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:

  • Tom Eke

    Really liked how well IU took care of the ball tonight. The 8 [is this a season low] turnovers impressed me (especially with all the minutes logged by reserves)

  • HoosierMo

    Love this site….Love IU B-Ball….Love the Steelers….I think tonight I hate CTC for marrying a Harbaugh!

  • RainCityHoosier

    I found myself getting PO’ed at about the 15 minute mark of the second half.  We’re up by 50 at that point (maybe more) and the starters are all still in.  I just don’t understand that.  For two reasons:  1) Let’s get some real minutes for our bench players – they desperately need that in game situations;  2) What if someone like Zeller or Hulls or Watford had gotten hurt?  Crazier things have happened (I could certainly have seen a Howard player, out of frustration, giving a hard foul that turns out to be too much of a hard foul). 

    Don’t get me wrong – I like the win and it was fun to watch.  But, I just thought it was pretty dumb leaving our starters in there almost the entire game.

  • Bama4IU

    Good point. How quickly some forget the last 3 years! It wasn’t that long ago when this game could have easily been a loss with all the usual wailing and grinding of teeth. Were better. Let’s all enjoy that fact.

  • Bama4IU

    Good point. How quickly some forget the last 3 years! It wasn’t that long ago when this game could have easily been a loss with all the usual wailing and grinding of teeth. Were better. Let’s all enjoy that fact.

  • DMGLOTZ

    I’m so excited for our current players making THE MOVEMENT start now!  They are laying the foundation for our recruits to build on the next few years.  I love this team!

  • Anonymous

    Jones played one of the best games I’ve seen him play. Oh how I hope we beat MSU to get the conf season started.

  • Anonymous

    The weak schedule talk has gotten really old. It’s not like the Hoosiers have been any good over the past 3 seasons, or even mediocre. They have been terrible. This team won 12 games last year and very few picked this team to finish in the top half of the Big Ten. The scheduling will get tougher. Until then, put it in perspective. Last year IU lost by double-digits 9 times in their 20 losses, including a few losses by 19 points or more. Last year if someone would have told me that IU would be in the top 20 and had not lost a game going into conference play this season, I would have called them crazy. We’ve got to enjoy the ride for now, because it’s about to get much tougher. It would be awesome for this Hoosiers team to start Big Ten play 2-1 and incredible to start 3-0. We know this team has the poise to come from behind on the road against a pretty good team, and at home against a great team, so at least our schedule was tough enough to show us that. I’m ready for Big Ten play!

  • Remy Abell really impressed me tonight.

  • Mullernoah

    Glad to see Remy get those minutes with the older players. I see a lot of potential in him as an all around player. He does still have room to get much better

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    He shot 29% from 3 last year (if memory serves), and they said he’s over 45% this year.  That’s what I call improvement!  Now if he could only show similar work with his turnovers …

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    He shot 29% from 3 last year (if memory serves), and they said he’s over 45% this year.  That’s what I call improvement!  Now if he could only show similar work with his turnovers …

  • 415Hoosier

    I think we accomplished two important things in this game. 

    #1.  We showed that we had a focus on offense.  All year, it seems like we don’t work to get shots for our highest % options (namely, Cody on the block and Hulls / Roth etc. from 3.)  Tonight, that changed as we got Cody a lot of touches and had good looks at three-pointers throughout the game.

    #2.  Our 7-11 guys (TP, DE, Remy, Roth and AE) all played solid minutes.  It’s very clear who our top-6 guys are, but we will definitely need significant minutes from the rest of our bench this year.  Games like this are a great chance to see what we have.

    It wasn’t a competitive game, but I’m glad we had a chance to see our team execute

  • Anonymous

    For those of you that haven’t seen yet, the Hoosiers are now rated 7th in the nation according to KenPom

  • MikeinNC

    Saw the Hoosiers in Raleigh for the first time in person during the Crean era. This weekend was the first time to see them back in Indiana. Against ND it was impressive because they did not play a good game, yet they were able to hang tough and grind out the win. Last night in the Hall against Howard was a stunning display. The ball movement, assists-to-turnovers, shooting accuracy, and defensive intensity that they displayed for 40 minutes was impressive, even against an outmatched opponent. I was staying at the same hotel as Howard and the team was talking in the lobby (loudly) about their 3-pronged strategy for the game – fight thru screens, stop the 3 pointers, and do not allow layups. They had a rough night trying to execute on that. Very impressive.

