IU outlasts Rutgers 79-72

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The Big Ten opener that Indiana had been waiting for nearly became an afternoon to forget.

The Hoosiers had to sweat out a 79-72 win over Rutgers on Wednesday, using a series of well-timed 3-pointers to overcome one of their sloppiest games to date.

Rutgers produced a whopping 37 points off a season-high 23 Indiana turnovers, and the final result may have been different had the Scarlet Knights not missed so many of their uncontested layup attempts off dribble penetration.

Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams and Robert Johnson combined for 18 of those turnovers for IU, which relied on Max Bielfeldt for some of its best offensive production.

Bielfeldt tied a career high with 18 points for the Hoosiers, while setting a new career best with 14 rebounds. Ferrell added 20 points and Williams scored 10 points for Indiana, which has won six games in a row. Collin Hartman added nine points on three 3-pointers while starting for injured guard James Blackmon Jr, who missed Wednesday’s game with a knee injury.

The Hoosiers travel to Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Indiana led by as many as 12 points midway through the first half before a series of mistakes and missed shots allowed Rutgers to run back and tie it at 34-all by halftime. The Hoosiers missed open 3-pointers — going 4-for-13 from beyond the arc to start the game — and played one of its sloppiest halves of the season. IU committed five turnovers over the final 2:11 of the half, as Rutgers closed the period on a 9-0 run.

The Scarlet Knights claimed their first lead of the game at 44-43 four minutes into the second half on a 3-pointer by Corey Sanders. But IU answered with an 11-0 run over the next three minutes, creating a 10-point cushion through a flurry of 3s from Bielfeldt, Ferrell and walk-on forward Ryan Burton. It forced Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan to call timeout and created critical separation midway through the period.

Rutgers cut as close as six points twice over the final three minutes, but IU did enough at the free throw line to hold on.

While the Hoosiers prevailed, it was a rough conference debut for center Thomas Bryant. The freshman fell into early foul trouble before picking up his fifth personal with five minutes remaining in regulation. He finished with only three points in six minutes.

Johnson, who has been tied closely to IU’s fortunes over recent weeks, had his worst game of the season after finishing scoreless with five turnovers.

This story will be updated.

38 comments

  1. Same old fools gold. Yes, we won the game but, 23 turnovers for the team, 18 of them by the 3 principle ball handlers in the game. Ferrell 6, Johnson 5 and old reliable Troy Williams leading with 7. Williams is a turnover looking for a place to happen! Great performance by Bielfeldt with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Hartman and Anunoby played great and so did Morgan while he was in there. Both freshmen deserve more minutes! Also had an unexpected terrific effort from Ryan Burton. The bottom line is, if we don’t stop these excessive turnovers, we will not finish near the top of the conference! Williams needs to stay near the baseline where he is incredibly effective and quit handling the ball. You would think that after 3 years the “coach” would have him do what he does well and leave the rest of it alone? Every time he handles the ball, I cringe.

  2. Should have beating this team by 40!! To many turnovers,can’t keep turning the ball over moving forward like we did today 23 is uncalled for!!

  3. We’ll take the win but sure doesn’t bode well for the season unless we make some serious strides. I’m just really concerned that the development of this program seems to be stymied at best and maybe even regressing. Team does not appear to be responding effectively to coaches and is not playing with any appreciable degree of cohesion. We’re now in conference play and its a tough conference. At this point, not sure we’ll make the tournament.

  4. Ugly win. The turnovers are gonna kill us once we get into the heart of the schedule. I am also waiting for the first time we go 3 straight defensive possessions without letting their guards run right by our perimeter defenders. I used to think Blackmon was the worst at keeping his man in front of him – but things were just as bad today without him on the floor.

  5. I’m a long time IU fan, after watching the win today I’d say it was one of the poorest played games I’ve ever seen. Crean’s first two teams didn’t have anything close to the talent as does this ’15 Hoosiers team and yet I see little effort. Worse I see little desire to cut down on these horrendous turnovers IU has game in and game out. I’m afraid the team is more a collection of individuals than it is a collective team. Troy Williams needs to float on the wing and baseline and stop trying to initiate play from the top. Max B needs to start and for the love of Pete would someone teach Thomas Bryant to keep his hands off other players! Let’s get a coach, mgr, local fan….someone to teach Bryant at least two post moves. I’ve not seen any moves a solid post player needs. Robert Johnson had a lousy game but I hope that was an exception & not the rule. I don’t get it. IU has talent but little molding of the talent. I hope to see some significant growth and improvement versus Nebraska on Saturday. Still a fan, but you’re making it hard to do so. Go Hoosiers!

  6. Not sure of my methodology but looking at TOs.

    Yogi gave IU 20 points, but gave Rutgers 6 points on his TOs.
    Troy gave IU 10 points, but gave R 11 points on his TOs.
    Bryant gave IU 3 points, but gave R 3 points on his TOs.
    Johnson gave IU 0 points, but gave R 8 points on his TOs.

    Johnson is usually a steady player. Not sure what happened tonight. As IU23 noted it seems minimal improvement so far this season.

