Indiana is back at it on Saturday afternoon as Northwestern comes to town for a matinee in Assembly Hall. The Wildcats are 15-5 overall and 3-4 in the Big Ten, but have dropped four of their last six contests.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 12 p.m. ET:
At 6-0, Indiana remains atop the Big Ten standings with Iowa, which beat Rutgers on Thursday night. Favorable schedule or not, the Hoosiers keep posting wins and gaining confidence. IU has won its last two games at Assembly Hall by a combined 59 points. That doesn’t happen unless your level of play is extremely high.
But the road should get a little tougher on Saturday with Northwestern in Bloomington. The Wildcats have struggled lately, but just took Maryland to overtime in College Park. And the last time Northwestern came to Assembly Hall during the 2013-2014 season, Chris Collins and company left with a 54-47 win.
Recruiting rankings and award watch lists make for great discussion topics leading up to the start of the season. But once the ball tips, they go out the window quickly.
Lower ranked players outperform their rankings each year and others who are viewed as can’t miss five-stars fail to live up to the hype. Thomas Bryant of Indiana came to Bloomington as a McDonald’s All-American, but was given significantly less billing than some of his freshman counterparts going into the season.
Through 19 games, Bryant has been one of the best freshman big men in the country and is a major reason the Hoosiers are on an 11-game winning streak going into Saturday’s game against Northwestern at Assembly Hall.
While we’ve broken down plenty of scores from Indiana’s free-flowing weave on offense so far this season, its rout of Illinois proved the Hoosiers are more than a one-trick pony with the ball.
Indiana ran some nice sets out of timeouts and on inbounds plays throughout the contest and executed them to perfection.
We’ll take a look at a few of those, as well as some sneaky Troy Williams movement, in the latest edition of Film Session:
Out of the under eight timeout in the first half, Collin Hartman inbounds to Yogi Ferrell down on Illinois’ side of the floor. Hartman streaks down the right side of the floor as Ferrell has the ball out past the left wing. Juwan Morgan begins to come up to the top of the key from the left block. Max Bielfeldt and Nick Zeisloft are on the left and right high posts, respectively:
Indiana won its 11th straight game in dominating fashion, 103-69, on Tuesday night over Illinois at Assembly Hall. The victory moved the Hoosiers to 16-3 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Fighting Illini:
· Ferrell continues best stretch of his career: Through six games, Big Ten opponents have no answer for Yogi Ferrell. The Indianapolis native carved up another conference foe on Tuesday night to the tune of 16 points and nine assists.
Not only did Ferrell set Indiana’s all-time assists record in the game, but he also shut down Kendrick Nunn, who finished with just 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting before fouling out. Ferrell continues to strike the perfect balance between scorer and distributor while also drawing the toughest matchups defensively. He’s guarding bigger players – like Ohio State’s Marc Loving, Nebraska’s Andrew White and Nunn – and doing so successfully.
It was a record setting night for Yogi Ferrell. The senior guard passed Michael Lewis to become the record holder for assists in an Indiana uniform after a beautiful pass inside to Max Bielfeldt in the first half.
He would go on to have nine, along with 16 points, as IU beat Illinois 103-69 Tuesday night at Assembly Hall.
“That’s a great honor,” Ferrell said. “I played with a lot of great guys coming up: Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, that’s what I like to be. I like to be a facilitator for my team, and I feel like I’ve gotten to have known my teammates very well all four years, the guys that are coming in here, in and out. So I basically know where they’re going to be on the court. I know where they like to hit threes. That’s what I’ve got to do is basically get the ball to them and they make the magic happen.”
Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 103-69 win over Illinois on Tuesday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch the full press conference below: