Indiana routs Chicago State, 100-72

WHAT HAPPENED: Indiana shot a school-record 45 free throws in a 100-72 blowout victory over Chicago State in front of an announced crowd of 17,472 at Assembly Hall on Friday in the Hoosiers’ season opener.

The Hoosiers were already up 39-28 at the 3:54 mark in the first half and went on a 12-0 run to go up 51-28 at the 17:03 mark in the second half. The IU lead was never below 19 points after that.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Sophomore forward Jeremy Hollowell was just 3-for-9 from the field, but 9-for-10 at the free throw line to finish with a team-high 16 points. He also posted four rebounds and four blocked shots.

Freshman swingman Troy Williams scored 13 points, hitting on seven of his eight free throws. Freshman forward Noah Vonleh posted a double-double in his first collegiate game with 11 points and 14 rebounds as well as three blocked shots. Perhaps most importantly, Vonleh knocked down all five of his free throw attempts after missing all eight he took in Indiana’s two exhibition games.

Senior swingman Will Sheehey had 10 points on 4-for-6 and also grabbed nine rebounds. Freshman forward Devin Davis posted 10 points and nine rebounds in just 14 minutes of action, making five of seven field goal attempts and blocking three shots. 

Chicago State guard Clarke Rosenberg led all scorers with 27 points, but forward Eddie Denard was the only other CSU player with double digits with 10 points.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: Tom Crean and the Hoosiers knew the game would change with the new NCAA rules, which are more strict on hand-checking and also altered the block-charge rule so it tilts more toward the offensive player, and they took full advantage of those.

Chicago State was already likely to foul a lot. The Cougars press and trap a lot, and a year ago just 17 of the 345 teams in Division I committed more fouls per game than their 20.5 per game.

On Friday, the Hoosiers got them to come close to doubling that, as Chicago State committed a ghastly 36 fouls. Indiana attacked the rim off the dribble and made a point to get the ball inside somehow someway on just about every possession, they also took the ball at defenders on the perimeter and even in the backcourt, picking up as many cheap ones as they could to get to the bonus as quick as possible. Chicago State committed its seventh foul of the game to put the Hoosiers in the bonus at the 13:47 mark of the first half and its 10th at the 11:53 mark to put Indiana in the double bonus. It was even worse in the second half when the Hoosiers were in the bonus at 15:16 and the double bonus at 13:08.

The attack mentality, obviously, led to a ton of free throws, and Indiana converted on most of them, hitting 45 of 55 attempts. That was good news for the Hoosiers after a shoddy performance at the line during the exhibitions. It also got the Hoosiers easy baskets in the paint on a night when they rarely shot the ball outside but also usually missed when they did. Indiana was just 1-for-8 from beyond the 3-point arc but 27-for-59 from the field. Twenty-six of those field goals came in the lane, as the Hoosiers finished with 52 points in the paint. The lone 3-pointer, made by Jeremy Hollowell, was the only shot they hit outside of the lane.

Defensively, Indiana proved the awesome power of its pure length and athleticism. The Hoosiers had more than their share of moments when they were out of position, when they didn’t switch when they were supposed to or didn’t close out on a shooter. But when the ball got anywhere near the rim, the Hoosiers were pretty much all over it, blocking 13 shots and altering several more. They won the rebounding battle overwhelmingly, grabbing 62 boards to Chicago State’s 36 and registering 44 defensive rebounds to Chicago State’s 17 offensive boards. They left a few 3’s open, but the Cougars rarely took advantage, shooting 21-for-81 from the field (25.9 percent) and 8-for-36 from beyond the 3-point arc (22.2 percent). The Hoosiers committed just 20 fouls. Chicago State was 22-for-27 from the line, but the Hoosiers still doubled their number of foul shots.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: For the Hoosiers, it’s a good start on a lot of levels. They took a game plan and executed. Though they turned the ball over 19 times, only a few of those were because of Chicago State’s pressure, and they seemed to mostly handle that well for a young team that doesn’t have a lot of experienced ball-handlers. Again, they proved what an important factor their length can be, which should give the young players confidence. In fact, all in all, most of the freshman had a lot of reasons to feel good about their first game. Vonleh finding his free throw stroke before he even missed a shot in a game that counted could prove critical, as he’s certain to draw a number of fouls. Troy Williams and Devin Davis were also especially impressive, and Davis showed that as overlooked as he may have been in recruiting, he will be a factor on this team.

