The Minute After: Minnesota

  • 01/04/2011 10:32 pm in

Notes on a 67-63 loss to the Gophers:

This was one the Hoosiers had right in their hands.

A chance to get over the hump. A shot at erasing a four-game losing streak in a tough road environment against a ranked opponent. But they came up a little too short in the end, and it’s now 0-3 on this Big Ten season.

After looking lost on defense time and again so far this Big Ten season, Indiana actually churned out a host of praise-worthy defensive possessions in this one. Jeremiah Rivers locked down seemingly every Gopher on the court at one time or another — a Ron Artest-like performance. The Hoosiers also held Minnesota in check for 30-plus seconds on occasion, denying the Gophers the opportunity to get their best look.

And in a game where Minnesota was without junior guard Devoe Joseph and played a bevy of freshman, Indiana often looked like the team that wanted it more. Jordan Hulls superman’ed off the court for a loose ball. There was solid, sustained energy from the entire group for much of the evening, and it had Indiana in this one from the onset, despite some long-ish scoring droughts.

It was a tough one to swallow, largely because Indiana didn’t have a Chernobyl-esque meltdown at the end of the contest like we’ve often seen in this team’s losses so far this season. Indiana found itself down eight (61-53) with 4:07 to go, and it seemed like it might be over. But the Hoosiers didn’t make a bunch of bone-headed plays to close this one out. There was more thought and a certain sense calm to what they were doing.

To wit: Victor Oladipo took it strong to the hole against a Minnesota team blocking a lot of shots, drew a foul and hit both free throws. Rivers stole the ball on the ensuing Minnesota possession and passed ahead to Oladipo, who hit a layup. After allowing Al Nolan a layup at the other end, Rivers made a nice cut off the baseline, and nearly hit a crafty little turnaround near the rim. A missed three from Nolan on the Gophers’ next possession. IU down six with 1:57 to go. Watford looked strong — a rare sight tonight — on a take to the rim, but missed. Another defensive stop for the Hoosiers led to a bit of a fast break as the ball kicked out to the perimeter and Jordan Hulls controlled it. He passed to wide-open Maurice Creek, who missed a three. Creek got his own rebound, and missed another three.

From there, the Gophers corralled Creek’s second clanker, and Indiana missed its chance to cut it to three — what would have been a 63-60 deficit — with 40-plus seconds to go.

It just made it a little too far out of reach.

In total, the Hoosiers outscored the Gophers 10-6 in the final four minutes of the game, a vast improvement over other losses so far this year.

It’s progress. But it’s also yet another loss.

Other thoughts:

+ Christian Watford still has work to do. He’s trending a lot towards last year of late, where he’s too upright in and around the rim (a point Dan Dakich made tonight), and teams are feasting off that with blocks, deflections and the like. Against a team like Minnesota with a large frontline, it becomes even more apparent. He went 2-of-13 from the field (0-of-3 from three) tonight for only four points.

As the Hoosiers meander along this Big Ten season, Watford will continue to face more size up front. A better performance from him will aid in their chances at victories going forward.

+ Speaking of size, Guy Marc-Michel’s absence was sure felt tonight, eh? He would have helped a lot in a game like this to combat the likes of Trevor Mbakwe — both defensively and on the boards.

+ Indiana did not shoot the ball well tonight, hitting only 37.7 percent from the field (23-of-61) and an OK 35.0 percent from three (7-of-20). But they were able to hang in this one in a variety of other ways. The Hoosiers only turned the ball over seven times — a very sound performance for them. They scored 19 points off Minnesota’s 12 turnovers. And they didn’t let Minnesota’s offensive rebounding — a strength of the Gophers, as noted earlier today — get the best of them.

Indiana held strong in this category, as it scored 14 points off offensive rebounds. Minnesota bested them by only one at 15. But this doesn’t mean the Gophers didn’t snag a ton of offensive boards. By grabbing 19 of them, Minnesota had an offensive rebounding percentage of 48.7 percent — a good deal higher than its season average of 39.6 percent.

The Gophers also got 18 points at the line (18-of-28), good for a free-throw rate of 52.8 percent — also above their season average of 45.8 percent.

