Sandwiched between last Wednesday’s come-from-behind win at N.C. State and a meeting with No. 1 Kentucky, Sunday’s meeting with Stetson produced arguably the worst first half of the season to date for Indiana.
The Hoosiers went to the locker room leading just 33-29 and Assembly Hall was as quiet as it’s been this season late in the first half.
“We knew coming in at half what we had to do. We came out too lackadaisical, too lazy, too laid back,” Verdell Jones said of IU’s first half performance. “That’s not us, that’s not who we are this year.”
Rather than getting into his team at the intermission, Tom Crean instead focused on putting together a different lineup to start the second half that would provide a spark of energy.
Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo sat in favor of Derek Elston, Daniel Moore and Will Sheehey.
“I wanted to change things up because I thought it needed to be,” Crean said of the halftime change in personnel. “And that’s not to say that the guys that we didn’t start didn’t have it. But the energy level, the synergy wasn’t where it needed to be. It was just a feel. And it worked out.”
Indeed it did.
The Hoosiers scored seven points in the first two minutes of the second half and Stetson never got closer than nine the rest of the way. At one point, Indiana went on a 19-1 run.
Crean said being in the position to make such a move at halftime and have it work out might not have been possible in previous seasons because of limited depth.
Check out 21 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 84-50 win over Stetson at Assembly Hall, as well as the 1987 NCAA Championship’s reunion, in the embedded photo gallery after the jump.
Per IU media relations:
Indiana University will welcome back members of the 1987 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship team the December 4th as the group gathers for a reunion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the program’s fifth NCAA title.
The Hoosiers defeated #1 UNLV 97-93, in the national semifinals and Syracuse, 74-73 in the title game on a last second shot by junior Keith Smart.
Steve Alford and Todd Meier along with Deputy Athletic Director Scott Dolson (a team manager on the squad) were involved in organizing the weekend. The team will be recognized during Sunday’s men’s basketball game against Stetson which tips off at 4:30 p.m. The women’s team will have a game against Oklahoma State at noon.
The first 7,500 fans in attendance will receive a replica calendar poster from the championship season. An autograph session will take place between 3 and 4 p.m. for those with a game ticket. Fans will be limited to one item for autographs as the group will try and accommodate as many as possible.
A limited number of tickets are available for the game and may be purchased by calling 1-866-IU Sports. More specifics will be available next week.