Ferrell, Bryant help IU to 79-69 win at Nebraska #iubb

LINCOLN, Neb. — Thomas Bryant was there to start it and Yogi Ferrell helped finish.

Indiana made a habit of feeding its big man before its senior point guard helped create separation late in the Hoosiers’ 79-69 win over Nebraska on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Ferrell led all scorers with 24 points, while Bryant finished one point shy of tying his career high with 19 points in an impressive bounce-back performance. The victory gives Indiana its seventh consecutive win ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Wisconsin.

After foul trouble left him with only six minutes of action in Wednesday’s Big Ten opener, Bryant responded with a strong start against the Cornhuskers. Indiana made a concerted effort of feeding the freshman center in the low post, and Bryant rewarded the focus with a 4-for-4 start from the field.

It was important production through an uneven opening half for the Hoosiers, who were left to match baskets with Nebraska over the first 20 minutes. Turnovers were once again an issue early in the contest, but after committing eight errors in the first half, Indiana had six in the second.

It was tidier basketball all around from Indiana, which bit into its 39-36 halftime deficit with another steady dose of feeds to Bryant underneath the basket.

He was equally part of the plan to begin the second half, scoring seven of IU’s first nine points of the period before yielding to Ferrell. The senior point guard accounted for eight of IU’s points during a 15-4 run that gave the Hoosiers a 65-53 lead midway through the second half.

Sophomore guard James Blackmon Jr. sat for the second consecutive game with a right knee injury. Blackmon was wearing sweats while he stood on the sideline during IU’s pregame warmups, and appeared to have either a bulky brace or a large pack of ice under his right pant leg.

Collin Hartman once again started in Blackmon’s place, finishing with three points and three rebounds. Indiana received continued production off the bench from OG Anunoby, who shot 4-for-4 from the field on the way to a career-high 11 points.

Four Huskers scored in double figures, but leading scorers Andrew White and Shavon Shields never had a chance to take over. White, the league’s fifth-leading scorer, finished with 16 points, while Shields couldn’t settle in on the way to 10 points. The two Nebraska standouts combined to finish 8-for-23.

As IU struggled from the free throw line late in the second half — the Hoosiers went 14-for-23 on the day — Nebraska inched as close as five points in the final minute.

But Indiana held on, thanks in large part to big days from its freshman center and senior point guard.

This story will be updated.

17 comments

  1. First of all, Go Big Red! We earned another important road conference win. Not a great win, but a game we could ill-afford to lose.

    Secondly, this game once again showed how good and how bad Indiana can be. Often in the span of a few minutes. I’ll leave the Xs and Os to the experts, but the feel of the game was that IU expected to win, got comfortable and/or sloppy and lazy when they were up, but didn’t panic when they’re down or when the cheeks got tight again. It’s an uneasy feeling, those cheeks.

  2. It’s nice to see the IU close one out on the road although the Huskers shot themselves in the foot more than once coming down to the wire. Anunoby is showing great progress and should get more playing time.

  3. Any time you win a Big Ten game on the road, it is a good win. Having said that, IU needs to learn to shoot free throws down the stretch. I counted six missed FTs in the final 4+ minutes of the game. That’s terrible, and it made the game closer than it should have been. NE is not a good BB team, but I did see IU playing solid (not great, but not bad) defense for most of the second half. Winning two consecutive road games should be a confidence booster. I’ll take it.

  4. Yogi took charge. That’s what a Point Guard and “leader” does. He is and has been the player on this team upon whom Wins and Losses hinge. Even when he doesn’t score, his penetration, passes and defense make a difference for the team collectively and individually. Good Road Win with Bryant and Anunoby playing well but if Yogi isn’t there, IU loses.

  5. Podunker, correct, any win on the road is GREAT! That being said, Crean continues to confuse me more and more? Only 11 minutes of play for Anunoby, really? How can this be, Crean mentioned 3 games ago about how good Anunoby’s defense is and if you watch him closely, he really gets in his man’s face! For a team that plays such poor defense, you would think he would get more time especially when you see what an asset he has been offensively in the last two games! Just a thought here but, Williams, 27 minuets of play; 8 points on 4 of 7 shooting, 0 fo1 from 3, 4 personal fouls, 5 rebounds and of course lead the team with 4 turnovers! Anunoby, 11 minutes of play; 4 for 4 from the field including 1 for 1 from 3, 0 personal fouls, 3 rebounds 1 steal and 0 turnovers. Lets see, who seems to be the most efficient? Just sayin……It is absolutely ridiculous that Anunoby is only getting 11 minutes! Crean is coaching like Stevie Wonder, he obviously can’t see what is happening on the floor??

  6. OG & Morgan need to play more at the expense of Blackmon and Troy. Period. This has been well documented on this site since Maui. OG had only 3 RB, which surprised me because he seemed to have 10…..so the 3 must’ve been big ones.

    2-0 is a good start against the Big 10 bottom feeders. The team is improving & that is because of the bench: Bielfeldt, OG, Morgan, Ziesloft, etc…

    I just wished this team cared about getting good possessions. Still too many TOs and bad shots at key times. Up 4 twice & under 5 min. & we take a quick 3 & push the ball into a TO. Not to mention the missed FTs.

