IU opens season with blowout of Stony Brook, 96-66

Freshman forward Cody Zeller posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in his Indiana debut and was one of four Hoosiers in double figures in a 96-66 blowout victory against Stony Brook in front of 16,506 at Assembly Hall in Indiana’s season opener.

Sophomore guard Victor Oladipo had 16 points and six rebounds while classmate Will Sheehey scored 13 points in just 10 minutes in the first half before missing the second half with flu-like symptoms. Sophomore forward Derek Elston added 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting as the Hoosiers shot a blazing 65.4 percent from the field, including 70.4 percent in the second half.

Zeller scored just four points in the first half, making his only field goal, but his teammates forced Stony Brook to double-team him less, and he as 4-for-5 in the second half. A steal and a nearly coast-to-coast drive for a dunk got him in a flow and he stepped up his game on the boards as well.

“It just kind of motivated us and got the fans going,” senior guard Matt Roth said. “It’s always fun seeing a big fella get a steal, being active on defense and being able to turn the corner in transition and get that breakaway and finish with a two-handed flush. It gets everybody going. It’s something that you don’t see every day in the game of basketball when you see a center running the floor like that especially when he’s got the ball the whole way. They say to reward them when they run, but he rewarded himself on that one.”

The Hoosiers finished 34-for-52 from the field and got contributions from everywhere. Freshman swingman Austin Etherington was a perfect 3-for-3 in his debut, hitting two 3-pointers to finish with eight points. Roth hit a pair of threes and point guards Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls combined for 11 points and 13 assists.

The Hoosiers were 7-for-14 from beyond the arc and 21-for-24 from the free throw line. They weren’t dominant on defense, but they were effective enough, holding Stony Brook to 41.9 percent shooting, including 25 percent (5-for-20) from beyond the arc after being burned by Indianapolis in the exhibition game.

Stony Brook actually led the game 21-20 with 8:13 to go in the first, but after that, the Hoosiers found an offensive flow and started creating turnovers. They went on an 11-0 run and finished the half up 45-28. The Hoosiers took a 59-39 advantage with 14:43 to go and never trailed by less than that the rest of the way.

AUDIO: Cody Zeller, Verdell Jones and Victor Oladipo

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Derek Elston, Matt Roth, Austin Etherington

24 comments

  1. I know WS had ‘flu-like symptoms’ but what’s up with Jordy? I assume he was under the weather, too. He definitely looked a step slow. How about Etherington? He certainly made the most of his time. Had to have had the most points/minutes out there. It’s hard not to feel good about that one. Roth and Elston draining threes. Daniel Moore taking charges. VO running past people like their feet were nailed to the floor. That Zeller kid even got to play a little. A lot more offensive rhythm than I ever expected for the first game.
    Anyone who didn’t seeing the results of coaching out there is an idiot.

  2. Six minutes to go and Duke leads Belmont by 3 at the Maui Invitational. Stony Brook is much better than Belmont.

  3. We recently had ScoopTalk with the audio-challenged IDS gang…Then, a couple days ago, we had the guy from Mad Men making a surprise appearance for Dustin…Can we expect anymore new and exciting twists? Maybe Hugh back in town joining in on a ScoopTalk from Ryan’s man cave?

  4. — Zeller is incredible, can’t say enough about him. 3 steals, are you kidding me? That steal + coast to coast fast break was unbelievable for a guy his size. He got schooled a couple times but quickly learned from it. He proved that he has balls of steel : )

    — Sheeladipo have really stepped it up this season. Explosive and fun to watch. Big scoring threats.

    — Elston showed some nice range, hitting from outside. That’s a nice bonus.

    — Watford, Pritch, Jones, Hulls were surprisingly overshadowed by Zeller + Sheeladipo. I really expected more offense from Watford and Hulls. Jones + Hulls had 13 assists and 4 TO between them, on the bright side.

    — Jones played terrible defense (which led to fouls), didn’t block out well, and took some bad shots. Toward the end he did hit Zeller for a couple nice feeds down low. I don’t see him maintaining the amount of playing time he got tonight (28 mins, team high).

    — I love Hulls but he is a liability on defense.

    — Etherington, Abell, Roth had some good moments.

    — We made more free throws than they attempted (finally!)

    — Need to improve on turnovers, perimeter defense

    I’m very happy with game 1. The team showed lots of promise. Watching Zeller + Sheeladipo play is just plain fun!

  5. Great effort by all and good to see a blow out against an above average SUNY/SB team.

    Cody Zeller’s debut was impressive; Kent Benson’s first year included some great games and some not so great (eg, against John Shumate of Notre Dame, who schooled him when the Domers won in B-town), but that’s part of being a freshman.

    The next year, Benson didn’t have any bad games and the Hoosiers had more weapons and the rest was history. It could be ditto for next year, definitely the year after when “The Movement” has a year under its belt and these new guys have two.

    Cody will be fun to watch as he develops; before it’s over, he will take his place with Don Schlundt, Archie Dees, Walt Bellamy and Kent Benson in the pantheon of great Hoosier centers.

    Austin Etherington might be that freshman — like Calbert Chaney — who is not so heralded compared to other freshmen in advance, but who surprises and becomes a great player. Will Sheehey showed great moves and aggressiveness getting to the hole. It was all good.

    It was only the first game and all that, but this team definitely put out some good vibes for the coming season last night.

  6. Regarding Belmont, When your schedule consists of Trevecca Nazarene, Kennesaw State, USC-Upstate, North Florida (twice), Middle Tennessee State (twice), etc., you ought to pull off 30 wins a year. Duke only beat them by one so they should go undefeated the rest of the way.

