Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Wisconsin

  • 01/15/2014 12:11 pm in

Indiana added a marquee win to its resume on Tuesday night with a 75-72 win over No. 3 Wisconsin at Assembly Hall. The win snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Badgers.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s second straight conference win:

· Indiana shredded Wisconsin’s defense: This isn’t your typical grind it out, ‘first team to 50 wins’ Wisconsin group. The Badgers have one of the nation’s best offenses and a defense that had been limiting Big Ten opponents to .95 points per possession through three games. Wisconsin’s offense played well enough to win. Its defense did not.

Credit Indiana’s coaching staff for putting together a game plan built on attacking the basket and credit the players for executing that plan in a relentless fashion. The Hoosiers scored 52 points in the paint and shot an effective field goal percentage of 54.8, the second highest mark of the season thus far against the Badgers. Indiana scored 1.17 points per possession against Wisconsin, which is the highest number Bo Ryan’s program has allowed this season.

“Defensively on the threes, I thought we were doing a pretty decent job,” Ryan said postgame. “But the driving lines were what really hurt us.”

· When Indiana takes care of the ball, the Hoosiers can play with the nation’s elite: Two games is by no means an adequate enough sample size to conclude that Indiana has solved its turnover problems. But it’s no coincidence that when IU takes care of the ball, its opportunity to be successful grows tremendously. Wisconsin didn’t allow Indiana to get anywhere near its season average in offensive rebounding percentage or free throw rate, which made limiting the turnovers an even bigger deal. Indiana turned it over just nine times on Tuesday for a turnover percentage of 14.

In his postgame comments, Tom Crean was pretty blunt about his focus on cutting down on the mistakes after turnover percentages of 29 against Illinois and 23.5 against Michigan State.

“The elephant in the room was visible for everybody,” Crean said. “We were doing pretty good in so many areas. Nationally, even. Look at how much our shooting had improved over the last few weeks. But the turnovers were hurting us. We can’t play through those.”

· Yogi Ferrell was dominant: His shooting percentage wasn’t particularly great (43.8 eFG%), but Yogi Ferrell got where he wanted all night and made big plays when it counted. The sophomore from Indianapolis finished with 25 points, four assists and no turnovers in 33 minutes.

After he was benched for walk-on Jonny Marlin during a stretch midway through the second half for some questionable jump shots, Ferrell returned for the game’s final 10:24. Here’s what he did down the stretch:

– 10:00 mark – Missed 3-pointer
– 9:44 mark – Made 2-point jumper, fouled by Traevon Jackson, missed free throw
– 8:03 mark – Made 2-point jumper
– 7:06 mark – Assisted Will Sheehey 3-pointer
– 6:30 mark – Missed 3-pointer
– 6:13 mark – Assisted Austin Etherington layup
– 5:28 mark – Missed 3-pointer
– 4:34 mark – Missed layup
– 4:16 mark – Made layup
– 2:53 mark – Made 3-pointer
– 2:05 mark – Made 2-point jumper
– :18 second mark – Made two free throws

If you’re keeping track at home, that’s 13 points (5-9 FG, 2-3 FT) and two assists down the stretch.

“He reminds me of how Jordan Taylor played for us,” Ryan said. “Yogi does the things that Taylor did and if you’re playing a player who can do those things, you have to find a way to stop it. Today Yogi was able to get things done.”

· The continued rise of Stanford Robinson: He hasn’t reached full breakout status yet, but with 33 points and 13 rebounds over IU’s last three games, freshman Stanford Robinson continues to make a case for more minutes. On Tuesday, Robinson, much like Ferrell, was unstoppable going to the rim. Wisconsin’s guards just couldn’t move well enough to keep their shoulders square to Robinson and he made them pay frequently.

Robinson’s knack for maneuvering to the basket is something Crean said is a natural at, but the rising freshman pointed to Ferrell and Will Sheehey in his postgame comments as big reasons for his success.

“Yogi and Will told me in the beginning of the game that the lanes were open and they told me to just keep going because that’s one of my strong points,” he said. “So two of my leaders telling me to just keep going, I felt like I had the freedom to just be me.”

· Senior leadership: One guy was demonstrative and the other lets his play do the talking generally, but Tuesday was a big night for Will Sheehey and Evan Gordon, Indiana’s two seniors. Sheehey made some of the plays we’ve grown accustomed to seeing him make during his time in Bloomington: Slipping past defenders for easy buckets, finishing plays demonstratively in transition and the timely 3-pointer.

Gordon, on the other hand, wasn’t talked about much in the postgame, but quietly put together eight points, six assists, four rebounds, three turnovers and two steals in 33 minutes. In two games as a starter, Gordon has 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four turnovers in 68 minutes. The move to insert Gordon for Jeremy Hollowell in the lineup has paid major dividends thus far and it gives Indiana a heady veteran who may not make spectacular plays, but typically makes the correct play.

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  • marcusgresham

    If I made any reference to him transferring it was in the realm of “I hope he doesn’t.”
    They’re going to need the kid sooner than later. I’m predicting his best game of the year will come against Purdue. Not basing it on anything but a hunch.

  • marcusgresham

    He also gave us a championship game appearance (and for what it’s worth, at least Davis followed the rules.)

  • marcusgresham

    I think that damn playing surface is shag carpet because every game at Northwestern looks like it’s played at the pace of a 7th grade girls game.

  • mk

    i think we all have concerns about it…

  • Outoftheloop

    If you never get to play with the starters and only get 1-2 minutes of mop up time in 4 games a season, you can’t show anything! Neither the fans nor the coaches “know” what Peter can do on the floor in a meaningful game! I sure don’t. But I saw him in an all-star game in Chicago and he was good!

  • Outoftheloop

    You are the Aceman for a reason! Dead-on! The “high” goal this season is NCAA Tourney, win 2, Sweet Sixteen. Build for a Banner in 2014-15! But just getting in the Tourney would be very good.

  • afnewell01

    So they don’t evaluate him in practice? When he is going up against Voleh and HP?

  • Outoftheloop

    Troy does not have good basic defensive position…yet. Next year he will. Maybe later this year.

  • David Macer

    Huh ?? Bulldogs……

  • David Macer

    AJ..MO..YE.. (clap, clap, clap clap, clap) AJ..MO..YE !!!!!

  • David Macer

    Putting guys on the floor with a high bball IQ is a big plus. Many kids can be great scorers or good defenders, but I will take a kid that knows about what to do in certain situations everytime.

  • David Macer

    Every coach in every sport has made a bad decision on more than one occassion. It’s how you learn from them that sets good coaches apart from average coaches.

  • yimyames

    Stan aside and watch me work!

  • afnewell01

    You are correct in that statement, but sometimes I am not sure if he does.

  • b_side

    Odle is pretty good to on occasion. He’ll throw some zingers out every once in a while.

  • MisterSlippery

    Solid work. I love The Stanswer.

  • John

    Reminded me of old school Bobby Knight.

  • Outoftheloop

    Actually no it could not have “cost us the game”. They got the maximum 3 points, Noah did not get the foul (for overtime if there had been OT) and Indiana still led by 1 at the end of the play.

  • Outoftheloop

    Noah needs another year in college to develop his game, he wants a degree and he is following the “Cody” blueprint there, he likes college life as he is 18-19 (not 20+), he could hang a Banner at IU, and he might be the #1 pick in 2015 if Indiana does win the NCAA!

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    All it took. The dead horse has been beaten enough around here.