The Minute After: Kentucky

  • 03/19/2016 8:45 pm in

Thoughts on a 73-67 victory over the Wildcats:

Kentucky had the answers for Indiana.

The Wildcats’ length and athleticism made the Hoosiers uncomfortable on offense. They brilliantly denied Yogi Ferrell the ball on inbounds passes and let Troy Williams dribble as much as he pleased. We know how that goes.

Tyler Ulis looked like the first team All-American he is and won the opening rounds against Ferrell in decisive fashion. Indiana missed open 3s, never a good sign for the Hoosiers.

But this talented Kentucky team was not without faults. They were poor with the ball in the first 20 minutes (25.9 TO%) and outside of Ulis, they shot just 6-of-17. So after trailing by seven early, Indiana carried a one-point advantage into half in a low-scoring 33-32 affair.

Then Robert Johnson re-injured his ankle. OG Anunoby twisted his. Juwan Morgan’s shoulder was out of place once more.

Indiana was wounded, but not defeated. Broken down, but not dead.

The Hoosiers, as they have all season, just kept it going no matter who was on the floor. Ferrell came out for a breather before the under 8 timeout as Indiana trailed by one point, 48-47. Williams, for as infuriating as he was at times in this game — and boy was he ever  — converted a huge and-1 on a drive. Thomas Bryant followed it up right after with an and-1 on a move and score in the post. Ryan Burton grabbed a rebound on Kentucky’s end. Williams drove and found Anunoby on the left wing. The freshman drained a 3-pointer to put the Hoosiers up six (56-50) with 6:57 to go.

Just as they did at the end of the first half in their Big Ten-clinching win at Iowa, a group of Hoosiers without Ferrell on the floor extended the lead in a huge sequence.

When Ferrell re-entered the game, he went to work, hitting a tough pull-up jumper from the right wing to put the Hoosiers up eight with 5:27 to go. From there, Indiana never surrendered and held on for the victory over the final minutes of the game.

Ferrell’s senior story has dominated the IU landscape of late, but Bryant’s efficient post play all season has been incredible and it went a long way in this one to help Indiana emerge victorious. In a game the Hoosiers simply didn’t have it from deep (6-of-21),  Bryant’s 17 second half points were enormous. Indiana continued to feed its big man down the stretch and he delivered time and again. And when Indiana struggled to get the ball into Ferrell when Kentucky had to resort to fouling, Bryant hit 4-of-6 free throws in the final minute to help seal the deal.

Ferrell atoned for his first half performance and finished with a solid 18 points (6-of-13), five rebounds and four assists. Ulis was a brilliant 10-of-20 for 27 points, but he fouled Ferrell (and fouled out of the game) on Indiana’s final possession of the game. As Ferrell sunk both free throws to put the game away, Ulis sat on the bench with a towel on his head.

Kentucky was finished. Indiana rides onwards to the Sweet Sixteen. This special group of kids came up in a huge way against a great team. Heck of a performance. Heck of a win.

Filed to:

  • ellisja

    I agree! We’re pretty deep, we can overcome the personnel losses as long as we have our core of Yogi, TB and GTW/BTW and a bench that has OG and Max. Robt is a big loss. We just have to do it without him!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    This season has been awesome! !!!!

  • Gdaddy

    Wow…. I needed that

  • NC Hoosier

    Outside of WInston-Salem. Which made it really tough when we got beat by Wake.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Fantastic.

  • ellisja

    Daughter and her family in Boone. Would love to catch a game sometime. I’ll figure out that Disque contact.

  • Lu

    WHERE THE CREAN HATERS NOW???

  • vicbert caladipo

    Top 10 reasons to love Thomas Bryant:
    1. He’s so excitable. Every day is Christmas. Infectious presence.
    2. He is at his best late game, I thought only UK freshmen were allowed that
    3. 6’11 and makes FTs
    4. 19ts-5reb-1bl-2st
    5. He was clutch at the line
    6. He’s healthy
    7. He’s much cooler than UK’s freshman
    8. Cool under pressure
    9. A great teammate
    10. He’ll be here next year

  • ellisja

    Gone. I can say that I’ve always liked CTC, and sticking w him is paying off now.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    2 down, 4 to go. I hope RJ and Morgan get healthy, but we will win with whomever we have! Go Hoosiers!

  • BL

    Good points Cal. Thinking the same thing. May may need to shrink our primary rotation to YF/NZ/TW/CH/TB/MB/OG with very limited minutes form HN and RB, and that OK. It’s the stretch run. Also agree on TW.

  • BL

    I didn’t like all the talk about UK’s length. We need to attack the paint no matter who we’re playing.

  • BL

    Tell u what happened; he got some PLAYERS. Just ask Painter.

