IU rips Evansville, 94-73; gets first road win since Jan. 21, 2010

EVANSVILLE — Five Indiana players scored in double figures and the Hoosiers shot 55.9 percent from the field, pummeling Evanville 94-73 in the brand new Ford Center.

Senior guard Verdell Jones led the Hoosiers with 17 points and seven assists, making all four of his 3-pointers for a career-high in that category. Junior swingman Christian Watford shook off a combined 3-for-14 performance in his first two games this season with 15 points and eight rebounds, making five of his seven field goals.

Junior guard Jordan Hulls had 14 points and sophomore swingman Will Sheehey added 10, but Jones pointed out that the key to the evening was still the attention drawn by freshman forward Cody Zeller. The Washington native finished with 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting and nine rebounds.

“It was great,” Jones said. “You couldn’t key on one guy. I think it all started with getting the ball to the big fella right here in Cody. He was just making plays. They were double-teaming and he was kicking it and we were driving and kicking it. It was good thing to have Cody command a double team like that.”

The Hoosiers made 10 of their first 12 field goal attempts and 18 of their first 26, but their defense was just as critical. Sophomore guard Victor Oladipo — who also had eight points and four assists — bottled up Evansville star Colt Ryan with the aid of good helpside defense. Ryan finished with 17 points, but was just 1-for-6 from the field in the first half when the game was still competitive.

IU finished the first half on a 20-6 run and led by as many as 33 points before pulling their starters and easing off the throttle late. The win ended a road losing streak that goes back to the Hoosiers’ Jan. 21, 2010 win at Penn State. That had been the Hoosiers’ only true road win of the Tom Crean era.

AUDIO: Verdell Jones, Christian Watford and Cody Zeller

AUDIO: Tom Crean


  1. Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, this team is a-rollin’! Great game. There are tougher challenges ahead, but this team looks good. And they are fun to watch!

  2. A lot of people might say “it was just Evansville,” but for a team in need of road confidence, this was a critical win for the Hoosiers. Hopefully this adds to the players’ belief that they can get it done this season.

    Another nice positive was how quickly IU started this game. The first two games, the Hoosiers came out a little slow, but last night they were firing on all cylinders and never gave Evansville a real chance to believe they were going to be able to win the game.

    Go Hoosiers!

  3. Maybe it was just Evansville, but I was at the game last Saturday where they came from 13 down in the second half to beat Butler 80-77 in OT. My parents, who live in Evansville, were eager to point out how fired up people were for the IU game and that it was sold out. So we went into their new place (which is pretty nice)and a wound-up crowd of people who resent all things Bloomington (and the rest of Indiana) due to the I-69 issue, and kicked their tail. That’s a good sign.

    FYI, if you ever want to really agitate an Evansville resident, talk about how it’s an injustice that I-69 is going through and now Bloomington is being forced to submit to the plan. Be ready to duck.

  4. Eric, most of the rest of us wonder why the stonies down there in Grimy Gulch are so against joining the 21st century. Presumably it has something to do with the hidebound professoriate immured in their cloister.

  5. They only showed signs of last years team around the 13 min mark and then it went away and they were able to get back into running an offense.

  6. I am blown away by Zeller and his intangibles, Hull’s improvement at the point and Victor’s assertiveness.

  7. “and a wound-up crowd of people who resent all things Bloomington (and the rest of Indiana) due to the I-69 issue”

    Surely you are joking. Half the crowd was dressed in red. And I don’t know that I’ve ever really seen a wound-up UE crowd.

  8. Talk to me after UK,ND,Butler and NC State— But after 3 games I am starting to believe that an apology to CTC may be in order. Remember Dean Smith was hanged in effigy and Coach K was on the hot seat.

  9. Crean’s team has done everything they could have done so far. It’s one game at a time. But it looks like they’re having fun and that their confidence is growing. You’d have to be blind not to see the profound improvement over last year.

  10. CheaneyFan, I actually think half of Washington was there last night. I heard that they had at least two buses headed there for the game. I am sure that they weren’t for EU either.

  11. Why are we caring about the makeup of the fans? If Hoosiers kick butt, I could care less if Mongols from Mozambique are in the stands.

  12. Are there actually Mongols from Mozambique?

    Anyone who wants to talk to ‘get real’ raise your hand. Anyone? Bueller…?

