The Minute After: Butler

  • 12/20/2014 5:38 pm in

Thoughts on an 82-73 win over the Bulldogs:

As IU’s lead stretched to 11 with just over three minutes remaining in the first half, it looked like its athletes were just too much for Butler. The Bulldogs couldn’t guard Troy Williams. And the disadvantage the Hoosiers were supposed to have on the boards simply wasn’t there as the gang rebounding was in full force.

But, as they do, the Bulldogs mounted a comeback. They ended the half on a 11-1 run with Kellen Dunham scoring nine of those. Indiana was unable to get the momentum it had built in the first half going in the second. The Hoosiers trailed by six with 13:48 to go and it felt like it might be slipping away.

Enter Yogi Ferrell.

The junior point guard didn’t score a point in the first half and sat due to two early fouls. But when his team needed him to crawl back into this one there he was. Ferrell’s first bucket of the game was a triple to cut that six-point Butler lead in half. He kept going, muscling his way to the bucket for scores at the rim and points at the line. He moved well off the ball for another 3-ball. He stopped on a dime on the break, launched a 3-pointer, hit it and placed his elbows at his side with the 3-salute going with both hands. Williams popped his jersey at the IU bench.

That one put the Hoosiers up 10 and just about sealed the deal, save for some late full-court press from the Bulldogs that made you hold your breath a bit.

Ferrell scored 20 second half points and willed his team to a comeback win. That’s what leaders do.

Put last year’s squad in this second half position, and it’s hard to imagine them coming back. But this is a different year with a different team and a different roster. When the Hoosiers are at their best on the break, it’s a beautiful game of pace and space. With so many different ballhandlers and shooters the mix-and-match can be endless and hard to stop. As we chronicled in Monday’s Film Session, Williams was again up to his tricks on the break, throwing his whip passes to open 3-point shooters like Max Hoeztel and Nick Zeisloft. The sophomore was also on the receiving end on the break, throwing down a dunk off a Ferrell pass in the second half.

Williams was also unstoppable at times in the half court and he knew it, as Butler really had no one to match his length and athleticism. He even hit a 3-pointer for his first bucket of the game. The sophomore led all Hoosiers with 22 points (9-of-17) to go along with 11 boards, three assists, two blocks, two steals and two turnovers. That’s a line right there.

There are still some shaky moments now and again, but this was his best game as a Hoosier. The athlete is starting to become a basketball player and the ceiling remains high for the sophomore.

This wasn’t quite a must-win, but hell: Indiana and its fans needed this one against an in-state rival that clipped them in this event two years ago. Just did. It was a victory over a ranked good defensive squad in a fun, back-and-forth affair. Save for a lot of missed bunnies on both side of the ball, the game was played a a high level in a great atmosphere.

These kids are a confident bunch. Today’s win makes them stronger with conference play nearing in just a week and a half.

Filed to:

  • Gregory Spera

    #22 SMU W 74-68
    Pittsburgh W 81-69
    #4 Louisville L 94-74
    #23 Butler W 82-73
    Georgetown ?

    A lot of talk before the season about our improved non-conference schedule. Have to be thrilled with this.

  • Andy Rafael Aguilera

    Was happily representing Hoosier nation in Seattle. Great game.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    I have watched the Hoosiers lose these type of grind it out games for a while.
    It takes heart and mental toughness to win these types of games.
    They finally got one, and I say this is a significant step forward.
    Kudos to all!

  • Hardwood83

    Solid Win. Hanner & Troy both looked good. If IU can win with JB having a poor game, they are in good shape.

    Can we allow Buttler Comm College to please fade back to obscurity now? That is where they belong. They had a nice run for a few years, that is over now, so let’s stop pretending they matter.

  • 5_Banners

    Troy completely dominated today. Great team rebounding. Need Troy to play that way every game and this is a different team.

    Aside from the let down at the end of the half, really well played game today. Beat Georgetown next week for a good finish to the non-conference slate.

