Indiana runs past Illinois, 103-69, on Ferrell’s big night

By the end of a night that belonged to himself, Yogi Ferrell marked the occasion with a pose of triumph.

It was a moment that began with Tom Crean, who grabbed the wrist of his senior point guard as he walked off the floor for a final time in No. 25 Indiana’s 103-69 drubbing of Illinois, raising it high in the air to signal the end of a one-sided prize fight.

“I didn’t know he was going to do that,” Ferrell said with a smile. “I thought he was just trying to give me a handshake.”

No, after becoming Indiana’s all-time leader in assists, Ferrell deserved much more. So the announced crowd of 17,472 at Assembly Hall stood and howled at the sight of the smiling coach and player, cheering the lasting snapshot of an evening of basketball domination.

First, there was Ferrell, who entered play only two helpers shy of breaking Michael Lewis’ career assists record of 545. Ferrell charged his way past Lewis with nine assists — two shy of his single-game best —and set the tone for a night of crisp and effective ball movement.

Some of those Ferrell passes found open shooters on the perimeter, and by the end of the game, Ferrell’s record wasn’t the only one on Indiana’s ledger. The Hoosiers hit 19 3-pointers — the most ever by a Big Ten team in conference play, and the most for a team in Assembly Hall.

They also recorded 27 assists — the most ever in a conference game by an IU team coached by Crean.

In a contest during which they never trailed, the Hoosiers made another emphatic statement about their plans to stick atop the Big Ten standings.

“We’ve got a bullseye on our back being the No. 1 team in the Big Ten now,” said Ferrell, who finished with 16 points in IU’s 11th consecutive win. “We’ve got to take it day-by-day. We definitely can’t let up now, especially. Every day’s going to be a process for us. Even though we’ve set a standard for where we want to be and where we’ve met, we want to push that standard up for us. We want to be great.”

On Tuesday, they were. There was no doubt about that.

Troy Williams led the Hoosiers with 21 points, Max Bielfeldt added 16 points and Rob Johnson finished with 13 points for Indiana, which posted its largest margin of victory over a Big Ten opponent at home since 1992.

The win continues a strong start to conference play for the Hoosiers (16-3, 6-0), and marks only the third time in the last 23 years that the program has won each of its first six Big Ten games.

Ferrell, of course, made the night what it was. He broke Lewis’ record at the 11:19 mark of the first half, dishing a no-look pass to Max Bielfeldt, who finished with an easy layup.

“I got $20 for you,” Ferrell said to Bielfeldt later, laughing at the idea that his classmate should deserve a prize for his role on the other end of history. “No, I’m just joking, I’m not going to give him $20. I’m a broke college kid.”

And while his college career is nearing its end, Ferrell is playing at his highest sustained level. Assembly Hall public address announced Chuck Crabb made sure the folks who packed into the building Tuesday recognized as much, taking a moment during the under-12 media timeout to offer a salute to Ferrell.

“With two assists this evening, No. 11 Yogi Ferrell has become Indiana’s all-time leader in assists,” Crabb said.

The crowd roared — one of the many cheers this Indiana team deserved.

IU never trailed Tuesday, racing ahead and doing what it was supposed to do against one of the Big Ten’s most unstable teams. Although a 10-0 run midway through the first half got the Illini within one point at 22-21, it was the closest the visitors inched all night.

The Hoosiers responded to that Illinois threat with a 16-2 run that carried them to a 42-25 halftime lead. From there, all that was left were the final 20 minutes, and a few moments to celebrate a team — led by its senior point guard — that is finally hitting its stride.

“We’ve got a lot of basketball left,” Crean said. “We’ve got a lot of games left … but if (Ferrell) stays on this path of continuing to improve the way that he is and keeps that work ethic that way, he’ll leave with a really strong legacy.”

And he might just help carry the Hoosiers exactly where they want to go.

42 comments

  1. Little hiccup there, Mr. Miller. 3rd Big Ten game at home; there was the one point squeaker over Wisconsin. All in good fun.