  • Bleedcreamandcremson

    Please! Let everyone know all across Hoosier nation! Tom Crean is an amazing coach, recruter, and mentor. We are fortunate to have him as coach of our team. Even if we had lost. I want CTC to be a Hoosier for years to come.

  • If we repeat #10 enough times, it just has to be true, right?

  • pcantidote

    Attack the paint, yes. Throw up shots into shot blockers, not. Yogi’s late drive and dish to TB that I believe put us up by 9 was exactly how you attack shot blockers.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I think Coach has been brilliant at managing minutes. He is my NCOY. He’ll find a way. He got good minutes out of RB. I have had no koolaid tonight. People need to start giving CTC more credit. He has created a monster that won’t be stopped.

  • HooshWin

    Texted some IU alum friends as we tipped. All agreed that CTC would never have a greater opportunity to unite Hoosier Nation with a win. Mission accomplished! There is much more to accomplish this March, but every Hoosier fan should be celebrating their @sses off right now! So much pride!

  • Shaggy_C

    I was watching him in the postgame press conference and thinking to myself “How awesome will it be to remember Coach Crean when he was young?”

  • There was a brief period when I thought TW was hurting us. It was very brief, and he got spelled enough to settle down, and he came back and finished strong. We don’t win that game without TW, but then we don’t win without TB, Yogi, RB, MB, NZ, OG, JM, RJ, or anyone else who played if I’m forgetting someone.

    This is a team, not a bunch of players, which is what makes them so much fun to watch and support and so dangerous from here on out.

  • Ole Man

    “Follow” me and I think I can contact you then.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Great win mark

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Agreed

  • B1G Lifer

    I’m so proud

  • Shaggy_C

    Could you imagine him and DD together in the frontcourt? A guy can dream, can’t he?

  • I’m at the point now where I want to keep on winning so that 1) the team goes out with the credit and success that they deserve and 2) CTC has a shot at NCOY. If I were to rate the season on a “customer satisfaction” survey, I’d already give them 10 out of 10. Now I want them to win _for them_.

  • B1G Lifer

    I’ve been lurking in these forums for a while. Ole Man, your negativity is absolutely necessary- keep up the good work.

  • Three by OG. Think about that.

  • B1G Lifer

    This is way too positive from you, but you’re right.

  • And it’s not “flashy” good. It’s such a quiet sort of good. By the time you realize what he’s done, it’s over and he’s just moved on to do it again.

  • HooshWin

    For all of us who can’t make it there – REPRESENT!!!

  • Honestly, I wasn’t. First, I expected that RJ wouldn’t start, in part because I was afraid of exactly what happened. Second, I’ve been thinking for awhile now whenever we start out slow (which is most of the time, of course): “It’s okay, OG will be in soon.” I love what he does coming off the bench to completely change the complexion of a game. I don’t think the other team can plan for that, and it makes him an even more effective weapon.

  • pcantidote

    That IS the amazing thing about OG. He never looks like he is moving fast or working hard. His instincts and quick twitch are off the charts. He’s like a pickpocket that’s gone before you even know what happened.

  • Awesome analogy.

  • BL

    Damn, that was awfully good pc.

  • pcantidote

    CTC: “Ok OG, go fix it”.

  • BL

    Agree with both of you. Funny, I was texting with another fan and we both sent simultaneous texts saying “OG time”.

  • pcantidote

    11. When you talk trash to him before his free throws he just winks at you and then rips out your heart.

  • pcantidote

    I bet Murray hasn’t had his shot blocked like that all year. Especially the one right before halftime when Murray wasn’t even OG’s man. Unreal.

  • Outoftheloop

    Love brother!

  • Outoftheloop

    I agree. But Troy needs to learn, this is his 3rd year!

  • Ben thorne

    What an easy thing to say

  • BL

    Coach Cal’s presser a good listen. Especially, comments on TB and the strategy of not letting the opponent win with three’s. Something IU seems to stress which sometimes makes our D look porous. He also comments on his “best ever” class coming in next year. Always a salesman.

  • AZMBNZ

    I cringe when TW starts to drive. However, the reality is that he draws the defense inside the lane and gets them into foul trouble. This opens up the perimeter. I know Coach Crean wants penetration without dribbling. He said that at halftime- less dribbling and more movement of the ball. When that breaks down Troy is an excellent option to keep the defense honest.

  • AZMBNZ

    It is so much fun to see a team where everyone is contributing in a critical way.

  • Ben thorne

    Like Chris Tucker….which one of ya”ll just kicked me?

  • Tony Meier

    The performance of our “shooters” is still to be seen! Can’t wait!

  • Ben thorne

    Nice

  • Ben thorne

    Coach has come a long way. Has really come into his own….hope (and think) that with time he is only going to get better.

  • Koko

    Love this team. So proud of them. A tough, gritty bunch they are.
    After game interview Yogi said we won this game because of the road games
    we played during the B1G. A great team win.