Filed to:

  • Diesel

    That’s fine Stones, I don’t disagree with WS needing more mins last night. I didn’t comment against that. But CWat should play at least half the game. He came around against the Buffaloes and was a big reason we made the huge 2nd half run. He will also draw a pretty respectable defender, and is our best FT shooter and top scorer – not sure how you can justify him not seeing half the game.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    It’s pretty obvious just looking at the most obvious numbers. I didn’t say they were all VJ’s fault. VJ, Creek, and Hulls were beat equally in last night’s game and that was easy to see. VJ had 13 points, 4 TO’s, and the terrible pass that Hulls saved that should have been a 5th turnover. I know Minnesota scored off three of those TO’s for sure and I can’t recall if they scored after his double blocked shot when he tried to go over Sampson and Iverson. He also had two assists. So, he accounted for 17 points, cost us the opportunity for at least 10 (including the should’ve been Hulls layup) and led to at least 6 for Minnesota (possibly 8 if they did indeed score after that first half block). I do know Minnesota went down and scored after Hulls dove out of bounds to save that errant pass so there’s 2 more. Do the math . . . that means he was plus 17/minus 18-20.

    Hulls scored ten points, didn’t force any terrible shots, didn’t turn the ball over, and had one assist. So he accounted for 12 points and didn’t give Minnesota any. You can’t possibly convince me that Hulls was burned any more than VJ because I watched the same game you did. Take the defense out of the conversation and VJ was minus 1-3 points while he was on the floor and Hulls was plus 12. That seems to be a much better way of looking at +/- numbers. If you want to pretend that Hulls was burned for 6 more baskets than VJ then go ahead but 1) You’d be wrong, and 2) Even if that’s true you’re only making the case for neither player to play, not VJ over Hulls. I would rather have a guy out there who plays within himself and makes good decisions even though he isn’t the best defender because of his size/athletic ability than a guy who plays dumb and is also a defensive liability!

    As for Creek, I can’t say anything either way because I just feel sorry for him. I think he plays his *ss off but he just doesn’t have it right now!

    I guess we are both on the same page overall because I too feel like JR has proven that he should be the guy with ball and Hulls and VJ should be off (though not on the floor at the same time). In my opinion this suits Hulls better because he is a much better spot up shooter for JR to kick the ball to and VJ is still apt to turn it over because he looks to get deeper since he isn’t totally confident in his outside shot. If JR is the point then it eliminates the need for VJ to have the ball and that could possibly limit the turnovers. Neither player is a good defensive choice but I would like to point out that Jordy was doing a magnificent job playing his spot in the zone during the first half when JR, VO, and Will were on the floor together. I’ve long said that having two of those three guys on the floor makes Hulls the best player possible. That lineup also resulted in our best run.

    So, maybe we are arguing a mute point! We both would like to see Rivers at the point at this time and more Sheehey and Oladipo. I just prefer Hulls be the fourth guard to play because I can’t stand VJ’s decision making. I played and coached and it’s not that hard to choose not to force the ball into bad situations. I have zero tolerance for players who can’t seem to “do what’s best for the team” which means play a roll this year instead of thinking you’re the only player on the floor.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, I’m not defending Crean’s offense Stoni. I don’t like it at all!

    But, I don’t think it would matter what offense IU was running, I still think Verdell would be my least favorite player. He just doesn’t have the right mindset on the court. Just because it’s a dribble drive offense doesn’t mean VJ has to force 3-5 bad shots a game and commit 4-5 stupid turnovers. You don’t see other players doing it right now? We had 7 and he had 4! It should have been 5 out of 8 if it weren’t for one being saved.

    I complained early in the season that VJ was a terrible PG and I’d rather see Helena Bonham Carter run the point than him! At the time it was real early and I hadn’t regained confidence in Rivers so I suggested the next best option which was Hulls. Now, two things are obvious. 1) Hulls is a better SG. I’ll agree with you on that. 2) JR is willing to play smart and has the talent to play the point so he should be doing so.

    That is CTC’s fault for not recognizing that but Verdell is still a lousy PG and I still think he’s holding other players back at this point. If that ankle injury would have been a season ender, I think you would have seen more minutes for Will Sheehey, we’d be 12-4 or 13-3 right now instead of 9-7. That’s just an opinion but I firmly think that’s the case.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    There is a point where the talent level can hide some poor coaching. Just ask Roy Williams and Bobby Cox.

  • MillaRed

    Damn it Buc, we always agree! I demand cooperation! I love VJ man. But he’s killing us cuzzin. He’s killing us.

  • Anonymous

    I may be reading too much into it, but it seems to me sometimes that Dakich is trying to give CTC subtle (or not so subtle) pointers through his analysis; perhaps he has a soft spot for his old team and wants as bad as we do to see it succeed… but doesn’t want to be directly involved.

  • Diesel

    And I really don’t understand why we are all trying to blame someone. How about this: our team just isn’t as good as we’d like it to be. Our team defense isn’t where it needs to be, our team offense isn’t where it needs to be, our team talent level is not where it needs to be. Last night, we were better, and came up short.