    Is it time for Yogi, Blackmon & Troy to come off the bench? Drop in points – for both teams & maybe some defense. Bryant still learning, he’ll be OK down the road. Game continuity? CTC made 18 substitutions first half and upped his game to 21 in the second. Nervous energy? And Troy’s drives, bet anything CTC is wanting those.

    Looking forward to future games – with a great deal of hesitation – & concern.

  7. Look at the Big Ten so far. MSU lost ugly at Iowa, Purdue squeezed out a win at Wisky (who have lost 4 or 5 home games, when was the last time that happened), and Maryland just barely beat Penn St AT HOME. The Big Ten conference is a fickle bitch get your wins when you can how you can and remember it isn’t always going to be pretty nor does it have to be.

  8. Hoosier 1992. As usual spoken with the loser mentality. Please watch the games before you add your observations. IU is not improving and keep making the same mistakes. MSU is without their best player but they will get better. Wiscy just lost their coach and much of their team from last year. Rutgers is garbage on fire and we looked pathetic against them. Watch the games.

  9. It’s great to see they pulled out the win.

    This is the first year that I can remember where I’m disinterested in the Hoosiers men’s basketball team. Something just doesn’t feel right, can’t really explain it. I’m still rooting for the men’s team, but I just can’t get excited enough to watch them.

    Go Hoosiers

  10. I’ve been on the road all day today and was hoping to catch the game on replay. Nope. Don’t care to watch it.

    23 turnovers against a KenPom #245 team is…..I’m completely out of adjectives.

    I am just hoping that Tom Crean books a long fishing trip with Chip Kelly sooner rather than later.

  11. I think the only hope for this team to be any good lies in the hands of the three freshmen. Before the season is over, the best team on the floor will include Morgan, Anunoby and Bryant. Whether that team will be good enough….

  12. Rich #12,

    You may be on to something, Rich. Based on Bielfeldt’s play today, you might add him to the group. Hartman, too. As to defense, that looks about like the best we’ll play all year. We just seem incapable of learning how to raise the level of our defensive play to a much higher standard game in and game out, befitting a top 10 team. So at best, IU will finish in the middle of the pack in the Big 10 this year. Sad. Disappointing. Incredible. But true.

  13. Really, JeffH have to resort to name calling. I guess that is the mentality on this board. Anytime some shows just a smidge of support someone on here has to resort to name calling like we are in the third grade. I guess that shows your mental maturity. Go over to the Purdue boards and they are saying some of the same things fans on here are saying about that squeeker at Wisconsin. Also, Wisconsin was ranked just below IU in the preseason so there wasn’t that big of a dropoff. So maybe do your homework before commenting.

  14. Rich,

    Add Burton to the group, too. So Hartman, Morgan, Anunoby, Bielfeldt, and Burton with Bryant coming off the bench. How about that for the starting line-up for our next game? At least those five seem to handle the ball reasonably well unless I missed something.

  15. It would take the coldest frozen day in hell for Crean to not allocate majority of minutes to Blackmon, Williams, Ferrell, and Bryant. This was an easy game to play the bench card. When the brightest lights come with higher profile/prime time games, this coach will never bench the aforementioned names(as long as they’re injury free).

    And, in all honesty, this team disintegrates without the best talent(whether, or not, that comes with nights of inconsistency and excessive turnovers) on the floor. This team is a bigger disaster without patience given to Bryant. It dies an even faster death without Williams and Blackmon always in the mix. These are guys with a level of talent that will always command more patience despite the unforced turnovers, reduced basketball acumen, defensive lapses…or simply trying to do too much at times.

    We didn’t ask for ‘Butler ball’ with Crean…We asked for trapeze acts and frantic pace. The greatest asset of any Crean team will be in its sporadic nature and its ability to score in spurts within the general ‘confusion by design.’

    A win is a win. O.G. Anunoby = Jim Thomas

  16. Walt,

    That sounds good to me. At worst they would be bad in a (completely?) different way. At least we’d see something different.

  17. I’d rather watch “My Three Sons” than any game featuring extended minutes of Burton, Hartman, and Maximum Bedfelt.

    Furthest thing from a Crean apologist, but please don’t take us back to Pritchard, Finkelmeier, and Danny Boy.

    Play the talent. When the ‘confusion by design’ product predictably shows its flaws in March, go shop for a new coach. But, please…..no “My Three Sons” basketball. We had our Milan…Let’s not play into that stereotype. This is the state of Oscar Robertson. It’s more than backboards on barns…Alford ball don’t work in this age of speed and athleticism. It stopped working for Knight …and it most certainly will never work with a coach having half the basketball X’s and O’s creativity.

  18. Prediction: IU vs. Nortwestern……Game goes down to wire when they play at IU. Nortwestern pulls it out in overtime 77 to73

  19. Rich # 18,

    Glad you have a sense of light-heartedness and humor. Taking this game and blog too seriously can be dangerous to one’s health.

  20. More Troy!!!!! Why do we have to sit him? He’s young, and not too fat… Seems to be in good shape… Crean needs to play him at least 39 minutes a game.

