The Minute After: Iowa

After some discussion on this after Thursday’s game, we’ve decided to change up the title of this guy. Onwards.

Well that was unexpected.

Coming off a terrific OT win against Minnesota at home a week ago, and the program’s first road Big Ten win under Tom Crean on Thursday at Penn State, IU faced an Iowa team tonight that’s just not all that good. They hadn’t won a Big Ten road game since March of 2008. They entered the contest 7-12, and only 1-5 in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers were favored tonight. And with the tide turning on this season, with the Hoosiers gaining a little bit of swagger and poise — a Big Ten winning streak! — this wasn’t just there for the taking; it was served up on a silver platter.

But instead of playing like they have all Big Ten season at home, these Hoosiers came out flat. Real flat. Central Illinois farmland flat. It was a performance reminiscent of their stinkers at Michigan or Ohio State. At no point did they show any semblance of offensive flow. The two runs they made in each half, where it looked like maybe they were going to sneak back into this one, Iowa came right back to extend the lead. The Hoosiers only had three — three! — assists tonight. They missed all nine of their 3-point attempts, marking the first time the program hasn’t hit a three since 2001. They turned the ball over 16 times. They shot a horrific 35.6 percent from the floor. (Verdell Jones was the lone competent offensive threat tonight. He hit 6-of-12 buckets and had 14 points.)

But the real story of this game was the boards. Iowa snagged 39 to IU’s 23. But 18 of those rebounds for Iowa were offensive. Add in the early points they got with dribble penetration, and it allowed them to completely dominate in the points in the paint department. They outscored IU in paint 34-16, and had 20 second-chance points to IU’s seven. That’s the story of the game right there. And in the second half, the Hawkeyes also added in what they do best: hitting the 3-point shot. They nailed 4-of-7 in the second half, and with the Hoosiers struggling to score, it helped put the game out of reach.

Most troubling is that Iowa didn’t have a particularly great game. The Hawkeyes scored 58 points, and had 21 turnovers. If I had just been given those two numbers having not watched this game, I would have figured the Hoosiers had won it handily.

You have to wonder why IU came out so flat tonight. Perhaps it was the game being pushed backed because of the Colts, and Assembly Hall being empty for its standards at tip-off. It was a point Dan Dakich brought up at halftime: The Hoosiers feed of the energy of the home crowd, and it wasn’t quite there for them in the first half. Perhaps it was just one of those nights. Perhaps the Hawkeyes were just due for a road win, and IU was ripe for the picking after possibly looking past this game.

And perhaps it’s because for all the strides this time has made in the last week or so, the fact remains: they are still young, they are still growing. There’s still work to be done.

  • trailrunner

    How long have you followed IU hoops? An unrealistic goal! That is the goal. IU was a program that once was feared and will be again. So was UCLA. It is more difficult now but every year Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, now Kentucky will challenge for titles and be ranked. The greatest coach ever was Wooden. He was a Hoosier born and raised. he would sit quietly on the bench and rarely raise his voice. His squads executed to perfection and played fundamentally sound. When a program becomes established the institution's name will recruit the top players and a coach can screen the non-desirables.

  • marsh21

    To all the negative posts, please chill out and dont over analyze this team too much! Geez people their a bunch of freshmen who are not 5 stars! Look at UNC now with the best recruiting class in the nation. They are getting killed in the ACC which is not that great this year. We all know they have the ability but we are not going to get the effort every night this year as these kids are still adjusting. I do expect Rivers to be more of leader however he doesn't have the skills to take over the game offensively.

    Sometimes as a team the motivation is not there and this happens to all teams! Sure you need to limit those but they do happen that's why there has been no undefeated teams since IU in 76! That UNC team last which shouldn't have let any team get within 20 points with that talent lost 3 games!

    This is not Crean's fault or any one person. We will be fine with continued player development and experience. And to the person who posted his “contact” with information which indicated Roth's leg was broken on purpose should not post here any longer as those comments are not worth discussing.

    GO IU !

  • BarnyardHoops

    Posted by “superhoops”: We were over confident and haven’t learned how to handle success yet.

