Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Penn State

  • 02/01/2017 11:36 pm in

Indiana survived a three overtime marathon against Penn State on Wednesday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers prevailed – 110-102 – and improved to 15-8 and 5-5 in Big Ten play.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Nittany Lions:

· Indiana found a way to win: In a game it absolutely had to have, Indiana found a way to win. The Hoosiers blew a 13-point lead. They turned the ball over 23 times. They missed 10 free throws. They trailed by as many as four in overtime. But they never caved.

In a season that’s been unpredictable, Wednesday’s win was the latest unique chapter. It was just the second triple overtime game in program history and the first ever in Bloomington.

A loss would have been devastating to Indiana’s hopes of making the NCAA tournament.

This isn’t a win that will get them there, but a loss could have definitely put them on the outside looking in come Selection Sunday. Indiana didn’t play great, but the Hoosiers played well enough to win. On this crazy night, that was all that mattered.

· Hoosiers ride starters to the finish line: Four of Indiana’s five starters played 44 or more minutes. Robert Johnson played 50, Josh Newkirk 46, Devonte Green 45 and Thomas Bryant 44.

Bryant said afterwards that he’d never felt more tired after a game. As ugly as it was, this was a long, grueling battle. Postgame, Tom Crean credited IU’s training staff and strength and conditioning program.

Bryant, meanwhile, said he and his teammates simply had to dig deep and find a way to play through the fatigue.

“You fight, you know?” Bryant said. “You just gotta do it. There’s no other way around it. Just gotta do it, be a man.”

· Career scoring nights for three Hoosiers: Playing three overtimes led to career-highs for Bryant, Newkirk and Johnson.

Each made valuable contributions in several areas. Bryant set the pace with 31 points and was 13-of-18 from the field. He also added 11 rebounds before fouling out in the third overtime.

Johnson, who had eight turnovers, poured in a career-high 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting and also had 11 rebounds.

And Newkirk, who has struggled with his shooting in nearly every Big Ten game, went 9-of-14 from the field and also scored 27 points.

Why all of the career-highs on one night?

“I mean, we had enough time to do it,” Johnson joked. “But like I said before, we just kept fighting and it didn’t matter who had to make the play. Somebody just made the play and at the end of the day we came together and just pulled off the victory.”

· Turnovers almost cost Indiana the game: The Hoosiers had 23 turnovers in the win for a turnover percentage of 22.3. It was almost too many to overcome.

Penn State turned the 23 IU miscues into 29 points. Indiana, meanwhile, forced just 16 turnovers and converted them into 17 points. Turnover differential and points off of turnovers have been a theme all season and Wednesday was no different.

Through 10 league games, Indiana’s turnover percentage (21) is 13th in the conference. And its opponents are turning it over on just 15.7 percent of their possessions, which ranks 12th in the league. That large of a gap is simply not conducive to winning games consistently.

· Green steps up in second start: Devonte Green struggled in Indiana’s 68-55 loss at Northwestern on Sunday night, but was much better in his second career start.

The Long Island native committed just two turnovers in 45 minutes and had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. He also had four assists.

With the return date of James Blackmon Jr. still unclear, Indiana is going to need Green to continue logging major minutes going forward. Wednesday’s performance was one that he’ll be able to build upon.

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  • mharv2631

    Did you see the game last night? If we could have got stops it wouldn’t have went three OT’s. Heck they almost came back for a forth.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I knew I could count on you to back up a debate with facts. Good stuff. I asked the question cuz I knew it’d be close. I think Bailey was a slightly better player, but Yogi a more valuable one. You made some good points. No one else wanted to touch that one.

  • pcantidote

    Oh, and you forgot, “and stay off my lawn!”

  • Missing Moye

    I’ll be here, either way. 🙂

  • BallDontLie

    YES! THIS A THOUSAND TIMES YES. How many guys from the past couple IU teams make those 2 shots? Yogi and maybe RoJo. Certainly not Troy, certainly not TB (he had a similar opportunity a few moments earlier). Couldn’t believe the stones he had hitting those shots. Although his game is 100% different, his swag reminds me a little bit of Bielfeldt last year – not shaken by bright lights or big moments, doesn’t let the opponent speed him up, etc. just goes to work methodically and with confidence.

  • BallDontLie

    Yeah I’d like to hit on this topic actually. Teaching the players to coach themselves on the floor (during games) is the mark of a great coach. It’s what Bo Ryan did for years at Wisco. Bo wasn’t screaming “HELP SIDE HELP SIDE” from the sideline, his 5 buzz-cut floor generals were already yelling that at each other as soon as the strong side guy drove or cut

  • “Everything is a lob pass that is almost stolen 90% of the time”? For realz? Like, literally, or are you just exaggerating for dramatic effect?

  • 3AM Burrito

    Literally 90% of the BLOB is a lob with the IU player retreating away from basket. About half of those times it is nearly stolen or is stolen. One game (I think at PSU) they got direct to Bryant for a layup a couple of times. Usually though it is a rainbow pass out where the pass turns into a 50/50 loose ball.

  • CreamandCrimson

    You wondered…I will answer. Against Michigan State, the Hoosiers had nine turnovers and 12 assists. Against Rutgers, Indiana had 11 turnovers and 14 assists. Against Illinois, IU had 12 turnovers and 22 assists. They also did it against Austin Peay, Delaware State (28 assists to 11 turnovers), Houston Baptist, SIU-Edwardsville, Miss. Valley State and UMass Lowell.

