The Minute After: Northwestern

  • 03/12/2015 9:27 pm in

Thoughts on a 71-56 win over the Wildcats:

CHICAGO — After IU’s loss to Michigan State on Saturday, a dejected James Blackmon Jr. sat at the press table saying he didn’t get it going soon enough.

Tonight, as Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell sat down to the meet the media, it was all smiles.

Blackmon Jr. got it going early, scoring 13 points in 16 minutes of first half action on 3-of-6 shooting from distance. He finished the contest with his best effort away from home this season — 25 points (8-of-15), six rebounds (four offensive) and a career-high seven assists. The freshman’s effort, energy and stat-stuffing ways were indicative of Indiana’s performance tonight in its comfortable 15-point victory over Northwestern.

“I think tonight was all about our mindset,” Blackmon Jr. said.

From the onset, the Hoosiers got up in Northwestern’s grill and made them work for buckets. Where this has been for so long this season, who knows. But it was clear this was a point of emphasis for the Hoosiers. With each stop, deflection and recovery on defense, the Indiana bench cheered — creating a feedback loop for the energy being expended on the court.

“We went out there and created our own energy,” Ferrell said.

At one point in the first half, the Wildcats went 8:28 of game action between field goals. Indiana punched the lead out to 24-6 at this point, and it pretty much was the catalyst for the victory. Indiana held the Wildcats under a point per possession (.98) and that’s an encouraging sign heading into Friday night’s matchup with Maryland. Tre Demps killed the Hoosiers in Evanston. Tonight, Demps had just four points on 2-of-5 shooting as Ferrell and Robert Johnson hounded him throughout the contest.

“The pressure of our defense, the energy, the tenacity, all those things were really really strong,” Tom Crean said.

Indiana also beasted on the boards and snagged 50 percent of its misses in this one. There was tons of effort on this front tonight as well. Indiana got multiple chances on several trips down the floor and it led to 20-second chance points. Up in Evanston, Indiana’s scoring drought in the second half came because Indiana didn’t move the ball much or get into the paint against the zone, instead settling for a host of long-range bombs that wouldn’t fall. The standing around affected their energy. Tonight the ball movement was better and the players fed off each other. Save for a little bit of a lull here and there, Indiana didn’t stand around much on offense. The Hoosiers scored 1.23 points per possession on a night they didn’t really shoot it that great (50% eFG%, 11-of-32 from 3).

Ferrell hit just 3-of-10 from 3-point range but got to the rim well to finish with an efficient 7-of-16 performance (17 points). Emmitt Holt flashed good instincts on offense and scored eight points (4-of-5). On a freak play where Alex Olah took a charge on Robert Johnson, the Northwestern big man fell right into Hanner Mosquera-Perea’s right knee, re-aggravating his injury from earlier in the season. The junior hit the floor in some serious pain and it seems too early to tell just when he might be back.

Indiana needed this win to keep itself in the NCAA tournament mix and the Hoosiers certainly played like a team that knew the stakes. They left little doubt they’d be giving a strong effort for a full 40.

“I thought they were a very determined team,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said of the Hoosiers after the contest.

Tomorrow night, Maryland presents a tougher challenge than the Wildcats. But if Indiana brings this sort of energy against a team it’s already played well against twice, it gives itself a good chance to make it to Saturday.

Filed to:

  • IULore

    Nice effort on the glass! Losses by Illinois and Iowa help too

  • Gregory Spera

    That first half was the best defense the Hoosiers have played all season. Held NW to 33% shooting and outrebounded them by 11 in the first twenty. At halftime, Crean said the key was “pressuring the ball.” Where has THAT been all year?

  • BluegrassHoosier

    Great team energy. Everyone played well. Loved Hanner’s defense tonight. His best effort of the year. If he can come back tomorrow I like our chances to advance.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Agree and agreed. the next game will be fun to watch if IU brings that level of defensive energy.

  • inLinE6

    Hope for some good news on Hanner. Can’t afford to lose him again.

  • Lance76

    Hope Hanner is OK but not a good look to see him laying on floor. You would think that someone would have engineered knees better. Predict that Yogi will win it for us tomorrow. The look of him walking off the Maryland floor was incredible.

