Associate head coach Tim Buckley, senior Jordan Hulls, redshirt junior Maurice Creek and junior Will Sheehey met with the media following Indiana’s 101-53 win over Ball State on Sunday evening at Assembly Hall.
Watch and listen to both press conferences in the embedded media player below:
BROOKLYN — When Georgetown’s Otto Porter hit a layup to tie the game with seconds remaining in regulation, it seemed momentum would swing in favor of the Hoyas.
But Tom Crean’s team was resilient and showed poise from the start of overtime, taking control from the tip.
The Hoosiers scored six of the first eight points in the extra period – four from Jordan Hulls (including an impressive and-one) and a pair of free throws from Yogi Ferrell – to push the lead early. With Georgetown in the double bonus, Indiana capitalized at the free throw line, hitting 13 of 17 shots.
Pressure defensively also increased. The Hoyas didn’t make a field goal (0-for-7 from the field) in overtime. The result was an 82-72 win to capture the 2012 Legends Classic championship.
“I think it was great because our attitudes were fantastic,” Crean said. “Our heads didn’t drop, there wasn’t any complaining, and I just kept saying to them ‘this is tremendous.’ I think what helped the most in overtime was our great maturity.”
Backcourt steps up in clutch
Indiana’s backcourt struggled early against Georgetown’s longer perimeter players, especially on the defensive end, though they saved their best for last. Both Hulls and Ferrell hit key shots and made crucial free throws down the stretch in regulation and into overtime.
Ferrell in particular made four free throws and hit an off-balance 3-pointer with a defender in his face as time expired on the shot clock to push Indiana’s lead to 10.
“Yogi has great body language,” Crean said. “That is not the first time that he has hit a shot with the clock winding down. We have seen it in scrimmages and practice at different times. He just has something about him.”
Added Hulls: “We don’t treat him like a freshman. He doesn’t play like a freshman. He’s doing a tremendous job for us. He’s driving and kicking, he’s finding me, he’s finding people and doing really good.”
BROOKLYN — Thoughts on an 82-72 overtime win over Georgetown:
I. Indiana and Georgetown traded three after three over each other’s zone defenses in the first half, and this began as it finished, in the words of Tom Crean, “an epic battle.” Georgetown may not be ranked now, but it’ll come as little surprise if the Hoyas find themselves in the Top 25 sooner rather than later. They came here and took down a No. 11 UCLA team with a comfortable lead for much of the second half on Monday night, and left with a overtime loss against the No. 1 team in the country. The Hoyas mounted an impressive seven-point rally in the final 1:03 of regulation to send this one into extra time.
Point guard Markel Starks tossed in 20 points after scoring 23 against UCLA; Lengthy, athletic players like Otto Porter (15 points), Greg Whittington (12 points) and Mikael Hopkins (11 points) got theirs against the Hoosiers.
“We had our chances,” John Thompson III said after the game. It was true. But the Hoosiers made sure to own overtime, shutting the door on any chance of an upset.
II. Overtime was won on the strength of foul shooting; the Hoosiers went 13-of-17 from the line. A Yogi Ferrell 3-pointer as the shot clock expired and a Jordan Hulls and-1 gave the Hoosiers 18 points in total in that five-minute frame to allow them to net a 10-point victory. As noted in What to Expect, Georgetown has been keeping teams off the line this season. The Hoyas followed suit with that early as Indiana shot only six free throws in the first half. But by game’s end, the Hoosiers had fouled out three Hoyas and hit 26-of-36 (72.2%) to finish with a free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 73.4.
III. Cody Zeller played better tonight (17 points, eight rebounds) but there were still times tonight where, for all the time he’s put in the weight room and all the strength he’s built, Georgetown defenders were able to overpower him. It’s been known that Zeller’s been sick for several days now, and the 7-foot sophomore revealed after the game that he’s been dealing with “some form of asthmatic bronchitis.”
Indiana plays Ball State on Sunday after the Thanksgiving holiday and then North Carolina — a team that lost to Butler earlier this evening — next Tuesday.
So Zeller will have some time — although not much — to try and rest his body a bit and get over the illness in full.
BROOKLYN — Indiana freshman Yogi Ferrell (14 points, four assists), senior Jordan Hulls (17 points, four steals) and sophomore Cody Zeller (17 points, eight rebounds) met with the media following the Hoosiers’ 82-72 overtime win over Georgetown in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center on Tuesday night.
Watch and listen to what each player had to say in the embedded media players below:
BROOKLYN — Perhaps it was the travel or maybe it was playing in an NBA arena in the nation’s largest city, but Indiana got off to a very slow start on Monday evening at the Barclays Center against Georgia in the Legends Classic. Senior guard Jordan Hulls hit a 3-pointer to start the game, but the Hoosiers missed their next eleven from beyond the arc. IU was 8-of-25 (32 percent) from the field after 20 minutes.
Shot selection was questionable. Ball movement was largely nonexistent. Important players like Cody Zeller got in early foul trouble. But fortunately for Indiana, Georgia was just as bad. The Bulldogs were only 9-of-26 (34.6 percent), allowing the Hoosiers to stay in the game and trail 30-29 at the midway mark.
“We just missed some shots and had different lineups,” Crean said following IU’s 66-53 win. “The thing that hurt us is we had eight turnovers in the first half and could never get into a rhythm. We never got the pace going the way we needed it to go. Georgia had a lot to do with that. The fact that we were sitting key players for long stretches of time had something to do with that.
“We just missed shots that we’d normally make. There weren’t many we’d have back, maybe a couple of them. Other than that, that’s going to happen.”
