5 Things We Learned from the IU-Notre Dame game
After a mediocre 1st half performance, IU (9-3) surges back in the 2nd half to knock off Notre Dame (7-3) 80-73.
1.Defense, Defense, Defense!!!
Once again the Hoosiers started of the game with relaxed mindset on the defensive side of the ball. The Hoosiers allowed Notre Dame to shoot 17-32 (53%) from the field. Notre Dame led 41-31 at halftime. Crean’s boys in the first half, plain and simple, were pitiful. They were not hustling for the ball and they were lacking conviction. To top that off, IU’s perennial All-Freshman team center Thomas Bryant picked up 2 cheap fouls early. Tom Crean decided to switch it up by playing a 1-3-1 zone to begin the 2nd half, which really ignited the Hoosiers defense to create stops and force empty possessions for Notre Dame.
2. Troy Williams is a Freak.
Junior Troy Williams displayed incredible toughness and helped lead the Hoosiers to a second half comeback victory. The second half run was initiated by his high-energy play. The junior came out of the locker room with a mindset that he was going to leave his mark on the game and his play showed it. He is a human energizer bunny, as you can just feel the crowd get louder and louder every time he make a great play on the ball. He finished as the team’s leading scorer with 18 points while adding 10 rebounds (5 offensive) and 3 steals. Williams’ continuous strong performances show why he is one of Indiana’s most important pieces for success this season.
3. Hoosier’s offense is one of the best in the country.
Indiana has a very lethal and efficient offense. Tom Crean’s offensive system is built to spread the floor and allow 3–point shooters to thrive. This has been very beneficial to Senior guards Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell and Nick Zeisloft, who are leading the team in 3-pointshooting. In fact, Nick Zeisloft is leading the nation in 3 point percentage with an outstanding 53.2%. Indiana is #1 in the Big 10 conference in Scoring (89.0), FG percentage (53.9%), 3-Point FG percentage (43.8%), and 3-Point FG Made Per Game (10.3).
4. Tom Crean is still on the hot-seat.
Tom Crean after stringing together a chain of victories is still on the hot seat at IU. Indiana’s rocky start of 5-3 has left the Hoosier faithful’s concerned and disappointed. Crean was greatly criticized early for miss managing lineups and defensive strategies, during the Hoosier early gut-wrenching losses to Wake Forest and UNLV in the Maui Invitational tournament. Coach Crean has continued to persevere and has coached the Hoosiers into a 4-game winning streak heading into Big 10 play.
5. Big 10 play is almost upon us.
Indiana is less than 2 weeks away from Big 10 play. They open up against Rutgers. Indiana has strong chance to be the dark horse of the Big 10 if they can come up with big upsets in conference play. Games to circle on your calendar are Sunday February 14th against Michigan State, Saturday February 20th against Purdue, and Saturday March 5th against Maryland. These three teams are ranked within top 10 in the AP polls as of right now and will most likely be contenders for the top of the conference.