The Minute After: Wisconsin

  • 01/14/2014 10:00 pm in

Thoughts on a 75-72 victory over the Badgers:

The Badgers came to Assembly Hall riding high, a team racking up impressive numbers and garnering much praise. A No. 3 ranking. Their best start in school history (16-0). With a win, they’d beat Indiana 13 straight times, a feat no other team has ever pulled off against the Hoosiers. They were a group that passed well — so well, in fact, that Dan Dakich said on the broadcast he’d never seen it any better — and rarely made mistakes, one that didn’t beat itself. If the Hoosiers were going to win this one, they would need to play a near-perfect game.

But a funny thing happened with the students back in town and Assembly Hall at a fever pitch; these Badgers flinched. Save for the early stretch of the second half when Traevon Jackson went off on Troy Willliams and they amassed a 10-point lead, they were rarely dictating the terms. The efficient, smart Badgers looked frazzled. Their defense parted like the Red Sea in the paint and Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson drove to the rim with ease. Its offense sputtered in the second half, as a number of long 3s that missed were the best shots this team that somehow always finds its way to good shots could get.

And the Hoosiers, as one fan put it, looked as if they’ve grown up two months over the past week. It all culminated in the program’s first win over the Badgers since January 2007, when the Badgers entered Assembly Hall with a similar high ranking and riding a nice winning streak. A signature victory is finally in the books, and there’s reason to believe more are on the way.

For the second straight game, Indiana valued the ball. Its turnover percentage of 13.9 was its best mark of the season. It turned it over just nine times. Ferrell had zero. Wisconsin entered this game with the second best turnover percentage in the country (12.7 percent), but left Assembly Hall with a 15.5 percent mark. The Badgers would capitalize a bit better here with a 17-2 advantage in points off turnovers. Still, if IU is up near the 20 percent mark, those 17 points are probably higher and the Badgers are more likely to keep their undefeated season afloat.

There were other numbers that went against the grain, too. Indiana got to the line just 10 times in this game (16.1 free throw rate), a season low. And after shooting well so far from 3-point range in Big Ten play, they made just 4-of-14 (28.6 percent).  But the Hoosiers made up for it with a relentless attack to the rim. It scored 52 of its 75 points in the paint. Ferrell was just 1-of-8 from distance — hitting his only one late in the game to help Indiana to victory — but he was almost unstoppable attacking the rim.

Ferrell (along with Noah Vonleh) was also benched for a stretch in the second half after the first unit let Wisconsin build that 10-point lead and Tom Crean appeared unhappy with their play. A lineup that featured Jonny Marlin would make sure the game would stay close enough. When Ferrell and Vonleh returned, they both went right to work, their benching serving as some fuel for them to get back in the thick of it — quick. It was the second interesting lineup move during a crucial stretch of the second half for Crean in as many games and it paid off once again. Though, substituting Austin Etherington for Vonleh on defense late in this one didn’t work  as well, as Frank Kaminsky went right to work on Etherington for an and-1. (Crean said after the game he did this so all Indiana players could switch.)

There was much doom and gloom about this season not too long ago from the fan base, but these last two games have flipped the script. We’re just four games into Big Ten season and the Hoosiers are on the rise.

Filed to:

  • MikeIU

    The cheerleaders always do that. It stems from a game awhile back which we lost (I don’t recall who it was). After we lost the opposing players went to the center of the court and stood on and stomped on the Indiana emblem. Ever since then the cheerleaders rush there immediately after the game to prevent that from happening again.

  • MikeIU

    I was at the game. The fans were not pleased and Coach had to know it. There was a lot of booing.

  • Dagwoodsdave

    Taking Noah out was stupid last night and it is stupid today. He is arguably your best player (at least 1 or 2). He is projected as a NBA lottery pick this year or next. And you allegedly take him out because he can’t switch on defense or guard the 3? And AE can? Better than Noah? That is overthinking it. In that situation, with the game on the line you let your best players play.

  • Dave Carnes

    UMM what about last year.Please refer me to some film of him preforming like you believe he can.I don’t dislike the kid and I will watch it.As a Hossier he just hasn’t shot passed or dribbled well.He does block and shoot free throws good.

  • Dave Carnes

    I don’t know about invariably paying off.How about sometimes paid off

  • Dave Carnes

    Why didn,t we ever go back to that?

  • Dave Carnes


  • ty_smitty21

    Well… can we drop the “Crean sucks” every time we lose? He gets bashed after every loss, so he deserves credit after a win. And other than the Noah sub, I thought he was excellent in this game.

  • kwang

    I believe it was Purdue.

  • dtfreed

    Part of JH’s problem is CTC, who tried to make him a guard, remember. He is better inside although alot like C Wat as far as weak hands under the bucket. For the turn overs going down, TW plays less too, and even the great Yogi found some pine time and team really didn’t miss much with out him. The lane was open all night long why pop 3 after 3.. Spot playing both TW and JH would make sense. Stan R. reminds me of jay Edwards with SR’s move to the bucket, it looks slow but they both go/went by defenders without much effort being shown.

  • kaponya44

    I recall similar nearly unanimous criticism towards C T C for using so much of his bench.Remember the $#! Tstorm here over seeing Marlin and Howard get PT as opposed to Crean sorting out the rotation.Hearing crickets now.Guess people agree with how its sorting out now .Although the timing of inserting AE was curious.I’d have stuck Howard on Kaminski or left Vonleh on him.Still did anyone who defended him point out it could have been worse had he hacked Kaminski.Lol Austin got burnt but better togive away 2 points than 3.

  • kaponya44

    Well Ill say that while it is arguable in appearance it illustrates what is great about IU .That was a different roster who made its own memories with all of us and this team worked for its own defining moment and accomplished it after 12 Meetings over 2 coaching staffs and was an unwanted bridge between two eras of IU basketball.THIS team was “not supposed” to win this game. Nobody outside of this fan base really EXPECTED Indiana to win.

  • Bled4IU

    As much as it had me wondering why, a game isn’t determined by 1 play or call.

  • Snookafly

    That team was ranked #5 in the country at one point, and quit once they saw he was their coach. He had been Director of Basketball Operations and assistant coach that year, but I don’t hear anybody mention that when they talk about programs fall from grace.

  • CreamandCrimson

    He did “hack” Kaminsky…Kaminsky hit the shot and was fouled. AE was immediately taken out and Vonleh was put back in but thankfully, Kaminsky missed the free throw.

  • Mr. Mitchell


  • Mr. Mitchell

    Cant wait to rush the field after a football game..

  • Ole Man

    If someone says Crean has a runny nose because he has a cold, some posters take offense at that.
    I also don’t like Crean bashing, but I haven’t seen any of it, except from a couple of trolls, on here after the victory.
    Seems like you have “hurt feelings” about past posts.

  • SCHoosier

    I don’t expect him to play until the MSU game..this thing smells more like a suspension to me than a benching..just MO.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    If it excites the fan base, students, players then we should storm the court every W….

  • BillyDee

    Good game for both teams glad to see the HOOSIERS get a big win.