Hoosiers’ Second Half Shooting Streak Puts Away Governors

The Indiana Hoosiers made 15 straight shots in the second half as they pulled away with a 102-76 win over the Austin Peay Governors.

The Hoosiers only led 51-39 at half and saw their lead cut to 57-46 with 16:06 left in the second half. However, the Hoosiers caught fire as they made their next 15 shots. By the time James Blackmon Jr. had his layup attempt blocked by Kenny Jones, there was only 3:16 left in the game and Indiana was up 95-68.

Here is a rundown of those 15 made baskets:

  • Make #1 (15:30) – Max Bielfeldt’s missed three-pointer was the last missed shot by the Hoosiers before Indiana Coach Tom Crean started to empty the bench. It’s only appropriate that he also started the streak. Bielfeldt stole the ball right from Terrell Thompson and took it all the way to the basket for an easy layup.
  • Make #2 (14:37) – The next possession after a Governors turnover, Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell made a layup.
  • Make #3 (13:28) – Sometimes Troy Williams can drive to the basket with reckless abandon and that’s what this play looked like before Williams adjusted mid-air and slammed home a reverse dunk.
  • Make #4 (12:58) – Blackmon Jr. got a steal and threw it up court to an open Williams who smashed another one through the rim.
  • Make #5 (12:06) – Making four layup/dunks in a row isn’t that impressive, but when you make four three-pointers in a row following those four layup/dunks, that is extremely impressive. Nick Zeisloft makes the first of those threes.
  • Make #6 (11:16) – Zeisloft also makes the second of those threes. It’s worth mentioning that prior to this he had to exit the game due to dislocating his finger. Seems he’s perfectly fine.
  • Make #7 (10:13) – Ferrell joins in on the fun as he adds a three of his own off of a Blackmon Jr. assist.
  • Make #8 (9:53) – Ferrell returns the favor as he sets up Blackmon Jr. for what would be his first made three-pointer of the streak.
  • Make #9 (9:16) – We’ve seen close range and deep range, so why not mid-range? Ferrell makes a jumper to extend the streak.
  • Make #10 (8:40) – Blackmon Jr. decides not to follow the pattern of four shots of the same type in a row and instead launches a three. It’s okay since he makes it.
  • Make #11 (8:16) – Blackmon Jr. dishes it out to Zeisloft who makes his fifth three-pointer of the night, three of which have come during this streak.
  • Make #12 (6:58) – Blackmon Jr. follows it up with his third made three during the streak. At this point everyone in the crowd is either aware of the streak or knows that something rare is happening.
  • Make #13 (6:27) – Thomas Bryant gets a nice pass from Williams that Bryant turns into an easy layup.
  • Make #14 (5:18) – This time Robert Johnson feeds the big man down low as Bryant makes another layup.
  • Make #15 (4:41) – A great pass from Blackmon Jr. leads to another Williams dunk, which would be the final make of the streak.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of 15 straight made shots,” said Coach Crean about the streak. “I know in the 2003 NCAA Tournament in the old RCA Dome my Marquette team made 10 straight in overtime against Missouri in the final 32, and I never thought I’d see that again. Different environment, different time of year, but 15 straight is still very impressive.”

Ferrell led the Hoosiers with 22 points and in the process passed Jimmy Rayl (1,401 points) and Kirk Hanston (1,406 points) to move into 20th place on IU’s all-time scoring list. He also led the team with nine assists and six rebounds.

Blackmon Jr. finished with 20 points and four assists. Zeisloft added 15 points while Williams added 14 points for the Hoosiers (2-0).

Austin Peay (0-2) was able to keep it close in the first half thanks to the fantastic play of Chris Horton. The senior forward finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks, leading the Governors in all four categories. Khalil Davis and John Murry added 16 and 14 points respectively.

The Hoosiers have one more test before they get to travel to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. They’ll face Creighton on Thursday at 7pm in Assembly Hall.

Stats From The Boxscore:

  • Troy Williams’ five assists were a career-high. He also added five rebounds, two steals, and a block.
  • Max Bielfeldt tied a career-high two steals in the Hoosiers previous game against the Panthers. This time he doubled his previous best as he caused four steals against the Governors.
  • Thomas Bryant made five of his six shot attempts making his shooting percentage for the season 90.0% (9 of 10).
  • Nick Zeisloft, Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, and James Blackmon Jr. not only made a lot of threes, but they also did it by shooting effectively from deep. Zeisloft went 5 of 7, Ferrell went 4 of 5, and Blackmon Jr. went 4 of 6.
  • The Hoosiers made more three-pointers (16) than the Governors attempted (14).
  • Collin Hartman lost his starting spot to Bielfeldt but he still played very well, tying a career-high with three steals.
  • The Hoosiers and the Governors played a relatively clean game, only accumulating 30 combined fouls between the two teams. There were 48 combined fouls when Indiana played Eastern Illinois.
  • This is what happens when you make 15 shots in a row: Indiana shot 80.8% (21 of 26) from the floor in the second half, including 80.0% (8 of 10) from deep.

