The Minute After: Penn State

  • 03/08/2012 5:01 pm in

Thoughts on a 75-58 win against the Nittany Lions:

About what we expected, right?

Sure, Penn State kept it close in the first half thanks to 19 points from Tim Frazier. And despite Indiana being hot from beyond the arc (55.6%) and shooting plenty of free throws (55% FTR), the Hoosiers allowed Penn State to remain close because they turned the ball over too much (25.0 TO%) and missed some close-range shots (27.8% on 2-pointers). They also didn’t get much offense beyond Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls. But once the second half hit, Indiana’s offense began to roll with others getting involved, and Penn State simply had no answer. The Hoosiers also did a better job on Frazier in the second half, as he was held to just seven points. It was about all the change that was needed. Indiana extended its lead to 22 a the 7:10 mark, and Penn State never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.

Heck of an offensive game today from Hulls. He was hot from the start. Hulls converted from beyond the arc (4-of-6), excelled in making moves off the perimeter, hit some pull-up jumpers in the mid-range and even got a bucket at the rim. He finished with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Zeller was his typical efficient and productive self. 19 points on 4-of-9 shooting (11-of-15 from the line) along with 10 rebounds. Christian Watford continues to be assertive on the boards, notching a double-double of him own — 14 points and 10 rebounds. Indiana ended this one hitting 29-of-35 from the line (80.5%) and 8-of-18 (44.4%) from three, but never got it going inside, hitting just 32.4% on 2-pointers.

And then there was Verdell Jones. What a cruel twist of fate.

He’s risen up as a leader of this team and played his role with much poise since returning from his shoulder injury. His senior speech was poignant; he spoke of raising a sixth banner. And if there’s anyone that deserves to play in the NCAA Tournament, it’s a senior who’s endured so much as this program has returned to relevance. But it’s not sounding like his right knee sprain is going to have him back soon. Tom Crean broke down while discussing it after the game, and it’s easy to see why: It’s a heartbreaking story.

The Hoosiers now face a quick turnaround; the Badgers loom tomorrow afternoon in Indianapolis. And even if Jones won’t be able to play, he’ll still be there rooting and cheering and his presence will be felt. These Hoosiers are likely to play for him, and play for him hard.

And they just have to keep moving and  keep getting it done without their senior leader on the court.

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  • Waffle

    Pretty easy win for Hoosiers. Indiana is always racing past Penn State in the SECOND half for some reason. Go IU!

  • jayrig5

    I asked this on Twitter as well…why are those B1G logos in such a high traffic area, right inside the free throw line?  People slip on those temporary logos enough when they’re way out by half-court; looked like Verdell planted on the logo, his foot slipped, and his knee stayed in place.  Not a good combination.  

  • iujunebug

    I am glad we won, but that is totally overshadowed by my sadness for VJ III.  My heart and prayers to him. Now go Hoosiers and show Wisconsin what fun basketball looks like!

  • mrjonessodaandme

    Absolutely heartbroken about Verdell. I literally feel sick, still.
    If ever there was a reason to rally around something, this is it.

    I am a huge Verdell fan, but I think we have the depth and pieces to make up for most of what did on the court – minus the experience. Which is huge. 

    It’s definitely a loss of huge propotions, and I’d rather him be on the court, but if Roth can get more playing time to hit some shots, and Remy can play with poise I think we can be just fine. That is the hopeful part of me thinking.

    Great win and got to move forward focus no matter what comes of Verdell’s situation.

  • Sray22

    Breaks my heart to see this happen to Verdell.  He was so close to finally playing in the NCAA tournament.  Great job by the Hoosiers, and hopefully they can win the Big Ten tournament for Verdell.

  • Sray22

    Breaks my heart to see this happen to Verdell.  He was so close to finally playing in the NCAA tournament.  Great job by the Hoosiers, and hopefully they can win the Big Ten tournament for Verdell.

  • mrjonessodaandme

    Don’t think it was that. He didn’t slide. He just came up lame.

  • Jfd

    Good point – I thought that same thing watching the replay. Get rid of those things before someone else slips!

  • InTheMtns

    I keep trying to get totally pumped about the win, but it’s hard to with the injury to VJIII. I just feel soooo bad for him. I’m still hoping it really is a sprain from hyper-extension or something and that he’ll recover somewhat in time for the NCAA. 

    I didn’t think the game was ever in doubt but I was much more comfortable the second half when we were getting scoring from everyone. How about Cody and Christian both  getting double-doubles? Nice. 