  • Diesel

    Couple of things Jerry –

    + I’d like to see us go TP, DE, CWat, VJ3, and Hulls to some degree. Isn’t this the Guy lineup we thought we would have earlier in the year?

    + I also agree about the offensive scheme, but I am also acutely aware that it won’t change. When we hired CTC, that is what we got. Unfortunately, we are 2 years away from being able to effectively run the DD system. Ultimately, I think it is what has allowed VO to be effective offensively which is surprising to all of us, and it has everything to do with his athleticism.

    Good post.

  • Diesel

    You get a like just for posting BGleas.

    As SNL needs more cowbell, ITH needs more BGleas.

  • Diesel

    SPRINT! That crap is see from CWat not hustling back irks me to no end as well, it’s probably the one thing I yell at the TV most consistently, and IMO it’s grounds for finding yourself on the bench, no questions. If you are too tired to sprint back, get off the floor. But as you mention, it’s definitely an effort issue.

  • stonaroni

    Here you go Aceman, here is where I call BS:

    Hulls gave up 13 and Creek gave up 7 (in the second half only):

    Hulls

    -Fouled on a cross over drive at 19:18 where he was buned by Nolen (1) FT made
    -dominated to the paint by Nolen and scored on at 16:47 (2)
    -No match at 13:44 on Williams posting him (2)
    -Hulls left Nolen wide open for a 3 at 11:35 as he jumped at Hof as VO had cut the lane off on Hof (3)
    -Hulls committed a stupid foul with 5:34 on Hof sending them to the bonus 1-2 (1)
    -Hof busted a 19′ jumper over Hulls, too short to match up at 4:07 (2) – amazing shot
    -A layup to Nolen at 2:51 to go, Hulls did not stop the ball nor make any effort to turn Nolen (2)

    Not a defensive liability? I dont think this can be overlooked!

  • Diesel

    Oops. Liked you when I meant to reply, not that I don’t like you Walton, anyway…..I saw CTC on the refs all night last night. He is usually not that demonstrative with it, but last night he was more than normal.

  • MillaRed

    So you are supporting the first line in my post right?

    “Is it possible CTC has been looking ahead to 2012 from Day 1?”

    What is it that I/We don’t get?

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree Ace. Our best lineup last night was Pritch and four guards (with JR and VO being two of them). Pretty sure Sheehey was the 3rd along with either VJ or Hulls.

    If Pritch doesn’t start next game, I’ll be livid. When a guy with shaken confidence starts showing signs of life, especially our most capable low post defender, Crean has to reinforce it with playing time.

  • Anonymous

    You are right, the 2010 class is better than we expected (good thing). I am not accusing anyone of being unfairly critical of CTC. However, one thing I have not seen is praise for Crean for bringing in Will Sheehey and Victor Oladipo. There were some questions about how much these guys would help this program. Some of us were optimistic and believed they could help down the line. However, I don’t think anyone thought Oladipo would be as good as he has been. My point is, if we are willing to slam Crean for his offensive philosophy, substitution patterns and anything else we want to gripe about, we need to give him some credit for evaluating these guys and improving their play to this point. Victor has drastically improved from the first few weeks. I am thrilled with his progress and Crean deserves some of the credit for that.

    I understand everyone’s frustration, many of the points are legitimate. I also understand everyone is going to continue to support this program and cheer for them this Sunday. Just keep in mind, if you are willing to criticize, be willing to give credit.

    Notes from Tuesday night:
    -Congrats to Pritchard, good game and effort.
    -Rivers continues to embrace his role, be the best defender in the Big Ten.
    -Hulls is a lights out shooter, we all know he needs to get more shots off.
    -Well done on the turnovers.
    -The athleticism and relentlessness of Mbakwe is sorely needed down low.
    -Where have Watford and Elston gone? Step up guys, this team needs you from here on out.

    Tough loss to swallow, bounce back against the Wildcats, go Hoosiers.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree on Elston. It would be great to have a couple of other guys to rely on down low for offense. If Elston was on, you could keep him in. If he wasn’t focused on defense or disappearing on offense, you wouldn’t have to stick with him. Unfortunately, Capo isn’t helping and Pritchard can’t score.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree with Sheehey getting more PT. Just want to clarify, are you suggesting taking Jordan Hulls out of the starting lineup? I hope not, love reading your posts and I know you are very knowledgeable about basketball. If you are suggesting a lineup with Hulls, Sheehey, Victor and Rivers as four starting guards, okay. If you are suggesting taking Hulls out and putting Will in, I have to disagree. Hulls is not a good defender but this team is better with him on the floor.

