Fran McCaffery and Jarrod Uthoff met with the media following Iowa’s 85-78 loss to Indiana on Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch their postgame comments below:
Quick thoughts on Indiana’s 85-78 win over Iowa:
How it happened: The Hoosiers raced out to a 36-20 lead on the No. 4 Hawkeyes, but this one wasn’t without its fair share of drama. Iowa, as it has done on multiple occasions this season, raced back from a large deficit and led by as many as four with 9:35 to play. But down the stretch, Indiana made the plays it needed to emerge victorious. The Hoosiers scored a ridiculous 1.32 points per possession on the evening and had a turnover percentage of just 17, which were two keys in the victory. They also overcame a tough shooting night from Yogi Ferrell (2-of-12) on the strength of a strong showing on the offensive glass. IU rebounded 54 percent of its missed shots and scored 26 second chance points. In a contest that was close down the stretch, that was arguably the difference. Indiana now has a signature win on its resume as a road test in East Lansing on Sunday awaits.
Assembly Hall should be electric Thursday night when No. 4 Iowa comes to Bloomington to take on Indiana in a game that will have big implications on the Big Ten title race.
The Hawkeyes (19-4, 10-1) have won three straight following their lone Big Ten loss at Maryland, and are led by senior Jarrod Uthoff, a 6-foot-9 forward that is averaging more than 18 points a game, 6.4 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per contest.
“Uthoff’s got tremendous footwork. Very good, great range,” Tom Crean said. “The only comparison I can come up with is Keith Van Horn when he played in college. In the modern day, with the footwork it’s like Dirk Nowitzki. I’m not saying he’s Dirk Nowitzki, but he’s got that level of footwork. He doesn’t get rattled, he’s very patient.”
Indiana senior guard Yogi Ferrell was named to the Wooden Award late season top 20, the national advisory board for the award announced on Wednesday night.
Ferrell, who is averaging 17.3 points, 5.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game, was left off the Wooden Award midseason top 25 list announced last month, but his stellar play in recent weeks fueled his inclusion on the list.
A list of 15 finalists will be announced shortly before the 2016 NCAA tournament.
Calbert Cheaney was the last Hoosier to win the Wooden Award in 1993. Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo were both named finalists for the award in 2013.
The complete late season top 20 is available after the jump.
Tom Crean, Max Bielfeldt and Robert Johnson met with the media on Wednesday afternoon to preview Thursday’s meeting with Iowa at Assembly Hall.
Watch both press conferences below:
After a disappointing 68-63 loss at Penn State, Indiana returns home on Thursday night for a meeting with Big Ten leader Iowa. The Hawkeyes, ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, are 19-4 and 10-1 in the Big Ten.
The game will be broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN with Rece Davis, Dick Vitale and Kaylee Hartung on the call:
Thursday’s meeting in Bloomington between Indiana and Iowa was supposed to be for first place in the Big Ten. But after Indiana’s disappointing performance at the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday, the Hoosiers can only play for a tie with Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes.
Iowa is the surprise story in not only the conference this season, but also nationally. Picked by most to finish no better than sixth or seventh in the league, the experienced Hawkeyes have one of the nation’s most well rounded teams.
And McCaffery, who has never lost fewer than 12 games in a season as Iowa’s coach, is right there at the front of the discussion for both Big Ten and national coach of the year. We’ve written since late December about the Big Ten schedule being backloaded with words of curiosity as to how Indiana will respond to the highest level of competition. Based on resume and results to-date, it’s not going to get much tougher than the challenges Iowa will present in primetime on Thursday under the bright lights of Assembly Hall.