Gordon scores 26 in IU’s 81-54 win over Oakland

Indiana senior guard Evan Gordon scored 26 points on 10-for-12 shooting to lead Indiana to an 81-54 win over Oakland on Tuesday night at Assembly Hall.

Gordon also hit four of his first five 3-pointers and hit his first eight shots before he had one blocked. Freshman forward Troy Williams scored 13 points and sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell had 11. Oakland’s Travis Bader scored 11 points but failed to hit a 3-pointer and thus ended a 62-game streak in which he hit at least one each game.

Indiana shot 50 percent from the field and held Oakland to 32.2 percent. The Hoosiers won the rebound battle 52-28.

19 comments

  1. Lost some confidence in CTC. Starters in with a minute to go and 30 +/- point lead. What was he trying to prove. Potential injury. Kids are playing hard, trying to impress for more minutes and he should be more protective of them.

  2. Ron, you virtually duplicated my comment following the last game. I don’t get it either! What possible justification could Crean have for leaving any of his first nine players in the game after the outcome was well in hand. It’s dangerous to key players and at least insensitive to their supporting cast. He should give the bench-warmers some playing time as a reward for all their hard work in practice. He’s only got two more games left when, in all likelihood, he’ll be able to do that (unless IU’s getting blown out).

    Unless Crean is sending the message that he wants some of his less talented players to transfer, I just don’t understand his refusal to empty the bench in games like tonight’s beat-down of Oakland. Anybody got a serious hypothesis as to why he keeps his best players in for so long after the game has been decided? Does margin of victory mean that much? Is physical and mental stamina an issue?

  3. I can’t help your cause any Podunker. I have no idea as well. Maybe he likes adding insult to injury? Loves blowing teams out? Making Jurkins decision easy and leave? No idea. Maybe Dustin and Jeremy can add something.

  4. These guys aren’t porcelain dolls. They are 18 & 19 year old men who need the time on the floor for experience, chemistry and conditioning. If you’re every thought is injury first, then let’s just put them all in bubble wrap before the start of each game.

    If you’re so worried about playing time, the real question is why is Will still in the starting lineup? The guy peaked in ability his sophomore year and should be coming off the bench.

  5. Standard Answer: He’s looking for the hunger in the top group. He’s wanting to keep the competition alive so that no individual player(no matter their class standing or belief they deserve the PT based on their own perceptions)feels they don’t have to earn their minutes.

    He said something to Don Fischer in the pregame interview that hinted toward a bit of frustration in his voice that certain guys expect things they haven’t necessarily earned. Wish I could remember the exact quote…

    Other possible theories:

    Could also be something repressed…Maybe Crean actually tried to play basketball once..Maybe he got spanked and it was a painfully embarrassing experience. He certainly wouldn’t be the first coach to have never had much PT in younger playing days.

    Maybe it’s something dutiful in relation to faith….always striving to honor everything that is within potential.

    Maybe it’s more of an insult to the other coach to put in the sheep while they still have their wolves on the floor..?

    Might be more interesting to start the bottom of bench and no be so hung up on margins. If the benchwarmers can’t keep the team in the game, then begin to filter in the upper talent…? There’s a lot to be learned through observation. Could make a starter have a better understanding by having the wider early view in some of these lopsided cupcake affairs.

  6. Last theory: Maybe the guys at the bottom of the bench have the highest GPA and you don’t want to get them too tired before studying for finals…? Get their hopes up on hoops and suddenly they’re cutting down their study habits..?

    1. I don’t get having the starters in that late, either. Sooner or later it’s going to bite Indiana, assuming Troy is OK after that foray into the crowd (aside, bleacher set up far more dangerous for players than standard arena seating).

      My high school coach had the same issue, and when I was a freshman benchwarmer, there was nothing more frustrating than getting sent to the scorer’s table with 15 seconds left in a 30-point game. I’d rather not play than do that, so maybe Crean was showing kindness by not doing that.

      Part of it is the desire to post impressive win margins in this day and age, sort of a BCS mentality, and occasionally it’s a macho game of “I’ll call off my dogs, when you call off yours.” Oakland still had starters in, so Indiana did as well.

  7. No Indiana starter played more than 28 minutes. No Oakland starter played less than 28 minutes. It may seem strange to see starters near the end of the game. However, they do need to play at least half a game. They will need to be able to play more minutes soon, especially the freshmen.

  8. Yeah, in last nights game I thought the PT at the end was more a function of guys, especially Yogi and Troy, sitting for long stretches. It certainly didn’t feel like they were trying to run up the score. I mean they weren’t in attack mode, and they were soft with the ball like they were just trying to dribble the clock down, which ended up in turnovers…

    Regardless, it wasn’t all 5 starters in at the end, and the only one I was a little confused by was Hollowell, who seemed to get consistent minutes throughout. I thought his could have gone to Jurkin/Perea or Hartman/Etherington, whichever wasn’t in at the end. Maybe Crean saw him at 9 rebounds and thought a double-digit rebound game would feed his confidence… Or give Crean some ammunition to say, “see what you can do when you put your mind to it?! You need to give us that effort on the boards every night!”