  • Devout Hoosier

    I for one was very pleased with this game. To be competitive on the road to a descent Gopher team is huge for our team. For WS, VO, VJ, JH, and JR all played well. The Defense was much better, in an away game. This team is still learning and getting better and is mainly underclassmen.

    Remember:
    Year 1: Walk-ons and a couple of late get recruits (VJ).
    Year 2: Freshmen. Great class.
    Year 3: Freshmen & Sophomores mainly.

    Next year (rebuilding year #4) will put us on par with other Big Ten schools as far as having the gambit of recruits and upperclassmen. The expectations for this year has been blown out of proportion and is built on Hope & Desire. The IU house was torn down and reality is freshmen & sophomores are not going to put it back together. It takes experience & leadership to go along with skill & desire.

  • MillaRed

    Good point. I think the arguement as far as starting is JR vs Will. I dunno. I would like to see Will get 30 minutes. Starting or not. He seems to be a mismatch. It would be intersting to see eh?

  • Devout Hoosier

    You’re absolutely right stonaroni.

  • Diesel

    I’ll support that first line Millared….when we hired CTC, we married ourselves to the DD offense and it will be 2012 before it is ran as it should be. This is also my theory as to whY VO has done surprisingly well offensively, he is the least donkey-like of any of our players, meaning athletic and so the offense actually plays to his strength.

  • Diesel

    I really like your comment about our top 5 offensive and defensive players. We don’t have many or any complete players and it’s partly why we spend so much time debating certain players. some people feel more strongly about D, others about the offensive end. Bottom line is everyone needs to improve.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not going to say what words I would use to describe those calls cause that kind of wording isn’t allowed on this site. I’ll just say it would be a lot more descriptive than the way you and psvirsky described it.

    Coach do you have some kind of monetary penalty if you get T’ed up in your contract that we don’t know about ? Get up and get into these refs’ butts right off the bat and let them know you will be in their face if they start that crap the next game. Sometimes getting T’ed up under the right circumstances and correct time can be worth way more than the trade off in points.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not going to say what words I would use to describe those calls cause that kind of wording isn’t allowed on this site. I’ll just say it would be a lot more descriptive than the way you and psvirsky described it.

    Coach do you have some kind of monetary penalty if you get T’ed up in your contract that we don’t know about ? Get up and get into these refs’ butts right off the bat and let them know you will be in their face if they start that crap the next game. Sometimes getting T’ed up under the right circumstances and correct time can be worth way more than the trade off in points.

  • Diesel

    Excellent, well written post.

  • Anonymous

    I would say, “if you can dunk it, do so.” It’s far less likely to get blocked and you have a much better chance of getting fouled. I just think a few times he didn’t really think things through–the one dunk where he tried to go up with just one hand, the reverse dunk, and a few passes he tried to throw that were very ill-advised.
    By and large I agree with you, though, unleash the beasts! Remember, I said I was nitpicking.

  • Anonymous

    Echoing the rest of these guys banner. You’re mistaken for calling out Pritch because of his 4 fouls. Hulls got beat twice and Pritch was there to stop the easy layup.

    Also, I mentioned this above, but Pritch was instrumental in the 1st half run, when Watford and Elston were riding the pine. Both were getting eaten alive defensively in the first 7-8 minutes.

  • Diesel

    Bottom line – we need better play from Cwat and VJ3. Look how consistent Johnson and Moore have played this year, no way PUke wins at Minny if Johnson goes 2-13. Those guys bring it every night. This team cannot win when our “leaders” and “best” players struggle to perform.

  • Anonymous

    You must be referring to the ones that bounce off the end of his foot. Seems like there are at least one or two of them every game and sometimes it happens when he is barely being guarded. I can take some of his TO’s but it’s the ones that you can see coming before it ever happens that drive me crazy.

    Sometimes I make my elderly mother happy by watching an IU game with her and sometimes when he catches the ball I will say ” he’s going to drive and shoot it ” or ” he is going to loose the ball ” and her reply a lot of the time is ” I may be 84 years old but you don’t have to tell me that, even I can see that coming.” Now she has always watched a lot of IU bball but I think everyone gets my point here. And yes people, this is a true story.

  • Diesel

    Really good post.

  • Diesel

    Well Done Ace.

  • Diesel

    Kelin, I agree with you on AE, although I admittedly have not seen him play in person. I think CZ will get many of his points VO style – without the offense creating for him. I think he will bring a huge rebounding presence that we are sorely lacking as well. It will be the same problems until 2012 when Yogi arrives, he was made for the DD offense. But, the penetration also makes a guy like AE more effective (ie: Diebler)

  • MillaRed

    Preach on Mike!