Hoosiers In The NBA: The Injury Bug Bites

NOTE: Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Hoosiers In The NBA on its new site! Please try to spread the word by liking it on Facebook or retweeting this on Twitter if you enjoyed it. Of course this is completely optional but it is greatly appreciated. Otherwise I hope you enjoy this latest edition and for more coverage follow me on twitter at @QTipsForSports or just look for the hashtag #HoosiersInTheNBA:

Injuries are a part of sports. Sometimes injuries can derail someone’s career or interrupt their great play while other times injuries are blessings in disguise as it lets someone else show off their potential. All four Hoosiers in the NBA were affected by injuries this week, whether they were injured or someone else who affects their play was injured. Let’s go over how each Hoosier did this week and break down the ramifications of these injuries:

Eric Gordon: Guard, New Orleans Pelicans:

Vs Dallas (W 120-105): 17 points (5-19 FG)(3-3 FT), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, steal, block, personal foul, 34 minutes.

@ Atlanta (L 106-98): 26 points (10-20 FG)(2-3 FT), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 4 personal fouls, 32 minutes.

@ Toronto (L 100-81): 30 points (11-22 FG)(4-5 FT), 3 rebounds, assist, steal, 3 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 36 minutes.

@ New York (L 95-87): 11 points (5-11 FG), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 personal fouls, 39 minutes.

First off let’s take a moment to celebrate the fact that I’m writing a column about injuries and it has nothing to do with Eric Gordon being injured. In fact it almost feels like he is the only healthy player on the New Orleans Pelicans, with Jrue Holiday playing limited minutes, Tyreke Evans not playing at all, and Anthony Davis recently having to sit out two games with a hip injury.

However, it’s Davis’ injury that affects Gordon the most. Without Davis, the Pelicans’ scoring options looked very bare outside of Gordon, which meant Gordon had to take more offensive responsibility this past week. What we saw was vintage-Gordon as he dropped 26 points against the Atlanta Hawks and a season-high 30 points against the Toronto Raptors. Not only was Gordon scoring a lot but also very efficiently, hitting 50% (10 of 20 vs Atlanta and 11 of 22 vs Toronto) of his shots in both games. Even though we won’t see vintage-Gordon anymore with Davis now healthy again (he had only 11 points vs New York), it was great to see that Gordon can still be a lead-scorer and that he’s still healthy.

Victor Oladipo: Guard, Orlando Magic:

@ Indiana (L 97-84): 15 points (7-18 FG), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, 2 blocks, 4 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 38 minutes.

Vs Los Angeles Lakers (W 101-99): 3 points (1-2 FG), 2 rebounds, assist, personal foul, 7 minutes.

We hear about concussions all the time in football, but they are just as devastating in basketball. While you don’t get hit in the head as often in basketball, you also don’t have a helmet and you play on a really hard court. Add the fact that the NBA has a very strict concussion protocol (you must be symptom-free while resting, then you are subjected to increasingly harder physical tasks and then finally you must get the okay from the director of the NBA’s concussion program) and it’s unknown when we will see Victor Oladipo back on the court. It could be the Orlando Magic’s next game or it could be two weeks from now. I’m not exaggerating about the two weeks either, as Oladipo’s teammate Nikola Vucevic was out for three weeks during last season after he sustained a concussion.

It’s never a great time to suffer an injury as serious as a concussion, but this could really hamper Oladipo’s aggressiveness on defense when he does return. It seems silly to think Oladipo won’t play aggressively, but players who sustain concussion are a lot more aware of situations where concussions occur as well as the risks on sustaining multiple concussions. Head Coach Scott Skiles has lauded Oladipo for his defensive intensity and for good reason as Oladipo is playing the best he has ever played on that side of the ball so it would be a shame to see him lose that progress.  I think Oladipo will eventually regain that aggressiveness; I just hope it doesn’t take him awhile to regain it.

Noah Vonleh: Forward, Portland Trail Blazers:

@ Denver (L 108-104): 0 points (0-3 FG), 2 rebounds, personal foul, 13 minutes.

Vs San Antonio (L 113-101): 2 points (1-2 FG), 2 rebounds, personal foul, 7 minutes.

@ Memphis (L 101-100): 0 points, 2 personal fouls, 7 minutes.

@ Charlotte (L 106-94): 9 points (3-6 FG)(3-4 FT), 6 rebounds, assist, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 24 minutes.

When Meyers Leonard dislocated his shoulder, which will keep him out a month, the question was whether Ed Davis or Noah Vonleh would take his starting spot. At first, the answer was neither as Chris Kaman started against the Memphis Grizzlies. However, Noah Vonleh received the start (his first of his career) against his former team the Charlotte Hornets.

