After the game on Tuesday night, Oakland coach Greg Kampe walked back to his team’s locker room with a hand to his head.
Moments earlier, the buzzer at Assembly Hall sounded that finalized an 81-54 Indiana (8-2) win over the Golden Grizzlies (2-8). It was a game in which the Hoosiers shot 50 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from beyond the arc and held the Grizzlies to a season low in points off only 32.2 percent shooting.
It’s also a game that Kampe already is looking forward to moving past.
“It’s Indiana in Assembly Hall,” he said after the game. “If they make shots they’re going to beat a lot of teams. So I pat Crean on the back, said ‘Great job,’ and we’ll move onto the next one.”
But coming into the game, Kampe thought Indiana’s shooting ability — or lack thereof — would enable his team to stay in the game. After all, IU was shooting only 28.8 percent from beyond the arc and only 45.6 percent from the field overall. He thought it was the Hoosiers’ biggest weakness.
However, in the opening 10 minutes of Tuesday’s game, Indiana shot 64.7 percent from the field. By then, the Hoosiers were up, 27-16.
Kampe also thought the game was going to come down to rebounding. By halftime, Indiana would have double the amount of rebounds Oakland would. The Hoosiers were again strong on the offensive boards, rebounding 38.7 percent of their misses in the contest.
Check out 21 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 81-54 win over Oakland at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. Purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.
When Indiana coach Tom Crean saw that tonight’s game against Oakland (2-7) at 7 p.m. would be broadcast nationally on ESPN2, he immediately knew why.
“They’ve got some high-level players,” he said at his pre-game press conference Monday afternoon. “That’s one of the reasons that ESPN chose this as a game for us. They want something that’s going to draw some attention.”
Yes, the Golden Grizzlies started the season with seven straight losses, but they have also won two straight games, most recently coming against a then 6-1 Ohio team on Saturday. And leading the pack for Oakland are two national leaders in statistical categories: senior Travis Bader leads the country in made 3-pointers per game, and senior Duke Mondy tops the nation in steal percentage.
Those two players have Indiana’s attention heading into tonight’s game, and the Hoosiers know they are in for a challenge with each of them.
The Big Ten held its first weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the non-conference season to-date. Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:
· For the third time this season, Noah Vonleh was named the Big Ten freshman of the week. In games last week against Syracuse and North Florida, Vonleh averaged 15 points and 8.5 rebounds. Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross was named the Big Ten player of the week.
· Crean began by congratulating Ohio State and Michigan State football for “such a great championship game.” Crean also congratulated Curt Miller and the IU women’s team for their 9-0 start.
Crean was asked to evaluate the impact that Vonleh has had on the Hoosiers this season:
“He really wants to be not only a great player, but a great winner and great teammate. He’s got a unique work ethic in the sense that it’s been commonplace for him to be in here, inside this building, not only when he needed to, obviously, but the other times and off times, mornings, nights. He’s just constantly, whether he’s trying to work on his shot, his post-up game, his free throws, spending more and more time absorbing film on his own, those are the type of things that just lead you to believe that he’s going to have a fantastic career.”
In the days leading up to Saturday night’s matchup against North Florida, Indiana coach Tom Crean told his players that whatever happened at Syracuse would just be a “short-term setback.”
And when the Ospreys started the game in a 2-3 zone on defense, the Hoosiers adjusted accordingly. Instead of settling into shots, Indiana increased its tempo, moved the ball with high efficiency and found a rhythm.
By the end of the half, the Hoosiers (7-2) had a 17-point lead and were well on their way to an 89-68 victory in front of an announced sell-out crowd at Assembly Hall.
“I thought our guys did a fantastic job of playing the way that they need to play to be successful over a long period of time,” Crean said. “It wasn’t a perfect, complete 40-minute game, but they were striving for it.”
Along the way, the Hoosiers had 17 assists, a season high, and 11 turnovers, a season low. Indiana was finding open shooters. Other than a 3:21 stretch from the 11:52 to the 8:31 mark in the first half in which they had six turnovers, they also didn’t attempt unfeasible passes.
“One of our goals tonight was to cut down on our turnovers, but more importantly get more assists, get more baskets,” Crean said. “And we set a goal of anywhere from 17 or above (assists), and we hit it. It’s amazing what happens when we pass the ball like that and the turnovers do cut down.”
Check out 36 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 89-68 win over North Florida at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. Purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.
Indiana coach Tom Crean sensed in the postgame locker room on Tuesday night that his team wanted to quickly move on from the loss.
After the Hoosiers lost their second game of the season in a 69-52 collapse at No. 4 Syracuse, Crean questioned everything from Indiana’s spirit to its leadership. His team trailed only 33-29 at halftime, but in the second half, a 23-3 Orange run would ultimately doom the Hoosiers.
“The other night was a lot of different things for us, but at the end of the day, it was the first true road game,” Crean said on Friday afternoon in advance of Indiana’s game against North Florida tonight. “And in the second half, we played like that.”
When Crean looked at his team in that locker room in Syracuse, he saw that his players knew they were capable of more. There wasn’t going to be much dwelling on the loss, Crean thought, because he could sense the hunger and desire for his team to move on and stay locked in.
And in the practices since the team arrived back in Bloomington, Crean says his players have done exactly that.
“I think our guys from the other night, they knew they did not play the way they are capable of in the second half,” he said. “They have not needed a lot of reminders on that. They have come out with great energy and focus and resolve.”
So, Crean has put the Syracuse loss on the back burner, for now. When it’s time for Indiana to play on the road again, he’ll go through with his players how to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself.