Gordon, Ferrell, Vonleh lead Hoosiers to 89-68 win

WHAT HAPPENED: Albeit against a lower level of competition, Indiana bounced back from Tuesday’s loss to Syracuse with an 89-68 win over North Florida in front of 17,472 at Assembly Hall on Saturday night.

The Hoosiers improved to 7-2 while North Florida fell to 5-6. Indiana opened a game on an 8-2 run and blew it open with a 14-0 spurt late in the first half that gave them a 49-29 advantage and eventually a 52-35 lead at the break. North Florida was never closer than 12 points in the second half and Indiana led by as many as 34 points. 

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: The Hoosiers got 41 of their 89 points from the bench and that group was led by senior guard Evan Gordon, who scored the most points he’s had in an Indiana uniform. Gordon had 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting, making his first seven shots. That included a 3-pointer and a pair of jumpers outside the paint, but he was also outstanding at scoring around the rim and in transition. He also had two assists, four rebounds and a steal in the game.

Sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell scored 14 points and posted seven assists against just three turnovers. He knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and orchestrated an offense that got as much ball movement as it has this season to date.

Freshman forward Noah Vonleh had another standard Vonleh performance with 13 points and 11 rebounds as well as two assists, a block and four steals. He was 3-for-5 from the field and 7-for-9 from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Jeremy Hollowell scored 12 points with two assists.

Beyond Gordon, the rest of the bench was also strong. Sophomore forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea had eight points, making both of his field goals and all four of his free throws while also posting three rebounds, and a block and steal that both showed off his length and athleticism. Freshman guard Stanford Robinson was just 2-for-7 from the field with six points, but he also had eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sophomore forward Austin Etherington hit a pair of 3-pointers and luke Fischer also had six points.

North Florida’s Dallas Moore scored 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting and also made four of five 3-pointers, but he was the only member of the squad who scored in double figures.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: Indiana coach Tom Crean doesn’t usually set goals for assists in a game, but he did for this one because he wanted the Hoosiers the understand the importance of ball movement and making the extra pass. It was clear that in this game, at least the message resonated.

Indiana finished with a season-high 17 assists against just 11 turnovers, which helped the Hoosiers shoot 17-for-34 (50 percent) in the first half and 5-for-9 from beyond the 3-point arc before the break. The Hoosiers finished 6-for-18 from beyond the 3-point arc for a more typical 33.3 percent, but the first half proved that the 3-pointer can actually be a weapon on some level if they can get themselves wide open shots. Moving the ball around the perimeter also opened up the paint to some degree, as the Hoosiers scored 42 points inside and made for offensive rebound opportunities. The Hoosiers grabbed 16 offensive boards and turned those into 16 second-chance points.

The Hoosiers also defended well, except when they were defending Dallas Moore. The left-handed point guard beat them from outside and off the dribble, hitting four of five 3-point attempts and scoring at the rim. The rest of the team shot a combined 15-for-53 from the field and 3-for-15 from beyond the arc. The Hoosiers caused 17 turnovers and turned those turnovers into 26 points and scored 19 points on fast breaks.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: This was obviously sort of a get healthy game. The difference between the level of opponent they played on Tuesday night and this one was massive. The two players North Florida started that were taller than 6-foot-6 also weighed 210 pounds each. There wasn’t much possibility that the Ospreys were going to pull the upset and the fact that the Hoosiers survived doesn’t say much of anything about their future chances. It may say something that the Hoosiers didn’t let their abysmal second-half effort against Syracuse carry over into this game, but really they simply weren’t facing a lot of resistance.

Still, they avoided disaster, and the ball movement was an important step. There aren’t a lot of great shooters on this team and therefore not a lot of guys who can hit contested shots. But if they can move the ball well enough to put each other in good positions, they don’t necessarily have to take the outside shot out of the equation altogether and if they can be just enough of a threat out there to force close outs it can open up the paint, which opponents are starting to pack against them. This was also an example of the Hoosiers learning lessons from games and game-plans and applying them. Crean asked for 17 assists and the Hoosiers provided them. They focused on what they were told to do and they executed it. Obviously, the caliber of opponent makes that a less impressive feat, but it still could be important going forward.


