IU got a little bigger over the weekend.
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IU just needed one stop.
IU avoided an embarrassing scoreline Tuesday with a late surge. It didn’t put the game in doubt — No. 5 Wisconsin had the win wrapped up with more than 15 minutes to play — but it kept the blowout in check.
From Wisconsin’s first possession, the game plan was obvious.
He’s a highly skilled 7-footer who is equally comfortable playing in the low post, at the elbow or around the perimeter. He’s the focal point of the Big Ten’s best offense and one of the country’s top teams. The Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, and he’ll almost certainly be a first-round NBA Draft pick in April.
IU Coach Tom Crean doesn’t like to change his starting lineup. He says he places more importance on who plays at the end of games than who starts them.
IU has played 633 games in Assembly Hall since it opened in 1971. IU won 530 of those games, picking up the victory almost 84 percent of the time at home.
WEST LAFAYETTE — Before an inbounds play in the second half, IU forward Emmitt Holt and Purdue center A.J. Hammons had tangled themselves underneath the Boilermakers’ basket, and a referee had to intervene. A gold-clad Purdue fan put it simply.
In Tuesday’s press conference before a trip to Purdue, IU freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. was asked if the Boilermakers reminded him of another opponent. He didn’t have to think too hard about his answer.
The police were called to the scene after midnight on Halloween, red and blue lights bouncing off the trees. A Jeep Liberty had hit a pedestrian and was now stopped on 17th Street, next to Memorial Stadium’s Gate 6. In the distance, Assembly Hall loomed.
Through it all, IU survived.
The formula is simple and has been used against IU in almost every game this season: attack the paint, get the ball in the post and abuse its lack of size.
By Alden Woods
Even in IU’s best years, it struggles to win at Illinois.
When junior forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea went down with an injury, IU went from a small team to a diminutive one.
IU Coach Tom Crean doesn’t place much emphasis on starting lineups. He likes to say that who’s on the court at tipoff isn’t nearly as important as who plays in the final minutes of a game.
It was looking like more of the same for IU.
IU Coach Tom Crean didn’t look angry. Disappointed was more appropriate.
EAST LANSING, MICH. -- What happens when a team shoots 28 percent from the field?
Midway through the second half on Wednesday, Nebraska Coach Tim Miles had to be held back from IU Coach Tom Crean.