____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>INDIANAPOLIS — When IU Coach Tom Crean left the press room after Saturday’s 79-72 loss to Notre Dame, senior forward Will Sheehey boiled down Crean’s criticisms.Crean talked about how his squad needs to continue to develop an identity with freshmen and sophomores seeing the bulk of the playing time.For Sheehey, in the midst of his final season as a student-athlete, his demeanor and short responses said it all.“Second-chance points, turnovers are two things that we have to cut down on,” he said simply. “He’s (Noah Vonleh) got to demand the ball, and we’ve got to throw it to him. It’s as simple as that.”In IU’s first 11 games of the season, the Hoosiers have shown promise in creating a winning format, though against a non-conference slate. IU won its first five games of the season. Vonleh, a freshman forward, notched double-doubles in his first four collegiate games and fell just a rebound shy with 18 points in a win against Washington in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic.In losses to Connecticut, Syracuse and Notre Dame, Vonleh has averaged just 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. On Saturday he finished with eight points and six rebounds.But one of the biggest problems was his five shots and sole free-throw attempt in 21 minutes of action.During the past six games, Vonleh, IU’s main post presence, has taken just 27 shots after appearing to be one of IU’s best scoring threats early in the season.Early on Saturday, as the Irish started with a smaller, four-guard lineup and man-to-man defense, Vonleh excelled with two buckets in the first 2 minutes of the game.Then the Hoosiers fell behind, the deficit reaching double-digits with 6 minutes and 36 seconds left in the half as Notre Dame switched to a 2-3 zone that perplexed the Hoosiers.The slew of jump shots soon followed — a trend that Crean has said countless times this season can’t happen because of the lack of trustworthy shooting abilities.“We shot too many jumpers to begin the game, but some of that is we’re not demanding the ball inside the way we need to,” Crean said. “We’re not demanding it verbally. We’re not demanding it physically the way that we need to.“We’re not a team that’s going to be real successful thinking we’re going to shoot a lot of jump shots. We’ve got to get into the lane. We’ve not been real successful when we’re not in the bonus early enough. We’re not successful enough when we’re not dominating the free-throw line.”Crean said his team came into Saturday No. 1 in the country in rebound margin and one of the top teams at getting chances at the free-throw line, but because the Hoosiers had to be on attack mode from the start — they never led — players didn’t trust their postgame against the zone and instead relied on jumpers.In the first half, they managed to stay within striking distance with a combination of a post-presence and outside shooting. Sheehey and Gordon got into a rhythm outside and finished the first half with 16 and eight points, respectively, to go along with 16 points in the paint for the Hoosiers.IU tied the game twice early in the second half — at 47-47 and 49-49 — but Crean said his team couldn’t fight all the way back as it had in their previous losses. He said they had strayed away from what makes his IU squad flourish.“We made a bunch of runs, but we just couldn’t get all the way over the hump — whether it was a missed shot or a missed play defensively.“We want to shoot the ball, but we want to shoot the ball after it’s been reversed, after it’s been to the paint, after it’s gone inside out. We did that last year. We just had better 3-point shooters, so right now we’ll get better shooting the ball, but we have to understand how we win.”In the second half, Vonleh scored just two points and pulled down just three rebounds. The Hoosiers forced just eight fouls and were outscored at the free-throw line by seven points.With a team that has succeeded so much playing inside out this season, Crean said his team has to continue to progress over the next few weeks before conference play, learning to stick to the simple method that keeps this IU team in games against some of the top competition in the country.“Any team that’s going to be successful forms an identity. It’s formed over a period of time, and what I’m learning with a very young team is that every time you think you’re taking a step toward that identity, it’s very easy to take a step or two back.”Follow Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
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____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Last Saturday, graduate student guard Evan Gordon set a new season-high mark of 15 points.Tuesday at Assembly Hall in IU’s 81-54 victory against Oakland, IU’s first man off the bench had eclipsed this mark by the end of the first half.With another night of just two missed shots, shooting 10-for-12 from the field and 4-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line, Gordon scored 26 to lead the Hoosiers to an 81-54 victory against the Golden Grizzlies.Over the past two games, Gordon has shot 17-for-21 and has scored 41 points. He scored just 45 points combined in his first eight contests as a Hoosier.After the game, Gordon said he hadn’t checked his phone yet to see if his brother, former Hoosier Eric Gordon, had texted him and given him a hard time for coming up short of his career-mark of 33 points he scored in his first game in the cream and crimson against Chattanooga.Gordon laughed, nodded and said he hadn’t heard from him yet. For the last two nights, he’s just been the open guy.“We’ve just been moving the ball as a team. I’ve stayed aggressive,” Gordon said.But he said during his low-scoring output his first several games, starting point guard Kevin “Yogi’ Ferrell kept telling him to stay confident. Gordon worked more in the gym with IU Associate Head Coach Tim Buckley, and he’s risen to the occasion when his teammates have needed him the last two times on the court.“Yogi stayed on me to make sure I stayed confident in my shot, and our coaches stayed on me, and I’ve been doing extra work, so it’s all coming out,” Gordon said.“When your team has confidence in you to make your shot, it gives you confidence.”Gordon entered the game with 15 minutes and 45 seconds left in the first half and almost immediately got on the stat line. After freshman forward Noah Vonleh blocked a shot on defense, Gordon drove the court and evaded a charge call to lay in a left-handed layup off the glass just 22 seconds into his game.Gordon caught fire minutes later. After a layup the possession before, he hit his first of four 3-pointers. Just 46 seconds later, his second one fell.IU’s backup point guard came in again in the first shift of the second half and made his first bucket, a floater off the glass from near the baseline with 12 minutes and eight seconds left in the half. He followed with another 3-pointer to give him eight-straight shots made to start the night, passing his mark from the last game by one shot and just one short of tying senior forward Will Sheehey’s mark of a perfect 9-for-9 in a game last season against Purdue.Three minutes later, he suffered his first miss, a blocked layup.Although he didn’t quite set records Tuesday night, Crean said he hopes to continue to see this success from his backup point guard.Crean said he hasn’t given any thought to penciling Gordon into the starting lineup yet, but with the fluidity of his lineups, anything is possible before the Hoosiers’ next game against Notre Dame Saturday.“Hopefully that confidence continues, and it will if he continues to spend that extra time in the gym,” Crean said. “I have no doubt.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>So far this season, the Hoosiers have had mixed success defending the 3-point shot.As a whole, the team’s numbers look pretty solid. Opponents have only averaged 28.6 percent shooting from behind the arc thus far, but the Hoosiers are allowing an average of more than 20 attempts from long range per game.Monday evening, IU Coach Tom Crean said defending the 3-pointer against one of the best 3-point threats in the nation will be his team’s pivotal focus on defense. As the Hoosiers take on Oakland and senior guard Travis Bader at 7 p.m. at Assembly Hall, Crean said he hopes his players can limit Bader to fewer than his nearly 11 attempts per game from beyond the arc.“He never stops moving. He’s the top returning 3-point shooter in the country, let alone the top one right now,” Crean said. “He does a great job using his body. He pushes off to get open. He shot fakes. He definitely knows how to set you up.“He’s one of those guys, if you relax for a second, it’s going up.”A few weeks ago, the Hoosiers managed to shut down Evansville’s vaunted 3-point threat D.J. Balentine to just 5-of-17 shooting from the floor and an 0-for-5 mark from behind the arc. Outside of that game, Balentine is shooting 50 percent from 3-point land this season.But against Syracuse, Crean said the Hoosiers struggled to keep track of the Orange’s long-range threat, Trevor Cooney, in transition. Cooney put up nine 3-point attempts, sinking five of them and leading Syracuse to victory with a game-high 21 points.Crean said his players can’t let that happen again tonight.“This is a little bit of a better-moving Cooney. The number one thing we didn’t want to let Cooney do is get lost in transition, and he got lost in transition twice,” Crean said. “You can’t let great shooters get lost in the game.