That’s A Wrap: Defense

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our recap of the 2011-2012 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Indiana’s defense.

Final stats (36 games): 66.4 points allowed per game, 46.2 FG %, 48.1 eFG %, 34.9 3P FG% , 95.3 adjusted efficiency.

Just about any way you slice Indiana’s defense this past season compared to the 2010-2011 campaign, one things is clear: It improved.

The Hoosiers’ adjusted defensive efficiency got better (99.1 to 95.3); they held opponents to a lower shooting percentage (49.6 to 48.1 eFG%); their defense blocked a higher percentage of shots (7.9 to 8.5%) and stole the ball (9.6 to 9.7%) at a higher rate. But above all, Indiana improved on the defensive side of the ball because it finally figured out how to defend opponents without sending them to the line at an alarming rate.

The Hoosiers finished 333rd in the country in 2010-11 in defensive free throw rate (50.2) with the likes of Bobby Capobianco (10.7), Tom Pritchard (6.5), Derek Elston (5.7), Will Sheehey (5.5) and Daniel Moore (5.0) all committing five fouls or more per 40 minutes. This season, only Pritchard (6.8) notched that distinction. It helped that the team’s defensive anchor, Cody Zeller, had a mature enough game as a freshman not to fall victim to such a distinction as well (3.8 fouls per 40 minutes).

Indiana also just showed more maturity, communication and cohesion. Gone were the days of losing an unhealthy amount of 3-points shooters; the Hoosiers’ D became a team unit this season that held each other accountable and understood the concepts of help defense. Victor Oladipo continued to show elite defensive skills and often got the assignment against a team’s top perimeter player. Sheehey fouled less per 40 minutes (4.1) and showed signs that he, too, is developing into a strong perimeter defender. And Christian Watford, who’s effort and decision-making was often called into question in 2010-11 and early in the 2011-12 campaign, showed more commitment as the season went on. This was reflected by the way Tom Crean used him. He showed more confidence in the Alabama native by sticking him on Trey Burke and Tim Frazier.

Still, if there was one side of the ball that held Indiana back from an elite level this season, it was the defense. While it started out well in the non-conference, Big Ten season brought a little bit of  a different story. Indiana’s defense was only seventh-best on a per possession basis in the conference, allowing 1.06 points per trip. It allowed 82 points to Penn State in a Jan. 8 win, the most the Nittany Lions would score all Big Ten season. The Hawkeyes also posted 89 points in a game they lost to Indiana on Jan. 29. This was also the most points Iowa scored all season in Big Ten play.

Bottom Line: The Hoosiers’ adjusted defensive efficiency of 95.3 ranked them 64th in the country, while its adjusted offensive efficiency of 120.6 ranked them fourth. With Yogi Ferrell and Jeremy Hollowell joining the team next season and Zeller and Watford back in the fold, Indiana’s offense will likely continue to be one of the most efficient in the country. But if they can also take the leap and become an elite defensive squad in 2012-13, it could be the determining factor in whether or not the Hoosiers will make the trip to the Final Four in Atlanta next season.

Previously: Christian Watford, Derek Elston, Jordan Hulls, Matt Roth, Tom Pritchard, Verdell Jones, Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Cody Zeller, #benchmob, Remy Abell, Offense

  • Hardrock

    where is  Bobby Capobianco now?

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Our defense, being our significant hang up, can and will improve for two reasons.

    1. We were generally sound in our defensive fundamentals. Our players understood how to play defense, both on their man and on the help side.
    2. What kept us from being a top 25 defensive team was our lateral quickness. The injection of quick freshmen, plus (not trying to be disparaging) the loss of 3 seniors who were probably some of the slowest on the team, should mean our lateral quickness will improve.

    I see no reason to believe our offense won’t be top 5 (definitely #1 in the power conferences) and I genuinely believe this team can/will be top 25 in defensive efficiency. If they get to that point, the only thing barring them from number 6 will be their rebounding. That’s the x-factor in the coming season. They can be very good, GREAT, on the boards, they just need to show it all the time.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Valpo.

  • Tolly1

    In my opinion our defense should improve leaps and bounds. 1- because we are a deeper team now and can pressure more with having fresh legs out on the court. 2- we are quicker and longer , we will get into the passing lanes and stay in front of our men without them going around us. 3. We will  get stronger in the off season.  Look out here come da Hoosiers. 

  • Devout Hoosier

    Not fouling our opponents every time they entered the the lane in itself was HUGE improvement.  Defense is not jumping into the air, bumping them from the basket, or swinging your arms wildly praying you deflect something.  I loved watching Roth and Hulls taking charges, Oladipo harassing the ball handler without fouling, and Zeller stealing passes and balls in the post.  Roth was the biggest surprise to me which allowed him to be in the game when we needed him.

