Tuesday morning musings on Ferris State

  • 11/09/2010 8:46 am in

So I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t visually see any of Monday’s exhibition against Ferris State, though I did listen to basically the entire second half through the watchful words of Don Fischer (and Royce Waltman). So, uneducated as I might be, let me pose a question you might find puzzling: Isn’t this game better for Indiana, given the way it turned out? Let’s dig past the surface reactions of “Wow, that was really close,” and “Don’t good teams find ways to win?” Consider the following, which we learned about Indiana tonight and wouldn’t have before:

+ First of all, as Ryan touched upon, Victor Oladipo is a gamer. He won’t lead the team in scoring or rebounding or assists, but he’s already a fan favorite. More importantly, for the time being anyway, he’s proven to his coach that he’s a guy Indiana can count on when the stakes are highest.

+ After a veritable barrage last Wednesday, we learned tonight that Indiana does not have the wherewithal to lean heavily on the 3-point shot. Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, Derek Elston, Maurice Creek, (Matt Roth if he’s OK, which by the way Fischer talked about it seems a tough pill to swallow) all of them are talented shooters. But 7-for-27 speaks for itself — this team has to create higher percentage looks.

+ Indiana must improve against the zone. Period. Fischer and Waltman hammered at it in the second half, and shooting south of 37 percent from the floor would indicate their analysis was on target.

+ When the right people get to the line, (Christian Watford) Indiana is dangerous there. Remember when Eric Gordon’s wrist basically precluded him from scoring on any shot that didn’t include his hand hitting the rim in 2008 and he still scored 20 a game because he shot so many free throws? Indiana can do that. With the driving ability of players like Creek, Verdell Jones and Watford, it should do that. More 23-for-28 nights would go a long way, especially when the shots aren’t falling.

+ Indiana will still struggle on the boards and with turnovers. Probably not as much, but the old bugaboos were alive again Monday night.

+ Finally, and this one is a little bit harder to quantify, but maybe it’s better for this team to get a wake-up call. It’s a tired cliche, the “learned they can’t play down to an opponent’s level” line. But for a team still learning how to be a high-major power, maybe a game like this is necessary. Particularly when you look at some of the less impressive teams early on the schedule, if there was to be one hiccup in November, wouldn’t you prefer this be it?

Maybe none of this matters. Maybe all of it matters. In reality, probably about half of it will matter. But we wouldn’t have learned half of this in some 40-point blowout that was over in 10 minutes.

There were real lessons to be taken from Monday night, in a game that ultimately won’t matter a bit. While the possibility of serious injury to Matt Roth lingers, overall, Indiana actually came away from Ferris State in a far better way because they were pushed. It was only in how they responded that we were able to shine some light onto the dark places of a previously untested squad.

Filed to:

  • hoostheman

    Cody Zeller decision coming Thursday @ 1:05 EST from center court in the Washington gym. 107.9 FM WAMW is going to stream it live.

  • IU_Fan_99

    keep us posted on Matt’s knee! ugh… brutal…

  • I heard in the comments last night that the team practiced before the scrimmage. Is there any truth to this? If so, another thing we can draw from this game is finding another gear when your tired, something this team has severely lacked. A close win isn’t ideal but after all at least we’re not Tennessee.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I agree that the team can take many positives out of this but I’m a guy who has a hard time finding positives out of any loss so it’s a good thing IU came back to win because I wouldn’t be able to find any positives from a loss to Ferris Beuller State U.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I agree that the team can take many positives out of this but I’m a guy who has a hard time finding positives out of any loss so it’s a good thing IU came back to win because I wouldn’t be able to find any positives from a loss to Ferris Beuller State U.

  • Anonymous

    I heard their players are always skipping class.

  • CutterInChicago

    I heard the same rumor, that the team had practiced prior to the game last night too. If so, that would explain a few things, but not others.

    My complaint/remark, an annual one (no matter who the coach is really, all the way back to some of the last Knight teams) is that we need to move better offensively. I am not saying “motion offense.” I am saying motion on offense. If you don’t move on offense, you are awfully easy to guard.

  • Tman

    Any video links to highlights from the game lastnight?

  • TrueCrimson

    Ferris had their best players on the court as much as possible, and played to win. Indiana rotated almost the entire bench. Near the 6 minute mark I saw Indiana play our best chance to win line up, even though it’s lacking in big men and I wished we had Jones (our best player).

    I wonder if Crean will reward players that “work hard” in practice or if he will play our “best chance to win” line up this year? After two years, if Tom plays like he did last night he should average 4 minutes a game, tops. That says a lot about the player and coach IMO, but at this point learning/teaching some basic bball skills should be kicking in. I think Tom and the rest of the players have the potential, but at this point we should start seeing some results.

