Class of 2014 Indiana commitment Trey Lyles helped lead Arsenal Tech to one of the season’s most thrilling upsets thus far on Friday night.
The 6-foot-9 sophomore scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the host Titans upset Collin Hartman and No. 10 Cathedral 59-58. Lyles knocked down two game winning free throws with 2.9 seconds to go.
Inside the Hall was in attendance and we’ve compiled over five minutes of highlights in the embedded media player below:
He’s not yet ready to label Indiana as the favorite in his recruitment, but it’s clear Saturday’s 73-72 thriller against No. 1 Kentucky made a major impact on 2013 Detroit, Mich. Community forward Byron “Bo” Zeigler.
“A game winner against the No. 1 team in the country. … Crazy environment,” Zeigler told Inside the Hall of his first trip to Assembly Hall. “I’ve never seen a game like that in my life. The fans are behind the basketball program 100 percent.
“That’s probably going to play a big role in my recruitment.”
The 6-foot-7 Zeigler, a wing forward ranked among the top 40 prospects in his class by Scout.com, sat behind the bench and had a close look at Christian Watford’s game winner from the left wing.
“I was right behind the bench. I couldn’t believe he hit it,” Zeigler said. “I see buzzer beaters on TV, but I was right there and I was able to see it. It was unbelievable.”
After the shot went in, chaos ensued on Branch McCracken Court as students stormed the floor.
Zeigler described the postgame scene: “I almost got ran over, knocked down,” he laughed. “Fans everywhere, running, screaming, yelling.”
With a little less than a year until he can sign a National Letter of Intent, Zeigler is still considering several schools including Florida, Georgetown, Iowa State, Michigan, Michigan State, Providence and Xavier.
“I think my recruitment is still wide open. I don’t want to make a decision too fast,” he said. “I’m still going to think it through. But they [Indiana] made a tough argument with that game.”
Indiana got Anthony Davis into foul trouble and hit six straight 3-pointers in the second half in their win over Kentucky on Saturday. Both were key factors in the victory.
A look at both in the lastest edition of Film Session.
By dumping it into Cody Zeller twice in one minute during the first half, the Hoosiers went right after Davis. He picked up two quick fouls and went to the bench at the 8:03 mark. (Such a transpiring of events makes you wonder why the Hoosiers weren’t giving it to Zeller down low in the closing minutes of the ball game when Davis had four fouls and was guarding him, but I digress.) Davis didn’t play the rest of the first half. Indiana went on a 13-2 run with him out to go up 30-22, but Kentucky was able to score seven quick points in the final 1:55 of the half to close the gap and trail by only one at half, 30-29.
In the second half, Victor Oladipo got his shot blocked by Doron Lamb, but stuck with the play and picked up the third foul on Davis at the 17:35 mark. Davis sat until the 15:50 mark. Indiana went on a 10-0 run with the shot-blocker on the bench to go up 45-35.
Davis’ final foul of the contest was an ill-advised one, hacking Verdell Jones on a 3-point attempt with 12 minutes to go. The Hoosiers were able to maintain a seven-point lead for the duration of his time on the sideline. He entered with 6:28 to go and remained on the floor for the duration of the game.
For the first time since the late stages of the 2007-2008 season, Indiana is among the top 25 teams in the country.
The 9-0 Hoosiers, who received votes in both the Associated Press poll and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll a week ago, broke into the rankings thanks to a dramatic 73-72 win over No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday.
Indiana is No. 18 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the coaches poll.
On the first Big Ten coaches teleconference of the season Monday morning, Tom Crean was asked about his team potentially entering the top 25 by Dustin Dopirak of The Bloomington Herald-Times.
“It’s not like it would be a disappointment if we weren’t, but I’d be shocked if we weren’t at the same time,” he said. “These players have earned it. I’m really excited for what’s ahead for this team.
“The biggest thing is they stay locked in to their own expectations. I think that’s what’s so important. … That they continue to understand improvement, unity, togetherness, offensive and defensive fundamentals, the preparation that they’ve put forth. That’s what’s been so good for this team.”
Indiana last appeared in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll at No. 24 on March 17, 2008.
The ranking in the Associated Press poll is the program’s first since being placed at No. 18 on March 3, 2008.
The dust has started to settle on Indiana’s 73-72 win over No. 1 Kentucky at Assembly Hall on Saturday, but one thing we’ve yet to dig deeply into are the statistical factors that led to the signature victory of the Tom Crean era (All stats via KenPom.com and StatSheet.com):
Kentucky actually outpaced Indiana in free throw rate (defined as FTA/FGA), but it was what happened inside of those attempts that helped push the Hoosiers to the winner’s circle. Both teams went to the line 17 times. Indiana made 14. Kentucky made 10.
Call it a bad shooting night or call it difficult circumstances created by the fan atmosphere, but two of Kentucky’s most experienced players — Doron Lamb (7-of-11) and Terrence Jones (0-of-2) — left valuable opportunities for naught at the line.
It almost felt like it was supposed to happen this way.
The Hoosiers blew their 10-point lead and trailed No. 1 Kentucky 72-70 with only 5.6 seconds left. But some way, somehow, you just knew something magical was about to happen.
After everything Tom Crean and this program has been through over the last three-plus years, Indiana needed –- and probably deserved –- a win like this one.
“I hate to lose, but if I’m to lose, losing to Tommy’s [Crean] fine because of what he’s done here in four years,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “And having to do it the way he did it, where you’re undermanned and now you’re trying to fight everybody [saying] ‘why aren’t we winning?’
“For him to have this happen to him, for he and his family, I’m happy for him. They deserved to win the game.”
Even after Kentucky’s Doron Lamb missed one of two free throws, the Hoosiers needed so much to happen for them to win.
They had to avoid getting fouled when Kentucky had two to give. They had to get the ball down the court in a hurry and stay spread. They needed a Wildcat defender to forget about Christian Watford. And they needed Watford –- who played the best game of his career -– to hit the biggest shot of his life.
No foul, Verdell Jones rushed the ball down court, Darius Miller got sucked in, Watford splashed it.
“It was like a dream, like slow motion,” Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said afterward. “In some ways, I couldn’t believe it, but in other ways, I couldn’t believe it would end any other way. It was kind of like it was a game of destiny.
“IU basketball is back. There couldn’t have been a bigger signature win.”