    Very understandable…Coming off the amazing high of beating a team with zero conference wins would mess with anyone’s head. How could anyone handle such success? I was surprised they’ve stayed levelheaded since the win over Bryant. I hope we get killed by crappy Illinois…I’d rather we stay super low on our confidence before Purdue comes into Bloomington with their secret tiny needle to burst our giant confidence balloon again. You know the balloon? The one that’s inflated with the hot air of 5-star guards, great interior play, three point shooting threats, dominant post player, deep bench…I really don’t know how we stay humble. We’ll get there…we’ll get there.

  • Brian Evans

    its obvious that you know nothing about basketball.
    worse, you equate your ignorance and low expectations with being a good IU fan.

  • Illtransplanted HOOsier

    Sorry folks I haven’t given up hope by no means, but could not sit this one out. I have watched and finished 30 and 40 point beatings over the years. This one I could not finish. I am still optimistic and beleive the coaching staff and players will turn the ship around this year and next. I am not sure what to think about the dribble weave from hash mark to hash mark and hand it off until there is 10-12 seconds left on the shot clock. I would like to see some old footage on
    Sloan screen 45 and how the opposing team defended them. If hedging was done as well then, or it was handled better. Screening away from the ball more than ball screens prevent this because your man is always trying to stay with you rather than not have to move much and basically guard two people at once. Just an observation from an old basketball player. No this isn’t Jerry Sloan, not quite that old yet.Speaking of toughness Jerry would be a good example. Later

  • IUBB

    Not for Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, NC and UCLA. We used to be in that club, I would like to get back in. Knight in the Final Four:

    1973
    1976
    1981
    1987
    1991

    5 times in 19 years …or on average of every four years. Add in an Elite 8 in 1975 (via May injury), Elite 8 in 1984 (with upset win over Michael Jordan, Worth and Perkins and team) and Elite 8 in 1992 with Calbert Cheney. We might not get there every year, but do we want to resign or Elite status and become a poor Blue Blood with memories of grander days that expect that caliber of play?

    Not sure the students that stormed the floor for the victory over unranked Minnesota understand the history either.

  • MiamiHoosier

    Luke,

    you hear in every single Crean postgame conference that we are young, they arent and it shouldn’t be an excuse. at the same time Crean is the one who is always bringing that up. Are they young yes, was Iowa young? Hell yes, but they outplayed you. I like Crean, but what worries me is that he has never been able to reel in the big fish as far as recruiting goes. At marquette he had Wade, but that was bc his grades were in the tank coming out of HS and no one recruited him. Creek and Watford are gonna be good. However, Crean can only recruit GUARDS that produce. Watford is not a 4, he is a 3, but will be stuck playing the 4 in his system because he doesnt get bigs. As next years class stands our bigs are Bawa, Capo, Elston, Watford and Pritchard, and Watford is a three. I would like to see Crean be more accountable for his own inabilities to get this team better and recruit a big that can dominate. After saying that I realize what he inherited, nothing, but this is Indiana and people should really want to be apart of IU.

  • marcusgresham

    Hate right now that they renamed the story, because I was all ready with my good/bad/ugly. Good–Verdell Jones is as accomplished with a mid-range game as anyone I can think of. No, I'm not saying he's as good, but others drive all the way or shoot a 3–he has that uncanny knack of knowing when to pull up and he sticks the shot.
    Bad–Christian Watford is not a low post player. He may be in a couple of years if he hits the weight room. He is a damn good player, but he's not strong enough to bang down low. Unfortunately, at this point, he's the closest thing IU has to a post player (until Elston puts it all together.)
    Ugly–How the hell does a person talented enough to earn a basketball scholarship come up a foot and a half short on a free throw?

  • marcusgresham

    Anyone who thinks Crean should be fired is foolish, at best. He's trying anything he can out there–when you don't have a lot of talent, you can't just stick with one thing. Some things will work some nights and not others. I've seen that 1-3-1 be successful for them, but it wasn't the other night–can't blame him for trying it because nothing else was working, either.
    I do agree that I'd try to get Elston in the game a lot more.
    As for only getting players from Indiana–that's a ludicrous statement. What I have said in the past, however, is that IU needs to quit losing top-flight in-state talent. By no means should there “only be Indiana kids” on the team, but I'm sick and damned tired of watching the Gregg Odens, Michael Conleys, the Lawrence North guys heading to Louisville, etc, going out of state, especially to Kentucky schools!

