The Minute After: Savannah State

  • 11/19/2011 10:52 pm in

Thoughts on a 94-65 win over the Tigers:

A DIFFERENT FEEL

After putting on a clinic against Evansville on Wednesday, the Hoosiers weren’t as crisp tonight. There were some ill-advised fouls late in the shot clock. Will Sheehey fouled a three-point shooter. Things got a little sloppy and erratic at times. Mentally, the Hoosiers just weren’t as sharp.

They also attempted only six three-point shots, a low number for them.

Yet, Indiana scored over 90 points again. And after a string of misses to start the game, they rallied and shot efficient again as well (60.0 percent eFG%). They also took a high amount of free throws (35-of-47) for a free-throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 95.7.

So yes: not quite as pretty. But it’s another blowout victory for the Hoosiers.

DO IT, DEREK

One thing is clear early in the season: Elston is past his injury issues. He’s moving better. Shooting incredibly well (4-of-6 tonight, nine points). Playing smarter on both ends of the floor. He’s looking confident and more mature.

If he keeps it up, Elston may even find his way into the starting lineup on occasion based on matchups.

We listed him as an X-factor in our preseason preview, writing if he could get back to form, it would give the Hoosiers a nice little boost. So far. So good.

(One very picky obseration: A lot of his makes this season have been long jumpers just in front of the three-point line. You wonder if it makes sense for him to just take a step or two back and get the Hoosiers an extra point on that possession. Maybe he’s just more comfortable with the long two. As long as he keeps hitting, maybe it doesn’t matter.)

FORWARD PROGRESS

Christian Watford had another strong game (19 points on 6-of-7 shooting), and any worries about his play after a rough first two games should be gone by now.

Cody Zeller posted a career-high 23 points (6-of-7, 11-13 from the line). As he started to flash against Evansville, he continues to make more one-on-one moves and assert himself on offense.

We showed their high-low action against Evansville in Film Session yesterday, and the two appeared to be developing a little more chemistry this evening as well.

LOOKING AHEAD

Just one game this coming week. A bout with Gardner Webb on Monday. The Hoosiers will then get Thanksgiving week to prepare for Butler at home a week from tomorrow. Then they’ll travel to Raleigh, North Carolina to take on North Carolina State on Nov. 30 — with games against Kentucky and Notre Dame looming in December.

So some waiting to do. But we should have a better idea of what this is really made of in the coming weeks.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    I’d like to see Elston, Zeller, and Watford on the court together just to see how it works.

  • Anonymous

    When’s the last time you saw a healthy 18 year-old kid get hurt jumping on floor?  It’s old farts like us that get in trouble doing stuff like that; he’ll be fine.

  • Anonymous

    I felt for the Savannah St. kid on that one—it was flagrant, but I don’t think he intended it to be.  It almost looked like he got his hand caught on Cody, but he didn’t follow through like there was malicious intent.

  • Anonymous

    Verdell has improved his defense, though, so I have to give him some credit.

    You’re right on Sheehey, though.  I don’t think there’s anything that Jones does better than Will with the exception of the pull-up—of course Will has the speed to get the ball all the way to rim so his pull-up isn’t quite as necessary.

  • Anonymous

    “Bee Jay Blab” sounds kind of dirty.

  • Anonymous

    You’re dead right about Elston being ready to shoot by being set up.  The thing I think that’s happening with him being inside the line is that he’s setting up in the spot that provides the passer with the best angle.  If he takes the time to move back two steps some of those passes don’t make it to him as crisply and he may not get the shot off, or if he does he has to adjust to catch the pass and may not have the fluidity in his release.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget he also went to the floor in the opponent’s lane, got rid of the ball before it got tied up for a jump ball, then got up, passed damn near everyone on the court, and ended up scoring.

  • Anonymous

    I think what is great to see for me is that they weren’t at their best tonight and still found a way to win by 29 points. In past years if they weren’t at their best it would have been a close game right down to the end and not always a win. The fact that they kept fighting and made adjustments and ended up winning a blowout is quite impressive to me and I can’t wait to see more. And also if you showed me video of Zeller without knowing who he was there is no way I would ever guess he has only played 4 college games. That kid is a beast!

