Hoosiers must “play our way” to win rivalry game with Purdue

  • 01/28/2015 8:32 am in

Indiana is not afraid to admit it: Preparing for Purdue is not like preparing for a typical opponent.

Year in and year out the Boilermakers and Hoosiers play for state bragging rights in the Big Ten’s oldest rivalry — dating back to 1901. Wednesday’s game in West Lafayette will be the 202nd all-time meeting between the two schools.

But this season specifically, the Boilermakers present a challenge the Hoosiers have worries about — playing two regulars who are taller than 7-feet. In contrast, the Hoosiers have not played anyone taller than 6-foot-8 in meaningful minutes during recent games.

“Teams are always going to try to play bigger against us,” junior guard Yogi Ferrell said. “That’s what I would do, personally, if I was a coach — just try and pound it inside. So what we have to do is just prepare very well for their bigs. We know they’re big inside.”

The added challenge of preparing for Purdue comes on short preparation following Sunday’s loss at Ohio State — in which the Hoosiers allowed the Buckeyes to shoot better than 63 percent on 2s. The Buckeyes, though, chose to play small against the undersized Hoosiers. Purdue prides itself on its size advantage.

Through their first 20 games, the Boilermakers have scored more than 55 percent of their points in the paint. 7-foot A.J. Hammons and 7-foot-2 Isaac Haas are the only two Purdue players involved in more than 28 percent of possessions while they are on the floor. In conference play, not only are the Boilermakers shooting the third-best 2-point shooting percentage in the league, they also are holding opponents to the worst 2-point shooting rate.

And Indiana admitted it does not have the resources to prepare for Purdue’s size — unless “Alan Henderson or Haris Mujezinovic lives in the area,” Crean said, jokingly. It can’t simulate size. The best way to prepare the Hoosiers, Crean said, is to ready them for a physical battle.

“No matter what they do, you don’t let any panic or mental fatigue come into it,” Crean said. “You just deal with it and hope that your spacing and ball movement and defensive transition and willingness to be inside the lane to rebound the ball and be physical, with contact and things of that nature.”

When asked which former opponents Purdue compares to, Ferrell replied Louisville — because of 6-foot-8 Montrezl Harrell — while freshman James Blackmon Jr. replied Georgetown — because of 6-foot-10 Joshua Smith. The Hoosiers played both Georgetown and Louisville at neutral sites. They will have to play Purdue first in West Lafayette.

That presents another challenge in itself: For the 48th straight Indiana-Purdue game in West Lafayette, Mackey Arena has sold out. In last season’s game, the Hoosiers’ wheels fell off early — it ended in their worst loss of the season, an 82-64 defeat.

Ferrell said on Tuesday he has been in his teammates’ ears all week about the importance of the rivalry — “it’s just about going out there and showing people you’re the best in the state,” he said. It will be his third time playing in Mackey Arena. He said he knows what reception the Hoosiers will receive.

He said there is an extra edge to Wednesday’s game. That there always is when it’s Indiana-Purdue.

“We’ve got to create our own energy, our own spark, our own motivation to go out there and win the game,” Ferrell said. “Play our way.”

(Photo: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America)

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  • Khoosier3

    If we win another away game, I will be completely blown away… 2 blow outs in a row is absolutely unacceptable. And it’s all because CTC fails to make in game adjustments to his gameplan. What a joke of a game.

  • Fifty-fifty ball


  • eville87

    Here come the supporters.
    We’re young
    The refs
    he had to start from scratch
    we missed most if our 3 balls
    blackmon looked like a freshman.
    Williams doesn’t have an outside shot.
    Fischer wasn’t his fault.
    April is going to start next year.
    our defense is getting better.
    excuses excuses excuses.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Not all rainbows and sunshine now, I guess.

  • were supposed to finish around 8-12th last in Big Ten and not make tournament. but whatever, nevermind that stuff. IU loses at stink srit all the time. Time to bounce back.

    won without the 3 several times this year already.

    funny you didn’t mention the rebounds.

    have fun in lafayette, poser

  • eville87

    Clyde. Wow we are so happy that were above average? Poser? You don’t even now who Gus Johnson is? Go back to Lexington with your blue hair. It’s Indiana we are supposed to be in the top of the big ten . Not just be happy with well we beat expectations. Wow… how far we have fallen

  • Guyton25

    We out-rebounded them, had less turnovers than them, but played a style of play that we might have been able to get away with against ANY OTHER team. Continuously attack inside and continuously get blocked over and over until the end. At around 15:00 to go we finally started getting out in transition and denying their passing lanes and you could see for about 4 minutes afterward that we were so much better than them but we went back to allowing the inside pass and hacking them and mindlessly attacking the basket on the the other end.