“He (Bader) moves so well without the ball, and he doesn’t have to have the ball in his hand to create.”Crean said he was also impressed watching Bader shoot comfortably off of either foot, whether he was squared up or not before his quick release. As long as his teammates can find him, Crean said, Bader will be a constant threat.“That one time you don’t find him, and you just give him a little bit of space, he doesn’t need much time, and he doesn’t need much space, and he can shoot it off either foot.”Sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell said he’s been impressed while watching game tape of Bader at how quickly he manages to get his shot up. The Oakland senior leads the country this season with 4.4 3-pointers per game and is tied for the lead with 11 attempts per game.For his career, Bader is the active leader in college basketball in both makes and attempts from behind the arc, with a career mark of 397-for-984, making him a career 40.3 percent long-range shooter.“There can’t be any air space when we’re guarding him ‘cause he can fire it up from NBA range or anywhere,” Ferrell said. “We’ve just got to limit his touches, and that’s just going to be our key defensively in transition, just limiting his touches and taking away their offense.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Coming into IU’s game Saturday against North Florida, both the coaching staff and the players noted how deep the Ospreys were, having a rotation that extended to 10 or 11 players contributing each night. Eight of their players were averaging at least six points per game this season.Until Saturday night, sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell had been the only Hoosier to stick out as a consistent high-scoring option, averaging more than 17 points per game.In the Hoosiers’ 89-68 win against the Ospreys, it was guard Dallas Moore that took over on the offensive side, scoring a game-high 27 points. But it was IU’s four players in double figures and nine players with at least six points — five of them coming off the bench — that propelled IU to victory.“You try to get anybody on your team, whether they’re starting or coming off the bench to play with a play on-demand mentality, and I think these guys did that,” IU Coach Tom Crean said. “They responded from their disappointment the other night, and we treated it like a short-term setback.”Graduate student guard Evan Gordon led the way with a season-high 15 points off a 7-for-9 shooting mark from the field. Gordon made each of his first seven shots, threatening a perfect 9-for-9 mark that then-junior Will Sheehey set last season on Feb. 16 at home against Purdue.Gordon said he didn’t feel any better in the game than any previous contests this season.He put it simple. Saturday, he said he had to knock down shots, and he was happy to fill that role.“I’ve been comfortable since the start of the season. It just happened to be a good night,” he said. “I knocked down some shots and got out into the open court and scored a little bit.“Our team shared the ball. I was open. It’s not going to be like tonight every night, but tonight’s mine, and I had to make sure I knocked down the shots.”Gordon’s night began with a wide-open 3-pointer from the left corner to begin a 7-0 IU run after North Florida crept within two points at 12-10. Gordon’s reverse left-handed layup less than a minute later capped it and forced an Osprey timeout.North Florida fought back within four points at 28-24 on an 11-2 run. Minutes later, Gordon and freshman guard Stanford Robinson combined for seven of nine IU points in one minute and 24 seconds to pad IU’s lead as they went into the locker room up 52-35.After 20 minutes, Ferrell was IU’s lone scorer in double figures with 12 points, but Gordon and Robinson, along with freshman center Luke Fischer, sophomore forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea and sophomore guard Austin Etherington provided the necessary energy from the bench to fill roles on both ends of the court.After the Hoosiers’ bench scored nine of IU’s 11 points and the team’s lead grew past 20 points, Mosquera-Perea and Fischer scored six points each on back-to-back runs of their own. By then, with more than eight minutes left in the game, IU led by more than 30.Together, IU’s bench scored 41 of the team’s 89 points, while pulling down 21 of the team’s 49 rebounds and committing just four of IU’s season-low 11 turnovers.Three of IU’s starting five eclipsed 10 points: Ferrell scored 14, followed by freshman forward Noah Vonleh with 13 and sophomore guard Jeremy Hollowell with 12 points.Gordon led the bench scoring with 15 points and was followed off the bench by Mosquera-Perea’s eight points and Etherington’s six. Robinson and Fischer also each tossed in six points. Robinson finished with eight rebounds, second on the team behind Vonleh — who pulled down 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.Crean said he had eight players come in for an extra workout Saturday morning at 10 a.m. They also stayed around for the team walk-through at 2:30 p.m. and the game that evening.He said this extra work from guys including Fischer, Etherington, Robinson and Mosquera-Perea has led to their growth and understanding of their roles coming off the bench.On Saturday night, Gordon was just one prime example of the production any member of IU’s bench may have to have as the Hoosiers venture into conference play in less than a month.“It just happened to be tonight he (Gordon) got the points,” Etherington said. “He works hard like everyone else, and he deserves what he got tonight, and everyone is happy for him.”Follow men's basketball reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Nearly three weeks ago, the IU men’s basketball team had just finished up a streak of four home games in 10 days, starting the season 4-0.Since then, the Hoosiers have taken two trips away from Assembly Hall — losing to both of the ranked opponents they’ve faced — and played just one game in front of a slightly smaller home crowd than normal over Thanksgiving break.Saturday evening, the Hoosiers have a chance to get back on track after a decisive 69-52 loss to No. 4 Syracuse in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge when they face North Florida at 7:30 p.m. in Assembly Hall.The Ospreys come from the Atlantic Sun Conference, which also includes Florida Gulf Coast — the team that made a surprising run to the Sweet 16 in last March’s NCAA Tournament.After coming off a struggling season where North Florida finished 13-19 and lost by double-digits 14 times, the Ospreys have begun their 2013-14 campaign 5-5. The team’s losses include a scare of then-No. 10 Florida in the season opener (77-69) as well as huge losses to current No. 3 team in the nation Ohio State (99-64) and most recently to Alabama this Wednesday 76-48.The Ospreys come to Assembly Hall a fairly high-scoring team averaging 73.1 points per game this season. Their offensive attack is led by senior forward Travis Wallace who is averaging 12.4 points per game while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field (54-of-93).“He’s a guy that you have to come in and understand that they’re going to run post isolations for him,” IU Assistant Coach Kenny Johnson said. “He’s an undersized post player at 6-foot-6, but he’s somebody that they’re going to run sets for.”IU will also have to look out for North Florida spotting up from behind the arc. The team has put up nearly 20 3-pointers per game, shooting 36.1 percent. Comparatively, the Hoosiers are shooting just 28.1 percent on 3-pointers, but holding their opponents to just a 27.1 percent average.Johnson also pointed out that the Ospreys’ balanced scoring attack, with eight players scoring more than six points per game, may cause trouble for the Hoosiers with several legitimate scoring threats able to be on the floor in any lineup.“They’re a fast-paced, high-scoring offensive basketball team,” he said. “It’s a personnel game more than anything else because they’re going to play 10, 11 guys each and every game and they all have different strengths.”From watching the game tape from North Florida’s first 10 games this season, Johnson noted that the Ospreys tend to play a good amount of zone defense. Tuesday, the Hoosiers suffered in another battle against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense, and after the game, IU Coach Tom Crean said his players lacked communication both on the court and in the locker room.In his team’s first game back in front of IU students and a packed Assembly Hall in nearly three weeks, Johnson said it will be imperative the young squad learn from their mistakes at the Carrier Dome earlier this week.“(We’re looking for) just that constant improvement, consistency throughout the game,” Johnson said. “We want to try to put a 40-minute game together. We want to have our communication at a higher level. This is another team that will play zone for long stretches in the game, so just another opportunity to improve our execution.”Follow men's basketball reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The younger Hoosier squad managed to weather a game-opening 10-0 run by No. 4 Syracuse Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome, but just as freshman forward Noah Voleh secured IU’s first tie of the game more than two minutes into the second half, the team’s worst dreams came to fruition.A team without a pure, consistent shooter and a coach who shied away from taking a timeout during a one-sided scoring tear plagued the Hoosiers as IU fell victim to a 25-4 run during the bulk of the second half, falling to the Orange 69-52 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.In the opening minutes of the game, ghosts of the Hoosiers’ loss to Syracuse in March arose as the Orange ran off with the game’s first 10 points to put IU in a deep hole off the bat.IU Coach Tom Crean’s squad missed its first seven shots from the field. Two free throws from Vonleh and a steal and layup from fellow freshman forward Troy Williams brought IU within six.Sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, who went scoreless in his first game against Syracuse last season, hit his first of three 3-pointers to cut that lead in half.Crean said his players began to execute their game plan. Early at least, the Hoosiers showed they could go punch for punch.“We did what we came to do,” he said. “We got the ball inside. We had movement. We had reversals.“We aren’t going to kill them with threes. We don’t have a Trevor Cooney (Syracuse sophomore) right now.”After falling behind by as many as nine multiple times, a quick 7-0 run got the Hoosiers right back in it.Despite shooting slightly worse than 33 percent from the floor in the first half, the Hoosiers trailed by a single point before Syracuse’s firecracker Cooney hit one of his five 3-pointers to stretch the lead to 33-29 at halftime.But during that break, as media members and fans tweeted about how IU had weathered the storm, Crean said he knew his team was already beat.Surrounded by a locker room dominated by freshmen and sophomores, Crean said the break was very quiet and lacked the confidence, poise and determination of a team that thought it could take down one of the best teams in the country on the road.“I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms that maybe didn’t have a chance to win, but they didn’t know it, and I’ve been in locker rooms that knew that they could win the game, and they just had to play excellent to do it,” Crean said. “I haven’t been around too many good locker rooms that were quiet.”Ferrell agreed.“We were really quiet. Maybe guys didn’t think the game was winable,” he said. “I felt like guys didn’t feel like we could win this game.”And even with a few quick points to tie the game out of the gate, the lack of poise and confidence in their game plan quickly shone through.The freshmen duo of Williams and Vonleh scored four straight points to pull the Hoosiers even for the only time in the game.But even during that stretch, Williams and Ferrell put up questionable 3-pointers that Crean said showed a lack of discipline and dedication to what was working in the first half.After pulling even, 21 seconds later IU fell behind again off a layup from DaJuan Coleman, and the Hoosiers’ hope faded quickly.The Orange tore off a 12-0 run in 4 minutes 9 seconds, and the Hoosiers would make just seven free throws in the following 6 minutes 31 seconds as Syracuse’s lead eclipsed 20 points.Nine turnovers between field goals. Forced jump shots. A flagrant 2 foul on sophomore guard Austin Etherington taking Cooney to the deck that would rile up the 26,414 fans in the Carrier Dome to levels rivaling anything heard in Assembly Hall.As Etherington sprinted into the lock room to avoid the boos, jeers and cat calls from the Syracuse faithful, the Orange held an insurmountable 54-36 lead that would survive until the end.“It wasn’t like we went to a new offense,” Crean said. “We tried to shoot too many jump shots. Noah Vonleh went 13-for-16 from the foul line.“You can’t give Syracuse live-ball turnovers. We just lost our way a little bit in the sense of the attack. Being aggressive, forcing the ball inside.“I’m disgusted with the lack of leadership and unbelievably disappointed in the fight in the second half.”Vonleh said even as a freshman he recognized something off in the locker room, and he added that he didn’t think the Orange had done anything to beat them in the second half.Crean said he wasn’t sure if his team would have won coming out confident and ready to take a punch as it had in the first half, but he sure would have liked to see them try.“I would have really liked to have been able to have this team have a measuring stick of what it takes to play against a top five national championship contender,” Crean said. “The view we have tonight, I don’t like it right now, and I hope it’s not very accurate.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Last season, before the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, IU Coach Tom Crean had four days to prepare his veteran team to break through Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone defense. But even as the No. 1 team in the country for much of the season, the Hoosiers met their match.A team that had shot 41.1 percent from beyond the arc during the season made just three of 15 3-point shots, allowing the Syracuse defense to pressure Cody Zeller in the post and create havoc whenever the No. 4 pick in last summer’s NBA Draft tried to put up a shot in the paint.Sure, the Hoosiers missed some easy points in the paint, some open looks from long-range and got to the foul line just 24 times. As Crean said after the game, it just wasn’t meant to be.“We just made too many mistakes,” Crean said on Monday. “We picked a bad time to have a bad game.”After a week to prepare, tonight the Hoosiers travel to Syracuse, N.Y., for their battle in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge to face a team who recently moved into the top five in the country — to No. 4 — after Monday’s latest AP poll was released. Though the pain still lingers from being knocked out of last year’s tournament, senior forward Will Sheehey said preparing for tonight’s game has involved more film and less reflection to take down the Orange.“We’re going to look at it purely like a basketball game, not really with the emotions surrounding it,” Sheehey said. “Obviously, them ending your season last year isn’t what you want to do, but we’re going to dive into some film, and we have been looking at some specific things from the game – not necessarily the emotional part but more the Xs and Os.”In the final game of last season, Sheehey was one of only five IU players who managed to score against the Syracuse defense, adding nine points while grabbing four offensive rebounds.Because the Hoosiers don’t quite have the shooting capabilities as last year’s team with then-seniors Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford, Crean said grabbing missed shots in the paint and getting second and third opportunities in a single possession will be key for a team that has struggled at times from outside.“One thing for us a year ago is we shot the ball extremely well from three, and that game we didn’t,” Crean said. “You’ve still got to have other ways to get there. We need to get to the foul line and get offensive rebounds. Those are things we’ve got to be able to do now no matter who we play.“It would be silly for us to go up there and think we’re going to out-shoot them from the 3-point line; that’s not what our team is right now, but there are a lot of different ways we can play and attack in this game.”Syracuse brings a solid, balanced scoring attack led by senior C.J. Fair, the member of the Orange who hit double figures — 11 points — against the Hoosiers last season. Through seven games this year, he’s putting up 18 points per game while playing in more than 36 minutes per game.More menacing still, even after losing James Southerland, Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche after last season, the Syracuse defense that has continued to thrive this season, grabbing more than 10 steals per game and forcing their opponents into more than 17 turnovers per game.In Washington, D.C., last spring for their Sweet 16 matchup, the Hoosiers committed 19 turnovers — including 12 in the first half. Then a freshman, Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell coughed it up four times while failing to score any points and taking a seat to start the second half for the first time all season.Although Crean shied away from looking at tonight’s game as a rematch for revenge, he said his coaching staff, returning veterans and freshmen alike learned from watching film during this week off that keeping control of the ball is a must if the Hoosiers want to keep pace and pull off an upset of their own.“The turnovers and the mental errors were some of the most painful things the first time we played them,” Crean said. “They’re very good at getting you settled. Getting settled is a recipe for disaster.“The reason they’re undefeated is because teams were attacking them, and then at some point they stopped attacking them, and I think you’ve got to keep to playing and taking what the game is giving you the entire game.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>NEW YORK -- He had played all of 10 minutes, benched for much of the 2K Sports Classic championship game in foul trouble. IU freshman forward Noah Vonleh had put up just a single shot through all but 0.7 seconds of IU’s dual with No. 18 Connecticut Friday evening at Madison Square Garden, but when he caught the out-of-bounds pass from sophomore guard Jeremy Hollowell, Vonleh had the chance to make his most important shot during his short Hoosier career.After so many things had gone wrong, IU’s hopes were held in the large hands of one of the budding freshman in the NCAA, but as he had the rest of the game, the ugly truth that he had just five previous games under his belt continued to shine through.Vonleh’s shot didn’t even get off before the buzzer sounded, as the Hoosiers fell in their first loss of the season.IU Coach Tom Crean has never been one for moral victories, but after the game, he said he thought there was a lesson to be learned for his young guns in trying to grind out a win against a superior opponent on the road.