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By the numbers
3 Indiana’s rank in Big Ten games only in scoring defense (65.2 ppg), free throw percentage (75.3), 3-point field goal percentage (38.1) and offensive rebounds per game (11.4).
4 The Hoosiers are currently listed among the first four out for the NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, following Sunday’s upset of No. 10 Michigan.
11 Double-digit rebounds for freshman Noah Vonleh this season. The rest of the Hoosiers have two combined career games with double-figure rebounds — one apiece for Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Mosquera-Perea.

Recruit watch
James Blackmon Jr., 6-3, G, Marion, 2014: Finished with a season-low 22 points in a 57-53 loss at Richmond last Friday, then dropped in 39 points Saturday in a 80-53 win over Fort Wayne Northrop.
Robert Johnson, 6-3, G, Chesterfield, Va., Benedictine Prep, 2014: Had 25 points in a 78-72 win over Florida signee and former IU recruit Devin Robinson’s Christchurch (Va.) team Friday, scored 23 points in an 81-74 loss to Carlisle Saturday and fired in 30 points, including 7-of-12 from 3, to go with eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals in a 76-62 win over Millwood Tuesday.
Max Hoetzel, 6-7, F, Calabasas, Calif., Wilbraham and Monson Academy, 2014: Posted 17 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists in an 82-55 loss to Blair Academy at the National Prep School Invitational in Providence, R.I. last Saturday.

Yogi for 3
Sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell has become Indiana’s 3-point specialist during the 2013-14 season, a bit surprising for a player who shot just 30.3 percent from 3 as a freshman. Ferrell is hitting at a 44.3 percent clip this season on the heels of Sunday’s 7-of-8 performance against Michigan, which puts him in a tie for ninth on the single-game all-time list. Matt Roth and Rod Wilmont share the record of nine made 3s in a game.

Ferrell’s improvement is reminiscent of the progress made by Victor Oladipo last season, when he improved from a 20.8 percent 3-point shooter to a 44.1 percent shooter. However, Oladipo attempted just 68 3s as a junior in 2012-13, on the heels of attempting 48 as a sophomore. Ferrell is attempting a much higher volume of shots, going 23-of-76 as a freshman, and is now 60-of-136 this season. That puts the Park Tudor product just 12 makes shy of cracking the single-season top 10 list for makes.

Remarkably, Ferrell is actually shooting the ball better in Big Ten play than in the non-conference, coming in at 46.3 percent, with his 25 makes in league games three more than second-place Malik Smith of Minnesota.

IU women’s watch
With a winning record for 2013-14 already clinched and the 2014 recruiting class already in the bag, it’s not too soon to take a peak at Curt Miller’s 2015 recruiting class for the Hoosiers, which currently consists solely of Bedford North Lawrence’s Jenna Allen. The 6-foot-3 Allen is averaging 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting 64 percent from the field and 85 percent from the free throw line for the Stars, who are 18-1 and ranked second in the state of Indiana in Class 4A. The reigning 4A state champs will begin defense of their title Tuesday against Floyd Central in the Jennings County sectional.

7 comments

  1. Is Blackmon as good as Nebraska’s Petteway? His recruitment reminds me a lot of days when we were fighting to put Eric Gordon in candy stripes. And much like the year EJ arrived, it appears we could have one-and-done showstopper but still have a team missing some vital elements to be true NCAA contenders. Of course, EJ had the entire Sampson mess to deal with while playing on team he basically needed to carry on most nights. With no Luke Fischer as insurance for some legit inside presence, Vonleh going pro would be the complete collapse of any ideas a “bridge year” before shooters/Blackmon arrive.

    Saturday’s game against the Gophers looks to be an even greater challenge after Minnesota suffers an extremely tough, triple OT, loss @ Purdue last night. Difficult enough to win on the road in this league without the extra unfortunate timing of facing a hungry team ready to release their pent-up hostilities from the previous contest’s frustrations/anger. Both teams desperately need a win to stay the pace with the middle of the Big 10 pack and keep NCAA hopes alive.

