It wasn’t the smoothest played game at times but had its entertaining parts. At the end of the day IU came out on top and that is all that matters. Fifty-two combined fouls coupled with bad overall shooting by both teams made it extremely difficult for either team to get into any sort of rhythm. The two fastest paced teams in the Big Ten tried to speed up the game at any opportunity they could but much of that resulted in turnovers or missed opportunities at the rim. You have to give a lot of credit to both team’s defenses as they are much improved from last year. No question, the highlight of the night was Cody Zeller’s diving strip of Anthony Clemmons which led to the Will Sheehey behind the back pass back to the hustling Zeller who threw if down ferociously.
Indiana’s two former McDonald’s All-American led the charge in this one. Zeller bounced back from his Minnesota performance with an all out aggression towards the rim that helped him finished with a double-double, 22 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. Yogi Ferrell poured in a career-high 19 points while assisting on 5 buckets and only turning it over once. Victor Oladipo was saddled with foul trouble for a good chunk of the game but still put up good numbers with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals in just 22 minutes of play.
The two starting seniors had extremely rough shooting nights going a combined 0-15 (Christian Watford 0-8; Jordan Hulls 0-7) from the field. That is two straight lousy offensive performances by Christian, who had been Mr. Consistent up until now. Unless the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes face off in postseason play, Hulls will have shot a combined 0-17 from the field against Iowa. Aside from Will Sheehey, the bench production still provides us with some question marks. Remy Abell only scored 2 points in fourteen minutes and Derek Elston chipped in 5. As long as Indiana wins, I don’t care who scores, but a reliable bench makes a huge difference when trying to make a tournament run.
I thought the Hoosiers really brought it last night on the defensive end. Their communication, hustle and focus was the main cause of why the Hawkeyes had such a poor offensive game. If they can bring that intensity with them to every game, I don’t see them losing. Rarely does Indiana shoot that badly from three and the free throw line… and they still won by thirteen. Overall, this was a good win but one that was expected. It gets them one step closer towards that Big Ten conference title.
Looking Forward- The Hoosiers reload quickly as they prepare for senior night against Ohio State on Tuesday. It will likely be a long, emotional night as the ’13 class will get a huge ovation from the crowd for their tireless desire to reemerge Indiana basketball back into the national spotlight. A chance to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title for the first time since 2002 will make the moment that much more special.