  2. An important stat: Troy Williams = 0 Turnovers.

    I haven’t watched the game yet. Going to watch on replay later tonight. Hammering Illinois, no matter how bad they are, still feels great. Would have felt better if Bruce Webber was still on the sidelines. I still hate that guy!

  3. We looked good again tonight, no doubt. A lot of things clicking from off the bench, still! Bielfeldt, Ziesloft, OG….

    That said Illinois looked completely disinterested at both ends. They suck, except at home.

    I’ll bet we don’t score what Illinois scored on Sat. Who did NW tick off? at MD & at IU back to back?!?!

  4. Wow, only six (before this one) comments made about this game? All the Crean-haters must really be miserable tonight. Nothing like a winning streak and a blow-out victory to ruin the narrative. Yes, Illinois was lousy, but putting up 103 and winning by 34 against a Big Ten team that beat Purdue? Not bad for a team coached by a “Clown”/ “Cheerleader”/ “Walk-on” coach. 7 – 0 and still in first place in the conference. But don’t worry guys, I’m sure IU will lose eventually.

  5. 54-59 = Collective overall record of our first seven BIG opponents. Think of the number of preseason cupcakes(similar to IU) these teams have played and they still are collectively under .500.

    10-26 = Collective conference record of our first seven BiG opponents.

    #156 = Indiana Hoosiers Current National “Strength of Schedule” ranking.

    Others of Note: Lipscomb #143,. Elon #133, Valparaiso #124, St.Louis #101, Purdue #100, Marquette #93, George Washington #88, UCLA #15, Xavier #14, Iowa #9.

    The only Big 10 team with a lower SOS than Indiana is Northwestern(#176)..

    (All above SOS numbers courtesy: cbssports.com)

    Keep this in mind, The Fighting CPR(General Crean’s Podunker Regiment), the Globetrotters also have these sorts of undefeated runs…Let’s not get ahead of ourselves…We still haven’t seen the Washington Generals wheel their “upset cannons” into Bloomington.

    Now this is how you get the hot poker off your “hot seat” butt! You bury the Indiana name into a safe, uninspiring, defeatist, facade of unchallenged :”greatness” built out of carnival booth cardboard. Because it’s….?

  6. Enjoy the moment and try giving the team some credit for their recent improved play on defense. SOS only matters on selection Sunday; for now it’s all about winning!

  7. Nice be on top of conference standings, although remainder of January schedule & February will certainly separate the contenders from the pretenders. While IU is responsible for their non conference schedule they have no control over who they play in-conference in Dec & up to now. IU has done what it needs to do which is win on the road & win their home games. The weak schedule has allowed IU to learn to play without JBJ & to get Bryant & Anjunoby acclimated to BIg10 play. Upcoming game with Northwestern will be a good measuring stick, especially since they played Maryland tough on the road. Northwestern was physical & relentless last night so IU will need a great effort. Hoosiers are playing defense now which they weren’t earlier in the season. (Dan Dakich’s comments last night noted). IU keeping the turnovers down has helped tremendously. CTC has our guys playing well at this time, & while I’m not his biggest fan, I appreciate how IU is playing & developing up to this point. Hopefully, next 30 days or so will indicate if we are a true contender or merely a pretender. Go IU!

  8. No doubt Illinois does not match up well and played poorly but a decent Hoosier team made them look much worse, If the D can maintain and even improve a little, the rebounding stay aggressive and the bench fulfill expectations IU can be a decider in the conference for sure. Future road games will tell all.

  9. Dammit… It happened. I have hope. I know it wasn’t Maryland we just beat, but we have looked superior to the competition as currently constituted. I still wonder if Crean gets it though… Like, if JBJ came back healthy tomorrow would he be starting by the second game back?

  10. For the first time I can remember in the Crean era players are earning time based on how they play on the court instead of how many stars were next to their name when Crean made promises to their mothers. At least it feels that way.

