CRAWFORD | Anatomy of a shooting streak: IU lights up Austin Pea - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Anatomy of a shooting streak: IU lights up Austin Peay 102-76

Posted: Updated:
Indiana's Troy Williams scores on a breakaway slam as part of a 15 straight made field goals in Monday's win over Austin Peay. (AP photo) Indiana's Troy Williams scores on a breakaway slam as part of a 15 straight made field goals in Monday's win over Austin Peay. (AP photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Shooting, we all know, covers a multitude of sins. And really good shooting, well, it covers even more.

That’s what the Indiana University basketball team showed in its 102-76 victory over Austin Peay Monday night at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

For nearly 11 minutes in the second half, the Hoosiers were pretty close to perfect on offense. They made 15 straight shots (in 18 possessions). After back-to-back Troy Williams dunks, they made three-pointers on their next four possessions.

Nick Zeisloft, who had left the game with a nasty finger injury, came back with his fingers taped together and couldn’t miss, finishing 5 of 7 from three-point range with 15 points. Watch the driveways of the Hoosier heartland tomorrow afternoon. Buy stock in adhesive tape. Kids around Indiana are going to have their hands taped and letting it fly.

The anatomy of that kind of shooting is worth looking at. Crean wasn’t just happy that his team made 15 in a row, but in the way it made those 15.

“Hard to find a lot of criticisms when you make 15 straight shots,” Crean said. “I don't think I've ever been a part of 15 straight made shots. . . . But I think it came because of really good movement of the ball, and our spacing was much better tonight than it was on this past Friday night. Our defensive energy was really good, even when we made mistakes, we played with energy. We probably gambled a little bit too much, a little bit too reckless. There is a give and take to that. We had 14 steals, which is big for us. We had 57 deflections, which is big for us.”

The Hoosiers’ offensive versatility — and God-given shooting ability — were evident in that 15-shot streak. Crean praised his team’s ball movement. Six of the 15 baskets came in fast-break situations, two off of steals, and four off of pushing the ball and getting to the rim or dishing to an open shooter. Of the 15 baskets, only five came without a key pass to spring the shooter open. Long threes by Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. were just experienced guys measuring their shot and making baskets that most players can’t shoot at a very high percentage.

Three of the 15 baskets were threes by Zeisloft, and all three came off assists from Ferrell, twice when he drove to the middle and once when he hit Zeisloft on a fast break.

And then there were the final four of the 15 straight made shots, when IU slowed down the offense, called a half-court set, and attacked the Austin Peay zone for a three from Blackmon at the top right, a feed to a cutting Thomas Bryant by Johnson for a layup, a Johnson-to-Bryant lob for a layup and Blackmon feeding Troy Williams cutting to the basket for a lob slam.

You can see in that variety of scoring how dangerous an offensive team Indiana is.

Their 16 three-pointers in the game were two shy of a school record.

“I was oblivious (to the streak),” Crean said. “I knew it was going in. I didn't really realize it. So that part will be fun to watch. But it was a lot of (ball movement). It was getting the break. It was getting really good looks on the break. They're playing very loose but effective, effective and efficient. Loose and reckless is bad. We got that a little bit in the first half, but really utilizing the whole court is where we're at our best.”

Crean was pleased that the Hoosiers’ stayed on the gas after getting up early, something they haven’t always done in the three games they’ve played this season (two exhibitions).

But after working for much of the past week on its offensive execution, Crean will likely turn to defense and turnovers. His team was good at getting into passing lanes and creating turnovers that led to offense — as evidenced by 33 points off turnovers in the game. Now it will need to work on defending around the rim.

After struggling in its opener against Vanderbilt, Austin Peay shot 48.3 percent from the field and hit 7 of 14 threes. 

As great a game as Ferrell played — he led the Hoosiers in points (22) rebounds (6) and assists (9) — he also led the team with four turnovers, and the Hoosiers committed 20 in the game.

Some of those, Crean will want to clean up. But as he said after the game, he doesn’t want to stifle too much of his team’s offensive creativity.

“We spend a lot of time building our mindset of attacking, so we just want to be critical of (turnovers) when it was an obvious poor decision,” he said. “But I don't want to put them in a situation where they're not trying to make plays, because that would harness a lot of playmakers, and we have a play-making offense. Right? Make plays for others. The more we do that, it's amazing how it goes back to each other, we had five guys in double figures tonight. So that's a huge part of that.”

The Hoosiers are still learning. They’re learning to play with guys in the post who can score. They’re learning who can do what from where. Crean says he has enough offensive weapons that he doesn’t want guys trying to make spectacular plays — just the easiest ones that are presented.

Next up, IU will face Creighton, which visits Thursday night as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games between the Big Ten and Big East conferences, before heading to the Maui Invitational next week.

Copyright 2015 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

  • Sign Up for the WDRB Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Sign Up for WDRB's Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.