Hoosiers blow by Illini in 74-47 win #iubb

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — This wasn’t the letdown game that it could have been. An outstanding second half made sure of that.

Indiana atoned for a sleepy first half with an explosive final 20 minutes, blowing past Illinois in a 74-47 win on Thursday at the State Farm Center.

IU trailed by one at halftime, but shot back with a 15-5 run to start the second half. The run created the initial separation the Hoosiers required, and Yogi Ferrell took control from there. Ferrell scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half, sinking a handful of big 3-pointers that helped seal IU’s fifth conference road win and build a 1.5-game cushion atop the Big Ten standings.

Ferrell added a dash of swagger to his big night, pounding his chest and sticking out his tongue after one 3-pointer, and pretending shoot an arrow into the rafters of this old building after hitting another.

Freshman center Thomas Bryant and senior guard Nick Zeisloft each scored 14 points for Indiana, which returns to action on Tuesday at Iowa.

That game will carry significant Big Ten title implications because of the Hoosiers’ response on Thursday.

Illinois’ game plan was to attack the defensive inconsistencies of Troy Williams, and the Illini did exactly that during the first four minutes. Jalen Coleman-Lands operated as the primary beneficiary of his team’s offensive focus, scoring eight quick points. It led IU coach Tom Crean to substitute walk-on guard Harrison Niego for Williams just prior to the first media timeout, and by the 15:17 mark, Illinois opened a 14-4 advantage.

But the Hoosiers swung back and outscored Illinois 14-2 over the next seven minutes, a run that saw Williams give IU its first lead on a 3-pointer at the 9:30 mark. That shot also stood as IU’s first 3-pointer of the night.

The Hoosiers struggled on the perimeter, hitting only three of their first 15 3-point attempts. It allowed Illinois to take a 28-27 halftime lead.

Much like the Purdue game, Bryant was a factor to start the second half. The freshman center scored the Hoosiers’ first seven points, before giving way to IU’s shooters. Ferrell hit a 3-pointer, Collin Hartman turned away from his defender and hit a floater, then Zeisloft hit a 3 along the wing to give the Hoosiers a 42-33 lead five minutes into the half.

From there, IU ran away with it.

Illinois had only nine points during the first 12 minutes of the second half. IU’s defense on Malcolm Hill was part of the equation. Hill didn’t score his first basket until there was 7:37 left to play.

Meanwhile, Indiana got hot from 3-point range. The Hoosiers shot 59 percent from beyond the arc during the second half and finished with 13 3-pointers for the night. They also capitalized on their size advantage against the Illini, who once again started four guards. IU out-rebounded Illinois 37-17, while scoring 15 second-chance points to the home team’s two.

Sophomore guard Robert Johnson missed the first game of his career after spraining his ankle late in Saturday’s win against Purdue. Johnson traveled with the team, but sat on the bench in street clothes with a walking boot on his left foot.

Zeisloft started in place of Johnson and stayed true to his penchant for strong shooting performances against his home-state school. Zeisloft shook off a modest first-half performance and finished with 14 points, including four 3-pointers.

This story will be updated.


  1. Yes, quality road win with people hurt; although Williams is missed marginally less than JBJ. I think he might be a better 6th/7th man used in short bursts so the opponent has to make adjustments on D to handle. He certainly doesn’t offer premier D for our benefit after watching Illinois expose him so in the 1st half last night. He and JBJ will be more valuable to next years team than they are this years team. The bench really comes through for IU. Did anyone here DD say last night in his mind IU could be a FF ready product from a 4th/5th seed?

  2. I remember the day when it took a lucky bank shot by a limp-wristed, one-and-done ex-Illini recruit just to get a game against Illinios into overtime. Oh how times have changed.

    I can only hope that this year’s Hoosier team will show more heart down the stretch than that historically overrated bunch.