  21. As one blogger alluded, something don’t feel right. Can’t get into watching this team this year. Same mistakes once again. Seems as if this team is playing just to play and nobody cares anymore for the most part. Either CTC has lost the team or the team gave up on him. Possibly both. Disgruntled for certain.

  22. Geoff is jealous of Troy because he has more potential than Dipo will ever know.

    Of course, Geoff was also very high on ambi-Stan. Sometimes people get very attached to their favorite ballers.
    ‘coach v’ hasn’t participated on Scoop since his favorite Hoosier in long white stockings, Max Hoetzel, left town.

    More Troy, indeed. Crean was hired for the exact reason we have unbelievably gifted high flying ballers like Troy Williams. It’s all about the ‘upside.’

    If you want to watch more Hartman and Bedfelt, just watch a stronger coached version of this sort of talent over at Butler.

    Somebody hired Crean…and it wasn’t for Butler ball. We already watched how far that goes with Zeller and Hulls(a much better version of Bedfelt and Burton).

    Play the talent. These East Coast trapeze artists are essential to the Crean product. The high level Indiana-type basketball acumen is wasted on Crean.

  23. So Thomas Bryant is supposedly this big highly sought after stud coming out of high school. I have seen many more big freshmen who will make mincemeat of him. Not only is he physically immature, but mentally also. Robert Johnson and Troy Williams should have been taken out and put on the end of the bench. I always try to be optimistic, but I hate the way we play, and have decided things will not change until Crean leaves. He doesn’t have a clue how to teach defense. We have talent, but are embarrassing to watch.

  24. This is for the women’s game against Yale since the site has been shut down.Good to see more ball movement and balanced scoring. Makes us a better team. I wonder about comments on how we’ll be much bigger next year. Foresman will offset loss of Lindsay then we’ll have a 6 foot girl and a six foot one girl to go along with a five foot seven Elbert. Don’t see how that makes a much bigger team. We seem to have two camps, 1 too negative and one living in Disneyland.

  25. “Troy…has more potential than Dipo will ever know.”

    That was meant as a joke, right? I haven’t seen anything to indicate Troy can even play in the NBA let alone thrive.

  26. Why can I post on mens site and not womens? Every time things get a little controversial you shut womens site down but mens site has negative comments on almost every post. Hear of title 9?

  27. Chet – I think it’s like a double-tongue-in-cheek thing… I was clearly being sarcastic, but then Harv “doubled down” with his pro-establishment-recruit hype. He just saw me trolling and didn’t want me to feel alone. (I’m sure Troy will be a high lottery pick who starts from day 1 and averages 15/4/4 through his first 3 years…)

  28. Can anyone imagine Troy Williams committing his type of turnovers seven times and still playing at the end of the game with any top 20 coach in the country? Can anyone imagine him trying to drive the length of the court through three defenders a SECOND time if Knight were his coach. But he deserves lesser blame because he is not the one permitting this to be a part of his play over and over game after game. This young man could be such a good college player with the right coach telling him if he is more than 15 feet from the basket on offense he is coming out of the game. I am as loyal as they come but what a terrible display of basketball that was yesterday afternoon.

  29. Dipo’s numbers are fading as I predicted. Unlike IU, Orlando now has a quality coach that will make the appropriate decisions to help his team win.

    The most ridiculous comments ever made on this blog were by some that compared a guy that went high on an weak draft year to the most versatile and clutch player to ever play the game. I would consider Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics a bigger performer on the big stage.

    Troy Williams has the potential to be an incredible scoring machine at the next level. The college game is to restrictive. He also needs a coach that’s not a headcase. A calm and businesslike coach that has “been there, done that” on the hardwood(e.g. Scott Skiles) would provide the start of a better environment to help the young man utilize his skills and the motor. Troy’s athleticism is simply ahead of his basketball thought process.

    Who hired Tom Crean and why did he recruit these sort of trapeze acts if we don’t want them on the floor. Christ, people never stopped drooling over Perea’s “NBA” frame and wingspan as if it made him the next Hakeem the Dream. Perea couldn’t trip his way to finding a shadow of the skills in Troy Williams’ game. If Crean could be allowed to play Perea(until only an off-the-court issue forced him out of Bloomington), then we can surely make good on living the East Coast Establishment experiments in our forever search of the next D-Wade……or, dare I say it, mini mj.

  30. I just watched Crean’s post-game. Why do you ask? I feel like I need to understand exactly what it is that has turned our program beyond just the who. Like we knoiw George Lucas ruined the Star Wars prequels, but how he did it was even more fascinating.

    My expectations for this coach are so low, they need spelunking gear. And this press conference was staggering even by those standards. I think Crean is the one that leads the Indiana Hoosiers in deflections. Building Eddie Jordan up as a tremendous coach, while also setting up the Scarlet Knights as a team with considerable firepower. Well, by those standards, we’re lucky that we not only got a win, but no one died.

    Phew. Let’s get this season over so we can all mutually part ways.

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