  • N71

    My son didn’t understand the point of watching the game and I wasn’t sure myself at first but clearly I was going to watch.  It was an old school game that you hint at with the mention of Martha.  These games are the opposite of the UK game but what’s so interesting is seeing Remy and Austin play.  Bob Knight showed us over the years how to develop teams and players and it was always interesting to watch.  I’m getting a good baseline understanding now of Remy and he looks great at this stage.  I still don’t understand Austin well enough to know what to look for in time.  A clear example of something that has needed improvement by a player would be VJ3’s turnover practice with the dribble drive into traffic.  I have thought fixing that would improve his game and help the team.  It’s coming, just slower than we wanted.  These games allow us to study parts of the team that otherwise we never see and are a type of window into the future.  Loved what I saw in Remy.

  • N71

    My son didn’t understand the point of watching the game and I wasn’t sure myself at first but clearly I was going to watch.  It was an old school game that you hint at with the mention of Martha.  These games are the opposite of the UK game but what’s so interesting is seeing Remy and Austin play.  Bob Knight showed us over the years how to develop teams and players and it was always interesting to watch.  I’m getting a good baseline understanding now of Remy and he looks great at this stage.  I still don’t understand Austin well enough to know what to look for in time.  A clear example of something that has needed improvement by a player would be VJ3’s turnover practice with the dribble drive into traffic.  I have thought fixing that would improve his game and help the team.  It’s coming, just slower than we wanted.  These games allow us to study parts of the team that otherwise we never see and are a type of window into the future.  Loved what I saw in Remy.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Phd:

    I tend to agree with your point.  In fact, I think an argument could probably be made that any realistic fan–outside of Dak–is surprised with just how well this team has performed thus far.

    Of course, everyone knew that CZ would change the dynamics in a positive way but, prior to the season, the amount of change was only speculative. Now that we see what impact he has had thus far in addition to the other uncertain aspect of how the improvement of existing players in the off season translates into team performance, it seems pretty clear to me that we have a case of synergy and no one could have predicted that with any certainty prior to the season.  There were lots of indicators to suggest it might happen but those weren’t obvious until most of the PC schedule had been set.

    Next year’s schedule will probably be much more difficult, on purpose.  It should be easier to accurately predict how the Hoosier will perform.

  • Anonymous

    The announcers were saying these guys have been on the road for practically an entire week. That will cause some tired legs and some focus problems for sure. Unfortunate the schedule landed this way, but see as this team only lost to Goergetown by 14, I think we caught them in a mess of extenuating circumstances.

  • Anonymous

    It’s amazing, looking at the talent we are gonna have on the team in the coming years, Remy may never be better than 7th or 8th talent wise on the team.

    And that definitely is not a bad thing. Kid can ball.

  • JerryCT

    I was very disappointed to see us continue to lack the killer instinct.

    When AE had his breakout he went in for the boring 2 pt dunk …………… Larry Bird would have dribbled back out past 3 pt line and canned a 3 ………………… now that is killer instinct.

  • Kaponya13

    No offense but really ? Lacked killer instinct ??  They had the game closed out at halftime then pulled out even further afterwards …What game were you watching ?

  • JeremyAce4

    No one got hurt, so relax. This team’s core still needs time together to get ready for the conference schedule. It’s funny, people want a tougher non conference slate, which would mean hard fought injury inducing games, but complain that the starters were left in too long. No one ot more than 26 minutes.

  • JeremyAce4

    No one got hurt, so relax. This team’s core still needs time together to get ready for the conference schedule. It’s funny, people want a tougher non conference slate, which would mean hard fought injury inducing games, but complain that the starters were left in too long. No one ot more than 26 minutes.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Remy Abell continues to make the most of his minutes. The kid has an edge which seems to be something Crean has a knack for recognizing in his recruits.

