The Minute After: Evansville

Thoughts on a 67-54 win over the Evansville Purple Aces:

Can the Hoosiers put it together for a full 40 minutes?

That’s the challenge heading forward.

After a first half thick with turnovers (12), fouls (three each for Bobby Capobianco, Tom Pritchard and Christian Watford) and only 25 points (thanks to Evansville’s defense taking away perimeter shooting which equaled minimal shot attempts for IU), the Hoosiers put together arguably their finest stretch of the season in the second half — at one point ripping off a 27-2 run on the Purple Aces.

Maurice Creek was a big catalyst. The sophomore hit three 3-pointers early in the second frame (after IU only attempted three the entire first half) and was fouled on another 3-point attempt in which he hit all three free throws.

Creek also scored on a nice left-handed runner off the backboard later in the half, along with another three with just under two minutes left to seal the deal.

For the game, Creek scored 18 points (5-of-10 from the floor, 4-of-7 from three, 5-of-5 from the line).

In addition, IU clamped down hard on defense and Evansville’s offense was stymied for most of the second half.

But most impressive was the way the Hoosiers took care of the ball. After giving it away 12 times in the first 20 minutes, only three miscues occurred in the second half for a total of 15.

As Alex tweeted this morning, IU ranked 329th out of 344 Division I teams in turnover percentage heading into this game. Not very good.

And whether the team builds off the turnover-light second half remains to be seen.

But in a season where turnovers have been a glaring problem, this afternoon’s performance was encouraging.

Other scattered thoughts:

+ Pritchard had his best game of this young season. When the offense stalled in the first half, he connected on two of his patented reverse layups. Pritchard also posted a career-high five blocks, and impressed with his ability to remain active and aggressive on defense — by staying straight up on the block — despite the fouls.

The Ohio native also tallied a solid eight rebounds and finished with eight points (4-of-5 from the field).

With Guy Marc-Michel’s return still unknown, Derek Elston nursing an injury and Capobianco having his own foul troubles, his performance was important.

+ Much has been made of Jeremiah Rivers’ play so far this season in the comments, and it’s about time he gets a mention up here. It’s clear his offensive role has been tapered this season — he’s deferred to teammates and passed up several scoring opportunities thus far. So it was nice to see him break his man down off the wing for an uncontested dunk near the end of the first half for his first bucket of the season.

And he followed it up with a steal off the inbounds pass and a kick out to Jordan Hulls for an open three — which was missed.

Rivers continues to be a steady defensive presence and is making some nice passes when given the opportunity.

Good to see.

+ Quickly: With the win, IU moves to 4-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season. The Hoosiers shot over 50 percent for the game (53.3 percent).  The free-throw shooting, though, was poor (15-of-28, 53.6 percent).

  • 13th&Woodlawn

    Pritchard’s play was very encouraging.

    Hulls is improving.

  • So_Cal_Hoosier

    Saw Gary Harris wearing a black IU hoodie, that’s gotta be a good sign right? Also I would say this game had the best turnout by the student section so far this season.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen Pritchard progress mentally and physically every game this season. You could see him a game or two into the season realize he shouldn’t have reached in, and now he’s starting to catch himself before he does it. He’s getting off the floor to block some shots and get some rebounds, and staying on the floor (sometimes to still block shots,) when it’s the right decision.

    Eventually Creek’s leg will come back, and by that time people will converge on him to stop the 3 and he’ll be right by them.

    Rivers, for what I’ve noticed, hasn’t made a bad decision with the ball yet.

  • HoosierFromCT

    our interior play blows. we need GMM or every Big10 team will east us alive down low.

  • Anonymous

    Good points Ed. I’ve been impressed with the blocked shots by TP this year. He seems to have really gained skills in that area during the off-season.

  • JerryCT

    This was a troubling game in the sense that we won but we made no progress in developing any offense …………unless you call Jones driving on 2/3 guys and losing the ball an offense.

    I think Ryan avoided the elephant in the room by not noticing that until Jones stopped trying to do everything himself in the 2nd half we looked lost on offense ………………. then Hulls showed how team ball is played.

    At one point in the 2nd half Jones called for the ball and Hulls ignored him and went the other way ………… good for Hulls and good for the team.

  • WMR

    I hate to talk about only bad things after a win, but we cant shoot 50% on free throws. Every ten year old in southern Indiana can do better than that. I hate the turnovers, but they are more understandable than missing a wide open shot from 15 feet. No Excuses.

  • WMR

    I hate to talk about only bad things after a win, but we cant shoot 50% on free throws. Every ten year old in southern Indiana can do better than that. I hate the turnovers, but they are more understandable than missing a wide open shot from 15 feet. No Excuses.

  • WMR

    I hate to talk about only bad things after a win, but we cant shoot 50% on free throws. Every ten year old in southern Indiana can do better than that. I hate the turnovers, but they are more understandable than missing a wide open shot from 15 feet. No Excuses.