  3. Great 2nd half led by an amazing performance by Yogi! We will need Johnson against against Iowa and Maryland. Good to see OG and Morgan contributing, as that provides solid defense and depth which this team needs. In fact, OG’s defense is superior to Williams, which gives Crean some options depending on match ups .

  4. I believe……

    …..in this team without JBJ. We’re better defensively by far.
    …..that Troy can’t play defense.
    …..that OG and Morgan can play defense.
    …..and that Crean FINALLY got it right by giving these kids some rest as was alluded to last night in the telecast.

    Iowa will be a stretch. MD will be for the title.

  5. Yes, they have changed, Seahawk.

    Illinois is now a bottom-feeder. The analysts(if that’s what you want to call Dakich and Seth Green) of last night’s game were talking of how they’ve never seen such a terrible bottom half of the Big 10 conference….The bad aren’t just bad…They are deplorable. Some teams are also suffering through key player injuries…

  6. And we built our resume on non-conference cupcakes. home wins against the top half of the BIG, and road wins against(mostly) the deplorable of the BIG…We have not taken down a quality team away from Assembly.

    You are the only guy being fooled by the mirage….

  7. How do you figure I’m being fooled? I’m as wary as any about how this team will perform against better competition.

  8. Let’s just say Yogi had a ton of very “lucky” open looks last night…

    What’s with Grayson Allen tripping everyone….? Is he the Derek Elston of Duke?

  9. Omg…lucky open looks? The looks came because we worked inside out…the numbers don’t lie.
    I loved the broadcast last night…entertaining and insightful because both coaches interacted with Dakich and Greenburg.

  10. as H4H pointed out some “bad” teams have been shredded by injuries, Illinois being 1 that has multiple players with long term or season-ending injuries. My son lives in Champaign and says that Groce is on the VERY hot seat, because of the drubbing the team has taken from many opponents; plus legal entanglements that has caused him to suspend a couple of players.

  11. Haters gotta hate. Sole possession of first place in conference with two games to play, and some malcontents are working harder and harder to find fault. It is laughable. Yogi was outstanding last night. Period. The bench made huge contributions. These guys really like each other. We were two starters down for much of the game and we still blew this team off their home court. I don’t expect this team to hang another banner in Assembly Hall, but compared to where they were after playing Duke, I am impressed by their turnaround. They have been fun to watch of late. If they win the Big Ten Championship outright, or make it to the round of eight, that will be icing on the cake. But somehow, I suspect the haters will still criticize this team.

  12. By the way, when is that season-ending swoon supposed to take place? I guess IU’s next loss will fit the bill, allowing those who have predicted IU would fade down the stretch to say, “see, there it is, just like I predicted, IU lost a game, they’re fading down the stretch.” LOL!

  13. We were playing a team that has given up on their season.

    The open looks had a lot more to do with chucking it in…Makes it a little easier for any offense to work as “intended.”

    Also had a lot to do with a team that simply didn’t have any quality inside play of their own…When you collapse off the ball to protect a weak inside game, it exposes the perimeter.

    Chet- Any successful Hoosier is always your next MJ.. If you were Crean you’d surely be planning the reunion party for the “Night Dan Stopped MJ.”…If you swam one fast lap in the pool, you be the next Mark Spitz…too.
    I would say that Yogi looked more like Isiah Thomas last night. Yeah, that contains a boatload of your own facetious suggestions. Can we please save comparisons until somebody at least has one ‘Hall of Fame’ NBA season under their belt…and 4 or 5 MVP years…and 5 or 6 NBA Championship trophies.(even if it doesn’t come in the backdrop of NCAA Championships for their alma mater)?

    Yogi is a hell of player…He’s Yogi because of his motor and unique skill set that is his own. It’s so insulting to diminish kids by comparing them to the true icons of the sport. You can be one hell of a basketball player without the foolish comparisons to the few ‘gods’ of the sport that had it all. . I love Yogi’s game because it’s his own. It comes with a huge heart and desire few possess. Whether that makes him the next “anything” doesn’t matter. Let him cast his own shadow.