    I thought Perea just earned 3rd string duties… He was so hapless and Fisher was effective without anything being run through him. You just can’t teach “feel” can you Harv… One has it, the other doesn’t.

    I wonder now if Crean’s “leadership” comments were directed squarely on Gordon… He has been a completely different player the last 2 games since that Syracuse debacle. Like Crean pulled him into his office and said, “look Evan, you’re a 5th year senior… A man. The rest of these guys are just kids. I don’t care if you’re new to the program or not, we need you to step up and show these guys how to compete at the college level. The honeymoon period is over son… It’s time to go to work. You ready!?”

    It’s not just the more confident shooting stroke, or the willingness to take shots, it’s the rebounding in traffic, the on-ball defense, the expanded PG role… He just has a completely different look in his eye. Thank God… And I hope it continues.

    Love seeing Stan’s role increase. He does more on accident than Hollowell does on purpose. And he plays much bigger than he is.

    Lastly, I almost spit out my coffee when I saw them run a set to get Noah a post touch on the first play of the game… Easy bucket. Waited the entire rest of the game for that to happen again… Nada. Awesome….

  9. Jeremy. Weird. My ex used to say the same thing. ‘If you’re only in for a ninute of two, I’d rather not.’ Was kinda a surprise she knew that much about basketball.

  10. Well there’s certainly a difference I’d say between 2 minutes and :15 seconds… Jeff Howard parlayed a career of 2 minute stints into a start and some meaningful minutes this year.

  11. 10 TO’s last night. If my count is right, 3 of those were in the last 30 seconds and 7 in the last 5 1/2 minutes. So 3 total in 35 minutes of play. Not bad. If this had been a close game at the end, betting those last 7 TO’s in the last 6 minutes would not have happened.

    Will earned his time on defense. Good job overall. Due to level of competition? Find out Saturday.

    35 substitutions by IU. Like the 3 player at a time substitution. Creating an effective second unit? Still kind of wonder if the # of substitutions is based on nervous energy.

    Hope the Gordon thing is for real. Big upside for IU during conference.

  12. What is a “starter”? Sure I know the 5 guys on the floor at tip-off. But that means absolutely nothing to Coach Crean and to the players on THIS IU team! In this game, when you put in Gordon, Robinson and Fischer (and Davis when he can go), you are putting in “starters” (guys who can and will start some game this season). Hanner is not there yet, but he is a “player”. Austin, Collin and Peter have to show more to become “players”. But Jeff Howard has shown that he can play too. The reason some starters were on the floor at the end of this game is simple”
    : this game meant nothing after the W was decided except as an opportunity for all of these players to learn to play smart, hard, aggressive, fast, together, etc. before the B1G! That is what a good coach does! Jeremy you are so wrong! Any player at any level who is not thrilled to be on the floor with his/her team for even 1 second, should leave the team-he/she is not a team player! You can never prevent injuries by not playing-except in football. Even in football you are more likely to get an injury when you are rusty than when you are in the flow.

  13. Wow, there is some “interesting” comments on this string. A few points to consider:

    Playing key players (i.e., starters) late in the game, with a 30 point lead, against an inferior opponent, creates an unnecessary risk of injury. It’s not a matter of it being a greater risk, it’s just an unnecessary risk. If Crean lost Yogi or NV to injury for the season in the last three minutes of a 30 point blow-out win over Oakland, the chance for a trip to the dance would be over, the season ruined, and Crean would be crucified for stupidity.

    It’s good for team moral when the scrubs get to play. It’s good for their moral and their teammates to know that their hard work in practice is being rewarded. It’s fun for the IU fans to see the scrubs get into a game, and it enhances IU Basketball’s brand when a bench warmer scores his first points in front of the home crowd. It’s fun, and college sports are supposed to be fun, at least in part.

    Beating a team like Oakland by 30 points or 20 points will have absolutely no impact on IU getting invited to the tournament, where it is seeded, or where it is ranked. The margin of victory, once its exceeds ten points, over a weak team like Oakland has zero influence on any of those things.

    By not emptying the bench, Crean leaves himself open to criticism and damages his image. It seems mean, small, thoughtless and stupid. And its not good for IU basketball to have a head coach thought of in any of those ways. There are still doubts orbiting around Crean, especially regarding his popularity with other basketball coaches, he does not need any more people sniping at him because he refuses to play his scrubs in a blow-out victory.

    I wish a journalist would ask him the question during a press conference. Would love to see him explain his philosophy.

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