The Minute After: Ball State

Thoughts on a 101-53 win over the Cardinals:

I. This game was knotted at 4-4 at the under-16 timeout, and it began as yet another slow start. But by the time the first half ended, the Hoosiers were up a ridiculous 50-19. Credit an offense that really started to get it going — scoring on several straight possessions and shooting 65% from the field. Credit a defense that held Ball State to two prolonged scoring droughts that totaled nearly 13 minutes.

Indiana’s depth and talent just wore Ball State out on both ends of the floor tonight — a familiar refrain against non-conference opponents inside Assembly Hall this season. Once Indiana got rolling in the first half, it was pretty much curtains for the Cardinals.

Also: Qdoba!

II. Lots of Hoosiers got in the mix in this one. Will Sheehey, save for some And1 Mixtape dribbling that resulted in a turnover and drew the ire of Tom Crean, was just about perfect tonight — 8-of-9 from the field for 19 points to go along with six rebounds. Lots of mid-range goodness from No. 0. Cody Zeller was aggressive from the start, receiving the ball more out near the perimeter and using his quickness to get to the rim against Ball State’s bigs. He scored 15 points in 20 minutes to go along with eight boards. Not quite sure if he’s fully over his illness yet, but the energy he displayed bodes well for Tuesday’s showdown with North Carolina.

Maurice Creek looked good in a spot-up shooting roll this evening; he hit two 3-pointers and totaled nine points for the game. Jordan Hulls did Jordan Hulls things (17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, three assists). Victor Oladipo continues to show confidence in his outside shot. The junior hit a jumper and a 3-pointer tonight en route to 13 points.

Christian Watford sported a double-double (11 points, 10 boards).

III. Despite the huge lead in the second half, Crean was his usual self in this one, continually telling his team to push the pace and not let up. He also had the Hoosiers practicing a full-court press in this one during a stretch after halftime as well — showing once again he’ll use live game action to try out some different things in these games where Indiana is outclassing the competition.

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Live Discussion: Indiana vs. Ball State

NCAA upholds suspensions for Jurkin, Mosquera-Perea

Indiana freshman forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea and freshman center Peter Jurkin must sit for all nine games of their suspensions, the NCAA announced today. That means both players will be out until the Butler game on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Here’s the full text of the release:

Indiana University freshmen student-athletes Peter Jurkin and Hanner Perea must miss nine games, according to an appeal decision announced today by the NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement. Jurkin and Perea have already sat out five games and must miss four more games before being eligible to compete again.

According to the facts of the case regarding the violations, which were agreed upon by the university, Jurkin and Perea accepted approximately $6,000 and $8,000, respectively, in impermissible benefits from an Indiana University booster. The recruiting inducements were provided on multiple occasions during the student-athletes’ recruitment, and included plane tickets, meals, housing, a laptop, cell phone and clothing.

While a $185 donation to the university may have triggered the booster’s status, recent interactions reinforce his unique access and continuous involvement with the men’s basketball program.

Specifically, he signed financial aid documents required for two former Indiana University basketball student-athletes in 2008 and 2010. Further, Jurkin and Perea lived with the booster in Bloomington, Ind., during multiple summers. Indiana University also provided the booster, who is a nonscholastic coach, with permissible, complimentary men’s basketball tickets. The university has suspended the relationship with the booster until July 1, 2013.

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What to Expect: Ball State

Following a successful trip to Brooklyn that included wins over Georgia and Georgetown to capture the 2012 Legends Classic, the No. 1 Hoosiers return to Assembly Hall on Sunday night for a meeting with Ball State. The Cardinals (2-1) will be playing their first true road game and are coming off a 78-58 loss to Indiana State.

The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

After a disappointing 15-15 season that included nine straight losses in Mid-American Conference games, Ball State athletics director Tom Collins decided to stick with coach Billy Taylor, who has a contract through the 2013-2014 season. It’s fair to say that this is the make or break year for Taylor, who appears to be fighting an uphill battle from a personnel perspective.

PERSONNEL

Ball State graduated their leading scorer and rebounder — Jarrod Jones — and while two starters do return, the Cardinals are attempting to integrate six newcomers with six new pieces.

One name Indiana fans may be familiar with is junior guard Jesse Berry (pictured), who starred at Lafayette Jefferson and was once on the Big Ten recruiting radar. After originally signing with Dayton, Berry was released from his Letter of Intent after a couple of arrests and ultimately landed at Ball State. He was second in scoring a season ago and through three games, he’s again second in scoring (12.0 ppg), but has a team-high 12 turnovers and could benefit from being more selective offensively.

The key newcomer on the roster is 6-foot-8 forward Majok Majok, a junior college transfer who is leading the Cardinals in scoring at 14.3 ppg and rebounding with 10.3 rpg early on. Majok has already attempted 28 free throws, but is shooting just a shade over 41 percent.

Senior guard Jawaun Scaife is the third Ball State player averaging in double figures, but is just 3-of-14 from the 3-point line. Zach Fields, a 6-foot-10 senior center, has been inserted into the starting lineup after playing sparingly his first three seasons. Chris Bond, a 6-foot-4 wing who won a state championship at Bowman Academy, started all 28 games he appeared in a season ago and is Ball State’s best defender.

