Photo Gallery: Indiana vs. Louisville

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Check out 31 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 94-74 loss to Louisville at Madison Square Garden in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. See more images and purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.

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The Minute After: Louisville

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Thoughts on a 94-74 loss to the Cardinals:

Despite a valiant effort from the Hoosiers under the lights at Madison Square Garden, at one point leading by four in the second half, No. 4 Louisville was just too much to handle.

Indiana, as it did against Pittsburgh, tried to gang rebound as best it could, but its lack of size was exposed again against a strong offensive rebounding squad. The Cardinals flat out dominated the offensive glass, rebounding 52 percent of their misses leading to a ton of easy opportunities and 25 second-chance points. Its defense, as it does, also turned the Hoosiers over a lot (24.6 TO%) and that led to 19 points off turnovers.

With Yogi Ferrell off the floor in the first half, Indiana had a number of miscues in a row and Louisville made the Hoosiers pay. Stanford Robinson turned the ball over fives times in nine minutes of action tonight. Though some of IU’s mistakes were a bit self-inflicted, it was still a rough performance  holding onto the ball any way you slice it.

Louisville hasn’t been a great shooting team this season, but that wasn’t quite the case tonight against Indiana’s defense. It hit a number of key shots in this one, poured in 1.22 points per possession, and bested its season average on 3-pointers (28%) by going 8-of-23 from distance (34.8%). Terry Rozier hit 5-of-8 from beyond the arc on his way to a career-high 26 points, while backcourt mate Chris Jones made a number of nice moves and worked over the Indiana defense for 24 of his own to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.

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Indiana and Louisville set for ‘a hell of a game’

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Indiana’s preparation through its first eight games this season has all led to tonight.

The Hoosiers (7-1) scheduled SMU for the Mustangs’ defensive pressure and steals it forces. It focused on Pittsburgh’s defense in the days leading up to the ACC/Big 10 Challenge meeting. But Indiana coach Tom Crean acknowledged none of Indiana’s eight prior opponents compare to No. 4 Louisville (7-0).

The two teams play tonight at approximately 9:30 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

“This is a really big, athletic, mobile team that can rebound well,” Crean said. “They can post up. They can drive it. Their pressure is really strong.

“For us, we are going to have to play out of our minds.”

As with most Louisville teams under Rick Pitino, this year’s Cardinals squad is already establishing itself as one of the top defensive corps in the country led by 6-foot-8 junior Montrezl Harrell. As of Monday evening, the Cardinals ranked No. 2 in the nation in defensive efficiency, allowing 0.84 points per possession. Opponents are also shooting just a 35.2 effective field goal percentage (No. 2 in the nation) and are being forced into an average 27.7 turnover percentage (No. 4 in the nation).

The Hoosiers were tested on Saturday against Savannah State, which pressed and forced an IU 20.6% turnover rate. Louisville will do the same tonight. But Indiana has yet to experience a defense the caliber of Louisville.

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What to Expect: Louisville

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Indiana’s first test away from Assembly Hall is a significant one as the Hoosiers face No. 4 Louisville on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York in the Jimmy V Classic.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET with Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Andy Katz on the call:

Indiana and Louisville, two schools separated by just over 100 miles, will play on Tuesday for the first time since February of 2003 and it took a trip to the “World’s Most Famous Arena” and a prime-time slot to bring the two programs together.

Both Tom Crean and Rick Pitino have talked about starting a series for several years, but nothing has ever materialized despite support in both fanbases to see the programs, who have combined for eight national championships, play. But even if an annual series fails to start up in the coming years, Tuesday’s game is one that is good for the sport of college basketball and also good for this particular Indiana team. The Hoosiers have yet to be tested away from Bloomington and facing one of the country’s elite teams on the grandest stage should give Crean a better grasp of where this team stands with the start of Big Ten play now less than four weeks away.

Intrigue was added to the game earlier this year when former Indiana assistant coach Kenny Johnson, who was a key figure in the recruitments of Robert Johnson, Troy Williams and others, left Bloomington for a hefty pay raise to work for Pitino at Louisville. While Johnson was nothing but complimentary of Indiana in his comments shortly after arriving in Louisville, you can bet the competitor inside of him as well as the competitor inside of both Crean and IU’s players have been looking forward to this game.

For the first time this season, Indiana is a decisive underdog going into a game. How will the Hoosiers handle the stage and the pressure defense of Louisville? We’ll find out in short order.

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Film Session: Savannah State

As noted in Saturday night’s The Minute After, Stanford Robinson stopped trying to do too much against the Tigers and ended the contest with five assists in 13 minutes of action.

We’ll take a look at him forcing things early followed by three assists in the latest edition of Film Session:

I. Turnover 

Shortly after checking into the game, Robinson is being tightly guarded at the beginning of an Indiana possession:

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He’s able to work his way past the defender and has daylight ahead of him:

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When Emmitt Holt’s man comes over to ward off Robinson’s drive to the bucket, Holt is open and moving toward the basket into the paint:

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Savannah State

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Indiana moved to 7-1 on Saturday night with a blowout win over Savannah State at Assembly Hall. Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s 95-49 win over the Tigers:

· Indiana took care of business against an inferior opponent: This may not seem significant, but there’s an argument to be made that it’s a sign of growth for a young team to step on an opponent early and never relent. After Michigan lost to NJIT and Purdue lost to North Florida earlier in the day, it was fair to ask whether Indiana would create early separation or let Savannah State hang around like Lamar and UNC Greensboro, two earlier, similar opponents in terms of their Pomeroy ratings.

The Hoosiers looked flat early, but exploded for a 33-8 run to claim a 43-17 halftime lead. From there, Indiana never looked back on its way to win No. 7.

“When we go out there, we want to give it everything we got like it is our last game,” junior Yogi Ferrell said. “So that game can transfer over to the next game so we can get wins on top of wins.”

· Quietly, Yogi Ferrell is thriving: Is it possible that Indiana’s best player isn’t being talked about enough? Because the numbers say that so far, Ferrell has been a better player this year. Here’s a look at his numbers this season through eight games compared to last year’s first eight:

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Notebook: Indiana dominates Savannah State in 95-49 win

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Heading into Saturday night’s game against Savannah State, Indiana did not have the greatest track record against inferior opponents.

They won by just 13 over Lamar — a team that won four games last season. They beat UNC Greensboro by just eight points. And they also lost to Eastern Washington from the Big Sky Conference.

But on Saturday, the Hoosiers took care of business in Assembly Hall, dominating the Tigers en route to a 95-49 victory to extend their record this season to 7-1.

“Well, really, we learned that from our Eastern Washington game — if you don’t get up for a team, they start to gain confidence and they think that they can play with you,” freshman James Blackmon Jr. said. “Tonight we just wanted to start from the beginning and that’s what we did.”

The Hoosiers did get off to a slow start against Savannah State as they led just 10-9 with 14:55 to go in the first half. But from there, the Hoosiers did not look back.

Savannah State’s offensive ineptitude combined with an improved defensive effort from the Hoosiers led to a 43-17 margin at halftime. The Tigers were averaging just 0.49 points per possession. Indiana limited their offensive rebound percentage to just 14.3 percent as well.

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