  • IU_Fan_99

    off topic… but pUKe is only up by 5 on Old Dominion on ESPNU in the second half…

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking that the injury Mo had the first time around was one that was going to happen sooner or later regardless of who he was playing against and what the score was.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, I think I got a bad bruise just watching it happen from the couch but……I didn’t spill one drop of my beer when I done it. I still got it when it comes to that part.

  • Anonymous

    I have been very impressed with Derek Elston thus far.  He has been ready to shoot every time he has caught the ball and has made his shots.  He can be a big time contributor from the short corner this season.  When we have a guard drive down the middle, Elston’s man must collapse to stop the penetration leaving Elston wide open.  As long as he doesn’t start forcing shots and trying to do too much he can be a key player.

  • oregoniu

    In way of explaining the close rebounding, it would be interesting to see rebounding comparison before our bench got on the floor for the last 8 mins or so. The bench was playing their starters and were outrebounded most of the time, just saying, maybe a reason?

  • Anonymous

    I disagree. His stroke is fine 7/9 FT = 77.8%, 3/7 on 2 pt FG, 0/2 3-pt FG. He just needs more time playing college ball.

  • Anonymous

    Marcus, I, of course, never thought of that.

  • Anonymous

    That would be 3)!

  • Anonymous

    Yes on previous years what Remy playing time would be, but Remy until last night has come in and started shooting immediately. Remy played at least a couple actual mins. without shooting. Maybe he was told to play D and don’t worry about Ofence, and let the game come to him. 

  • Anonymous

    Less of VJIII is the best thing in the long run. JH should always be the starter.
    ,

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Agreed, I don’t think the guy thought, “I’m going to foul Cody in the face,” but once you grab a hold of a dude’s face, you have to let go.

  • Anonymous

    C’mon now.  VJ is a superior playmaker for others on the floor.  Check out the assist numbers.  Sheehey comes off the bench because we need his scoring and energy.  

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it always?

  • Anonymous

    I think the zone and the zone press we used were also for us to practice them in a game situation.

  • IUJeff

    I would like to see someone like Elson step up and become a strong post defender or else we will see a lot more foul trouble for Cody.

    Savannah State’s guards are as good dribble- drivers  as most team that we will face. They gave us fits and caused a lot of foul problems IMO. SS was also a very good rebounding team.
    Was a really good test and I think IU did play their best in some areas. 9 turnovers may be the season low.   

  • IUJeff

    We will flat out not be this good against the big boys yet. We are much better for sure but not top 25 good. 20 + wins is possible but we will have our share of humble pie once we play some of the established programs. 

    Next year we should be top 10 good.  

  • JohnFromBeyond

    I have to disagree. The scoring is very balanced, and in the last game we had 16 assists on 31 baskets. There were even more assists the game before. These stats speak volumes as to how well we are playing as a team.

    That being said, I did see several forced shots by a couple of our upperclassmen (ok, I’ll name names, Verdell and Christian, and maybe one or two by Will). I would attribute some of that to having a big lead — people get a little sloppy. However, I’m far from worried about our team play, I think that’s our best aspect right now.

  • Anonymous

    Be careful this early in the season. I keep thinking of the Allstate commercials “Protect yourself from mayhem like me.” and a quote from Cody Blab (or Jeremy Blab, or someone)….”hello, i’m a twisted ankle.” Let’s wait to order the crow sandwiches for certain people until the bubble teams are selected.

  • Anonymous

    They beat ODU by 10 but the story here is that Cal’s team only had one guy who could penetrate ODUs zone defense. Note to CTC, have our guys study this game. Teague had another weak performance…high TOs and low Assists. Sounds anciently familiar. I like our A:TO ratio better this year.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I was impressed with AE’s first step on defense.  He was guarding a much quicker player but stayed in front of him (except on one play where he turned his back and lost him).  If he can use that quick first step on both ends he’s going to turn into a real good player!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, he’s only picked up one moving screen foul this year.  A sharp contrast is TP picking up several dumb fouls in very little time. 

    DE is really playing well.  He was also scrapping on the boards and got a few tipped balls that ended up in IU players’ hands!