“They’ll understand more and more they can compete in any type of game as long as they don’t give in and get down on themselves,” Crean said. “When a team likes to score and has been over 100 points three out of five games, and they’ve got to grind it out, and they do all the way to the end…we don’t get the result, but we do grind it out.“I like our upside.”Vonleh’s lack of poise Friday wasn’t the only hurdle the Hoosiers had to scale to compete against the Huskies, though.In fact, the Hoosiers had managed to weather numerous hits Friday night. The freshmen tandem of Vonleh and Troy Williams that had flourished Thursday night to combine for 40 of IU’s 102 points had produced only a single bucket.Without Vonleh for much of the game and the Hoosiers struggling from the field – particularly in the first half – IU failed to pull down a bulk of rebounds on the offensive end and gave themselves few second and third chance opportunities.In fact, on 12 occasions in the first half due to a string of turnovers, the Hoosiers didn’t even put up a shot.“When you play great teams, the margin for error is so small,” Crean said. “When you’re not shooting the ball great, you cannot give up easy baskets or give the ball back like that, especially with the way we rebound. You can’t not have a chance to have a really good offensive possession by getting your second shot, and when you turn it over, you eliminate that.”After IU grabbed an 8-6 lead with 14:18 left in the first half – already with Vonleh on the bench with two early fouls – the Hoosiers wouldn’t regain the lead until nearly the identical mark in the second half, falling behind by as many as six at halftime.In the first 20 minutes, the starters shot 30 percent from the field and 40 percent from the free throw line. Similar to the semi-final game against Washington Thursday night, the Hoosiers suffered several intervals where shots just weren’t dropping.Thursday, though, IU managed to grab an offensive rebound on more than 70 percent of their missed first half shots. With Vonleh on the bench for 13 of the first 20 minutes, the Hoosiers struggled to make up for his length in the post on offense and defense. IU pulled down boards on just 40 percent of the team’s misses, and with the addition of double-digit turnovers and a much slower and methodical opponent in UConn, the Hoosiers’ opportunities for shots were few.“When you’re going against a team like UConn, you’re not going to get a lot of easy baskets,” Crean said. “You’ve got to go force the action. You’ve got to force it in a lot of different ways. I thought we got better in both games as the game went on.”The Hoosiers pulled even at 24-all with a layup from sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, but UConn’s senior floor general Shabazz Napier knocked down two 3-pointers – the second as the buzzer sounded – and IU went into the locker room with fewer than half their total 20 minutes into the game Thursday.Even in watching Napier on film and preparing to try to contain him, IU Coach Tom Crean said the senior had the skills that mirrored those of an old NBA veteran.“I told someone in the hall, ‘That’s a 12 or 13 year pro right there,” Crean said. “He deserves every bit of praise he’s going to get this year. There’s no doubt about that.“I imagine it would be like in the NFL, trying to deal with a great running back like Barry Sanders or Adrian Peterson now. The change of direction at the drop of a hat. He can play with both hands, both feet. He’s explosive to the basket. “He’s got the unbelievable ability to make big shots at crucial times.”In the start of the second half, the Huskies’ lead would grow to as many as seven, but the Hoosiers stormed back, scoring eight points in just under two minutes to take the lead as a layup from senior forward Will Sheehey dropped through the net with 14:17 left in regulation.After UConn scored the next two buckets, IU would go on a 17-8 run to gain the team’s largest lead of the game at 51-46 with 5:15 still on the clock.From there, the lead would change seven times, both teams trading buckets while leading just by a point or two until Napier had the ball in his hands with a chance to close the Hoosiers out.With 38 seconds left, Napier – who scored a game-high 27 points Friday night – suffered one of his few misses from 3-point range, but the Hoosiers couldn’t come up with the rebound.Leading 59-58 and the shot clock off, Napier drove to the basket, with sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell lagging behind, Napier drove a shoulder in Ferrell’s chest, drawing the charge.With 21 seconds left – as they had done all night – the Hoosiers still had a shot.Ferrell brought the ball up the court, and he said after the game the plan was to use a high ball screen to open him up for a good look at a game-winning shot.Instead, he was forced to put up an off-balance fade-away jumped that clanked off the back of the rim, shot straight up, and clanked out.Hollowell positioned himself to pull down the rebound, but it slipped through his hands and right to a UConn player – but he slid out of bounds with the ball in his chest.IU ball, 0.7 seconds left. One more shot.After a chess match of strategic timeouts, Hollowell stood with the ball in his hands out of bounds, looking for either an open Ferrell at the 3-point line or a lob and post-up to Vonleh.Ferrell had scored a team-high 19 points and was later named to the all-tournament team. Vonleh had committed four fouls and put up a single shot, but Vonleh was the open target as the seconds ticked away and Hollowell had to find an open man.Vonleh caught the pass, pivoted and tried to put up a prayer, but his man was on him tight enough that he couldn’t get his shot off in time as the ball fell short of the net and fell to the ground.“We feel like we played one of the best teams in the country tonight,” Crean said after the game.After suffering the first loss of his collegiate career in November, Ferrell said that through all the adversity he and his teammates faced throughout the game Friday, the simple fact that they had a shot in the final possession showed some grit.With true road tests in the Big Ten and the post season looming in March, he said the young Hoosier squad will have to battle through tough games, and hopefully in the future they’ll come out on top.“We learned we’re never going to back down,” he said. “We were always there, still fighting, trying to get a lead. It shows our character and everything and how well we stayed together. This loss is going to help us down the road, so we’re just going to learn from it.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>In the game’s opening minutes, the IU men’s basketball team made it clear they could score in a variety of manners.After an early foul by Washington’s Shawn Kemp Jr., senior forward Will Sheehey drove it to the hoop for a layup. Sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell sunk a 3-pointer from the right wing, and freshman forward Troy Williams tossed in a deep 2-pointer from the opposite side of the court.7-0, Hoosiers.Although the Hoosiers’ scoring from the field would ebb and flow throughout their semi-final matchup against Washington Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, Indiana managed to combine an improved free throw shooting performance along with an abundance of second-chance points en route to the 102-84 victory, pairing them up with Connecticut in the finals of the 2K Sports Classic Friday.“We got ahead, we stayed ahead, we had some moments where we didn’t play as well, but we were always able to bounce back,” Crean said.After IU’s quick start in just one minute and sevon seconds, the Hoosiers shot just 3-for-12 in the next seven minutes and 40 seconds from the field to let the Huskies hang around at 21-17 midway through the half.But by then, the Huskies had already committed seven fouls — including two for leading scorer C.J. Wilcox and three for Shawn Kemp Jr. — and the Hoosiers took advantage of their trips to the line.After Williams missed IU’s first free throw attempt of the game, the Hoosiers made 16-of-17 to end the half.The Hoosiers were much stingier defending the ball, giving the Huskies just nine chances at the line in the game’s first 20 minutes.And when IU wasn’t at the line and at times struggling from the floor, the Hoosiers managed to pull down offensive rebounds on 71 percent of the team’s misses for 19 second-chance points. The Hoosiers led 29-11 on the boards, complimenting a 50-37 halftime lead.But to start the second half, Washington’s Perris Blackwell gave IU a taste of its own game, scoring an early bucket, absorbing the foul from Sheehey and sinking a free throw to cut the lead to 10.From there, the Hoosiers stretch their lead to their biggest margin at the time — 18 points — at 58-40 with the help of IU’s returning core.Sheehey fought back with his own 3-point play. Ferrell sunk his third of three 3-pointers of the night and capped off the run with a layup fed from Sheehey.In just one minute and 35 seconds, the Huskies cut IU’s lead in half, but Vonleh put an end to it with a free throw and an offensive rebound followed by a dunk. Sheehey’s two-handed slam off a back-door cut and feed from guard Evan Gordon jump-started the Hoosiers again as they cruised to eclipse 100 points and a comfortable victory.Williams led the Hoosiers with a career-high of 22 points off of an 8-for-12 shooting night from the field. Ferrell scored 20 points, giving him at least 20 points for the third game in a row after averaging just 7.6 points per game last season.Vonleh fell just short of his fifth-straight double-double to start his IU career, dishing in 18 points and pulling down nine boards.Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>One year ago, members of the IU men’s basketball team were crowned kings of Brooklyn in the Progressive Legends Classic.They had overcome the adversity of trailing at halftime in the first game against Georgia and the struggle of winning against Georgetown in overtime.Even with veteran experience, the Hoosiers struggled at times under the bright lights of the Barclays Center last season.Tonight, as IU Coach Tom Crean’s squad plays its first game of the 2K Sports Classic Tournament in the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden, Crean said he doesn’t want his players to block out the differences between Assembly Hall and the court the Hoosiers play Washington on this evening.“We can talk about it all week in the sense that we’re going to New York, and lights aren’t any brighter,” Crean said. “It’s a 90-foot court with 10 feet from the floor to the rim. It doesn’t make any difference, but it is. It’s different.“This is a hard environment not to get distracted. The bottom line is we want them to have fun, and we want them to see New York. I want them to experience that.”Last season, Hoosier fans flocked to the Barclays Center remarkably well, dominating the Georgia crowd in the semifinals and matching the Georgetown contingency, who would have had a much shorter trip.Crean said he’s hopeful for another dominating crimson crowd tonight and Friday, but for the Hoosiers, this trip is all about continuing to form an identity with such a young core of players.Even with the addition of the new NCAA foul rules this season, the Hoosiers have managed to keep the team’s high-scoring mentality of last season, where IU averaged 78.6 points per game, ranking fifth in the NCAA.This season, the Hoosiers averaged 90.75 points per game against their first four opponents, but against arguably IU’s best opponent thus far — LIU Brooklyn — IU averaged just 38 percent shooting from the floor and squeaked out a 73-72 victory.At times, certain players have struggled from the foul line, and the team hasn’t been immune to scoring droughts from a team with a lot of athleticism but a few pure shooting threats.The Hoosiers have reached double-digits in fast-break points in only a single game — against Samford.Crean said his team has to have an identity in transition offense, defense and shooting, and he said this goal is still a work in progress.“If you’re getting good shots and have rebounding balance, you have your guys getting back on the air time of the pass, but it’s not a one- or two-man job,” Crean said. “College basketball right now is so much about how you attack in transition and how many two-on-ones you can create.”Crean said after watching tape on Washington, the Huskies thrive on speed and a transition game that he said is the best his team has seen on film thus far.Though Washington has already suffered a loss this season — an 86-72 defeat at the hands of UC Irvine a week ago — Crean said his team will get a great look at some key qualities the Hoosiers must pick up before they get into the meat of the conference schedule this season.“Their speed, their transition game is the best we have watched on film and the best we will see in a long time,” Crean said. “They get the ball out of bounds really quick. They attack and do a great job off of one pass, getting the ball ahead and attacking the rim. They want to play fast.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>To start the IU men’s basketball team’s battle against Stony Brook Sunday at Assembly Hall, the Seawolves got a fresh dose of IU’s returning leadership at its best.After Stony Brook won the tip and scored for the team’s only lead of the game, senior forward Will Sheehey executed a smooth backdoor cut, and sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell found his teammate for the easy bucket.Two trips later, Sheehey drove it to the hole himself for a reverse layup after a pass from Ferrell.Ferrell flipped the ball behind his back the next time down right to Sheehey, who sunk the 3-pointer to give IU a 7-3 lead. Seven points. Three assists.But Sheehey would score just two more points and foul out, as the Hoosiers had to work through a string of missed free throws and foul calls for a 90-74 win against the Seawolves.Just a little over 90 seconds later, IU Coach Tom Crean subbed out three of his starting lineup – including Sheehey – because he felt like he saw a lack of energy from the group on the floor as the offense stagnated. Freshman forward Noah Vonleh missed 3-of-4 free throws and Sheehey committed his first turnover of the game.Freshman forward Colin Hartman, who has now become a regular in coming off the bench in the first wave, managed to grab a spark in place of Sheehey on the court, Crean said.“We had hit a lull. We were quiet. We were a little flat, whether we were getting disappointed they were missing foul shots, whether we thought it should be a little easier — whatever a young team goes through,” Crean said. “We hit a lull, and Colin came in and changed the energy level.”Sheehey didn’t spend much time on the bench, but when he came back in, he just wasn’t the same.The senior missed two chances from behind the arc, similar to the one he made in the game’s opening minutes. He managed a dunk with nine minutes and 45 seconds remaining in the half, but with six minutes and 45 seconds left, Sheehey committed his second foul, this time on the offensive end, and Crean sat him down for the rest of the half.The Hoosiers were managing to draw fouls themselves with the new rules for this season, but they struggled from the line in the first half, shooting just 15-for-28 from the charity stripe, while managing 60 percent from the field.The Seawolves only managed 11 attempts from the line. They made eight to keep them within striking distance at 41-35 at halftime.Sheehey started again in the second half, while regular starter sophomore guard Jeremy Hollowell sat in exchange for freshman forward Luke Fischer.Crean said it didn’t matter to him as much who started but how guys were making use of their playing time and bringing energy to the floor.Sheehey committed his third foul of the night less than a minute into the half and again was sat down for Hartman.Crean said that he was a little frustrated with his players adjusting to the foul calls Sunday, adding that no matter how many are called and how rare of calls they may see, they have to move onto the next play.“If you can’t adjust to it mentally, if you can’t adjust to it physically, you can’t adjust,” Crean said. “The last foul you had cannot affect your next play.”After six minutes on the bench, Sheehey came in with 13 minutes and seven seconds left in the half, his team with a 57-47 lead, but he exited again 45 seconds later with his fourth foul.His younger teammates kept the game just out of reach in his absence.Vonleh recorded his fourth-straight double-double to start his IU career with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Fellow-freshman forward Troy Williams added eight points and six rebounds. Each committed just a single foul in 56-combined minutes.Ferrell led all scorers with a team-high 24 points, while sitting all of five minutes during the action.Sheehey made his final short appearance with two minutes and 31 seconds left, fouling out 11 seconds later after he got in Stony Brook’s Jameel Warney’s way while he pursued a rebound going out of bounds.Some heard Crean say to Sheehey as he walked to the bench, “If you don’t want to play, sit down.”He finished with nine points, two turnovers, five fouls and zero assists or rebounds in 12 minutes of action.“There were certain energy levels all night of guys that I didn’t like. In that situation when you just get back in, Will’s better than that,” Crean said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman. It doesn’t matter if you’re a senior. If we and if I don’t hold them accountable to make those adjustments ... then what am I?“I love him to death, but we needed more from him tonight. Those fouls play with you, and you’ve got to move on.”Follow men's basketball reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Thursday evening, IU Athletics officially received the National Letters of Intent from two of the three members of the IU men’s basketball 2014 recruiting class — Robert Johnson and James Blackmon Jr. IU Coach Tom Crean, with Associate Head Coaches Tim Buckley and Steve McClain and Assistant Coach Kenny Johnson at his side, noted that his staff were all three key parts of signing the future of Indiana basketball.But today, as the Hoosiers take on Samford at 7 p.m. at Assembly Hall, Crean will have to game plan for the coach that worked alongside him for six years during his final two seasons at Marquette and the outset of his career in Bloomington: Bulldogs Coach Bennie Seltzer.“I had no doubt he’d be a successful head coach, and he obviously is being that,” Crean said. “He had the best record they’ve had in some time last year inside the conference. They’re recruiting well. They’re playing well. They do a lot of the same things we did here, and they do them very well.”Crean said Seltzer was a key link in recruiting previous cornerstones of the program Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford and was a major factor in helping Crean during the rebuilding years of the program.Current Hoosier, senior forward Will Sheehey said Seltzer made a big impact on his choice to come to Bloomington and impacted his career for his first two years playing for IU.