It was far from perfect. The 19 turnovers have to be a concern and there are still defensive issues that need to be cleaned up. Certainly the outside shooting appears to be a long way off from being a strong suit for this team, but the early returns show that pure raw talent could keep them in games. Obviously, it looked more that way because the Hoosiers were playing a team that doesn’t have near the talent that they will see in the games that really matter, but there was still something positive to take from the season opener.

WHO SAID WHAT: Before we get into this, shout out to IU sports information director J.D. Campbell and assistant SID Nate Wiechers for setting Indiana up with ASAP Sports, which you might have noticed is something that I consider the greatest invention ever. Basically, it gives us full transcripts of press conferences almost immediately after games. I have no idea how they do this, but it words. Regardless, here it goes.

COACH TOM CREAN

 COACH CREAN:  For a first game, our guys showed a lot of the upside that’s there, a lot of the athleticism.  With 13 blocks, it was phenomenal.  The free‑throw record, that’s amazing when you really think about how long the Indiana basketball program has historically been known for not only the free‑throw shooting, but the free‑throw attempts and making more free throws than their opponent’s attempt.

It’s a big deal for us to get to the line, especially it’s always been a big deal for us to get to the line, but especially now with the rules the way they are, and the fact that we’ve got to be a lot better shooting team.

We had 63 deflections.  Over the last two years. we’ve been 18‑1 when we have five or more guys in double figures scoring.  The only loss was the Kentucky loss in the Sweet Sixteen.  Tonight we get six guys.  Jeremy has a career high, Noah has a triple‑double in the sense of the rebounds, points and 12 deflections, to me that’s a big deal in his first game.  And there is probably a five‑page laundry list of things we have to be better at.

So that’s kind of where we’re at in this season.  It’s a good start, a lot of guys played, lot of different combinations.  We got up and down the court.  We went against our first real doses of pressure, and I thought they did a good job with that.

We showed that we’ve got to get better with our hands in challenging shots and our rotations and things of that nature that only playing the game can bring.  We can be more efficient with the ball.  We can be more efficient with reversals, but at the same time we scored a ton of points in the paint, and certainly we were rewarded for it at the free‑throw line.

So things to build on, a lot of games.  I think we started a span of 7 games in 20 days, right?  So we’re going to learn a lot in a short period of time, and we’ve got to keep making sure that they understand the number one focus above all else is are they getting better?  Are they improving?  You want to improve inside of the games and certainly you want to improve in the days leading up to the games.

 

Q.  Talk about the new rules.  Is that what you envisioned?

COACH CREAN:  Well, I think the game gave us that in the sense that it was a fast‑paced game and both teams and they exploited us a little bit.  But it’s a new game.  There is no question about that.  There were some body fouls tonight where guys are really working to show their hands and it just becomes ‑‑ two things have to happen.  How quick can you adjust to the game?  Okay, and can you not allow frustration to enter it in?  You can’t get sad.  You have to get determined.  And that is exactly how it is with the way the game is going to be officiated.

When we had a situation tonight, we get a foul and Will gets his second foul and the next play gets his third foul.  I mean, you have to move on immediately.  You have to move on as an individual, you have to move on as a team, and you have to be able to adjust at the drop of a hat.  If you wait for some time in the second half, if you wait for halftime, it’s going to be too late.  So there are going to be all kinds of strategy‑type deals within the game.

The bottom line is you’ve got to play downhill as much as possible to try to create that contact.

Q.  Especially with how fast the game was moving up and down, how quickly do you think some of the young guys like Troy, Noah and Devin kind of found that comfort?

COACH CREAN:  I think when you have a team like ours you want to get as many possessions as you can.  I think the flip side of that is it gives them experience.  But what they really ‑‑ do they gain the understanding?  I think we’ve still got to understand ‑‑ I said I go on a fine line as a coach.  I want them to attack the rim a lot.  I want them to get to the foul line.  I want them to really challenge at the basket.  But at the same time, you have to look for the next pass.