    I also liked the aggressiveness with his spin move and left handed drive in the second half (though he missed the FT’s).  It always baffles me how good FG shooters (especially from the outside) can be such lousy FT shooters, but oh well!

    If DE keeps playing the way he is against good teams it makes IU a lot better and I could see them being a tournament team.  He gives them one more scorer/rebounder on the floor. 

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    My only concern is that CZ is so mature and playing so well that he’ll be tempted to leave college early (though probably not this year) for the NBA!  Of course, the NBA isn’t exactly helping itself in that respect right now.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    The last freshman who came in and commanded leadership of his team by his own actions was Isiah. Alford didn’t, Damon didn’t, Jeffries didn’t. CZ is setting the tone whether her understands it or not. This is now Cody’s team for as long as he is at IU. That is fine by me.

  • Anonymous

    Given the lack of contact when it happened I think you’re dead on.  I’d also say the second was a result of overcompensation.
    As sad as it was, if everything goes OK with recovery from the achilles it may end up being a blessing in disguise because it’ll give him an extra year for the knees to heal.
    At least I hope so–the kid doesn’t deserve all this.

  • Anonymous

    JH just seems like he flips a switch when he is on the floor and VJ is not. We seen it big time last year in the games that VJ missed. I can remember at least two times in the Sav. St game that he made an aggressive move to score and nailed it both times. When VJ is in the game he seems to lose that aspect and try and let VJ take on that role. I would also like to see a lineup that featured DE, CZ, CW, JH & VO and the next game should provide us with that chance and if Crean will not do it I would really like to hear one of the reporters ask him why he won’t try it. I’m not trying to say I know more about the game than Crean but rather would just like to know his reasoning behind it.

  • Anonymous

    No kidding—last year we couldn’t start 5 reliable scorers and now we can bring a couple off the bench.

  • Anonymous

    Nah, not top 25, but by the end of the year top 35-40 is still a possibilty and that’s on the fringe for getting in the tournament.

  • Anonymous

    Verdell has been expected to be a facilitator.  I’d like to see Will in that capacity because I’m not sure he’s not as good a ballhandler as Verdell is.

  • Anonymous

    As far as the out of state players not hitting their potential versus in state kids doing the opposite I think it has a lot to do with high school bball in this state and how it is taught. We need look no further than the IN KY high school all star games to see proof of that. I have heard that more than one or two coaches have said that they like getting a kid from the state of IN and that that kid can, one contribute in more than one way or another sooner than most kids from other states and, two that they are just easier to coach because the majority of the time they have already been made to learn the fundamentals and they don’t have to spend time teaching them the things that should come to them second nature by the time they reach college. Have personally heard Davenport, of the Div 2 national champion Bellarmine Knights, say that kind of thing. When he recruited a kid now playing at a school in Louisville. One of the first questions he asked the kid was if he had played any bball in IN prior to being at the Louisville school cause he looked too fundamentally sound to have played all of his high school ball in Louisville…..and he was absolutely correct all of his formative years had been spent north of the Ohio river.  

  • Anonymous

    Agree I think he was just trying to avoid the, if you’re going to foul him at least make sure he don’t make the basket, conversation with his coach.

    There’s playing bball hard and there’s playing bball dirty believe the Sav. St kid was just trying to play as hard as possible.

  • Anonymous

    I would hate to see someone change the way they play just because of the point margin.  Cody doesn’t care what the scoreboard says, he is all out all the time.  Thats is one of the many things I love about him.

  • Anonymous

    I still think Remy Abell needs to be receiving more minutes.  I have received plenty of criticism for it, but Danny Moore is seeing too much court time.  He will not help them during Big Ten play.  He has great effort and is a great practice tool, but he can’t help them against Big Ten competition.  Remy needs to be getting minutes now.  I have a feeling IU will need him against pUKe.  He is strong, athletic, can defend a little, and is at least a threat to score.  Hulls will have a tough time matching up on D in that game.  Get Remy in the game!

  • Anonymous

    I have to disagree with you somewhat. I think VJ is better at picking up a foul by putting his hand right on the face of the guy he is defending when his man has the ball AND right in front of the ref AND 25 feet from the basket.

    VJ’s overall game up to this point has looked better than it did last year but that one, as well as a couple of his patented head down drives, was a crystal clear flashback to him last year.

