The Minute After: North Carolina Central

  • 02/22/2012 9:59 pm in

Thoughts on a 75-56 win against North Carolina Central:

What to make of this random game snuck deep into the heart of the Big Ten season?

Well, things felt different. Assembly Hall lacked its fever-pitch energy. And Indiana’s play followed suit. It wasn’t so much I’d qualify this as a poor performance. Far from it, in fact. Still, Indiana just never seemed to hit full throttle on either end of the floor for considerable lengths of time. The Hoosiers were often sloppy. North Carolina Central played tight man to man — sometimes full court, sometimes pressing Indiana just across the timeline in the first half. It disrupted the Hoosiers. By half, they’d turned the ball over on 24 percent of their possessions. But some strong shooting (62.1 eFG%) and offensive rebounding (61.5 OR%) made up for the miscues, and Indiana found itself  with a 13-point lead (39-26).

But it could (and maybe should) have been more.

Indiana was able to punch the lead out to 20 points at the 12:59 mark of the second half by taking it at North Carolina Central and getting to the foul line. The Hoosiers also turned it up a bit on D. But the lead sorta just sat there the rest of the night, bouncing somewhere between 17-24 the rest of the way out.

Individually, there were some positives. We saw a strong offensive outing from Will Sheehey. Since coming back from his ankle injury, the Florida native hasn’t performed at the high level he was before he went down. Which is understandable and perhaps even expected. But against a less-talented opponent, Sheehey was able to get back into the swing of things with his offensive game. He went 6-0f-9 from the field and scored 12 points. Sheehey also snagged seven boards. He looked active.

Cody Zeller was Cody Zeller. Steady as a rock. Zeller also went 6-of-9 from the field, but added a 5-of-9 performance at the line — he was a frequent victim of fouls at the bucket — to finish the night with a team-high 17 points. Victor Oladipo continues to keep up his slashing ways. He scored 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting (5-of-6 from the line). Yet, he was erratic at times and registered three turnovers. (Jordan Hulls and Verdell Jones had three a piece as well.) Derek Elston had a nice night, scoring 10 points (3-of-5, 2-of-2 from the line). His made buckets were two 3-pointers and a strong second-half dunk, arguably the most emphatic of his Indiana career.

But Christian Watford is still slumping. The forward was 0-of-8 from the floor this evening. His only offensive output was two second-half free throws.  Hulls also remains a little quiet. He took only one 3-point shot all evening, but did finish 2-of-3 from the floor (five points).

These two veterans will be needed again shortly.

Because Sunday, it’s back to the Big Ten. Back to the reality.

QUICKLY

+ Dominque Sutton lived up to expectations. Impressive array of moves. Finished with 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Four steals, too.

+ We hear a lot about Crean’s relationship with the Harbaugh men. And seeing Jim Harbaugh literally become a staffer tonight was a sign these two have a bond and level of high respect for each other.

Filed to:

  • plane1972

    Thanks, buddy. Appreciate the love.

  • plane1972

    South of I-70 truly is God’s country. No offense to you yankees in Northern Indiana.

  • plane1972

    Good post, Geoff. I think (hope) you’re right. While technically not, this team still feels young to me since they have no post-season experience, which is why I have resigned myself to the possibility they may not finish as strongly as they began. Hope I’m wrong.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    ROFL!

    You know, in that vein, since Zeller wants to drive from the high post we should make him a small forward. Could you imagine the possibilties? 😉 

  • MillaRed

    That would be nice because I think Cody is athletic enough to guard a 4. That would be totally up to PJ and his development. But I am thinking Hanner has a better shot to be our other “big.” And that may take two years.

  • MillaRed

    That would be nice because I think Cody is athletic enough to guard a 4. That would be totally up to PJ and his development. But I am thinking Hanner has a better shot to be our other “big.” And that may take two years.

  • Kreigh_Smiths_Short_Shorts

    Anyone have a link to that Elston dunk?  My DVR cut out on me.

  • CreanFaithful

    Hollowell will never play a true 4.  Especially with the other players we have coming in who are built for that position.  Not saying we won’t ever run a 4 guard line up in certain situations, but it won’t be the norm.  Hollowell has good height and wingspan, but is by far not a banger.  He is a silky smooth driver with a nasty pull up…

  • CreanFaithful

    Hollowell will never play a true 4.  Especially with the other players we have coming in who are built for that position.  Not saying we won’t ever run a 4 guard line up in certain situations, but it won’t be the norm.  Hollowell has good height and wingspan, but is by far not a banger.  He is a silky smooth driver with a nasty pull up…

  • CreanFaithful

    Benching Watford is a ridiculous thought.  Especially when the issue is that the ball is simply not going through the hoop as of late.  Needs to get his confidence back up, not lower it.  Don’t forget how we got ourselves into the top 25… I don’t mind seeing Elston’s minutes increase, as long as he continues to play within himself and makes solid decisions. 