    We had a lot of different configuration of players the whole game so there couldn’t be many/any offensive sets prepared. There was a lot of standing around and outside shots. When we did start moving (not the ball, but the players) good things happened.

    Victor for Victory! What an awesome display by a player giving it all to get a win. We should have lost last night, but Victor pulled a miracle (offensive and defensive wows).

  • JerryCT

    I intend to watch again on the BTN on Wednesday and record it. BUT, from my notes last night Ferris denied the wing pass to VO, Creek and pretty much also CW .

    This leaves the PG ( Hulls ) to …. 1) create on his own or 2) get a solid screen.

    1) Create on Own : Unfortunately Ferris was able to force Hulls to pick up his dribble or move further out using a single player with NO HELP which opened up exactly nothing.

    2) Screen: In addition w TP out of the game the recognition to set the screen AND the quality of the screen from Elston ( and lesser extent Capo ) was insufficient to shake him loose.

    The result is that players who are 1 pass away usually fear for the PG and move toward him or watch to see if he breaks lose………… therein you have the lack of effective movement.

    Personally I would prefer a dose of the Princeton with Elston at the high post where he can pass and players like Mo, VO and JR can use their cutting quickness to create/backdoor versus the dribble drive into the lane. I think Hulls would be better in this scheme.

  • Anonymous

    I am not enamored with Roth. He can shoot, but not much more. He looks lost when he does get the chance. So not a huge injury and it gives VO more time.

  • Anonymous

    on a different note: is there any hint of a time table for GMM’s eligibility to be resolved?

  • Anonymous

    Completely agree. I kept waiting for someone to flash to the high post, get a bounce pass to hit somebody on the back door cut to the basket.

  • Anonymous

    I honestly don’t think TP has played that poorly so far. Last year he found himself out of position fairly often, but he seems to be doing better with that. He has an injury to his shooting hand which can’t be helping. I think we need to give him a few more weeks before any decisions are made about how much he should be playing.

  • Anonymous

    I honestly don’t think TP has played that poorly so far. Last year he found himself out of position fairly often, but he seems to be doing better with that. He has an injury to his shooting hand which can’t be helping. I think we need to give him a few more weeks before any decisions are made about how much he should be playing.

  • mark in indy

    After spending 45 minutes reading the live blog on this site last night and now reading the comments this morning, I am relieved to read that the collective mood seems to have brightened.

    I was seriously (or at least semi-seriously) worried that a couple of posters were going to work themselves into a heart attack – or at least a drunken stupor – over an exhibition game.

    The passion is admirable, but it’s a marathon not a sprint boys and girls.

    For what it’s worth, I think winning that game in that fashion could be very helpful. I don’t think either of the last two years’ teams would have won when put in that position. I also get the feeling that Oladipo could be the next coming of A.J. Moye with better numbers, which would be great for this team.

    I will be in row 10 Friday and am very much looking forward to it!

    And Dustin, Hugh: Thanks for the work last night. My internet radio feed died so you guys were it for much of the game. Appreciate the information and entertainment.

  • HoosierDNA

    From everything I have read and taken in on this excellent site TC has had his team focus primarily on defense thus far, so it is not surprising to me that the offense was out of sync most of the game, and which also supports the necessity of a before game practice to iron out some of the offense. I am confident that the offense will gel. I am very high on VO and believe he is going to bring a winner tangibility to this group. This will not be his only inspirational moment this season. I think he will be a leader.

  • coachv

    zach

    i’d like you to tall me why you are so certain oladipo won’t lead the team in rebounding. who do you think, pritchard? don’t make me laugh. vo had 9 last night. pritch, 1.

  • JerryCT

    You know I only recall that happening between JR and Elston. They did it against NW and in overtime against Minn as 2 examples but I would like to see more of that. I think DE can be a great passer.

  • LTTelamon

    Elston? Watford? GMM? All of them would be candidates. I’m not saying Victor can’t, but he’s far from a lock to do so.

  • coachv

    i never said he was a lock. zack said he wouldn’t. i think he could.

  • coachv

    i never said he was a lock. zack said he wouldn’t. i think he could.

  • LTTelamon

    Oh, I know you didn’t. I merely meant to use a little understatement. There’s 4-5 guys who could lead in rebounding. VO is one of them, but the least likely, I think. That’s not underselling VO, either… I just think some of these other guys can and will get it done.

  • CutterInChicago

    I’d be in favor of running a high post set and a pick-and-roll set as well. I think we have some decent personnel to run those plays. Watford/Elston on the high post after getting the ball from VJ3 or Creek (or even Hulls) with a cutter to the hoop/someone popping outside. Same for a pick/roll.