The Minute After: Howard

  • 12/19/2011 9:18 pm in

Thoughts on a 107-50 win over the Bison:

Jordan Hulls hits a flailing left-handed three as the shot clock expires, and it’s just that kind of the night for the Hoosiers — one where eveything seemed to be going in the bucket.

Consider these numbers from the first half: Indiana scored 1.53 points per possession, registered  an effective field goal percentage of 85.7 and assisted on 14 of its 18 buckets, nine of which were threes (9-of-14). Things slowed a bit in the second half. But for the game, Indiana still put up some silly numbers: a season-high eFG% of 77.9 (75.0 percent on twos, 55.0 percent on threes), a free throw rate of 71.2 and 27 assists on 35 field goals. It also scored 1.45 points per possession for the contest, its highest mark in the Tom Crean era, according to Big Ten Geeks.

By the time Indiana got up 50ish midway through the second half, Crean started using the game as a glorified scrimmage, as the Hoosiers worked on a seldom-used 1-3-1 zone with most of his starters still on the court. As the final minutes waned, Indiana was even getting scoring from deep in the bench. Raphael Smith hit two free throws; Kory Barnett made a three. And despite going over the century mark, this was an incredibly balanced attack, as six Hoosiers scored 10 or more points (Hulls with 16, Verdell Jones, Cody Zeller and Will Sheehey with 12, Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo with 10).

Indiana was a heavy favorite in this one from the onset. (The line was 28.5 points.) Still, a performance this dominant and efficient speaks to how well this team continues to play together on offense, and it’s yet another strong step on their path up this season’s mountain.

OTHER THOUGHTS

+ A blowout like this allowed Derek Elston some decent playing time (12 minutes) and he had an efficient offensive performance on some high-percentage looks around the rim (3-of-4 from the field, 2-of-4 from the line for eight points). There will come a time when the Hoosiers will need Elston in Big Ten season, so it’s good to see he’s still attacking the basket after minor back problems during the week leading up the the Kentucky game.

+ Should Remy Abell be getting more minutes? There’s a case to be made for it, even if he’s got veterans in front of him and still looks like a player that needs a bit more experience at the collegiate level at times. Tonight, he scored a career-high nine points (2-of-2 from the field including a three, 4-of-4 from the line) and dished out five assists in 14 minutes. Like Elston, there may come a time in the Big Ten season where fouls could be an issue in the backcourt and Crean may have to rely upon Abell to play more minutes, so it’s important for him to see the floor for an extended stretch in a game like this.

Filed to:

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Ha, the e-mail from Disqus quoted you as saying “We have knocked up good opponents” … did a little editing there, Milla?  I was looking forward to asking you how many of our opponents were pregnant!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Ha, the e-mail from Disqus quoted you as saying “We have knocked up good opponents” … did a little editing there, Milla?  I was looking forward to asking you how many of our opponents were pregnant!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    It’s a much better pre-conf schedule if ND and Butler would’ve been as strong as last year.

  • MillaRed

    Strange. Freudian slip?

    I agree, we cannot control how well Butler and ND are going to be on an annual basis. Looked pretty daunting in the pre-season.

  • MillaRed

    I did enjoy that rocket he launched cross court that ended up in the 3rd row. Way to make that 1 turnover count VJ!

  • Anonymous

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc logical fallacy, Arsdale.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I didn’t get to watch this game and forgot to set my DVR but it doesn’t sound like I missed much, other than a drubbing of Howard.  I did get to watch the ND game and I have a couple things about that game I’d like to say.

    First, IU didn’t play well, but they still dominated the game.  That tells me that they are a good team because even a down team in the Big East is much better than a cupcake.  It tells me that IU, if they continue to play like this, should handle teams like PSU, Nebraska, and Iowa at home and on the road (if they play them twice) and also should easily handle teams like NW, Minn, PUke, and Illiannoying at home.  That accounts for 8 wins right there.  If they pick up a couple more wins like Minn on the road that bumps them to 10.  If they are really a good team and hold serve at home then that means they beat MICH, MSU, PUke, and OSU.  That would bump them to 14 wins.  14-4 in the B1G would be a great season and I’m only picking out 2 tough road wins (Ill, PUke, Minn, or NW) and one official upset (OSU at home).  I don’t think that’s a stretch.  If IU was to win 1 more game like MICH on the road then they are looking at 15-3 which should be good for at least a second place finish in the B1G. 

    The picture I’m painting is this:  If IU finishes the preseason at 13-0 and then goes 14-4 or even 15-3 in the B1G (which I think is possible from the painted picture above) then that puts them at 27-4 or 28-3.  Now, if that scenario played out (and I’m only being wishful here) then don’t you guys think a 2 seed in the tournament would be realistic?  Wouldn’t that be an amazing feat after the past 3 seasons?