I think we might have had one bad lay‑up tonight, and that’s not enough.  Now that is a sign that we just don’t understand it yet.  We don’t understand as well how to move without the ball.  We see that rim, and sometimes we don’t see that somebody else might have a better look.  So we’ve got to continue to learn that.  That comes from film.  That comes from doing, and it comes from the experiences of playing inside games.

 

Q.  Is this a team that’s going to block a lot of shots?

COACH CREAN:  I think it’s certainly got the capabilities, and I don’t think we’re even challenged.  I’m more concerned about the shot challenges especially on the perimeter, I should say.  But I thought from game one to game two in the exhibition season, we really did a better job with our length.  Not just because the deflections are up, but I thought we played longer.

I thought we got out into the passing lanes a little bit without the denials, and we just put more pressure on the ball.  Tonight we didn’t do as good a job with that.  Our switches were more switches of convenience rather than switches of being pro‑active and take things away.

It’s not that there were bad intentions; we just weren’t as aggressive with our hands and being up.  So I do think we’re going to be able to block some shots.  I do think we’ll get some deflections, but I think we’ve got to be a great stick‑and‑pursue team rebounding team and a great shot ‑‑ challenge team.  But it all starts with you have nothing if you don’t have great transition defense, and that’s got to get better.

 

Q.  What was your deflection number?

COACH CREAN:  63.

 

Q.  52 of the 55 points you guys had off field goals were in the paint.  Is that a point of emphasis?  Is that the new rules?

COACH CREAN:  No, no.  I don’t think that.  Both Royce Waltman and Tim Garl both made the same point about the points and only having one three.  Here’s what I think:  This is a plus to me especially in the second half.  They didn’t hunt shots.  As a young team they didn’t take the first three they saw, and I think that’s really, really important because we didn’t want to get ‑‑ we didn’t guard as well.  I know we gave up some points, but you don’t want to get into a settling mode.  You don’t want to get into I’m‑going‑to‑take‑the‑first‑jumper‑I‑see mode because that’s not our strength.

We’ll get a lot better shooting the ball, I have no doubt about that.  We’ll prove that.  We’ll continue to recruit to it and all those type of things.

But the key is you have to take what the game is giving you.  If you start inventing in your mind that this is the best play for me to take this first‑side jumper or let me get this free, that’s not always what’s good.  You have to take what it’s giving you, and I thought our guys did a pretty good job of that offensively, even though we’ve been more efficient.

 

Q.  How impressed were you with the way they adjusted to a game the way it was with the stop‑and‑start nature, and also to be part of an effort like that from them?

COACH CREAN:  I hope Noah Vonleh gets some positive tweets from some of you after a couple of the exhibition games.  And don’t be taking any credit for motivating him.  He’s in the gym.  I mean, he spends more time ‑‑ just joking ‑‑ but he spends more time in the gym right now working on his free throw, and it was great to see him rewarded for that.

I mean, what did he have?  14 rebounds.  He’s not going to grade out at a high level with this rebounding tonight because there were too many times ‑‑ one of the reasons I made the sub quick in the second half is he and Jeremy just stood there when Troy missed a lay‑up.  When he learns to go every time, when he learns how efficient he can be around the bucket, he’s going to shoot a lot of free throws because he’s going to get fouled on the break.  He’s going to get foul on the glass, and he’s going to get fouled on the post‑ups and the cuts.  You see what he’s capable of when he starts with the ball on the break.

We’re very comfortable with Noah and Devin, those two guys pushing the ball after a missed rebound, as long as they’re looking up the floor.  So when you do that and you become harder to guard, and you become harder to guard, you have more opportunities to get to the foul line.

So I thought the 82% was indicative of guys that were really working on it.  It’s like anything else.  It’s contagious, and hopefully we’ll keep plenty of opportunities to go up there and find out if we can make them.

 

Q.  The way the game is being called, are they playing the way you want to play?  Because you want to play fast, but with so many starts and stops, does that allow that to be effective?