  • Lucas Vaal

    I am very critical of VJ III but I would never wish this upon him. My heart goes out to him and I hope you gets well soon.

    on a side note Good win Hoosiers, lets get ready for Wisconsin

  • Miamihoosier

    I didn;t notice that, but if that is true, someone needs to be fired, and the logos removed/moved somewhere else. I’ve seen that type of injury on a logo happen before at other venues..absolutely no excuse for it.

  • Kennydescombes

    I couldn’t get through the first paragraph on this article.  Hulls and Zeller didn’t score much?  It seemed they carried IU in the first half. 

  • Kennydescombes

    I couldn’t get through the first paragraph on this article.  Hulls and Zeller didn’t score much?  It seemed they carried IU in the first half. 

  • eph521

    Zeller, Watford and Oladipo:

    30 rebounds!

    That’s awesome. Penn State’s entire team only had 27 rebounds.

  • eph521

    Another dominating win by the B10’s hottest team.

    If I’m Bo Ryan, IU is the last team I’d want to play. Here come the Hoosiers!

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Poor Verdell.  Crean was so choked up in the interview with Fish he could hardly talk.  So unfair.  

    Let’s get this one for him.  

    Related to the game, I could get used to Watford rebounding.  And if he wants to play in the league, he has to show he can do it. 

  • eph521

    For a little guy, Jordan Hulls sure has big shoulders. He carried the team offensively in the 1st half. 

    Way to go Jordy!

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Also, thanks to the Hawkeyes for putting Bruce Weber out of our misery.  Not like there was much doubt, but still…

  • stroot

    A double double-double.

  • stroot

    A double double-double.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Wrong. What happened to Verdell is just plain wrong. Unless his injury’s less than we’re thinking, it’s just plain wrong for him to have played through adversity for this long only to be denied the chance to finally play in the NCAAs. I’m sick this happened.

    Here’s to that faint, faint hope that it’s not as bad as it appears. Although Crean breaking up in the post game interviews doesn’t make it seem as though that’s the case… 🙁

  • Steeled09

    Is the game on Big Ten Network or ESPN tomorrow?

  • Hardrock

    Hull  you da man today!  God bless Jones

  • jayrig5

    It wasn’t a severe slide/slip/wipeout (that may have been preferable, actually) but watching all those replays, it didn’t look like a clean landing.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Great win, great picture of CTC & Hulls.  I knew CTC was a a class act and Great God fearing man but they way he responded after the game about Jones injury….I can’t put it into words except that he loves his players with the up most respect and vise/vesa.  I honestly believe we have the best Caring coach out there.   Kudos to CTC and company.
    Here’s to a fast recovery for Jones and now let’s go kick so Wisky @$$. 

  • iufan4life10

    Good win for the Hoosiers, but feeling so bad for VJIII.  Hoping and praying it is just a minor sprain and he will be back next week to play a game in the dance.  GO HOOSIERS!!!!

  • iufan4life10

    Good win for the Hoosiers, but feeling so bad for VJIII.  Hoping and praying it is just a minor sprain and he will be back next week to play a game in the dance.  GO HOOSIERS!!!!

  • InTheMtns

    Jordy was in the zone! Wow!

  • Scott

    Verdell is one tough player.  He did everything to help make this team better and to improve his own play.  He was really tough handling the criticism that came his way.  Heartbreaking injury because we know he was really committed to play in the BTT and NCAA Tourney.  Prayers are with him to recover and have a great future after graduation. 

  • So_Cal_Hoosier

    Listening to Fish on the radio, he said that he saw one of the team doctors in the hallway, and the doc just shook his head and gave a thumbs down… I’m hoping for the best too, but it’s not looking good.

  • InTheMtns

    And some of those rebounds he got were not all that easy. He was like, “hey give me that ball, that’s mine. Go away.”

  • First Peyton’s nex conference yesterday…..now VJ’s injury……..grown men are not supposed to get this emotional over sports……..been a tough couple of days in this IU/Colts household.

  • Hoosierfan60

    I too, have been critical of VJIII at times. I had been very happy to see him play with much more poise and efficiency the last rew weeks. I am sickened by the injury. Best wishes on a speedy recovery. I hope the team uses this as further motivation to excel in battle.

  • Hoosierfan60

    I too, have been critical of VJIII at times. I had been very happy to see him play with much more poise and efficiency the last rew weeks. I am sickened by the injury. Best wishes on a speedy recovery. I hope the team uses this as further motivation to excel in battle.

  • Will The Thrill

    Be careful what you wish for….I’d rather have Weber there than Shaka Smart, who would most likely be a big target for them if they boot Bruce.

