Indiana’s Senior Day Victory Over Maryland As Told By Twitter

Every Senior Day is special and that’s no different at Indiana University, but when that day is about celebrating one of the school’s greatest players as well as an unexpected Big Ten championship, that calls for an extra special celebration. That celebration came after Indiana defeated Maryland 80-62 to close out the regular season 17-0 at Assembly Hall and 25-6 overall.

Nothing captures the feeling of what happens in the moment quite like Twitter so for this article I’m going to let the social media site help tell the story of IU’s 2016 Senior Day:


Even though most of the celebrations were held until after the game, one thing was celebrated before the game. Troy Williams became the 49th Indiana player to score 1,000 career points during IU’s win over Purdue and, as per custom under Head Coach Tom Crean, was honored before the next home game.

The first half started slowly for the Hoosiers but IU eventually got in a rhythm. An 18-12 Maryland lead was erased and forgotten as Indiana closed out the half on a 29-10 run to lead 41-28 at half. That run included fantastic plays such no-look passes, an insane block, and a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

The second half had its share of highlights as well, including Williams’ ridiculous start to the half, Juwan Morgan playing point guard, and Nick Zeisloft’s insane playground pass.

Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell has given everything he has into this season, and one hustle play pretty much summed up his complete dedication near the end of his final home game.

After the finals seconds ticked off and Indiana finished the season undefeated at Assembly Hall, it was time for the senior ceremonies.

Jackson Tharp:

Max Bielfeldt:

Ryan Burton:

Nick Zeisloft:

Yogi Ferrell:

Last but not least, a few former Hoosiers also took to twitter to compliment this Hoosier squad and their seniors.

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Mistake-Free Indiana Able To Hold Off Rival Purdue

The Indiana Hoosiers’ Achilles’ Heel all season has been turnovers and so the question became “how good would the Hoosiers be if they didn’t commit turnovers?”

They answered that question on Saturday when IU committed only four turnovers as they beat archrival Purdue 77-73 to break a three-game losing streak in the series.

The Hoosiers went the first 17:06 of the first half without committing a turnover and only had one at half while the Boilermakers had eight. The four total turnovers for the game ties for the fewest by the Hoosiers in the last three seasons.

“We want to play fast, we just don’t want to play reckless,” said Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean about how the team’s mindset led the way for there being so few turnovers. “I think (our players) have a lot of respect for Purdue. They know how good that defense is. They put a lot of pressure on you. So to me, we needed to make the simple play.”

Indiana (22-6, 12-3) also showed it has multiple players who can take a game over at a moment’s notice. The first half featured Troy Williams and Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell ripping apart Purdue’s defense as the duo accounted for 28 of IU’s 35 first half points. In the second half, Thomas Bryant scored the Hoosiers’ first seven points of the second half while Max Bielfeldt had all of his 10 points and 6 rebounds after halftime, including a stretch where he was responsible for eight points during a 12-0 IU run.

Williams led all scorers with 19 points and in the process became the 49th Hoosier to score 1,000 career points. Ferrell also broke out of his shooting slump as he went 7 of 13 from the floor to score 18 points.

The Boilermakers (21-7, 9-6) were led by freshman big man Caleb Swanigan, who had 14 points and eight rebounds. He was also a key player behind Purdue’s 21-9 rally during the final seven minutes of the game, in which he scored half of his points.

Purdue almost had a shot to tie or take the lead when A.J. Hammons blocked Ferrell’s drive to the basket with 7.1 seconds left but was called for goaltending. Despite looking like a questionable call in the moment, replay showed that Hammons touched the rim during the block attempt which by rules certifies a goaltend. Indiana was able to hang on from there.

The Hoosiers won’t play until this Thursday when they travel to face Illinois. The game will be at 9pm eastern time and will be on ESPN.