“He was big time,” Sheehey said. “He was involved with my recruitment from my official visit and even came down to my high school. Once I got here, he helped push me through a lot of things. Coach Seltzer was definitely one of the reasons this program has grown back into what it is and why many of the guys who have left developed into the players they are now.”Crean said that he doesn’t often schedule games against coaches that he’s had a previous relationship because he wants to be able to root for them and see their success after they leave his side.“You want somebody that you’re with like that to be extremely successful,” Crean said. “You just don’t want them to be successful tomorrow night.“It’s always just a little bit hard going against people you’re like brothers with.”In two games this season, the Bulldogs have gone 1-1, winning the team’s opener against Martin Methodist handily 79-62. Tuesday, in the team’s first road trip of the season, Samford fell to UT Arlington 88-75.After watching game tape to prepare for Seltzer and the Bulldogs, Crean said he noticed a few wrinkles in the offense that are similar to what the second-year head coach helped Crean instill during his time at IU.He added, though, that he expects to see some surprises pop out for tonight’s matchup against a team he expects to be competitive, quick, and a challenge for his young squad trying to get used to playing defense at this level.Watching Seltzer rebuild a program of his own has been great to see, Crean said, but tonight he and his staff will put that aside, learn from mistakes made in the first two games and hope to come out the other side still undefeated.“You go through periods where you’ve been through so many things together, the highs and lows, and you’re so excited to see them get their opportunity, and you don’t want to do anything to get in the way of it,” Crean said. “But for a couple hours tomorrow night, that’s what it is, and I’m sure that Bennie and his group will feel the same way.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>In his early high school years, Evan Gordon visited Bloomington for a basketball camp with then-IU Coach Kelvin Sampson and the rest of the IU roster.His older brother, Eric Gordon, then a senior at North Central High School, had already given a verbal commitment to play college basketball at the University of Illinois, but the younger Gordon pleaded for Eric to reconsider.“I went back home and told my brother, ‘It’s closer, and you can go there and be the man’ because they were a good team, but I definitely thought he could come down and make a difference,” Evan said. “I told my dad, and it started circulating through my family, and my dad got interested.”On Oct. 12, 2006, Evan’s persuasion was felt across the basketball world as his brother withdrew his verbal commitment to the Fighting Illini for the Hoosiers.Evan said he thinks he played a major role in his brother’s decision.The older Gordon came to Bloomington for just a single season but led the Big Ten in scoring as a freshman with 20.9 points per game.After later watching his brother endure a myriad of taunts and jeers in Champaign, Ill., Evan knew he wanted to play in the Big Ten because of the atmosphere the fans’ love and devotion created for the game.Instead, he ended up at Liberty University where his father, Eric Gordon Sr., played three seasons from 1982-84.After two seasons in Lynchburg, Va., Evan decided it was time for a change.Again, a chance to play back in his home state just wasn’t there. He instead opted for Arizona State.But last spring — with one year of eligibility left and the Hoosiers losing a string of veterans to graduation, the NBA and transferring — Evan saw an opportunity to leave another one-year legacy of the Gordon brothers in Bloomington.IU Coach Tom Crean made Evan an offer to come play for the Hoosiers for his last year of eligibility while he pursued a master’s degree in sports administration and sports management.Evan took a tour of Assembly Hall and Cook Hall, and it was just as he remembered it in his high school days.Now, with less than a season until his Hoosier days are done, Evan can only hope to be an influential player, just as persuading his brother did six years ago.***Shortly after Evan arrived in Bloomington for summer workouts with his new teammates and coaches, the team’s two leaders, senior forward Will Sheehey and sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, left the country for Russia to represent the United States in the World University Games.For two weeks, Evan was left to continue to learn the ropes of the IU offensive and defensive schemes, all while taking on the role as the oldest player on the squad and mentoring the incoming freshmen.IU Associate Coach Steve McClain said he was impressed with Evan’s adaptation to the IU culture.“He’d been here a week, and you would have thought he’d been here for four years,” McClain said. “He’s done an unbelievable job fitting in.”Because he had already moved once before, Evan said he knew it was all about winning basketball games. But after arriving on campus, he said he was glad he was taken in with respect for what he knew and could teach the younger guys on and off the court.“I basically just gave them my personality and hoped they liked it, but at the end of the day it’s a business,” Evan said, “We need to win, I’ve won and this team has won the last couple years, and I just hope to bring my experience and my leadership and my knowledge to this team.”Evan said his work ethic has been able to rub off on some of the freshmen who he’s taken under his wing, including forward Devin Davis and guard Stanford Robinson.During the summer, after organized workouts, Evan said he would often spend more time in Cook Hall putting up more shots with Robinson or lifting weights with Davis, but one of the best things he could teach the younger guys was time management while balancing school work, sleep and team responsibilities.“When they got here, guys would be tired for workouts and didn’t know what to do, and then they would ask me what time I went to sleep. I said 10:30,” Gordon said. “Because we’d get a text at 10 p.m. saying we had 5 a.m. conditioning. They just didn’t know what to expect.”But coming from what he thought was a pretty big “party school” at Arizona State, Gordon said he was surprised trying to adapt to the social life of being a student athlete in Bloomington.“He (Eric) said, ‘It’s gonna be a different college experience than you’ve been experiencing, even at Arizona State,’ and you know you always hear about Indiana being a big party school, and I thought Arizona State was, but it’s a little different being a basketball player at Arizona State and being a basketball player here,” Evan said.“I think here the spotlight is even brighter than it ever has been for me. Basketball-wise, coaches push you a little bit harder. Just the workouts are a little bit harder, but as a team we always help each other out.”***Evan pushed his way into the starting lineup during IU’s first exhibition game against Southern Indiana, where he put down a solid stat sheet of six points, five rebounds and three assists in the Hoosiers’ easy victory.He played a lesser role coming off the bench behind Ferrell and sophomore Jeremy Hollowell against Hillsdale in the final exhibition game of the season.Evan went just 1-for-4 from the floor but still grabbed four rebounds and dished it off for two assists.He came off the bench once again in his regular season debut against Chicago State where he, along with most of the team, prospered with the slew of foul calls.Evan shot 6-for-7 from the free throw line to go along with one bucket, three rebounds and one of IU’s 13 blocks.As a much stockier guard than Ferrell, he’s proven he can battle for rebounds and take it into the glass against defenders much bigger than his listed 6-foot height.In practice, IU Associate Coach Tim Buckley said Evan provided a different skill set than the Hoosiers were used to with Ferrell at the point.Although he may not be as quick to get up the court, his change of pace and bulk have allowed him to be explosive driving in the lane.“Evan does a great job of changing his speeds and playing at his tempo, and he’s a powerful guy when he gets where he wants to go,” Buckley said. “He can put you under the rim.“He can finish, so even though he’s compact and he’s not necessarily really long, he does a great job putting that defender in trouble at the rim.”Ferrell and Evan often played on separate teams during preseason practices and workouts, and Ferrell said he was impressed with how quickly Evan was able to pick up the play book after making another college transition.But he knew because of the Gordon name that he was getting a great teammate to join him in the backcourt after watching Eric’s play during his college and NBA career.And although their relationship has been interesting — with Ferrell teaching Evan about the IU method of play and Evan giving his younger teammate some experience tips on basketball in general — the two have meshed well and have created a diverse skill set in IU’s backcourt whenever they’re both on the floor.“He’s a poised point guard,” Ferrell said. “He won’t go fast at times like myself. I always want to go fast, but I’ve noticed you don’t have to go fast all the time. He’s more of a poised point guard, just picking his spots.”Evan said he knows he may not be the focal point of the offense after his days at Liberty and Arizona State, but just having a chance to play under the lights of Assembly Hall and close to home has made his third college worth the switch.And for a guy with hopes of playing at the next level, knowing that five players on last year’s roster now play overseas or in the NBA, he said he doesn’t think there’s a better place to showcase his talents one last time.