Troy Williams Archive
Indiana suffered its first loss of the season on Friday night, 59-58, to UConn in the 2K Sports Classic championship at Madison Square Garden.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the narrow loss to the Huskies:
· Turnovers prove costly: Connecticut dictated the pace of the game, which was played at 68 possessions and turned Indiana over on 28 percent of those possessions. In a couple of IU’s early games, we noted that the turnovers were a bit on the high side, but added that a lot of it had to do with the pace that the Hoosiers were playing. When forcing the tempo, some mistakes are inevitable.
But Friday’s game was played at a pace that Indiana will see often in the Big Ten and the Hoosiers had 19 turnovers. Piece together the fact that Indiana’s other close game this season (LIU Brooklyn) was played at a slower tempo than any other game besides UConn and it’s not hard to see that teams are going to try to force Indiana into playing in the half court.
· Evan Gordon finding his niche: After playing a significant offensive role in two seasons at Liberty and one at Arizona State, it’s been an adjustment in roles for Gordon as he begins his final collegiate season. But his performance on Friday suggests that he’s becoming more comfortable as a reliable contributor off of IU’s bench.
In 19 minutes, Gordon was 3-of-3 from the field with two rebounds, two turnovers and an assist. All six of his points came in the game’s final 12 minutes and his layup with 5:15 remaining gave Indiana a five-point cushion at 51-46. He also assisted a Jeremy Hollowell jump shot that gave Indiana a one-point lead with 3:50 to go and scored the final IU basket of the night with 1:34 remaining.
NEW YORK — Before Indiana left for its first road trip of the 2013-2014 season on Tuesday evening, coach Tom Crean said his team’s biggest challenge was to ensure that its identity traveled outside Assembly Hall. He wanted his team to rebound, play strong transition defense and limit turnovers while maintaining a fast-paced offense.
Well, after Indiana defeated Washington, 102-84, on Thursday evening at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Sports Classic semifinals, so far it seems Crean has gotten his wish. In the Hoosiers’ 18-point win, the Huskies did not lead once. Indiana outrebounded Washington on its way to 27 second chance points, turned the ball over a season-low 13 times, eclipsed the 100-point mark for the third time in five games and allowed only eight fast break points.
The win put the Hoosiers in to tonight’s final against No. 18 Connecticut, who escaped an upset to Boston College, 72-70.
“We got off to as good a start as we could have possibly had for a team that is in this environment for the first time,” Crean said following the Hoosiers’ win against Washington. “So many guys are on the road for the first time. And our guys, they continued to take it from there. We got ahead, we stayed ahead.”
Starting with a 9-0 run to open the game, Indiana held the reins from the start and did not give them up.
The Huskies, dominated on the boards, gave up 54 points in the paint, allowing the Hoosiers to dominate early and pull away when necessary.
Indiana moved to 5-0 with a 102-84 win over Washington on Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s comfortable win over the Huskies:
· Hoosiers start fast and never really let up: Going into IU’s first game away from Assembly Hall, one of the storylines to watch was how the young Hoosiers would handle the stage of Madison Square Garden. Even with a Washington team with limited frontline depth as the opponent, surely Indiana would get some early resistance as it looked for a fifth win in five games, right?
It was nearly a perfect start as Indiana scored the game’s first nine points and never let Washington believe it had a chance to stay in the game. There were some short lulls on both sides of the ball throughout the game, but Indiana shared the ball relatively well (16 assists) and its balanced scoring totals bear that out.
· Four double figure scorers: When Indiana was at its best a season ago, the Hoosiers were spreading the ball around and getting double figure scoring outputs from multiple players. The season is young, but Thursday’s performance was impressive from a balance perspective from both the starters and the bench.
Indiana had four players in double figures as Troy Williams netted 22 points, Yogi Ferrell added 20, Noah Vonleh had 18 and Will Sheehey chipped in 16. Three of the four shot better than 50 percent from the floor. The bench also did its part to contribute as seven Hoosier reserves found their way into the scoring column.
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.