From The Boxscore:

  • For those of you who want proof that Indiana only turned the ball over four times (and I don’t really blame the skepticism), here is a list of the four turnovers and what happened during those possessions:
    1. The first one didn’t come until the 2:54 mark of the first half and it came on a Robert Johnson offensive foul, which technically counts as a turnover because you did something that gave the ball to the opponent without the reason being a missed shot.
    2. The second one came with 9:07 left in the second half and was credited to Yogi Ferrell.
    3. Max Bielfeldt committed the third one with 7:36 left in the second half.
    4. It wasn’t until the fourth and final turnover that Purdue made Indiana pay for a mistake. Ferrell’s second turnover of the game with 44 seconds left was a result of a Purdue player poking out the ball from behind while Ferrell was dealing with the press in front of him. P.J. Thompson got the steal and assisted on a Dakota Mathias three-pointer that made it a one-possession game.
  • This is the third time in the last 20 years that the Hoosiers have won 12 of their first 15 Big Ten games. The other times were 2008 and 2013.
  • Ferrell, after shooting 10 of 40 his last four games, ended his slump when he made 7 of 13 on Saturday.
  • This was Ferrell’s 130th career start at IU which ties him with Christian Watford for the most career starts by a Hoosier.
  • Troy Williams becomes the 49th Hoosier with 1,000 career points and the eighth player to do it under IU head coach Tom Crean.
  • Having only 4 turnovers to Purdue’s 13 is great, but what’s even better is that IU had 20 points off turnovers compared to Purdue’s 3 points off turnovers.

Hoosiers Improve To 7-0 In Big Ten With Blowout Win Over Northwestern

The Indiana Hoosiers beat the Northwestern Wildcats 89-57 on Saturday to improve to 7-0 in Big Ten play. The 7-0 start to conference play is the best the Hoosiers have done since Calbert Cheaney’s senior season back in 1993.

You would think that a 32-point win over a team that has never been to the NCAA tournament would be no big deal, but don’t be fooled: this was one of Indiana’s most impressive wins of the season.

The Wildcats came into this week with the same number of wins as the Hoosiers (15) and was an impressive 4-0 on the road. The Wildcats lost their first road game of the season after pushing #7 Maryland to overtime, so the Hoosiers deserve more respect for beating the Wildcats by 32.

For Indiana (17-3, 7-0), these blowout home wins are becoming routine. Saturday marked the third straight home game the Hoosiers held a 30-point lead and also marked the first time IU has won three straight Big Ten home games by 25+ points since the 1987-88 season.

“I knew this team was going to be a good team”, said Collin Hartman, who scored eight of the Hoosiers’ first 13 points and finished with 11. “I knew there was a lot of talent. I knew I enjoyed being with these guys and the chemistry was going to translate to the court. With this little streak we’ve got going, I think it’s starting to show, and things are coming together and it’s a lot of fun.”

Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell led the Hoosiers with 17 points and six assists, and in the process passed Eric Anderson to move into the top 10 of Indiana’s all-time scoring list. He’s one of only three IU players to be ranked in the school’s top 10 of scoring and assists (the others being Damon Bailey and A.J. Guyton).

It was a balanced scoring attack for the Hoosiers as nine different Indiana players had at least five points, with Max Bielfeldt (13) joining Hartman and Ferrell as the only Hoosiers in double-figures.

Northwestern (15-6, 3-5) received the majority of its scoring from the combo of Alex Olah and Tre Demps. Olah led all scorers with 19 points while Demps added 17 points for the Wildcats.

The Hoosiers will take to the road as they travel to Madison on Tuesday to face the Wisconsin Badgers. The game will be at 7pm and will be a rematch of the Hoosiers’ 59-58 win earlier in the season at Assembly Hall when Indiana honored the 1976 team.

From The Boxscore:

  • If it seems like everyone on the Hoosiers can shoot from three it’s because they can. Juwan Morgan became the 12th different Hoosier this season to make a three-pointer when he made one from the corner against Northwestern.
  • The Hoosiers have won their last three Big Ten home game by 25 or more points. The last time IU did that was during the 1987-1988 season when they beat Minnesota by 29, Northwestern by 29, and Michigan State by 37.
  • When the Hoosier won their last Big Ten season championship (2012-2013), they won just three Big Ten home games by 25 or more points during the whole season.
  • Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell keeps climbing up IU’s all-time ladder. Ferrell (1,720 points) passed Eric Anderson (1,715)  for 10th on IU’s scoring list and only 22 points separates him from claiming 7th place. Ferrell could pass the following names next week: Christian Watford (1,730), Kent Benson (1,740), and Damon Bailey (1,741).
  • The Hoosiers as a team had 48 assists over the course of the last two games and are now up to five games with 20 or more assists this season.
  • Max Bielfeldt has now made more three-pointers in one season as a Hoosier (12) than he did in three seasons with the Michigan Wolverines (11).