  • Andy Rafael Aguilera

    Oh come on now, you have to respect what Butler has done in recent years.

  • Gregory Spera

    I actually don’t mind Butler having a successful basketball program. As long as they are a CLEAR number two to Indiana in this state.

  • jmoney

    Great win for the Hoosiers! Some thoughts about the game:

    1. IU’s athleticism proved to be a huge determining factor. Troy Williams was an absolute stud. I know that he can be reckless at times, but I’m starting to accept that his positives far outweigh his negatives when he pushes it into the paint. Hanner proved his worth tonight. I’m sure that we’ll have issues with teams that have dominant big men (and there aren’t many), but he showed up for this game. I’m an Emmitt Holt fan, but Hanner has to play like this for us to win consistently.

    2. Nice rebounding effort today. We can win a lot of games if we crash the
    boards like that.

    3. Yogi was dominant in the 2nd half. I understand that he attracts a lot of the criticisms due to being the leader of this young squad, but without him we’d struggle to win, period.

    4. With the exception of the Louisville game, Colin Hartman continues to be the “glue guy” for this team. I loved his minutes tonight.

    5. I’ll take 11 turnovers any day with an officiating crew like we had today. Throw in that Butler was a “statistically elite” defense….gravy.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Woo! I am so impressed by the resolve and toughness this team showed today. They battled, and beat, butler on the boards all day and then made tough plays on both sides of the floor when it mattered most. Great job by Troy, great job by yogi, really good extended minutes from hanner…just a really good job by all of the Hoosiers. This was a very important win for this team.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Why can’t we out rebound other teams? Why can’t Hanner dominate the interior and become a force in the Big 10? Who says we can’t play small and win? These guys are figuring it out. Troy is really coming on like I thought he would too. Butler just found out that you have a lot more than Blackmon to worry about…

  • ATG08

    This is the type of game last year’s team would find a way to lose. Especially when it tightend back up in the last couple minutes. We have a more confident team this year than last. Still a long way to go, but IU needs to win these type of games and they did today. I really enjoy watching Hartman play. All effort. Go Hoosiers.

  • Hoosier Hall

    And that Louisville game wasn’t really that bad. They started shooting uncommonly well in the last few minutes, even at the free throw line.

  • b_side

    Great move by Crean to glue Yogi on Dunham in the second half. Very similar to the Stauskas strategy in our home win vs. UM last year.

    Speaking of glue, Hartman is the epitome of a glue guy. Timely put backs and that soft 15 footer was solid.

  • iuoiu

    Now we need the teams that we have beaten to not tank. SMU clocked in a big win at UM today so that’s a plus.

  • hoosiersfan33

    Can’t seem to find the +/- statistic, and don’t even know if they keep track of that in the college game, but its clear that IU struggled without Yogi on the court. I understand that there are more scores on this team than last year, but this team still goes how Yogi goes. He is our leader and best player. I don’t ever want to hear that he dribbles to much or he forces too much because he is an all big ten, even all american type player. Played exceptional in the second half of this game and helped carry IU to the victory today.

  • SilentBob

    Nothin’ much to say but an excellent two halves of basketball by our team. Didn’t get too hot headed about the wussy play of Dunham and poor calls in the 1st half. Stayed cool under pressure when it looked like Butler was going to go on a run in the 2nd half. Certainly didn’t expect to win on the glass. On to the next one.

  • Pianoroark

    How about some much-earned praise to CTC for getting these guys ready this week to defend and rebound. Staff obviously did a great job preparing and helping the players learn from their previous mistakes, and the players seem eager to learn and apply the staff’s advice. Credit goes all the way around.

    If we self-correct like this all year, watch out BIG 10.

  • SilentBob

    Agreed people are too hard on Yogi at times, but even the great Michael Jordan kept improving throughout his career.

  • 5_Banners

    Yea it’s unfortunate. Every team every year has a scapegoat. It looks like yogi will be this years guy.

