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Hoosiers enter top ten for first time since 2008

When Indiana takes the floor at Assembly Hall against Minnesota on Thursday evening, the Hoosiers will do so as a top ten team in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN coaches top 25 polls.

After a pair of wins over Michigan and Penn State, Indiana jumped five spots in the AP Poll and four spots in the coaches poll.

The Hoosiers were last ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll on Jan. 21, 2008 and No. 8 in the coaches poll on that same date.

Four Big Ten teams — Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana and Michigan — are ranked in the top 15 in both polls.

You can view the complete AP Poll here and the complete coaches poll here.

Notes, quotes from Crean on Big Ten teleconference

Notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s Monday morning appearance on the Big Ten coaches teleconference. Prior to the teleconference, the Big Ten announced that Cody Zeller as the league’s Freshman of the Week for the fifth time this season:

OPENING REMARKS

— “We feel like we’re making progress, we feel like we’re getting better and at the same time, we feel like there’s a lot of room for us to improve even more. This is a big week for us obviously with Minnesota coming here and playing at Ohio State after just playing them a little over a week ago. Along with getting ready for games, we’ve got to make sure that we continue to never get away from the fundamentals that have put us in this position thus far. And it’s all the little details of the game that make you better and we’ve gotta make sure that we stay on top of that. But I love the attitude of our players, I love their work ethic and I think they’re as committed to get better as we are to getting them better.”

CREAN ON “THE PROGRAM”

— Crean was asked (by Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times) about “The Program,” which is a Massachusetts-based company that specializes in “team building and leadership development programs for pro sports teams, college teams, high school teams, and major corporations.” Crean said he found out about “The Program” after reading a story about their involvement with Oregon football and decided to bring the military-based company to Bloomington over the summer.

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Blackmon Jr. delivers pair of big games for Luers

Throughout the season, Inside the Hall will keep you posted on how IU’s five 2012 signees, five verbal commitments and other notable prospects with interest in the Hoosiers are performing at their respective schools. (Photo credit: Jamie Owens/J. Scott Sports)

You can send us stats or results for this report at insidethehall@gmail.com. (Note: This is not a complete list of prospects IU is recruiting. Prospects may be added/removed on a week-to-week basis depending on the availability of stats.)

2012 SIGNEES

Hanner Perea (La Porte La Lumiere): Eighteen points in a 65-51 win over Farragut on Jan. 7.

Jeremy Hollowell (Lawrence Central): Thirty-eight points in a 84-76 loss at Bowman Academy on Jan. 3 and 36 points in a 74-60 win over Columbus North on Jan. 6.

Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (Park Tudor): Sixteen points in a 47-37 win at Heritage Christian on Dec. 6.

Peter Jurkin (United Faith Christian Academy, NC): Twenty-one points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in a 90-69 win at Gaston Day on Jan. 3 and 11 points in a 70-50 win over North Hills Christian on Jan. 6.

Ron Patterson (Broad Ripple): Eighteen points, five rebounds and five steals in a 80-15 win over Indianapolis Herron on Jan. 6.

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Hoosiers use barrage of threes to down Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — For a 2:26 stretch in the first half, Indiana knocked down 3-point field goals on five consecutive possessions.

Shots falling from beyond the arc were a common sight at the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday, as Indiana used a barrage of 3-pointers to beat Penn State 88-82 and snap its 16-game losing streak in Big Ten road games.

The No. 12 Hoosiers (15-1, 3-1 Big Ten), who entered the game with a nation’s-best 45.6 three-point field goal percentage, sunk 16 of their 24 3-point attemps.

“This is a hard-earned victory. This is a tough league. It’s the No. 1 league in the country for a reason,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “We knew that we were going to have to play at a very high level.”

Jordan Hulls tallied seven of Indiana’s 3-point field goals, and recorded a career-high 28 points, also a game-high. The junior guard from Bloomington took only two shots inside the 3-point line, making neither, and scored his other seven points off late-game free throws.

Matt Roth came off the bench and hit five 3-pointers of his own, finishing with 22 points. Cody Zeller and Christian Watford each added 10.

“(Penn State) made it hard for us a couple of times. But that’s where that extra pass was excellent,” Crean said. “I think Jordan shooting the ball the way that he did, it gets really hard to back off those guys.”

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HD Video: Tom Crean on win at Penn State

Tom Crean met with the media following No. 12 Indiana’s 88-82 win over Penn State on Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center. Watch and listen to his comments in high-definition video in the embedded player below:

Jake Kaplan is a freelance sports journalist based out of State College, Pa. He’s a former intern at USA TODAY and The Philadelphia Inquirer and will graduate from Penn State in May. Follow him on Twitter at jakemkaplan

HD Video: Jordan Hulls, Matt Roth on win at Penn State

Jordan Hulls (career-high 28 points) and Matt Roth (22 points) met with the media following No. 12 Indiana’s 88-82 win over Penn State on Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center. Watch and listen to their comments in high-definition video in the embedded player below:

Jake Kaplan is a freelance sports journalist based out of State College, Pa. He’s a former intern at USA TODAY and The Philadelphia Inquirer and will graduate from Penn State in May. Follow him on Twitter at jakemkaplan

The Minute After: Penn State

Thoughts on a 88-82 win against Penn State:

It rained threes inside the Bryce Jordan Center this afternoon.

Seven from Jordan Hulls on nine attempts. Five from Matt Roth on six attempts. Sixteen in total on 24 attempts (66.7%) for the Hoosiers. This sort of barrage was in the cards heading into this one. As Alex wrote yesterday — and as the Big Ten Network’s Tom Hart noted on the broadcast (thanks for the shout-out!) — Indiana is the best 3-point shooting team in the nation. Penn State gives up the second highest percentage of opponent points from behind the 3-point line in the country. Still, this sort of gaudy display was a treat and highlighted just how deadly Hulls and Roth are when they get open looks.

But the Nittany Lions would not go down quietly amidst the 3-point flurry. Pat Chambers has his kids playing hard. Some late-game half-court trapping and full-court pressure put the heat on the Hoosiers and caused a few turnovers. The last two minutes dragged, as Penn State made a serious run at pulling off a come-from-behind victory, trailing by just two with 21 seconds to play after getting a few quick, easy buckets at the rim. But some clutch free throw shooting by — who else? — Hulls and Roth shut the door on Penn State’s run.

The Hoosiers, no matter how it looked, picked up just their second conference road win in Tom Crean’s tenure and moved to 15-1 (3-1) on the season. They will take it.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS AND STATS:

+ Indiana’s defense has regressed a bit so far this Big Ten season. And such a notion was on full display in Happy Valley. The Hoosiers allowed 82 points to a middling Penn State offensive unit — which tied for the most points the Nittany Lions have scored this season. (They also had 82 points in a win against Youngstown State during the non-conference slate.) Indiana also allowed Penn State to score 1.18 points per possession. The Nittany Lions scored 36 points in the paint this evening, as the Hoosiers didn’t do a particularly good job of stopping penetration. Penn State was very good with the ball, turning it over only nine times (13.0 TO%). Indiana, meanwhile, turned it over 16 times and Penn State was able to score 18 points off of them.

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