Hulls and Oladipo provide second half spark
There’s no doubt about it: Indiana took control in the second half thanks to Hulls. With 10:10 remaining in the game and IU leading 42-40, Hulls found Christian Watford open for a 3-pointer. He then sparked an 8-0 run – two 3-pointers and an assist to Victor Oladipo — that allowed the Hoosiers to run away with the contest.
“I thought we had a lot of energy sources tonight. No question tonight Jordan Hulls was a huge part of that,” Crean said. “With all the NBA people here tonight, that’s an NBA guard… That young man is a huge winner who has a lot of skills. A lot of skills. And he improves constantly. He brought a ton of energy.”
Added Oladipo: “It’s huge. He’s a senior and a pro. He’s a pro. Without him, we can’t win. He knows he has to hit shots, and he hits them. That’s why he’s so special.”
Like Hulls, Oladipo was a main contributor in terms of pure energy. In the second half he attacked the rim, hit the glass hard and defended well. The primarily pro-IU crowd also got much louder when he threw down a couple big dunks late in the game.
“Victor Oladipo’s energy was uncommon,” Crean said. “When he gets it going like that – anticipating and attacking and reading the game and reading the defense – it’s huge.”
BROOKLYN — Indiana senior Jordan Hulls (14 points) and junior Victor Oladipo (15 points, seven rebounds) met with the media following Indiana’s 66-53 win over Georgia in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center on Monday night.
Watch and listen to what both players had to say in the embedded media players below:
It seemed only fitting that Jordan Hulls would achieve a scoring milestone by knocking down a 3-pointer. It’s Hulls’ signature shot, after all, and a shot he’s been able to focus on even more this season with the addition of Yogi Ferrell.
In Thursday night’s 99-45 win against Sam Houston State, Hulls knocked down an open 3 from the top of the key to record his 1,000th-point, becoming the 44th player in Indiana history to accomplish the feat. After Hulls made the shot, Indiana coach Tom Crean called a timeout, walked out onto the court, and held Hulls’ hand in the air as the Bloomington native received a standing ovation.
Hulls was confused.
“I had no idea why I was getting my hand raised because I had just shot a terrible shot,” Hulls said of a deep 3 he missed earlier. “I’m not really into my personal accolades as long as the team wins, but it’s a pretty cool club to be a part of.”
Even Crean wasn’t entirely aware that Hulls only needed three more points to reach 1,000.
“I knew he was close, and I just completely lost track of where he was at,” Crean said. “He thought I was taking him out because he took a long 3. I love when he takes those 3’s. We need him to do that. I’m really, really incredibly proud that he got that. It’s an honor to coach him. He has grown so much as a player. He just keeps getting better and better.”
Hulls finished with 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Hulls also had five rebounds, five assists and no turnovers in 21 minutes. He becomes the second player on the current Indiana roster to hit the 1,000-point mark, joining senior forward Christian Watford.
“That kid epitomizes what we’re doing,” Crean said. “He epitomizes Indiana basketball in so many ways. I think people from the past can identify with him and the Hulls family, people in the future can look at Jordan Hulls and see what can happen when you play in this program, but most importantly, he impacts our present.”
Indiana senior Christian Watford (23 points, six rebounds), senior Jordan Hulls (10 points, five assists and five rebounds) and junior Will Sheehey (18 points, five rebounds) met with the media following the Hoosiers’ 99-45 win over Sam Houston State on Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch and listen to the press conference in the embedded media player below:
The expectation became reality on Friday night when point guards Yogi Ferrell and Jordan Hulls started together in No. 1 Indiana’s season opening win against Bryant. Much has been made throughout the offseason about whether Ferrell and Hulls — both small guards — can play well enough defensively to play on the court together.
The two guards passed their first test on Friday.
While it wasn’t perfect by any stretch, Ferrell and Hulls held their own on the defensive end in the Hoosiers’ 97-54 win. There were a few breakdowns on the perimeter — especially early — but the guards seemed to improve as the game went on.
“We just gotta play tough on the defensive end,” Hulls said. “I’m gonna have to guard bigger guys, and a lot of different players, honestly. Tonight I thought we did a pretty good job.”
Offensively, Ferrell had 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds in his collegiate debut, and Hulls added nine points and five assists. Ferrell regularly got into the lane, drew Bryant defenders, and kicked to wide open shooters near the 3-point arc, including Hulls.
But the duo’s offensive production wasn’t much of a surprise. If Ferrell and Hulls want to continue starting and playing alongside each other, they will have to continue to defend at a high level.
“I thought they did a very good job defensively together because, ultimately, that’s what the measuring stick will be as we go forward,” Crean said. “Yogi is ahead of his years defensively. That’s been a joy. And Jordan is a smart, savvy senior who’s continued to become more athletic, stronger, all those type of things.
“When those guys can lead the way defensively, then we have a chance to have a really good backcourt with those two. I think they’re going to be good offensively on the year. Some nights will be better than others. But the defensive part is gonna be crucial.”
Watford, Zeller post double-doubles
Senior forward Christian Watford had 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds against Bryant, and Cody Zeller added a team-high 18 points and 10 boards. Both players were very aggressive on the glass throughout the game, something that will be a point of emphasis early this season with a thin front line.
Freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin will miss the first nine games due to suspension, and senior Derek Elston is still recovering from knee surgery.
“There’s no question we’re shorthanded on the front line. There’s no way around it,” Crean said. “We’re trying to mix and match and do a lot of different things. The players responded really well to that tonight.”
Watford, in particular, was impressive, especially considering he hasn’t always been a strong rebounder. He got stronger in the offseason, and he was more aggressive than usual. All but one of Watford’s rebounds came on the defensive end.