Early in the second half of Indiana’s 87-51 win over Coppin State, the Hoosiers went to a 1-2-2 trap on defense. But it’s when Tom Crean subbed out Yogi Ferrell — who had been playing the “1” at the top of the trap — at the 15:58 mark that it started to really pay off. Victor Oladipo shifted into Ferrell’s spot and he was just about everywhere until he was relieved at the 12:16 mark.
Oladipo recorded six deflections (unofficially). The Hoosiers went on a 14-2 run in this timeframe and he scored (six points — a dunk and four free throws) or assisted (three in total — a lay-up and 3-pointer for Remy Abell, a 3-pointer for Jeremy Hollowell) on all 14 points.
Below: A look at one play from this run, as well as a supercut of a number of his deflections throughout the game in the latest edition of Film Session.
Oladipo and Abell pin Patrick Cole near halfcourt:
He has two options immediately across the timeline, but with Christian Watford lurking, he opts to make the safer pass in the backcourt:
Vic simply shuffles over and looks to trap on the opposite side of the court with Watford:
I. The Georgia game had its share of ugliness, but this one — the first ten minutes, at least — wasn’t pretty. Indiana missed shots (a Will Sheehey airball, an 0-9 start) and turned the ball over (eight turnovers in the first 10:35). Coppin State’s 2-3 zone had the Hoosiers out of sorts in the halfcourt and the Eagles didn’t surrender easy buckets in transition.
As such, Indiana trailed until a Christian Watford 3-pointer at the 9:26 mark put Indiana up 14-11. By halftime, the Hoosiers were able to amass a 14-point lead (33-19), but shot just 10-of-26 from the floor (38%) and 2-of-11 (18%) from beyond the arc. The 33 points were the second lowest amount of points the Hoosiers have scored heading into the break all season. (They had just 29 in the first half of the Georgia game.)
So if this one was going to ratchet up a notch, if it was going to turn from merely a comfortable lead to blowout territory against a team that was rated as Indiana’s weakest opponent to date, a spark in the second half was needed.
And that came in the form of Victor Oladipo. Indiana played almost exclusively a 1-2-2 three-quarters court press against Coppin State after halftime, and Victor Oladipo was all over the dang place — steals, deflections, tie-ups, forcing guys out of bounds. Indiana starting turning his terrific defense into offense — as this team is so good at doing — and by the time Oladipo was finally able to get a breather at the 12:16 mark, the Hoosiers had punched the lead out to 28 points (59-31). Any thoughts of close one in the second half had been put to rest. He reportedly had 20 deflections tonight, a record in the Tom Crean era.
Indiana also returned to form shooting the ball. After that rough first half, Indiana finished with respectable numbers: 31-60 from the field (51.7%), 8-of-24 from 3-point range (33%), 17-of-20 from the line (85.0%), an eFG% of 58.3 and 1.26 points per possession.
Following a convincing win over North Carolina in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday, the No. 1 Hoosiers return to Assembly Hall on Saturday for a meeting with Coppin State. The Eagles (1-5) are coming off a 67-51 loss to Loyola MD at home and have yet to beat a Division I opponent.
The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
If you’re expecting Indiana to get much of a challenge on Saturday night, it may be time to readjust your expectations. Using the Pomeroy Ratings as a barometer, Coppin State is Indiana’s weakest opponent on the schedule.
Their five losses to-date have come by an average of 12 points, but in their two games against major conference opponents, they fell by 14 to Southern Cal and 23 to Texas.
STYLE OF PLAY
If there’s one thing you can point to with Coppin State and say they’ve been effective, it’s forcing turnovers. The Eagles are turning their opponents over on 27.7 percent of their possessions, which was good for 11th nationally through Thursday’s games. Although those turnovers aren’t really leading to much offensively, they’re still on Indiana’s radar heading into the game.
“They start with ball pressure. They’re not always in the full-court, man-to-man type of look, but they do a good job of scrambling and helping,” assistant coach Kenny Johnson said Friday. “They’re in the passing lanes, they’re aggressive. They’re overplaying, so they’re forcing you into unforced turnovers at times. Other times, they’re just always gonna be there. You’re not gonna have any space to operate.”
Beyond their effectiveness in creating turnovers, the rest of the profile for Coppin State is well below average. Offensively, they’ll enter Assembly Hall with an effective field goal percentage of 37.2 percent, which is 344th out of 347 Division I teams. Nearly 43 percent of their field goal attempts are coming from behind the 3-point line, but they’ve been woeful from distance (23.7 percent) through six games.
Despite the obvious shortcomings on paper for Coppin State, the Hoosiers still appear focused on treating this game like any other.
“We just don’t want to play to the level of our competition,” freshman guard Yogi Ferrell said. “We always want to play the best that we can. We played very well against UNC, of course, but like now we’re playing Coppin State, we just can’t play down to their level.”
It was a tale of two halves for No. 14 Indiana Saturday afternoon in Assembly Hall.
The Hoosiers (10-1) shot just 28 percent in the first half and led 28-26, but started the second half on a 20-4 run and coasted past Coppin State, 73-46.
“The first half was a lesson,” Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said. “The second half I thought we were really good. There were a lot of positives in the second half and in the first half, a lot of lessons learned.”
The game was the second in less than 24 hours for the Eagles (3-10). They arrived in Bloomington at 5 a.m. following a 89-42 loss Friday night at Marquette.
D.J. White led the Hoosiers with 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting from the field. White added eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
“We had to pick it up. First half, we came out slow. Coach got on us in the locker room,” White said. “I think we just came together. We didn’t have a good defensive possession until the second half. That’s on me, being a captain, being a leader. We need to be more focused.”
Eric Gordon struggled from the field, hitting just 2 of 13 shots. He made up for his poor shooting from the field by hitting 10 of 10 free throws. Gordon finished with 15 points and capped IU’s 20-4 run with two free throws to push the Indiana lead to 18 at 48-30 with 12:40 remaining.
Jamarcus Ellis came off the bench for the first time this season and turned in another solid performance in 30 minutes. Ellis scored just two points but collected nine rebounds and dished out six assists.
“We didn’t start Jamarcus today because he got to the arena a little late,” Sampson said. “It’s a simple team rule. He was a little bit late so he didn’t start. Those things aren’t negotiable.”
Tywain McKee led Coppin State with 16 points. The Eagles shot just 33 percent and were out-rebounded 36-27.
The Hoosiers will finish 2007 with a 7 p.m. contest at home on Saturday against Chicago State. A limited number of tickets are still available according to the IU ticket office.
*Note: Lawrence North junior Stephan Van Treese and Lawrence North sophomore Dominique Ferguson both appeared to be seated behind the Indiana bench at today’s game.