Hoosiers turn up throttle, beat Savannah State 94-65

It wasn’t pretty at the beginning. And it took some mid-game adjustments. But when all was said and done for the Hoosiers, they had beaten Savannah State handily, 94-65 and won their four straight game by 20-or-more points — the first time that has happened since the 1938 season.

After starting the game 3-of-10 from the floor, tied with the Tigers at 14, Indiana put its foot down on the proverbial gas pedal, going on a 13-0 run that the Hoosiers would never look back from.

On the way to that victory, freshman Cody Zeller turned in his best game of his young, four-game career, tallying 23 points and five rebounds. Many of those points came from the foul line, as Zeller took 13 shots at the stripe and made 11 of them.

Christian Watford also turned in one of his best performances of the season, as Zeller and Watford combined missed just two shots of 14 attempts. Watford ended the game with 19 points, including a 2-of-2 finish from beyond the arc.

And off the bench, Will Sheehey provided the spark he made a name for early on in the preseason. Despite shooting 3-of-7 from the field, Sheehey shot 12 free throws and finished with 15 points.

It wasn’t the start the Hoosiers may have envisioned in this one, but with a 29-point win and tougher competition coming up a week from now, the end was definitely one they can build on.

39 comments

  1. I am sorry, I know it’s a bit off topic but I have to say it: I miss Bill Lynch. I really do… Damn it, Bill, why did you have to go? Glass, I hold you responsible for it!

    Q: How do you make a Husky football player laugh on Saturday?

    A: Tell him a joke on Wednesday.

  2. IU Bball is back!

    IU Fball is…?
    The coach, players, university, or whatever it is. I just wish the football team would give the fans and alumni one decent reason to come watch them, let alone tune in to watch them on TV. The record and this weeks score says it all.

  3. How impressive is it that we have won 4 games without opening it up from behind the arc? I went through our remaining schedule with two other iu fans and asked them to name the wins vs losses on are up coming games. I reached 18 wins one reached 20 and the other came up with 20 as well. Does anyone else find this reasonable? I’ve watched every big ten team except Wisconsin,Nebraska and Illinois and from what i’ve seen we should be able to split with everyone except osu. I think we can or atleast I can say we’re back! Everyone seems terrified of Michigan and I understand their talented but I think we can get them in bloomington. I know we have not had a big man to speak of in a while and maybe I’ve forgotten how much one can help your team but CZ looks like the freshman of the year in the big 10 so far to me.

  4. Hoosierfaninky, I’ve been saying 19-12 since before the exhibition game. I think 20+ is very possible and I also think 16 is possible. They certainly have some flaws but, wow, they’ve also got a lot of potential. I predict at least 9-9 in the BigTen.

  5. I reached 18 wins one reached 20 and the other came up with 20 as well. Does anyone else find this reasonable?

    Yes, Hoosierfaninky, I believe a very bold, renaissance blogger made such predictions one week ago. He hasn’t danced around the number, and, god forbid, other than some nasty injuries to key players, he reiterated commitment to his prediction with no reason to waiver and talk of ranges. It’s just wimpy to talk of wide ranges between 16 and 20+. Seeing how this is a blog, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised there are those know-it-alls that have such delicate egos they just can’t pick a single minimum win number. Heaven knows how devastating it can be to be wrong on a silly blog…I mean, we are all professional sports journalists here.

    Harvard for Hillbillies
    Monday, November 14, 2011

    And Podunker…? I saw your prediction on the other thread..16 or 17 wins? That’s all? Really? Man up. This Hoosier basketball team is going easily into the post-season with 22 wins and they are not exiting in the the first round of the Big 10 tournament. Wow. Have some faith in this basketball school. We’re in the NCAA tournament and finishing no lower than 4th in the conference standings. Count it and take it to the bank.

    I really don’t see the Hoosiers losing more than tow games at home(home includes Indy). I think we’ll get to 22. It’s bold, but there is a belief in these guys faces that hasn’t been there before. There are more weapons and I think we’ll dominate the glass in nearly every contest.

  6. I was late to the party in the Evansville comments, so figured I’d address OldFart here.

    1. I love how 3 weeks ago you were bashing Crean because he had never won anything, and now that he’s beat 4 teams (that have IU as their biggest name opponent all year) he’s coaching better. Just gonna throw this out there… he’s probably coaching about the same. The players are better and more experienced. The results we are seeing aren’t because he is doing a better job, but because the program has had 3 seasons to develop under him. God you are a moron. Instead of hearsay, rumor, and conjecture why don’t you use logic to form some opinions.

