Indiana, in need of a major resume boosting win, got just that Thursday night beating No. 4 Iowa 85-78 in front of a electric crowd at Assembly Hall.
Tom Crean said it was an atmosphere that likely was louder than when Cody Zeller, who was in attendance Thursday, was playing for the Hoosiers during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons.
“It was excruciatingly loud and it was tremendous,” Crean said.
It was a balanced attack, with no player scoring more than 14 points, yet all 10 guys who played scored. The win moved the Hoosiers into a three-way tie for first place in the Big Ten with Iowa and Maryland.
Assembly Hall should be electric Thursday night when No. 4 Iowa comes to Bloomington to take on Indiana in a game that will have big implications on the Big Ten title race.
The Hawkeyes (19-4, 10-1) have won three straight following their lone Big Ten loss at Maryland, and are led by senior Jarrod Uthoff, a 6-foot-9 forward that is averaging more than 18 points a game, 6.4 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per contest.
“Uthoff’s got tremendous footwork. Very good, great range,” Tom Crean said. “The only comparison I can come up with is Keith Van Horn when he played in college. In the modern day, with the footwork it’s like Dirk Nowitzki. I’m not saying he’s Dirk Nowitzki, but he’s got that level of footwork. He doesn’t get rattled, he’s very patient.”
Tom Crean returned to his live radio show Monday night in Bloomington following Indiana’s split in road games last week. Here are the highlights.
On the 28-0 run against Michigan
“Even though you would never expect to have a run like that, the way we came out inside of the game, gave us a lot of confidence,” Crean said. “We have to play better at the beginning of games, there’s no doubt about that, and we’ve got to execute better, but at the same time we were aggressive.
“The defense was keyed by the fact that we were adjusting quickly to the mistakes that we were making. We never got done mindset wise because we weren’t making shots at the beginning and that’s got so much to do with how you play.”