  13. Cheaney Fan,

    Unfortunately, I’m not kidding. They think that I-69 is the solution to all economic ills and some other ills that would appear to everyone else to have nothing to do with a highway. I actually heard my Dad say ‘Bloomington’s getting their come-uppance’ a couple of weeks ago when the feds made Monroe Co. put I-69 in their infrastructure plan. Normally he’d regard that as an improper use of federal power, but not on this.

    Of course, this arises from the general perception that the rest of the state doesn’t care about Evansville, Indy gets everything it wants while they suffer, Bloomington is a bunch of leftist snobs that are opposed to all that is right, and so on. I’m glad I moved away long ago or I could have become one of them. That’s not to say they’re bad people; they’re not, they’re just a little whacked in their viewpoint and can’t see that because most of them have never lived anywhere else.

    I figured a lot of IU fans would attend, but didn’t know it was that many. And I’m sure the town of Washington was ripe for looting and pillaging with everyone in Evansville watching Cody.

  14. eric,

    Isn’t Bloomington considered liberal?

    I-69 is important for more than just Evansville. It will provide a better route south, without going through Lousiville or worse St. Louis.

    Doesn’t Indy receieve a little special attention? Just ask the folks in Fort Wayne and Gary their opinion.If not for IU,what do you think would be the status of Bloomington?

    I lived in Evansville for alomost 20 years, some of your thoughts may be true, but! There are many people in Evansville who have lived other places. Colleges like Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt are well represented.

    Whacked, does that mean you don’t agree with some of their opinions? There is a large German heritage population in Evansville. Evansville is a “blue collar” community. What’s wrong with that? The people are good, I did not always agree with some of the attitude, but wacked, I think not.

  15. Chet-

    I have no idea…just liked how it rolled off the tongue. Tunisians from Teotihuacan.

  16. Hoosiers Win While Wearing Red. Yep, check another thing off the To-Do list. Great win. There’s still plenty of challenges and tests ahead, like beating teams with a strong inside presence and teams with great atheletes. But this team is playing as a team and they keep showing improvement game to game, so I think they’re going to meet a lot of those challenges. This is fun. Congrats to the team and coaches on a nice victory.

  17. I had almost forgotten what IU basketball was supposed to look like; I’m beginning to become a believer again!

  18. Thank you Mr. Crean!!!! I have so many friends that are Purdue fans….finally, a team that can compete in the big 10 and can silence my friends!! This is going to be a fun team to watch! lots of options with the ball!

  19. As I watched the game in awe, I was just thinking???? Is it possible that we could be witnessing the same turnaround in IU football 2014 ???? I remain optimistic. On the BBall side. Wow.!!!! And I am a self proclaimed BBall tactician!! For me to proclaim “Wow” is a rare event.

  20. Indiana is looking better every game out..a road win is something I did not expect..even at Evansville.Crean is doing a better job coaching…way to much subbing in and out..need’s to get to 6-8 man rotation and stick to it.Indiana still cannot compete with Kentucky..Mich.St.Ohio St. will still lose those games by 10-20…but improvement is seen…2 year’s away from being able to compete with those team’s.

  21. When I graduated from IU I took a job in ‘retail management’ in Evansville. I lasted five weeks, the entire time thinking ‘Oh my God, what has my life become?’
    While driving to work I looked up and saw a billboard. It was an F-14 launching from an aircraft carrier. Two months later I was in Pensacola, Florida with a very intense man screaming in my face. It was all OK because I wasn’t in Evansville anymore.
    I’m sure there are lots of delightful things about the city but they escaped my notice. I’m sure it was more my issues than the city’s but I did not enjoy my time there.

  22. For those of you that insist that they know more about basketball strategy than CTC, everyone is laughing at you. Seriously, the man has a long history of success in the Big East and is now the head coach of a Big Ten team that has won 5 national championships and he’s paid millions of dollars to do so. Assisting him is a highly skilled coaching staff including a former D1 head coach. But you, sitting on your couch, with your seven years of experience coaching JV basketball in West Hilly Town, know more about substitution patterns than he does.

    The word ‘delusional’ comes to mind.