  • MillaRed

    Nice to hear from you Diesel. Please answer a question for me. Why are some
    of us down on Watford? I mean, he is the 7th leading scorer in the Big Ten.
    Only Sullinger is the other underclassmen in this category. Watford will be
    great next season. Call me a fan.

  • MillaRed

    Well, we have been hard on Crean this week, but picking up VO and Will was
    an absolute robbery. I don’t care what their rankings were. If there are 50
    other freshmen playing better than them in the country, I would like to see
    them.

  • JerryMaguire

    ITH Manifesto by Jerry Maguire

    Well here it goes – never ever participated in a blog before and don’t plan on it after today either. Of the few blogs I have read this is one of the best in terms of information, camaraderie and passion shared. The IU BB nation sure is fun to be around and the folks who run ITH you can tell are first rate. So why post for the first time in my life? Perhaps the best way to summarize why to post a comment is to give some perspective. CTC and I are close friends and talk on a regular basis. If I asked him should I send this post he would tell me not to waste my time. Oh well, I’m sure I’m not the first to not follow his advice – ask Eli Holman and a few of his friends.

    I’ve been reading this site for about the past twelve months. I found it to be a great source of information on IU basketball especially since I live out of state. Heck it gives me info on recruits and CTC sightings that even shock him when I tell him I herd you were in Vegas this weekend watching a kid named Yogi or Buss. But what the site has really done is give me great entertainment. It’s fun to watch all the pseudo bb coaches, gm’s, arm chair qb’s and heck marcus welby’s – “i’m not a doctor but I play one on ITH”. It’s great to see so many folks comment on Mo’s injury when they have no knowledge of medicine, let alone the specifics on what is going on with Mo. It’s LOL funny. The reason why we play the pseudo gm is it is fun. A multi billion $ industry was built on letting males live their dreams of being a football or baseball gm – fantasy football/rotisserie baseball.

    With that said I would encourage many of you to follow the path of many of your blog friends and not take yourself so seriously. Based on what I can tell no one on ITH has ever coached Div 1 bb let alone at the Big Ten or Big East level. Ending or beginning a post with the IMO or IMHO immediately informs the reader that this person doesn’t take themselves so serious and doesn’t believe anyone who has any decision making or influencing the decision makers are actually listening.

    If I was granted a new year’s wish for myself from ITH it would be the IF button – the “Idiot Factor”. Anytime someone is writing a post that is idiotic, emotional or contradictory to one of their earlier posts people could punch the button like the “Like” button. If enough people punch the button the person is banned from blogging for a month. If they are repeat offenders they are given free tickets to the PUke game and introduced at halftime so we can all give the IDIOT chant. A little accountability never hurt anyone.

    Now I must admit most of the people who participate on the site are not in the need of the IF button except for the occasional memory lapse of contrary post like “CW and Mo may be in the league next yr or for sure after their jr yr” and “lets face it Mo is not ready to play and needs to sit and CW is lazy and couldn’t grab a rebound if it was handed to him” I know of few of you are thinking “he’s talking about me”. Trust me it’s not you because the worst offenders have no self awareness and/or recollection that they do this all time. It’s funny to read but in need of a IF.

    What’s very impressive about what many of you question about decisions made by CTC on and off the court are questions he is asking, probing and planning for. Over the years I’ve sat in more practice sessions, film review, coaches meetings and shoot arounds then I can count. CTC and his staff ask 10 times the questions that are posted and talked about here. This won’t surprise many of you except the honorees at the PUke game but they spend no time reading this blog, or any other blog, listening to what the media or announcers are saying or worst case asking a guy who played in high school and coaches his daughters 6th grade basketball team what type of offense should we run.

    What I do know about CTC is that one key to his success since his first days as a coach has been his willingness to set aside his ego and ask people he respects all those questions. He talks to a great number of coaching colleagues every week. Some of them are college coaches while others are professional. Some of his closest friends are football and baseball coaches. As you all know, his father-in-law and two brother-in-laws are coaches he talks to regularly. Bottom line he solicits input all the time from people who’ve earned that trust. In the end, who he listen to or not, who he plays or not, what offense or defense he runs, or who he recruits or doesn’t is his decision alone. Anyone who has been in a position of leadership can empathize with the pressure of that responsibility. However, what most of us have never experienced is having those decisions critiqued daily by fans, media, blogs, etc. Think about it how would you feel if your daily performance was watched and reviewed by hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. Pretty intense is my guess.

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention, think about not only are those decisions in the middle of the public eye but those decision’s ultimate success are dependent on 18-22 yr old men consistently executing and making good decisions all the time both on and off the court. I remember when I was in college I’m glad my livelihood wasn’t based on me or my buddies making great decisions all the time.