  • Jeff Johnston

    And Texas!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    College basketball will be borderline UNWATCHABLE until they do a few things to change it and NUMBER 1 in my opinion is:

    1) GET RID OF THE FREAKING CHARGE CALL!!! It wasn’t a prominent call growing up watching the game and didn’t become a “popular” call until wussies like Brian Cardinal decided to make it their signature move to hide the fact that they weren’t athletic enough to guard the man or block shots! Now, every 7-footer in the country, floats underneath driving guards instead of protecting the rim! Tonight it burned IU as Olah was moving and slid under RJ causing a probable season ending injury to our only big man! It’s a stupid play and a stupid call and they need to make it SO HARD to get an offensive foul in that situation that guys just stop doing it because they’re hit with a block every time!

    I obviously hate the call and I think it’s one of the few things that kills the flow of the game and has ruined it. I love watching replays of old games back in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s especially when games were finishing up 92-87 instead of 62-57. Yes the talent level may be down a little bit, but too many timeouts, officials who won’t call fouls on defenders, and officials who seem to want to call every offensive foul ever known to man have ruined the game for me!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I was happy to see it, but also made me wonder where that has been for the past, say, 4 months?

  • IU diehard from CT

    Very happy with the w. They played hard on defense and got after the glass. Defense and rebounding are imperative to winning games. The boys pulled thru tonight. On a sad note, hanner is all done and my heart breaks for him. His knee bent like a twizzler. It would be a miracle if he could play. Hoping.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Although less exciting, wouldn’t you prefer watching him dribble out the clock?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m not the worst pessimist in the world but I’ve seen enough sports injuries to instantly think ACL when I saw the replay of HMP’s knee snapping in!

  • Eric SIr

    Hoping Hanner is ok and gets well ASAP!!

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    Man I feel bad for Hanner. Great game tonight though. Best D all season. Glad to see everyone playing together and playing inspired. Thats a great sign. Lets make a run. No one is unbeatable in the big ten. Play smart, play defense, and shoot the lights out. Lets go Hoosiers!

  • Ben thorne

    Looked bad….think the brace kept it from looking worse

  • yimyames

    I think they reported later in the game that an X-ray or MRI was not necessary. I hope thats what I heard.

  • downtownhoosier10

    Iowa is in despite the loss, but we need all the help we can get. Good thing is we still control our fate tomorrow night

  • Ms hoosier

    I liked what Yogi said “we created our own energy tonite” this is a lot of what this team has been lacking. You must be a team that can create your own energy at tourney time. If IU can play with that kind of energy every game we can make a run. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • Hoosier gal in Iowa

    It was indeed. Ice and elevation. Came back out of the locker room with ice bag. I’m going to be optimistic.

  • Gregory Spera

    Thank God he had that brace on.

  • SCHoosier

    Defense…that sucking zone didn’t see much action (thank you b-ball gods) TO’s under control..hit some timely shots (especially JBjr) Got the O-boards that a zone is suppose to give…nice adjustments from NW game one….. defense. and did I say defense??? Great game IU.

  • Gregory Spera

    The restricted area in CBB is too small.

  • Kyl470

    It’s so sad to see a 7 footer flop when a 6’2″ guard makes contact with him.

  • Jewbaaca

    Is this site ran by Mormons or Hoosiers? The over-abundance of preventing comments from being posted is terrible… like CTC typical defensive strategy terrible.

  • downtownhoosier10

    Looked to me like the hit went more on the medial ligament than the Acl, but I’m not a dr. The fact he was on the bench and no MRI was scheduled keeps me optimistic. It will be a wait and see period for now

  • Kyl470

    HMP is probably done for the season and I’m pretty upset about it. I’m tired of watching big men fall down when a guard makes contact with them. No way a 6’2″ guard should be able to accidentally charge into a 7 footer and knock him down. It’s flopping and it’d dumb. I’ve played basketball my whole life and I can honestly say anytime someone charged into me I was always able to keep my balance. I didn’t just fall over like a load of bricks.

