Online: For more on college sports, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at www.twitter.com/pdiprimio
BLOOMINGTON – Noah Vonleh has returned to his double-double ways.
That it took more than a month, that it came in defeat, didn't diminish Saturday's achievement.
Vonleh had 17 points and 12 rebounds in 32 minutes in the 54-47 loss to Northwestern at Assembly Hall. The 6-10 freshman was 2-for-4 from three-point range, but just 3-for-11 from inside the arc, a reflection of the Wildcats' tough-minded interior defense.
It was Vonleh's seventh double-double of the season, but his first since getting 13 points and 11 rebounds in an early December win against North Florida.
“Noah is getting better,” coach Tom Crean said. “You see it in shooting. He's playing a lot in crucial situations. He's very good around the bucket. He's developing just fine.
“Sometimes we forget he's a young 18 years old. He's in his first year. He's got a lot to learn. He wants to learn.”
Here are Vonleh's thoughts after a loss that dropped IU to 12-6 overall, 2-3 in the Big Ten.
“They had (7-foot) Alex Olah in the middle. He's a pretty big dude, so whenever Yogi (Ferrell) drove, (Olah) would have his hands straight up, and it was tough to score over him. They were closing the gaps, making it tough to get passes.”
“We keep working on it in practice. When guys turn the ball over, you have to get on the wall (squat with your back against a wall) for the number of turnovers you have. It's really starting to (work). Guys are picking that up and being more careful with the ball.”
“Coach brought it up (in timeouts). He told the guards to get the ball inside because (Northwestern) always sends guys (on me). If I can't score, I'll kick it out. I did a couple of times to Yogi (Ferrell). We just didn't convert.”