    2. The Alford thing again… classic. Crean has a better coaching and recruiting record that Alford – PERIOD! Listen, I love Alford. He is a childhood idol. I lived in Dallas when he played for the Mavs and waited til the end of blowouts so I could see him play… I still am trying to figure out why you think IU would be a dominant powerhouse with him as coach. Great coaches turn mediocre programs in powerhouses, and he has not been able to do that at either stop. Duke was nothing when Coach K got there. Uconn was nothing when Calhoun got there. Pitino has made it happen at a couple places that didn’t have great tradition. Even Calipari turned Umass and Memphis into contenders overnight. Listen I may not agree with some of the tactics of some of these coaches, but if Alford was such a savior or such a monster recruiter he would have done it at Iowa or NM. Apparently Alfords loses all his special powers once he leaves the Bloomington city limits. His coaching cryptonite is the rest of the world, what a shame…

    Now back to a positive note. I love watching this team play. Like I have said all along, let Crean do his job. Leave his ass alone. He has a very good track record of coaching with talent. It will be interesting to see them play teams like OSU, MSU, and Kentucky to see how far along we actually are. But one thing is for sure – we are on the right track.

    And as far as the football fans go… let this be a lesson in patience. 2014-2016 should be a little more fun for you.

    How good is Elston this year. What a difference!

  7. My only concern with this team is keeping zeller, watford, and elston all healthy this season. I really do not want to get to a case where pritchard is playing 25-30 a game again. The role he is playing now is the role he is fitted for coming off the bench for 5-10 a game.

  8. Sniff…

    It’s the Apple Cup. WSU is playing at the UW, which has a first down with three minutes left in the first half. A UW fan sets off a firecracker, and WSU, thinking it’s the end of the first half, runs off the field… Three plays later, UW punts.

  9. Couple more things…

    To expand on the Elston comment – the part that excites me about his game is that it translates no matter the opponent. He will be able to get 17-20 footers against any defense or defender. If he continues to knock them down at this pace that is really valuable. I think guys like Watford, Jones, Pido, and Hulls can all have a tough time either getting off shots or creating their own because of who will be guarding them. Zeller still has some learning to do, but he should be able to create offense and I think (although a little wild) Sheehey has the ability to score against anyone. Having an athletic and consistent stretch-4 coming off the bench is a big plus.

    @ OldFart again… You ain’t exactly inventing the wheel with that 6-8 man rotation idea. Pretty sure that Crean and the coaching crew have figured out who their best players are and who will get minutes in big games. Your comment is laughable because you just have to find a way to criticize CTC. It doesn’t matter that they are winning every game by 20+ points, or that maybe it makes sense to keep important players minutes down early in the season so they are fresher during Big Ten play, or that a couple of the guys are coming back from injury, or that guys like Moore, Pritch and Roth can hold their own against this level of comp and have probably worked their asses off in practice and deserve a few minutes here and there.
    Even funnier, you criticize without really looking at the stats… the top 7 you speak of have received 620 of a possible 800 minutes… in blowouts… relax genius, pretty sure Barnett and Howard won’t be seeing the court against Wisconsin.

    And lastly OldFart, it’s Abell. Not Abdel or Able or however else you have spelled it on this site – Abell. An insider like you should have the respect to know the players names.

  10. Give it a rest Geoff. CTC starts “coaching” and the whole thing goes south in a heartbeat. Shut the hell up and pray that the ‘genius’ lets these kids play as they have learned it before coming here to be ‘coached’ by him.

    Without Zeller we’d probably be 2-2. Zeller is a freshman. He’s not bigger and more experienced because he’s been three years under Crean, that’s how Crean appears to you now that Zeller is here. Crean is, indeed, the same: goofy, confused, evasive, bordering on incompetent. The program three years under Tom Crean is: (28-66, 8-46) with the third year being the biggest step backwards one can imagine.

    As for the lesson in patience you are talking about speak to coach Wilson, boy: he’s the one that proclaimed as soon as he set foot in Bloomington: “Win Today! Win Today!” The man is entertaining for sure: as soon as he set (one) foot in Indiana he made sure that he stuck the other deeply down his throat. No wonder you do the same, you little angry orangutan…

  11. It is amusing to hear sports writers comment a team started out slow. It takes awhile to break most teams down until they run out of a little gas. Playing good teams it may never happen.
    Last year I watched a Northern Iowa team that I thought was a lot less talented than I.U. beat the Hoosiers 67-61. I thought I do not know if I have ever watch a better coach team that night.
    They play basketball like I like seeing game played. This N Iowa team is a team just year before had went to the sweet sixteen beating the likes of Kansas losing to Michigan State in a great game. They had lost their best players and was in a big rebuilding year. I thought why doesn’t Tom play that style and way?
    Crean’s way is to use a lot of players running them in-out playing a gambling style defense trying to cause turnovers and scoring off their defense. He never has had the athletes or depth to play that style.
    Coach has refused to build a style to fit his talent but has had a crash and burn stance to play the Crean system and learn it and whatever happens will happen. Rick Pitino just said Crean has built right way?
    This year it looks like I.U. finally has talented players and enough of them to have success. It takes 10 athletic players to play his up-tempo style. They looked awesome scary against Evansville. I predict I.U. will win a minimum 23 games this year.

  12. Husky you’re not making any sense and you certainly aren’t coming close to understanding my pretty straight-forward comments. Crean recruited Zeller and signed him… so that’s on his resume now. The reason you recruit players like Zeller is so you don’t go 2-2 against middling teams. I don’t understand your point. The other players have had at least a year or two in the system (which helps in execution) are now older and more physically developed (which helps them compete). I stated that Crean is coaching “the same” and its the players that are different. I am inferring that any coach that has a chance to get a system in place for a couple of years will have a better chance to see his team succeed, which is what is happening now.

    My whole point is that Crean is the same, not improved or better. If you think he is a baffoon thats fine, but he is a baffoon with a successful track record in the Big East and a Final Four under his belt. He is bringing some really talented players into the program now as well. So I really just don’t see your point.

    As far as his record at IU to this point, even bringing it up basically shows how ignorant you are. It is irrelevant because of the state of the program when he took the job. Sorry I had to explain that to you.

    Also I was sarcastically calling OldFart a genius, not Crean. If you want to try to post against me you should at least read my posts first. You sir, are a moron.

  13. Again, you accost us with facts. Faux HT is just a bomb thrower. I doubt he cares a rat’s ass about any of it.
    Geoff, you’re right on target. The Pitino comment is interesting because he plays a very similar style and he understands the need for lots of athletic bodies. His Kentucky teams would run you into the dirt. The whole ‘slow start’ thing is just a matter of when a team succumbs to the pressure. I expected to see this style of play, if the players could pull it off, when we saw the intensity of their cardio training in the off season. You have to be in crazy shape to play the style CTC is employing. We’re ‘Hurryin’ Hoosiers again for the first time in 50 years. Personally, it’s a style I love to watch.

  14. and one more thing TommyBoy… I can imagine a lot bigger step backward that winning 2 MORE games than the previous year while losing your best scorer in consecutive seasons to injury. It actually doesn’t take much imagination at all, I just remember oh-so-long-ago to the step back we took from ’07 to ’08. A slightly bigger slide…

    Maybe you’re famous around here, but I don’t know ya. What’s with the “Husky” part of your name? Are you a Hoosier fan or a Washington Troll?

  15. Geoof,

    Next time write “bufoon” or use one of the easier to spell synonyms: clown, jester, zany, harlequin, fool, or … CTC.

    Yes, I am famous, as a matter of fact very famous and not just around here also in France and a little in Spain and parts of former Yugoslavia. Have you not heard of the “Husky Brand”? Bark for Sark! Bark! Come on, bark. Bark today.

  16. Geoff it’s common knowledge not to engage with anyone espicially an iu fan who referances to ctc’s first three years. There is no pleasing people like that. Ctc could hang two banners in two years and people like that will say ” well, well what about his first three years when the program was buried?” That shows you their basic knowledge of the game. As far as ctc not being a good coach I guess those second half blowouts were adjustments that Roshown Mcleod or “heres one for you old school” Steve Alford texed ctc at halftime. What will these people say about his coaching when the pre-season 9th ranked team in the big 10 finishes 3rd or 4th? Peddling product in Yugoslavia makes you famous? Really?

  17. That’s it? Aren’t you at least going to try? You couldn’t even come up with your own screen name and that’s all your giving us? How about this? Come up with a screen name and go from there.

    Feel free to launch the personal attacks. There’s lots of info out there.

  18. His name is Remora. The real Husky Tom was known to be quite the huge fan. There was some sort of bitter breakup at Hoosier Hype and now the manifestation of a broken heart falls upon the pages of Scoop. I feel for Remora. Don’t be too judgmental. The theft of the name Husky Tom is his mournful cry. He calls to the gripping darkness a cruel blogging world of friends pretending to be friends and then are never to be heard from again. I doubt Remora is a bad person. I know he’s not a bad person. He was taken for a ride by a gifted writer that spears a heart with eloquent words and flattery that now have the taste of hypocrisy and insincerity.

  19. Chet,

    Please be a little bit more clear on what exactly you want and who exactly the “us” that you are referring to is and I shall give you plenty.

    Also, you don’t like my screen name: tough. The Husky Brand endures.

  20. Damn, I see I spent “buffoon” with only one “f”. What a fatal mistake! 😮 I’m outta here. Chet and Geoff, I am sorry. Everybody else: Bow Down to Washington!

  21. Though I got “Bashed” for calling IU’s opponents to this point “bums” I’m going to comment again. I won’t believe that any of these victories are special until IU starts to play people who aren’t. Major Conference Schools schedule schools who couldn’t even ‘sniff’ the Big Ten, ACC, Big East, etc. in order to scrimmage and rack up wins. Despite what others had to say, Savannah State is in that category. I’m waiting for the ACC Challenge and Kentucky. If IU is going to be a ‘Big Boy’ they’re going to have to beat the Big Boys and not Evansville or Savannah State regardless of how ‘Good’ some believe those schools are.

  22. I don’t think anyone would disagree that the jury is out on the Hoosiers until we face tougher competition. The fact is, however, this team has looked much better than the past three. We likely would have lost at UE a couple years ago and definitely had our hands full last year. I think some expected a close game this year; I certainly expected it to be closer. I don’t think anyone is penciling us in as Big Ten champs or anything, but I also think people are encouraged by what they have seen.

    Further, your comment insinuates that IU is playing all of these ‘bums’ and no one else does. Fact is, all teams do this and always have. I’d like our schedule to be a little tougher going forward, but a non-conference slate including at UE, Butler, at NC State, UK and ND isn’t too bad, probably isn’t the weakest in the league and is similar to many other BCS schools if I had to guess. I’d say 1-2 more Top 25 teams and it’d be about as tough as any. Additionally, a lot of these ‘bum’ schools knock people off every year. Gardner-Webb, for example, won at #22 UK in the non-conference about 3-4 years ago and we’ve been knocked off in the past before the fiasco of the past few years. A big part of what makes March Madness great is that these ‘bums’ get into the tournament and knock people off every year.

  23. Still no call on the field….Here we go. Upon further video enhancement and the somewhat troubling news Kartje and Houser have not been seen since last Saturday’s late night ScoopTalk session

  24. Either HT is just a young punk or he has a serious self-esteem isue (ooops)hence the reasoning bhind (ooops again)his constant bashing of others or his best argument of a topic is the constant bashing of others spelling.

    This team looks great thus far & I believe they will compete with some of the stronger teams on our schedule.

    A die hard Hoosier Fan in Lafayette!!!

  25. It appears to me(as Geoff has alluded above)opponents will have to account for Elston this year. That will not be easy in the transition game as their priorities will be 1st, the man advancing the ball, then suddenly remember where the hell is CZ in his flight to the other end while facing the fact Dipo is especially dangerous in this offense and then, Ah Oh, there is DE awaiting the pass. It is easy to understand why Coach Crean professes emphasis on the transition game.

  26. anyone who says crean can’t coach is nuts. the first three years should not count. he had to start from scratch to rebuild the program. maybe all you crean haters should apply for a divison one job and show us all how it is done.

  27. We don’t know anything about this team until they play Butler, Kentucky and Notre Dame. Seems like last year they sat at this same record after a few soft games.

  28. @ IULONGAGO – obviously… but here are some early season outcomes for ranked teams (all playing at home)
    #6 Duke 77, Belmont 76 (not a 20+ point blowout)
    #16 Pitt 76, Long Beach State 86
    #22 Vandy 58, Cleveland State 71
    #23 Arizona lost to DII Seattle Pacific in pre-season

    @ Keith – actually I think we know a little bit about IU, and I am not sure how much we learn from playing Butler. They aren’t that good right now and we have 3 common opponents already. They lost to a team we beat by 20+…

    The point you both forgot to bring up (which wins the debate for you) is that last year IU started strong as well going 9-0 against the soft teams on the schedule and winning all those games by double figures.

    3 differences we KNOW this year are:
    -additional size
    -additional strength
    -additional experience

    So hopefully, and probably, we’ll see a difference against the tougher comp coming up.

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