The Minute After: Notre Dame

  • 12/17/2011 7:19 pm in

Thoughts on a 69-58 win over the Fighting Irish:

This was not Indiana’s finest performance.

After all the Kentucky game’s emotion and what followed during the off week — the endless stream of celebration videos, the national media interviews, the first entry into the country’s Top 25 in the Tom Crean era — some expected this. Feared it.

And there it was, happening on a dead late afternoon inside Conseco Fieldhouse: The Hoosiers found themselves down nine in the first half to an average Notre Dame team — its largest deficit of the season. This one was ugly and foul-heavy and it dragged on and on. It was generally just one to forget.

The Fighting Irish didn’t hit a shot for the final 14:33 of the first half. And yet, the Hoosiers were only able to muster a modest six-point lead (26-20) at the break because they had offensive problems of their own (just a 34.4 eFG% in the first half). Indiana didn’t hit its first 3-pointer until Jordan Hulls splashed one through at 13:56 in the second half. And even though the Hoosiers built a comfortable lead in the final twenty minutes — leading by low double-digits for a long stretch — Notre Dame was really only a mini-run away from making a game of it despite only hitting 38.7 percent from the field.

The Irish were able to hang in this one thanks to free throws (a staggering free throw rate of 78.6 percent where they hit 22-of-33 from the line to account for 37.9 percent of their points).

In a game where the Hoosiers failed to execute efficiently on offense, Cody Zeller made the difference. The freshman scored 21 points in 27 minutes on 8-of-14 shooting on a range of buckets around the basket. He went 5-of-6 from the line and had eight boards. And save for picking up four fouls which kept him out on defense during the final stretch of the game, he was exactly what Indiana needed in this one.

Indiana now finds itself coming up on what what should be a couple of easy wins; it faces Howard on Monday before taking on UMBC on Thursday. But after these two games, the Big Ten beckons.

A road test against a Michigan State team that’s on the rise on Dec. 28. A New Year’s Eve bout at home against a talented Ohio State squad.

And an effort like the one the Hoosiers displayed against Notre Dame? It ain’t gonna cut it against the Spartans or Buckeyes.

Filed to:

  • Kelin Blab

    When we play certain teams and Moore is not the floor on both ends it is 4 against 5, not a threat to shoot offensively, cannot penetrate within this offense, and to small to consistently feed the post….

    on Defense he is a post up waiting to happen and easy to shoot over.

  • Anonymous

    I agree Thomas is a typical thug on the court.  He mouths off a lot to other players and his own teammates. He is only worried about his scoring. Defense he is a HUGE liability

  • CrimsonKnight

    Burr and Hightower have never cost us a National Title like Valentine did in 92.  Valentine will always be my most hated zebra.  He should never be allowed in Assembly Hall.  I still love the time Knight was tossed by Val against the Illini and he walked all the way across the court next to Val to exit the building.

  • Anonymous

    I agree 100%.  Out of every player on the team, CTC trusted Verdell Jones III to get the ball up the court and give his team the best chance to win arguably the biggest regular season game in the history of Indiana Hoosiers basketball.  That says something.

  • Anonymous

    Sullinger or no Sullinger this team is for real. With those back spasms popping up who really knows when he is going to play or not. BUT, with Sullinger out, who do they have that stands a chance of hanging with CZ?

  • InTheMtns

    I agree that OSU is for real. They are very good. I’m just saying that when we play them in AH on the 31st, I think there is a good chance IU will win that game, with or without Sullinger. Personally, I hope it’s with Sullinger.

  • Anonymous

    While I would love to see us under 10 turnovers a game…we are averaging 13.3 turnovers a game and forcing 18 a game from our opponents.  That’s +4.7.  As fast as we play, I will take that. 

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget, USI is ranked #2 in the country!

  • Anonymous

    While I said I didn’t think the officiating was as bad as some of you guys did, I think there was one blown call—but I want to know if it was just my incorrect interpretation of the rule.

    There was a play where someone (I’m pretty sure it was Vic,) was driving to the basket and the guy guarding Zeller shoved him into Vic’s path.  Vic hit the layup and was granted the +1, but I thought that the player who was fouled was Zeller, not Oladipo, meaning the basket should have counted as it was called, but Zeller should have been granted at 1+1. 

    Anybody out there have an official’s license to clarify this one?

  • Anonymous

    While I said I didn’t think the officiating was as bad as some of you guys did, I think there was one blown call—but I want to know if it was just my incorrect interpretation of the rule.

    There was a play where someone (I’m pretty sure it was Vic,) was driving to the basket and the guy guarding Zeller shoved him into Vic’s path.  Vic hit the layup and was granted the +1, but I thought that the player who was fouled was Zeller, not Oladipo, meaning the basket should have counted as it was called, but Zeller should have been granted at 1+1. 

    Anybody out there have an official’s license to clarify this one?

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I don’t have a license but you are correct. The shot should have counted and the foul was off the ball committed against Zeller. It does not matter if the foul off the ball was 30 feet away or 3 inches away. Zeller should have went to the line for a one and one.

  • IUJeff

    It’s Whiner. Bruce Whiner. Nice to meet you.

  • IUJeff

    I think in the B1G, we will miss Rivers on D big time.

  • Anonymous

    That’s probably a better way to look at turnovers than just a total number.  We already look at “adjusted” field goal percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio; maybe the offense as a whole should have a possessions-to-turnover ratio.