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The Minute After: Iowa

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Thoughts on a 73-60 win against the Hawkeyes:

Woof.

Forty minutes of basketball tonight inside Assembly Hall, and it was a foul fest — 52 combined between the Hawkeyes and Hoosiers. That’s 1.3 per minute. Blink and the whistle blew. Sneeze and there might have been another couple fouls called. Indiana got to the line a ridiculous 42 times, but converted on less than their average, making 29 of them for 69 percent. But the whistles won’t be the only knock against this game. Neither team shot the ball well. Both failed to shoot over 40 percent from the field (Iowa: 21-55, 38.2 percent; Indiana: 21-54, 38.9 percent). It was especially pathetic from distance. The Hoosiers nearly went 0-for the game, but two 3-pointers in the last minute by Victor Oladipo and Yogi Ferrell bumped the Hoosiers to 2-for-14 (14.3 percent) on the evening. The Hawkeyes were just 1-of-13 (7.7 percent) from beyond the arc.

With all the misses, both teams would get after it on the offensive boards. The Hawkeyes rebounded 43.6 percent of their misses, but only converted those extra opportunities into eight second-chance points. Indiana snagged 41.7 percent of its misses for 19 second-chance points. Indiana was able to tally 1.03 points per possession with Iowa scoring .88.

Somewhere amongst all the missed shots and whistles, there were some strong individual performances for the Hoosiers. Cody Zeller, as he’s done after losses before this season, had a great game. After getting knocked back on his heels against Minnesota on the road earlier this week, the sophomore was the aggressor tonight, throwing down dunks and swatting away shots. At one point in the first half, a ball Zeller lost track of started an Iowa fast break. But there was Zeller laying out his body for the steal from behind and then coming back down the court and receiving a pass from Will Sheehey and finishing with a jam. Zeller scored 22 points (7-of-13 from the field, 8-of-13 from the line), grabbed 10 rebounds and recorded three blocks.

Ferrell posted a career-high 19 points. He continually got into the lane and scored at the basket — atoning for some shots around the rim he missed against Minnesota — and added that aforementioned late 3-pointer to boot. Ferrell would also shoot well from the line (8-of-10). Tom Crean used this game to give the bench some decent run. Remy Abell played 14 minutes, but only offered up two points and two rebounds. Derek Elston saw nine minutes of action and scored five points.

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HD Video: Crean, Elston preview Iowa

Tom Crean and Derek Elston met with the media Friday evening to preview Saturday’s game at Assembly Hall with Iowa.

Watch and listen to their comments in the embedded media players below:

Pick to Click: Iowa

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Rules are here, for those unfamiliar.

Standings through fourteen 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 Iowa: All players are eligible to be picked.

Picks are due by 7:15 PM ET on Saturday.

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.

March Watch: Hoosiers hold steady on top line

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We’re down to 16 days remaining until Selection Sunday and despite a loss earlier this week at Minnesota, Indiana continues to hold its position from a seeding perspective for this year’s tournament. The Hoosiers can clinch the outright Big Ten regular season championship with three more conference wins, which could lock up the top spot in the Midwest regional that will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium. With just three regular season games to go, it’s time for another edition of March Watch, a look at where Indiana stands in terms of the NCAA Tournament.

Overview

The Hoosiers have only played once since our last update and despite dropping a 77-73 decision at Minnesota, they still boast one of the strongest overall profiles in the country. In the most recent update, Indiana is No. 1 on the s-curve of ESPN.com bracketologist Joe Lunardi ($).

Nitty Gritty Profile

· Record: 24-4 (12-2 Big Ten)
· RPI: 8
· SOS: 21
· Home Record: 16-1
· Away Record: 6-2
· Neutral Court Record: 2-1
· vs. RPI Top 50: 7-4
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 2-0

Indiana’s RPI dropped one spot since our last update and its strength of schedule figure rose four spots.

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What to Expect: Iowa

030113euIndiana returns to Assembly Hall on Saturday night to host Iowa in the first of its final two home games. The Hoosiers are coming off a 77-73 loss on Tuesday at Minnesota and the Hawkeyes are coming off a 58-48 home win over Purdue on Wednesday. Indiana won the first meeting between the two teams, 69-65, on Dec. 31 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The game will be broadcast on BTN at 7:30 p.m. with Kevin Kugler, Jim Jackson and Stephanie White on the call:

Indiana and Iowa will both have plenty to play for when the two teams get together on Branch McCracken Court on Saturday night. The Hoosiers are looking to not only solidify a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament, but also move a step closer to a regular season championship. The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, find themselves with 18 wins but on the wrong side of the tournament bubble and without a signature win on which to hang their hat.

Iowa is one of the league’s worst road teams with a 2-6 record in conference play. The two wins came over Penn State and Northwestern. Indiana is 6-1 at home in the Big Ten and over the past two seasons, the Hoosiers have compiled a 14-2 record in conference games at Assembly Hall.

