The Minute After: Hillsdale

  • 11/04/2013 10:15 pm in

Thoughts on a 79-39 win over the Chargers:

I. Tom Crean voiced concerns about his team heading into this contest, and it was all on display to start. Indiana turned the ball over again and again — with freshman Troy Williams recording two of his own trying to go baseline. Hillsdale’s motion offense rolled; the Chargers, by design, prevented the Hoosiers from getting out and running. Fresh off a tough, close loss to Toledo just last evening, the score read 13-2 Hillsdale.

But it wouldn’t last. The Hoosiers starting finding their groove in the transition game, they turned defense into offense, they would hit a couple 3-pointers and get to the line. Hillsdale’s tired legs were just no match. By half, IU turned an 11-point deficit into a nine-point lead despite coughing the ball up on 25 percent of its possessions. The second half would be an even bigger explosion, as the Hoosiers outscored the Chargers 46-15 over the final 20 minutes.

On a team with a lot of guys hunting for minutes and a rotation that continues to look deep, 11 Hoosiers scored.

II. Stanford Robinson and Devin Davis got into the mix this evening and both appear to be firmly in the hunt for minutes. After getting chewed out by Will Sheehey for a lackluster pass, Robinson went to work on the defensive end, getting back-to-back deflections — with the last leading to a steal and two made free throws after he was fouled at the hoop. The southpaw also scored on a couple crafty drives and was the middle man on the prettiest play of the night. Yogi Ferrell passed him the ball in the middle of the paint and he whipped the ball to Hanner Mosquera-Perea at the cup. The sophomore was fouled and scored. It was terrific, fun ball movement. After his nine points in 11 minutes performance, some are wondering if he’ll eventually crack the starting lineup.

Davis finished with five points, six boards, an assist and steal in just 12 minutes of action. His size and athleticism continue to show that IU, despite its lack of experience and cohesion at this point in the season, can keep throwing bodies at you in waves.

III. Noah Vonleh had some strong back-to-basket moves for scores tonight. At one point, he also dribbled the ball down the court with speed and ease, another reminder of just how versatile the youngster is. But the free throws continue to be an issue. He missed all three of his attempts this evening and finished the preseason 0-of-8. Tom Crean said at Big Ten Media Day that Vonleh recently hit 84-of-100 in practice. But so far, such a mark has yet to translate into game action.

IV. Ferrell was strong on the offensive end for the second straight game, leading all IU scorers with 14 points. He’s clearly bigger and stronger this season and it shows on his drives to the rim, as there’s just a bit more strength as he attacks the cup. Ferrell wasn’t as hot from 3-point land tonight (2-of-5). Sheehey helped pick up the slack, hitting 50 percent from distance (2-of-4)  on his way to 12 points.

V. Jeremy Hollowell got run again at the point tonight, but as both he and Crean eluded to at Big Ten Media Day, the sophomore is a versatile 1-4 type player. That showed, as Hollowell also played big and posted up on a few occasions. He also got the start tonight, unseating Evan Gordon, who started last week against Southern Indiana.


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  • A_Schick

    I know it was short-lived, but that 1-3-1 zone in the second half with Troy at the front made my mouth water a little…

  • A_Schick

    I know it was short-lived, but that 1-3-1 zone with Troy at the top made my mouth water a bit…

  • HoosierPat

    I was really impressed with Stan Robinson at Hoosier Hysteria. He is strong on the offensive and defensive end. I would be surprised if he didn’t crack the lineup eventually.

  • Miamihoosier

    It sounds like it will be a great game to watch….tomorrow. We are not going to be as smooth offensively obviously, but it’s looking like we have the potential to better defensively than last year. We probably won’t have a guy as disruptive as Oladipo, but we won’t have the liabilities of Hulls and Watford.

  • creamdelacrimson

    This is going to be 2011-12 all over again. But even better. I have a feeling we are in for a surprise season and I mean that in a good way. The mushy gushy look how far we have come stage is over. Not that it was a bad time. It was great, more than great. But now were back on the map and Indiana basketball is back where it should be, ranked 24th on a “rebuilding year”. This team just looks like they are going to mesh extremely well together. Yeah we have some issues but that’s because we don’t know who are leaders are yet, not to bad of a problem to have if I say so myself. If CC finds the right starting 5 and they get a chance to mesh well together through all the cup cakes in the non conference, watch out B1G. We are going to be a force to be reckoned with. I like us 3rd in the big ten this year and an unexpected elite 8 appearance!

  • Jason

    C’mon now, love the enthusiasm but REALLY!!! I like the team a lot. But really think we will miss the downtown abilities and hustle Jordan gave us. Turnovers are going to be a real issue as with most young teams and th B1G is just way to deep to call it a 3rd. I’m die hard Hoosiers but have to be realistic. IU will be a solid 5 or a surprise at 4. MSU, UM, OSU, Wisconsin, and Iowa is poised for a surprise season. The B1G is the most competitive conference again this year and should put 5 in the tourney. IU will win its first round game and struggle vs a potent 1 or 2 seed in the 32 round. JMHO. I hope I’m so wrong and they win it all but like I said REALITY;)

  • BallCW3

    May be a little too soon to jump onto the NCAA Tourney bandwagon. However I too am extremely high on this upcoming season. I think people count IU out just because of youth, but youth can still win(see pUKe). However this squad needs to cut down on Turnovers before I start saying they will go deep in the Dance.

