Zeller, Hulls named to all-tournament team
By Nathan Brown
After the Hoosiers capped their 82-72 overtime victory against Georgetown in the finals of the Progressive Legends Classic, it was announced that senior guard Jordan Hulls and sophomore forward Cody Zeller were named to the all-tournament team, with Hulls taking home the MVP award.
Against Georgetown, both players led the team with 17 points each, while Hulls snagged four steals to lead the team, and Zeller pulled down eight rebounds. Zeller’s performance, though, was a stark improvement on the six points he put up Monday night during IU’s win against Georgia, where the sophomore forward committed four turnovers and played only 27 minutes due to early foul trouble.
Hulls, on the other hand, was a consistent scorer during the tournament, shooting 7-12 from behind the arc while being the only Hoosier to average more than 15 points over both games.
It was also Hulls’ back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second half of the game against Georgia which vaulted IU from a three point lead to a nine point cushion, and the Hoosiers never led by less than eight points for the rest of the evening.
Zeller back to health
Last week IU Coach Tom Crean noted several times that Zeller had been suffering from some sort of sickness that had been keeping him out of several practices and some classes. He was still able to play in both of IU’s victories against North Dakota State and Sam Houston State, as well as Monday’s game against Georgia, but Zeller said he hadn’t quite gotten his full strength till tonight after suffering from what he called asthmatic bronchitis.
“I felt good today,” Zeller said. “Up until today, I hadn’t felt so good. I had a form of asthmatic bronchitis, or something, so I couldn’t breathe very well, and tonight, I finally got my wind back.”
Former IU recruits struggle
Two players on Georgetown’s roster, freshman guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and junior center Moses Ayegba, who both were recruited by IU during their high school years, both were not much of a factor in the IU victory. Smith-Rivera, who grew up in Indianapolis and attended Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, scored only three points in the finals off a single 3-pointer. Ayegba failed to make it into the game.
Yogi stands out among IU freshmen
It was rumored that the NCAA may rule on IU’s appeal regarding the suspensions of freshmen forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea and center Peter Jurkin, but both players continued to sit behind the IU bench, along with injured senior forward Derek Elston, as no ruling was announced.
Their other two freshmen teammates, guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell and forward Jeremy Hollowell, though, had vastly different performances Tuesday night.
Hollowell logged only eight minutes during several short stints on the court where the Indianapolis-native looked as if the hype of the game may have been getting to him. He took only one shot – a missed 3-pointer – all the while registering two personal fouls and four turnovers that several times killed IU’s momentum.
Ferrell, on the other hand, was one of five Hoosiers in double-digits with 14 points, including a team-leading four assists. He also hit a fade-away 3-pointer in overtime as the shot clock ran out that boosted IU’s lead to 10 points - what ended up being the Hoosiers’ largest lead of the game.
“I pretty much just let it go” Ferrell said. “It kind of just felt natural – it definitely did feel good, so it was kind of a prayer shot, but I’m glad it went in.”
Hoosiers able to put Georgetown into foul trouble
Although both teams were tied after regulation, the Hoosiers held a sizeable advantage at the free throw line, going 13-19 from the charity stripe during the first 40 minutes, while the Hoyas were just 1-2.
The Hoosiers were able to foul out three Georgetown players – Mikael Hopkins in regulation and Markel Starks and Jabril Trawick, both in overtime.
IU entered the extra period already in the double-bonus, and Zeller said he and his teammates kept trying to play aggressive to help draw the fouls that led to 13 of the Hoosiers’ 18 points from the foul line in overtime
“It’s always in our game plan to get to the free throw line,” Zeller said. “Being aggressive, attacking the rim; you’ve got to get extra possessions with free throws.”