The Minute After: Northwestern State

Notes on a 100-66 win over Northwestern State:

At first, Northwestern State’s pressure defense, strong rebounding and ability to match IU’s energy brought some worry.

Would this be the the team’s first loss of 2010-11?

But as we’ve seen a few times so far this season, the Hoosiers weathered the first-half storm and put it well out of reach in the second half on the backs of their defense — one that led to a dominating transition offense.

For as much talk as there was about how many points the Demons were scoring this season before tonight (86 a contest), they were getting them more on the strength of their pace (75.4 possessions a game, good for third in the nation) than on their offensive efficiency (99.3, adjusted, only 180th in the nation) or effective field-goal percentage (51.2 percent, 102nd in the nation).

And the Demons are an even poorer defensive unit. Entering tonight, they were letting opponents score 106.6 points per 100 possessions (adjusted, 290th in the country) and giving up an effective field-goal percentage of 55.5 percent, which ranks near the bottom of all Division I at 313th in the nation.

If you want to know how IU got to the century mark for the first time in the Tom Crean era, start there.

This isn’t to say the Hoosiers’ effort should be discounted. It was a strong, balanced performance on both sides of the ball. They got it done tonight. No doubt. They’ve been getting it done all season, and should take much confidence and pride in their performance thus far for a squad that hasn’t tasted a lot of success the last two seasons. 6-0 is a great start for the  program and for a fanbase starving for success.

But it’s time for a test.

This team has proven they can discard with the less talented, smaller schools in the early non-conference slate inside Assembly Hall.

But what will happen against a larger conference opponent on the road? We’ll find out against Boston College on Wednesday night in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

What will happen on the road against a rival ranked in the top 10 with NBA-ready talent? We’ll find out on Dec. 11 against Kentucky.

These next two weeks could either see the Hoosiers humbled in defeat or emerge as one of the biggest surprises of this early college basketball season.

Whatever the future holds, this team’s near past has shown sizable signs of improvement on both sides of the ball. There’s reason for optimism, regardless of the opponents’ skill level.

Yes folks, it’s true: There’s not only optimism from Crean’s recent/stellar in-state recruiting run, but optimism also because of how IU has taken care of business on the court in the early goings of 2010-11.

Just know better competition lies ahead.

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    … Not to mention the Yogi commit from Wednesday (and I’m a Reds fan, so Votto getting the MVP last week can be thrown into the mix). If only the Pats had lost on Thanksgiving, I wouldn’t have a complaint in the [sporting] world.

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    I love all Cal’s tweets about the “great cultural events” happening in Louisville and/or Lexington. You know on the inside he’s thinking, “I wish I could get away from these inbred dolts!” Just about everything he says and does rings so hollow.

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    This took place about 25 miles from Lexington:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm8_yTVCaXc

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Redneck on redneck crime! That’s too great!

  • HoosierFromCT

    got my 11th row tickets behind IU’s bench for the BC game. Taking my 9 year old brother. This will be first (real) sporting event. I’m making sure he’s raised an IU fan despite having UConn, UNC, and U.Washington alums in our family.

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    This is the fanbase that we’re dealing with here — one that’s in denial about it’s coach’s culpability and thinks that the NCAA and the New York Times are out to get him for no good reason… which is about as easy to stomach as paying $250 for a $20 lawn mower (apparently). Instead of beards, they’ll have to eat crow when whatever postseason success they have is labeled with a giant red “VOID” stamp by the NCAA. Next to an IU championship, that day will bring as much happiness as college basketball can offer.

  • Anonymous

    If only I had a dollar for every time I was forced to eat my beard.

  • Anonymous

    When I seen the comment above about the bakery and Crean knowing about it the first thing that came into my mind was H & R !! That’s wild but very believable. My best friend is a truck driver and is all over the country and says he has run into other drivers all over the country that know all about H & R bakery.

    Are you a local consumer or one of the many that do not live in the Salem area but know all about the reputation of H & R doughnuts ?

    Fried cinnamon rolls and the fried apple fritter rock for me but haven’t really found anything that is not good. I can almost always get whatever it is I want out of my three boys if the bribe is a trip to H & R !! Win Win situation.

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t have stated it more correctly myself even if I tried. I also work in the Louisville and southern IN area and I know exactly, and I mean exactly, what you are saying. What has always been there is still there only now it is like their stupidity is on some kind of powerful steroid that increases their special brand of ignorance.

  • Anonymous

    Ashamed to say I was born in Salem, but have never heard of H & R. Was it pre-1970, because that would explain it.

  • Anonymous

    Has been there as long as I can remember, which unfortunately is more than 5 or 10 years. Would say that they were there way before 1970. They open about 3 in the morning and people are in there shortly after that. People get up and go get them and then go back home and go back to bed cause if you wait till the normal time to go get some you may have to make your purchase from a very limited selection or they may be out of everything. If you get there at 7:30 or 8:00 and get what you want you would consider yourself very lucky. We used to make it a point to stop and buy a bunch of doughnuts and rolls to have for Saturday morning when we finally crawled out of bed from a long Friday night of indulging. Yes they are so good that they could go a long ways towards curing a bad hangover. Too bad they are not open on Sundays. Ahhhhh, a lot of fond memories of standing in line at the ole H & R very early on a Saturday morning which in turn probably gave the guys working there a lot of funny stories to tell too I’m sure.

    Is on the same street, and opposite side, as the Post Office. Not the building right on the corner but right next to that one.

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