Unfortunately that was more likely Head Coach Terry Stotts letting Vonleh get a chance to prove himself against the team that drafted him than an endorsement for Vonleh to be the starter going forward. When it came to crunch time in the Hornets game, it was Davis who played power forward. Regardless of if he is starting or not, Vonleh still benefits from Leonard’s absence, especially when considering that Vonleh’s minutes were dwindling over the last couple of games. As long as Vonleh plays well the Trail Blazers will find ways to put him on the court.

Cody Zeller: Forward, Charlotte Hornets:

@ Minnesota (W 104-95): 14 points (5-8 FG)(4-6 FT), 6 rebounds, assist, 2 steals, turnover, 4 personal fouls, 24 minutes.

Vs New York (W 95-93): 12 points (2-6 FG)(8-15 FT), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, block, personal foul, 25 minutes.

Vs Portland (W 106-94): 1 point (0-4 FG)(1-2 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, turnover, personal foul, 21 minutes.

It was quite the week for Cody Zeller as he recorded back-to-back double digit scoring games for the first time this season, set a career high for free throw attempts (Zeller alone attempted more than twice as many free throw as the opposing Knicks 15-7), and hit a game-winning layup on an inbound play. However, Zeller also missed the Charlotte Hornets’ game against the Chicago Bulls due to a sprained ankle. Zeller returned for the Hornets’ next game against Portland but he only mustered one point. He was still great defensively, blocking a season-high two shots.

Now there is no need to worry about Zeller losing momentum from his injury; the worry comes from the idea that if Zeller was to miss an extensive amount of time he could lose his spot in the rotation to either Frank Kaminsky or Tyler Hansbrough. Zeller was able to beat out both of them before the season, but as I stated injuries give other players a chance to show their potential and that includes second chances. Zeller’s ankle should be fine, so let’s hope he doesn’t sustain anymore injuries.

Season averages:

Eric Gordon: 19.1ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.8apg, 0.90spg, 0.20bpg, 1.7tpg, 2.8fpg, 42.0% FG, 37.8% 3FG, 82.8% FT, 35.7mpg.

Victor Oladipo: 14.7ppg, 6.9rpg, 3.9apg, 1.56spg, 0.78bpg, 1.7tpg, 1.9fpg, 38.2% FG, 27.9% 3FG, 88.9% FT, 35.1mpg.

Noah Vonleh: 2.5ppg, 2.6rpg, 0.4apg, 0.27bpg, 0.8tpg, 1.7fpg, 32.3% FG, 0.0% 3FG, 70.0% FT, 13.2mpg.

Cody Zeller: 7.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.00spg, 0.56bpg, 0.7tpg, 1.8fpg, 41.7% FG, 0.0% 3FG, 63.2% FT, 22.1mpg.

All In The Cards: The Seattle Problem (Week 10)

The Cardinals are fresh off their bye week and ready to start the second half of the season. Unfortunately for Arizona it faces the Seattle Seahawks who are also coming off a bye and will be playing at home on national television in a must-win game for the Seahawks if they want to still win the NFC West. This week I will go more in-depth on the recent rivalry. I hope you enjoy and if you do make sure to follow me on Twitter @QTipsforsports or just search the hashtag #Allinthecards for in-game thoughts and analysis. Without further ado, let’s break down this divisional rivalry:

Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks

Last Meetings: L 19-3 @Seattle (11/23/14) and L 35-6 vs. Seattle (12/21/14)

If you have been a frequent reader of All In The Cards, you can probably pick up on the fact that I don’t like the Seahawks. I have nothing against Seahawk fans, the city of Seattle, or the organization. I just don’t like the team for three reasons: most of their players are very arrogant, I’m jealous of their talent and to a lesser extent their luck (the Golden Tate so-called TD during the referee strike, the onside kick fumble vs. Green Bay in the NFC Championship, and the no-call for batting the ball against the Lions to name a few), and the fact that they love to humiliate the Cardinals.

As a Cardinals fan I don’t really have a right this season to talk about disliking a team because they humiliate my team, especially after what Arizona did to San Francisco and Detroit, but neither of those teams were going anywhere this season. A couple of weeks ago I talked about how the Cardinals have been able to count on beating the Lions to turn things around. Well the Seahawks like to use the Cardinals as their launch pad to turn things around. Over the past five seasons, the Seahawks have won seven of their ten matchups against the Cardinals and most of them have either given the Seahawks tons of momentum going forward or really hurt the Cardinals. Here’s the list:

  • 10/24/2010, @ Seattle (SEA 22-10)
  • 11/15/2010, @ Arizona (SEA 36-18)
  • 9/26/2011, @ Seattle (SEA 13-10)
  • 1/1/2012, @ Arizona (ARZ 23-20 OT)
  • 9/10/2012, @ Arizona (ARZ 20-16)
  • 12/9/2012, @ Seattle (SEA 58-0)
  • 10/18/2013, @ Arizona (SEA 34-20)
  • 12/23/2015, @ Seattle (ARZ 17-10)
  • 11/23/2014, @ Seattle (SEA 19-3)
  • 12/22/2014, @ Arizona (SEA 35-6)