  11. ^Fabulous picture.

    It’s funny how some can enjoy “moments” while hating on Blackmon and Williams….

    Northwestern is still without Alex Olah….Maryland is severely overrated. The Big 10 will be lucky to produce one Sweet 16 team.

    Have all the hope you want….Funny how many on here were throwing the football coach under the bus when losing very close games to the best the Big 10 had to offer…And most of those games were back-to-back-to-back…against the teams of OSU, Penn St., Iowa, Michigan State.

    The “traditionally” strong basketball teams of the BIG suck this year(or are down considerably). Wisconsin sucks…OSU sucks…Illinois used to have good teams under Weber…They now suck…Michigan is sucking more without as much Hoosier talent in their roster(Zak Irvin still helps). Michigan State is nothing of the days of Draymond Green and Gary Harris.. Their March hopes will fully rely on Valentine.
    Minnesota is near pathetic…Again, they were much more solid before Pitino took over.

    I don’t care if we go 16-2 in the conference…It’s fools gold when the schedule is soft and we only play the better teams once(other than Iowa). Outside of Iowa, the BIG is beyond weak this season. Purdue has some inside presence, but it’s not speed…Speed is on that Hawkeye team: Speed, high b-ball IQ, versatility in their length, and a very good coach…

    Teams from the South(Big 12)….would demolish the Big 10 this year. The states of Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma are fielding far better teams. The Pac 12 should have three to four teams replacing the BIG teams in the Top-25.

    Getting the East Establishment influence into the Big 10 is killing it. It may have brought in more TV rankings for their crap network, but the teams are watered down and softer. Watch a kid like Nic Moore at SMU if you want to see toughness.

  12. 103 pt’s 19 3’s, 11 to’s, 3 blk’s, 27 asst’s, 9 stl’s, 38 rb’s does JBJ really think he can add positively to this? Where the FUTURE is, has to be presently contemplated in the heads of JBJ and his Dad. I would not want to be in their position. No move could be considered ideal.

  13. Did I mention Nebraska….? They had a fabulous backcourt tandem the previous few seasons…They now suck…

    Diamond Stone sounds like a name that should be the lead on “The Young and The Restless.” He’s pretty good…..but I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a b-baller that duck-footed play at the next level.

  14. Donald Trump also puts up stellar numbers against crap competition…..But the rich fat cat would wet himself in a true global crisis.

    I see guys like JBJ in much the same fashion…..He may be not be the guy focused in when the competition is weak…But when the team needs a calming presence in a crisis game in March, he’ll be presidential while others choke.

  15. I think most IU fans knew that this team had a chance to go on a good run at the start of the conference season. It’s nice to see the coach stopped being stubborn and dropped his stupid defensive scheme and replaced it with one that is working for now. At the moment the coach is finally acting like the highest paid public employee in the state of Indiana and earning his paycheck. It’s amusing to watch poster #7 crawl further and further out on a limb. Like a monkey, the further he crawls the more you can see of his ugly side.

  16. Buckley is a bonehead…..But I do think it’s now very possible that Chuck Martin and Derek Elston are doing a large share of the coaching. I think these two are offering personality to the team not present in the Crean/McClain years.

    The other very big plus for this team was getting guys that weren’t from the East…OG and Morgan brought some Midwestern toughness. Thomas Bryant has huge heart…He is also two nervous breakdowns away from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Rim,’ but his enthusiasm and demanding personality is lighting a fire under a lot of butts that used to be very passively divine and entitled. These additions(along with Beilfeldt and Zeisloft) are adding the fire not present in the passive years of choir boys only focused on their NBA meal tickets.

    But I will give Crean credit for finally finding guys that want to invest in something more….rather than just playing runway model to some NBA execs..