COACH CREAN:  I haven’t thought about that.  I didn’t coach as much in the second half.  If I was coaching for mistakes or subbing for mistakes, I’d have subbed an awful lot because we made too many.  But we didn’t have any presses in yet.  They hadn’t seen that kind of full‑court length like that.  They’ll do it because we’re going to have to start doing it more in our own practices.

But bottom line, you have to adjust.  I don’t think you can come in with any set plan.  If you’re not flexible, you’re going to lose, and I think that’s going to be most important for, not just for staffs, but for players.  Take what the game is giving you, and get the ball in the paint as much as possible and see what happens.

 

Q.  Can you talk about the effort you got from Hollowell and the blocked shots?

COACH CREAN:  Well, and again, going to the foul line was really good.  He’s just going to continue to get better.  He’s doing multiple things, and he’s just at a place where the coach wants him to play with the same level of energy every possession.  When he learns that, again, that’s where you can say he’s just scratching the surface.  When he learns to do that and learns the efficiency that he’s capable of on both ends, he’s going to be an outstanding player.

But he really wants it.  He wants to get better.  What I liked tonight he made some mistakes and he was mad at himself.  He wasn’t looking around.  There was no victim role out of him.  He just kept moving.  To me, that’s what’s most important because he’s got a chance to be ‑‑ just be a very central figure on this team on both ends of the floor.

 

Q.  Did everyone have that similar attitude to go on the fast break?

COACH CREAN:  I think with Devin and Noah it’s something they had coming in here.  I think we’d be stifling them.  I think it would be different.  The whole key is throw it ahead.  If somebody’s open, throw it ahead.  But if you have one man to beat, beat them.

I guess an answer to your question, thinking about that, yeah.  I might be missing somebody right now.  I would say probably Austin and Collin right now need to find a guard quicker.  But it’s a great reinforcement to go get defensive rebounds.  I mean, we’re at an unbelievable rate of scoring when Noah got the defensive board.  So when you can skip the step on the outlet pass and you can get everybody running, and we’re still not running to the spots the way that we need to.  I mean, we’ve shown them enough film where Victor scored in the short corner and how many baskets he got there and we’re rarely there.  That just takes time to get to.  I think when you can skip that outlet pass you can create some real havoc and hopefully we can continue to do that.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

NOAH VONLEH

DEVIN DAVIS

JEREMY HOLLOWELL

 

 

Q. Talk about the defensive effort that you had and the blocked shots?

NOAH VONLEH:  We’re a big team; we’re really long.  Coach stresses defense every day in practice, and we just want to keep getting back in transition, finding our man and just running after the boards and things like that.

 

Q.  Jeremy, talk about how much emphasis was put on taking the ball to them and being aggressive?

JEREMY HOLLOWELL:  We knew they were going to get up and press us.  We prepared for it this week.  With the new rules, we wanted to take advantage of it and attack the basket and get fouled.  I think we did a good job of that.

 

Q.  You guys seemed like you really enjoyed that fast pace out there tonight and really attacked the basket.  Could you talk about that?

DEVIN DAVIS:  Yeah, I like to play fast pace and get out there.  When we’re playing Chicago State or any other team, or just this team, we like to get up and down and just run.

 

Q.  Just how quickly did comfort come to you guys in your first regular season game?

DEVIN DAVIS:  I mean, it came pretty fast.  You’ve just got to play relaxed.  There are guys out on the court that will help you get through it, and if you make a mistake, they’ll just tell you the next play.

NOAH VONLEH:  Like Devin said, guys will help us get through at the things.  I think the exhibition has helped a lot, getting the feel for what to expect playing against Division II teams.  I think we came out and brought it into this game.

 

Q.  Talk a little bit about your mentality going into that?

NOAH VONLEH:  Yeah, I just told myself I need to start calming down and focus on the shot and I’ll make it.  Before I felt like I was just rushing myself, that was it.

 

Q.  Jeremy, how did the athleticism of this team, how is it different than last year?  How does it change you guys on the court?

JEREMY HOLLOWELL:  It allows us to get up on guys and use our length.  We’re really athletic, but we’ve got to do a better job of getting back on defense.  But the athleticism helps with the rebounding, obviously, and defensively.  Like you said, with the blocking size, we just use our length, and it factors in for us.