  23. Yes sir Chet you are right…I probably do know as much about coaching basketball as Coach Crean…along with thousand’s of other loyal IU basketball fan’s.Coach Crean..right place..right time.Chet you would support IU basketball if Charles Manson was the head coach…because eveyone who is laughing..is laughing at you and your lack of knowledge on the sport.You are very funny though and I enjoy reading you nonsense.Please keep it up.Every team need’s practice player’s…and they know they will never see the court in a real game…Coach Crean whom I thought would never survive at Indiana..and still may not…is doing a much better job.However playing practice player’s in a real game does not benefit your team.You must play 6-8 player’s only..unless injury play’s a part…that’s the only way your team can get a flow.Elston came in one time..played 1 minute and went back out…Prithard same thing in the Stoney Brook game which even drew a laugh from Pritchard and the bench.It is plain to see you never played the game…you cannot play and wonder every time the horn blow’s are you coming out of the game.The only player’s for IU that should ever see the court in a game are 1.Zeller 2.Hull’s 3.Sheehee 4.VO 5.Watford 6.Jones 7.Pritcard 8.Abdell Ethrington might be a 9th in very rare time’s.

  24. Roy Williams is as dumb as ‘ol Tom Crean. They’ve only played 2 games and the Tar Heels have already played 15 players. Twelve played against Michigan State. I can’t imagine how these nitwits like this get the big name jobs while your obvious skills somehow get passed over.

  25. “Chet you would support IU basketball if Charles Manson was the head coach”

    Hmmm, maybe not Manson but I would, by and large, support any IU basketball team. Now, approving of the coaching hire, that’s an entirely different story. Mike Davis was a bad hire. He was the last assistant on the end of the bench. He’d never done anything as a coach. IU was still a great job and the team was loaded. We could have been pretty picky on the hire. Instead they rolled the dice on a guy whose resume would fit on a matchbook.
    We were lucky to get Crean. He was a consistent 20 game a year winner coming out of the Big East. We had nothing but a wad of cash to offer a coach. We had less than nothing. We were in a hole.
    Maybe you have coached more than I have. Maybe not. But I am not delusional when comparing my knowledge to others, whereas you certainly are. If you were as knowledgeable as you claim you would certainly have been on the short list for the IU job. Did you get a call? Have you coached a Division I 20 game winning team or are you just some high school wannabe and bar stool expert?
    How do you choose a doctor, find the person who has watched the most episodes of ER? I go by resume and outcomes. I check out their reputation with other doctors and nurses. Then I talk to them.
    That’s the type of process that went into the hiring of Coach Crean.
    They are still in a bit of a quandary at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility. Perhaps you could provide your expertise. No experience necessary.

  26. Coach Crean was not the first choice of The Board of Trustee’s at Indiana.This I know for fact and not hearsay.Coach Crean was not even the third or fourth choice.The job was offered to 2 coach’s who would not take the job for various reason’s.Alford agent was called at 9:30 at night to discuss the job..and Alford would not even talk to them until they publicly fired Davis.Indiana would not fire Davis until they had a monetery number from Alford.Alford refused to talk about the job until they fired him..so all talk’s were ended.That is were IU messed up and we will pay for it for many year’s to come.I agre with you..IU had a pretty loaded team and had IU hired Alford they would have won many game’s and the trouble IU got into would have never happened.Indiana would have remained a power in college basketball and the Sampson era would have never been.But because of money the trustee’s would not do the right thing.After the Sampson ordeal..Alford’s agent again was contacted and this time Alford said he was not nor ever would be interested in the Indiana job.Now..not to say Crean is a horrible coach..but if anybody think’s Crean has or will do a better job at IU than Alford would have…then you just don’t know Indiana basketball.If Coach Knight would have retired..IU would have had many top notch coach’s trying to land this job…but with the way it was handle no coach was going to step into that mess.I hope Crean does turn Indiana around…I want IU to win more than anybody out there..I have been a season ticket holder for 21 year’s and have missed 7 home game’s in those 21 year’s…but I just don’t see Crean getting IU back to 20-25 win’s a year or ever a national contender.I do know this for a fact though…if IU doesn’t win this year…and don’t make it to the NCAA next year…he will not be the coach here.He has pretty much already been told that.You think I don’t know what I’m talking about??…then just wait and see and you will.