  17. There is no way that CTC has become a coach that will never happen ! I believe the new assistants have taken a leadership role and actually communicate with the team and have built relationships and the team has responded and are now buying in. That along with JBJ being out and whom has been called out by many of the color guys as having no desire to play defense of any kind .This is YOGI’S TEAM and he has put the team on his back and you can tell he is loving the game again . Elston has more chemistry with the players in a few months than CTC IN 8 YEARS . They listen to him and so does Crean . CTC was totally on the brink and knew it . Having said that we all know we have played no one to date but it has become watchable again . Even someone put Williams on a short leash. The real season will start Saturday and we will find out what we are made of real quick ! The assistants will I think continue to get the job done and CTC will take the credit . We will lose some games but that’s the Big Ten . The kids are giving all they got and we haven’t seen that in along time. GO HOOSIERS !!!

  18. The early start yesterday caused me to miss the game live. Soft West Coaster here, of course.

    Woke up at 4 am couldn’t fall asleep, so watched the game on replay. The Hoosiers looked really good. Right now, they are playing better as a team than anytime in the last 3 years. Bring on the Mildcats.

  19. I do not understand how some folks cannot enjoy the recent play of this basketball team. These young men work hard and it shows. I really believe some so-called fans cannot wait until IU loses and they can gloat. You need to cheer for Kentucky or Purdue. It is fine to state an opinion, but the animosity towards Tom Crean is over the top. I was a Bob Knight fan, actually worked for him, but from 1995-2000 his teams lost 10 or more games a year. Please support who Indiana is now and quit living in the past. By the way the best coach at IU in any sport was Bill Mallory and what he did for football.

  20. Oh there they are! It is so entertaining to observe the die-hard Crean-haters contorting themselves into pretzels and performing ever more strenuous mental gymnastics in order to continue justifying their criticism of IU’s coach. They must be exhausted this morning. The more IU wins and the better they look against Big Ten competition, the more ridiculous the comments need to be in order to maintain their “Crean can’t coach” narrative. They’re anxiously counting the minutes until IU loses the next game, like a junkie needing a fix. And with each additional IU victory, they become more despondent and miserable. Such is the level of their disdain that instead of celebrating a big victory, they’re frantic and desperate to justify their previous criticism. “The Big Ten is weak this year,” “The conference schedule is backloaded,” “IU only plays the good teams once,” (sorry, some paraphrasing was necessary), etc. And now we’re reading true absurdity when the “Lord of the Crean-haters” states that “Valparaiso would probably win the Big 10” this season. LOL! And when IU loses it’s next game, which will happen sooner or later, the Crean-haters will celebrate and be filled with joy, and populate the Scoop’s comment section with more of their, “see, we told you he can’t coach” arguments. Because the Crean-haters would rather bash Crean than celebrate his team’s success.

    “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” … Coretta Scott King

  21. Jim, with the exception of your last sentence, #24 was the best post written on the Scoop in weeks. Well done, sir.

  22. Geoff, #12 post…to answer you…yes, absolutely and I can’t stand that. I’m ok w the rotation now but OG should get 6-8 more minutes a game!

  23. BTW, HT tech folks. There were several times when I loaded the Scoop yesterday and this morning where any thread after the Top #25 post didn’t show up.

  24. If you took the Valparaiso comment seriously, you’re almost as bright as the apple of your eye.

    Here’s where Crean fails more as a human being than a coach…

    He needs to immediately step up and stop the amount of petty hostility aimed at James Blackmon. He needs to take responsibility for the team at ALL times….The fact that they are not playing well at any point of the season with any lineup he, as the head coach, felt was the best based on his assessment, is on his shoulders….Have the back of the kid you recruited whose name is being constantly assaulted by dimwits on internet forums and airways…(and by one massive a-hole that uses ESPN and his radio program for his slights and anti-Indiana agenda)… The crap I heard from Dakich was recklessly mean-spirited.
    Crean’s team is playing well, not because of the absence of Blackmon, but because of an extremely soft list of lower tier BIG opponents. It is playing well(as in all previous examples when any “starter” or player of significant minutes) because Crean’s failure to manage more substitution options.
    The nutbags so determined to apologize for the tweeting holy one, will instead take aim at an 19-year-old kid to justify the team’s improvement. Guess what? The right coach could get the right sort of effort out of Blackmon. And if not, he should have sent him quietly on his way to another program rather than face an unfair assualt.