 

Q.  Jeremy, how can this team be stronger around the rim, and what areas do you need to improve in as a team?

JEREMY HOLLOWELL:  Could you repeat that, please?

 

Q.  Do you think the team will be stronger around the rim, and what areas do you need improve on?

JEREMY HOLLOWELL:  Yeah, definitely, we’ve got a lot of slashers and a lot of guys that like to crash and play above the rim.  The biggest thing coming from this game is we’ve got to get back in defense like I said.  I thought they got out a lot of easy points on the fast breaks.  So I think that’s one thing we’ve got to focus on, taking care of the ball and things like that.

 

Q.  Jeremy, you talked about being more athletic this year, all three of you did, and Coach has talked about being more aware.  Do you feel like after looking back a little bit tonight getting there as a team that you maybe understand better just what length and athleticism means to this team and what goes with it?

JEREMY HOLLOWELL:  Yeah, definitely.  We’re still a young team and we have a lot to learn.  But our length, we’re just going to use it to our advantage.  In practice, we’re getting after it, and it carries over into the game.  So I think we just need to keep competeing in practice and then going after each other.  I think it will help us out.

 

Q.  Jeremy, with the career high 16 points tonight, what do you feel allowed you to get into a rhythm tonight and on the offensive end?

JEREMY HOLLOWELL:  I think attacking the basket, and getting points at the free‑throw line.  I just felt really comfortable out there once I got out there.  But I think attacking the basket and getting to the free‑throw line, getting some easy points off the line helped.

 

Q.  Those four blocks also worked for Devin and Noah.  Could you also talk about the record day?  15 total fouls called.  In your first college game, how tough was it to have that stop‑and‑start because there were so many foul calls and so many stoppages in the play of the game, and you didn’t have quite the rhythm?

DEVIN DAVIS:  Well, with the new rules, like Jeremy said, we just wanted to take advantage and the touch fouls that the refs are going to be calling.  We’re kind of used to the start‑and‑stop because we go over the touch fouls in practice, and just every foul we shoot free throws.

NOAH VONLEH:  With the new rule, we just want to keep using our length and athleticism, keep our hands up, and don’t put your hands on a guy and work on free throws a lot in practice also.

 

Q.  How much did length and athleticism make up for guys?  How many times were you not in great position and able to get a block or something like that?

JEREMY HOLLOWELL:  It played out for us really well.  Sometimes we maybe get blown by.  We’ve got a good help‑side defense.  The length is just a big factor for us with this team.  We can rotate guys around, guard different positions and everybody plays good help‑side defense.  We just use it to our advantage blocking shots, deflections and things like that?

 

Q.  How comfortable were you bringing the ball up the court?

NOAH VONLEH:  I’m really comfortable bringing up the ball.  I did that a lot in high school.  Coach Crean wants me to be really versatile.  So he said, whoever gets the ball, just push it up the court, and Yogi can run up and we’ll start our offense.  We’re just going to keep working hard and hopefully I can get more double‑doubles.

Q.  What was that?

NOAH VONLEH:  I said I’m going to keep working hard and getting better and hopefully I can keep getting double‑doubles.

Q.  Jeremy, do you guys block shots like that in practice, what was your favorite blocked shot tonight?

JEREMY HOLLOWELL:  I mean, we definitely work on shots like that in practice.  Everybody’s meeting at the rim in practice.  You have to go up strong and finish in practice.  But my favorite block was probably when Yogi ‑‑ on the fast break when the guy kind of had Yogi and he just came over and blocked.  That was probably my favorite.  I don’t really even remember any of my other blocks to tell you the truth, but I guess I have four, so I’ll take it.

 

2 comments

  1. Devin Davis has tools, talent and is honing them into skills to be a real Hoosier BBaller. Opponents starting next year will have a tough time handling the combination of DD, Standford and T-roy.

  2. Could very well surprise many many people. Davis that is. This team is loaded with talent. I can’t wait to see it blossom. Game to game and season to season. We have something special in my opinion.

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