  • Ryan_Btown

    Not saying anyone is calling for his head. Just saying that overall expectations for this team should indicate less criticism given the situation. I refuse to believe Elston isn't playing because he was a Sampson recruit. Think Ebanks wouldn't have played either? I just personally don't think it's fair to criticize some of the tactical decisions at this point. I'm more pointing this post and my last at some of the more radical posts, not necessarily the constructive criticisms.

  • MillaRed

    Yes the Elston due to Sampson thing doesn't make sense to me at all. They are lucky to have him and I find it hard to believe Crean doesn't feel the same.

    I think most of us are trying to figure out answers on the court and Elston seems to be a possibility. I love his tenacity. Let's give him a start, 30 minutes of PT and see what happens. I think he can get 10 points and 6 boards a game with good defense.

    Also note the uglier the performance, the more “radical” the comments. We're all human Ryan. And venting ITH can be therapeutic!

  • HoosierSmitty

    Good:
    - Verdell Jones III continued to be assertive and make some nice mid-range shots. Keep that up..
    - Christian Watford hit some tough jumpers and seemed to WANT the ball at times. I liked that.

    Bad:
    - Rebounding was terrible. I mean block out fellas. Please!
    - 3 assists. Yikes! We didn't make many buckets, but only three assists?
    - letting them drive the lane with no resistance.
    - watching a baby-faced, husky, dude with no neck hit 3s on us.

    Unexpected:
    - no tenacity, fire, enthusiasm, will to win, etc.
    - Tijan Jobe getting minutes again (well at least one)
    - getting dominated at home by an “inferior” team. Welcome back to earth.

    I still have hope that we can double our win total from last season.

  • aceman07

    I'm just recovering from the NAUSEA! I would like for someone to explain to me why JR sat the last 6-8 minutes after keying our two small runs with his excellent defense so Daniel Moore could play, especially since even the Big 10's lousy announcers noticed that his defense triggered our runs? Also, why did Pritchard sit out the last few minutes after looking so aggressive and crashing the boards for a good part of the second half? I watched Iowa grab a big offensive rebound late in the game off a missed free throw while we had Moore, Hulls, Jones 3, Dumes, and Watford (sort of a big) on the floor! Where is Elston, Capo, and Pritchard in that situation? CTC had time to put a big man in because it was a 1-and-1! I leave this game with serious questions and a lot of confusion!

  • aceman07

    Here's a question for the rest of you based on this post . . . didn't Baylor go through something like this a few years ago after the murder scandal? I think they ended up with like 6 players on their team after that and less the next year and it has taken them about 4-5 years to rebuild with a good coach in Drew, right? I'm not positive on the time-line of the exact roster stuff after the scandal but if someone could elaborate that would be great!

    Thanks

  • hansschnier

    Is this the real Brian Evans? You posed for a picture with me when I was a kid. That was a nice gesture. You seem a little grumpy these days.

    My friend, there's no such thing as a “good IU fan.” I never claimed to know anything about basketball, and I never will. I'm interested though, what points in my comment illustrate my ignorance? I get the feeling that you don't really like what I have to say or how I say it, but you're unsure how to point our your misgivings rationally.

  • Luke72

    I agree holding the team accountable for their play. Where's the accountability for the coaching staff? Excuses are getting thin. The youth excuse won't work for this one.
    Gut check time!!!

  • aceman07

    Are you freaking serious? Here's what I saw last night and any real basketball fan could see it . . . Derek Elston played well for a short stretch then he totally got lost trying to find his place in a set when Rivers motioned to him twice to get to a spot and he just stood there. You could see the frustration and confusion on his face and he even dropped his head and swung his arms in a “what am I supposed to do” type gesture. CTC sent a sub to the scorers table and immediately after that Elston showed his frustration by setting a very flagrant and stupid moving screen. I'm not saying he should sit for the rest of the game because he forgot a play or set and then got frustrated but that's probably why he isn't getting the playing time he should be getting for his talent level. I watched him play a few times in high school and I think he'll develop into a very good player but he may not be the fastest learner when it comes to sets and defenses. Crean sees that the potential is there and that's why he gets the time he gets.