Remember back during the 2010 season when the Seattle won the NFC West at 7-9? During weeks 7 thru 12, the Seahawks lost four of their six games with their only two wins during that stretch coming against Arizona. You might disregard that as a random data sample but getting both of those wins was critical. During the last week of the season, the Seahawks defeated the 7-8 St. Louis Rams to end the season with the same record. Since the Rams had defeated the Seahawks earlier in the season, the first tiebreaker (head-to-head matchup) was thrown out. The next tiebreaker was divisional record, and wouldn’t you know it that the Seahawks won one more divisional game than the Rams. Those wins over the Cardinals were the Seahawks’ only divisional wins after their bye week before beating St. Louis in the final week.

The disastrous end to Arizona’ 2012 season, when the Cards lost 11 of their last 12 after starting the season 4-0, reached its most infamous low when the Seahawks humiliated the Cardinals by beating them 58-0. It’s a miracle the Cardinals won another game that season, let alone the following week when they beat Detroit. On the other side, it was the second win of the Seahawks five-game winning streak at the end the season that earned Seattle a wild card spot.

Last season had a similar storyline to this year’s storyline when Arizona went to Seattle. The Cardinals had lost Carson Palmer for the season but were still able to beat the Lions to improve to 9-1. Meanwhile, after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seahawks sat at 6-4, a full three games back of Arizona with six games left in the season. The Seahawks beat the Cardinals 19-3 and started a winning streak that didn’t end until they lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. That winning streak included another win over the Cardinals to the score of 35-6.

It’s worth mentioning that unlike the Arizona-Detroit series, the Cardinals do have a couple wins during this stretch. However, none of them were that consequential. The Cardinals’ win in the final week of the 2011 season had no implications other than that the winner would finish .500 for the season. The win to start the 2013 season lost all credibility when the Seahawks obliterated Arizona 58-0 in the rematch. Finally, the win in Seattle during the 2013 season was nice (because it ended the Seahawks’ home winning-streak) but the Cardinals still missed the playoffs at 10-6 while the Seahawks rebounded the next week to earn home field advantage throughout the playoffs and eventually win the Super Bowl.

It really pains me to bring up these memories so there is a point to all of this. That point is that the Seahawks are desperate for a win and recent history dictates that they’ll get that win this week against the Cardinals, just like they did last year. I know Carson Palmer is healthy and is arguably playing the best he has ever played. I know the Cardinals have some favorable matchups. I know that the Seahawks aren’t as good as they were in previous seasons. For all of those reasons I think the Cardinals will win the rematch at University of Phoenix Stadium during the final week of the season. However, this week the season is on the line for the Seahawks and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of them.

Prediction: Seattle 20, Arizona 19

Week 10 NFL predictions:

  • New York Jets 20, Buffalo 17
  • St. Louis 23, Chicago 16
  • Pittsburgh 23, Cleveland 20
  • Tampa Bay 31, Dallas 23
  • Green Bay 38, Detroit 13
  • Carolina 24, Tennessee 13
  • Philadelphia 27, Miami 20
  • New Orleans 26, Washington 23
  • Baltimore 24, Jacksonville 20
  • Oakland 23, Minnesota 18
  • Denver 24, Kansas City 13
  • New England 38, New York Giants 31
  • Cincinnati 30, Houston 17

Week 10 Record: 0-1
Season Record: 86-47 (.647)
Perfect Score Predictions: 2

Indiana Shows Off Its Depth In Blowout Win Over The Panthers

Indiana’s offensive versatility was on full display as the Hoosiers beat the Eastern Illinois Panthers 88-49 to start off the school’s 116th basketball season with a win.

Six different Hoosiers, including two bench players, scored double-digit points as both the inside game and the outside game were clicking.

“We had a lot of guys play well,” said Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean after the game. “I saw very little let-up and we played a lot of different lineups, especially in the second half, and I was proud of our effort and really proud of their energy, proud of the way they have responded this week to getting better.”

James Blackmon Jr. led the Hoosiers with 17 points as he started the game hot hitting five of his seven first half shots. Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, the team’s leading scorer the past two seasons, only scored 13 points on 12 shots but made up for it by grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out six assists. Troy Williams also added 12 points, eight rebounds, and two steals.

Freshman center Thomas Bryant showed that he was as good as advertised, falling one rebound short of a double-double (he had 11 points and nine rebounds). Bryant also made all four of his field goal attempts.

However, maybe the most impressive performance came from the Hoosiers’ second unit. The Indiana bench accounted for 35 points, including 12 from Robert Johnson and 11 from Max Bielfeldt. In addition to the points, Johnson added three assists while Bielfeldt added eight rebounds.