    Just saying it’s possible, not probable.  The ND win just made me think that this team could beat all the teams they should beat and steal a few they shouldn’t.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I didn’t get to watch this game and forgot to set my DVR but it doesn’t sound like I missed much, other than a drubbing of Howard.  I did get to watch the ND game and I have a couple things about that game I’d like to say.

    First, IU didn’t play well, but they still dominated the game.  That tells me that they are a good team because even a down team in the Big East is much better than a cupcake.  It tells me that IU, if they continue to play like this, should handle teams like PSU, Nebraska, and Iowa at home and on the road (if they play them twice) and also should easily handle teams like NW, Minn, PUke, and Illiannoying at home.  That accounts for 8 wins right there.  If they pick up a couple more wins like Minn on the road that bumps them to 10.  If they are really a good team and hold serve at home then that means they beat MICH, MSU, PUke, and OSU.  That would bump them to 14 wins.  14-4 in the B1G would be a great season and I’m only picking out 2 tough road wins (Ill, PUke, Minn, or NW) and one official upset (OSU at home).  I don’t think that’s a stretch.  If IU was to win 1 more game like MICH on the road then they are looking at 15-3 which should be good for at least a second place finish in the B1G. 

    The picture I’m painting is this:  If IU finishes the preseason at 13-0 and then goes 14-4 or even 15-3 in the B1G (which I think is possible from the painted picture above) then that puts them at 27-4 or 28-3.  Now, if that scenario played out (and I’m only being wishful here) then don’t you guys think a 2 seed in the tournament would be realistic?  Wouldn’t that be an amazing feat after the past 3 seasons?

    Just saying it’s possible, not probable.  The ND win just made me think that this team could beat all the teams they should beat and steal a few they shouldn’t.

  • stonaroni

    I believe they will as they have both improved greatly already this season.

    Remy went from timidness to the point now where he looks to pass firys but he is not afraid to drive.  He has improved greatly.

    Watching AE in some extended minutes last night, he shows better defensive postioning nad defensive awareness on the floor.

    Yes we were playing a brutal team, but I thought both looked solid, but Remy was very good, a better all around game than what DM could give us.  AE also had a steal and dunk, though I know that isn’t roth’s role, we haven’t seen that from Roth ever.

    I agree that if AE could develop defensively, he could be that dagger guy that comes in to shoot 3 or 4 threes a game plus grab a few boards and hold his own at 6’6″.

  • stonaroni

    Good post MillaRed.  AE is a home state kid, they always get love, but I think most can see some improvement which is a plus.

    I think if IU is going to finish in the top 4 of the Big 10, our perimeter guard D has to improve, CW has to bring it every night, and CZ still needs to improve his moves on the blocks and his boxing out.

    The good thing is we have seen so many of the young players develop over the last year especially the FR and SO on the team.  That is a good sign that in game #35 when we play for the Big 10 conference title, we will be a better team.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t aware we played Kansas?

  • Anonymous

    But Jerry, MJ had the killer instinct of Rambo, and he would have dunked! Guess you just can’t please some people! Haha, it is nice we can have these convos again, huh?

  • stonaroni

    I see your point and the only time I thought he left the starters in when he shouldn’t was with 2 min left in the first half.  I can see why he did it, but at the time a couple reserves had been in for only 2 min and thought it was better if they finished the half in a 4 min segement as opposed to bringing the starters back.

    I was glad to see no starters had more than 26 minutes.  It is a hard balancing act to really divy up pt.  If the next game has a similar result, I would like to see no starter have more than 20 to 22 minutes and get Remy and DE close to 20 and get Roth and AE about 15 min a piece.

    With that being said, I think the starters have to play together in the next game in longer segments since the Big 10 is a game away.

  • stonaroni

    Often I like VJIII and just as often I do not like his play.  He is an enigma, a yo-yo.

    Last night he was solid, very good to be exact.  But, keep in mind we were playing a team with arguably the worst guard play we have see this season.

    The good thing is that he did not play down to the level of competition and actually elevated it.

    I think VJIII plays better in an open floor, push the tempo pace and not the half court set. 

  • stonaroni

    Often I like VJIII and just as often I do not like his play.  He is an enigma, a yo-yo.

    Last night he was solid, very good to be exact.  But, keep in mind we were playing a team with arguably the worst guard play we have see this season.

    The good thing is that he did not play down to the level of competition and actually elevated it.

    I think VJIII plays better in an open floor, push the tempo pace and not the half court set. 

  • stonaroni

    Kudos to all of you not ripping the schedule and making your points.  All are valid.

    I say that if IU lost to UK and NC St, we would be ecstatic to have the opportunity to go 10-2 heading into Big 10 and being 11-2 in our non conference schedule at the end of the season.  A 7-11 mark in the Big 10 would leave us at 18-13, right about where many had projected.

    I predicted early that we end up 22-9 in October and I am sticking to it, anything better than that is gravy.

    All the schedule naysayers need to realize that this program, above all else, needed to get W’s.  The W’s solidify us with the 2009, 2010, 2011 and  2012 classes believing in the rebuilding of this program and allows the other conference teams and media take note that we are back.