    Dominating win. Keep TCOB Hoosiers!

  • Jason Atkins

    On top of that, KenPom gives us a 38% chance of beating the Spartans, and a 47% chance of knocking off the Buckeyes.  

    Growing up outside of East Lansing, I’ve been to many Indiana/Michigan State games at the Breslin (and at Jenison Fieldhouse before that) — I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Hoosier victory, though.  

    And the schedule works out great, as I’ll be back in Michigan next week and will be at the game — wearing red of course!

  • Anonymous

    Seeding for the NCAA tournament is all about RPI, so playing Howard, ranked 317th out of 345 D1 teams, is a waste of time.  And playing UMBC on Thursday – ranked 341st – is even worse.  These games don’t do anything for us as we saw last year when we steamrolled a bunch of patsies in the preseason and then got steamrolled ourselves once we got into the Big 10 schedule.  Let’s schedule winnable games in the future that are at least somewhat competitive – think MAC or Missouri Valley Conference teams.  The games on our current schedule, while fun to watch, are a waste of time when you think about what they do for our tournament prospects.

  • IUJeff

    I think 7 assists to 1 TO is improvement !

    Verdell played a great game. Had a great spin move to get into the lane and assist on a bucket.

  • FlaHoosier

    But we still beat KU

  • cupcake

    Im almost scared for the program for the amount of criticism that will follow a loss. hopefully none of the coaches/players read this site…

    RE: cupcake wins…I dont think anyone could have predicted we would be this kind of team. with that said, you have to imagine crean wanted to get as many wins as possible before big ten play started in order to put us in the best position possible to make the postseason. say we are 7-4 right now instead of 11-0, even if we get our 8th win 12 more wins to get to 20 total and be safely in is a daunting task.

  • cupcake

    Im almost scared for the program for the amount of criticism that will follow a loss. hopefully none of the coaches/players read this site…

    RE: cupcake wins…I dont think anyone could have predicted we would be this kind of team. with that said, you have to imagine crean wanted to get as many wins as possible before big ten play started in order to put us in the best position possible to make the postseason. say we are 7-4 right now instead of 11-0, even if we get our 8th win 12 more wins to get to 20 total and be safely in is a daunting task.

  • MillaRed

    I agree about Remy and Austin. Remy hasn’t been picked yet, but he sure does come close. Needs a little work in the off-season and the weights. I would love to see Austin turn into a 3-point threat that can guard the 3 spot. It’s a rare combination.

    After watching Will and Victor develop, I trust in CTC that’s for sure. I bet they will be totally different players next year.

  • MillaRed

    I think the schedule is perfect. Like it or not, aside from “signature wins” the tournament committee is looking a straight up “W’s”

    We have knocked off good opponents and demolished the bad. This schedule is set up perfectly for a tournament bid. Which is exactly what this program needs at this juncture IMO.

  • Pinehurst

    I believe it to be sarcasm.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you!  Look around the country…take whatever top 10 team you want.  I will even do it for you…look at the games they play that are just like Howard, UMBC and Savannah State.
    Syracuse-didn’t leave the state of New York until last Saturday (for a road game at NC State), Fordham, Albany, Manhattan, Tulane.
    Ohio State- Jackson State, VMI, North Florida, Texas Pan-American, South Carolina Upstate, the Lamar Fighting Pat Knights.
    Kentucky- Lamar, Samford, Portland, Arkansas Little Rock, Radford, Marist
    Louisville- Fairleigh Dickinson, IUPUI, Lamar, UT-Martin
    UNC-Asheville, Mississippi Valley State, Tennessee State, Nicholls State, Appalachian State, Monmouth
    Baylor- Prairie View A&M, Jackson State, South Carolina State

    Duke, UConn and Missouri are more of the same.   My point is…nearly everyone schedules like this.  You play a road game or two, a neutral site game or two, an elite opponent, a few good teams, a few good mid-majors and some guarantee games.  Let’s not forget, Notre Dame was supposed to be an NCAA team and Butler was supposed to have Mack when we scheduled this (they still beat Purdue!) and we won 12 games last season.  The schedule is not worth complaining about…the rest of the country schedules nearly exactly the same.