“I have aspirations to play in the NBA or play overseas, so I (hope) to better my chances and have a great season for myself,” Gordon said. “This is a program that always wins, so I’m helping out in that aspect to try and make sure we win games.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>IU Coach Tom Crean said Tuesday night’s battle with LIU Brooklyn, a No. 16 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, wasn’t a game where “we get on a yellow school bus and we’re supposed to win by 30 ‘cause it’s us.”In fact, they had to battle until the closing seconds and pray as a shot floated through the air to be sure they would win at all.With a three-pointer from sophomore Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell just 13 seconds into IU’s second game of the season, the Hoosiers more than struggled from the field for the rest of the first half and went into the locker room down three. After Ferrell’s long jumper, the Hoosiers missed their next 16 shots from behind the arc, and none of Crean’s players suffered worse than senior forward Will Sheehey, who shot 0-6 from behind the arc in the first half.The lone senior, Ferrell said after the game the Blackbirds were playing a stifling defense in the paint, respecting IU’s length, strength and skills driving in the paint. They were asking IU to win with the mid-range shooting.“They didn’t have a lot of respect for our outside shooting game, and I don’t blame them,” Crean said. “What was there for us was not what we needed to take, and that’s why early on in the game we took so many jump shots rather than diving into what the game was giving us.”Rather than attacking and racking up the fouls like Friday night, Sheehey and his teammates continued to force guarded three-pointers that clanked off the rim.Ferrell said after the game he isn’t worried about his team’s shooting capabilities behind the arc, and Crean said he doesn’t want his players to get tentative from a rough half of shooting.“We don’t want people to stop shooting,” Crean said. “We want people to understand what the best shot is.”IU managed to battle back early, but LIU Brooklyn distanced themselves with a three-pointer of their own from Troy Joseph, and with that, the Blackbirds led 16-10.Freshman forward Noah Vonleh broke IU’s scoreless streak of five minutes and 49 seconds with a hook shot in the lane with 10 minutes and four seconds left in the half to close the defecit to six.It would get to as big as nine before the Hoosiers clawed back and went into the locker room down just three.In the first 20 minutes, the Hoosiers shot just 11-for-40 from the field and had Ferrell’s lone three-pointer for their 17 shots behind the arc.But things changed in a hurry in the second half.After trading a few buckets, Sheehey took over. He would score all six of his field goals in the final 20 minutes to go along with four first-half free throws for 19 points to lead the Hoosiers.His first bucket came at the 17 minutes and 35 seconds mark of the second half, giving the Hoosiers their first lead since 12 minutes and 46 seconds left in the first.Ferrell said the Hoosiers slowed the game down in the final 20 minutes, stayed calm, and looked for open players, whether they were slicing through the lane or on the perimeter. Crean added afterwards that he thinks the Hoosiers have the top cutter in college basketball: Sheehey.“In the second half, we just started slowing things down, kept reversing the ball,” Ferrell said. “(We would) kick it to Will. He had the baseline open, and he’d drive it. He’d either score it, get fouled or get back for that open shot. That was a pretty big part.”Sheehey sunk his first of three three-pointers of the night with 13 minutes and 42 seconds remaining from the right corner to close a five-point deficit to just two points.The Blackbirds continued to hang around with their own deft three-pointers and the passing skills of senior guard Jason Brickman.Joseph hit another three to break a 58-all tie with 7:02 to go, but Sheehey pulled through with two dagger threes to keep LIU Brooklyn at a distance in the closing minutes.Brickman pulled down a defensive rebound off a missed free throw from freshman forward Devin Davis with 4.8 seconds left, and he heaved one from 25 feet as the buzzer sounded, but it fell short, as the Hoosiers walked off the court with a narrow victory to begin the 2K Sports Classic.Ahead a single point at the buzzer, Crean said he knew his team didn’t cruise through for a victory Tuesday night, but he didn’t expect to.“I think we really had to win tonight,” he said. “I think we won.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
Nancy Stockton, director of Counseling and Psychological Services at the IU Health Center said with the highly publicized drinking culture at IU, she knows cases like Amanda’s are common.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>IU men’s basketball freshman forward Noah Vonleh was named the first 2013-14 Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday after his debut double-double against Chicago State Friday.In the Hoosiers’ first game of the regular season, Vonleh kicked the game off with IU’s first five points, including his first-made free throw in exhibition and regular season contests.The 6-foot-10 freshman from Haverhill, Mass., scored 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. He also pulled down three of IU’s 13 blocks and found his touch from the charity stripe, going 5-for-5 from the line.With his stats, Vonleh became the fourth freshman since IU Coach Tom Crean took over in 2008 to record a double-double in his regular season debut. He is the first Hoosier to earn the distinction since Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell won it for the second time March 4.— Nathan Brown
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Tuesday evening, IU Coach Tom Crean’s squad will play its second game of seven in the span of 19 days.The Hoosiers will take on LIU Brooklyn, a team that won its third-straight Northeast Conference title last season and clinched a trip to Dayton to face IU’s eventual NCAA Tournament first round opponent, James Madison.The Blackbirds fell to the Dukes 68-55, but Crean said he saw enough of the Blackbirds to declare them a worthy foe to help the Hoosiers prepare for the rigorous conference slate.“The sustainability is not there yet, so it’s going to be a very, very interesting week for us playing three games this week with the level of competition we have,” Crean said. “We do need the experience. We scheduled it that way.”In particular, Crean said the Blackbirds’ starting senior guard Jason Brickman will pose a challenge for IU’s young team on the defensive end comparable to guarding Ohio State senior Aaron Craft, who was named to the 2013-14 Preseason All-Big Ten Team.“I think getting ready for someone like Brickman is getting ready for somebody like Aaron Craft,” Crean said. “He knows how to find people. He makes everybody better on the court. He’s a capable scorer and certainly a capable shooter.”In the team’s first game of the season Saturday against Saint Peter’s, Brickman scored 13 points and dished off 14 assists as his team’s leading facilitator and dual scoring threat.Friday in IU’s opening game against Chicago State, Crean said his team was able to get away with using its lengthy players to make up for some of his younger players not being in the right spots on the defensive end.But with a crafty passer and floor general such as Brickman to defend, Crean said the Hoosiers can’t continue to be out of place and using incorrect spacing in transition.“The strength has to be the discipline of our defense, the discipline of not reaching, not gambling, not going for a play that’s not there, not being late on a rotation, not switching and having our hands down,” Crean said.Crean continued to emphasize that he wants this team to play quick, but also in control while running the court. The Hoosiers committed 19 turnovers against Chicago State, and Crean said that his players can’t get moving too quickly and let Brickman control the pace that they play.The Blackbirds are not a nonconference foe to be overlooked, Crean said.“Every one of these games matter, and when they understand that every one of these games really matter, they’ll understand the value of every possession,” Crean said. “If they don’t understand these teams come to win, it doesn’t matter. This is not a game where we get on a yellow school bus, and we’re supposed to win by 30.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>After the team’s first two exhibition games of the season, IU freshman forward Noah Vonleh began to take some criticism for his 0-for-8 shooting performance from the free-throw line.From the start of Friday night’s 100-72 IU men’s basketball victory against Chicago State, Vonleh put those critics to rest. After two straight field goals to start the night’s offense for the Hoosiers, Vonleh stepped to the line to make his first of five free throws on a perfect night from the charity stripe.But because of the new touch foul rules in the NCAA this season, Vonleh’s trips to the line were just a handful of the 55 shots the Hoosiers took at the line Friday night.Of those 55, IU sunk 45 to set a school record that was previously 43.IU Coach Tom Crean said numerous times before the start of the season that he’s had referees in for the bulk of his practices to prepare his team for the new type of game they would face.“The free throw record, that’s phenomenal when you really think about how long the Indiana basketball program has historically been known for not only the free-throw shooting but the free-throw attempts and making more than our opponents attempt,” Crean said.