  • Anonymous

    Agree totally on the blessing in disguise thing. Ya know if he is able to eventually get back to where he was his freshman year (I know that is a very big if) it could almost be like bringing in Gary Harris with Yogi and company next year and with the plus of not having to worry about working out the scholly thing by asking someone something that nobody wants to ask anybody.

  • Anonymous

    Not only is VJ expected to be the facilitator, he’s finally thriving! The poor guy can’t please some people – the painful memory of too many loses under his leadership I guess.  I agree that some of VJ’s shots have been suspect, but Sheehey’s confidence has also got led him to take some ill advised drives to the bucket. 

    Here’s the overall question:  why rock the boat?  In other words, why would you want to take the ball out of your leading assist man four games into the season when we’re seeing the highest ratio of assist to field goals made in the Crean era?  Our offense has never looked so fluid.You might be right in that Sheehey is a better scorer, but it’s not what the starting 5 unit needs.  If VO gets into early foul trouble guarding the other team’s best wing, I want Sheehey coming off the bench to spell him, not VJ.  I’ll stick with Coach Crean on this one unless VJ’s play significantly tails off.

  • Anonymous

    I like the idea of a zone against pUKe.  I am not a big fan of zone defense, but if it works, I say go for it.

  • InTheMtns

    Except that “asking someone something that nobody wants to ask anybody” will still be there because currently we are one over on scholarship numbers. I’m not suggesting we start a discussion about it, just pointing out that the current 2011-12 scholarship list has 14 and we are allowed to have 13 scholarship players at the start of the season.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent point, looks like I may need to do some brushing up on my elementary math. I know CTC always says that those kind of things have a way of working themselves out but it does present a big question for next year cause I don’t see anyone as being unhappy enough to want to leave on their own and there were no defections from the movement as of signing day. It will be interesting to say the least.

  • InTheMtns

    Well, there is a lot of time between then and now and as we know, life has a way of taking interesting turns. I agree with you about not seeing anyone unhappy and leaving. My guess is that a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C have already been discussed and we’ll just have to wait to see how it plays out. And keep in mind that while there are only 13 scholarships, there is no limit to the number on the roster.

  • BFowler

    I am going old school:

    THE GOOD:
    +Derek Elston, he shot well and was in good help D position most of the time, a huge step for him.
    +Cody was scoring and making everyone else better. He always seemed to be in proper defensive help position.
    +Great teamwork as assist to turnover ratio was excellent again.

    THE BAD:
    -2nd chance points
    -Rebounding fouls (Cody had at least 2).
    -Close out on the 3s defense.

    THE UGLY:
    U-Some on the bigs pick and roll defense. It really was not on Jordy and Co, the bigs did not close off the driving angles at all.
    U-The return if the ugly turnovers. Deflected and bad passes ruled a portion of the 1st, but it was turned around nicely in the 2nd.

    OVERALL:

    Nothing to be mad about here, 29 pt wins are pretty well awesome.

  • stonaroni

    The refs needed to swallow the whistle a little and let the two athletic teams play.  There was a foul called more than once a minute.

    Being at the game, I watched our perimeter defenders in the first half get beat too often.  In the second half, looked like the perimeter defenders were trying to force the ball to the baseline and keep SS from driving the lane. Our helpside was by the bigs was poor at best.

    I saw 3 different times when CW could have stopped  the penetrtaion by rolling helpside, taking a charge or stopping the ball, none of those things happened….ala 2009-10 and 2010-11.

    Fans are concerned about his offense.  I am worried about his D.

  • InTheMtns

    Agree about the refs. Think they are calling these early games very tight. Maybe trying to set a tone early, but won’t be as tight throughout the season. I was worried about our perimeter D in the first half of the first half, too, but they figured that out and got better. I didn’t notice the lapses you mentioned for CW, but I agree with you about worrying more about his defense than his offense. Seems like every once in a while he just takes plays off mentally. Don’t know if its a matter of concentration, effort, focusing on the wrong thing or what, but he has lapses. I like the challenges SSU presented for IU in this game – good drill for things we’re going to see from other teams. I think most of the players made adjustments pretty well and the team keeps improving.