Troy Williams Archive
Thoughts on a 102-84 win over the Huskies:
All the spotlight on Noah Vonleh’s sensational start to the season, but under the lights at Madison Square Garden fellow freshman Troy Williams finally got his.
In Indiana’s first four games, Williams has had some near misses on home run plays, some steals where he’s stepped out of bounds on his way to a sure slam. But tonight at Madison Square Garden, he couldn’t miss. Williams finished an alley-oop from Stan Robinson on the break in the first half. He hit shots from the outside. He had some up and unders off the baseline in the second half that, like Will Sheehey, are becoming his trademark move. Williams did have another near miss, a dunk attempt where he was fouled in the first half that might have been his biggest “wow” play of the night. It was an electric 22-point (8-of-12, 6-of-7 from the line) performance. Williams was feeling it, he knew, we knew it, and it’s perhaps a sign of things to come.
The Huskies tried throwing a zone at the Hoosiers in the first half, and though there were some possessions early where IU floundered around and had to jack something up late in the shot clock, they rarely settled for long twos or 3-pointers. It was shots at the cup with clean up, a 50-point first half performance where the Hoosiers shot 16-of-18 from the line and rebounded 71 percent of their misses for 19 second-chance points (1.37 points per possession).
Vonleh was all over the boards for easy put-back dunks again tonight when he wasn’t making his own moves for scores in the post otherwise. His double-double streak ends (17 points, nine boards) tonight, but he continues to be hyper-efficient and forceful around the rim. Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge was in the building tonight. Vonleh and Williams certainly gave him something to think about.
Troy Williams (10 points, eight rebounds), Evan Gordon (10 points, seven rebounds) and Yogi Ferrell (career-high 26 points, six assists) met with the media following Indiana’s 105-59 win over Samford at Assembly Hall.
Watch the press conference in the media player below:
A full transcript is available after the jump.
The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.
mcoghlan writes: Outside of free throws, Noah (Vonleh) has looked very impressive and seems to have a lot of potential. Do you see him eventually becoming a better player than Cody (Zeller)?
If we’re talking eventually as in one day down the line in the NBA, I’ll say maybe. If we’re talking eventually as in while at Indiana, I’ll say no. And that’s no knock on Noah Vonleh. I think he has a chance to be an outstanding player.
But Cody Zeller was just the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft and deserves a ton of credit for Indiana winning 56 games over the past two seasons. He was the best running big man in college basketball and arguably the most efficient big last season. It’s no coincidence that Indiana went from 12 wins in 2010-2011 to 27 in 2011-2012. Zeller was not only excellent himself, he made others around him better. There’s no doubt Vonleh will be very good with a chance to be great, but Zeller has already done it so I’ll stick with him until proven otherwise. — Alex Bozich
kleeman20 writes: I guess I’m one of the few who hasn’t noticed the big improvements from (Jeremy) Hollowell and (Hanner) Perea that were touted all off season. I know it was just two exhibitions, but if those two aren’t major factors, aren’t we at best an NIT team?
Even though you haven’t seen the improvements from both Hollowell and Perea yet, they definitely have both improved over the offseason. And I think that improvement could even mean they are both much more comfortable on the court than they were in their freshman seasons.
If, for some reason, neither of them can contribute on the court, I think this team can survive. That said, the depth and experience — in both the backcourt and frontcourt — would be severely impacted, and I wouldn’t expect them to make the NCAA tournament and think the NIT would certainly be a more realistic option. That said, I see both Hollowell and Perea making contributions to this team and think that an NCAA tournament berth is certainly within reach this season. – Jordan Littman
In our first extended look at the 2013-2014 Indiana Hoosiers, the outcome was a 83-68 win over Division II Southern Indiana at Assembly Hall on Saturday night.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from Indiana’s exhibition win:
· Yogi Ferrell’s jump shot looks improved: It’s only one game against a Division II opponent, but Yogi Ferrell looks ready to show off an improved perimeter game. As a freshman, Ferrell was inconsistent from behind the 3-point arc, but in his 2013-2014 debut, his elevation off the floor and confidence were both on display. Ferrell finished with a team-high 20 points and hit six 3-pointers, most of which came in the flow of the offense. Tom Crean was pleased with Ferrell’s shot selection and scoring production. “I think the whole key is take what the game is giving you, and Yogi is good enough where that’s got to be the key,” Crean said. “The shooting was excellent, the way that he got them.”
