Thoughts on a 83-64 win over Texas Southern:
I. Robert Johnson came out of the gate hot. He headed to the locker room at halftime with a line that would have looked nice after a full 40: 17 points (5-of-6, 3-of-3 from distance), four assists and three rebounds. Johnson’s ability to handle the ball, dribble-drive and score or find the open teammate in the corner for 3-pointers makes him incredibly valuable within Indiana’s offense. When the competition stiffens Johnson may find it harder to drive into the paint, but he’s making a strong case for a starting spot even when Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson come back from suspension Thursday against SMU.
At the very least, he’s going to give Tom Crean an option off the bench without much dropoff from the starting backcourt.
II. Hanner Mosquera-Perea played arguably his best game as a Hoosier tonight against the Tigers. He scored a career-high (12 points) with some back-to-basket scores, a breakaway dunk, a jumper and a pick-and-roll bucket. Mosquera-Perea also notched a career-high five blocks, looking like a man against boys at times with a couple of the chasedown variety. He did have three turnovers and only five rebounds, but he looked confident on both ends of the court and continues to look like an improved and capable player despite the miscues.
III. The offensive numbers were again impressive: 1.19 points per possession, 66% eFG, 10-of-15 from 3-point range, four players in double-figures (Johnson: 21, Yogi Ferrell: 20, James Blackmon Jr: 19, Mosquera-Perea 12). But after heading to the locker room with a 15-point lead, the Hoosiers let an undermanned Texas Southern squad hang around for too long. The Tigers never got closer than 10 and there was never any real threat of them taking the lead. But over the final 20 minutes of the contest, Indiana only outscored the Tigers 39-35.
Check out 21 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 83-64 win over Texas Southern at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. Purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.
Indiana junior Yogi Ferrell has been named to the John R. Wooden Award preseason top 50 list, the national advisory board for the award announced on Monday.
He’s one of seven Big Ten players to be named to the list, joining Michigan State’s Branden Dawson, Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky, Michigan’s Caris LeVert, Nebraska’s Terran Petteway and Maryland’s Dez Wells.
Former Indiana Director of Basketball Operations Calbert Cheaney was the last Hoosier to win the Wooden Award in 1993.
Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo were both finalists for the award during the 2012-2013 season.
The complete preseason top 50 list follows after the jump:
Lamar Stevens wanted to see something different.
The 6-foot-6, 215 pound forward had never visited a school outside of Pennsylvania until this past weekend when he and his parents flew in for an unofficial visit to Indiana.
With schools like Villanova, Temple and Penn State all pushing to keep him close to home, the four-star class of 2016 prospect has also taken a high level of interest in the IU program.
“I’ve talked with Tom Crean over the phone and from his resume, he’s a very successful coach,” Stevens told Inside the Hall. “I’ve always been interested in watching schools like Indiana. So I’ve always had an interest in watching them and I wanted to get a feel for a different school outside of Pennsylvania. So that’s why we decided to take the trip. I’d never visited a school outside of Pennsylvania.”
Rated the No. 71 player nationally by the 247Composite, Stevens, who plays at the Haverford School, received an Indiana offer in July. The Haverford School is a private, all-boys school just outside of Philadelphia.
Assistant coach Chuck Martin, along with Crean, have both taken an active role in his recruitment.
Indiana hit 11-of-23 from distance in their blowout win against Mississippi Valley State on Friday night, which was more than it hit in any game a season ago.
A look at the variety of ways the Hoosiers are getting up shots from 3-point land in the latest edition of Film Session:
I. The Extra Pass
Nick Zeisloft gets trapped in the corner across the timeline:
He’s able to work himself out of it with a pass to James Blackmon Jr. and now the Delta Devil defense is scrambling around the court:
On a quick turnaround, Indiana is back in Assembly Hall tonight to begin the four-game Hoosiers Showcase. First up is Texas Southern, which is coached by former IU coach Mike Davis.
The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network at 6 p.m. ET with Chris Denari and Jim Jackson on the call.
First things first: If you haven’t read our expansive Q & A with Davis, I recommend doing so at this link.
As far as Davis returning to Assembly Hall to coach against a program that he once led, it’s an opportunity that he clearly is looking forward to with great enthusiasm. Despite the rocky ending to his tenure in Bloomington, time has likely healed much of the ill will toward Davis and the expectation is that he’ll be welcomed with a friendly ovation when he’s announced on Branch McCracken Court.
The program Davis now leads, Texas Southern, is coming off a trip to the NCAA tournament after winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament last season. Given what the program lost in the offseason, which includes big man Aaric Murray, the likelihood for another run to March Madness aren’t favorable.
A pair of talented perimeter players, one who IU fans should have some familiarity with, will lead Texas Southern into Assembly Hall. Nebraska transfer Deverell Biggs, who was dismissed by Tim Miles last season, as well as Marshall transfer Chris Thomas, are the two Tigers to keep an eye on.
On Thursday evening, as Texas Southern coach Mike Davis spoke on the phone from Cheney, Wash., the Tigers coach said he didn’t even want to be playing Eastern Washington the next day in their season opener. He wanted to be in Bloomington.
More than eight years after his departure as Indiana’s head coach, Davis is set to make his return to the place he once coached, as his Texas Southern squad faces the Hoosiers on Monday at 6 p.m., as part of the Hoosiers Showcase.
Inside the Hall spoke expansively with Davis — on his time coaching at Indiana, his current situation at Texas Southern and his anticipation surrounding Monday’s game. Our full conversation with the former Hoosiers’ coach is posted below:
How did the opportunity to play Indiana this season present itself? Is it something you have wanted to do for a while?
I’ve never thought about it but it was because no one asked me. But I definitely wanted to come back and play a game at Indiana. And a guy called me and asked me do we want to be in the event that they were in, we’d get a chance to play them now. It’ll be great for our team and our program.
When you first accepted the invitation, what were your immediate thoughts?
I was excited. A good chance for my older son, he’s my assistant coach on my team, and my younger son that is playing ball and hopefully can be recruited one day by Indiana. We homeschooled him so he could get a chance to travel with us a lot. And as I’ve said before, Indiana gave our family the biggest pure memory that we could ever have, and that was getting an opportunity to coach at Indiana, first of all, and then play for a national championship where our whole family came down — brothers and sisters, cousins and friends — everyone came in to watch us play.
Do you, personally, feel ready for a return to Indiana?