  • Anonymous

    Is there a stat showing actual turnovers vs stupid turnovers? I am willing to bet we have 6-8 turnovers a game from illegal screens and traveling calls. …………..

    I love the way we came out in the second half and just throttled the Aces, nice to see the team respond that way. Loved the play out of Pritch – 7 blocks!! (the goaltending was crap and one was taken away for a foul on the floor). He was timing them well and played a great roll on the Offensive end.

    I think we got our selves out of position often and especially early and gave up some rebounds we should not have lost to a team of there size and stature.

    I think Most importantly it was great to see Mo get his stroke back. It was like after he hit the first one he wanted to shoot everytime he touched the ball and I loved it.

    Great game by VJIII also, woulda been nice if he could hit his FT’s but oh well. Any word on what he went down with late in the game? He looked pretty frusterated.

    Last…………. Didnt hear any A.J. Moye chants and i was really hoping to

  • Anonymous

    Is there a stat showing actual turnovers vs stupid turnovers? I am willing to bet we have 6-8 turnovers a game from illegal screens and traveling calls. …………..

    I love the way we came out in the second half and just throttled the Aces, nice to see the team respond that way. Loved the play out of Pritch – 7 blocks!! (the goaltending was crap and one was taken away for a foul on the floor). He was timing them well and played a great roll on the Offensive end.

    I think we got our selves out of position often and especially early and gave up some rebounds we should not have lost to a team of there size and stature.

    I think Most importantly it was great to see Mo get his stroke back. It was like after he hit the first one he wanted to shoot everytime he touched the ball and I loved it.

    Great game by VJIII also, woulda been nice if he could hit his FT’s but oh well. Any word on what he went down with late in the game? He looked pretty frusterated.

    Last…………. Didnt hear any A.J. Moye chants and i was really hoping to

  • Anonymous

    Is there a stat showing actual turnovers vs stupid turnovers? I am willing to bet we have 6-8 turnovers a game from illegal screens and traveling calls. …………..

    I love the way we came out in the second half and just throttled the Aces, nice to see the team respond that way. Loved the play out of Pritch – 7 blocks!! (the goaltending was crap and one was taken away for a foul on the floor). He was timing them well and played a great roll on the Offensive end.

    I think we got our selves out of position often and especially early and gave up some rebounds we should not have lost to a team of there size and stature.

    I think Most importantly it was great to see Mo get his stroke back. It was like after he hit the first one he wanted to shoot everytime he touched the ball and I loved it.

    Great game by VJIII also, woulda been nice if he could hit his FT’s but oh well. Any word on what he went down with late in the game? He looked pretty frusterated.

    Last…………. Didnt hear any A.J. Moye chants and i was really hoping to

  • Anonymous

    I heard one get started but it was about the same time that Verdell got banged in the head so it petered out pretty quickly.

  • joe

    -Pritch was better tonight (go practice FT’s for the remainder of the night, one barely caught the rim!).
    -Welcome back Mo Creek. Good to see your shoot with a little more lift!
    -VJIII… nice scoring early when the team was having trouble, but you still are too determined to score when driving the lane. In this case determined wld be a negative.
    -Hulls… i’ve seen better games from you, you’ll be better next game
    -love to see one game w/out a moving screen (although i don’t agree w/ some of the calls)
    -nice to 4-0, but so was the football team. looking forward to playing quality opponent to gauge where we truly stand.

  • Anonymous

    If IU starts any conference game like they did today, they will get KILLED. No way around it. I know we won and had a great second half, but I’m still not really encouraged. The biggest disappointment of the day was the lack of movement on offense. I saw a lot of bad screens, bad spacing, WAY too much dribbling and too little ball movement. All things I thought had improved since last year, but I must be wrong. Believe me, if they play like the way they did in the first half, with an extremely good Big Ten, don’t expect much improvement in the record over last year. By the way, WE NEED GUY, if you haven’t noticed. Maybe I’m just pessimistic, but I’m not super encouraged after today.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe we should all go out in the backyard and practice our free throws with a cast on our shooting hand. Just guessing but I’d say it would be pretty frustrating.

  • Shooter McGaven

    Hulls showed how team ball is played? By himself?

    OK. We all see the VJ3 turnovers. It is driving us all crazy and he needs to fix it. However, his skill set is what keeps him on the floor. So lets hope he can clean it up, because he will remain a focal point in our offense throughout the year.

  • Anonymous

    - Loved the GARY HARRIS chants
    – Would like to see Sheehey get more PT
    – Rivers understanding his role and playing to it
    – We NEED Guy ( if nothing more than for his 5 fouls)
    – Still not understanding that zone we play with Hulls under the basket

    GO IU!!!!!!!!!!!

