On December 5th, 2000, the Indiana Hoosiers traveled to South Bend to face a 10th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish team, and won handily, 86-78.
Surprisingly, it wouldn’t be until more than 12 years later before the Hoosiers would go on the road and beat another top 10 team.
On Sunday, it was the work of Indiana’s starting frontcourt (our ‘Big Three’), which quite arguably, put together the best three-man performance that Division I college basketball has seen all season.
Combining for a total of 70 points while shooting 22 of 32 from the floor, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, and Christian Watford walked into Columbus, Ohio and simply outscored the Buckeyes themselves, propelling the Hoosiers to a dominating 81-68 victory by a tremendous trio of offensive perfomances.
If Indiana can have repeat performances like the Big Three against Ohio State, it will be difficult to find an opposing team that can beat them. If that wasn’t championship-caliber basketball, then it was very close.
Statistically, Indiana was more than impressive. They shot an incredible 53.1% from the field and limited themselves to only ten total turnovers (although the official box score only credits 8 of them to players).
The Hoosiers also found themselves at the free throw line 28 (25 by the frontcourt) times Sunday afternoon, and tied Ohio State in total rebounds at 30 (22 by the frontcourt).
Below, I’ve included tables for the Four Factors.
FOUR FACTORS: IU vs. OSU
As we can see, Indiana came out on top where it mattered most: shooting and turnovers.
Ohio State only scored 11 points off of turnovers, (whereas Illinois scored a whopping 28) and it really made an impact on the game.
Only scoring eight fast-break points, the Hoosiers worked in the half court set all afternoon, especially to Cody Zeller who dominated inside the paint.
Indiana got beaten on the offensive glass, but that’s partly because they shot the ball so well. Comparatively speaking, the Hoosiers’ offensive rebounding percentage was the only factor in which they weren’t significantly better than average.
They had double the number of free throw attempts than they had in the Illinois game, burying a total of 22 for a cool free throw rate of 44.90%.
STAT OF THE GAME
Victor Oladipo’s True Shooting Percentage: 92.9%
In an addition to these game breakdowns, I’ve decided to add a new little segment called, “Stat of the Game,” where I select a particularly poignant statistic to briefly highlight and discuss, other than the Four Factors.
And for Sunday’s game, I selected True Shooting percentage (formula here).
Yesterday afternoon, Vic’s TS% was an incredible 92.9%, which is really quite remarkable given his high volume free throw attempts (10), field goal attempts (10), and the fact the set a career-high in points (26). Statistically, he’s had higher percentages in three other games over his career, but never with this near many attempts or points.
It’s also worth noting that Oladipo is currently second in the country in TS%, at a mark of 71.3%, only behind Ian Clark’s 72.6% of the Belmont Bruins from the Ohio Valley Conference.
Indiana also has more players than any other D1 school with a TS% greater than 60%. In addition to Victor Oladipo, they are: Cody Zeller (65.4), Jordan Hulls (64.5), and Christian Watford (61.4).
Hoosiers sure know how to shoot!
Following a tough week on the road, Indiana returns home this week for games against Nebraska (Feb 13) and Purdue (Feb 16), before another potential battle for first place against current Big Ten co-leader, Michigan State.
Both games in Bloomington this week are all but certain victories, and it’ll be nice to get back at the Cornhuskers after we rather inexplicably lost by one point in Lincoln last year.