  • CreanFaithful

    You make a good point about Roth’s presence on the floor extending the opponents defense.  He is not a big minute player.  So if he can get in there and open some lanes for the likes of Olidipo, Sheehey or Jones, he has done his job.  Pull off of him and he’ll burn ya from deep.

  • CreanFaithful

    Dipo, Elston, Zeller?

  • CreanFaithful

    One of the quickest spin moves I’ve ever witnessed… wouldn’t call it stupid and certainly wouldn’t say that eliminating it is the key to his game being more complete. Not sure what you could mean by that. However, he needs to get better about picking the spots where he breaks it out.  We’re talking about a guy who is trying to add offensive moves with the ball.  He is going to continue to improve and IU is going to reap the benefits.

  • CreanFaithful

    One of the quickest spin moves I’ve ever witnessed… wouldn’t call it stupid and certainly wouldn’t say that eliminating it is the key to his game being more complete. Not sure what you could mean by that. However, he needs to get better about picking the spots where he breaks it out.  We’re talking about a guy who is trying to add offensive moves with the ball.  He is going to continue to improve and IU is going to reap the benefits.

  • CreanFaithful

    First intelligent post I’ve read on ITH about Watford’s recent play.  

  • CreanFaithful

    My God.  Give it up.

  • CreanFaithful

    I don’t see it the same way.  Our lack of outside shots is a result of taking what the defense gives us, which is obviously more inside looks as of late.

  • CreanFaithful

    I don’t see it the same way.  Our lack of outside shots is a result of taking what the defense gives us, which is obviously more inside looks as of late.

  • CreanFaithful

    Actually, I’d like to see more of “The Pritch.”  I like him and Cody on the floor together.  It improves our interior defense immensely and Pritch is good at finding those offensive rebounds when Cody doesn’t connect. The problem is that Pritch doesn’t have the stamina to go too many minutes and also needs to be available for when Cody takes breaks. 

  • CreanFaithful

    He does have great hands.  That pass came from Hulls, who knew throwing a bullet was the only way he could get it to him.  He also knew the big man would snag it.

  •  Thats kind of what I mean. He just has no idea of when to do it or not. He gets so out of control sometimes because he is so fast and just tries to be flashier than he needs to be. What I was meaning by not doing it at all is that if he can’t figure out when to do it and when not to then just don’t. If he figures it out than look out cause it is a quick nasty move, just out of control.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    …. was a joke. 🙁

    But yeah, I do think it’s an element of his game that serves him best to develop. If he develops a 3 point shot, defenders can’t just sag away from him and give themselves room to defend against his drives. Once he gets that outside shot going, though, that’ll force defenders to pick what they defend, and it’ll give him options on how to pick apart the segment of the defense he’s trying to break down for himself and the team. If they defend the trey, he can blow past them. If they sag, he’s got a choice to pop the outside shot or pass it off. Either way, it’ll benefit his game.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I don’t think that Hanner is two years away from playing.  Crean said on his radio show that HP will play signficant major minutes because of what he brings defensively to the team.  He also noted that HP was the type of player to get vocal with other players if they weren’t bringing a similar defensive focus with them into the lineup.

    I’ve often thought about “my” ideal lineup when this has come up on here.  But what always gets me is how good the guys on the bench sound with any lineup you pick.  You can almost find a second team that is nearly as dangerous to counter any “starting” lineup.

    My lineup next year (not necessarily starting- just the five I’d like to see on the court next year):

    Cody Zeller- 5
    Hanner Perea- 4
    Christian Watford- 3
    Victor Oladipo- 2
    Yogi Ferrell- 1

    My guess as to who will start by the third game of the year:

    Cody Zeller- 5
    Christian Watford- 4
    Victor Oladipo- 3
    Jordan Hulls- 2
    Yogi Ferrell- 1

    Take for example that last projected starting lineup- second team would be?

    Hanner Perea- 5
    Derek Elston- 4
    Jeremy Hollowell- 3
    Will Sheehey- 2
    Remy Abel- 1

    I didn’t even use-
    Peter Jurkin, Matt Roth (if on the team), Austin Etherington, or Ron Patterson

    I mean, the third team might be able to beat my second team?

  • InTheMtns

    I knew you were joking; didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I caught your winking emoticon and the stars around “finally”. I was joining you — the fact that I could remember when he hit his last one (PU game) says that his making one is note-worthy, as in “mark it down.”

  • Dstrase

    You must be kidding! 

  • Dstrase

    You must be kidding!