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Jordan Hulls grew up a few miles from Indiana and his grandfather was an assistant on Bobby Knight’s staff, so it was only fitting that he would wear the candy stripe pants one day. Four seasons of sweet shooting later, the hometown kid couldn’t help but get emotional following his final game at Assembly Hall. Watch Hulls let the emotions flow throughout his memorable Senior Night speech Tuesday here.
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In the opening game of the conference season, Minnesota held serve at home by pulling away from Michigan State in the final minutes. Over the last 10 minutes of the game, the Gophers outscored the Spartans 22-6, erasing a three-point lead by MSU. This was a game between two teams that play very similar styles. For the most part, neither squad is blessed with outside shooting, and they know it—only Purdue shoots fewer three-pointers than these teams.
In a blowout win of Sam Houston State on Thursday night, Indiana senior guard Jordan Hulls drilled a three-pointer from the top of the arc to reach 1,000 points in his Hoosier career. Once play stopped, the one-time Indiana Mr. Basketball from Bloomington South High School grinned as the crowd went wild, and during a timeout Indiana coach Tom Crean raised Hulls’ arm and acknowledged the crowd.
Indiana’s Jordan Hulls and Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe were listed on Andy Glockner’s 10 most important seniors for the 2012-13 season. Hulls, one of the nation’s elite shooters, is a career 47.4 percent from the field, while Mbakwe, who missed all but seven games last year due to a knee injury, owns 23 career double-doubles. See what Glockner says about both players in this post.
Indiana has 20 wins for the first time since 2007-08 and are NCAA tourney bound for the first time since that same season. Add it all up, and some think the program is ahead of schedule in its rebuilding project under fourth-year Indiana coach Tom Crean, who has done a great job cleaning up the mess left by Kelvin Sampson. This is why Jordan Hulls decided to stay home. He wanted to be part of something special. He wanted to be part of rebuilding the school he grew up loving and worshiping.
Indiana made a living at the foul line in a chippy 13-point win over visiting Illinois. For about 30 minutes, this was a tight, back-and-forth game, with six lead changes and 14 ties. Over the final 10 minutes, however, the Hoosiers took advantage of the foul-riddled Illini to pull away. Indiana not only got to the foul line at an astounding rate; it also shot incredibly well from there, going 35 of 42 (83 percent). Paired with the Hoosiers’ customary accuracy from the field and a low turnover rate, it powered Indiana to a scorching 1.26 points per possession, the highest allowed by the Illinois defense all season.
After a long break in which it moved into first place, Illinois saw its offense lay an egg in a losing effort at Penn State. It was clear that, despite the rousing win over Ohio State, this is still the same Illinois team we’ve watched all season. Let’s again roll out what we’ll have to start calling the Illini table:
Just as we did during 2010-2011 hoops season, we’re archiving Gus Johnson’s greatest calls this season. Johnson called the Big Ten Football Championship for Fox and is calling men’s basketball for BTN all winter long. We clip and post his best calls and archive them here during games, so bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. Right now you can watch Johnson call Jordan Hulls’ lefty 3 to beat the shot clock last night at Indiana. Check out the rest of his Howard-Indiana calls in this post.