Trevor Ruszkowski / USA TODAY

Yogi Ferrell breaks Indiana's all-time assists record

Senior guard Yogi Ferrell set Indiana's all-time assists record Tuesday night against Illinois.

In the midst of up-tempo action of Indiana's offense. Yogi Ferrell had no idea where or when it happened.

By the time the game ended and the senior guard was asked about it, neither he nor grad transfer forward Max Bielfeldt knew it was Ferrell's assist to Bielfeldt that made Ferrell the program's all-time leader in that category. 

"I knew I was one assist away, but I was just going to go out there and play the same game that I normally play, push the ball, push the tempo," Ferrell said after IU's 103-69 victory over Illinois Tuesday night at Assembly Hall. "I know my teammates are going to run with me. I know they're going to run with me, and I'm going to get them the ball." 

Ferrell finished with 16 points and eight assists, surpassing former IU guard Michael Lewis' career assist mark of 545. Ferrell now has 552 career assists, good for 12th all-time in the Big Ten with 12 conference regular season games left to climb the list.

Ferrell broke the record on a no-look pass to Max Bielfeldt on the low left block, who converted in the paint.

Within seconds of setting the record, the Indianapolis native received a lengthy standing ovation from the Assembly Hall faithful. While the fans rose in their seats, Indiana head coach Tom Crean immediately lifted Ferrell's arm into the air like he'd won a heavyweight prize fight. 

"Yeah, I didn't know he was going to do that," Ferrell said. "I thought he was just trying to give me a handshake. But that's pretty cool, man, all the fans cheering for me. It just shows how special Hoosier Nation is and all the fans that are behind us."

Bielfeldt said it was awesome to be linked to the record-breaking assist. He also appreciated being on the receiving end of the pass as opposed to defending against it like he'd done in years past as a Michigan Wolverine. 

"To be a part of that, that's a heck of a record. It just shows how talented he is and the guys he's played with," Bielfeldt said. "It just shows how talented he is tand the guys he's played with. I've been on the other end of that before tyring to stop him. It's a lot more fun to receive those passes than trying to defend them." 

It was evident Ferrell doesn't pay much attention to the record books when a reporter asked him if he knew Lewis and hadn't heard the name. However, the lack of focus on individual accolades was proof of how much he focuses on making his teammates better.

"If he stays on this path of continuing to improve the way that he is and keeps that work ethic that way," Crean said, "he'll leave here with a really strong legacy."  


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