The Minute After: Nebraska

Thoughts on a 70-69 loss to the Cornhuskers:

Where to begin in a game so ripe for criticism?

Start here: Up 11 points with six minutes to go (63-52), Indiana appeared to be in control. The Hoosiers had an opportunity to step on Nebraska’s throat and cruise to a lopsided victory. If not, it was simply about maintaining and leaving Lincoln with the W and heads held high. But neither of these things happened.

Instead, Indiana completely fell apart down the stretch on both ends of the floor. Jordan Hulls missed the front end of a one-and-one. Jorge Diaz hit his two on the other end to put Nebraska up 1. Hulls, trying to avoid getting blocked in the waning seconds, threw up a lay-up that hit the underside of the rim. As the ball neared going out of bounds near the Indiana bench, he was able to chase it down and heave a desperation turnaround 3-pointer.It bounced off the rim. Nebraska’s student body rushed the court; Doc Sadler danced with them. The Cornhuskers had outscored the Hoosiers 18-6 over the final six minutes.

Had this really just happened? It had. It had indeed.

Beyond the meltdown, Indiana, as it has during this three-game losing streak, continues to have problems with turnovers. Tonight, the Hoosiers turned it over on almost a quarter of their possessions (22.7 percent, 15 turnovers). And it’s s not so much the other team imposing its will and making Indiana cough it up. Indiana simply isn’t being sharp with passes. They are being lackadaisical and lazy; these cough-ups are often of the self-inflicted variety.

And then there’s the defense that continues to underwhelm. On its face, Indiana allowing 1.02 points per possession to Nebraska this evening isn’t too bad. (1.0 is said to be an average offense). But when you are provided with the context that Nebraska is the worst offensive team in the conference and has only been scoring a woeful .84 points per possession in Big Ten play, it’s another poor performance by the Hoosiers.

Perhaps most troubling in this one was that, after showing such poise on the road against N.C. State, after showing resolve by coming back at Michigan State, after staring down the No. 1 and No. 2 team in the nation and saying “Not In Our House,”  they just wilted and died in this one.

Through 16 games, this was a tough team that showed a lot of maturity and confidence. They took punches and kept on swinging. But old habits are bubbling to the surface. Bad defense. Too many turnovers. A lack of focus and resolve. Add those three things up, and you get the Hoosiers of old under Tom Crean, a team that lost conference game after conference game after conference game.

They’ve now rung their latest total up to three … and counting.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, the 3 game skid sucks, but we aren’t losing because CTC suddenly forgot how to coach.  Losing streaks happen even to good teams.

    In 1987, IU lost two in a row less than two weeks before the tourney started.  That turned out alright.

    The ’92 team lost 2 of its last 3 regular season games before making a run to the Final Four.  The 2002 team lost 3 of its last 5 before the tourney run.

    Bad losses?  Yes, but even well-coached, solid clubs lose games they shouldn’t from time to time.

  • Anonymous

    Amen!  I’m getting so tired of this garbage.

  • Anonymous

    Amen!  I’m getting so tired of this garbage.

  • Jon McClain

    this may have been thrown around, but here it goes anyway…

    lets play the best defenders on saturday, period.  who cares about the offense – win or lose, the only goal in the game should be to keep penn state 10-15 points below their season average.  this should send quite a message to the players and fanbase (show us you are trying to correct something).  i know we need every win we can get to go dancing in March but with the way we have played in the Big 10 – what does anyone expect to do in March? 
     
    who are our best 5 defenders?  i say Pritch, Zeller, CWat, Vic and Sheehey.  Play them until they pass out – sub in Remy, AE, Elston or whoever else can defend.  Sit Verdell, Hulls, Roth for an entire game and see how our D looks.  May work – may be a disaster but we have to do something. 

    i realize our backcourt can shoot lights out at times but they also let every basement dweller in the Big 10 shoot lights out on the other end.  if we lock them down, i am willing to bet an offense focused on CZ, Will , Vic (slashing) and CW will be enough.

  • Jon McClain

    i agree – it’s like the good old days where if you criticize the war – you are unpatriotic.   

  • Kfdchev

    I love the defensive intensity VO brings to the table….but like CTC I to was sick of seeing him bite on shot fakes all night. I bet if you watch this game again and were t okeep track you would see Nebraska scored a ton of their points after we fell for the shot fake. VO got a little taste of what CW and Hulls and VJIII should get about 20 minutes of Sunday. If CTC doesn’t use this game Sunday to send a message to this team he is missing a great opportunity to actually COACH this team. He should take this opportunity to do so…..he certainly didn’t use the chance he had in the Nebraska game.

  • Kfdchev

    You might want to check a few stats before you come to that conclusion. We gave up 70 points to a team averaging 51 in league play….and yet you say our defense didn’t get us beat? That like saying the limo driver is the reason JFK was hit with the bullet. Go back in ghe UK game and count the deflections in that game and then count the ones in the 4 Big Ten games we lost. You will see a huge decline in deflections and especially in the last three games. This team lacks defensive intensity and getting and keeping their hands and arms extended and getting into the passing lanes. They need to WAKE UP! It’s time we start playing to win and quit trying to play NOT TO LOSE! There is a big difference.

