Tourney Watch: Surging Hoosiers entering tough stretch

After finishing last season 20-14 with a loss to Wichita State in the NCAA tournament, Indiana entered the 2015-2016 with major expectations. The Hoosiers had several missteps early, but have now won 12 in a row on their way to a 7-0 Big Ten start, the best for the program since the 1992-1993 season.

This year’s debut of “Tourney Watch,” which will be a weekly feature up until Selection Sunday on March 13, takes a look at IU’s current nitty gritty profile, bracket projections and more.

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News and notes from Tom Crean’s radio show

On Monday evening, Indiana coach Tom Crean spoke on a previously recorded version of his weekly radio show hosted by Don Fischer. Crean recapped wins over Illinois and Northwestern and discussed a variety of other topics. Marni Mooney, assistant athletic director for retention and learning services, also joined the show for the final segment.

Below are news and notes from Crean’s comments:

· On the biggest adjustments since losing James Blackmon Jr.: “The spacing has changed because of the way the defenses have played us. So we have to adjust to that. And we have to do a much better job of getting body movement. The ball movement is important and the thing that is so strong there or what has to be strong there is the accuracy of your passes. But we have to move without the ball better. James created a lot of open looks for his teammates because of how they guarded him.”

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What to Expect: Wisconsin

Indiana will look to push its Big Ten record to 8-0 and its winning streak to 13 on Tuesday night in Madison when it takes on Wisconsin at the Kohl Center. The Badgers are 11-9 overall and 3-4 in the Big Ten.

The game will be broadcast at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN with Bob Wischusen and Dan Dakich on the call:

How significant would a win at Wisconsin be for Indiana? Consider this amazing stat: The Hoosiers have won just once in the Kohl Center. That was in January of 1998, the same year and month the building opened. Since then, IU has lost 13 straight in the building.

But the Badgers, unlike in previous seasons, aren’t invincible at home this year. Wisconsin lost three non-conference games at home and has already dropped league games to Purdue and Maryland in Madison.

Are the Hoosiers up for ending the streak? A win would go a long way in solidifying this team as a legitimate contender for the Big Ten crown.

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Ferrell named to midseason watch list for Oscar Robertson Trophy

The United States Basketball Writers Association announced the midseason watch list for the 2015 Oscar Robertson Trophy, which honors the national player of the year, on Monday.

Indiana senior Yogi Ferrell was one of four Big Ten players named to the 20-player list along with Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff, Maryland’s Melo Trimble and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine.

The complete watch list, per a USBWA release, is available after the jump.

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Film Session: Northwestern

In its blowout 89-57 win against Northwestern on Saturday, Indiana continued its hot hand from distance by making 46.4 percent (13-of-28) of its looks.

While Indiana got a couple to go down in transition, the Hoosiers got the majority of their triples — including some seriously wide open looks — inside their halfcourt offense by exploiting a Northwestern defense which appeared to be playing more of a matchup zone.

We’ll take a look at one 3-pointer in transition and four in the halfcourt in the latest edition of Film Session:

Robert Johnson inbounds to Troy Williams and he passes to Yogi Ferrell on the left wing:

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Big Ten Power Rankings: January 25

The Inside the Hall Big Ten Power Rankings are back following the fourth week of conference play and there are more shakeups in the league’s pecking order. Here’s a look at where each team stands after the fourth week of Big Ten play (Note: Points per possession numbers in parenthesis are for conference games only):

14. Rutgers (6-14, 0-7, .90 points per possession, 1.27 points per possession allowed) … There’s nothing to say. Rutgers is awful. And the critics in Piscataway are growing louder.

13. Minnesota (6-14, 0-8, .94 points per possession, 1.13 points per possession allowed) … While they haven’t won a game in the Big Ten yet, at least Minnesota has been slightly competitive. Its last three losses came by three possessions or less. Things don’t get easier, as the Gophers get Purdue and Indiana to close out January.

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Northwestern

Indiana extended its winning streak to 12 games on Saturday with another blowout win. The latest victim? The Northwestern Wildcats, whom the Hoosiers crushed 89-57. Indiana is now 7-0 in the Big Ten.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Wildcats:

· Ferrell’s run of brilliant play continues: Another game, another dominant performance from Yogi Ferrell. We may have to give Ferrell a permanent spot in five takeaways as long as his current play continues.

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