Multiple Records Fall As Indiana Obliterates Illinois

Coming in to Tuesday night’s game against the Illinois Fighting Illini, one of the Indiana Hoosiers’ basketball records was expected to be broken. Yet when the final buzzer sounded and the Hoosiers walked off the court with a 103-69 win, they did it knowing that they had actually broken two school records.

The first one that was expected to be broken was Indiana’s career assist record. Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell came into the game one assist behind previous record-holder Michael Lewis’ 545 assists. Ferrell surpassed that with a no-look pass to Max Bielfeldt in the post who converted an easy layup to give the senior point guard the record at the 11:19 mark of the first half. Ferrell didn’t stop there as he finished with nine assists and also added 16 points.

“That’s a great honor,” said Ferrell about becoming the Hoosiers all-time leader in assists. “I played with a lot of great guys coming up: Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, that’s what I like to be. I like to be a facilitator for my team, and I feel like I’ve gotten to have known my teammates very well all four years.”

One of those players took to twitter to express how proud he was of his former teammate.

The other record that fell was made three-pointers by the Hoosiers in a single game. The Illini clogged the paint to begin the game, having all five players circling around the free throw line. The defensive gameplan was to prevent the Hoosiers from getting easy buckets in the paint and instead have them settle for jump shots. Unfortunately for Illinois, the Hoosiers were up to that challenge as they made the Illini pay by making five of their first seven three-point attempts. Even when Illinois starting defending the three-point line, the Hoosiers were still firing as Indiana finished the game with 19 made three-pointers. Not only is that an Indiana record for most in a single game, but it also set a record for most three-pointers made by one team in a Big Ten game.

“(The Illini) were locked into knowing that they were going to come with a lot of edge and energy on the glass,” said Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean about Illinois’ defensive approach against the Hoosiers. “Once we figured out that we needed to continue to go to the paint to get our three-point shots we were much better.”

Nine different Hoosiers made a three-pointer, with Ferrell leading the way with five. Rob Johnson and Nick Zeisloft had three three-pointers, Bielfeldt and Troy Williams had two three-pointers, and Colin Hartman, Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, and Harrison Niego all added one three-pointer.

The lone bright spot for Illinois (9-10, 1-5) was Malcolm Hill, who scored a team-high 20 points and added five rebounds. Indiana (16-3, 6-0) was led in scoring by Williams, who finished with 21 points along with four rebounds and five assists.

The Hoosiers will face another Big Ten school from the state of Illinois as Indiana hosts Northwestern on Saturday at 12pm in Assembly Hall.

From The Boxscore:

  • Not only do the Hoosiers have the most threes ever in a Big Ten game, but they also hold the record for the second, third and fourth most in a Big Ten game.
  • This was the fourth time this season that the Hoosiers have scored in the triple-digits and the first time they’ve done it without James Blackmon Jr. In fact, JBJ had at least 20 or more points in those other three games this season.
  • Everyone on the Hoosiers who attempted a three-pointer made at least one. Collin Hartman, Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, and Harrison Niego each attempted just one shot from behind the arc and made that shot.
  • Troy Williams had a team-high 21 points and added five assists without committing a single turnover. He also made two three-pointers. “Tornado Troy” was nothing but positive for the Hoosier tonight.
  • Just being on the receiving end of Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell’s record-breaking assist would have constituted a great night for Max Bielfeldt but his performance didn’t stop there. Bielfeldt finished with 16 points, 3 assists, and team-highs in rebounds (8), steals (3), and blocks (2).
  • Lost in Ferrell’s performance, Rob Johnson again flirted with a triple-double, He finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
  • The Hoosiers have now won 11 games in a row, one short of Tom Crean’s best winning streak as the Indiana head coach. His 2011-2012 Hoosiers started the season 12-0, which included the memorable buzzer-beating win over top-ranked Kentucky.
  • In addition to taking the top spot on the all-time assist list, Ferrell also passed Brian Evans for 11th on IU’s all-time scoring list.

 

Bielfeldt Helps Short-Handed Hoosiers Hold Off Rutgers

The Indiana Hoosiers avoided a bad start to conference play by defeating the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 79-72  in Piscataway, New Jersey on Wednesday to win IU’s first Big Ten game of this season.

The close score and the quality of opponent (Rutgers was ranked as the 245th ranked team according to Kenpom) may have Hoosier Nation very worried going forward but the truth is that this was a good win considering the circumstances.