  7. MikeC, I completely agree that OG has earned more minutes on the floor with each passing game. But where do they come from? Who do you take out? In the first half, it was Troy. He was less reckless and more efficiently productive in the second half after some fairly lengthy pine time. Maybe a lightbulb went back on. Maybe it was just an aberration.

    Maybe you give the minutes to someone else. But who? We just never know. Crean gets a lot of flack for his multiple substitutions, (and quite often rightfully so,) but what do you do when you don’t know who’s going to show up? Troy, Rob, Max, Colin, Nick, or someone else? And how then does Juwan fit into the picture? Or Burton? Or… well, we get the point.

    That’s the heartburn with this team– you never know where production is going to come from. It’s both a blessing and a curse So many capable players, so little consistency. It’s comforting to know that our “reserves” can pick up the slack for our “starters,” but it’s equally concerning that our starters can’t be relied on far too often. And even then, can they play as a unit?

    Aside from Yogi, OG seems to have the best motor. And he just makes plays. If he learns to finish at the rim a little better, look out! With all the hot and cold shooters/players we have, maybe it’s time to figure out how much mileage we can get out of that motor and leave the rest up to the hot hands.

  8. Punjab, it’s simple to me, with the production he has shown on the road, OG needs more minutes period! As you say, other than Yogi, no one plays with the motor that OG does. And not only is his motor on high, he is incredibly efficient! By playing him more minutes, Crean sends the message that when you play defense the way OG does and are as efficient as OG is, you play! What more do you need to say. Minutes are earned by his example on the floor.

  9. OG absolutely needs more minutes. The point is, it’s not that simple determining where they come from. One day it’s Troy, one day it’s Bryant, the next it’s Hartman or JBJ or Max, and so on. We can only see what happens on game day. I’ve no doubt it varies even more from day to day in practice.

    As a freshman, we don’t know how long OG’s motor can run. Maybe he’s only good for 10-15 minutes a game. Maybe more. We need to find out before the schedule gets real hairy. I hope it’s a diesel. We need his consistency.

    In the meantime, we have guys at least as capable who go in spurts. Either they’re on carry the team with all-around play, or they’re turnover machines who just cost us possessions. Either they dominate the post, or they can’t go 2 minutes without fouling. Either they’re on fire, or can’t hit the side of a barn. Saying we need to play OG more is easy. It’s determining who to sit that’s more difficult.

  10. Spot on AZ… We are actually better right now (without JBJ)… Certainly much more palatable to watch. Troy still turns it over at the same rate, but seems like coaching staff had a talk with him and lessened his role. He is perfectly effective as a slasher and garbage guy… The last thing we need is him initiating offense.

    Z > JBJ
    OG > Troy
    Traditional PF/C line up > 4 guard (for this team)

    This is more of what we need… We can actually improve and win with this type of line up and effort.

  11. Clicking on “Doc Libby’s Crossover” = Dipo’s game of late

    Hampton, VA (Future150) — If basketball is measured by long-term success, then you would have to say that the state of Indiana is the measuring stick for the rest of country. The residents of the Hoosier State love their basketball like the people of the southeast love their SEC football. Tom Crean, the head coach of the #1 preseason ranked Hoosiers, inherited a program in disarray, and in just three short years, has turned the program completely around.

    (link to follow)

    After beating eventual National Champion Kentucky at home last season on a three-point buzzer beating shot by Christian Watford, It seems like that singular moment propelled the Hoosiers into the national spotlight again, and it has helped them with their recruiting.

    Fast forward to today and the Indiana Hoosiers have picked up small forward Troy Williams, the #23 ranked player in the country, according the Future150 national rankings. Williams is a 6-foot-6 inch, 200-pound scoring machine from the wing position. He is a tenacious defender and rebounds extremely well for his size. On the fast break, he’s a highlight reel waiting to happen.

    Dont look for the Hoosiers to stop now. The future is bright for the state of Indiana going forward, as their recruiting is only going to get stronger in the coming years.

    You guys drank too much eggnog. This team will be flat and more dull than “has been” Butler hoops if you reduce Troy and Blackmon to role/bench players.. It’s not happening anyway. It may sometimes appear as better basketball(especially against cupcakes and bottom-feeding Big 10 teams), when you bench the supreme;y athletic guys closest to playing at the next level in favor of the methodical and controlled designs of a game with Max Bedfelt and the lightning speed of Nickie Buckets of Cement in Shoes, but it ain’t going to help get deep in March ….

    This is merely a ploy to hurt Crean in recruiting the NBAers of the future that the Dukes of the world treat as roster experiments not worth the investment or risk. If you kill Tom Crean from taking chances and allocating court time to these fabulous talents with NBA potential/frames/speed/leaping ability/scoring eruptions, then you kill his entire ability to stay relevant as a coach? So what’s the point? Sure, Troy and Blackmon often make us pull our hair out with their clumsy b-ball acumen and reckless erratic play..But they are also more than often mesmerizing in jaw-dropping ability and phenomenal basketball moves)albeit the chances of games where it’s operating hand-in-hand with jaw-dropping blunders and demoralizing miscues),. But if you make this level of talent and NBA potential feel overly scrutinized because it doesn’t fit a style in disciplined formats that the basketball purist desires, then Crean loses his entire appeal.

