2013 NCAA Tournament: Indiana Shows Height Wasn't Biggest Advantage as They Advance to Third Round

By Eric Smith
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Going into this game everyone talked about how much of a height advantage the No. 1 seed Indiana Hoosiers would have over 16 seed James Madison. No one in the Dukes’ rotation stood taller than 6-7 as everyone thought the Hoosiers would go inside to their All-American Cody Zeller or exploit a size matchup with 6-9 forward Christian Watford.

Instead, the smallest guy on the court, Yogi Ferrell, showed height was no factor in today’s game as he scored 16 points with 14 of them coming in the first half of play.

Ferrell started off scoring the game’s first nine points as Indiana led 9-0 at the first media timeout. He was virtually unstoppable all afternoon as James Madison had no answer to Indiana’s point guard.

This is a huge added advantage for Indiana as in tournament play games are determined by the play of point guards. The team that has the most contributions from their guards without turning the ball over usually wins.

Hence today’s game.

His play in the first half set the tone for today’s game as he had 14 points and was perfect from the field 6-for-6 including 2-for-2 from behind the arc. What was even more impressive was he had seven rebounds in the half and helped give the Hoosiers the rout.

If Ferrell continues this play throughout the tournament, Indiana is a lock at winning the title. When he’s playing at this level, which isn’t out of the norm, he’s unstoppable. He was Mr. Basketball and won two state titles in a row in high school in Indiana. These types of performances were the norm for him.

This season he showed flashes of this but would revert back to making typical freshman errors. If those errors are gone, it’s going to be a fun run for Indiana.


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