITH0005The Hoosiers won for the third time in eight days on Sunday afternoon with a 75-70 win over No. 13 Michigan State. The victory propelled IU into a first-place tie atop the Big Ten standings with Michigan.

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

· Victor Oladipo shines on national stage: Perhaps Sunday’s performance will finally get Indiana’s star junior the recognition he deserves in the discussion for national player of the year. Oladipo finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and also pulled down seven rebounds, but it was his perimeter defense that caused a major disruption for Michigan State. Oladipo tied a career-high with six steals which helped Indiana get out for some easy baskets in transition. “The explosiveness they showed the first five minutes was phenomenal,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “You have to love the way Oladipo competes.” From an under recruited freshman to a player of the year candidate, Oladipo’s ascent is one of the better stories in all of college basketball this season.

· Cody Zeller came through when Indiana needed him most: For most of the afternoon, Michigan State’s size and athleticism around the basket kept Cody Zeller from finding easy looks. But as we’ve seen with Zeller throughout his career at IU to-date, he doesn’t necessarily need to score from the field to make a positive impact. When his looks weren’t going down early, he still made his way to the free throw line and hit 5-of-6 attempts. He also tied a team-high with seven rebounds. After hitting just one of his first six field goal attempts, Zeller caught a pass near the top of the key, drove left and hit a layup over Derrick Nix with 1:38 remaining to push Indiana’s lead to four at 74-70. He capped off the afternoon by taking a charge on Adreian Payne with 14 seconds to go that sealed the win. “It was winning time and Cody answered the bell,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “To get that charge and then get that drive and make that play in the heat of the game, that’s where his mental toughness is.”

· Indiana dictated the pace: It was no secret that Michigan State wanted to avoid a track meet with Indiana, one of the nation’s most effective transition teams. Not only did the Hoosiers dictate the pace (71 possessions), they wore down Michigan State. Several Spartans, including Payne, looked fatigued throughout the game and it showed in the closing minutes when Michigan State needed to make a play. After a Gary Harris dunk with 3:32 to play, Michigan State didn’t score the rest of the way. “Down the stretch, we were really sucking air and that caused us not to jam or step up or switch,” Izzo said. “Indiana’s a good basketball team though. I still think top-to-bottom they’re the best team because of depth.”

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Big Ten Power Rankings: January 28

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The Inside the Hall Big Ten Power Rankings are back for another week with a few shakeups in the middle of the conference. Among the topics addressed: Illinois’ struggles at home, Purdue vs. Minnesota and which team is better and whether or not Michigan State is a contender for the conference crown.

12. Penn State (8-12, 0-8) (LAST WEEK: 12) … No surprise here. Losses to Indiana and Ohio State have the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten cellar for yet another week. Will Penn State win a conference game this season? It has games at Iowa and home against Purdue coming next.

11. Nebraska (11-10, 2-6) (LAST WEEK: 11) … Impressive 64-49 home win for the Cornhuskers over Northwestern on Saturday, but they aren’t quite ready to move up in the power rankings. They had a great chance with a struggling Illinois team coming to Lincoln earlier in the week, and the Cornhuskers got dominated on their home floor. That’s the definition of inconsistency.

10. Illinois (15-6, 2-5) (LAST WEEK: 10) … The Illini got a road win at Nebraska and hung fairly tough with Michigan for awhile, but the fact of the matter is, Illinois is 1-3 at home in Big Ten play. You have to protect your home court in a conference like this, and the Illini simply haven’t done that to this point.

9. Northwestern (12-9, 3-5) (LAST WEEK: 9) … The Wildcats got a nice win against Minnesota at home but then laid an egg in a 15-point loss at Nebraska. Next up: A Wednesday night contest at Michigan.

8. Iowa (13-7, 2-5) (LAST WEEK: 7) … Challenging week for the Hawkeyes with back-to-back road losses at Ohio State and Purdue. They’re tough at home, but the Hawkeyes are going to have to learn to win on the road if they want a chance to make the NCAA Tournament.

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Izzo on Oladipo: ‘He’s the Ray Lewis of basketball’

IUMinnITH0012Opposing coaches often talk about centering their game plans on players other than Cody Zeller because they assume he’s going to get his.

It might not be long before Victor Oladipo starts getting that treatment for the Hoosiers.

Like he does in nearly every big game in front of a national audience, Oladipo put his imprint on Sunday afternoon’s 75-70 win over Michigan State from the very outset. On the game’s first play, the Indiana junior stripped Branden Dawson and finished with a slam on the other end.

“That explosiveness they showed in the first five minutes was phenomenal,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. “Oladipo, you’ve got to love the guy. … He just plays so hard. He’s the Ray Lewis of basketball.”

Oladipo’s line: 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, seven rebounds, six steals and three blocked shots in 30 minutes. He also had 15 deflections in the first half and 22 for the afternoon. When the Hoosiers made numerous uncharacteristic mistakes in the first half, Oladipo was the one who kept them in the game.

“We watch a lot of film as a team, but he always watches that much more,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said of Oladipo. “He’s getting a knowledge base to go with those instincts and his athleticism. The more he does that, the better he’s gonna be. Your instincts can’t get better without that knowledge.”

Every game, you start to think you’ve seen just about everything from Oladipo. And we probably have. But when he puts it all together in a single performance, it’s hard to imagine coaches not centering their game plans around this guy going forward.

He can shoot, drive, hit pull-ups, defend, rebound, pass, and — perhaps most importantly — lead.

“He was always a personality-driven, very charismatic young man, didn’t really want to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Crean said. “He’s not real worried about that anymore as a leader. You can’t be a leader without being demanding and hurting somebody’s feelings every once in a while.”

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