    Are the certainties of better execution with Jordy Hulls wearing Max Hoetzel white stockings so improved with a mediocre coach(and the chances of winning against a much higher level of athletic competition against upper tier BIG teams and those will see in March Madness) to throw away the desires of the next D-Wade to take a chance on Indiana and Tom Crean?

    I think it’s very unfair to recruit these young phenoms under false pretense and then bench them when the heat now is coming to Crean’s doorstep…..There was never an attempt to bring Butler-style ball under a coach that has never proven to be anything other than an NBA beauty pageant judge.. I can fully understand how Tory’s mom feels….The experimentation in minutes for Oladipo and Perea…and Ambi-Stan were just peachy fine when Crean was riding high on the wings of Zeller and “Movements”…and preseason #1 rankings….

    But now it’s bench the talent in favor of safe basketball that gets us the supremely exciting ball of grad transfers and Michigan drifters? Why? So the dimwits in caddyshack committees can build more illusions that it can all work under the expertise of this coach? It doesn’t work all!..It won’t even work to a first weekend in the Big Dance or a Sweet 16 level without Crean being able to lure the experiments that Duke, UNC, Kansas, MSU…will not waste a roster spot. If you are not willing to play Troy or JBJ, then why on earth extend the misery and make-believe that this coach can function at IU without those types of players looking to him for their shot at the next level? They make Crean relevant. That is our only national “glass half full” relevance, folks….And if Crean can’t be relevant within the parameters a coach that will never set the world on fire in the X’s and O’s of the game, then why prolong the inevitable?

  12. oops….didn’t get everything in blockquotes intended.

    Hampton, VA (Future150) — If basketball is measured by long-term success, then you would have to say that the state of Indiana is the measuring stick for the rest of country. The residents of the Hoosier State love their basketball like the people of the southeast love their SEC football. Tom Crean, the head coach of the #1 preseason ranked Hoosiers, inherited a program in disarray, and in just three short years, has turned the program completely around.

    After beating eventual National Champion Kentucky at home last season on a three-point buzzer beating shot by Christian Watford, It seems like that singular moment propelled the Hoosiers into the national spotlight again, and it has helped them with their recruiting.

    Fast forward to today and the Indiana Hoosiers have picked up small forward Troy Williams, the #23 ranked player in the country, according the Future150 national rankings. Williams is a 6-foot-6 inch, 200-pound scoring machine from the wing position. He is a tenacious defender and rebounds extremely well for his size. On the fast break, he’s a highlight reel waiting to happen.

    Dont look for the Hoosiers to stop now. The future is bright for the state of Indiana going forward, as their recruiting is only going to get stronger in the coming years.

    And here’s the link: https://future150.com/hs/basketball-news/creen-gets-his-man-williams

  13. Good things happen when you feed the post. Bryant has shot 81% over the last 4 games. O.G. is a pleasant positive even if/when he doesn’t add lots of offense. He plays D on a team that is shy of it on too many possessions. Also brings the energy and hustle needed to keep the team playing with a focus on tempo. He also gives TC an option when TW goes brain dead, fumble fingered or disinterested in his tole. Crean is now forced to give him more PT.

  14. Regarding Bryant, he gets the shackles of the refs by being a Big 10 freshman center. Some of the fouls called on this kid are insane. I saw the same last year with Haas at Purdue. Often Bryant is completely vertical or merely bumps someone, who also bumps him, for rebounds. He gets the foul. He’s the freshman, known now for fouling, because the refs have been calling phantom fouls on him. He’s in the “Teddy Valentine Vortex.” He does foul stupidly, on occasion, but you get my point.

    Regarding Iowa, this team can play & that’s a result of 3 Sr. In the lineup. Four year players win in this league and that is proven year to year. Wisconsin & MSU typically have those 2 or 3 Srs. that are the difference in a long, grind-it-out 18 game season. For Iowa to beat Purdue on the road 50-26 in the 2H was remarkable. McCaffery is a helluva coach, going to an extended zone & then a 3/4 court trap against purdue’s questionable backcourt. He laid the blueprint of how to beat Purdue last night.

  15. It is amazing how good this team plays with JBJ and Captian Turnover on the bench ! I caught my self really enjoying the team playing as a team with Yogi running the show . CTC seems to listen to his staff more than usual . I really liked when he decided not to play Troy much in the second half and lose but keep OG on the floor and have a chance to win, It won’t last because when anyone but JBJ or Troy scores CTC benches them to cool them off ZIESLOFT,HARTMAN , OG,AND MORGAN all have had it done to them many times. IF WE HAD A COACH WE WOULD BE PRETTY GOOD ! Let’s keep those deflections up !!!!! GO HOOSIERS !

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