  7. Absolutely great ! The only negatives I saw was Hulls defense, and Jones sloppy play, poor defense–rushing in w/ the ball and getting stuck!

  8. There were a lot of things to like, and a couple things to dislike. A lot of it has been talked about, but here are a couple of my thoughts:

    – We held their “best player” Brenton to 2 pts and 5 boards. He was a complete non-factor.

    – We held Dougher, the school’s best ever 3-pt shooter, to 4 points and 1-6 3-pt shooting. The 1 being on the first possession of the game. The guards did a very good job of recognizing where he was, no helping, recovering and challenging when he came off screens.

    – Only one of their starters scored double figures, and he only had 10. Which means our starters played well on D, and most importantly our starters played tough D going into and coming out of half time.

    – Remy Abel looks a little bigger than I thought and also looked comfortable playing off the ball. Nice to see him knock down both his FT’s.

    – Is Elston our second best shooter? How comfortable and quick was that shot…

    – It was painfully obvious that our offense lost all flow when the ball found Watford. Everyone else seemed like they were on the same page, but he was just in his own little “how can I get a shot off” world… kinda sad. However, as stated before he did do a very nice job on Brenton.

    – Cody was definitely the best Zeller last night. He is clearly more skilled than his brother. It will be interesting to see how he competes against MSU this year. The one thing I love is how, as a freshman, he runs so hard and then seals at FT line in transition. And he did it against older stronger players. So few bigs know to do that, and how easy it makes a PG’s job. He should get 2-4 buckets a game that way.

    Great first game!

  9. Oh, and our bench was 16-21 from the floor including 6-8 from 3-pt land. They were also a perfect 8-8 from the FT line. Another nice stat… the bench had more steals than TO’s.

  10. To be fair, Belmont was a 13-seed in the NCAA tourney, while Stoney Brook would have been a 16-seed (where BU ended up) had they won the championship game. Both teams have the majority of their talent and contributors coming back, so either way it is a good early-season test.

    The crappy news… Both Belmont and Stoney Brook probably have a better chance of making the NCAA’s than IU does this year. Hope I’m wrong.

  11. Cody isn’t done growing yet and I bet he will be bigger (maybe not taller but more muscular) than Tyler, who still seems skinny. Tyler is quick, though, as were all the Tar Heels in the aircraft carrier game.

    MSU had problems getting off a shot against Carolina without it being blocked almost every time it seemed. Tyler got blocked out underneath easily by State’s beefier big men who crashed the boards I think in time Cody will be able to handle that better.

    Is Cody going to be a forward or center or combo F-C? I figure Coach Crean will go with whatever works and matches up best against a particular team and it will change during the game.

  12. Zeller, Oladipo, and Sheehey looked great.

    Elston’s play was the biggest surprise. He has a great shot and could help keep pressure off Zeller.

    Abel is fast and his quickness will get him some playing time. I like Crean giving the freshman the green light to shoot the threes.

    It was great opening game and with more bench depth IU will be much more competitive.

  13. Once we had Zeller on the bench and Pritchard in the game, we saw just how valuable Zeller is to the team and he needs to stay on the floor. Watford is selfish and rarely looks inside for Zeller and when he did, Zeller scored his only bucket of the first half. Buckner made a note of that during the broadcast. He also noted IU doesn’t know how to play with a big man yet because they haven’t had one the past few years. Once we learn this, we can be very tough to compete against.

  14. First game, first showing, sure. This wasn’t the B10 being played last evening. BUT … how long has it been since we’ve had a big man who knows where to post in the paint and knows how to position himself against opponents, knows how to keep the ball high, knows how to look for his teammates, etc. etc. etc.

    This was impressive (IMO) and couldn’t we all feel the air go out of the StoneyBrookers whenever Zeller was in the game? His presence brings so many subtleties to the court that people frustrated in matching up with him might want to slap him in the crotch.

  15. Chet, Pomeroy has Belmont ranked #16 and Stony Brook ranked #216. You are not even close! Chattanooga is ranked #276 and Evansville #166. Butler is ranked #41. That is IU’s first real test!

  16. I have never doubted Coach Crean’s coaching abilities but I have been waiting to see positive results at IU. The proof peaked its face out against IndyU and magnified against Stoney as the development of VO, Will and Elston from last year is a visible yardstick of Crean’s coaching prowess. They provided the sweat while he and the staff provided to-do lists and their course of direction. Jones is no longer relevant for IU’s success(maybe failure)and is not needed. Watford could suffer the same fate if he does not blend into the offense that now has many capable pieces. Elston’s good health and improvement makes him damn valuable as he can play 3 positions with good size(the guy is put together). Add CZ and IU is fun to watch again. 4tickturds declared on here multiple times VO and Sheehey wasted 2 of our 13 scholarships. I suppose he thinks the same thing about Austin and Remy(that would make it 4). Proof positive of his half a brain hating Coach Crean.

  17. hoosier clarion this is going to come as a shock, but i agree 100% with your take on the game.I was going to post the best part about this game is we no longer have to depend on v.jv3. How refreshing is it to know that we dont have to rely on him or wat. to win games? Coach finally has real talent to work with.

  18. I watched 7 Belmont games last year. Went to 2 of them. How many did you see? I’m betting Pomeroy never saw them play.

  19. I’m not saying they are bad. They are pretty darned good. But 16? That’s ridiculous. Maybe…maybe 60. More like 106. But 16? Hilarious.

  20. BeatPurdue, just out of curiosity, why are you downplaying IU’s opponents? For honesty’s sake, maybe you should just drop the “Beat”.

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