Tonight, I sit here in a good mood with IU men’s basketball as they sit atop the Big Ten standings with Iowa. They just whipped Michigan the other night and it is amazing how far this team has come both offensively and defensively after James Blackmon went down. I am so happy I can just relax and not get irritated with IU’s defense.
I don’t know if IU’s success is a product of the schedule or what it is. But you can not deny they are playing at a high level at both the offensive and defensive ends. I fully expect them to battle the Marylands, Iowas and Michigan States. Those games will tell how good they can be this season.
I was able to watch the Illini game today. This game was just another example of how well they have been playing recently. The ball movement was great and the defense was good as well. They are just so much improved.
Here are my observations on an historic night for Yogi Ferrell and just an overall 103-69 domination of the Illini. It’s so much fun watching IU just punish their opponents.
- IU got off to a quick 5-0 start. Troy Williams, who played a great game overall, was hot from three.
- Yogi tied the IU assist record with Michael Lewis according to Dan Dakich on a three pointer from Thomas Bryant.
- I did not see too many defensive breakdowns early in the first half.
- Yogi broke the assist record per Mike Tirico on a pass to Max Bielfeldt that split the zone nicely.
- Nick Zeisloft hit a three from the ozone layer as IU took a 22-11 lead with 10:32 left.
- Malcolm Hill got hot for the Illini as they pulled within 22-21.
- IU just exploded from there to take a 38-23 lead. Harrison Niego and Ryan Burton got some playing time during that stretch. Robert Johnson was hot from three.
- The second half continued greatly as Williams had a nice offensive rebound which lead to a Yogi three.
- IU was doing it as a team just drilling the Illini with ball movement.
- The second half was kind of the Max Bielfeldt show. He was hot on the inside and outside. He had a nice pass to Williams that threaded the Illini zone.
- Yogi was hot from 3 once again.
- Good ball movement led to a Collin Hartman three.
- Zeisloft also got in on the three-point barrage.
- Tirico said IU tied their single game three pointer record on a shot from OG Anunoby. Anunoby had a pretty good half. Later on, Dakich pointed out Niego as his shot broke the team record for threes..
- Mike Tirico pointed out the play of Kendrick Nunn
Here are some Dan Dakich thoughts during the game.
- “Indiana is benefiting from his (Yogi Ferrell) on ball defense.”
- He said IU is not a “product of the schedule.”
- “They (IU) run harder than the defense does.”
- “There’s a lot of ways this team (IU) offensively kills you.”
- “Yogi has done what seniors should do; up their level of winning.”
From here, IU has to be road warriors again and defeat Penn State. Then a win there would set up a great show down with Iowa on February 11th. I am so glad the Hoosiers are playing well and hope they continue to keep fighting like they have been.