March 12, 2014
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana opens the 2014 Big Ten Tournament as the No. 8 seed and will battle No. 9 Illinois on Thursday, with the winner meeting No. 1 Michigan on Friday at Noon. The teams split their two meetings this year with Illinois winning 83-80 in overtime in Champaign, while IU won 56-46, three weeks later in Bloomington. Last year, Indiana and Illinois met in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals with the Hoosiers coming out on top 80-64 in Chicago.
IU is seventh in the nation in rebound margin at +7.8. The Hoosiers have four wins over nationally ranked teams (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State). The Hoosiers also led the conference in 3FG perect defense, holding opponents to 31.0 percent from long range. Freshman Troy Williams averaged 17 points last week in earning Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors. He made 8-of-9 field goal attempts at Michigan. Senior Will Sheehey is averaging 17.2 points in the last five games and is shooting 54.5 percent from the field. Earlier this year, he had 22 points at Bankers Life Fieldhouse when the Hoosiers played Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic.
SINCE 2011-12 ...
Indiana is 73-30 (.708 winning pct.) and 45-7 at home. In the last 103 games, no team from a major conference has made more free throws during that span (1,891) than IU. The Hoosiers also leads in 3-point FG percentage (39.5) and free throw percentage (74.6).
THE COACHES, CREAN NOTCHES 100TH AT IU
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and he is in his sixth year with the Hoosiers. He is 291-192 all-time as a head coach, 101-96 at IU, and during the last two-plus years, he has led Indiana to a 73-30 record, the 2013 Big Ten Championship and back-to-back appearances in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1994. In 2012-13, he was named NABC District 7 and USBWA District V Coach of the Year. John Groce is in his second year at Illinois and is 41-26 in two seasons with the Illini.
ALL-BIG TEN HONORS
Indiana's Noah Vonleh was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and third team All-Big Ten by the league's coaches and media, Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell received second team All-Big Ten recognition by the league's coaches and media and Will Sheehey earned honorable mention honors from the media in postseason awards announced by the Big Ten Conference on Monday. Sheehey also was Indiana's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
FERRELL NAMED ALL-BIG TEN, ALL-DISTRICT
Sophomore Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell was named USBWA All-District and second team All-Big Ten. He is third in scoring in the Big Ten, averaging 17.8 points per conference game, and first with 2.8 long distance calls in 18 league games. He had 16 points against Michigan in the regular season finale. He led the Hoosiers with 20 points and four assists in a win over No. 22 Ohio State. He had a 24-point outburst at Wisconsin and logged a 27-point performance at Purdue, including a career-high 11 free throws. His 27 points (7-8 3FG) in the first meeting against Michigan also included a stellar defensive performance, one of many during the conference season for the Indianapolis native. Overall, he is fourth in the B1G in scoring (17.4) and fifth in assists (3.9). He is one of the three most improved scorers (+9.8 points/game) at a major conference school from last season. He has improved his long distance shooting to 40.8 percent (9th in B1G) after making 30.3 percent as a freshman. He leads the B1G in 3FG made (86) after making 23 a season ago and is fourth in the league in free throw percentage (81.6). His 86 three-pointers are the second most in a single season at IU (Steve Alford. 107, 1987). In the Big Ten opener at Illinois, he dropped a career-best 30 points and then a couple games later tallied 25 points in a win over No. 3 Wisconsin. In the second meeting with the Illini, the guard scored a team-high 17 points, with 15 coming in the second half. Ferrell earned all-tournament honors at the 2KSports Classic earlier this season when he averaged 20 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists over the four games. He also is one of 23 players on the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List, which is presented by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.