  • Ms hoosier

    When you play with that kind of energy as a team it helps on the defense and offense. Let’s make a run at it. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • Ole Man

    Yep; Olah’s flop and Hanner’s subsequent injury because of it should be sent to the Big Ten office for review–not for punishment of Olah, but to put a stop to this nonsense

  • Ole Man

    Depends on your language and if you’re posting or something else…

  • Gregory Spera

    What a choke job by the Longhorns, blowing that big lead. Good thing Texas fans don’t care about basketball or Barnes could be in trouble.

  • downtownhoosier10

    Haha yea it was indeed. Not only did they blow a lead they held ALL game, but they force up a 3 with 7 seconds left and no shot clock to worry about. You can’t risk losing in regulation like that. They were playing not to lose from the 8 min mark on.

  • marcusgresham

    Even so, that wasn’t bad defense on the last play, that guy just hit a hell of a shot.

  • 5_Banners

    It’s important to remember that they can’t really assess anything due to swelling in the area. Probably will have to wait il tomorrow morning to see how it looks.

  • sam

    The killer to me was he was still sliding into RJ…

  • downtownhoosier10

    Yes he finish to watch!

  • marcusgresham

    I’d prefer Priller dribbling out the clock because Yogi had been sitting the last five minutes.

  • Gregory Spera

    From a top ten team to maybe missing the tourney completely? Hoosier fans would be going insane!

  • sam

    I don’t agreed with that at all. I think the win tonight alone with the good wins doing the season should be enough. I’m know bracketologist or nothing of a sort but I don’t see how IU wouldn’t be in when you have BYU and Temple more than likely in. Just my opionion how ever…

  • 5_Banners

    @HoosierBreakdwn: IU won playing 58 possessions. Two slowest games of season both 58 trips vs NW. #iubb 1.22 points per trip scored, less than 1 allowed

    That’s impressive.

  • Kelin Blab

    I think it was a really good win from beginning to end. IU was the aggressor and that is the way they should have been playing all year. They never let NWestern get comfortable.

  • downtownhoosier10

    I want to believe we have done enough to get in, but I know we blew our chances to lock it up down the stretch and leave no doubt we belong. We didn’t execute against NW on the road nor did we get it done at home. We left it in the hands of a few dozen people inside the Conrad hotel in downtown Indy. My only point was we still have a chance to right our mistakes the past few weeks. I do agree our resume as a whole looks better than those who are on the “bubble”.

  • Kyl470

    It’s just crazy. I remember it starting in the NBA back when Shaq dominated and centers couldn’t stop him so they would just fall over to try and draw a charge. Now it’s gone crazy all over basketball. It’s like every big man instead of trying to block a shot stands there and then acts like Marshawn Lynch just ran them over.

  • Gregory Spera

    “IU was the aggressor and that is the way they should have been playing all year.”

    Better late than never.

  • Ole Man

    Wait! We haven’t been? What was the past week? A warm up? Practice?

  • Darrell Allen

    Your favorite players must have been Shaq, Barkley and most other football type players! Brian Cardinal a “wussie”? Are you serious? You obviously don’t have a clue about basketball, best to stick with football.

  • At my kid’s school event, but wanted to say how great it was to see some defense. Even though the threes weren’t really falling, the game was never really in question. Not making any predictions about tomorrow, just hoping that JBJ keeps playing with that intensity. Makes a huge difference.

  • Michael Crawley

    Funny you should say that, I thought we have been going insane! I predict a tournament win! Wisconsin or Maryland improve their standing in the NCAA by winning the tournament at risk to injury it is not worth it to either team. Just a thought!

  • Darrell Allen

    You da man!

  • hooosierdaddy01

    Those old games in the 70s, 80s, and 90s didn’t have offensive players constantly driving into the lane completely out of control, either.

    I’m not saying that that was the case in this instance, but I’m sick of the defender not even being allowed to be on the floor. Offensive players are often completely reckless driving to the hoop just to draw contact and the foul. That isn’t a basketball player. That is a running back.

    Back then, the offensive player tried to avoid the contact to try to get his shot off. Now they often really don’t care about the shot getting to the rim, they just want to get the call.

    I think the solution is more offensive fouls, not fewer. Then players wouldn’t recklessly drive to the hoop with the hope that they will “get a call.”

  • downtownhoosier10

    If it was not for our aggression on the offensive glass this game could have been much closer. We hit 11 3s but on 32 attempts. Hopefully yogi keeps his insane numbers vs Maryland!