    I like being 12-0 and beating the #1 team in the nation and not 9-3 losing a couple close games on a neutral court or on the road and barely miss the NCAA tourney at the end of the year.

  • stonaroni

    Very true.  Would love to see us 14-1 when that 3 game series is over.

  • MT

    +1

  • stonaroni

    The Big 10 is the #1 conference in depth this year. We may project to be #57 in RPI strength, but maybe it ends up that we have #39 in RPI schedule rank.  If we win 10 conference games and finish the regular season at 23-8, that should be good for at least a #5 seed, maybe a #4 seed.

    If we beat MSU, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin this year, all being ranked and have a #1 win in UK and a W over NC St who makes the tourney, we may have a #3 seed if we win 11 conference games.

    If we beat everyone we are suppose to in the Big 10 and go 8-10 and 21-10 overall, we still make the dance at probably a #9 seed since we have beat a #1 in UK.

    We need to make the tourney, we need to be relevant.  It is all working out so far and nothing to complain about.

    Last night and the next game are games that get our bench some time and keep them in the scope of things, especially if there is an injury to a starter.

    Strength of schedule based off of preseason ranking is a jole and a bit skewed anyway.  Every year someone is overhyped (Vandy this year) along with Arizona and probably Kansas.  Who care about pre- conference RPI when we have the Big 10 ACC Challenge every year, UK,ND and Butler.  Maybe one more better game against a team like Creighton or Indiana St would be nice, but every game we play in pre-conference prepares us to play a Big 10 slate.

    Earth to the schedule naysayers, CTC is such a good recruiter that our IU team for the next several years will practice against reserves who could be a top 25 team themselves.  Every day we play a top 25 team.

  • joebull

    they have been saying he is ahead of schedule… that’s great!  🙂

  • joebull

    they have been saying he is ahead of schedule… that’s great!  🙂

  • stonaroni

    It would be a #1 seed since the Big 10 is deep this year and we beat a #1.

    Love to see it,  I just hope you are not on a ganja binge right now chasing the munchies with Doritoes and a sleeve of 10 soft tacos from the Bell.

  • Anonymous

    Crean likes to recruit the DC area.  Howard & UMBC are located where?  It’s not rocket science lol.  I guess some people just need to complain.   BTW, last night Duke played NC Greenville, Florida played MSVS, NC vs NICHST, Baylor beat Paul Quinn (really Paul Quinn), and the Spartans survived MOKC.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    No, but I did work about 28 hours in two days so I may have been a little slap happy when I wrote this. 

    I do think it’s possible though.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    It’s funny you say that.   I thought the same thing during the game…but CTC on his post game comments or somewhere mentioned that he should have probably made either more subs or different subs instead of just his 7 or 8 man rotation during the pUKe game.

  • MikeinNC

    Would like to see them play all the in-state D1 teams – Valpo, ISU, IPFW, IUPUI, Evansville, Ball St, ND, etc…..still can get some comfortable wins, but makes for some more compelling games.

  • MikeinNC

    Would like to see them play all the in-state D1 teams – Valpo, ISU, IPFW, IUPUI, Evansville, Ball St, ND, etc…..still can get some comfortable wins, but makes for some more compelling games.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    To expand on this topic…It makes me concern as well but I did notice at one point we had three fresh and two starters so he could be wanting them to practice with some taleted players incase those situations do arise.  That makes more sense than just emptying the bench with all non-starters.
    I’m still confused though as why he left Zeller in the Stetson game so long with a 20+ win until about the 2 min mark. 

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Agreed.  Last night I seen the most TEAM effort than any other game.  Maybe it was because of the weak guard play but their chemistry, gel, call it what you will look at it best last night.
    They played as one.

  • MillaRed

    I gotta admit, it might have been Howard but Remy was moving around pretty good regardless of the opponent.

    options, options, options………

  • MillaRed

    This doesn’t bother me at all. Sure, we’re 11-0. And that means this or that to certain fans. But we are IU fans, and we know better than anyone these kids need as much work as possible. Injuries are part of the game.

    Bo Ryan leaves his starters out there until the 38 minute mark whether they are up 30 or down 30. And those kids never get injured.

  • Rynefulton

    Really?!?!  How do you figure?  This season’s schedule was like the 2nd or 3rd weakest in the entire conference.  Also, one of the weakest schedules in the country for a team that wants to accomplish what we are after.  I totally understand why we have so many cupcake games and that fact that this team is outperforming everyone’s expectations.  The only challenges that we have faced were NC State, pUKe, and ND(weak b/c abromitis).  With that being said, there is a ton of room to strenghten our schedule in the years to come. 

    Gotta be honest and say that I would be a lil upset if we don’t find ourselves in some type of pre-season tournament next year. 

    Indiana Hoosier basketball is back and we will soon need to be competing at a higher level to achieve our goals…Big Ten play could be scary…