  • Kfdchev

    You might want to check a few stats before you come to that conclusion. We gave up 70 points to a team averaging 51 in league play….and yet you say our defense didn’t get us beat? That like saying the limo driver is the reason JFK was hit with the bullet. Go back in ghe UK game and count the deflections in that game and then count the ones in the 4 Big Ten games we lost. You will see a huge decline in deflections and especially in the last three games. This team lacks defensive intensity and getting and keeping their hands and arms extended and getting into the passing lanes. They need to WAKE UP! It’s time we start playing to win and quit trying to play NOT TO LOSE! There is a big difference.

  • Kfdchev

    You are kidding right???? No longer relevant??? What do you think these kids came here for??? They came here to play in a storied bsaketball program and one of the main contributors to the story is Coach Knight! No longer relevant….WOW. I guess December 7th is no longer relevant to WWII. If this team carried just a little of the fire Coach Knight had for the game we wouldnt be talking about this team not playing defense. I have followed Indiana basketball for 40 years and this teams play at this time ranks it as one of the poorest when it comes to defense that I have seen. This same team however is capable of playing outstanding defense. It requires focus and determination from both the coaching staff and the players and to date we have been able to rely on neither. This team is in a terrible funk and needs to focus and understand if nothing else there is pride at stake when you put on the Indiana jersey and take the floor in the Candy Stripes. Sorry for the rant but Coach Knight “not relevant”…..please!  

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate the apology and appreciate your view points.  CTC is a solid coach.  I have not said he is terrible overall.  I do not like many of his in game coaching decisions.  I am sure he knows more than both of us, but at the same time we at least know a little about basketball.  We are Indiana fans.

    I don’t expect perfection.  I guess I fundamentally disagree with several things he does and when we lose to teams like Minn at home or Nebraska on the road, it really stings.

    I feel CTC in a game situation doesn’t anticipate the runs the opponents make and doesn’t utilize timeouts well or think ahead to our next possession where we have an incredible mis-match advantage and do not exploit it.  Because of the lack of timeouts, we maintain the same 5 on the floor who are abusing us in an 11-2 run.

    Because of these few examples, and there are more, I do not trust CTC’s instincts in games.  I think he has been great in recruiting and great at getting this program back with respectable kids and grades.  But, I feel he has a lot of improvements to make if he his going to ever hang a banner at IU.  I hope he develops the tactical side to coaching.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate the apology and appreciate your view points.  CTC is a solid coach.  I have not said he is terrible overall.  I do not like many of his in game coaching decisions.  I am sure he knows more than both of us, but at the same time we at least know a little about basketball.  We are Indiana fans.

    I don’t expect perfection.  I guess I fundamentally disagree with several things he does and when we lose to teams like Minn at home or Nebraska on the road, it really stings.

    I feel CTC in a game situation doesn’t anticipate the runs the opponents make and doesn’t utilize timeouts well or think ahead to our next possession where we have an incredible mis-match advantage and do not exploit it.  Because of the lack of timeouts, we maintain the same 5 on the floor who are abusing us in an 11-2 run.

    Because of these few examples, and there are more, I do not trust CTC’s instincts in games.  I think he has been great in recruiting and great at getting this program back with respectable kids and grades.  But, I feel he has a lot of improvements to make if he his going to ever hang a banner at IU.  I hope he develops the tactical side to coaching.

  • Anonymous

    Fair comments.  I too don’t love his handling of TOs, and I feel he is too loyal to certain players.

    Maybe I am too loyal to HIM!  I am so appreciative of the way he runs this program.  He gets good kids from Indiana.  You never hear of our players getting in trouble.  THIS is the type of team I want to root for!

    I still think that a lot of the issues some have regarding offensive and defensive scheme have more to do with personnel than coaching, though.

    Pleasure arguing with you!!  Let’s do it again sometime!

  • Anonymous

    Ah, yes, the ole shot fake, about as fundamental as it gets but we use this, one very helpful little thing, all too sparingly. Roth , Hulls and CZ use it some, and it has worked for them, but CW is the one who I can never remember using it and could really benefit from this one little thing probably more than anybody on the team, especially as good as he is from the foul line. When we have occasionally used it it has worked very well for us by either getting us a much easier / wide open shot, drawing the foul or making it an and one situation.  

  • Anonymous

    It seems like I have wore out more than a couple of drumsticks beating the “please screen away from the ball” drum….. and not just for CZ. Probably my biggest complaint about CTC and I consider myself a big CTC supporter.

  • Speedro420

    Yes this is great. It is all good to be critical of bad play but people are talking bout the NIT. Indiana should be happy that they are in this position so soon, at beginning of the year everyone on this board would have so excited with your record n quailty wins. Now that they have played down to their competition a few times it is wait untill the movement again. After UK lost to IU every IU fan was thumping their chest and now ur back down to earth. The bottom line is that IU will be fine.

  • InTheMtns

    Joe, I wasn’t making or offering excuses about anything. I just said illness might be a possible explanation for why some players got fewer minutes. Sure, every team battles colds and flu symptoms and of course players deal with it and press on. All I said was some players were reported to be sick and if so that might explain why they played fewer minutes than usual.

Powered by WordPress. Designed and developed by Ryan. Read our Privacy Policy. // Back to Top