  • Devout Hoosier

    One more thing:  We played much less zone!!!  “Gone were the days of losing an unhealthy amount of 3-points shooters”, little know law of physics that the ball can be thrown faster than a player can sprint.  Those that love zone bleed orange not crimson.

  • Devout Hoosier

    One more thing:  We played much less zone!!!  “Gone were the days of losing an unhealthy amount of 3-points shooters”, little know law of physics that the ball can be thrown faster than a player can sprint.  Those that love zone bleed orange not crimson.

  • Bucky

    Off Topic:  Transfer from Wisconsin.

    Jarrod Uthoff, a 6’8 200 lb redshirt freshman, has left the UW basketball program.  The former Iowa Mr. Basketball averaged 26 pts, 11 rbs as a high school senior.  Some say he was a likely starter next year, along with freshman Sam Dekker.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Based on your statement of law from this thing you call “physics”, I don’t think you’ve ever seen Yogi “Ferrari” Ferrell sprint

    note: I doubt that is actually a nickname of his. I started typing his last name and thought of it…

  • Arsdale

    Not fouling opponents every time they entered the lane WITH THREE SECONDS LEFT ON THE SHOT CLOCK was even bigger.

  • baukev55

    The picture really sums up our interior defense this season. Athletic guard drives to the hole. Pritchard’s like “Oh no white men can’t jump! What should I do?” While Zeller’s like “Dammit Pritchard! I don’t go by these stereotypes!”

    Pritchard played hard and did everything he could, but our defense should be much more improved next year with Perea’s jumping ability and Jurkin’s length. Get excited. 

  • baukev55

    I like it, lets make it stick.

  • Devout Hoosier

    Can’t wait for Yogi to hit Assembly Hall’s pine.  I’m so excited for next year.  Watched him play in the Indiana All Star game last year.  He’s a complete point guard and will destroy opponent’s zones if they are foolish enough to try it.  He’s rocket fast, can shoot threes, drive, and work some ball movement magic.  He has played with Zeller and Perea already and when Yogi shot fakes and drives the lane swiftly looking to score, opponent’s arenas are going to go silent when he does a 5 foot lob knowing Perea or Zeller will flush it damaging a few springs in the process.  The defender will look at the bench and ask coach how you stop that… {Answer:  You don’t}.  BTW, next play Oladipo with some definite 4 is to 1 drives straight thru the lane and dunks it (literally, he sees 4 All American defenders in the path and is not deterred at all).

  • Noah Cook

    Next year we will be loaded with talent.  Our 3 senior to be’s are some of the slowest defenders we have.  I only hope we can sign a top 50 player for the 2013 class.

  • Noah Cook

    Is there any possibility that Austin Etherington will transfer?  He will probably get even less playing time next year.

  • Noah Cook

     Why the heck did they redshirt him?

  • Patrick

    I sure hope not he was probably our best recruiter of Cody and the movement.  To push him to the side would be BS in my opinion.

  • InTheMtns

    I think Pritch is doing exactly what he’s supposed to do in this case. If he leaves his feet, he’ll be called for a foul. And as it turned out, he set a screen that allowed Cody to block the ball without having to worry about fouling. Also note that Cody gets to use Pritch’s shoulder to elevate himself. Nice combo, those two. But I agree with your point that Hanner and Peter will improve our defense next year.

  • marcusgresham

    TP may not be the quickest cat on the floor but I’d hardly say the dude can’t jump. Neither would Minnesota.

  • marcusgresham

    Why is everyone so quick to run this kid off campus?  He’ll be one of the best returning shooters, and in the limited time he played this season he showed the ability to rebound a bit and wasn’t too bad on defense.  Tom Coverdale didn’t do a lot his freshman year either, but I’m damn glad he didn’t wind up at IUPUI after sitting for a season.

  • Bucky

    I don’t know.  And the only reason I posted it here on our IU site (I’m an IU alum) is because Crean sometimes gets bad press about transfers.  They happen at every program. 

    I wonder if Bo Ryan regrets not going after Luke Fischer now.  Some reporters have said Uthoff would have been a 4-year starter. 

  • Joe

    Will you be doing a wrap about Maurice Creek? How’s he doing?
    Atlanta Hoosier

  • Dmglotz

    We had a good chance of beating pUKe in the tourney if we had better defenders.  Yes, our players improved their D but must improve even more next season.  Hollowell will hopefully improve our team defense quite a bit and Perea can potentially be a good shot blocker if he limits his fouling.  Can’t wait for October to get here!

  • Dmglotz

    We had a good chance of beating pUKe in the tourney if we had better defenders.  Yes, our players improved their D but must improve even more next season.  Hollowell will hopefully improve our team defense quite a bit and Perea can potentially be a good shot blocker if he limits his fouling.  Can’t wait for October to get here!