· Troy Williams is oozing with potential: Go back and watch some of the plays Williams made on Saturday night and you’ll understand why he was once considered a top ten prospect nationally in the 2013 class. He’s explosive off the dribble and fearless going to the rim. Williams even knocked down a 3-pointer in his Indiana debut, which is a part of his game that he’ll need to continue developing to keep defenses honest. When the lights went down for the night, Williams had amassed 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. “I felt like he played with high energy,” Yogi Ferrell said of the freshman wing. “The thing that I really like that he does is attack the offensive rim. We got 21 offensive rebounds tonight, a lot on his end.”
· Vonleh will play multiple positions: If you thought Indiana would slot Noah Vonleh into one position, think again. The Hoosier staff is going to move Vonleh around, which should only help to expand the versatility that is already present in his game. When Indiana goes small, Vonleh will log minutes at the five, but he can also slide to the four or the three and play alongside Luke Fischer or Hanner Mosquera-Perea. Vonleh was relentless on the glass Saturday night as he finished with nine points, 12 rebounds, two steals and a block.
Throughout many of the Hoosiers’ 23 practices this preseason, freshman forward Troy Williams played with one hand.
It was only until this past Monday that Williams started to even practice with his right hand after he injured it the week of Hoosier Hysteria. During practices, he’d play with only his left hand.
But as the week went on, Williams proved himself worthy of being a starter in Indiana’s exhibition Saturday night against Southern Indiana. In the Hoosiers’ 83-68 victory, Williams recorded a double-double, scoring 10 points and adding 10 rebounds in his first college game of his career.
“Before I came here, I had a left hand but it wasn’t as strong as my right hand. People see it as a setback, but really I see it as a help to me,” Williams said after the Hoosiers’ win. “Having both hands equal at the same ability really has helped a lot so now I can finish both sides of the rim with either hand.”
But scoring and grabbing rebounds wasn’t the only thing Williams did Saturday night. Wearing padding on his right hand, the 6-foot-7 freshman also blocked three shots, dribbled between his legs and even attempted a few one-handed dunks.
All in all, it was a good first night for Williams, who only three and a half weeks ago wanted to participate in Hoosier Hysteria so badly he was willing to do it with only one hand but instead settled with judging the dunk contest.
“When you’ve gotta guy like that, I mean, you’ve got to let him run. You’ve got to let him play and what you want to do is you want to coach him along the way,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “He wants to be coached, and that’s a big deal.
“He’s got such a firecracker in his body. He’s on the explosion all the time.”
Hoosiers adjust to first game with new NCAA rules
Crean called it the story of the game.
In their first test against the NCAA’s new rules on hand-checking that has caused Crean to change the way he coached his defense, Indiana committed only 12 personal fouls. By contrast, the Screaming Eagles were called for 23.
Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Troy Williams and Yogi Ferrell met with the media following Indiana’s 83-68 exhibition win over Southern Indiana on Saturday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch and listen to their postgame comments in the embedded media player below:
Speaking to the media in advance of Saturday night’s exhibition against Southern Indiana, Indiana coach Tom Crean revealed his team is slowly getting back to full-health.
Freshman center Luke Fischer, who suffered a torn left labrum in late September, has been practicing for the past three days after missing practice over the past month. In addition, freshman forward Troy Williams has been back for a week after injuring his right hand before Hoosier Hysteria, though he is still practicing with padding on that hand.
Only freshman guard Stanford Robinson remains out with the bruised knee he sustained during Hoosier Hysteria. And Crean does not expect him to play in tomorrow night’s exhibition, unless something “magically changes” overnight.
“Troy Williams lost valuable time and then he came back and he did a great job and he did it with one hand,” Crean said. “And Luke has missed valuable, valuable time.”
“We’ve just had different issues with the injuries.”
Sophomore center Peter Jurkin, who has been in Sudan to see his severely ill father, is back as well and was at practice today, according to a program spokesman.