“I’m just pretty much keeping the same mind-set as I had when I was starting,” said Johnson, who started all but one game last year. “Just trying to come in the game and do whatever needs to be done to impact the game.”

Indiana (1-0) dominated in the post, outscoring the Panthers 42-20 in the paint as well as outrebounding them 51-17. Of those 51 rebounds, 21 of them came on the offensive end and led to 26 second chance points.

“It’s very disheartening for your team when you have guys trying to block out and get guys off the boards and you don’t get it done,” said Eastern Illinois Head Coach Jay Spoonhour. “It seemed like they scored on every second-chance opportunity.”

Eastern Illinois (0-1) was led in scoring by A.J. Riley, who had 13 points along with a team-high five rebounds. Trae Anderson also added 12 points for the Panthers.

The Hoosiers will get to relax the rest of the weekend as they will face their next test on Monday when the Austin Peay Governers come to Assembly Hall.

Stats From The Boxscore:

  • Ferrell extended his streak of consecutive games with a made three-pointer to 66 games. It is the longest such streak currently in the NCAA.
  • The five starters for the Hoosiers had exactly twice as many rebounds as the entire Panthers team (34-17).
  • The Hoosiers’ two big men (Bryant and Bielfeldt) made all seven of their field goal attempts and went 8 of 10 from the free throw line.
  • Bielfeldt tied a career-high with two steals.
  • Indiana actually had one more turnover than the Panthers (16-15), but the Hoosiers still scored more points off turnovers, scoring 25 to Eastern Illinois’ 18.
  • The Panthers hit four three-pointers over the course of the game, while the Hoosiers hit at least four three-pointers in each half.
  • O.G. Anunoby also had a great first game, scoring six points. He also led the Hoosiers in blocks (2) and tied for the most steals (2).
  • Nick Zeisloft didn’t score but he did have a perfect assist-to-turnover ratio. Ziesloft had three assists and zero turnovers in 18 minutes of play. He was one of three Hoosiers without a turnover in the the game and the only one who played more than five minutes.
  • Indiana held Eastern Illinois to 49 points, which marks the fewest points the Hoosiers have allowed in a season opener since 1988. That year Indiana held Illinois State to just 48 points.

Hoosiers In The NCAA: Ferrell’s Evolution at IU and Season Award Predictions

NOTE: After the success of Hoosiers In The NBA, I decided to take it one step further and cover the current Hoosiers wearing the candy stripe pants. Most of my posts regarding Hoosiers In The NCAA will be game recaps but I will have the occasional feature story. Please try to spread the word by liking it on Facebook or retweeting this on Twitter if you enjoyed it. Of course this is completely optional but it is greatly appreciated. Otherwise I hope you enjoy this latest edition and for more coverage follow me on twitter at @QTipsForSports or just look for the hashtag #HoosiersInTheNCAA:

It’s funny how things come full circle.

Going into the 2012-2013 season, freshman point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell came from Park Tudor to join an already loaded roster in Bloomington. The Indiana Hoosiers were returning four starters from the previous season, when they had made a surprise run to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. As one of the highest ranked high school point guards in the nation, Ferrell earned the fifth starting spot and thus became the starting point guard of the Hoosiers.

Given the talent around him, Ferrell’s role was relatively simple: help set up the other scorers. Ferrell did just that as he led the team with 4.1 assists per game. In addition to his passing, Ferrell proved to be a great scorer even on a roster filled with scorers. Ferrell managed to score 7.6 points a game and even on a few occasions, such as the Georgetown game that season, take over at the end and hit the big shot. The 2013 Hoosiers finished the season earning the school’s first outright Big Ten title since the days of Calbert Cheaney (back during the 1993 season).

Things drastically changed after that first season as Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls graduated while Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo declared for the NBA draft and were selected in the first five picks.

Over the next two seasons, the Hoosiers sported very young teams relying mostly on underclassmen. As the only returning starter during his sophomore season, Ferrell made the transition from a support role to a lead role and has never had to look back, averaging 17.3 points per game during his sophomore season and then going on to score 16.3 points per game during his junior season.

Now in his senior season, Ferrell finds himself on another loaded roster with many different players who can score the ball very well. However, that isn’t the only similarity between the two teams. For the first time since Ferrell’s freshman season, the Hoosiers also have a collection of talent from every grade level, instead of a team of underclassmen. In 2013, the Hoosiers started two seniors (Hulls and Watford), a junior (Oladipo), a sophomore (Zeller) and a freshman (Ferrell) for the majority of the season. Now as we enter this season, the Hoosiers boast starting-caliber players who are seniors (Ferrell), juniors (Troy Williams), sophomores (James Blackmon Jr.), and freshmen (Thomas Bryant).

However, the biggest difference is Ferrell. No longer is he the underclassmen whose job was to help the upperclassmen. He is now the upperclassman and the team leader. With career number such as 1,379 points, 438 assists, and 193 made threes, Ferrell has an opportunity this season to place his name near the top of Indiana’s record books. Not bad for a player whose first job was just pass the ball.