  • iufan4life10

     IF Watford rebounds like he did late in the year and Zeller adds muscle there is no reason we shouldn’t be rebounding at a high rate.  Perea (Jurkin in limited minutes) should also help with this.  Oladipo, Hollowell, and Sheehey will crash the boards with the possibility of two guards getting out on the break and making things happen in the open court.

  • SCHoosier

    IU’s defense last year improved over the season but was erratic..especially on the defensive weak side help area. Our permiter defense with Jones and Hulls lacked quickness..and Cody had to be so foul conscious..he could not be in intimidator in the paint. Defense is mindset..footwork and help. IU has a lot it can improve on here..and has the talnet to do it. I think they buy into the offense being triggered by stops and deflections…grinding it out in the half court is another matter.

  • SCHoosier

    IU’s defense last year improved over the season but was erratic..especially on the defensive weak side help area. Our permiter defense with Jones and Hulls lacked quickness..and Cody had to be so foul conscious..he could not be in intimidator in the paint. Defense is mindset..footwork and help. IU has a lot it can improve on here..and has the talnet to do it. I think they buy into the offense being triggered by stops and deflections…grinding it out in the half court is another matter.

  • SCHoosier

    eeerrr..guess we’ll over look the at least 4 missed open dunks?):

  • SCHoosier

    Agree..but Yogi will need to put a “regulator” on all that speed and play a bit more under control that he had too in high school. Loved his game at Mcdonald’s deal..although he didn’t score much..he was magic with passes..and wasn’t afraid to get in with the trees when he needed too. After 3 years of zone..his man defense is gonna need some fundamental work..but he has all hte ahtleticism to do what he need to do.

  • InTheMtns

    He said that he chose to redshirt because he needed to gain some strength to be effective in the B1G. I’m sure it was his choice but I’m also sure the UW coaching staff urged him to do so because they needed him more for the next four years than they did for last season. He seemed like a very promising player and publicly, at least, Bo Ryan was high on him. Uthoff is saying nice things about Wisky so it’s sort of a mystery at this point why he’s transferring. But, he is, I don’t know enough about UW to know if they will miss him or not, but it seems like they probably will.

  • IUJeff

    How bout a new beginning, including re-cap of what he did to pUKe article for Mo? 

  • IUJeff

    How bout a new beginning, including re-cap of what he did to pUKe article for Mo? 

  • b_side

    Seemed like more of a hands issue than his lack of jumping ability.

  • Hoosier_DC

    Oh we will definitely be better defensively next year just from the fact that we will constantly have fresh legs, let alone the athletic upgrades and experience. There are so many options for lineup combos next year, even considering the fact that CTC doesn’t like to play more than one freshmen at one time. Look at all these options: (just off the top of my head)

    Combos
    1. Yogi
    2. Oladipo
    3. Shehey
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    1. Yogi
    2. Creek
    3. Oladipo
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    1. Hulls
    2. Shehey
    3. Hallowell
    4. Watford
    5. DE

    1. Hulls
    2. Shehey
    3. Oladipo
    4. HMP
    5. Zeller

    1. Yogi
    2. Abell
    3. Oladipo
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    1. Hulls
    2. Abell
    3. Shehey
    4. Watford
    5. HMP

    1. Hulls
    2. Oladipo
    3. Patterson
    4. DE
    5. Zeller

    1. Yogi
    2. Creek
    3. Abell
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    1. Hulls
    2.Creek
    3. Watford
    4. HMP
    5. Zeller

    1. Hulls
    2. Creek
    3. Watford
    4. Zeller
    5. PJ

    And I know these lineups don’t even give DE, PJ, RP or AE their due minutes. You could probably make 10 more combos factoring those guys in there. Tom Crean will enjoy the luxury of creativity with his lineups for the first time in his IUBB career.

    And just for fun:

    if we want to beat the zone:
    1. Yogi
    2. Hulls
    3. Creek
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    (yes we’d be short, but can you imagine guarding that???)

    If we need to play major D:

    1. Yogi
    2. Oladipo
    3. Abell
    4. HMP
    5. Zeller

    (Yes we’d have two FR on the court, but could you imagine trying to score on that?)

  • Hoosier_DC

    Oh we will definitely be better defensively next year just from the fact that we will constantly have fresh legs, let alone the athletic upgrades and experience. There are so many options for lineup combos next year, even considering the fact that CTC doesn’t like to play more than one freshmen at one time. Look at all these options: (just off the top of my head)

    Combos
    1. Yogi
    2. Oladipo
    3. Shehey
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    1. Yogi
    2. Creek
    3. Oladipo
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    1. Hulls
    2. Shehey
    3. Hallowell
    4. Watford
    5. DE

    1. Hulls
    2. Shehey
    3. Oladipo
    4. HMP
    5. Zeller

    1. Yogi
    2. Abell
    3. Oladipo
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    1. Hulls
    2. Abell
    3. Shehey
    4. Watford
    5. HMP

    1. Hulls
    2. Oladipo
    3. Patterson
    4. DE
    5. Zeller

    1. Yogi
    2. Creek
    3. Abell
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    1. Hulls
    2.Creek
    3. Watford
    4. HMP
    5. Zeller

    1. Hulls
    2. Creek
    3. Watford
    4. Zeller
    5. PJ

    And I know these lineups don’t even give DE, PJ, RP or AE their due minutes. You could probably make 10 more combos factoring those guys in there. Tom Crean will enjoy the luxury of creativity with his lineups for the first time in his IUBB career.