  • joe

    maybe it’s hard lineman, or maybe you’re mad about the football comment? either way, Pritch was very good tonight (FT’s were not thought)

  • Anonymous

    lineman is my profession don’t watch college football and agreed TP was very good today just think he’ll do a little better once cast is off

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I posted after last game that I thought the bigs just needed to be a little gentler with their screens and give a little when guys hit them instead of knocking them to the floor but apparently I was wrong. I saw Pritchard two minutes into the game set a softer screen and the guy ran through him and he still got hit with the foul so maybe it’s time to adjust the offense so we’re not setting these obvious screens on the top of the key where every ref is looking!!!

    I liked Rivers’ play. He looked good.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Capo picked up three fouls in 36 seconds!!!!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Definitely a good sign. IU is rolling with the recruiting so I would expect the world right now. I can’t see how we don’t get Yogi and Harris after seeing Davis and Hartman pull the trigger today!!!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I honestly think (very ironically) that the best offense the Hoosiers have had the past couple games is letting Jordan Hulls take the ball at the top of the key and either work off a screen or use his new little crossover dribble (that seems to have come out of nowhere) and get in the lane. He does a much better job than VJ3 of looking for the open man but he will try to score occasionally to keep the defense honest.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I think he means by looking for the dish first then the shot. VJ3 seems to enter the lane with his head down lately only looking to score. When he does spot someone open it’s too late and the defense has converged on him. JH has gotten into the lane the past two games consistently and looked to kick it out or dump it down and it’s worked well. CTC needs to work with VJ3 on opening up his options when he gets in the lane and dribbling there with his head up.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Jones looks pathetic at the line right now but let’s not forget that TP missed three and he’s already a bad foul shooter when he has his good hand!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Emphasize the “little” in that prediction because he shot 37% last year with his good hand!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I disagree. I think we may still be able to beat Iowa. I’ve seen them play and they’re terrible! HA

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    BTW, if they played like that in the first half last year the game would have already been over no matter who they play so I somewhat disagree. I’ve seen games where a team looks pathetic in the first half and is down double digits but then they come out like barn burners in the second half and end up pulling it out. A 27-2 run is going to get them back into most games. I see where you’re coming from but I think the difference between this team and last year’s is that they probably would have packed it in and lost this game last year but there’s a different look about them this year.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    BTW, if they played like that in the first half last year the game would have already been over no matter who they play so I somewhat disagree. I’ve seen games where a team looks pathetic in the first half and is down double digits but then they come out like barn burners in the second half and end up pulling it out. A 27-2 run is going to get them back into most games. I see where you’re coming from but I think the difference between this team and last year’s is that they probably would have packed it in and lost this game last year but there’s a different look about them this year.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed “little” but he also would have fouled out of that game last year

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    The first and second half were almost two different games. JR is impressive on the D and his Dunk certainly got the crowd going…CW and Mo are shaping into form – every game Mo improves and he is still only at 70-80%. VO adds great energy and always around the ball. Hulls is a typical Indiana overacheiver and great leader – really starting to appreciate him……oh yeah – gotta love the goal tending from Pritch – thought I could see him stick his chest out after that one – he was a beast out there – I questiioned some of the fouls – thought he was set and he still got the foul….on the right track overall.

    Gotta appteciate CZ in the stands and the effect he is having with the recruits. Would love to see Harris and Yogi sign up as well…..

  • Anonymous

    I hope that Tom Pritchard gets 4-5 goal tending calls every game! Have fun and play hard Big Tom!

  • Anonymous

    There is “so much room for improvement”. That is what is so encouraging about this team! But you are wrong about the poor start and losing the game. This team has NO QUIT in them! Regardless of the score they are going to fight to the end. And with Mo, Christian, Verdell, Hulls, Victor, Will and Derek (and Guy and Matt at some point), there are plenty of scoring options.

  • Anonymous

    When is someone going to give the public the official word on what the injury is, what the wrap is, and when if ever the wrap is coming off of Tom Pritchard?

  • Anonymous

    Dandy you have the technique exactly right! The Big sets himself and it is the guard who must dribble so that the defender is “rubbed” off!

  • Anonymous

    It may be more of a case of what he lost than what he gained. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that his increased vertical and his weight loss happened at the same time.

  • Anonymous

    Jerry, noticed that we played the zone D with our small guys on the back of it again. Don’t know about you but I am still puzzled as hell as to why he is doing this. Thought you might have come up with something new as to why he is playing the zone this way.

    We may have to assemble an ITH type special forces team to plant a bug in Crean’s stragety room to understand this one.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree. It was driving me nuts when the announcer was praising Jones in the first 7 minutes for his scoring. Jones scored the first 8 points but in that time he also turned the ball over twice and had 0 assists. I love Verdell and he has proven himself in the clutch, but we are going to struggle if our primary ballhandler is:
    1) our leading scorer
    2) averaging double digit turnovers and 0 assists per 40 minutes.

    I felt like we made our run in the second half when Hulls was running the team.

  • JerryCT

    Exactly. Jones got his points , we shot a high percentage ………….BUT………..we were still behind………

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