Award Predictions:

All-Big Ten Team:

  • Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell – 1st team
  • Troy Williams – 1st team
  • James Blackmon Jr. – 2nd team
  • Thomas Bryant – 3rd team

All-Big Ten Freshman Team:

  • Thomas Bryant – 1st team

All-American Tean:

  • Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell – 2nd team
  • Troy Williams – 3rd team

Freshmen All-American Team:

  • Thomas Bryant – 2nd team

Big Ten Individual Award Finalists:

(I don’t predict any Hoosier will win one of the individual awards this season so instead I’ll write down who I think have a chance at being a finalist for the award)

  • Big Ten Player of the Year – Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, Troy Williams
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Year – Thomas Bryant
  • Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year – Robert Johnson, Nick Zeisloft
  • Big Ten Coach of the Year – Tom Crean

Future Hoosiers In The NCAA: Indiana receives commit from De’Ron Davis

Just like how parents sometimes let their children open one gift on Christmas Eve, the Hoosiers received a gift on the eve of their season when top 50 recruit De’Ron Davis committed to Indiana. Davis is a 6-8 power forward from Overland High School in Aurora, Colorado and was deciding between Indiana and Mississippi State. Davis is the second four-star recruit for Indiana’s 2016 recruiting class, the other being shooting guard Curtis Jones out of Huntington Prep in Highland Springs, Virginia. The 2016 class also includes three-star Crown Point-native Grant Gelon, who plays shooting guard but is also capable of playing small forward.

All In The Cards: Week 9 Recap

Welcome to the week nine recap of All In the Cards! . Quite a few interesting games this week, some with implications that may affect the rest of some teams’ seasons. This week’s recap will be a little shorter than usual but look forward to some new content coming during the next few days. I hope you enjoy and if you do make sure to follow me on Twitter @QTipsforsports or just search the hashtag #Allinthecards for in-game thoughts and analysis. Without further ado, let’s see how I did with my week nine picks:

How I did with my Week 9 NFL predictions:

  • Cincinnati 31, Cleveland 10: Whether it’s because of the short week of preparation or not, for the second straight week the Browns played a contender extremely tough in the first half and then fell apart completely in the second half. I don’t know for sure but my best guess is that the Browns see that their first half game plan is working and they don’t make halftime adjustments, giving the opposing team an advantage when they make adjustments. (1-0)
  • Buffalo 33, Miami 17: It seems the Dolphins have come back to earth after starting 2-0 under Dan Campbell. Meanwhile the Bills are starting to get healthy again and just in time as they looked like where fading after the loss to the Jaguars. A huge matchup with the Jets awaits them Thursday, which hurts the Bills chances of having LeSean McCoy ready for the game. (1-1)
  • Carolina 37, Green Bay 29: While I don’t want to go overboard since the Packer’s last two losses have been on the road against undefeated teams, it’s how the two teams defeated the Packers. A week after being completely shut down by the Broncos defense, the Packers were again slowed down until a late fourth quarter charge almost sent the game to overtime. The Packers’ defense has also been dreadful, letting both Peyton Manning and Cam Newton do whatever they wanted. The Packers are still a playoff team, but they seem to not match up well against aggressive defenses. (1-2)
  • Tennessee 34, New Orleans 28: The Titans look to finally be back on track with this win as well as with the return of Marcus Mariota. However, they have a tough test this week as they face the Panthers. As for the Saints, I knew one or both of the defenses from that epic 51-48 win over the Giants would feel the aftereffects and it looks like the answer is the Saints defense. (1-3)
  • Pittsburgh 38, Oakland 35: While the Steelers were able to pull out a must-win game, they may have to face the daunting task of having to survive without both Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell for awhile. Then again, Roethlisberger could start against the Browns because you can never count him out. The Raiders are still looking good as their offense continues to impress. (2-3)
  • Minnesota 21, St. Louis 18: Am I surprised the Rams injured an opposing quarterback? No not at all, but not because I think we have another bountygate brewing. The Rams have a very aggressive defense with the philosophy of hitting the opposing quarterback as much as legally possible. Of course, with that mentality comes the possibility of illegal hits. I think the Vikings could be in real trouble if Teddy Bridgewater misses multiple weeks as they face a competitive Raiders team this week followed by their first duel with the rival Packers the next week. (3-3)
  • New England 27, Washington 10: The loss of Dion Lewis will hurt the Patriots running game a little, but not enough to make Patriots’ fans worry about the team’s championship aspirations. After all, Tom Brady is still playing like an MVP candidate. Meanwhile the Redskins continue to play fairly well as they held the Patriots to their lowest point total of the season. The problem was that the Redskins put themselves in too big of a hole to start the game, so they never had a chance to compete. (4-3)
  • New York Jets 28, Jacksonville 23: The Jets really caught a break when the Jaguars fell apart in the fourth quarter, because if they didn’t the Jets would be on a three-game losing streak with a Thursday night matchup with the Bills next. As for the Jaguars, who showed resilience against the Bills the week before, this was a big step backwards. (5-3)
  • San Francisco 17, Atlanta 16: I have to give credit to Blaine Gabbert as he played a lot better than I expected. The 49ers as a whole really played like the season wasn’t lost yet which is a good turnaround from the previous weeks. Meanwhile the Falcons lose their second straight to a mediocre team and are starting to raise questions about the legitimacy of their record. (5-4)
  • New York Giants 32, Tampa Bay 18: Unlike the Saints, the Giants’ defense was able to turn things around after that 51-48 offensive classic. A lot of that had to do with the return of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who pressured Jameis Winston five times and even got one QB hit in his first game back with the Giants. The Buccaneers continue to go through growing pains, this time not ending drives and having to settle for field goals. (6-4)
  • Indianapolis 27, Denver 24: Everyone knew it would happen eventually. If the Broncos defense has an off-day, can the offense carry them to a win? To Peyton Manning and the offense’s credit, they almost did but it wasn’t enough. Also I need to give a lot of credit to the Colts for finally looking like the Colts we envisioned at the start of the season. Now can the Colts keep it up while having to play without Andrew Luck? (6-5)
  • Philadelphia 33, Dallas 27: The Cowboys remain winless without Tony Romo and realistically will need to stay undefeated with Tony Romo (Cowboys are already 2-0 when Romo starts) to have any shot of still winning the division. That might be too steep of a mountain to climb. Meanwhile, Sam Bradford had arguably his best game as an Eagle as he came in clutch with the overtime touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews. (7-5)
  • Chicago 22, San Diego 19: For all the talk of Jay Cutler being a bad quarterback, it should be noted that all three of the Bears’ wins were won by Cutler leading a late drive for the go-ahead score. As for the Chargers, Philip Rivers was dealt yet another blow as he has lost his second receiver in two weeks, this time losing Malcom Floyd after loosing Keenan Allen last week. (8-5)

