Troy Williams Archive

Five takeaways from Indiana’s non-conference season

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Indiana completed its non-conference season on Saturday with a 10-3 record. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the first month and a half of the season:

· Indiana won’t have a problem scoring: While last season’s team struggled at multiple points during games to find points, this Hoosiers squad has had no such worries. The lowest points output Indiana has had this season has been 74 — and that was against the nation’s No. 2 defense in Louisville. Only 64 teams in the NCAA are even averaging that many points.

Through their first 13 games, the Hoosiers rank No. 10 in the country in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. They also are in the top 10, nationally, in effective field goal percentage and 3-point shooting, and are No. 47 in the country in turnover percentage (compared to No. 330 last season).

Whereas last season the Hoosiers had very limited shooting options, the Hoosiers have a variety of proven weapons this season — including Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Nick Zeisloft, Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel. And Indiana’s inside-out threat continues to grow, as well, with the continued development of Troy Williams and Hanner Mosquera-Perea.

· The lack of a big man can be problematic: While scoring won’t be an issue, stopping physical big men will. The biggest warning signs came in the 88-86 loss to Eastern Washington, in which 6-foot-8 Venky Jois piled on 20 points and 14 rebounds against the Hoosiers.

Montrezl Harrell of Louisville and Joshua Smith of Georgetown had similar impacts on the game as big men who dominated Indiana.

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A non-conference player-by-player breakdown

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The non-conference portion of IU’s schedule is complete and the Hoosiers are 10-3 heading into Wednesday’s Big Ten opener in Lincoln.

Here’s a player-by-player look at how each Hoosier performed in the non-conference portion of IU’s schedule:

Yogi Ferrell – 17.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, 3.7 rpg, 56.1 effective field goal percentage

The junior from Indianapolis has been remarkably consistent as he’s scored in double figures in 12 of IU’s 13 games and his 3-point shooting is up to 47.5 percent. Ferrell is second on the team in scoring, first in assists, first in free throws made and second in 3-pointers made.

His assist-to-turnover ratio is better than 2-to-1 and as the team’s point guard, he must be given credit for leading the way in improving the turnover issues that plagued last year’s team. Ferrell came into the season with major expectations after a breakout sophomore campaign and he’s met them so far. As the Hoosiers enter the Big Ten, they’ll rely heavily on his experience to navigate a schedule that is front loaded with tough games.

James Blackmon Jr. – 17.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 57.1 effective field goal percentage

Touted as arguably the nation’s best incoming shooter, Blackmon Jr. has lived up to the billing. His effortless stroke has been effective from both the perimeter (44.3 percent on 3s) and the foul line (87 percent). Like Ferrell, Blackmon Jr. has scored in double figures in 12 of IU’s 13 games. His even keel demeanor and approach to the game are uncommon for a freshman and he rarely gets rattled. Via Shot Analytics, here’s a look at Blackmon Jr.’s shot chart through 13 games:

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Video: IU players react to loss to Georgetown

NEW YORK – Yogi Ferrell (27 points), Troy Williams (23 points, eight rebounds and four assists) and James Blackmon Jr. (22 points and seven rebounds) met with the media following Indiana’s 91-87 overtime loss to Georgetown on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Watch their postgame comments below:

The Minute After: Georgetown

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Thoughts on a 91-87 overtime loss to the Hoyas:

This one had a little bit of everything this afternoon in Madison Square Garden.

There was Indiana opening a comfortable 10-point halftime lead and even extending it a bit to start the second half. There was Georgetown, led by its upperclassmen, making its run in the second half and appearing to take hold of things in the final minutes. And then there were late heroics from Yogi Ferrell, who made a pair of 3-pointers in the final 39 seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime.

For late December, when most teams are filling up on cupcakes before the start of conference play, this was a high level contest that Indiana had a great chance to win. But it just didn’t make enough plays when it mattered most.

So where do we start? With Indiana’s defense, which allowed 61 points combined in the second half and overtime. On the afternoon, the Hoyas scored 1.17 points per possession with an effective field goal percentage of 56.6. Had Georgetown not left 12 points at the free throw line, this game may have ended in regulation. Those numbers would be tough for any team to overcome, but Indiana nearly did it thanks to a hot shooting game from the perimeter.

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Butler

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana moved to 9-2 on Saturday afternoon with an impressive 82-73 win over No. 23 Butler in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Bulldogs:

· Indiana won the rebounding battle and won the game as a result: Tom Crean said on Friday that the team who won the battle on the boards would emerge victorious in this contest. He was not wrong.

The Hoosiers came in as the inferior rebounding team but left Bankers Life Fieldhouse as the decisive winner on the glass this afternoon. Indiana rebounded 34.1 percent of its misses and held Butler to an offensive rebounding percentage of just 25, its second worst performance of the season.

Most encouraging? The team effort from Indiana. Troy Williams corralled 11 boards, Hanner Mosquera-Perea had nine and James Blackmon Jr. had eight. Rebounding may never be a strength for this group of Hoosiers, but this was certainly a performance to build on.

· This was the best game Troy Williams has played to date at Indiana: We first had a chance to see the offseason progress of the sophomore wing during IU’s August trip to Montreal, but Williams had struggled to find consistency through his first eight games. But over his last two, Williams has 36 points, 19 rebounds and just two turnovers.

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Video: Troy Williams, Yogi Ferrell react to win over Butler

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana sophomore Troy Williams (22 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals) and junior Yogi Ferrell (20 points, three rebounds and three assists) met with the media following the Hoosiers’ 82-73 win over No. 23 Butler in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Watch the full press conference below:

The Minute After: Butler

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Thoughts on an 82-73 win over the Bulldogs:

As IU’s lead stretched to 11 with just over three minutes remaining in the first half, it looked like its athletes were just too much for Butler. The Bulldogs couldn’t guard Troy Williams. And the disadvantage the Hoosiers were supposed to have on the boards simply wasn’t there as the gang rebounding was in full force.

But, as they do, the Bulldogs mounted a comeback. They ended the half on a 11-1 run with Kellen Dunham scoring nine of those. Indiana was unable to get the momentum it had built in the first half going in the second. The Hoosiers trailed by six with 13:48 to go and it felt like it might be slipping away.

Enter Yogi Ferrell.

The junior point guard didn’t score a point in the first half and sat due to two early fouls. But when his team needed him to crawl back into this one there he was. Ferrell’s first bucket of the game was a triple to cut that six-point Butler lead in half. He kept going, muscling his way to the bucket for scores at the rim and points at the line. He moved well off the ball for another 3-ball. He stopped on a dime on the break, launched a 3-pointer, hit it and placed his elbows at his side with the 3-salute going with both hands. Williams popped his jersey at the IU bench.

That one put the Hoosiers up 10 and just about sealed the deal, save for some late full-court press from the Bulldogs that made you hold your breath a bit.

Ferrell scored 20 second half points and willed his team to a comeback win. That’s what leaders do.

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