    Anyone who would actually believe that a coach (who has made it to this level) would order a player to injure another player (on an opposing team let alone their own team) is a complete moron! You were either joking, in which case I would apologize for calling you a moron, or you are a MORON!

  • hoosierphil45

    your wrong. Bruce Weber banned his kids from talking to the press, Crean could do the same. Get your facts straight.

  • dabig

    I'm not concerned with the record. What does concern me is what appears to be the lack of a coach's hand or “stamp” on these guys. It might be unfair to compare Crean to Knight, but here goes. I closely followed Knight's first years at IU, and he didn't always have the best players. From the beginning, though, Knight's philosophy was evident in every game–tough defense and motion offense. There weren't ongoing defensive lapses (like offensive rebounds) and there weren't many times when the team seemed lost on offense, even when their butts were getting kicked. Nearly every game, though, those things happen with IU these days. Perhaps Knight's style of coaching simply doesn't make sense with today's players; I don't know. I have just expected the team to be showing some more of Crean's coaching “stamp” (whatever that might be) by now. Instead, what I see is a bunch of guys who struggle to understand what they're supposed to be doing. Even a YMCA team would be working better together by now, seems to me. Maybe I just don't know what to look for.

  • BigRed3588

    One important thing to remember is that when Knight began coaching, freshman were not allowed to play varsity. Even if his players weren't all that talented, each one of them had at least one season of college ball under their belts before playing for Knight. That has a lot to do with why, even when they were losing, they didn't look “lost.”

    I also blame a lot of the problems we're seeing on AAU basketball. People put a lot of emphasis on AAU now because it highlights athletes, but they neglect to realize that AAU is not fundamentally sound basketball. It's a run and gun style of play and things like ball security and rebounding are not stressed. Then, these kids start playing college ball (in my opinion the last pure form of basketball), and it shows that over the previous 4 years they have forgotten how the game is really supposed to be played. Yet, for some reason, our fans expect Crean to be able to fix 4 years of bad habits in 4 or 5 months, and its just not gonna happen.

  • http://www.prinsportsblog.com BGleas

    As I said, my experience is in professional sports, but still, it's pretty rare that a coach bans all his players from talking to the media. It is customary that some players are available after a game, and it's usually not because of just one loss that players are banned from talking.

    My point still stands that it wasn't Rivers and Watford trying get a “pr opportunity”, it was part of their obligation after a game.

    If you really want to get into discussion on the “facts” of how the media and sports operate, I'm happy to do that. Maybe check out my blog first: http://www.prinsportsblog.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/srhise Sean Hise

    Here is a take on this offense issue and really – the manic coaching performance we saw last night.

    We saw IU run a resemblance of an offense against Michigan, Illinois, and Penn State. This was not by accident – this was definitely coached. They were running motion and you saw Watford flash out to the high post and guards running off of off the ball screens. This was IU playing possession basketball. On defense you saw us play mostly man and we were definitely challenging shots.

    Against Iowa we see IU play dribble drive, high screen and roll, and dump down isolation to both Watford and Pritchard.

    Question is why?

    I think what why is that Crean wants to be able to play the 'we think we can impose our will' offense and beat a team like Iowa with our playmaking ability and rely on ball pressure to create turnovers. All of the defenses we played – including man – we were way way too extended out on the perimeter. I coach – we call that no man's land. Are we really afraid of this left point guard's driving ability or 30 ft 3's?

    I can understand that Rivers is a great on ball defender, but the three turnovers he created were nothing compared what Iowa was able to do playing 5 on 3 all night.

    Iowa simply passed the ball into the middle, we collapsed, and then they either kicked it out or reversed the ball to take an open shot. Since we were way to extended, we lost focus on blocking out as we were out of position and they got offensive boards.

    Oh wait let's also not forget we changed our variation of way to extended defenses every 2 seconds. Please stop playing 1-3-1.

    Last thing was why did Hulls get no PT.

  • hansschnier

    I'm not saying that the program should pack it in. I'm only trying to argue that shooting for the moon right away is counter-productive. The programs that you're comparing IU with match up well historically, but not in terms of current situation. (Though, if you were a UCLA fan, I doubt you'd be very happy this season.)