Week 9 Record: 8-5
Season Record: 86-46 (.652)
Perfect Score Predictions: 2

Hoosiers In The NBA: Finding Their Roles This Season

NOTE: Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Hoosiers In The NBA on its new site! Please try to spread the word by liking it on Facebook or retweeting this on Twitter if you enjoyed it. Of course this is completely optional but it is greatly appreciated. Otherwise I hope you enjoy this latest edition and for more coverage follow me on twitter at @QTipsForSports or just look for the hashtag #HoosiersInTheNBA:

Sometimes it takes a while for players to adjust to their teams on a yearly basis. Even if a player never changes teams during their career, that player still sees change from year-to-year in the form of new coaches or new teammates. Even an organization as stable as the San Antonio Spurs witnesses change every season. With former franchise guys like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili getting older, Head Coach Greg Popovich has had to change his approach every season to account for those players’ declined skills and find a way to replace that production, such as giving more offensive control to Kawhi Leonard. Now Leonard is the star while Duncan and Ginobili are the role players.

All four of our former Hoosiers have seen their role change from last season and surprisingly enough each one has already settled into their new role. This week I will go over how each ex-Hoosier’s role has changed from last season and why they have been able to succeed in those roles so far this season:

Eric Gordon: Guard, New Orleans Pelicans:

Vs Orlando (L 103-94): 21 points (8-19 FG)(1-2 FT), 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 38 minutes.

Vs Atlanta (L 121-115): 22 points (8-15 FG)(3-3 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, block, turnover, 5 personal fouls, 39 minutes.

@ Dallas (L 107-98): 21 points (7-15 FG)(2-2 FT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, steal, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 41 minutes.

Another way someone’s role can change is when someone else on the team gets injured and can’t play. A year after transitioning himself into a three-point specialist, Eric Gordon is back to being the lead scoring guard for the New Orleans Pelicans. Gordon saw his role reduced so that Tyreke Evans, who had arguably his best season since his rookie of the year campaign, could be a bigger part of the offense. However, after off-season knee surgery, Evans has yet to take the court and probably won’t for the next couple of months. This has given Gordon his chance to shine once again in the role he was expected to hold for a decade when he came to New Orleans in the Chris Paul-trade. Of course like any good veteran, Gordon didn’t just simply revert to how he played in this role during previous seasons. Instead he is taking advantage of his improved range as Gordon has made at least three three-pointers and has shot 33% or better from deep in all four of his 20-point games this season. This shows that while he is filling the lead guard role at the moment, he is also aware that he needs to keep his three-point skills sharp as he will eventually switch back to that role once Evans returns to the team.

Victor Oladipo: Guard, Orlando Magic:

@ New Orleans (W 103-94): 12 points (4-8 FG)(3-3 FT), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, block, 2 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 36 minutes.

@ Houston (L 119-114 OT): 18 points (7-16 FG)(3-3 FT), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, turnover, 2 personal fouls, 44 minutes.

