2014 Ft. Wayne Luers guard James Blackmon Jr. had a career night on Saturday. The 6-foot-2 Indiana commitment scored 40 points as Luers moved to 4-1 with a 89-83 win at Indianapolis Howe.
Inside the Hall was in attendance and we’ve compiled over four minutes of video in the embedded media player below. A video interview with Blackmon Jr. is also available after the jump:
Fresh off a grind-it-out win over Notre Dame at Conseco Fieldhouse on Saturday, Indiana returns to Assembly Hall tonight for a meeting with the Howard Bison. The game will be shown on the Big Ten Network (Gus Johnson/Quinn Buckner) and broadcast on the IU radio network (Sirius 128/XM 190):
Before the Hoosiers hit the road in nine days for East Lansing, two games await in Assembly Hall to finish out the pre-conference schedule. And according to both the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and KenPom.com, the opponents are the two weakest on the entire schedule.
Through Saturday’s games, Howard, a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference ranks No. 333 in the RPI and No. 302 in the Pomeroy Ratings out of 345 Division I teams. The Bison (3-8) have not won a road game since Jan. 18, 2010 and are coming off a 21-point loss at Oregon State last Thursday.
A LOOK AT THE POMEROY NUMBERS
Howard is simply outmatched against an Indiana team that will be looking to get back on track following a subpar offensive performance in Conseco Fieldhouse. Only two teams in Division I are sending their opponents to the free throw line at a higher rate than the Bison and not many teams are turning it over with more frequency, either.
It’s tough to pinpoint a single area where Howard could give the Hoosiers trouble. Their profile is that bad despite losing some close games. This should be a solid opportunity for Tom Crean to work on putting in some new sets and also dip into the bench a little deeper to get some guys like Austin Etherington, Daniel Moore, Matt Roth, Remy Abell and Tom Pritchard some solid run once the game is in hand.
Throughout the season, Inside the Hall will keep you posted on how IU’s five 2012 signees, four 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 email@example.com. (Note: We’ll be adding more recruits as the season moves along and more schedules become available.)
+ Hanner Perea (La Porte La Lumiere): Did not play. Next: Elgin Tournament Dec. 19-22.
+ Jeremy Hollowell (Lawrence Central): Six points, five rebounds and four assists in a 51-50 win at Bloomington South on Dec. 16.
+ Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (Park Tudor): 18 points and six assists in a 87-60 win at Triton Central on Dec. 17.
+ Peter Jurkin (United Faith Christian Academy, NC): Seventeen points in a 62-43 win at Trinity on Dec. 15. United Faith played at Kinston on Dec. 17, but no stats were available as of Sunday morning.
+ Ron Patterson (Broad Ripple): Eleven points in a 63-51 win over Indianapolis Northwest on Dec. 16.
Notre Dame went ahead of the Hoosiers 15-6 after Eric Atkins’ reverse layup with 14:33 to go in the first half.
In the past three years, that might have signaled the beginning of the end for Indiana. Without enough consistently reliable scorers, the Hoosiers rarely came back from such a deficit.
But those teams didn’t have Cody Zeller.
The 6-11 freshman sensation kept the Hoosiers (10-0) in the game long enough for his teammates to find their offensive rhythm, and then carried them their tenth consecutive win to start the season.
In one of the Hoosiers’ worst shooting games of the season, Zeller came up with one of his best – and most important – performances.
“It was very important to get Cody established from the beginning,” said Indiana coach Tom Crean. “It’s living proof that you can go to him, and you can go through him. He did numerous things with the ball.”
IU’s freshman big man finished with 21 points – two off his career-high – and eight rebounds. His teammates fed him in the post early and often once it became clear Notre Dame had nobody that could guard him.
Zeller got himself started with offensive rebounds and tips around the rim, and then used his quickness to score on Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley. When the Irish (7-5) brought a double team, Zeller found cutting teammates for easy baskets.
“We’ve got to play through Cody all the time,” Indiana guard Jordan Hulls said. “He can do so many different things. You throw it in, he can either score, he can pass – we’ve just got to cut off him. He’s unselfish so he’ll still find the open man. It’s very crucial that we do that every game.”
Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media following the Hoosiers’ 69-58 win over Notre Dame in the Close the Gap Crossroads Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse. Watch and listen to his comments in high-definition video in the embedded player below:
Indiana junior Jordan Hulls, sophomore Victor Oladipo and freshman Cody Zeller met with the media following the Hoosiers’ 69-58 win over Notre Dame in the Close the Gap Crossroads Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse. Watch and listen to his comments in high-definition video in the embedded player below: