Hoosiers reverse road fortunes in West Lafayette

  • 02/05/2012 10:51 am in

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — As a 13-point lead melted to four with 3:27 remaining, this group of Hoosiers found themselves at a crossroads.

Recent history playing away from Assembly Hall in the Big Ten suggested that Purdue had Indiana right where it wanted them. The Hoosiers had not beaten any conference team besides Penn State on the road since the 2007-2008 season.

But as the Paint Crew reached a fever pitch and momentum shifted to the Boilermakers, Indiana took a road they’ve rarely traveled in recent seasons away from Bloomington. The Hoosiers did what they couldn’t do in Lincoln, Madison or Ann Arbor: finish well down the stretch.

First it was a block by Will Sheehey on a shot by Lewis Jackson that would’ve cut the lead to two. And then it was Remy Abell’s 3-pointer from the corner at the 1:27 mark to put the game out of reach.

Both plays were made possible because Indiana put together its most complete effort from start to finish all season on the road. The Hoosiers were basically in control throughout the contest.

“To me, it looked like it meant more to them,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “Just right from the start, looking, you can see guys’ facial expressions, you can see guys body language, I thought they were more engaged.”

It hasn’t been that way as of late for Indiana on the road in the Big Ten.

The Hoosiers were never able to fully recover in slow starts at Ohio State and Michigan. At Nebraska and Wisconsin, Indiana couldn’t come up with the key plays Sheehey and Abell made in Mackey Arena on Saturday night.

“It’s big for us,” Indiana guard Victor Oladipo said. “It should boost our confidence a little bit. We should do stuff like that. We’re a really good team.”

With Verdell Jones out of the lineup with a bruised shoulder, Victor Oladipo and Abell both took on increased roles. Oladipo moved from the wing to primary ball handler and Abell, who has been used sparingly, played more like an upperclassmen than a freshman with limited experience.

Purdue couldn’t keep Oladipo out of the lane or off the foul line. The sophomore guard finished with a career-high 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists. As the game moved along, his confidence grew.

“I thought he did a good job of picking his spots and getting by us,” Painter said. “Obviously getting to the free throw line twelve times really helped them.”

Abell, who played a career-high 19 minutes and finished with a career-high 13 points, showed that he’s ready to shoulder a bigger role moving forward. The freshman from Louisville showed no hesitation when he received a pass from Christian Watford in front of the IU bench and knocked down a shot to push Indiana’s lead to nine.

“That’s a big shot for Remy,” Oladipo said. “He’s just growing every day and he’s becoming a great player. He just needs to continue to do what he’s doing and working hard. I’m proud of him.”

Yet, more important than the individual performances or plays is the fact that Indiana is responding to adversity with positive results late in the season. Losses snowballed late in Big Ten play the past few seasons. This team appears destined for a much different finish.

“You take your hat off to them. They’ve been at the bottom,” Purdue guard Lewis Jackson said. “They’ve lost to us three years in a row. They’re tired of hearing it. You just see the maturity and the fight over there and that’s a team that came together.”

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  • Sniderdoug1

    HOO HOO HOO HOOSIERS!!!!!!

  • VJ3 seems like a hard worker and a good kid. However, it was clear last night that IU is better off with VO, Sheehy, Remy, and even Elston (starter) getting those minutes. 

  • VJ3 seems like a hard worker and a good kid. However, it was clear last night that IU is better off with VO, Sheehy, Remy, and even Elston (starter) getting those minutes. 

  • Remy Abell = Donald Perry ?

  • jermhoosierfan

    You could see more confidence last night down the stretch. They looked more like the team earlier in the season as opposed to the team the last month on the road.  Abell stepping up was big.

  • jermhoosierfan

    You could see more confidence last night down the stretch. They looked more like the team earlier in the season as opposed to the team the last month on the road.  Abell stepping up was big.

  • Bucky

    I hope not.  Perry had a career average of 2.6 points per game, on 32% shooting.

    Maybe Wayne Radford.  

  • Stlbam

    What? Are you kidding? Donald Perry was a quitter. Nobody deserves to be compared to him.

  • Nimbi

    And it seemed the more Elston got fouled without a call, the harder he played.  I’m surprised someone didn’t get hurt in that game the way it was called. The Big Ten has to have the worst officials in college basketball. 

  • Kelin Blab

    I think Painter is clear on what type of team he has. In basketball terms they need a ‘dude’. IU has multiple guys that could go off for 20+ pts and some good wing defenders that have helped this year.

    This is a win they should build off of given where it was and who it was against. A sweep of Purdue this year would be ahead of schedule just as the OSU win.

  • MillaRed

    Still think the Kentucky win put us on the national map. But this is the biggest road win in CTC’s tenure by a landslide.

    We are better than Purdue. They knew it, were frustrated by it, and started playing dirty to compensate for it. I like Painter but would not have been thrilled with a few of those plays.

    I always wondered how good many of he PU guys were when Etwaun and Jujuan were around, and now they are gone, I would have to say not very good. Glad we missed out on those recruits. I’m not impressed.

  • loved seeing Remy get some playing time and he really responded, I think we found a diamond in the rough.

  • HoosierExile

    After watching the replay of the UK game on BTN yesterday afternoon, I was so anxious to see that team return. And it all started with Vic. He had such swag in that game. And it returned last night in a huge way. They could not stop him. However, I’m interested to see if we can maintain the same penetration against a legitimately post presence in Leonard. He’ll provide a lot better help side D. Really, Illinois is basically Purdue plus a big man.

  • HoosierExile

    After watching the replay of the UK game on BTN yesterday afternoon, I was so anxious to see that team return. And it all started with Vic. He had such swag in that game. And it returned last night in a huge way. They could not stop him. However, I’m interested to see if we can maintain the same penetration against a legitimately post presence in Leonard. He’ll provide a lot better help side D. Really, Illinois is basically Purdue plus a big man.

  • Kelin Blab

    Not sure how this is determined but I could not agree more, given VJ didn’t play. Not to mention Remy has had the luxury of playing with a strong upper class group and Cody Zeller as opposed to playing with Kyle Taber, daniel moore, and other guys who have transferred. If you reverse roles and fortunes our Remy conversation would be different…..but we will never know.

    My hope is we get to the point of just enjoying a victory and not scapegoating a player that didn’t even play and attempting to turn another topic into a another conversation.

  • Pat C

    Hey Jackson who was that blowin by u –oh it’s just Oladipo. I thought u were suppose to be quick. Great Job Beat em by 30 in the house

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I will start by saying I live right across the river from L’ville, KY.  I know this was a big win but I still rank the pUKe as #1.
    Beating pUKe, PUke and hopefully Illinois….CTC coach of the year in my book.
    Huge win in so many ways regardless esp .5 in B1G. 
    Big Shots:  Abell’s late 3 and the rocket pass by Vic to the great catch and basket by CZ.

    I wasn’t able to start watching the game until 7:30.  But knew Ted V was one of the Zebra’s so I switch my win prediction to a lose. 

    I can not believe the fouls that weren’t called and we still shot more FT at Wackey….WOW.

    I didn’t understand why we went back to man to man after the zone when it was working but it still work….can’t remember if they started hitting 3’s.

    You are witnessing the future of CTC pressure, drib drive, lock down D and hurrying Hoosiers.

    Prediction: One more lose and a 4th or 5th seed.

    Three questions:  Why was Painter T’d up wasn’t watching at that point and
    was it a momentum changer? 

    Second, we are deep enough to play full
    court press for a huge portion of a game…why don’t we…did CTC do it
    at Marq?

    Lastly, will we fall out of the top 25?

  • hoosierdaddy3

    No on dropping out of the top 25.  I don’t think Michigan has lost at home this entire year, and if you look around the country there are plenty of other teams with the same road issues as IU.  I expect they will stay where they are or drop a couple spots, but not out of the top 25.

  • hoosierdaddy3

    No on dropping out of the top 25.  I don’t think Michigan has lost at home this entire year, and if you look around the country there are plenty of other teams with the same road issues as IU.  I expect they will stay where they are or drop a couple spots, but not out of the top 25.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    I hope this team has hit the reset button after this road win and can finish at worst, 5-2 the rest of the regular season.  i will take 10-8 in Big 10 and a 23-9 overall record.

    Victor needs the ball in his hands at the top of the key more often. Such as the case last night, he is the best on the team breaking his man down and getting to the rim to finish or dump off to someone else.  When he is driving he make this entire team better.

  • Kelin Blab

    I know IU recruited DJ Byrd not sure about Carroll.

  • oldIUFan

    we overcame a big mental obstacle yesterday … now the team knows it can win … on the road … it a very hostile environment …

  • Kelin Blab

    Great point Victor did an excellent job from operating at the top of the key, with space.

  • Kelin Blab

    Great point Victor did an excellent job from operating at the top of the key, with space.

  • MillaRed

    Lewis Jackson? Pretty sure Carrol and Bade. Terone Johnson?

  • Tokuly

    Remy was huge as was Oladipo!! i think this team figured out how to close out  on the road. i smell another winning streak

  • MillaRed

    Not sure if anyone mentioned this yet, but taking back the state was a major goal. Not only did we beat Evansville, Butler, Notre Dame and Purdue, we dominated them. Consider the state owned by The Hoosiers. And things are finally back to normal.

  • marcusgresham

    Think Bradley’s fans are missing him?

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t mind teams with legitimate post guys because it gives Zeller a chance to go one-on-one instead of having three guys around him.

  • marcusgresham

    We haven’t knocked off the Mastodons yet.

  • marcusgresham

    I predicted 17 wins.  I am officially wrong…and I couldn’t be happier about it.