    Now CTC is paid well for making those decisions and living in that fish bowl. If CTC were here he would tell you he is alright taking the critique – good or bad. He does have issue when it extends beyond him or his coaching staff, specifically the players. These are college kids and often the harsh criticism are not prudent. I think ITH and bloggers do a good job policing it but my guess the athletes may read this and the occasional “the schollie should be pulled if he can’t play better defense” may create an intent the poster did not predict.

    Reading comments are always so much fun. One of my favorites is the “what was he thinking when … ” or “someone needs to ask CTC why he did…” You can fill in the blanks. All I can say is CTC has more experience, knowledge, insight then any of us and quite frankly doesn’t have the time or need to explain his every decision to us. On the contrary, CTC I think does a much better job explaining what’s going on and why he is doing things then most coaches because he is trying to rebuild the following in IU. There is a reason why he has 10 big time recruits who have signed or given their verbal commitment to CTC and IU( I know this is never happened at IU before but my guess having 10 commits at one time may never have happened anywhere in college bb before – esp this type of talent). This doesn’t happen w/out him being as direct and clear as he can.

    IMO I think he may go too far in explaining his decisions. A couple of the all time great coaches, from the past – your own RMK and from today, football coach Bill Belichick gave or give almost no information to the fans or media about their decisions. You all would know more about why RMK was this way but I know BB believes any information out of the inner circle of the team is information the opposition can use against them.

    One of the things I wanted to do in writing this Manifesto is provide all of you at ITH with some perspective about CTC. From reading the stories and posts over the past year I know many of you are hungry to find out about what ever you can about the program. The passion around ITH is phenomenal.

    You all know the story about the mess that CTC took over. Yet many need to reminded occasionally as I saw was done at least once today by someone who was trying to compare the St. John’s situation to what happened here at IU. IF button was needed. However, someone gave them the proper “are you kidding me” response.

    IMHO the IU BB programs rebuilding is the first of it’s sort in the history of Div 1 basketball. The closest and potentially more extreme rebuilding jobs were the SMU Death Penalty in football, or the made into a movie Marshall University football teams plane clash. There may be others that I’m omitting but never at a nationally recognized power like Indiana.

    I don’t have to go through the last several yrs with you all because I know you know it. When CTC came here he left an outstanding program at Marquette. He took a team to the Final Four in his fourth year after winning the Conference USA title. This was back in the day when Conf USA had schools like Louisiville, coached by Pitino, Memphis, coached by everyones favorite Calipari, Cinci, coached by Huggins. This was a tough BB league with super coaching. Marquette was invited into the Big East the year after their Final Four run. IMO a lot of it had to do with CTC bringing Marquette back to being meaningful again. Marquette is not very far east and they choose not invite some schools including Memphis and Calipari.

    One of the things CTC insisted on when taking the job at Marquette was he wasn’t going to take any shortcuts – in both creating a foundation for a big time program or cutting corners on compliance. His blue print was the one he helped build at MSU as Tom Izzo’s first hire.

    I was at the game in Minnesota this week when Lazar Hayward sat down behind me with fellow TWolve teammate Wes Johnson. Lazar kept on telling Wes “we used to run that play it was called 22”. It was the dribble drive offense so many of you “rave” about. Lazar was a sophomore on CTC last team. He was a 1st rd draft pick last yr. The team that CTC left behind to come to IU was probably his best. Not only did they have Hayward, they had Indiana native Dominic James who learned is role as a pass first point guard, Jerel McNeal, first team all big east, Wes Matthews, now playing in the NBA for Portland after being an undrafted free agent and has the biggest contract for any 2nd yr NBA player including Blake Griffin. On the bench was that beast we faced Tues Trevor Mbakwe and a freshman who had a hard time finding the floor, Scott Chistopherson, who transferred to Iowa State after CTC left and now is the top 3pt shooter in the country. This team would have been better then the Dwayne Wade team that went to the FF.

    The reason why I share this with you is that program and team were built on tough defense and an attacking dribble drive and or kick offense. McNeal and Matthews both became all Big East players who flourished in this system. They were the slashers who attacked the hoop and learned what it took to be successful. They were tough SOB’s. Hayward was even tougher. CTC and I were talking about this last week. He wants all these current kids to succeed and as soon as possible but he knows there is huge amount of development time needed. There was a huge difference between when these guys were fresh/soph yrs and when they truly started excelling as jr or sr. Travis Diener was no different. DWade had to sit out his fr yr as a prop48 – this allowed him to really focus in the weight room and his game. He exploded into college bb his soph yr and took it to another level his jr yr before going pro. The rest you can say is history with DWade.