  27. No, I don’t think you know anything more than anyone else posting here. You’ve never posted anything that would lead one to believe you had any special insight or information. I DO believe you THINK you do because you believe the things your friends tell you. That doesn’t make you an authority, it just makes you gullible. Just because you say it is so doesn’t carry any weight at all unless YOU are on the Board of Trustees. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you are not.
    Post whatever you want but don’t expect everyone else to be gullible, too. Before declaring yourself all knowing you might want to start by being credible.

  28. I do believe old school is correct in saying coach crean wasn’t the first choice. And am inclined to believe him on the 6-8 man rotation theory. I think a carolina can pull it off given the ststem hasn’t changed much from last year but with IU adding Zellar they need to get a solid rotation if they want to have success. It’s only been three games im sure ctc will have a rotation soon old school! And I definitley agree with him on ctc being fired if he doesn’t win 20 next season. I didn’t read all of your post but on those three I have to side with old school and can’t beleive you wouldn’t.I have read your post on here before and don’t find you to not be another blind IU fan. Coach Crean has shown what he can do with no talent and now I beleive he’s showing what he can do with talent. Some coaches can’t win with no talent and some can. Crean can’t and thats ok. Coach K didn’t do so well until he landed Dawkins . Bottom line this team is better than any clear thinking IU fan thought it would be and that’s coaching! The second half adjustments alone are proof he knows what he’s doing. As far as old school sayong ctc can’t win a nt why would you think that? Thats the craziest thing i’ve ever heard. What would make you determine that sir? Can we at least wait until he lands a top ten recruiting class before we make that call? Do you know ctc? Ever been to a practice? What makes you assume that?

  29. At the time it was common knowledge on the street TC was not at the very top of the wish list as a replacement for K. Sanctions. It is also common knowledge he was in the mix prior to KS getting the job. Alford surrendered in the B10 and retreated to the MW. In other words he declared himself not capable of the big stage. I doubt highly that Coach Crean would be run off if the team only won 18-19 games next season. There is no way he only gets 1 year with the class of recruits he has coming for 2012. Another buyout, blowing up the progress made by the upperclassmen, learning curve of a new system and jeopardize losing some of the 2012 class. That is just dumb.

  30. I just love this sentence by Old School Hoosier, “…you are right…I probably do know as much about coaching basketball as Coach Crean…”. You sir, are not only priceless, you are an immortal.

    BTW, aren’t you the guy who (under another name) once said, “I am so inside!…”

  31. I don’t know even want to imagine Pat Knight as head coach of IU for at least 10 years added to the 10 years too many Bob Knight would have stayed past his effectiveness. This program was saved by a final dumb act of Bob Knight when he grabbed some brats arm too forcefully. What year was Knight fired? Without the firing, he stays until at least 2005 before he retires…We would likely be in about the halfway point of Pat Knight’s first contract.

    If Coach Knight would have retired..IU would have had many top notch coach’s trying to land this job

    No top notch coaches even get interviewed for the job. Alford knew he would never have any immediate shot at the IU job with Pat Knight to follow in dad’s footsteps. I had this discussion before with some goats at a farm. How can so many of the b-ball geniuses and insiders on here remain so oblivious to the facts? If Bob Knight retires from IU in the approximate year 2005 and peacefully rides his horse into the sunset, Patrick follows in no different fashion than what took place at Texas Tech. Only problem, we get Patrick for a hell of a lot longer we’ll ever have to be obligated to Tom Crean or any other coach. You think it took balls to fire Bobby for the final straw act of grabbing some arrogant and disrespectful snot’s arm? Good luck finding an AD that would have ever considered firing Pat Knight with his dad still thick in the mix of the IU basketball program. Pat Knight would have had a little bit longer leash than Mike Davis. Good coaches don’t wait around for job openings that aren’t gonna happen. Who in the hell are we trying to kid here?

    OldSchoolHoosier thinks Crean, now just getting his better group of recruits into sneakers, has been given ample time to prove he can coach? Think about how long a shot Patrick Knight would have been given to prove he can go get us that 6th banner. The assumption/hypothesis that projects dozens of great coaches lining up behind Bobby’s retirement is completely bogus. It blows up in your face with a two sticks of dynamite: Pat Knight.

    Myles Brand did Indiana University a monumental favor that so few recognize.