  14. Great teams don’t set ’round of 8′ as their low bar. nor do fans that aren’t apologizing for a bozo that builds success on cupcakes and happenstance…

    The credit I’ll give Crean is the fact he finally had to listen to someone by putting more kids from Illinois and Indiana on our roster…It’s likely Chuck Martin. Crean finally was stopped of his ‘Pipeline to the East’ mentality…He’s found local kids with a higher b-ball IQ because his choice recruits got in trouble with vodka and weed. And a very talented senior point guard added to those higher b-ball IQ’s becomes exponentially beneficial…I’m not sure how we can measure just how much Beilfeldt is making Thomas Bryant develop much faster…Putting a 5-year guy that learned the game at a quality h.s. program in Illinois(and also from a high caliber teacher at Ann Arbor) is a huge plus as well.
    We are no longer a team of NBA playpen prodigies and hopeful experiments built on relationships to old friends from the East or relationships bound to A-Hope projects/exclusive AAU circuits.

  15. And shame on Crean for wasting 8-years on favors when this is the sort of team he could have had out of the gate. And that has only to do with his own sense of inferiority and hate. He had to build his support via hating on what had been left before him rather than doing exactly as he is finally doing now. He has also found young men that have a much more mature approach to the game and a hunger beyond being the next lottery pick.

    Maybe the light finally has come on….Crean is not a stupid man. He’s giving us what we’ve always longed…But much of that was because of the way he backed himself into his own puritanical corner(forced to cut guys to live up to the ‘hate’ years of “your wrecked the program’ garbage). He also knows their is a ceiling for these scrappers that have a very high b-ball IQ….He longs to be Calipari…He longs to be like his buddy at UK…He wishes he could build the b-ball IQ into future NBA guys..Then you’d have something.

  16. And these young kids are rallying around their coach..Don’t kid yourself..They listen to Dakich(or hear it secondhand )…They hear the doubt on blogs.. They’ve witnessed the March Madness meltdowns….They were all fully aware of the “heat.”

    Good for Yogi and all this maturing bunch of Hoosiers that are putting something bigger than a future NBA paycheck to hold forever in their hearts….It doesn’t really matter if we believe in Crean….It’s not hard to tell that they are invested and believe in him….It’s a beautiful thing to see the game of basketball function as something so much more lasting and transcending beyond stat sheets and Draft nights….I thought it was a beautiful thing when I saw kids from hard streets do the same for coach that believed in them; a coach who so much unneeded hatred was directed.
    They loved their coach no less. I remember the hugs on McCracken when they knew it was their final night together.

  17. “Yogi is lucky the same way MJ was lucky.”

    So, by that sentence you have deemed that I am comparing Yogi (favorably) to MJ.

    You don’t even make sense anymore. You’ve become a caricature of yourself.

  18. You don’t make sense, Chet. Why on earth should MJ even enter into a discussion of what Yogi can or can’t accomplish? It’s almost as bizarre as comparing something this team is doing now against a deplorable Illinois team to anything approaching the hostility/energy of fans/quality of the Illinois roster that Eric Gordon had to face in a road game 9 years ago.

    A box where you never show yourself Chet is a caricature of a booth at Denny’s. Please stop with your arrogance inside a Denny’s booth. Please stop with the judgments you’ve likely always felt when staring at bellybuttons.

  19. Harvard you continue to to stretch for ways to put this team down. I’m watching a team on track to win a big ten championship out right. I’m watching one of the most fun teams to watch in the country. Are you even an INDIANA fan?

  20. And into the darkness I shall go…this Friday night….Maybe at a place of true free expression under a gentle moving palm tree….Maybe at the other side of such darkness will be warm sands on an ‘Island of Basketblog’ and a place to build new memories of good times with Seahawk and Remora..Maybe not…Maybe I shall wash up in a dumpster ….Maybe there is nothing of kindness and friendship to hope. Maybe the only island on this world left is one to prove our own glorious superiority we thought given by some creator…

  21. Love Harvard’s writing. Always had. Refreshing, insightful, humorous, often brilliant. The criticism he receives is often apocryphal, an understudy of oblation and reverence, bordering on devotion, a mixture of supplication and anguish, desirous, disconsolate, but genuine in the precision of their reoccurrence, like a long lost season that continues to haunt the beholder with indignity and regret. Absolution, Harvard. It’s time to forgive and reprieve. Crean needs a clean way out of B’ton and this season is it. He deserves it. Greg Gard is the name of the Wisconsin coach… I’m sure there’s a Greg Gard on our bench right now…

    Hey #rememberbendertenderly gives me quite the recurrent chuckle… 😉

  22. I think any objective Indiana fan would admit that success is hard to argue with. Tom Crean can build a permanent shield against future criticism by doing three things;
    1.Win the regular season conference championship.
    2.Win the BIG tournament championship.(something Indiana has never done)
    3.A deep run (beyond the sweet sixteen) in the NCAA tournament.
    Accomplishing even two of these things would be considered a success in most circles Only time will tell..

  23. I agree with you RAM but there are others that will never forgive the atrocious borderline felonies that CTC has committed in the past. Religious tweets, running after a Michigan assistant, A-hope, sending mediocre playing down the road (Roth, Remy, Austin), pandering to RMK, the cupcake schedule and losing to Syracuse. Men like CTC are rigid and unable to learn from past mistakes and they must lean on their assistant coach and 5th year seniors or they hide behind slogans like the “movement”. If he would just recruit from NW Indiana where the basketball IQ is superior and forget about his players dreams of playing in the NBA because it might help ole IU.
    I’m sure if we win the national championship this year you would still hear some say that this was a down year and that there were no dominate teams they had to beat. This is IU and if you don’t win with 5 Indiana white guys the faithful will still say we hung another banner BUT…

  24. RAM, if IU wins the Outright Big Ten Championship this year, that will be two conference championships in four years. Not since 1983 has IU won more outright conference Championships in that amount of time. In fact, between 1989 and 2013, IU only won one Outright Big Ten Championship (1993). We shared it with three other teams in 2002. And it’s been 14 years since an IU team made it to the Final Four! So where are these unrealistic (i.e., delusional) expectations, that people like Harv continue to reference, coming from? Me thinks some folks are stuck living in the past, and as a result, will NEVER be satisfied with IU basketball until they win another national championship. And even then, they’ll be some folks that will complain about how they win it. Some folks are just choose to be miserable.

  25. Big question…are you wanting Purdue to win today so that it helps IU or do you root for IU and anyone that plays Purdue?

  26. Let’s examine just a few of the most ridiculous comments posted on this thread:

    1) “Great teams don’t set ’round of 8′ as their low bar. nor do fans that aren’t apologizing for a bozo that builds success on cupcakes and happenstance…” There is so much wrong with this comment, where do we begin? It is not in touch with reality.

    2) “And shame on Crean for wasting 8-years on favors when this is the sort of team he could have had out of the gate.” This takes absurdity to a new level! To suggest that any coach could have established anything close to this year’s IU team “out of the gate” suggests a complete departure from reality.

    3) “I thought it was a beautiful thing when I saw kids from hard streets do the same for coach that believed in them; a coach who so much unneeded hatred was directed.” Hey, we didn’t hate the coach, we hated what that coach did to our beloved and formerly elite basketball program. We didn’t hate the kids from the hard streets, we hated that they were not provided the discipline and structure necessary to optimize the opportunity provided by getting a college education and playing basketball at IU.

    4) “Let’s just say Yogi had a ton of very “lucky” open looks last night…” Well, for anyone who watched the Illinois game, that statement is so ridiculous it is laughable.

    5) “You don’t make sense, Chet.” Oh, the irony.

  27. I also believe that the haters will get their wish soon. If we go deep in the tournament the NBA just might come calling for CTC to coach some lowly bottom feeding franchise. His style of play fits the new NBA very well. CTC has his kids getting older and with the brother in laws both having coached in the pros I think he might want to keep pace. Every coach would love a shot at coaching in the league and CTC is no different.
    If that happens I just hope the potential replacements don’t read this blog.

  28. I’m guessing CTC is already safe just judging by the results as the season winds down unless they lose out from here. If the Hoosiers win the conference outright there’s not a chance he’ll be fired. If they win the BIG tourney for the first time he’s completely locked in for quite a while. A run to the Final Four and they’ll rename Assembly Hall.

    If they pull all (or even most of) that off you have to really tip your hat to him. Quite a turn around.

    I can’t possibly imagine a scenario where an NBA team would recruit him but stranger things have happened.

  29. Bart, I was rooting for Purdue today, for the obvious reason.

    I don’t see Crean ever going to the NBA. Crean’s not likely to get fired anytime soon, not after he’s turned things around this season. But I could see Crean resigning before his contract is up. He’s got to be tired of competing with the ghost of Bob Knight. He’s got to be tired of the unrealistic expectations that comes with coaching a once elite program. (5% of colleges would love to have IU’s basketball program under Crean, but it’s not good enough for a significant portion of IU fans. Too many IU fans are stuck living in the past and won’t be satisfied with anything less than winning undefeated national championships with players raised in Indiana. Remember the incident when his son was the target of nasty chants while playing in a High School game? That was shameful. I’m not saying Crean’s going to resign any time soon, but I would not be surprised, if after his team has another significant accomplishment (Big Ten Championship, reaching the final four) Crean decides that it’s time to move on. I mean no coaching challenge is ever going to be more difficult than the mess he inherited upon arriving at IU. And a coach that leads two separate teams to the final four (if he can get IU there) would be in great demand. Wouldn’t it be ironic if some day we’re all longing for the good old days when Tom Crean coached IU to two outright Big Ten Championships in four years?

  30. Yes, but…

    Where do you go? Sure, IU isn’t Duke or Kentucky but it’s right up there. Depaul or Xavier sure aren’t gonna come close to paying his salary. He’s not going to go coach Arizona State. He’s not going to decide to leave IU and coach somewhere for half the money and a fraction of the notoriety.

    Sure, there is certainly a downside but I think he sees IU as just the place to become a legendary coach and I think that is what he wants to be. There simply aren’t many places that can be done.

  31. Please explain why a NBA wouldn’t come calling? He isn’t Izzo but they have asked Izzo to make the jump. His style of play fits the NBA and what does the 76ers have to lose. Its safe to say the coaching a terrible NBA team is less pressure than coaching here. Plus you don’t have the grind of recruiting.

  32. It took coach K eight seasons to get Duke to the Final Four. If Crean could accomplish something similar he could probably stay at Indiana as long as he wanted. Michigan State is his dream job and that isn’t going to open up any time soon.

  33. Rojo has a high ankle sprain which is a 4 to 6 week injury…we won’t get past the 2nd game in the tournament without our best defensive player. No amount of coaching can make up for injuries.

  34. Unless you’ve seen the MRI there’s no way to know how long he’ll be out. A sprain is a ligament tear. It can be minor or it can be complete tear. There is a wide range.

    Just saying high ankle sprain doesn’t tell you anything about the amount of time he’ll be out.

  35. RAM, Coach K first coached the Blue Devils in 1980-81. At the end of 1985-86 season the Dukies played in the national game. So your information is very misleading and clearly wrong (Duke is not Indiana and Coach K took only 6 years to do what Crean has not been able to do in eight years and won’t ever be able to do here or elsewheren again). Now for some reality check: Tom Crean never lead Indiana past Sweet Sixteen, not even when we were ranked #1. As for what’s left of this season take a pencil and write this down: Iowa will beat OSU, Indiana and Michigan and will finish 14-4. MSU also finishes 13-5 (they play Penn State at home, Rutgers away and Ohio State at home). Wisconsin beats MI, MN and Purdue and finishes 13-5. Maryland has nothing to lose anymore beats Illinois at home then Indiana in Assembly Hall for Swoon Day and finishes 13-5. The legendary coach Clown Crean will finish 5th behind Iowa, MSU, MD and WI. As a #5 seed we play MN in the B1G tourney and lose badly. There, I wrote down a prediction that’s as factual as your statement about Coach K. The difference is, mine can still become true come March 10, whereas yours… same old same old.