A TEMPO-FREE GLANCE

If there’s a bright spot offensively for Ball State through three games, it’s been their ability to get to the line. The sample size is certainly too small to draw any conclusion, but the Cardinals have taken 92 free throws thus far, which is good for a free throw rate of 61.7. It’s hard to imagine that trend continuing Sunday night as the Hoosiers have limited opponent trips to the line through their first five wins to a total of 62.

Ball State’s pace is very similar to Georgetown in that they wish to play at a below-Division I average possession count. Through three games, the Cardinals are averaging a 64.1 possessions per game pace, which falls close to where they were a season ago (63.2).

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Notebook: Resilient Hoosiers excel in overtime

BROOKLYN — When Georgetown’s Otto Porter hit a layup to tie the game with seconds remaining in regulation, it seemed momentum would swing in favor of the Hoyas.

But Tom Crean’s team was resilient and showed poise from the start of overtime, taking control from the tip.

The Hoosiers scored six of the first eight points in the extra period – four from Jordan Hulls (including an impressive and-one) and a pair of free throws from Yogi Ferrell – to push the lead early. With Georgetown in the double bonus, Indiana capitalized at the free throw line, hitting 13 of 17 shots.

Pressure defensively also increased. The Hoyas didn’t make a field goal (0-for-7 from the field) in overtime. The result was an 82-72 win to capture the 2012 Legends Classic championship.

“I think it was great because our attitudes were fantastic,” Crean said. “Our heads didn’t drop, there wasn’t any complaining, and I just kept saying to them ‘this is tremendous.’ I think what helped the most in overtime was our great maturity.”

Backcourt steps up in clutch

Indiana’s backcourt struggled early against Georgetown’s longer perimeter players, especially on the defensive end, though they saved their best for last. Both Hulls and Ferrell hit key shots and made crucial free throws down the stretch in regulation and into overtime.

Ferrell in particular made four free throws and hit an off-balance 3-pointer with a defender in his face as time expired on the shot clock to push Indiana’s lead to 10.

“Yogi has great body language,” Crean said. “That is not the first time that he has hit a shot with the clock winding down. We have seen it in scrimmages and practice at different times. He just has something about him.”

Added Hulls: “We don’t treat him like a freshman. He doesn’t play like a freshman. He’s doing a tremendous job for us. He’s driving and kicking, he’s finding me, he’s finding people and doing really good.”

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The Minute After: Georgetown

BROOKLYN — Thoughts on an 82-72 overtime win over Georgetown:

I. Indiana and Georgetown traded three after three over each other’s zone defenses in the first half, and this began as it finished, in the words of Tom Crean, “an epic battle.” Georgetown may not be ranked now, but it’ll come as little surprise if the Hoyas find themselves in the Top 25 sooner rather than later. They came here and took down a No. 11 UCLA team with a comfortable lead for much of the second half on Monday night, and left with a overtime loss against the No. 1 team in the country. The Hoyas mounted an impressive seven-point rally in the final 1:03 of regulation to send this one into extra time.

Point guard Markel Starks tossed in 20 points after scoring 23 against UCLA; Lengthy, athletic players like Otto Porter (15 points), Greg Whittington (12 points) and Mikael Hopkins (11 points) got theirs against the Hoosiers.

“We had our chances,” John Thompson III said after the game. It was true. But the Hoosiers made sure to own overtime, shutting the door on any chance of an upset.

II. Overtime was won on the strength of foul shooting; the Hoosiers went 13-of-17 from the line. A Yogi Ferrell 3-pointer as the shot clock expired and a Jordan Hulls and-1 gave the Hoosiers 18 points in total in that five-minute frame to allow them to net a 10-point victory. As noted in What to Expect, Georgetown has been keeping teams off the line this season. The Hoyas followed suit with that early as Indiana shot only six free throws in the first half. But by game’s end, the Hoosiers had fouled out three Hoyas and hit 26-of-36 (72.2%) to finish with a free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 73.4.

III. Cody Zeller played better tonight (17 points, eight rebounds) but there were still times tonight where, for all the time he’s put in the weight room and all the strength he’s built, Georgetown defenders were able to overpower him. It’s been known that Zeller’s been sick for several days now, and the 7-foot sophomore revealed after the game that he’s been dealing with “some form of asthmatic bronchitis.”

Indiana plays Ball State on Sunday after the Thanksgiving holiday and then North Carolina — a team that lost to Butler earlier this evening — next Tuesday.

So Zeller will have some time — although not much — to try and rest his body a bit and get over the illness in full.

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HD Video: Tom Crean reacts to win over Georgetown

BROOKLYN — Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media following the Hoosiers’ 82-72 overtime win over Georgetown in the Legends Classic championship at the Barclays Center on Tuesday night.

Watch and listen to the press conference in the embedded media player below:

HD Video: Ferrell, Hulls, Zeller react to win over Georgetown

BROOKLYN — Indiana freshman Yogi Ferrell (14 points, four assists), senior Jordan Hulls (17 points, four steals) and sophomore Cody Zeller (17 points, eight rebounds) met with the media following the Hoosiers’ 82-72 overtime win over Georgetown in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center on Tuesday night.

Watch and listen to what each player had to say in the embedded media players below:

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Live Discussion: Indiana vs. Georgetown