Indiana and Louisville are currently in negotiations for a three-year series, Hoosiers coach Tom Crean confirmed on Tuesday.
The series will involve games at either Lucas Oil Stadium or Bankers Life Fieldhouse depending on date availability, Assembly Hall and the KFC Yum! Center, potentially starting as early as next season, Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said during his radio show on Monday evening.
“I would say if we get this series completed, a three-year series that it is, a series of that magnitude really deserves the respect of an official announcement and it being a big deal,” Crean said on Tuesday. “Because it would be. But are we in the midst of that, among other things that we’re doing? Absolutely. We are in the midst of that. And we have been.
“With a series of that magnitude and the dates that we would potentially play and where we would play, a lot of things would have to get worked on.”
Indiana dropped .96 points per possession on the Cardinals in their loss Tuesday evening in Manhattan, the largest such number Louisville has allowed so far this season.
Indiana was aided by a hot start from 3-point land, but also had some success — as well as some failure — off the dribble-drive. A look at four such dribble-drive possessions in the latest edition of Film Session:
With the Hoosiers trailing by seven in the first half, Robert Johnson has curled around the baseline from the right wing on a handoff from Yogi Ferrell. His man, Wayne Blackshear, is trying to fight through some traffic to stick with him. Ferrell makes the pass to Nick Zeisloft up top:
Zeisloft swings to Johnson. Blackshear couldn’t get through, and Johnson now has a mismatch with Emmitt Holt’s man, Jaylen Johnson, switched onto him:
Johnson fakes left and goes by right. As this is happening, Ferrell takes a similar path to Johnson:
Indiana knew it would get severely challenged on Tuesday night against No. 4 Louisville in Madison Square Garden.
It knew the Cardinals attack the boards and force turnovers. The Hoosiers were going to do all they could to combat it.
It was not enough as Louisville (8-0) defeated Indiana (7-2) by a 94-74 score. The Cardinals rebounded 52.0 percent of their misses. They also forced 19 Hoosiers turnovers and an Indiana season-high 24.6 turnover percentage.
“They deserved to win, they did a great job and I’m sure we’ll find some bright things on it from the tape,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “Right now I don’t see it that way, but we’ve got to be much more competitive on the glass and we have to play with a higher level of intelligence and a higher level of toughness in other areas to improve and get better and to be able to challenge teams like that and be able to play in our league the way we need to play.”
For the first half and opening five minutes of the second half, the Hoosiers actually proved to be competitive against the Cardinals — a team that came into the game ranked No. 2 in defense in the country.
From the start, the Hoosiers struggled with turnovers and allowing offensive rebounds. But their shooting kept them in it.
Check out 31 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 94-74 loss to Louisville at Madison Square Garden in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. See more images and purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.
Thoughts on a 94-74 loss to the Cardinals:
Despite a valiant effort from the Hoosiers under the lights at Madison Square Garden, at one point leading by four in the second half, No. 4 Louisville was just too much to handle.
Indiana, as it did against Pittsburgh, tried to gang rebound as best it could, but its lack of size was exposed again against a strong offensive rebounding squad. The Cardinals flat out dominated the offensive glass, rebounding 52 percent of their misses leading to a ton of easy opportunities and 25 second-chance points. Its defense, as it does, also turned the Hoosiers over a lot (24.6 TO%) and that led to 19 points off turnovers.
With Yogi Ferrell off the floor in the first half, Indiana had a number of miscues in a row and Louisville made the Hoosiers pay. Stanford Robinson turned the ball over fives times in nine minutes of action tonight. Though some of IU’s mistakes were a bit self-inflicted, it was still a rough performance holding onto the ball any way you slice it.
Louisville hasn’t been a great shooting team this season, but that wasn’t quite the case tonight against Indiana’s defense. It hit a number of key shots in this one, poured in 1.22 points per possession, and bested its season average on 3-pointers (28%) by going 8-of-23 from distance (34.8%). Terry Rozier hit 5-of-8 from beyond the arc on his way to a career-high 26 points, while backcourt mate Chris Jones made a number of nice moves and worked over the Indiana defense for 24 of his own to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.
Indiana’s preparation through its first eight games this season has all led to tonight.
The Hoosiers (7-1) scheduled SMU for the Mustangs’ defensive pressure and steals it forces. It focused on Pittsburgh’s defense in the days leading up to the ACC/Big 10 Challenge meeting. But Indiana coach Tom Crean acknowledged none of Indiana’s eight prior opponents compare to No. 4 Louisville (7-0).
The two teams play tonight at approximately 9:30 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.
“This is a really big, athletic, mobile team that can rebound well,” Crean said. “They can post up. They can drive it. Their pressure is really strong.
“For us, we are going to have to play out of our minds.”
As with most Louisville teams under Rick Pitino, this year’s Cardinals squad is already establishing itself as one of the top defensive corps in the country led by 6-foot-8 junior Montrezl Harrell. As of Monday evening, the Cardinals ranked No. 2 in the nation in defensive efficiency, allowing 0.84 points per possession. Opponents are also shooting just a 35.2 effective field goal percentage (No. 2 in the nation) and are being forced into an average 27.7 turnover percentage (No. 4 in the nation).
The Hoosiers were tested on Saturday against Savannah State, which pressed and forced an IU 20.6% turnover rate. Louisville will do the same tonight. But Indiana has yet to experience a defense the caliber of Louisville.
Indiana’s first test away from Assembly Hall is a significant one as the Hoosiers face No. 4 Louisville on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York in the Jimmy V Classic.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET with Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Andy Katz on the call:
Indiana and Louisville, two schools separated by just over 100 miles, will play on Tuesday for the first time since February of 2003 and it took a trip to the “World’s Most Famous Arena” and a prime-time slot to bring the two programs together.
Both Tom Crean and Rick Pitino have talked about starting a series for several years, but nothing has ever materialized despite support in both fanbases to see the programs, who have combined for eight national championships, play. But even if an annual series fails to start up in the coming years, Tuesday’s game is one that is good for the sport of college basketball and also good for this particular Indiana team. The Hoosiers have yet to be tested away from Bloomington and facing one of the country’s elite teams on the grandest stage should give Crean a better grasp of where this team stands with the start of Big Ten play now less than four weeks away.
Intrigue was added to the game earlier this year when former Indiana assistant coach Kenny Johnson, who was a key figure in the recruitments of Robert Johnson, Troy Williams and others, left Bloomington for a hefty pay raise to work for Pitino at Louisville. While Johnson was nothing but complimentary of Indiana in his comments shortly after arriving in Louisville, you can bet the competitor inside of him as well as the competitor inside of both Crean and IU’s players have been looking forward to this game.
For the first time this season, Indiana is a decisive underdog going into a game. How will the Hoosiers handle the stage and the pressure defense of Louisville? We’ll find out in short order.