  • eville87

    Rebounds we got blown out !!!!!! You want to talk about rebounds..

  • INUnivHoosier

    I really couldn’t identify the game plan. I thought we were supposed to be playing our game, but it sure seemed like we were playing right into their hands.

    On a positive note, I thought Stan did a good job on Hammonds.

  • Boogie

    This is my first post! So I will keep it short and sweet! #1- Brad Stevens, #2- Tony Bennitt, #3- Bobby Hurley!!!!!

  • shot fake?…what does that even mean?

  • Gus Johnson said he hadn’t done an IU game in years. Maybe you were looking at internet cats at that moment.

    Either way, congrats on your big win tonight. You deserve it. Great job.

  • eville87

    Just shows you haven’t been a fan that long. You might want want to look in the mirror before you start calling people names.

  • I looked in the mirror just now, lookin’ good – and you’re an old hack who wants losses.

  • haters on parade!

  • I agree. But really, how many times did IU players land on the floor, or in the second row, without a foul called? It was bad. Their bigs pushed IU’s players all over the place. It’s to be somewhat expected, but I’m not required to like it and not call it out.

  • congrats on your big win. Also, I have always said this was going to be a tough game. But you know, never mind facts. At what point in the past 45 years did you ever say IU at purdue would be an easy win?

  • INUnivHoosier

    I was just trying to take your advice and call out negativity.

  • eville87

    Yeah your so right…. not get a clue. I have a feeling the game might be too big for you to understand. Let me slowly explain it to you. Indiana used to be a national power in basketball. Now we’re just happy to beat crappy expectations. That’s why you run into so many disgruntled fans on here. Because they know our team should be better than average. We all still root for our team every game and want them to win. If you can’t understand that then I guess your clueless and you can get on a bus with world wide wes back to Lexington. (Please Google so I don’t have to waste anymore of my time explaining who people are in college basketball)

  • ForeverIU

    It’s Hammons. Ironically, he has no D in his name, lol.

  • INUnivHoosier

    That’s accurate in spelling and irony.

  • ForeverIU

    I hardly knew about “Hop on the Bus Gus” either. Are we playing IU Bball Trivia or something?

  • ForeverIU

    Come on now. Are you saying Kentucky has patent rights on the color blue?

  • INUnivHoosier

    When ol’ boy starts dogging on people for being suspected gray hairs (because bitter curmudgeon fits into his archetype of old people), you have to expect that the accused will then use his implied lack of experience against him. As they say, don’t dish it if you can’t take it. Kaleidoscope hasn’t been shy about dishing it.

  • eville87

    4 and 7 vs PUke……hmmmmmm

  • ForeverIU

    It’s really hard for me not to like Clyde. He has a great attitude, and he helps me keep things in perspective.

  • critques post-game are something completely different to asinine and irrational gripes pre-game from people who hoped for IU to lose. especially coming from somebody who more or less called out a lot of these problems that might happen between these two teams tonight, hoping for a big win on the road.

  • extremely frustrating to watch. lots of ins to get back into it, all pissed away, and no outside game. IU played purdu’s game.

  • the retirement home may or may not get BTN.

  • again, IU outrebounded. prove otherwise.

  • eville87

    Hahaha good 1.. I’m 36 which is probably old to you. Been watching Indiana for 29 years.

  • poetic comment

  • Ms. Painter, go home you’re drunk

  • eville87

    Clyde that’s great. We won the rebounding Stat but lost the game. When our defense gives them a high percentage shot and they make it. You don’t have to rebound. I’m starting to feel sorry for you.

  • eville87

    Your the Stat guy. You should know.

  • calbert40

    Probably true. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I’m not a fan of Stan getting more minutes. Rather, I’d like to see him get about half of what he already does in favor of guys like Max and NZ…or just shortening the bench a little bit.

  • calbert40

    Looking back on last night’s game, Tom, I think we can safely say that without shooting at a solid clip, this team will struggle.

    We outrebounded PU last night (34-31). We had fewer TOs than PU last night (11-13). Also, we had 18 FTA, which is good, though not as good as PU’s 30+! So, it wasn’t a total wash. But we still didn’t move the ball well (8 assists on 25 FGM), and our shooting was abysmal. When this team only has 4 3FGM, we are going to be in trouble.