  • SCHoosier

    IU did the 3 things they had too do..1)Rendered Jackson’s drives to the hole moot 2) Dominated the boards to get the run game going 3) Fought thru a second half rally by PU and closed it out. Fact that PU couldn’t hit the broad side of one of their milk barns certainly helped. VO good from top of the key..not so good trying to bring the ball up..great to see him slashing to the hole again. Missed too many FT’s at the end for me…in a close game could have made the difference…Crean did create a small fiasco with the late TO..his intentions were good..but it could have been done 30 sec earlier. Think he just got caught up in t he game and forgot about it..no big deal but PU will make it one. Was puzzling the way he rushed by Painter who looked like “WTF?”. Now we can worry about ILL/Pauls 3 pt  shooting and their agile 7-1 center.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I said it once and I will say it again. Remy Abell will be the Donald Perry 2002 Freshman of our tournament run this season. Loved this kid from the first moment I saw him play. Yes some plays have been tough to swallow, but he gives us more than he costs us. Keep it up RA!

  • Relax. I’m referring to his role as a frosh during our run in 2002. A surprise performance, stepped up when we needed someone. Not a great shooter, but a good defender and had that crazy frosh courage. If you don’t see that similarity, you’re not trying hard enough. 

  • Relax. I’m referring to his role as a frosh during our run in 2002. A surprise performance, stepped up when we needed someone. Not a great shooter, but a good defender and had that crazy frosh courage. If you don’t see that similarity, you’re not trying hard enough.  

  • Relax. I’m referring to his role as a frosh during our run in 2002. A surprise performance, stepped up when we needed someone. Not a great shooter, but a good defender and had that crazy frosh courage. If you don’t see that similarity, you’re not trying hard enough.  

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I touched on this earlier on in the year and we have handled business. When we blow Purdue out at home I will really start playing the “we own the state again” horn. We are on the precipice of greatness again with so much to look forward to! Go IU!!!

    Indiana 90 Indianapolis 72

    Indiana 94 Evansville 73

    Indiana 75 Butler 59

    Indiana 69 Notre Dame 58

    Indiana 78 Purdue 61

    Extra Credit for Borders won

    Southern Border
    Indiana 73 Kentucky 72

    Eastern Border
    Indiana 74 Ohio State 70

    Northern Border
    Indiana 73 Michigan 71

    Western Border is next.
    Illinois
    Northwestern

    Hoosiers have handled the state and regional business so let’s get crazy and get some big time momentum going to finish the season strong. Win the B10 Tourney in Indy. Hopefully draw the Yum Center in Louisville and make a run in the NCAA Tournament!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Grant_usi

    Classy statement from Lewis Jackson. 

  • kenny george

    very proud of the team effort and individual stats. been an iu fan since 1972 and have seen the good, bad, and ugly. this group of young men are terrific representatives of our state and school. proud as a new daddy.. love ya all.

  • beat Kentucky

    Well said Milla !

  • catronhoosier

    I lived in Lafayette when Purdue had johnson moore and them, and I went to almost every home game simply because I love college basketball, and I can say that me and my friends (all of which are boilers) saw that these guys were cllose to awful.  Purdue really only has 3 guys who would play on the top bigten teams’ rosters.  That being Hummel, jackson, and Anthony Johnson.  The rest of the team really are scrubs.

  • catronhoosier

    i agree with that comparison.  Illinois has Paul who is basically their Hummel only quicker because he does not have 2 bum knees.  I do think that Illinois is similar to us in that they can be very good some nights, and other nights look like they forgot there was a game.  I believe we beat them by around 10-15 points and the game is not as close as the score makes it seem. 

  • catronhoosier

    i agree with that comparison.  Illinois has Paul who is basically their Hummel only quicker because he does not have 2 bum knees.  I do think that Illinois is similar to us in that they can be very good some nights, and other nights look like they forgot there was a game.  I believe we beat them by around 10-15 points and the game is not as close as the score makes it seem. 

  • Bucky

    Beating them would be mammoth!
     

  • hgdownunder

    Agreed!  The whole trajectory of VJIII’s career and even the 2009 class would have been different if they could of been brought along until ready.

  • IUSTL

    I think their rough play  has a lot to do with frustration. Painter and the other PUs might have seen this game as the last opportunity to beat IU for awhile. IU and Purdue coaches will always be judged on their results against the other school. With the current rosters and the upcoming recruits it could be a long time before  Purdue is in postion to challenge Indiana ( or a top five B1G finish). How will that reflect upon Painter in the future and his relationship with their fans? Right now I get the sense some PU fans are not overally happy with Painter for his being out recruited by IU and losing 3 big recruits ( Robinson jr, Harris and the guy that went to UK) IU is on the way up and Purdue is stagnating. Painter is smart enough to at least sense this shift and I am sure it is frustrating. Maybe the Mizzou job is looking better in hindsight.

  • hgdownunder

     Considering Matt Painter told Don Fischer that in the week they had to prepare for this game, they really, really worked on rebounding, this was a particularly sweet outcome.

  • John474

    I don’t remember Donald Perry doing much.  There is a reason he quit our team.

  • John474

    I don’t remember Donald Perry doing much.  There is a reason he quit our team.

  • Swishmac IU

    I agree, why does everyone feel the need to dish VJIII whether he palys or not.  I woudl bet if any of those individuals had his talent and chance to play at plenty of D1 schools, woudl have made the choice to, not only go, but stay in a program that was clearly in a world of hurt.  I have never met the kid, but if I ever do, you can bet I am going to thank him for what he has done for Hoosier Nation – on and off the court.