  1. “Albeit against a lower level of competition”. Well Said. Ill add to it: Albeit against a lower level of Coaching to. This is the problem with Indiana Basketball Post Bobby Knight era. The fan base has been wooed by Crean into celebrating these mediocre games. Its sad to watch the fan base accept him scheduling cupcakes all year. Its sad to watch him hang banners and pass out rings for underachieving. This will be your fate if you continue to accept his weird antics. When Michigan State lost Tom Izzo called the team Soft publicly. That’s not acceptable to him nor his fan base. Learn from it.

  2. Oh,how I yearn for those antic-free days of Coach Knight. I wish our new coach would call out his players. What? Did I see the post-Syracuse presser? Nope. I was pining for the days when men were men and coaches wore sweaters.

  3. Easy there, Orange. If memory serves, you’re a ‘Cuse fan, no? Didn’t you visit us during the tourney last year, or am I confusing you with someone else?

    Either way, I don’t necessarily disagree with you. But I wouldn’t be casting the first stone if I were you. Syracuse isn’t exactly known for its juggernaut pre-season schedules, either. You guys played a brutal Big a East schedule, not unlike us with the Big Ten. But looking over your past six or seven years, you’ve traditionally played in one pre-season tourney on neutral courts, and mmmmaybe one or two other games– usually at home, that anyone would remotely consider a marquee matchup. The rest are the likes of Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, and St Francis-Brooklyn. Not exactly testing your mettle there. Our schedules throughout out the years have been very similar, and many a Hoosier fan has been lamenting the need for more premier competition early on. (Preferably Kentucky, but we’ll take a Louisville, Kansas, Florida, or whoever.)

    As for North Florida, I thought we had another solid effort against a team we were supposed to beat handily. AE hitting some threes could be big for us going forward, I’m still waiting to see JH produce when he has to play up to– or at least even with– the competition. But at least he didn’t implode every other time he touched the ball. So there’s that. Norte Dame is the only remaining pre-season test left for us before the B1G, and even though that probably won’t give us a “statement win” when the selection committe reviews our resume, it’s important that we look good against a team we aren’t clearly superior to.

  4. OS, How about those Bob Knight Holiday tourney’s? There were always two of them and they were the best teams you could find. NOT!!! He played his share of cupcakes. Go look at the facts before you make rash comments. I love Bob Knight but he was not noted for playing hard pre Big Ten Schedules. He made his noise in the Big Ten. Sort of like Coach Crean did last year! Go back and suck on a sour Orange and remember we are about # 23-#26 and Cuse will be about #2 or #3 after this week’s losses by Mich. State and Kentucky.

    A number 2 or 3 team should beat a # 25 on their home court no big deal and UConn is still unbeaten and will be around # 7-10 next week since 3 of the top ten ranked teams have lost this week and more to come. This is a very young team, as a matter of fact, one of the youngest in the nation and they will get better while Cuse as no way to go but down once they start conference play in the ACC. Go Hoosiers

  5. Speaking of cupcakes…? Didn’t Orange Supreme share news of his upcoming marriage the last time he visited Scoop?

  6. Forgive me for those last two posts…. For I am the
    Scoop Serpent and the reason you sin everyday.

    No..no…Now I remember. It was Chet that shared his inspiring tale of love found at a Kawasaki shop.

  7. Church is in…Time to make my Dunkin’ run.

    Don’t give up yet, Dusty. Keep working the Kilroy’s…There’s hope for all. Even Harvard can find a snake tamer.

  8. Looks like it finally ate you up a little bit Harvey? Came back just to say that? Thought Jeremy said to leave it as such? As always, you fail to listen. Their is hope. Maybe Obamacare will provide you with “Comprehension Application Skills” or a miracle cure for TCDS.

  9. Orange, I don’t know what college games you watched between 1971-2000, but they sure weren’t at Assembly Hall! I watched them all, and there were plenty of “gimmies” under Coach Knight. When Knight played Vandy they were a below average team in the SEC, a football conference totally dominated by KY in basketball. So we have Knight with Syracuse, Notre Dame and KY vs Crean with Syracuse and Notre Dame and we all know why KY is missing and it is not due to Coach Crean. As I recall IU, Purdue, KY and Louisville had a 4-way ad I rarely if ever played both KY and Louisville in the same season. Right now IU is 7-2 with loses to #4 and #12, KY is 7-2 with loses to #1 and #20. Syracuse is playing very well and undefeated after winning Maui.

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