    This team could have just as easily been playing better if any one of three or four different guys had a season-ending injury. When it gets less complicated for Crean, it always looks better. But that doesn’t make it right…How dare you call yourself a coach when you won’t have this young man’s back when he is being pummeled in the media. And Dakich pummeling the kid’s name on national TV is disgraceful ESPN should fire his cowardly ass for throwing a kid with possible career-ending series of knee injuries under the bus.

    Of course Dakich wants to pummel a kid that “doesn’t play defense.” We get it, Dan.
    You had no real gifts to play the game other than attaching your ugly face to the crotch of MJ in one glorious moment your 2.3 ppg avg. at IU. Good for you, Dan. Defend Crean at the expense of someone you could never come close to emulating ..? Wow, you’re quite the mature man. You may have stopped MJ with some stellar teammates around you, but Blackmon would have your ass on its thumbs 19 out of 20 times you’d try to guard him…That’s any day of the week in your, ever so divine, prime, Dan the Man

    But Dakich is paid to be a bigger hemorrhoid on IU than the one that couldn’t get the gig after Kelvin. But that’s no excuse for Crean. How horribly inexcusable for a coach to not put some calls into these dimwits’ headsets and tell them to shut up. How disgusting to not take responsibility for the poor team play while allowing the selling of recent improvements to find a bed in the heart of contempt for a kid he recruited. They(Remy, Holt, Hanner, Hollowell, Roth, Creek, Perea, Devin Davis, Stan Robinson, VJIII, Fischer…and the many others that made it all too confusing for Tom) are all disposable Hoosiers in the eyes of a fraud…as long as it boosts his own image.

    It’s always the kids thrown under the bus(even if its ugly career-ending injuries for kids that have loved the game since childhood days), instead of the grown men stepping up and being accountable.
    These frauds dedicate on the true meaning of being a Hoosier.

  25. Crean and the entire coaching staff are doing extremely well with coaching and recruiting. The players are getting degrees, playing hard, and winning. Great times for IU!!! There are hundreds of college programs that are wishing for that kind of success. I am extremely proud of my Hoosiers!

  26. Just a thought here….”Newer” comments displayed when first opening the thread….then have the option to head back to “older” comments…?

  27. Hey Harv, did you notice that the Nebraska team, that just yesterday you said “…. now they suck,” defeated the mighty MSU Spartans last night? That was a timely comment, genius. LOL! Oh that’s right, IU beat that same Nebraska team on the road. What’s that say about mighty MSU? Does it ever cross your brilliant mind that maybe you’re not the omnipotent judge of college basketball talent? Or maybe it’s just that you’re stuck in a time warp and still evaluate basketball teams as if it was 1975? No, I’d guess it doesn’t.

  28. You’re not paying attention, aPOlogist. For over a month I’ve been saying MSU was overrated…The entire league(outside of Iowa) is overrated. No team with our strength of schedule should be in the
    Top-25. But it’s the Big 10….It comes with “Big” dollars and “Big” ratings. Doesn’t mean it’s not a down year for the conference…
    Crean, to his credit, has pieced together a talented bunch, in a down BIG year. But the pre-BIG schedule was a joke. Not having the UK rivalry is a disgrace….And we’ve benefited from facing the lower tier teams of the conference in the first half….We’ll also benefit by only playing Maryland, MSU(still far better than most teams in the conference), and Purdue only once each…Two of those three games are also at home.

    Now, to the specifics of Nebraska going into East Lansing…? I’m pretty sure MSU was without the kid Crean tried to land as the PG to take over the reins for Yogi….He wasn’t playing…Some sort of injury..Scoop had some pieces on the kid when he was being recruited by your man crush…I think his mother was a fan of Lou Rawls….but he’s more commonly referred to as ‘Tum Tum.’ You really shouldn’t test my memory or my basketball expertise…You should really just stick to hunting the heads of assistant football coaches. That’s your expertise.