    I understand the history quite well. I've been following IU in earnest since Bailey's senior year. I was 11 then. Naturally, I wasn't around to experience Knight's glory years. But I know how to read, and I've read voraciously on the history of Indiana basketball.

    From '73 to '93 was a hell of a twenty year period for IU. But the team still wasn't in the top 10 every year. I suppose that during those twenty years, there was an IU title contender every 4 years or so. But wouldn't you say that most of that success was attributable to having a Hall of Fame, perhaps greatest ever coach, in his prime? Of course, IU had an excellent tradition under McCracken, and there were some great players along the years, but IU never won “Because it's Indiana.”

    Excellent coaching and administration are the foundations of tradition, elite status and “Blue Blood” programs. When that excellence is stripped away, as has happened at IU, the results speak for themselves. Tradition, mystique, etc don't win basketball games by themselves.

  • hansschnier

    Hey, I replied to your comment, but I screwed up and it posted below.

  • hansschnier

    Thanks for your comments. I'm ignorant on a lot the technical aspects of basketball, and after reading what you've written, last night makes a little more sense.

    (I'm also very sarcastic at times, but I swear I'm being serious. Keep on posting.)

  • hansschnier

    Thanks for the reply. I suppose when you factor in the opponent, it's up there with the all time IU stinkers.

    I had to erase the game from DVR as soon as it was over. I didn't want any other programs to be contaminated.

  • trailrunner

    Crean is here for a long time. He signed a 10 year contract.

  • trailrunner

    We all make mistakes, that includes coaches. So you re-evaluate and change. Coach should examine the philosophies of folks like Williams, coach K, Wooden, Self, Jay Wright. If the coach is not responsible for teaching where to be, how to block out, how to shoot a FT, what offense works against a D, how to adjust during the game, defensive position, why have a coach? The coach is usually responsible for the philosophy and performance of the squad. Crean's contract does not permit the luxury of even considering termination. I think coach must adjust his philosophy. He should call his friend Tom Izzo and get another opinion.

  • HoosierSmitty

    By the way, thanks for saying you're a fan of most of my posts. It's not why I post, but everyone likes a compliment – even if we aren't seeing eye to eye on this exact issue.

    This site is awesome and there are tons of great posts on a regular basis.

  • HoosierSmitty

    FloridaHoosier,

    I hope you check back on the site and keep that blood cream and crimson.

    Trust me, you have no idea how painful it is for me. I live in Lafayette, Indiana – have for the vast majority of my nearly 30 years (dang I'm getting old).

    Since I was a little kid, I've had to hear Purdue this and Purdue that. There are quite a few IU fans here, but overall it is a brutal punishment to live in the hometown that I love. For as fun as it can be (waving my big IU flag across Purdue's campus in 2002 when we beat Duke for example), I never hear the end of it when Purdue is doing well.

    Thankfully some Purdue fans have taken mercy on me, and actually feel for the state of the IU program. But oh how some fans love to rub salt in my wounds. Embarrassments like Iowa don't make life any easier. For as far back as my memories go, I've loved nothing more in the sports world than Indiana basketball. I've developed a bit of a thick skin, but it's taxing to grin and bear it

  • Uncle Joey

    It was obviously a joke.

  • BigRed3588

    One important thing to remember is that when Knight began coaching, freshman were not allowed to play varsity. Even if his players weren't all that talented, each one of them had at least one season of college ball under their belts before playing for Knight. That has a lot to do with why, even when they were losing, they didn't look “lost.”

    I also blame a lot of the problems we're seeing on AAU basketball. People put a lot of emphasis on AAU now because it highlights athletes, but they neglect to realize that AAU is not fundamentally sound basketball. It's a run and gun style of play and things like ball security and rebounding are not stressed. Then, these kids start playing college ball (in my opinion the last pure form of basketball), and it shows that over the previous 4 years they have forgotten how the game is really supposed to be played. Yet, for some reason, our fans expect Crean to be able to fix 4 years of bad habits in 4 or 5 months, and its just not gonna happen.

  • MillaRed

    We're on the same page Smitty.

