Indiana moved to 18-8 overall and 8-5 in Big Ten play with a 90-71 beatdown of Minnesota on Sunday night at Assembly Hall.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Golden Gophers:
· A record-setting shooting performance: The Hoosiers have been one of the nation’s best 3-point shooting teams all season, but Sunday night’s performance set a new high mark for the program. Indiana hit 18 of its 32 attempts from distance against the Gophers which broke the single-game record previously set at 17.
James Blackmon Jr. hit six 3s, but nearly all of IU’s shooters got into the act as Robert Johnson hit five, Nick Zeisloft, Collin Hartman and Troy Williams each hit two and Yogi Ferrell hit one.
“The ball just has to move,” Tom Crean said of the performance. “That’s what it is more than anything else. A lot of that 3-point shooting, that’s just what we do. It’s not like they were set play calls for a 3. It’s about the movement.”
· IU’s freshman guards bounce back: Both Blackmon Jr. and Johnson struggled with their shooting in IU’s 68-66 loss on Wednesday at Maryland, but the duo put that performance in the rearview mirror from the onset on Sunday.
Troy Williams (19 points and nine rebounds), James Blackmon Jr. (24 points and seven rebounds) and Robert Johnson (19 points and four assists) met with the media following Indiana’s 90-71 win over Minnesota on Sunday night at Assembly Hall.
Indiana stayed close throughout but couldn’t take control in a 68-66 defeat to Maryland on Wednesday evening in College Park. The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 17-8 overall and 7-5 in the Big Ten.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Terrapins:
· The shots just didn’t fall: The Hoosiers’ struggles from the floor on Wednesday night were epitomized in Yogi Ferrell’s last-chance game-winning 3-point attempt just before the buzzer. As Ferrell said — “Felt good, looked good, just didn’t go in.”
Time after time against the Terrapins, Indiana found open shots. But throughout the night — whether it was an open corner 3, a dunk attempt or a layup attempt — the Hoosiers struggled to convert. Indiana’s 15-of-42 effort (35.7 percent) on 2s was its second-worst this season, just behind its 33 percent performance in the 70-50 loss to Michigan State earlier this year. Even its 3-point shooting percentage of 40 percent (10-of-25) was its worst since the loss at Purdue.
Some of those misses were due to improved Maryland defense and ill-advised Indiana shots — the Terrapins’ eight blocks were the fourth-most they have had in a game this season — but on Wednesday, the open ones weren’t falling, either.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Indiana came into Wednesday’s game against Maryland at the XFinity Center with five Big Ten wins and no losses in games decided by six points or less. In close games, the Hoosiers had been making plays when it mattered most on the way to a 7-4 mark in conference play.
IU’s first trip to Maryland with the Terrapins as a Big Ten member presented another opportunity in a back and forth contest that came down to the final possession.
Mark Turgeon would call it a “great college basketball game” afterward. Tom Crean shared that sentiment, calling the contest “tremendous.”
But on a night where neither team would lead by more than six points and the lead changed hands 18 times, the Hoosiers could never seize control.
The result? A 68-66 loss in a game where Indiana could not make one more play to push past Maryland for a win. Victory was there for the taking and the Hoosiers simply could not grab it.
“We withstood some poor shooting, we withstood some excellent shooting from them, and at the same time we made plays,” Crean said. “We just made one less (play). It was a great win for them, tough loss for us and a great battle all around.”
Indiana had numerous chances to make just one more play.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Yogi Ferrell (23 points, six assists and five rebounds) and Troy Williams (17 points and 10 rebounds) met with the media following Indiana’s 68-66 loss to Maryland at the XFinity Center.
In recent years, the Indiana men’s basketball program has built a connection with the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area.
The current pipeline between the “DMV” and Bloomington formed back in May 2008, when Oxon Hill, Md., native Maurice Creek committed to the Hoosiers. It solidified just over a year later in September 2009 with the commitment of Hyattsville, Md., native Victor Oladipo. Those two had a chance to play near home in the 2013 NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
The pipeline still remains strong. Current Hoosiers Robert Johnson and Troy Williams are from Virginia, and Stanford Robinson is from Maryland. And tonight presents their first opportunity to play close to home, as the Hoosiers (17-7, 7-4) take on No. 19 Maryland (19-5, 7-4) in College Park at 9 p.m.
“It’s always good when you’re away from home and you get to play in front of your friends and family,” Johnson said on Tuesday. “I’m definitely excited to see them.”
Indiana’s connection to the Washington area stems far beyond the basketball court.
Indiana bounced back from a loss at Wisconsin with a narrow 70-67 win over Michigan on Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall. The win moved the Hoosiers to 17-7 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Wolverines:
· Indiana continues to find ways to win close games: A season ago, Indiana struggled to close out games for a variety of reasons. Turnovers was chief among them as was a lack of capable shot makers to turn to. The script has been flipped through eleven league games as Indiana now has seven conference wins and six of them have been decided by six points or less.
Sunday was another example of Indiana not playing its best game, but still figuring out a way to claim a win. The Hoosiers built an 11-point lead against the Wolverines with 14 minutes to play, but Michigan never folded and ultimately had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer. Still, Indiana never let go of control of the game, which is a sign of growth over last season.
“I’d say the difference has been mindset, our mental mindset going into a close game like that is just to get a stop and whatever is necessary to get it, we’re going to get it,” Yogi Ferrell explained. “We go out there, we fight for each other and we fight for the team and we come out with the outcome we want.”