    One thing is in common with all of them – they all grew up and developed in CTC system. Some of you and perhaps a few of the old world want to go back to RMK motion offense or setting a dozen picks for the one shooter on the floor. Well you all saw the movie “Hoosiers” – remember the barber shop scene and everyone trying to influence him with the “that’s the way we always done it around here”. CTC is going to follow his model not ours, not the old regimes or what some announcer thinks they should be doing. It’s not going to happen that way – have patience. You don’t win a championship taking shortcuts especially when you look at where it was started. CTC has preached patience as have most of you but he is not patient at all in the areas that create champions. He is as urgent and tenacious at the cause then I have ever seen him but you can’t make these kids grow faster, stronger, tougher without going through the pain of experience.

    Watched some of the kids with CTC who he has commitments from over the holidays. I told coach that the kid we were watching reminded me of Jerel McNeal except his body looked like Jerel’s when he was a jr in college not high school. One of the reasons he came here was to be able to get these type of elite players and see what he can do when he puts them in his system. The future is scary bright! I like the naysayers to signup now. So when IU BB becomes a power again we can have our annual “Idiot” chant at the PUke game for those who said today we will never hang a banner under CTC.

    One thing I wanted to do in this “Manifesto” – sorry it’s so long -is empathize with what you are all going through. LOSING SUCKS! I was born in 1966 and grew up a Detroit Lion fan. I know you now feel for me but to understand my misery we have won ONE playoff game in my lifetime. ONE! I know the feeling you have when your team is losing , it must be harder because you also know the feeling of winning. IF you asked CTC what is the hardest part of his job since he’s been to IU he would probably tell you the losing. He knew it was going to be a long tough road but here is the thing about this road – no one has been on a road like this one before – and you work just as hard, if not harder, in practice, recruiting, every where and the losing hurts. CTC told me after his first yr at IU that he would never take winning or what it took to win for granted ever again. I know their is empathy all around.

    I debated on sharing this on the site but what the H since I put the energy into looking up these stats.
    The reason I put together these numbers is because I often get frustrated with folks who share their opinions with out facts. Some of the best stuff on ITH is when people do some work and break down stats, film to make a point versus “CTC doesn’t know what he is doing – I don’t see another win in our future”. Here is quick breakdown of the last five games, all loses, by our top three scorers going into that five game stretch.
    fg/fga to
    NI CW 7/13 3
    VJ 1/8 5
    MO 1/8 1
    9/29 31% 9 of teams 14 to

    CO CW 3/14 3
    VJ 4/15 3
    mo 1/4 1
    8/33 24% 7 of teams 12 to

    PS CW 1/5 3
    VJ 5/12 1
    MO 3/8 0
    9/25 36% 4 of teams 9 to

    OS CW 5/10 3
    VJ 3/6 4
    mo 2/5 1
    10/21 48% 8 of 14 to

    MN CW 2/13 0
    VJ 6/11 4
    mo 4/9 1
    12/33 36% 5 of 6 to

    overall 48/141 34% 33 of teams 55 to or 60%

    All three of these guys have been fighting ailments or coming back from major surgery this year but you have to admit if they play anywhere close to their ability we may win 3 or 4 of these games. I’m not blaming these three guys for the loses but if arguably our 3 best offensive players(most of you had them in your starting five in this blog when this skid began – so did CTC) have not been consistent. I do love the arm chair coaches who after watching the game says I wouldn’t have played so and so as much. That is real easy to say after the game. I can assure you CTC assesses every game and every possession and comes out of most games saying I wished we played TP more , given Vic a blow, played VJ less, played Will more. As I shared with you earlier he isn’t going tell us this nor should he but it is a trait he learned from Izzo on how to breakdown and assess your performance including the head coach after every game.

    I’ve also seen how they prepare. To give you just a glimpse they have a play card that looks like one of those NFL coordinators play sheets. They have plays scripted for every scenario you can think of. They want to have clearly thought out there options before the pressure and time crunch of the game is on them. For example in preparing for the OSU game I was in a coaches meeting when CTC asked his staff who would we pick to shoot free throws at the end of a tight game if a technical or injury occurred. This goes on the card and trust me it’s not the same list you or I would come up with because they know who performs best under pressure. My point here is trust CTC and staff in that they know a H of lot more than any of us and it isn’t even close. At the same time, even when you’ve put together your game plan, prepare your team in practice and walk throughs you still have to play the game. I know I’m not the only one out there who has coached at some level and the kids didn’t execute like you practiced it. It’s amazing we often give ourselves the benefit of the doubt in these situations but can be so judging with others.