    Arguably the biggest game of the year on Saturday night. Even with a loss, it’s not impossible to get back into the race. But two games below .500 at this stage of the conference season/standings would certainly put our backs against the wall.

  2. I’m not against letting kids play, but what the Big 10 refs let A.J. Hammons get away with last night is simply shameful..The swallowing of the home team whistles at Hackme Arena has never lived up to its reputation more than the total disgrace to the league that was allowed to go on for 55 minutes last night…Hammons would have fouled out three times in any other conservatively officiated setting. Chicken wings, pushes to the back, over-the-back, hooking while making an offensive move, hacking at arms while going for defensive boards…You name it, he got away with it.

    There needs to be an NCAA investigation…There can be no other explanation but an underground mafia element that controls the men in stripes in West Lafayette. It’s akin to the mob infiltrating police departments…Violent crimes of basketball are witnessed in blatant view a TV-viewing public while the men entrusted to protect evenly, fairly, and justly all participants simply turn their back to assaults committed by the cohorts in crime wearing black and gold. Something needs done….

    Where is the same overcompensation to erase any thoughts of biased officiating that we continually witness at Assembly Hall? At Assembly, we often get very questionable whistles blown against Hoosiers as if in purposeful exaggeration a reverse tendency for anything that could be perceived as home cookin’ for the candy stripes…Does this go back to Knight? This many years distanced from zero tolerance and the refs are still hearing Bobby in their “let’s be fair” ears? I see whistles blown against Hoosiers in Assembly that would normally go uncalled at the most hostile of road environments(except @ HackMe Mackey, of course)…The messages sent from Assembly always seem to want to assure a viewing public that no biased shenanigans will be tolerated at Bloomington…Where’s the culturally accepted rule for Mackey?

    I just don’t understand it. What causes such grips on referrers at West Lafayette that’s simply not present anywhere else in the college basketball landscape? Are there black Chrysler 300’s with tinted windows parked outside a referee’s family home when they are assigned a game at Purdue?

  3. Jeremy, while I appreciate the information about our lone 2015 verbale womens recruit, Jenna Allen, what about information about next year’s incoming class? Most women’s team followers are aware of Tyra Buss’s amazing accomplishments, how about updates about the other 3 which we never hear about, Maura Muensterman, Amanda Cahill and Jessica Walter? As a women’s season ticket holder, I would really like to learn more about these girls! Please help.

    1. MikeC,
      I hear your continual complaints, but as I’ve noted before, this is a piece that also runs in the paper product and has limited space. I have put multiple notes regarding the women’s signees in this feature, but doing game-by-game updates on them is not in the cards. I’ll see if Mike might be interested in throwing together such a post in the future. I also suggest if you have the time, feel free to google these players. There have been several features written about them in their local papers, some of which I’ve linked from here at one time or another. As girls’ team begin the postseason, getting info on what they are doing will also be easier to find, so that may help also.

  4. MikeC-

    I understand your frustrations, but you can also act as a passionate informer…You could express your interest and do research…You could place links to news stories about some of the recruits you have already become familiar.

    I’m not saying to do Jeremy’s job(and doesn’t Mike Miller officially cover the women’s program?), but there is nothing stopping you from posting multiple paragraphs expressing your heartfelt passion for a rising women’s basketball program.

    Complaining is fine, but I remember Geoff talking of future Hoosiers for our men’s squad long before they were getting a lot of coverage on Scoop. And I do believe I spent months talking of Remy Abell before there was much chatter by journalists and Scooper alike.

    Where HT coverage sometimes lacks, you could fill a temporary void. Let us know about these future Hoosier women’s team stars…Tell us what you like about their game…Express what you enjoy about attending games…Tell us what’s different and how you feel the product is undervalued. Is the game more fundamentally pure at the women’s level? Has the freakish athleticism not taken over to the point of allowing well-coached underdogs chances at victory that gradually erodes our men’s March Madness product? Have the recruiting wars and the one-and-done hype machines not totally corrupted the women’s side of college hoops? Should we raise the height of the men’s basket? Do we need to somehow reinvent the men’s college basketball product because it’s driving force is so in bed with the influence of boosters and the NBA product?

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