  32. Yes I have been to several Coach Crean’s practice’s and yes had several conversation’s with the coach.I never played at IU..but I have went to practice when Coach Knight..Sampson were there also.I have a family member who played at IU under Coach Watson and has remained close to the IU program.He know’s what is going on at IU well before the public ever hear’s a word.Pat Knight would never had been the head coach at IU once Myles Brand step foot at IU and Coach Knight was told that in 1999.Alford did a great job at Iowa until a famous Iowa high school player who commited to Iowa as a freshman got into trouble with the law and Alford would not let him play.The AD and President of Iowa said he is going to play we have been waiting on him for 4 year’s..Alford refused thus setting off the fued.Had IU hired Alford after Davis’s interim year and signed him to a long term contract..IU would still be an elite power in college basketball.I agree..Coach Knight stayed 5-6 year’s to long..should have retired after the 95-96 season..and that’s by his own admission..at that point Pat would have been to young to coach IU…Greenspan wanted no part of Sampson…Herbert made the choice for him…cost both of them there job’s.North Carolina can play 15 player’s a game…there 14th and 15th player’s would be starter’s on this year’s IU team.Coach Crean is not a bad coach…and he will win game’s at IU…but we will never…never win a National Championship under Crean because of his coaching style.He will recruit very good player’s at IU..and we will win 18-20 game’s a year in just a few year’s…but then when we do make the dance…it will be 1 or 2 win’s and done.Alford was the only chance IU had to stay a power…that chance is now gone forever.

  33. Delusional.

    Alford was never considered. He was fired at Iowa because he never got them past mediocre. All your delusions can’t change that.

    Gotta go. I’m having breakfast with Branch McCracken. He heard something about a buffet.

  34. It’s hard to beleive that Alford who could’nt get iowa out in front could walk into bloomington with everything that happened under sampson and do any better. Now I understand that iowa is not indiana but chet is right he never really did anything there. Old school if your such an expert on the subject given coach Knights connections and according to you Alford being a top tier coach wouldn’t it stand to reason that a top tier program would have reached out at this point in his coaching career? As far as ctc being fired next season if he doesn’t win 20+ I don’t know “like everyone else” if he will but he should and I think everyone would agree. If you can’t win 20 with that recruiting calss and a Cody Zeller with a year of big ten play under his belt then he will never win 20. I don’t see any possible way we dont win 20 im just saying. Go IU

  35. Maybe my memory has failed me, but wasn’t Pat Knight already an assistant on the bench when Bobby was fired? Pat would have been plenty old(in 2002 Pat Knight was 32 years old) to take over as head coach. There is no way I’m accepting hearsay that IU doesn’t hire Pat Knight as the head coach. Hallelujah for Myles Brand.

  36. OldSchoolHoosier will surely join you for all-you-can-eat waffles…I heard it goes on all day, but I would still suggest hurrying up or the chance will be gone forever.

    I personally love the pan-fried mush(also a favorite of Tom Crean..soon to be taken off the menu)….

  37. One of the great things about sports is that once in a while one is witness to the great confrontations between powers. Bob Knight and Dean Smith, Coach Keady vs Bob Knight, Michigan vs. Ohio State in football …

    I am now again allowed to be witness to one of these… the confrontation of OldSchoolHoosier and HoosierFanInky over who can butcher the English language with more ruthlessness. It is bound to go down in the annals of history. I can only sit and marvel and wonder if others connect the impressive shattering of syntax, verb tense, spelling and verb tense to our IU degrees. The last time I was so impressed was after listening to Tarzan, King Kong, Cheeta and the Cisco Kid’s loyal sidekick Pancho confront Cheech and Chong in a debate.

    I really can’t complain. It’s free!

  38. Harsh. Accurate…but harsh. I’ve been holding my tongue on that one. I really like all kinds of posts. Even the delusional “Steve Alford was contacted about coaching the Hoosiers” kind of posts. But you’re right.

    The semi literate “I’m in tight with the Board of Trustees even though I can’t spell” posts are pushing the limit.

    Someone had to make that call. Thank you.

  39. Thanks. I don’t get it either: why did we have to fire Bill Lynch? Why? Can someone explain it to me?

    Meanwhile, do you know the difference between my Huskies and the Taliban? (The Taliban have a running game…)

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