  • IndyMac

    All of you saying that the freshman should be playing better and aren’t freshman anymore at this point in the season need to step back and grab some perspective. If you’ve watched IU this year then you know they’ve improved since the start of the season. But this team is dominated by freshman and sophomores, with zero experienced upper class men to fall back on. We also lost our most talented player. When you’re rebuilding the way IU is right now, there are going to be set backs. Yes it sucks, and no you should be happy about it. To expect IU to just jump to the top of the college basketball world over night is unrealistic.

    That being said: Creek, Watford and Hulls all clearly have a lot of talent, and Elston brings a lot of energy to the court. VJ3 keeps improving and is becoming our go-to-guy down the stretch. I know it’s a few years away, but I feel like if everyone improves and matures then this team could challenge for the Big Ten title when VJ3 is a senior.

  • Korey

    “Everyone (except TC) agrees that he is being shortchanged with playing time. Either small forward or big guard would be nice. I cannot understand why he, Watford and Pritchard cannot play at the same time for several minutes.”

    Many people are baffled by this as well. I’m also confused as to why no one has confronted or asked Crean about this.

  • SteveEyl

    The coach is responsible for the teaching, but not the execution on the day. And the fact that we've seen this team defend and rebound so much better in the past points to a failure in execution, not in teaching.

    I think Crean has some things to answer for. I'm getting a little nervous about recruiting for next year, and I have been underwhelmed by his end-of-game inbounds plays. But overall, I don't see any evidence that there is a better coach out there who would have taken the job. His boundless energy and relentlessly positive outlook are probably worth more to the program right now than x and o acumen.

  • MillaRed

    Agreed. I actually DVR all the games and am so pleased after a victory I may watch it again the next day. I need my IU fix…….

  • JerryCT

    I had the chance on 2 occaisions to ask Crean what he thought was going to be our “go to identity” this season. Both times he responded by saying that he did not know and was trying to figure it out.

    in the FWIW category I think he intially started with transition offense run by Rivers on the break and early shots in the shot clock . Everybody but TP is pretty good in the open court. This is still there to an extent but lacks Creek as another rebounder and finisher PLUS our defense is not good enough to trigger the transition game often enough. So now we see ourselves going deep into the clock

    So the transition game is no longer a ” go to ” but more of an ” opportunity”. At this point I think Crean has stuck with this theme too long and now has to develop something else.

    Personally i would like to see the following changes:

    1) Change to a low stack or something to off ball screen for Watford and shake him loose for a short jumper w TP setting the screen. I think Elston is a good enough shooter for this to work for him as well. No more ball screens from TP at the three pt line . Only off ball screens down low. This might improve our rebounding on the off end as well.

    2) Dumes alongside JR if we are still attempting the transition offense in order to trigger it off the defense

    3) More of the big lineup less of the 3 guard. After watching the PSU game again you could see we were going to have trouble w Iowa. PSU had only one penetrator in Battle and in that case we can protect Hulls on defense …….but if the opponent has at least 2 penetrators we cannot protect Hulls. I think it is worth a try to exchange height ( Elston ) for Hulls in those cases .

  • aceman07

    I hope so and if so then I apologize for being so hard on him, but why the last line of the post then about it troubling him and getting his source in trouble?

  • kesims

    yea you are right…crean did a horrible job of executing on offense…he looked lost on the floor and never boxed out his man..he also stood there flat footed and let and every gaurd drive right past him to the hole

    we have seen this team perform way better this season and execute most all of the things we sucked at against iowa. So these players have been taught how to box out and rebound and they have shown they know how to well is some games so that is not creans fault they did not execute it in the game. they obviously know how to. However, It is possible that he did not prepare them well enough mentally beforehand …but hes not on the court during the games looking like hes playing 5th grade basketball.

    We have all seen this team do these things well at points in the season so we know they have been taught it. We just lack mental toughness and consistency. We need a true leader on and off the court who can show these guys how to do this night in and night out and tthat person hasnt stepped up yet

  • kesims

    we have seen this team perform way better this season and execute most all of the things we sucked at against iowa. So these players have been taught how to box out and rebound and they have shown they know how to do these things well is some games so that is not creans fault they did not execute it in the game. they obviously know how to. However, It is possible that he did not prepare them well enough mentally beforehand …but hes not on the court during the games looking like hes playing 5th grade basketball.