    Tum Tum, or no Tum Tum, upsets happen. Nebraska doesn’t have much to lose this year. And the more they lose, the less they’ll have to lose. But you should know upsets happen…Every time a highly ranked Crean team goes down in March Madness, it’s a freaky upset. it never has anything to do with poor coaching…or not communicating to your team to foul and stop the clock…or not having any clue on how to attack a zone…It’s just, plain and simple, an upset.

    This one is for you, BroPo.

  29. And for all those that hate on Blackmon(and you are not one of those people, Podunker), that’s what you often get in a true “scorer.” You get quite nights ….when nothing drops(which can sometimes be attributed to being guarded by Dan Dakich) and then you’ll bounce back and simply erupt. Shevon Shields sorta erupted last night. No Tum Tum + scorer itching to break out + team with nothing to lose seen as a sleepwalking game for host = cocktail for upset.

    Scorers: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. And there will be some upcoming games in February against the teams with overall higher talent from our league,…when the “without” James Blackmon will hurt. Those ex-Hoosiers n the national media that have taken a cupcake BIG schedule to rub the young man’s face in the mud are a disgrace to the Hoosier name.

  30. You guys who are attempting to take on the ever-present, always overbearing, master of obfuscation H4H might as well give it up. He’s obsessed with BK, that despite his hero’s unapologetic pattern of hypocrisy and vengeance, as well as some mystical vision of IU being the last bastion of integrity – – which itself no longer can be found at either the collegiate or professional level. Nothing short of CTC’s removal and the second coming of short shorts will satisfy ‘Ol Harv, so accept it and maybe, just maybe he will not try to take over every discussion on this site. We can only hope.

  31. You guys? Is Podunker a two-headed aPOlogist? Crean is the guy all about “second comings” ….or maybe it’s the second Terry Cummings? Terry did turn to the ‘Good Book.’ You’re probably too young…and of saggy Long Longs.
    Crean is your Knight stalker whose hunger for the master playbook to validation must be restrained. Probably after all of Bobby’s hidden wart warts.
    Keep trying, Apologist Jr….Just in case you need a reminder, the subject was the level of softness in the BIG this season….along with the pathetic pre-BIG cupcake scheduling and the removal of classic rivalry games for those fans that can’t afford Maui or Madison Ave. Now get back to your Cheez Whiz and banner reunions….Hmmm? Is it Harvard planning all those banner reunions? Who’s obsessed and needing the House of Fun & Mirrors validated?

    Come on…You got better sauce than this?

  32. The new UX for the comments is one of the worst things I have experienced on the internet. I had to click 3 times just to read the latest comments.

    Whoever designed this needs to go back to the drawing board. This is awful.

  33. Couldn’t agree more. I tried to tell JP the same thing, DD.
    It was so much easier to just scroll down through an entire thread….If you saw an entire thread of “Harvard,” it was easy to catch on one glimpse and you could just move on. Now, you open each successive “Newer Comments” page only to get repeatedly disappointed by my handsomeness behind each door. What were they thinking.

    You’re going to have to get the party very early if you want to see your name in lights when a thread is initially released… Pacific Time Zone..? I do believe you’ll need to set your alarm for 5:00 a.m. or you don’t stand a chance of getting into the “Starting Five” of Newer Comments lineup….You’re now a benchwarmer, softy.

    I bet “the lovely Leigh Ross” simply loves the shorts…. Any shorter and Dan might have shown off some ‘Magic Johnson’ moves to go along with Jordan comparisons..

  34. Simply and absolutely the 1st step of 2016 for the Scoop is to regress. Like I posted yesterday(and now it has disappeared)this is akin to your car having an engine that is not electric start.

  35. I initially thought that “Older comments” was going to lead me to ‘Dead Sea Scrolling’ through the Tsao archives…

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