The Hoosiers faced an uphill challenge from the beginning of the game when James Blackmon Jr. was ruled out due to a knee injury he suffered during one of the practices heading into conference play. The Hoosiers faced even more adversity when Thomas Bryant got in early foul trouble and stayed in foul trouble all game before fouling out in the second half. In total, Bryant played all of six minutes and only contributed three points and a single rebound.

Then there was the turnovers. The Hoosiers finished the game with 23 of them and the biggest problem was that they came from players you’d least expect. Starting Guards Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell and Rob Johnson combined for 11 turnovers (six for Ferrell and five for Johnson) and Troy Williams, who does have a tendency to get too careless with the basketball, had a shockingly bad day even for him as he committed more turnovers (7) then he grabbed rebounds (6).

While most of these troubles were self-inflicted, the Hoosiers should still be given credit for overcoming everything to win their first conference game as well as their first road game of the season (the Maui Invitational counting as neutral site games).

Collin Hartman did a good job filling in for the injured Blackmon Jr. as he finished with nine points, including two three-pointers in the first few minutes of the game, and also added two rebounds.

However, the biggest story was Max Bielfeldt.

Unlike Hartman, Bielfeldt didn’t come into the game knowing he would have to make up for a starter’s lost production. Yet Bielfeldt filled in magnificently for the foul-plagued Bryant by tying a career-high 18 points as well as grabbing a team-high 14 rebounds. His combination of passing, scoring, and interior defense was almost Zellerish at times and was greatly needed for the Hoosiers to beat a very aggressive Rutgers team.

While Bryant didn’t have a great first Big Ten game, O.G. Anunoby did. The freshman from Missouri played his best game yet as he finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and two steals while also making two more three-pointers.

Longtime reserve Ryan Burton also made two three-pointers for an Indiana bench that nearly outscored the starters (42-37). Ferrell had a terrible first half but played significantly better in the second half as he ended up leading the Hoosiers in points (20) and assists (7).

The Hoosiers will get to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day but will play again on Saturday at Nebraska before returning home to face Wisconsin next Tuesday.

 

Bryant And Blackmon Jr. Lead Indiana’s Rout Of McNeese State

Against IPFW on Wednesday, Thomas Bryant and James Blackmon Jr. were afterthoughts on offense as both scored a mere four points each during the Hoosiers’ win over the Mastodons. However, tonight it was Bryant and Blackmon Jr. leading the Hoosiers’ offense as Indiana defeated the McNeese State Cowboys 105-60 for the Hoosiers third straight win. It was also the team’s third game this season where they have scored over 100 points.

Blackmon Jr. led all scorers with 24 points and also added five rebounds and a career-high two blocks. Bryant scored 18 points on 7 of 7 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds, five of them on the offensive end of the court.

After McNeese State scored five straight points to tie the game at 11-11 with 13 minutes to go, the Hoosiers outscored the Cowboys 28-9 over the ensuing seven minutes and the Hoosiers maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game.

A total of five Hoosiers scored in double-figures, with Troy Williams (13 points), Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (12 points), and Max Bielfeldt (11 points) joining Blackmon Jr. and Bryant. Ferrell also had seven assists.

Tevin Jackson, who was averaging only 4.9 points per game for McNeese State heading into Saturday, scored a team-high 13 points and also grabbed seven rebounds. Jamaya Burr, the Cowboys leading scorer on the season with 13.9ppg, added 12 points.

The Hoosiers will get the week off to focus on final exams but will get a big test when they face Notre Dame next Saturday in Indianapolis as part of the Crossroads Classic.

Stats From The Boxscore:

  • This is the third time this season that the Hoosiers have scored 100+ points in a game. The other two occasions were against Austin Peay (102 points) and Alcorn State (112 points).
  • This is also the third time this season that James Blackmon Jr. scored 20+ points. All three games have occurred when the Hoosiers as a team scored 100+ points.
  • Blackmon Jr. recorded a career-high two blocks against the Cowboys. He had two blocks during his entire freshman season.
  • Thomas Bryant’s performance Saturday (18 points and 9 rebounds) might be his best this season. The nine rebounds tied a season-high he set against Eastern Illinois and the 18 points were one off his season-high 19 that he scored against St. John’s.
  • Bryant is also clicking from the charity stripe. After shooting just 58.3% (21 of 36) over his first eight games, Bryant has hit 85.7% (12 of 14) of his free throws during his past three games.
  • Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell recorded seven assists to give him 11 games in a row with five or more assists, which is the longest such streak of his career.
  • In addition to his 13 points, Troy Williams again stuffed the statsheet with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. Williams also made his first three-pointer in the last six games.
  • Not only did the Hoosiers only commit nine turnovers, they also scored 30 points off of the Cowboys’ 19 turnovers.
  • McNeese State was ranked tied for 312th in the NCAA in points allowed per game, but had yet to allow another team to score 100+ points until the Hoosiers did Saturday night.
  • This is the third straight game the Hoosiers have limited their opponent to under 35% shooting. Morehead State shot 31.4% (16 of 51), IPFW shot 34.8% (23 of 66), and McNeese State shot 31.7% (20 of 63).

Hoosiers Aggressive On Offense and Defense During Blowout Win Over Morehead State

There was little doubt that Indiana would play better defensively after embarrassingly giving up 94 points to Duke on Wednesday. Yet the Hoosiers showed a defensive aggressiveness in their 92-59 win over the Morehead State Eagles that hasn’t been shown all season.

“Really proud of the effort, energy, attitude, the way they responded”, said Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean about the aggression his team showed against the Eagles. “It’s been a long couple of weeks and I thought they did an outstanding job of learning and applying it and bringing their practice game and practice preparation to the course, and they did it for a long period of time.”

After giving up quite a few open shots when playing zone against Duke, Indiana stuck to playing man-to-man for most of the game against Morehead State. The Hoosiers not only succeeded in man-to-man coverage, but they looked a lot more comfortable than they did when playing the zone the past few games. That comfort aided a suddenly confident defense as they held the Eagles to a season-low 59 points and only let them shoot 31.4 % from the floor.

“We were a little more connected in our coverages, and especially with our switching”, said Coach Crean. “Their mind-set was excellent. They were rotating well. We were drawing charges. We didn’t spend the game in rotation.”

Indiana was also aggressive on offense, attempting a season-low 15 three-pointers and instead they scored 46 points in the post by driving to the basket, scoring layups in transition, and getting the ball in the paint when a Hoosier was either open or had a mismatch. Because the Hoosiers went to the basket so much, it led to a season-high 36 free throw attempts. The Hoosiers took advantage as they shot 75% or better from the free throw line for the third game in a row after failing to reach 70% in five of their first six games.

The Eagles, who came into the game allowing the second fewest points per game in the NCAA at 55.2, ran a Wisconsin-style grind-it-out offense to limit Indiana’s offensive possessions and it worked for the first seven minutes as Morehead State held a 13-12 lead. Yet the Hoosiers were able to speed up the pace and from the 13:30 to 4:00 minutes left in the first half the Hoosiers went on a 27-6 run to take control of the game and would never relinquish it. Due to the faster pace, the slow-it-down Eagles committed 23 turnovers, which the Hoosiers turned into 27 points. The Eagles also committed 28 personal fouls.

The Hoosiers will be off for a few days but will return to action this coming Wednesday against IPFW in Assembly Hall. The game will start at 7pm but will not be broadcasted on television so check for radio stations, such as IU’s student-run WIUX 99.1 FM, if you can’t attend the game.

 

Stats From The Boxscore:

  • Indiana had five players score in double-figures. Troy Williams led the Hoosiers with 16 points, James Blackmon Jr. and Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell both had 15 points, Thomas Bryant had 14 points, and Max Bielfeldt scored 12 points off the bench.
  • Both Bryant (4 of 4) and Bielfeldt (5 of 5) were perfect from the floor while Williams only missed on shot (6 of 7).
  • Ferrell’s layup with 14:07 left in the first half made him the 16th Indiana Hoosier to score 1,500 career points.
  • Ferrell also recorded seven assists, which now has him four away from claiming third on IU’s all-time assist list.
  • Not only did the Hoosiers attempt a season-low 15 three-pointers, but they only made 33.3% of those shots, tying their worst mark of the season (IU also shot 33.3% from deep against Eastern Illinois).
  • In addition to holding Morehead State to a season-low 59 points, the Hoosiers’ 92 points are the most the Eagles have allowed all season, with the previous high being 66 points allowed to Illinois State.