We’re just past the midway point of the Big Ten conference schedule and the Hoosiers are 6-4 in league play heading into Sunday’s matchup with Michigan at Assembly Hall.
Here’s a player-by-player look at how each Hoosier has performed with ten league games in the books (Note: stats, charts are conference games only):
Yogi Ferrell – 14.4 ppg, 4.6 apg, 2.6 rpg, 50.8 effective field goal percentage in 37 minutes per game
Ferrell currently ranks 2nd in percentage of minutes played in Big Ten games behind Myles Mack of Rutgers and his turnover percentage is just 12, which is 4.7 percent lower than where he finished last season in league games. He’s taken a team-high 67 3s in 10 league games and has hit 37.3 percent, but he’s been hot recently from deep (51.4 percent over his last five).
Beyond taking care of the ball better, Ferrell is also 11th in assist rate in the conference, has the 12th best offensive rating and seems to be on track for All-Big Ten honors as the best player on a team that has been one of the league’s surprises.
James Blackmon Jr. – 14.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 45.2 effective field goal percentage in 30.4 minutes per game
Blackmon Jr. and Ferrell are tied for the team lead in scoring in Big Ten play, but the freshman’s efficiency has taken a major dip. After posting an effective field goal percentage of 57.1 in non-conference play, Blackmon Jr. is down nearly 12 percent in that statistic in conference play. After making 44.3 percent of his 3s in non-conference games, he’s only hit at a 34 percent clip in conference. He shot 53 percent on left wing 3s in non-conference play and 59 percent on right wing 3s, but both numbers are down through 10 league games, per Shot Analytics:
On Saturday afternoon, Rutgers chose to slow the game down against Indiana.
The Scarlet Knights took their time with their possessions. They got back in transition defense. They made the Hoosiers play to their game.
But after closely contested 40 minutes, the Hoosiers managed to pull out a 72-64 win. And they find themselves now 16-6 and 6-3 in the Big Ten thus far.
“We had to grind it out,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “I hate the word grind, but we had to be really tough today to figure out a way to win it.”
Saturday’s game was the slowest the Hoosiers had played in this season in terms of possessions — but Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan said it wasn’t the plan to slow the Hoosiers down — although it played right into the Scarlet Knights’ hands.
Indiana bounced back from consecutive losses at Ohio State and Purdue with a 72-64 win over Rutgers on Saturday afternoon at Assembly Hall. The win improved the Hoosiers to 16-6 overall and 6-3 in Big Ten play.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Scarlet Knights:
· After two poor games, Williams reemerges: Aside from a hot offensive start in Columbus, Indiana didn’t get much out of sophomore Troy Williams in its losses to Ohio State and Purdue. Perhaps looking to send a message that he needs to grow into a more consistent performer, Tom Crean removed Williams from the starting lineup against Rutgers. It was the first time Williams hasn’t started a game in his IU career when he’s been available to play.
The 6-foot-7 wing responded with not only an improved offensive effort (14 points), he also hit the glass for 12 rebounds, which is more than he grabbed combined in his previous two games.
“When Troy is playing that way, that’s the Troy Williams we need to have,” Tom Crean said.
The numbers for Williams in Big Ten play speak to how important his production is for IU to be successful. In IU’s six Big Ten wins, he’s averaging 15.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. In three conference losses, he’s averaging just 5.3 points and three rebounds per contest.
Troy Williams (14 points and 12 rebounds), James Blackmon Jr. (20 points and five rebounds) and Nick Zeisloft (eight points) met with the media following Indiana’s 72-64 win over Rutgers on Saturday afternoon at Assembly Hall.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Indiana jumped out to a 14-6 lead, but never got going defensively on Sunday afternoon in an 82-70 loss to Ohio State at Value City Arena. The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 5-2 in the Big Ten and 15-5 overall.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Buckeyes:
· This was easily IU’s worst defensive performance of the season: The numbers are not pretty: 1.32 points per possession allowed and a 2-point field goal percentage defense of 74. It was an afternoon that these Hoosiers need to quickly forget as Ohio State got what it wanted when it wanted with no resistance.
The performance dropped Indiana to 13th in the Big Ten in defensive efficiency as the Hoosiers are allowing league opponents to score 1.10 points per possession. That, of course, has been negated in several games because of IU’s elite offense (1.10 PPP) in league play, but as John Gasaway pointed out last night on Twitter, these Hoosiers have allowed opponents to make 61 percent of their 2s.
Improvement must begin with doing a better job of containing dribble penetration as Ohio State shot layup after layup on Sunday and won comfortably as a result.
Indiana moved to 15-4 overall and 5-1 in the Big Ten with an 89-70 rout of No. 13 Maryland on Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Terrapins:
· This was easily Indiana’s best offensive performance of the season: The numbers speak for themselves: 1.39 points per possession against a team that came in giving up .90 points per possession in Big Ten play. 15-of-22 from behind the 3-point line. An effective field goal percentage of 75. And a turnover percentage of just 15.6 percent, a number that was a rarity a season ago.
Add it all up and the onslaught was just too much for even a red-hot Maryland team, which came into Assembly Hall with a three-game winning streak and a 17-2 record overall.
“Indiana was terrific all night from the start to the end,” Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon said. “Made some incredible shots. Yogi Ferrell made a lot of tough shots. (James) Blackmon was great. The whole team was great and they were hard to guard.”