  • Anonymous

    Wow…you missed the sarcasm there huh?  

  • MillaRed

    We have seniors losing their man on defense. This kid is 11 games into high major D1 basketball. He’s doing as well as I thought he would.

    Keep in mind, AE was instrumental in Cody’s commitment. If that resulted in a few “homer” votes then so be it. Add 1 more homer vote from MillaRed.

  • MillaRed

    We have seniors losing their man on defense. This kid is 11 games into high major D1 basketball. He’s doing as well as I thought he would.

    Keep in mind, AE was instrumental in Cody’s commitment. If that resulted in a few “homer” votes then so be it. Add 1 more homer vote from MillaRed.

  • MillaRed

    Is our schedule really that different than any other BT team? If you look them over I think you will find they are all very similar.

  • MillaRed

    “Like”

  • IUJeff

    Our in-conference schedule will take our schedule strength into the top 20 when it all said and done and it’s not looking like any team is going to steam roll this team IMO.

    We will lose some B1G games for sure, but if we win half of them or more, we are on track and NCAA tourney bound.

    These games are not a waste of time. Did you not see the improvement of Remy, Austin, and Verdell tonight? VJ3 had a 7:1 assist to turnover ratio. Wow!

    This was a great game towards building team chemistry and teamwork. Hence the number of assists.

    The scheduling is not the waste of time here. It is glass half-empty posts that waste time.

  • eph521

    Thank you. You nailed it.

    I’ll just add this…

    In a major conference, like the B10, I think all coaches deserve at least 3 or 4 cupcake games. If nothing else it helps with the Coach’s blood pressure and stress levels. Seriously.

    Sometimes you need an easy game that you can enjoy… it helps balance things out during a long season, especially when you play 18 games in a major conference.

  • MillaRed

    at MSU, OSU and Michigan in a row? I doubt we will hear a lot of complaining after that slate.

    That is just plain brutal.

  • MillaRed

    I think we can assume Jerry was being silly, for maybe the 4th time in his life.

  • MillaRed

    I think we can assume Jerry was being silly, for maybe the 4th time in his life.

  • Anonymous

    Before telling someone to relax, remember Maurice Creek’s first injury against a cupcake program during the blowout win?  @08697067c307b6bab6a03e0f9f2b3e45:disqus  makes a valid point.  

  • nakedsamurai

    Well put.

    I think people might unfairly compare Butler’s out of conference schedule to ours, too.  The situations are quite different; Butler doesn’t get the high level competition (and valuable ranked opponents) in their conference games, so have to load up on heavy hitters very early on.  And kudos to them for doing it.

    Meanwhile, IU and the other B1G and major conference teams have the luxury of putting in more cupcakes and take things slightly easier, because they know their SOS will be undergirded with the conference schedule year in, year out.

  • MillaRed

    Kansas gets it’s 3rd loss from Davidson and Marquette loses to unranked LSU. Will IU break into the top 15? I totallyyyyyyyyyyy saw this coming.

  • Anonymous

    Our BIG schedule will only help so much.  Our strength of schedule at the end of last year was 59th overall, and since we will play essentially the same conference schedule this year, we can expect to see a similar result.  In fact, our current strength of schedule is 220 (220!!! even after playing Kentucky), and our projected strength of schedule, which accounts for our unplayed BIG games is 57.  Incidentally, last year we beat Northwestern State 100-66 and we could have made similar observations about how well Elston, Bobby C., Pritch and Jeremiah played in that game – they scored 50 points, or exactly half of the team’s total, among them – but this had absolutely zero predictive value for how well they, or the team, would perform in the BIG portion of the schedule.  Again, playing these weak teams does nothing to help us and, by missing an opportunity to improve our end-of-season RPI ranking, may actually hurt. 

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Even after a monster game like that, he’s still at 3.7 assists and 2.5 turnovers for the year… that’s virtually a 3:2 ratio, which is better than last year, but not by much.  If the type of improvement in his 3-pointers were transferred to assts/TOs, he’d be at ~3:1.