Vs Toronto (W 92-87): 18 points (7-14 FG)(3-4 FT), 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, turnover, personal foul, 31 minutes.

@ Philadelphia (W 105-97): 15 points (6-18 FG)(2-2 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, turnover, 34 minutes.

I’ve talked a number of times about how Victor Oladipo can become the leader of the Orlando Magic. However, being the leader doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the best offensive player and the leading scorer. Despite surprising offensive success last season, I think what we saw last year was Oladipo overextending himself. By focusing so much on offense, his defense suffered. Now for the first time in his NBA career, Oladipo is posting an above average player efficiency rating (15.59 PER) and the Orlando Magic are starting to win. He is doing this despite shooting a career-worst 37.9% from the floor and 27.0% from deep. You may be asking how is that possible? Oladipo has made up for his poor shooting by grabbing nearly eight rebounds a game, creating nearly two steals a game, and greatly reducing his turnovers. That last one is huge as Oladipo has been a turnover machine at times (averaging three per game for his career) because he simply tries too hard sometimes. Now he is more careful and patient with the ball and has seen that number cut in half. If Oladipo can raise his shooting percentage north of 40% again, I think we may in for Oladipo’s best season yet.

Noah Vonleh: Forward, Portland Trail Blazers:

@ Minnesota (W 106-101): 5 points (1-3 FG)(3-4 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 19 minutes.

@ Utah (W 108-92): 1 point (0-3 FG)(1-2 FT), turnover, 3 personal fouls, 13 minutes.

Vs Memphis (W 115-96): 2 points (1-4 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, personal foul, 11 minutes.

Vs Detroit (L 120-103): 4 points (2-3 FG), 3 rebounds, assist, turnover, personal foul, 10 minutes.

Being the only Hoosier to change teams this offseason, it was expected that Noah Vonleh’s role would change as he was with an entirely new organization. Sure enough, Vonleh finds himself in a completely different role with the Portland Trail Blazers as he has gone from last man off the bench to first big man off the bench. While the statistics don’t seem to show much improvement, there’s no way to downplay the fact that the Blazers are continuing to involve Vonleh even though he is still developing. Unlike in Charlotte, the Blazers know the importance long-term of getting Vonleh experience on the court, and that is why Vonleh has had more playing time than a veteran like Chris Kamen who could probably help the team more this season. Vonleh has given some quality minutes but he still needs to improve. However, as long as the Blazers keep supporting him, Vonleh will eventually reward Portland for its patience.

Cody Zeller: Forward, Charlotte Hornets:

Vs Chicago (W 130-105): 6 points (2-5 FG)(2-2 FT), 5 rebounds, assist, steal, turnover, 16 minutes.

@ Dallas (W 108-94): 11 points (4-6 FG)(3-4 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 steals, block, 3 personal fouls, 19 minutes.

@ San Antonio (L 114-94): 2 points (0-4 FG)(2-4 FT), 5 rebounds, assist, steal, turnover, 2 personal fouls, 24 minutes.

Cody Zeller has seen his role change more than any Hoosier I have covered for this column. So it’s no surprise that Zeller again finds himself in a new role for the Charlotte Hornets this season. Last year Zeller seemingly found his niche as an athletic post defender and that has been his primary role this season. The difference this year is that instead of playing alongside Al Jefferson in the starting lineup to help cover for Big Al defensively, Zeller is coming off the bench to force extra defensive pressure when the Hornets’ main scorers (Jefferson and Kemba Walker) are off the court. Not only that, but playing against other bench players gives Zeller a better chance to become more confident on the offensive side of the ball. While his offensive game hasn’t seen much progress, his defensive game has become more versatile. Zeller is currently averaging 1.17 steals per game and has had a steal in all seven games this year. This shows he is becoming more confident as a defender and that he is willing to be more aggressive. If Zeller is able to gain confidence offensively, I could see him moving back into the starting lineup and thus changing his role yet again.

Season averages:

Eric Gordon: 17.8ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.2apg, 0.83spg, 0.17bpg, 1.7tpg, 2.4fpg, 41.1% FG, 38.3% 3FG, 83.3% FT, 36.0mpg.

Victor Oladipo: 16.3ppg, 7.6rpg, 4.6apg, 1.86spg, 0.71bpg, 1.6tpg, 1.9fpg, 37.9% FG, 27.0% 3FG, 88.9% FT, 38.7mpg.

Noah Vonleh: 2.3ppg, 2.7rpg, 0.4apg, 0.43bpg, 1.0tpg, 1.7fpg, 30.0% FG, 0.0% 3FG, 66.7% FT, 13.4mpg.

Cody Zeller: 6.2ppg, 5.3rpg, 0.5apg, 1.17spg, 0.33bpg, 0.7tpg, 1.7fpg, 43.3% FG, 0.0% 3FG, 73.3% FT, 21.5mpg.