    We have all seen this team do these things well at points in the season so we know they have been taught it. We just lack mental toughness and consistency. We need a true leader on and off the court who can show these guys how to do this night in and night out and tthat person hasnt stepped up yet

    i agree our offensive sets look horrible but we do not have that much talent to work with. MY hope is that when we do we will have a different type of offense. You are right though, history will tell us crean relies solely on talent to make shots for themselves, but hopefully that will change. It doesnt even look like are guys could handle learning any type of offense right now. As we all saw against I owa, we still havent learned how to box out and get rebounds or how to play man to man on a consistent basis These kids have been taught this stuff long before CTC got ahold of them and they just dont get it yet.

    CTC has mentioned on several occasion that right now he is worried about building a solid defensive structure for this team and the offense will find come after that. Well this team has not proven that they know how to play good defense and become a hard nosed “defense first” team. I think we can all agree that that is the type of team we want here at indiana. A hard nosed defensive team that goes all out , dives for balls, boxes out and hits the defensive glass, and plays suffocating defense. I applaud crean for his effort in this department. If we get anything out of this year going into next year, I hope it is a solid defensive foundation and mentality that these players can take into next season.

    Next year, we will get creek back, we will have a good shooter (sheehey) and finally two players who can play above the rim(sheehey and oladipo). This is when we will start to see what type of offense we will come to expect under CTC. As frustrating and painful as it is to watch to watch our offense, it is even more painful to me watch our horrible defense. Doesnt matter how good are offense is ,…if we cant stop anyone..we cant win games. ANd lets face it…we are not going to any postseason this year and crean is stil building the foundation. He is focusing on the right area DEFENSE. The offense will start to take form this summer

  • CreamandCrimson

    I agree with most of your post. The only issue I have is that giving Jones less playing time doesn't seem like an option to me. He and Dumes are the only two players with ability or confidence to take and make a jump shot. His defense is a big problem but we can't afford to have him out of the game.

    The offense is average at best and without Jones it would be horrific. The zone creates rebounding problems and our man defense would be awful with Jones and Hulls in the game but Jones can't sit on the bench, the offense needs him.

  • MillaRed

    I like the idea Jerry. VIII and Watford hit those medium range jumpers with regularity and we need to do what we can to free them up. Have you noticed almost every time these two hit from 10 feet someone is right in their grill? Where would we be if those two couldn't shoot over people?

    It continues to amaze me the posts about how we are young and gonna get there yadda yadda. Everyone here is completely aware of that. The point is we played horribly the other day. We may have well been freshmen in high school. So regardless of our age and experience it brings about a lot of questions. Sheesh.

  • trailrunner

    Do not argue like a child. No one believes that IU will challenge for a top conference finish this year. IU got thumped by an inferior team in talent and just as inexperienced on our court. The offensive philosophy is the problem that needs to be adjusted.

  • trailrunner

    The coach certainly is responsible for the execution. That is why they get paid major cash. Practice is where the execution is perfected. Practice is where fundamentals should be taught. Practice is where free throws become second nature. Practice is where blocking out is drilled into their heads. I was always shorter than my man but I rarely was out rebounded because I blocked out. As soon as the ball went up I found my man and put my body between him and the goal. He had to foul or I had the position for the rebound. The offense runs plays over and over against the opponents D. You do not need superior talent to execute plays and fundamentals.

  • SteveEyl

    So how do you explain the difference between, say, the parts of the Michigan game where the team played well and the part where they gagged away the lead. What did Crean say in the huddle that made the players forget how to play?

  • lucy52

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy

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  • chitowniufan

    If only Tony Bennett would have said yes to IU's offer. Oh well….Look at his numbers in the ACC this year:
    Bennett has taken a proud Virginia program back to its roots of chest-to-chest defense. His “pack” defense is really just gap protection D, which emphasizes help and the protection of the paint and limiting opponents to one difficult shot. Virginia does not play to high possession totals right now, but will in time. Bennett has also brought ball security to Charlottesville, as the Cavaliers do not turn the ball over. Bennett is the real thing, and Virginia is now competitive under his leadership.

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