  • Doudyb

    I feel really bad for Verdell, but it’s next man up.  I wished that Remy had been getting more minutes before this happened, now he’s not going to be as ready as he could have been, but it’s time for him to really step up.

  • ldiu

    I was at the game and thought we played rather tight.

    We had best shoot the ball better tomorrow or will be in deep trouble. 

    Am just sick about VJ III……..so sad to work so hard and endure so much for four years and not be able to play in the NCAA tournament.

    Missed the “college” atmosphere at the game.

    The announced crowd was nearly 18,000, but I doubt if 11,000 were actually in attendance.

    25-7 and counting!!!!

  • Mop Lady

    Get well soon, VJIII!!!

  • Geoff_85

    I’ll be honest, I was near tears yesterday…I was in tears today. My heart breaks for Verdell and Coach Crean. Coach Crean really wanted Verdell to play in the NCAA Tournament, but that is likely not going to happen. Such a sad ending to a gritty career.

  • looked like an ACL.  He didn’t slip  – he planted fine.  Sad to see.  His presence will still be felt on the sidelines.  VJIII is a funny and smart individual and he will still contribute.

    Otherwise the team played great in the second half.  CWatt is a presence on the boards, Hull and Sheehey played well – and CZ and VO are consistently impressive on the defensive end and pretty decent offensively.

    I like the chemistry on the team and how close they are….they can win it for what Pritch, Roth, and VJIII have started.   They will win it for VJIII.

  • looked like an ACL.  He didn’t slip  – he planted fine.  Sad to see.  His presence will still be felt on the sidelines.  VJIII is a funny and smart individual and he will still contribute.

    Otherwise the team played great in the second half.  CWatt is a presence on the boards, Hull and Sheehey played well – and CZ and VO are consistently impressive on the defensive end and pretty decent offensively.

    I like the chemistry on the team and how close they are….they can win it for what Pritch, Roth, and VJIII have started.   They will win it for VJIII.

  • cooper

    A huge loss for tournament time. Scorers are so important at tournament time and VJ was one of the few guys on the team who could get his own shot. Not to mention this will really hurt the rotation. The team basically has no back up guard who can handle the ball on the bench besides Remy who is a frosh

    Like Dakich said during the Minn/NW telecast, Most IU fans have treated VJ very unfairly and what happened is just sad.

    Couldn’t have said it any better

  • jayrig5

    Watching it again, it’s certainly not a big slip or anything.  But I don’t know if you can definitively say he planted clean.

    Either way, having a logo there is stupid.  I think that’s still the case.  

  • calbert40

    Like everyone else, my thoughts have been on VJ3 more than the nice win.  I don’t know how many of you saw CTC’s interview on BTN immediately after the game, but he had a lot of difficulty composing himself talking about VJ3.  He said the situation with his knee is “not good,” and then got that manly lip quiver we all get when trying to keep it together.  My heart just aches for VJ3.  Awful.  Hopefully, he is a quick healer and can play in the NCAA.

    Side note: if you had a son who was considering IU, how could you not love Crean?  After winning his first B1G Tourney game (which was MUCH bigger than just another W over PSU), he is more concerned with a sub who got hurt.  CTC is a class act.

    Go Hoosiers.  Let’s take some revenge on the Badgers for that lousy home cookin’ they gave us in Madison!

  •  Verdell
    Jones may not be my favorite player but he deserves more than any
    player on our team to play in the Dance after all he has been through
    here. I feel terrible for him that this happened so lets go win this B1G
    Tourney and then hang a 6th banner up in his honor. HOO HOO HOO
    HOOSIERS!!!

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I like Bruce at Allynois…I’m glad that they lost, I hope that they don’t fire him, and he continues to coach there until the day I die.  He is the lone reason why I can’t stand Allynois.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Very sad about VJ3, CTC is such a stand up guy and talked about VJ3 before anything about the game and the win…we will miss the ball handling and long arms on Defense and let us not forget that senior floor leadership…you will be missed.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Very sad about VJ3, CTC is such a stand up guy and talked about VJ3 before anything about the game and the win…we will miss the ball handling and long arms on Defense and let us not forget that senior floor leadership…you will be missed.

  • IUMIKE1

    Does ANYBODY know of ANY way to hear the radio post game talk between Crean & Fish ? I almost always listen to it but was unable to this time and would really like to hear it.  Would really appreciate it if someone knows of a way and could pass it along.

  • InTheMtns

    I think we will shoot better tomorrow. Neither team shot well today. According to Jordy, it’s a difficult background for shooting and you have to get used to it. IU’s had 40 minutes with it and Wisconsin hasn’t had any time with it, so that should be to our advantage tomorrow.