PERSONNEL

Iowa comes into Saturday with a fairly significant injury in its backcourt as freshman Mike Gesell, the team’s third leading scorer, will be unavailable for a second straight game with a right foot injury. That means Roy Devyn Marble, the team’s point guard last season, will shift back into that role in Gesell’s absence and sophomore Josh Oglesby will likely receive his second consecutive start.

Marble, the team’s leading scorer at 14.0 points per game, will now have the difficult task of not only trying to facilitate for teammates, but also carry a significant piece of the scoring load. He’s using 24.5 percent of Iowa’s possessions, but is average from an efficiency standpoint with an effective field goal percentage of 46.3. Marble is at his best offensively when he doesn’t settle for jump shots and instead attacks the rim and either finishes, dishes off (assist rate of 20.5) or gets to the foul line.

While Oglesby will likely draw the start, he’ll likely split the minutes vacated by Gesell with freshman point guard Anthony Clemmons and senior Eric May. Oglesby, who was expected to be the team’s best shooter, has been woeful from the perimeter this season. His 126 attempts from distance are a team-high and his percentage, 26.6, is the second-worst on the team. Clemmons, who has started 13 of the team’s 28 games, is second in the Big Ten with an assist rate of 37.2, but offers little else offensively. May, who finishes well at the rim, is shooting close to 51 percent on twos.

Iowa’s frontcourt play is highlighted by Aaron White, who deserves some type of All-Big Ten recognition. White is second on the team in scoring at 13.6 points per game, leads the way in rebounding at 6.2 per game and has very few holes in his game. White is fourth best in the nation at getting to the foul line (204 attempts), rarely turns it over (12.6% turnover rate), doesn’t commit many fouls (2.1 per 40 minutes) and is shooting close to 56 percent on twos. White was one of the surprises in the league a season ago and he’s only gotten better as a sophomore.

Freshman center Adam Woodbury has started all 28 games, but has struggled to stay on the floor due to foul issues. Melsahn Basabe has returned to the starting lineup and is the team’s best defensive rebounder and shotblocker. Zach McCabe, a 6-foot-7 forward, prefers to hoist threes rather than play inside and Gabriel Olaseni, another foul prone big man who can block shots, is coming off a four-rebound performance in the win over Purdue.

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Film Session: Minnesota’s run

After a Victor Oladipo score with 15:42 to go in the second half, the Hoosiers found themselves up eight (44-36) and perhaps on their way to assuming control of the game for another road Big Ten victory. From there, the Golden Gophers went on a 10-2 run, tying up the game at 46-all at the 10:51 mark. It was a key run in the game, a momentum swing after the Hoosiers had held Minnesota scoreless for the preceding four minutes.

A look at how it all went down the latest edition of Film Session:

I. After an inbounds pass off the baseline, the Hoosiers sink into a 2-3 zone defense. Maverick Ahanmisi swings the ball to Joe Coleman on the left wing:

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Coleman passes the ball back to Ahanmisi, and a weak Rodney Williams Jr. pick allows some room for him to drive into the middle of the zone:

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With the Indiana defense collapsing to the middle, Ahanmisi finds Elliott Eliason on the left block:

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: February 28

022812ueThe Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall) and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

@JSutel writes: Yogi has improved all season, what’s the next part of his game to come, consistent finishing at the rim or that jump shot?

As you said, I think we’ve seen Yogi Ferrell improve in just about every area of his game as the season has progressed. But after a glance at the numbers, I think he’s been adequate in finishing at the rim and with his jumper this season. In terms of finishing at the rim, he’s taking 25 percent of his field goal attempts at the rim and is making 64 percent. For a small guard, that’s a good enough percentage.

As far as the jump shot goes, his overall percentages are not great, but he’s shooting close to 36 percent on threes in conference play, which is an improvement over the 20 percent mark posted in non-conference play. That tells me he’s becoming more comfortable and confident.

I think the next part of his game to come to elevate him into the elite level of point guards in college basketball is to cut down on his turnovers. His turnover percentage (23.8) is the highest among IU starters. Some of that has to do with the pace and style of play the Hoosiers play, but there are also instances where he goes airborne with nowhere to go or tries to make a pass that isn’t there. Some of that is just how he plays, but I also feel like some of it is still a matter of making an adjustment to the college game.

Nathan Curtis-Wagoner writes: What are the chances IU will end up in the Midwest region of the NCAA bracket?

Very good right now, but there’s still a lot to play out. Michigan losing last night at Penn State certainly helped the Hoosiers because the Wolverines are likely eliminated from contention for a No. 1 seed. The Wolverines probably had an outside shot of making a play for the Midwest No.1 before last night, but losing to the Big Ten’s worst team ended that.  A team to keep an eye on is Louisville, which is strong in the computers and has won 7 of 8.

Ultimately, Indiana just needs to win games to play through Indianapolis. I believe an outright Big Ten regular season championship makes the Hoosiers a lock for the Midwest No. 1 and if they share the title, they’ll probably have some work to do in Chicago to button things up. I’d characterize the chances as very good at this point, but nothing is guaranteed yet.

@funkmastacrab writes: What’s with Remy? He started the season off strong, but he hasn’t been the same since…is confidence a factor?

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