    That’s nine games…so, yeah, it’s happened.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I apologize for not getting the information to you in a quick enough manner for you. As for your question…I DON’T KNOW! Robert Johnson having 8 turnovers in this past game was ridiculous but he was great otherwise. The performance of him, Newkirk and Bryant was fun to watch (for those of us that are still watching).

    Anyway, we had fewer turnovers than Houston Baptist (12 to 15), Delaware State (11 to 12), Austin Peay (16 to 17), Rutgers (11 to 21) and Michigan State (9 to 12). So, there’s your full answer. Have a good one.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    You’re too kind. It’s really hard to compare the two considering the different eras and coaches. As the old saying goes, the only guy who could stop Michael Jordan was Dean Smith, I think there was a little bit of that with Bailey and RMK. Bailey was an excellent player, and likely one of the 20 best Hoosiers of all time. He just got overshadowed by guys like Calbert, who is a top 5 IU player of all time, and probably the best all-around player we’ve had in the past generation.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Agree. I was a PG in HS, and my coach told me that he would be harder on me, because he *needed* me to be his representative on the floor. He spent extra time with me and the other PGs and told us we had to know what each player was supposed to be doing on every play on both sides of the ball. It was a little aggravating when he’d yell at me, because one of my teammates was out of position, but I credit my coaches back then for my understanding of the game today.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I hesitated responding because Larry tends to just rant about how bad we are how dumb it is to play Zach McRoberts just because he’s a walk-on…that being said, his questions were interesting so I thought I would get the actual data to either refute or support his claims.

    I was surprised by how many times we had way more assists than turnovers and not surprised at all that we had only five games where we “won” the turnover battle. Because of the pace we choose to play at, turnovers are going to be somewhat high but the turnover percentage we routinely operate at (20+) is crippling for our offense. Any issues on offense get magnified because our defense is sub-par (on a good day). I was pleased with several elements of the Penn State game and then there were some negatives that weren’t at all surprising. Only thing that ultimately mattered was the guys found a way to survive and keep the NCAA Tournament hopes alive for a bit longer so that’s a plus in my book.

    I was wondering how long it would be until “Forever” got the boot, you were getting quite snarky and dark (doesn’t matter to me but it seemed inevitable the moderators would pull the plug) and then how long it would be until a new version checked back in. Thanks for asking…I have a 3.5 year old and another that turns one on Valentine’s Day. They are both healthy and happy so it’s all good in my world (non IUBB division)! Hope things are going okay for you in the non-IUBB division.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Hey it’s all relative! Some years Roth wouldn’t have made the team, but man we needed that guy when he was here. And if he were on this team, you bet he’d be seeing the floor and knocking down half-court threes!

  • vicbert caladipo

    Thanks! I actually think Calbert was THE best player ever at IU. He certainly didn’t have the talent that I. Thomas, Bellamy, McGinnis, or Scott May had but as far as results no one topped Calbert. The alltime bigten scoring leader was a great accomplishment but 2 other things stand out for me. One, he shot 55% for his career, which considering most of his shots were mid rangers or threes that’s incredible. Not many big men can even do that. Second I rarely if at all remember him being in BKs doghouse. That in itself was a worldly feat. He just had a way with never screwing up or incurring the wrath of BK. Lawrence Funderburke, their prize recruit, couldn’t handle BK and sulked his way to OS. If memory serves me correctly either Bailey or Calbert has the most wins ever at IU and wins are the most important stat. But back to DB and YF, one thing can’t be denied. Those two probably were probably the 2 biggest chick magnets ever to play for IU. Them and Tim Priller. Haha

  • Chappy Dan

    Jealous that Schlitz is available to you…

  • Chappy Dan

    IMHO it is very tough to be a good coach if you don’t teach ball security and defense. Then again, I’ve never played.

  • HoosierFanatic
    We are a better basketball team with James. End of story. I believe his defense is getting better. Obviously he’s working on it, someone is working with him specifically on it. He’s to athletic not to be. To smart not to know he has to be to make it securely to next level

  • HoosierFanatic

    Green has showed from game 1 against Kansas that he has elite, well rounded basketball skills. Excellent dribble, great jumper, intense and smart defender, I think right now he’s are best passer at Guard. Fearless. Mentally tough, didn’t let missed free throws take his head out the game and he was able to make the play of winning ot in my opinion when he stole inbounds and laid it in. Went from tied to up 5 in 3 seconds. Been on the bus iu bb friends…

  • HoosierFanatic

    Elite answer and excellent execution of IU statistics providing not only games and opponent, but the actual assists and turn overs. I have a few people I will love sharing this information with.


    Funny how at the first of the season we possessed the supernatural powers to be able to look into the future and see how important it was that we play that way isn’t it ?


    They better be ready to do both….and a lot of each.


    Schlitz Bulls or just plain ole Schlitz ?


    No need to humble your opinion cause you and I both know it’s the obvious truth. It doesn’t take someone that has played at a high level, or at all, nor a rocket scientist to know that. Guess that’s maybe the main reason that it’s so damned aggravating that it never gets fixed.