Hoosiers know improvement needed ahead of Purdue rematch

  • 02/19/2015 9:55 am in

It was just over three weeks ago that Indiana was blown out by Purdue inside a frenzied Mackey Arena.

The Hoosiers couldn’t find the net. They couldn’t stop the Boilermakers from scoring. They left West Lafayette with an 83-67 loss.

Tonight at 7, Indiana (18-8, 8-5) will get its rivalry rematch with Purdue (17-9, 9-4). And this time, it will be inside the friendly confines of Assembly Hall, in which the Hoosiers are 15-1 this season.

“We’ve got great respect for them and know what the rivalry is,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said on Wednesday. “And it wouldn’t be that way if over a period of time the two teams perennially hadn’t been good. So it comes down to how we execute tomorrow night and how we deal with the pressure.”

There were plenty of lessons to be learned in that 16-point loss at Purdue. In that game, the Hoosiers’ focus on getting to the paint was detrimental — 10 of their shots were blocked and they had 11 turnovers — and shots just were not falling. They shot below 50 percent on 2s. Their 4-for-19 mark from 3 was the second-lowest rate of the season.

Much of that, Crean said, came from Purdue’s defensive pressure — which stems from its physicality and size, including 7-footers A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas. He also noted on Wednesday that in that game the Hoosiers looked to drive far too often instead of relying on quick ball movement, spreading the floor and exploiting match-ups.

“Whenever we drive or get in the paint, we need to be smarter with those opportunities,” junior Nick Zeisloft said. “We definitely need to get into the paint to make our offense work its best, but we can’t be challenging him at the rim because (Hammons) won a lot of those battles last time. It’s just a matter of if you have a lane, you’ve got to take it. If not, you’ve got to be smart with the ball, keep the dribble alive and make the open pass.”

Defensively in that game on Jan. 28, the Boilermakers got to the paint with ease. And it wasn’t from just Hammons and Haas. The Hoosiers, in that game, were so focused on defending Purdue’s bigs that Crean noted “you open up driving lanes, you open up back cuts, you open up offensive rebound opportunities, certainly to them.”

In fact, just 15 of Purdue’s 46 points in the paint that game came from Hammons and Haas. The Boilers guards got to the basket without much challenge. It opened up 3-point shooting opportunities. They didn’t play their cleanest game, either — they had 13 turnovers and eight offensive rebounds — but they still led by 20 points before the final buzzer.

“They move without the ball as well as anybody in the league,” Crean said. “And they’ve got numerous ways to score and because he has got the inside guys it’s really easy to get distracted.”

But the Hoosiers are looking forward to the challenge of playing the Boilermakers at home — for the 203rd time overall in the series history. It will be Purdue’s first game in Bloomington in more than two years — an 83-55 loss on Feb. 16, 2013. “Maybe they get to feel a little bit of hate we feel when we play there,” junior Yogi Ferrell said. Crean said he hopes to see students at a “fever pitch” tonight.

And with each team vying for potential NCAA tournament bids this season, it makes the matchup that much more enticing — even for those participating in it.

“We always are going to want Purdue’s best when we play them because we feel like we are going to give Purdue our best,” Ferrell said. “When both teams are playing at an extremely high level with intensity, defense, making shots, that’s basically when I feel the game is that much more fun.”

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  • TomJameson

    Some have suggested going after Hammond, driving into him, but I think it’s tough to get an official to make a call against him. Need to follow the game plan this time and drive and kick. Execute sharply, play defense with intensity, limit turnovers, and hit our shots.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Wow! That picture of Yogi is intense. Was that in the PUke game?

  • Drew

    I think so. Near the end when he finally got a foul call on a drive. He got murdered that game without so much as a whistle.

  • hoosier oak

    Need another big game from Troy. Last game they basically let troy roam the outside and took his drive away. He seemed kind of lost. I believe he will respond in a big way. An average night shooting from James and Robert will spell doom for PUke. I believe this will be Yogi’s best game of the year. Prediction 74-60 IU win.

  • Drew

    Time to show Purdue what a true road environment looks like. Expecting a lot of 3’s and some high flying acrobatics from Troy tonight. Beat them into dust!

  • MillaRed

    With their height, I think we are either going to be biting their ankles tonight and if so, losing much like game 1. If we crash the boards as a team and avoid the ankle biting, we win.

    Instead of driving into these rim protectors, pull up and shoot in the paint or kick it back out. Just gotta find a way.

  • Dave Carnes

    Purdue doesn’t have a signature win away from Mackey yet lets not give them one.These finial weeks of the big Ten season are going to be good.If we hold court we can tie for second which would be great.

