Troy Williams (19 points and nine rebounds), James Blackmon Jr. (24 points and seven rebounds) and Robert Johnson (19 points and four assists) met with the media following Indiana’s 90-71 win over Minnesota on Sunday night at Assembly Hall.
Former Indiana All-American and Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo finished second in last night’s Sprite Slam Dunk at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine won the contest.
Here’s a look at several of Oladipo’s dunks, including a reverse 360 that earned him perfect scores:
When Indiana plays Minnesota tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers are anticipating a similar challenge to what they faced back on Dec. 9 against Louisville.
Sure, the Golden Gophers and Cardinals have shared two completely different tracks to the season — the Gophers are 16-9 and just 5-7 in the Big Ten, while the Cardinals are 20-5 and 8-4 in the ACC — but the two share similarities. It starts with the fact that Minnesota is coached by Rick Pitino’s son, Richard Pitino.
It continues in that when the Hoosiers compare the tape from their 94-74 loss to the Cardinals and the tape they have seen on the Golden Gophers, the two share similar defenses.
“They bring great pressure to us,” sophomore Collin Hartman said on Saturday. “The two, they play very quick. They get out and run, they’re very talented and they bring a lot of energy. So we have to come in ready. We’re going to have to be able to combat their pressure and play within our game and take care of the ball.”
Coming into tonight’s game, the Golden Gophers rank third in the country in forced turnover percentage — with about a 26.0 percent rate. They lead the Big Ten with a 23.9 percent forced turnover rate — the best rate the league has seen since Northwestern in the 2008-2009 season (24.0 percent). That success has come from a variety of factors.
Indiana begins a pivotal two-game homestand on Sunday night when Minnesota comes to Assembly Hall. The Golden Gophers are 16-9 and 5-7 in Big Ten play, but have won three straight.
The game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network at 7:30 p.m. ET with Kevin Kugler and Stephen Bardo on the call:
Indiana has maneuvered the third toughest in-conference Big Ten schedule so far to a 7-5 record, which has set the Hoosiers up well for four remaining home games and trips to Rutgers and Northwestern, who have combined for a 3-21 conference record to date.
But Indiana’s work in terms of solidifying a spot in next month’s NCAA tournament is not done yet and the road to double digit conference wins, which would likely seal up that bid, continues on Sunday with Minnesota.
Last year’s NIT champions started out 0-5 in conference play, but have won five of seven and are coming off their first road win in Big Ten play on Thursday night at Iowa.