“It’s always been a big deal for us to get to the line, especially with the rules the way they are now and the fact that we’ve got to be a better shooting team.”The Hoosiers reached the double-bonus with 11 minutes 53 seconds left in the first half, and they forced the Cougars into 17 team fouls in the first half, creating 23 chances at the line.On the other end, the Hoosiers adjusted well to their first regular season contest with the new rules, committing just seven fouls in the game’s first 20 minutes.The Hoosiers went 18-for-23 from the line while the Cougars attempted just eight in the first half.After IU’s lead was sliced to 11 with three minutes 54 seconds left in the half, IU scored the final eight points in the half including four free throws.The Hoosiers used their length to dominate Chicago State, blocking eight shots in the game’s first 20 minutes.The Cougars went into the locker room shooting just 23.1 percent from the floor, while the Hoosiers blocked more shots than they did in a game all last season.Indiana’s length also led to a 62-36 rebound advantage on the night, but IU’s 13 blocks were the second most in a game in school history, just one behind a game at Penn State in 2000.Playing hard on the defensive end and being a powerful force around the hoop is something the Hoosiers have focused on a lot in practice, sophomore forward Jeremy Hollowell said.“We’ve got a lot of slashers and a lot of guys who like to crash and play above the rim,” Hollowell said. “We’ve still got a young team. We’ve still got a lot to learn with our length. We’re going to use it to our advantage.“In practice we’re getting after it, and it carries over to the game, so I think we just need to keep peaking in practice and going after each other, and I think that’ll help us out.”Hollowell set a career-high with four blocks to lead the Hoosiers. This went along with his career night with 16 points.Vonleh and freshman forward Devin Davis each swatted three shots.Opportunities for both free throws and blocks were high with the fast-paced nature of Friday’s game.Both teams combined for 140 shots and 56 personal fouls.With a game that often saw each team sprinting to keep up with the other in transition, Crean said he liked that his freshmen got so many possessions of experience and were able to settle into their first college game so quickly.“I think when you have a team like ours you want to get as many possessions as you can, and I think the flip side of that is that it gives us the experience,” Crean said.Davis, who completed a solid first game with nine points and 10 rebounds, said he enjoyed his first game on Branch McCracken Court and played at a pace he was used to back in high school.“I like to play fast paced and just get after it, so if we’re playing Chicago State or any team, we like to just get up and down and just run,” he said.Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>In last season’s opener against Bryant, the IU men’s basketball team only saw playing time out of two freshmen, guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell and forward Jeremy Hollowell.Both young guns scored double figures — 10 and 12 points respectively — and Ferrell even saw a start in his first collegiate experience, but the Hoosiers cruised to a 97-54 victory against Bryant with the help of veteran play.This season, two players from IU’s six-deep freshman class have already started during exhibition play. IU’s young team starts regular season play Friday night at 7 p.m. at Assembly Hall.IU Coach Tom Crean said he’s excited to see his young squad up against the experience and speed of the Cougars who ranked seventh in the nation in steals last season, averaging 9.4 per game. Chicago State also returns both its leading scorers, seniors Quinton Pippen and Matt Ross, who put up 10.4 and 10.1 points per game respectively last season.“It’s a great opener for us because it gives our guys a chance to go against what I think is certainly one of the more experienced and older teams that we’re going to see, and a team that’s going to put tremendous pressure on them defensively,” Crean said. “They’re going to create some havoc for us.”Last season, Chicago State finished 11-22 but won the Great West Conference Tournament Championship to finish the season. Crean said Friday’s matchup is about seeing just how deep a team he and his coaching staff truly have.For six IU players, Friday is just about getting their first taste of regular season college basketball in Assembly Hall.“I’m really excited,” freshman forward Noah Vonleh said. “I can’t wait to get out there and try to help our team to get a victory.”Ferrell said that after thinking back to his first collegiate game against Bryant last season, the biggest thing for his younger teammates is to be patient and prepared for a few mistakes along the way.Ferrell said he thinks Chicago State may try to push the tempo to trick the young Hoosiers into some turnovers. IU committed 29 combined in the team’s two exhibition games.Even though last year’s Hoosiers excelled at a fast-paced game, scoring 78.6 points per game last season, fifth-best in the nation, Ferrell said this young group is going to need to slow it down a bit at times but be ready to amp it up when the game calls for it.“They (Chicago State) feed off their energy, and they feed off their press, so once they get a couple steals in the press and a couple quick buckets, they’re going to get fired up, so this will be a good test for us to see how well guys can handle the ball,” Ferrell said.“When they speed up, we’ll have to slow it down. It’ll be a fun game.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Sunday night, the Hillsdale College men’s basketball team found themselves ahead a point against Mid-American Conference favorite Toledo with two shots at the line in overtime. Two missed free throws and a buzzer-beater later, the Chargers fell one point short of upsetting a Division I opponent, and for the first several minutes of their exhibition against the IU men’s basketball team Monday night, Hillsdale looked out for revenge.After an opening bucket from freshman forward Noah Vonleh, the Chargers stormed out with 13-straight points, including three 3-pointers, leaving the Hoosiers down 13-2 less than seven minutes into their final contest before the start of the regular season.Sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell said he didn’t feel like his team could gain much rhythm with early turnovers and sloppy defense plaguing the Hoosiers.“The biggest thing is we just needed to stay together,” Ferrell said. “I felt like we weren’t flowing together very well. Once you’re down, you’re down for a while.”But as the Hoosiers began to get into a rhythm on defense, the Chargers lost steam in a hurry, scoring 15 points in the second half to fall to the Hoosiers 79-39 Monday night at Assembly Hall.After the slow start, Ferrell said he thinks the freshmen and younger guys realized that even against a Division II opponent in an exhibition game, they have to play every possession with a sharp focus.“We can’t take any opponent lightly,” he said. “I hope these guys can just learn to not take any possession for granted, and to give it your all.”Ferrell took charge with his team down double-digits, sinking three of four free throws and putting up a 3-pointer in just under a minute. His shots from the charity stripe ignited a Hoosier run to tie the game with eight minutes and 26 seconds remaining in the half.Hillsdale countered with another 3-pointer, but Indiana went streaking once again — this time with 14-straight — to break open the game and head into the locker room up 33-24.Out of the gates in the second half, Ferrell said the Hoosiers knew they had to come out strong and not fall into another slow start to let the Chargers creep back in.Senior forward Will Sheehey kicked things off with his first of two 3-pointers to open the half, with a lay-up from graduate student guard Evan Gordon in between.In less than three minutes, Chargers Coach John Tharp found his team down 17 and called for a timeout.For the next few minutes, both teams struggled on the offense end of the floor, but IU slowly built a commanding lead. An uncharacteristic 3-pointer from freshman forward Troy Williams brought the crowd to its feet.With nine minutes and 12 seconds remaining in the contest, the Hoosiers doubled-up their gassed opponents 61-30 off a layup from Vonleh, and the Hoosiers never looked back.In the end, after a slow, sloppy start, Indiana outscored their opponents 77-26 in the final 33 minutes and 21 seconds of the exhibition and held them to just 20 percent shooting after a few quick threes sparked the Chargers early.Ferrell led all scorers for the second exhibition in a row with 14 points, and Sheehey followed closely with 12. No other Hoosiers cracked double figures, but Williams and Robinson dished in nine, with fellow freshmen Vonleh and forwards Devin Davis and Luke Fischer with eight, five and four points, respectively.Crean said Sunday his team, especially his young players, needed to learn their offense would come only with a strong defensive pressure. Though he didn’t like what he saw early on, Crean said Monday night was a great learning situation for the regular season that kicks off in just four days.“These guys learned early on inside of the game, almost couldn’t have worked out any better,” Crean said. “You don’t want to be down 13-2 and look like your rim has a bubble on it, but this team has got to learn like any great team that if they’re going to be great, they’ve got to understand it comes with defense and rebounding.”Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.