  • Gdaddy

    Has anyone else noticed the poor showing from the student section in
    recent games? Getting there late and leaving early. It’s pathetic. Sure
    hope that changes tonight, we need them to be rowdy!

  • And One

    Look at Yogi. Look at him. We need every guy out there to channel this Yogi. We need everyone to want it as badly as he wants it. Looking forward to a battle tonight, my brothers and sisters.

  • Kyl470

    I’m going to be the guy to state the obvious that this game and this rivalry means more to Purdue than it does to Indiana. When IU isn’t playing Purdue we don’t give them much thought. When IU plays vs. OSU, Michigan, MSU, Maryland or any other team you don’t hear our fans chanting “Purdue Sucks.” Purdue fans chant “IU Sucks” no matter who they are playing. They could be playing Garner Webb and they still chant “IU Sucks.” Purdue and their fans have always had that chip on their shoulder and a passionate hatred for IU.

  • N71

    I expect a win but want Purdue’s back broken (metaphorically of course). They leave Bloomington demoralized and head into a tailspin dropping their next one to Rutgers which then sends them off into the deep end against Ohio State and MSU. That should be good enough for the NIT.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I agree. Too much emphasis on trying to get them in foul trouble last time. Hammons has gotten better and has a ton of experience as a shot blocker so taking it right at him just isn’t very effective. We’ve got to stick to our game and move the ball, spread the floor and RUN!! That’s when we are at our best.

  • Kyl470

    This teams only chance to win is to knock down 3’s. You aren’t beating Purdue by having JBJ, RJ, and others get swatted at the rim time after time.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Let’s come out with the intention of breaking the record we just set (18 three’s) and watch Purdue crumble into the abyss. The crowd needs to be absolutely bonkers for this one. I will be thoroughly disappointed if we drop this one.

  • N71

    If we’re up by 20 with 2 minutes to go I’d like to heart the chant, “NIT” clap, clap, clap…”NIT” clap, clap, clap.

  • SCHoosier

    Let’s hope they learned that less in West Laf.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    *losing to Gardner Webb. 🙂

  • Jed Jam Band

    I can say I’ve noticed the students around me leaving early, especially when it’s a blowout, as in the case of the Maryland and Minnesota games. You stay ’til the end! That’s how fandom works! You didn’t pay money for those tickets just to let them go to waste!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I almost wonder if it would be good to have SR guard the Hammonds, and then have HMP/TW hover to block shots. That high flight would energize the gym as much as TW’s artful slams.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Here is to hoping that IU lands either the 2/3 seed in the B1G, which means we may need Purdue to win a game or 2 after we CRUSH them tonight.

  • FKIM01

    Only chance? Seriously? You sound like a Purdue fan. As a matter of fact, I HOPE their team feels the same way you do.

  • SilentBob

    I just want to take a minute to appreciate this excellent site us IU fans often take for granted. I looked at the top ten underrated players by Myron Medcalf (that I found through your guys’ excellent twitter feed feature which you don’t overload) and saw links to other school sites dedicated to sports. So I looked at all of them, and wow! I know I’m biased, but if there was award given to best sports site dedicated to a specific team I’d give it to you guys!

    Some sites are overkill and try to be a mini grantland, while others are dull and have next to know comment moderation (so you get f bombs left and right from fans). You guys have a nice design that isn’t over the top. The articles and features are simple and easy to navigate through. The writers seem to be pretty unbiased (example: after years of reading articles I have no idea whether Alex likes or hates Tom Crean) which allows your articles to be repetitively fresh. The “What to Expect” “Minute After” “Film Sessions” etc always focus on something new. You guys keep us updated on recruiting, but don’t overdue it during the course of the regular season. Great journalism! Also you guys are easy to contact and often interact with fans through twitter and this site. Great job guys! Keep up the good work!

  • Mr. Mitchell

    The crowd should win this game. Wait does that happen. Let’s go Hoosiers.

  • Thanks, SilentBob. I appreciate the kind words.

  • Kyl470

    Well I don’t think IU is going to dominate the game via post play. This team lives by the 3 and dies by the 3. I could be wrong maybe HMP will put up 20 pts. and 10 rebounds and outplay Purdue’s two seven footers.

  • FKIM01

    There are more than two ways to win a ball game. IU has proven that already this year.

  • MillaRed

    Really? If we don’t hit threes we lose. At least that’s what I’m seeing. Is Zeller back?

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    So we drive to the hoop and when the big rotates to defend, dish to Taz cutting along the baseline or someone else. They can not defend if these are set plays crafted to keep them on their heels. It can be done.