    And just for fun:

    if we want to beat the zone:
    1. Yogi
    2. Hulls
    3. Creek
    4. Watford
    5. Zeller

    (yes we’d be short, but can you imagine guarding that???)

    If we need to play major D:

    1. Yogi
    2. Oladipo
    3. Abell
    4. HMP
    5. Zeller

    (Yes we’d have two FR on the court, but could you imagine trying to score on that?)

  • Hoosier_DC

    Alex, could we have a thread dedicated entirely to debating next years possible lineups? It’ll give us something to do during the offseason

  • Bucky

    This is what I love about IU basketball fans.  Find another site on the planet where a fan was nuts enough to not only compile all these lineups, but to actually type them. 

    Next year is going to be so fun.

  • http://twitter.com/Jake_Lort Jake Lorton

    I agree to this.

  • iufan4life10

     I’m thinking at some point in Etherington’s career at IU he will play a Scott Wood (NC State) type role for IU.  Think of a 6-6 more athletic Matt Roth in his junior and senior year.  Etherington will be a key piece to this team someday. 

  • iufan4life10

     I’m thinking at some point in Etherington’s career at IU he will play a Scott Wood (NC State) type role for IU.  Think of a 6-6 more athletic Matt Roth in his junior and senior year.  Etherington will be a key piece to this team someday. 

  • Andrew

    Ryan: it’s end of the court, not side of the ball.

    I’m gonna keep whining about this until you remember.

  • InTheMtns

    You hear a lot of people say “other side of the ball” when talking basketball these days. Young sports writers, the occasional commentator, bloggers. Even heard CTC say it one day. Great term for football but for basketball, it makes no sense. It bugs the heck out of me, too Andrew.

  • InTheMtns

    You hear a lot of people say “other side of the ball” when talking basketball these days. Young sports writers, the occasional commentator, bloggers. Even heard CTC say it one day. Great term for football but for basketball, it makes no sense. It bugs the heck out of me, too Andrew.

  • marcusgresham

    I agree.  I seem to remember at one point guys on the team were quoted as saying TP was a darkhorse for the Hoosier Hysteria dunk contest.

  • Geoff_85

    I don’t know if you could leave Ron Patterson off of the court if you really want to play “major D”. Even Rivals says he is the best defender of the incoming Big Ten recruiting classes next year 
    http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1297795 . Not disagreeing here necessarily, just food for thought.

  • Geoff_85

    Also what could help our defense is the potential of players being able to play their rightful positions if you will. Right now I don’t think there is a great chance of Zeller and Jurkin being on the floor together for extended periods of time, but if/when they are consider this lineup defensively: Patterson, Oladipo, Watford, Perea, Zeller – you could flip-flop Patterson and Oladipo depending on the other team’s PG, but this lineup may be Indiana’s best defensive lineup. While it is difficult to think of Indiana without Hulls or Yogi on the floor, this lineup is plausible. Oladipo’s time spent bringing the ball up the floor last season and his time spent driving and creating was time well spent. That experiment by Coach Crean may prove to be very valuable (if it hasn’t already). He showed that he can be a good facilitator if foul trouble or injuries happen at the PG position.

  • Geoff_85

    Also what could help our defense is the potential of players being able to play their rightful positions if you will. Right now I don’t think there is a great chance of Zeller and Jurkin being on the floor together for extended periods of time, but if/when they are consider this lineup defensively: Patterson, Oladipo, Watford, Perea, Zeller – you could flip-flop Patterson and Oladipo depending on the other team’s PG, but this lineup may be Indiana’s best defensive lineup. While it is difficult to think of Indiana without Hulls or Yogi on the floor, this lineup is plausible. Oladipo’s time spent bringing the ball up the floor last season and his time spent driving and creating was time well spent. That experiment by Coach Crean may prove to be very valuable (if it hasn’t already). He showed that he can be a good facilitator if foul trouble or injuries happen at the PG position.

  • Geoff_85

    I feel stupid that I never even thought of this before, but you’re absolutely correct, It really doesn’t make sense. I can’t really be sure, but considering that I never consciously noticed this before, I’d be willing to bet I’ve said it about ten thousand times.

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