    I do feel like Jerry Maguire right now. It’s late and I’ve been typing for a couple of hours. If you read the whole post – I apologize – I never liked reading the long memo’s or posts and I’m sure the typos drove someone to drinking. ITH is a superb blog and will continue to read daily. You will be happy to be reminded that I do not plan to write ever again.

    It’s Indiana! It’s Indiana!

    Go Hoosiers

  • chitown hoosier

    great post. hopefully posters here will spend time reading through this entire post. only thing i do not agree with is not posting ever again. hope you continue to contribute.

  • Diesel

    I think it is our system that has made WS and VO much more effective than we all thought, the DD plays toward athleticism and these two guys obviously have it I think we will see a trend over the season as CTC begins to trust these guys even more minutes will go up dramatically. I could see VO getting 30 and WS getting 20 per game.

  • Diesel

    I hear you Kelin. That’s the thing with the B10 this year and what has so many of us frustrated. There have been and will be a lot of games that IU maybe shouldn’t win on paper, but will be right there and could win, and we all want that W so freaking bad. Even programs like Michigan and Iowa are better than I thought earlier in the year. What will help next year is there will be an extreme talent drop in the B10. This team will get some wins this year, it’s jurst a matter of when and getting over that hump. And developing a mentality – OK, threw that one in there for fun.

  • Agree Jerry, I’ve always felt switching creating an atmosphere of laziness on defense. In limited use it can be effective, but used too much it sends the wrong message to a team.

  • Thanks for the kind words Diesel!! Much appreciated. Happy New Year to you!

  • Anonymous

    Yea, he has had that, I made that pass in high school a bunch of times but I just can’t seem to get it to work against these guys, look. The good part of this though is he seems to be learning that just because it worked in high school it won’t necessarily work at this level and when it doesn’t he learns from it. Same thing with the dunks plus he seems to understand that repeating those kind of mistakes doesn’t help him get more minutes in the games.

  • Anonymous

    I think most fans don’t care and I would even say some, myself included (I know that fact surprises no one), enjoy the longer posts if they are done right and yours was definitely done right. Hell I read it twice and will probably go back and read it again. I’m with chitown in that the biggest thing I disagreed with was when you said you will not ever post again and not because you are a personal friend of CTC but rather the perspective that you provided and some of the things that you pointed out. I don’t care how long the post is as long as it is done well and yours, sir, was way above average.

    Thank You !!

  • MKH

    Excellent Read…I rarely post myself but it just baffles me when I see a multitude of comments such as “…why doesn’t CTC recognize this?!” Read the post above and be humbled.

  • MillaRed

    I appreciate your post. I am a Coach Crean fan. No doubt about it. A fan of every player. But no one is beyond criticism. This is the life of college athletics.

    No one here has coached D1 basketball. You are correct. But we have played the game, watched the game and many of us have coached the game.

    As it stands right now, Jan 6, 2011, CTC has things to work on when managing a basketball game. Am I surprised by this notion? Yes I am. 75% of what is going on out there as a coach are instincts. I don’t care if it’s the NBA, college or the 4th grade. I am fully confident he will make these adjustments and I’m behind him 100%.

    Some of the posts on here are over the edge. And they can easily be mentally discarded. But I for one will call it as I see it. And we can start by putting Will Sheehey on that “card.”

    Go Hoosiers!!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    So, what you’re saying is . . . we have a chance!!!

    Just kidding. I for one have criticized and will continue to do so because that’s my right as a fan but I have not said we will not win another banner under CTC or “we should scrap the dribble drive offense and go back to the motion”. First of all, I don’t think anyone can predict whether or not IU will win another national championship under CTC because there have been plenty of great coaches who have never reached that pinnacle because the cards really do have to align. There are some breaks and luck that has to happen as well. Second, the offense (though painful to watch with the current personnel) obviously works because I’ve watched other programs, particularly Butler of late, who ran the same offense have extreme success.

    So, I guess what you are telling us is something not too far off from what most of us have already said, that IU and CTC probably won’t have success with the current personnel because it doesn’t translate well into his system. I think most of us have relegated to the fact that we aren’t going to win any Big Ten championships until CTC gets “his” players for “his” system.

    I do not think however that we should quit criticizing or questioning coach and the players because that’s our right as fans. Also, I have to agree with Milla that there are still improvements needed in CTC’s in game coaching and substitution patterns but what coach doesn’t have room for improvement? My old man always told me that when you reach the point where you can’t learn anymore, quit, and if what you are saying is true then CTC is always trying to learn more and get better and I for one and thrilled for that!

    Thanks for the post and enjoy the cold weather up there . . . it sounds like you are Wisconsin or Minnesota guy.