  36. Coachw I see that you wrote your post at 234 am and I realize that you might have had a few drinks so your predictions might not pan out.

    I am an IU fan so predicting IU to lose isn’t in my blood but then again I don’t hope that my team loses just to say I told you so about the coach. These last games won’t be decided by coaches. At this point of the season it comes down to heart and will power of the young men that play the game.

  37. Just to keep things in perspective Duke played in the national title game in 1978 and played in the NCAA regional final in 1980. Coach K stepped into a good situation.

  38. Chet you are so correct. I respect K but Duke was not a damn ole mess he had to resurrect. Jimmy Spanarkle was an outstanding player leading Duke to higher ground while earning national star accolades while K was honing his coaching skills at West Point. In fact Duke was my strong favorite in that ’78’ NC game. If they could have defended Givens it would have been an easy game. Fun to remember when it was a no contact sport.

  39. Duke was not a mess but K decided to put a new system in place and by the end of season three he almost got himself fired. Then after three more years he took Duke to the national title game. In the next six seasons he went to a sweet sixteen, two final fours, one national title game and won two banners. In his first 12 years at Duke he won his conference only three times. Where in all this do you see any similarity with Crean at Indiana?

    Some of you on this blog root for Crean more than for Indiana. You root for Purdue to beat Maryland and pray that Iowa loses in Columbus so you can rave about our below average coach… then if we finish 5th as it can still happen at this very moment, just count the games, you will claim (as some already have) that it’s the players’ fault.

  40. In that rambling, disjointed post you point out that Coach K was not terribly successful in winning his conference otherwise he accomplished quite a bit more in 12 years than CTC has in eight.

    Were you trying to make some sort of point?

    I’ve never heard anyone claim CTC (or anyone else) is Coach K’s peer.

  41. If you want to talk rambling we only need refer to your Bender example or you forgot about it already? I didn’t bring up K you guys did. K established a trend at Duke after six years. Meanwhile your Krispy Krean could not make the CBI in year six after two sweet sixteens (one with the #1 team in the nation).

    Conference titles are not a measure of national success, Chet. Ask Purdue.

  42. Finished watching the Illinois game. Dan Dakich is reporting Crean is giving more rest at this point in the year. The team looks fresh. I am more optimistic if this is the case.

  43. Well I hope somebody was drinking when some of those posts were made, otherwise someone has some serious cognitive issues. Yes, we were rooting for Purdue to beat Maryland and OSU to beat Iowa, because that increases IU’s chance of winning the Big Ten Championship. Yes, we want IU to win the Big Ten Championship. Why is that hard to understand? Again, you sound like you hate Crean more than you like IU! Were you rooting for Maryland and Iowa so IU would not win the Championship? If so, you’re not an IU fan, just a Crean-hater. I don’t care who the coach is, I will always support and cheer for IU, and celebrate when they win. It’s called being a fan! You should try being a fan some day.

  44. Ross, yes I heard the same thing. So maybe Crean has evolved in a variety of ways. Maybe reducing practice time during the second half of the season is intended to prevent the physical and mental fatigue that creates those “late season swoons” Crean’s teams have been accused of. Although in reality, the 13 team just ran into a Syracuse defense that IU’s guards were not prepared to handle (one was a freshman and one had a shoulder injury). DD’s explanation as to why it is now O.K. to reduce practice time in the late part of the season made a lot of sense.

  45. 2 B10 championships in 4 years…1 in the previous 15 years…thank God for our assistant coaches!

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