The Minute After: Iowa

  • 01/29/2012 9:00 pm in

Thoughts on a 103-89 win against the Hawkeyes:

There was Thursday’s slow-paced, every-possession-counts loss to the Badgers.

But tonight inside Assembly Hall? Decidely different. Blink and you missed a bucket. Indiana’s relentless scoring early in the shot clock was reminiscent of the pre-conference season, where it was defensive rebound/force a turnover, pass, push the pace, shot attempt — on repeat. Most of tonight’s offense didn’t even come off the 3-ball (just 4-of-16); it was dunks on dunks on dunks. Indiana would simply draw the defense and find an open man around the bucket — often Mr. Cody Zeller, who finished the game with seven dunks and a career-high 26 points on 11-of-12 shooting. And when the Hoosiers were missing their first attempts on offense, there were plenty of extra opportunities to be had.

Consider this: Indiana rebounded 57.1 percent of its misses (20 total offensive rebounds) and scored 23 second-chance points. Now, this was against the Big Ten’s worst defense. The Hawkeyes were giving up a league-worst 1.11 points per possession coming into tonight’s contest. Still, the Hoosiers were incredibly dominant, scoring 1.34 points per possession to finish with over 100 points in a Big Ten league game. This is rare. In fact, Indiana’s 103 points were the most scored by a team in league play all season. It was the first time the Hoosiers surpassed the 100-point barrier in Big Ten play since March 12, 1995 against the Hawkeyes.

Perhaps rarer still: Derek Elston and Tom Pritchard had strong offensive outings. Elston was hot early; he hit two threes and a jumper during a quick stretch in the first half. The Tipton native finished the night with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting (2-of-2 from three). Pritchard scored in transition with a layup during the first half. He made one of two free throws. He scored a season-high seven points in 11 minutes and also took two charges.

Indiana scored 58 (!) points in the paint. The Hoosiers hit 25-of-31 from the line (80.6%). And in a game with a lot of possessions, they had a livable 13 turnovers (18.0 TO%).

And most importantly: After Iowa has had Indiana’s numbers the last couple go-rounds, the Hoosiers made sure the W was pretty much never in doubt.


+ Will Sheehey shaved his head. He also started in place of Victor Oladipo. And well, it was probably time for that. Oladipo, a player who thrives off energy, seemed to have lost his mojo over the last stretch of games. But in this uptempo game suited for an offensive player of his style, he had a bit of a rebirth — playing with a spark and scoring 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. He hasn’t scored that many since pumping 15 points in against Ohio State on New Year’s Eve. He exited the floor for the evening on a block of a jump shot, a fitting way to go out. An engaged Oladipo will be of great service to the Hoosiers the rest of the way if he can keep it up.

+ Lots of positives here. But the defense was a little concerning despite the blowout win. Iowa scored 1.19 points per possession and shot it quite well (70.4% eFG). Basically this: Not a lot of defense played this evening. But fans of scoring were certainly rewarded.

Filed to:

  • Oldguyy

    Ditto on Zeller’s passing.  Not sure I’ve ever seen a calmer freshman; he just goes about his business with aplomb.  Now if he could become the rebounder that his brother is…but maybe that will come next year with another 15-20 pounds on his frame. 

  • Pb1230

    definitely agree.  While Hightower can get a bit erratic and whistle happy and can start calling a lot of weird, questionable fouls, he does a significantly better job than TV at calling it both ways.

  • Pb1230

    Also, Iowa had the exact opposite strategy on rebounds.  Rather than focusing on getting defensive rebounds, Iowa was sending 1 if not 2 guys back towards their basket on a lot of IU’s shot attempts.  If they managed to get the rebound, they got an easy bucket.  But it burned them more often then not when we got the offensive rebound.

  • jahhoosier

    Excellent point. There were just a lot of little nuances…like the one you point out; like trying to get a steal on defensive rebounds; like going deep into our bench at the end of the game; or like two straight fast breaks from Remy Abell’s first appearance…that made a pretty average defensive performance look much worse than it really was.

  • Lhberg

    I like Hulls on offense but his liability on defense lately has been to great, and even when the Hoosiers do play defense i cant remember seeing someone rebounding as badly as he does. Box out please

  • Lhberg

    I like Hulls on offense but his liability on defense lately has been to great, and even when the Hoosiers do play defense i cant remember seeing someone rebounding as badly as he does. Box out please

  • InTheMtns

    Pinehurst, I got it that you were being sarcastic but I guess others didn’t. As someone on here once wrote, maybe we should call it sar-chasm – because if people don’t understand you’re being sarcastic, there is a pretty deep gap in understanding. Anyway, point well taken about Verdell.

  • InTheMtns

    Sorry you had to miss the game, Millzy, it was a fun one to watch. Verdell played really well to the point where one might say, “hey, who’s this guy?” Head was up and pretty much on a swivel, and he made good decisions. He distributed the ball really well and had several pretty moves of his own. He made a few mistakes but then, he handle the ball a lot. Was definately the floor leader in this one.
    Yep, lot of difference between 5-7 and 7-5. Michigan will be tough. We barely beat them at AH and they lost this weekend so they’ll be looking for revenge and a win. The remaining 8 league games are 4 at home, 4 on the road. I still think we go at least .500 but it will be hard to do.

  • millzy32

    You forgot a game.  NC Central gimme game on the 22nd.  Add a victory to both of your scenarios

  • millzy32

    A few other statistics that totally get missed if you just look at the stat line are missing the front end of one and ones early and often and taking bad shots at inflection points of games both of which I consider turnovers but the stat line does not.

  • millzy32

    Hulls does it for himself with his commercial on the Big Ten Network about how his Grandpa coached with Knight and he grew up in town and it was his dream to play at IU.

  • Classof73_N1Fan

    Great post! Laughed all the way thru it.

  • CreanFaithful

    Leading rebounder vs Wisconsin… 6. Just saying. I understand he wouldn’t typically put up those numbers,