  • Agreed. The first place I go after a game–and I mean immediately after a game–is the home page, looking for the Minute After to be posted. Many an F5 key has been hit by me as I’ve chomped at the bit to post my thoughts on the game (for what they’re worth, of course). Thanks for the great site!

  • It’s about 3.5 hours to game time and I have tons to do. But, I’m more nervous about this game than I’ve been about any others in the last couple of years. This one will show so much about this team’s status–have they finally come of age, or have the last few performances been quirks? Can’t wait to find out…

  • I said much the same a few days ago, and I think it’s quite possible to basically end their season tonight with a crushing win. They have a tough schedule ahead, and OSU and MSU are also both playing well right now. Purdue loses tonight, they are unlikely to make the tournament.

    The big question will be whether or not IU will smash them tonight. They seem to have a tendency to let off the gas, once they get a 10 point lead. I find this very annoying. The goal tonight is not just a win, but 25+ points as the margin. I want to see Priller get a few minutes, it’s so devastating. This isn’t “revenge” against a douchey team that played their best game of the year against IU and had lots of help from the refs, but rather the extremely aggressive blow-out mentality is what they need to start doing every game, especially at home. It’s just a coincidence that they’re playing purdont, (who is really just another mediocre Big Ten team)… they need to continue doing what they did against Minnesota. It would be nice if Hartman didn’t pick up two fouls immediately in the first 2 minutes this game, as he has in the past few. Same with Hanner. I want to see singed nets and confused looks on 7-footers.

  • FKIM01

    {sigh} SMU: 5-14. Nebraska 7-24. Ohio State 4-18. All wins.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    What is everyone’s favorite name for Purdue? I grew up with Purdon’t, PUke, Boilerhaters, or simply PU, as in stench. GO HOOSIERS!

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    I agree with that.
    Troy has been shooting better, at least he did last game.
    If he can drop a couple of mid range jumpers, as has been noted by some previous posts, maybe they can pull Purdue out of the paint and open up some driving lanes.
    I personally think it will come down to how the game is officiated.

  • Brad

    Purdouche is always a solid option.

  • MillaRed

    You got me. IU does not need to shoot threes to be successful. What was I thinking! LOL

    We should pound it inside to the wealth of post players we have down low.

    The sigh was a nice touch btw. I like high school too.

  • dwdkc

    I just joined the premium site; you can chat during and after the game on the “game thread” there until The Minute After comes up. And I suppose they can use the money

  • dwdkc

    Yes I’d much prefer the 2/3 seed to worrying about what Purdue does, but that probably will need Purdue to beat OSU or MSU.

  • Absolutely. I’m actually low on cash right now, and so can’t really afford to pull the trigger. But I’ve come pretty darn close, which given my low-cashness is saying alot. If I were in different circumstances, I’d have joined up months ago.

  • Eastwood88_2

    We need to go inside to draw some fouls. If we shoot threes all day, we never get the 30 free throws we deserve!

  • Eastwood88_2

    Last post for the pregame. Purdue is not good. Average at best. We will not accept defeat for any reason. Period. Will by 6-8 but not giving the points tonight. If we lose and I lose money, afraid what happens to my TV..

  • MillaRed

    A) Game one was a swat fest of epic proportions
    B) We just shot a school record 18 threes

    I will take my chances on the outside. Call me crazy. But I will assume unlike others you won’t call me a Purdue fan for stating my opinion. Because you’re better than that.

  • pcantidote

    That’s my fav.

  • TomJameson

    I’ll just say .. exactly! there’ll be chances for our points in the paint, but got to be smart about it.

  • ODhoosier

    Totally agree. I check this site almost every day all year long just waiting for new info. First time poster long time reader.

  • Okay, DirecTV is having problems. I sure hope they get resolved in the next six minutes or… Well, nothing good.

  • So, at the half, it sure seems like the crowd and the refs are conspiring to keep Purdue in the game.

  • jaypay1780

    Why was Hanner took en out?

  • Ben King

    It’s champed at the bit. Sorry, just one of those clichés I see too often that is spelled wrong. No harm.

  • eville87

    They knew improvements were needed? Here is an idea for an improvement let’s get a post player. Let’s get a coach who can make in game adjustments. (Painter flat out schooled Tommy today) using two time outs to get a bucket at the end of the game. People will keep drinking the Kool aid. We get worse as the year goes on every season. Good teams get better. I actually feel sorry for the kids when they are under sized and out coached. They do have heart it’s just obvious that there are to many hills to overcome with this team. Makes me PUKE. And I quote I’m sick of losing to Purdue.