  • Ole Man

    Not even close. Everyone is on Stan like fleas on a dog.

  • Hardwood83

    It was just luck– don’t you know it’s a fact Crean couldn’t coach a 3rd grade girls team? /sarcasm.

  • Hardwood83

    I said ‘they had a nice run’, didn’t I?

    I will admit the Butler grad at the car-wash does a nice job with the hand towel.

  • Andy Rafael Aguilera

    I also said “respect.” But to each their own.

  • dssnyder1

    Butler gets mad respect from me, assuming most of the roster consists of players that IU Notre Dame and Purdue don’t recruit, they consistently perform better than most

  • Outoftheloop

    Really nice win by the Hoosiers! The players, the head Coach, and his staff all earned accolades. Let’s keep it up through the Georgetown game. GO IU.

  • SilentBob

    and troy… and hanner… speaking of though I thought Stan played a terrific game while he was in today. Outside of the knucklehead 3 pt attempt I thought he was much more relaxed.

  • Michael Crawley

    Ole Man I agree with you but Stan gives them the Ammo

  • so the sky is not falling after all 🙂

  • Ole Man

    Unnecessary sarcasm. Let’s enjoy the win rather than dissing fellow Hoosiers.

  • Michael Crawley

    I honestly think we have found our stride in rebounding and limiting turnovers. I dont think we are going to be great in those areas but definitely much improved. TW FTW

  • sarge

    Dunham was obviously in awe all game, mouth open, all game. Great defense/rebounding/game Hoosiers!

  • Michael Crawley

    Well done

  • Michael Crawley

    And they make the Final 4

  • Michael Crawley

    Okay I hated your earlier comment about CTC but that was just funny

  • VAHoosier

    Not crazy about 11 assists on 30 made FGs, but I’ll take it when the other team has only 6 assists on 27 FGs. We definitely made them uncomfortable in their offense, which we haven’t done to many teams this year. And the biggest takeaway is REBOUNDING! Hanner and Troy absolutely got the job done today in every phase of the game. Let’s build on this win, Hoosiers.

  • VAHoosier

    Credit when credit’s due. I’ve been an intermittent critic, but it’s clear the team focused on rebounding fundamentals during their break. Paid dividends today.

  • ForeverIU

    I think this year our caliber as a fan-base will be measured in how we stand up for Stan.

  • HoosierFromCT

    Troy flying down the court and finding open shooters is so beautiful to watch.

  • ForeverIU

    Stan owes them nothing, he only owes his coach, and his coach seems to have a plan yet we are the better coaches.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Be, he was ; ng bombs instead of the extra pass! Wtf.

  • ForeverIU

    I have said all along this is CTC’s deepest team and we are a 26-5 caliber team if we can maintain decent, not even spectacular, defense.

  • Brklynhoosier

    26-5 might be… (searching out the right word)… ambitious…

  • ForeverIU

    Well I predicted one loss in the preseason. Let’s hope I can stay close with only two losses.

  • VAHoosier

    Funny how we react differently to the same things… I tend to hold my breath and want to shut my eyes!

  • OhioHoosier

    I don’t think the shot clock had reset on that one

  • Shawn Congo

    The biggest deciding difference in the last 10 minutes was Yogi’s defense on Dunham.

  • Shawn Congo

    No question. Yogi’s D on Dunham was the difference in the end imo

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Solid play today…need to see about 10 more wins #DancingOrBust

  • PBzeer

    A good win, and for the first time, some hope of further improvement. Hopefully they can keep this up against GU and enter the B1G with some momentum and confidence.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    I have been a critic in the past, not to the point of wanting to get rid of him, but I admit, he seems to have upped his coaching game.
    And seems to be getting the Hoosiers where they need to be.
    Heck, I’ve even seen improvement playing against the 2-3 zone.
    Come to think of it, I’ve seen them play a 2-3 zone, I guess that might be the best way to teach a player to beat it.