  • Kenneth234

    I feel the same way…tonight there were some discouraging moments, mainly the first 10 minutes. But outside of that, we can see that Perea is beginning to show himself as the player we were hoping to get last year. Yogi, if the floor was spaced better can get to the rim on a drive at will, or get up a 3 off a quick step fake any time he wants it. I am really encouraged by the play of Robinson, Vonleh (minus the free throws), Luke, Troy, Devin, Jeremy, and of course Will. Gordon, has shown glimpses of being erratic but he is certainly a hustle type player. I am not sure that Etherington is really ready to pick up where he seemed to be last year at this early point. If we can just get some token contribution from him and Jurkin, than we certainly have a very versatile and extremely deep squad that has the talent to compete with almost anyone.

  • Jason

    I love the youth, but talent doesn’t win ball games, and pUKe lost in the first round of the NIT last year nuff said. If cream can get the TEAM to buy into the TEAM mentality, cut down on mistakes, have great fundamentals, make the extra pass, and hit free throws, then this team can definetly be special. Tall order for any team let alone one this young. But wow I’m excited to watch it all unfold.

  • A_Schick

    I think guys like Troy, Stanford, and Noah are going to get buckets in or near the paint more easily than it was to free up Jordy (and god do I miss him) for a three.


    You’re probably gonna catch some flack and have those with the opposing view feeling like they can’t get to the keyboard fast enough to tell you why you are wrong with that last sentence. IMHO (and obviously yours) there is more than a little bit of truth to it and that’s coming from somebody that loved them some Jordy Hulls.

  • Guest

    I don’t know that I’d pick us to finish 3 in the B1G yet, but agree to the extent that this team’s upside has tournament run potential. I think your point referencing 2011-2012 is about expectations. That team wasn’t deep even before the VJ3 injury, but they left it on the court. The 2013 team is deep, especially on the wings and up front.

    I don’t think its about CTC finding the right starting 5. I think this team will be dangerous because we have the athleticism, versatility and depth to look for mismatches and “stategery.” We learned last year we can’t always dictate style/pace of play (see Wisconsin and Syracuse). Playing Holowell big minutes at the 2 might make sense against a Michigan team by putting length on Stauskus, but maybe a combination of Stan and Evan has the best chance of containing Gary Harris.

    I like this team a lot. But more than the starting 5, I’m more curious who will be the 5 on the court in the final minutes of a close game when you need a stop and a bucket. Can Vonleh make 65% of his free throws, or will CTC have to take him off the court in certain situations? Will we have enough outside shooting to space the court, or can a less athletic team beat us by packing their zone tight?

  • Scooter

    I believe Etherington has something like 11pts, 4 rebs, 2 assts and is 9-10 in 17 minutes in the 2 exhibition games. I think he is more than ready to assume a bigger role this year, he just needs a chance to play bigger minutes.
    I think our best line up will be Yogi, Robinson, Sheehey, Vonleh and Fischer with Hollowell as the 6th man and Gordon 7th. Hollowell just doesnt impress me and he seems to lack passion. CTC needs the kid to salivate like a dog to get on the floor. I saw way too much pouting out of him last year.
    I am surprised Fischer isnt getting more minutes and Vonleh needs to shoot 500 FT a day until he gets comfortable.
    I feel this team will struggle on the road in conference but can pull it together to make an upset bid in BIG tourney and NCAA. We have to be honest though, we have much larger liabilities on the glass, defense, FT’s and 3pt shooting this year. Last year we were 26-5 regular season. This year the team will be a 19-12 or 20-11 type of team.

  • tj21

    Before everyone jumps on the last sentence of Miamihoosiers post, stop, think about it, count to 25 and ask yourself to be honest with yourself before you respond. Hulls and Watford were iconic players, helping IU return to prominence, but both had athletic limitations. We have the type of players athletically that can compete with anyone, any night, anytime. I am not saying we are a better team at this point vs last year, but the team this year has potential that is unlimited. Hulls was a great shooter, Watford hit “the shot”, but TW, NV and SR (as a group) bring the type of athletes we have not had in my lifetime as a Hoosier fan.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Etherington needs to be more selfish and look for his own shot. He had an open look in the corner last night and passed it up.

  • Corey M

    Is the Big10 Network doing a replay of this game?

  • HoosierTrav

    I dont think he’s that far off. MSU and Wisky are the teams I’m worried about. Not worried about Iowa, OSU, and UM. I think we match up very well with these guys. We all like to harp on our youth limiting us from having success…. 2011-2012 we had a group of kids who didnt know how to do anything but lose. Then we added a freshman, developed 2 sophs, and we were a title contender. Our current team is deeper, better defensively, and has much more talent across the board. Talent + Discipline= W’s…. I think the discipline will eventually come this season….. I will split the difference and say we finish 4th, get a 4 seed and end up in a very close elite 8 game that comes down to the wire and free thow shooting. We go into next season as a final four pick.

  • HoosierTrav

    Tonight at 8pm EST.

  • BlakeD1223

    I completely agree. Watford drove me crazy. I was not a big Watford fan. I loved him when he hit “the shot” but he lacked so much down low. He had no ups at all. Most of his shot down low seemed to get blocked. I didn’t get to see last nights game but just the sound of it makes me really excited about this year but mainly next year. If we can get this freshman class to stay 2-3 years then we will be scary good and athletic. I think the key to winning another championship is getting a group that will stay and play a few years. It’s hard to build that chemistry when you have players leaving after their Sophomore year. I don’t blame the NBA ready players of going to the NBA but I think the key to win is to keep some of these NBA ready players 3-4 years and make a run.

  • AJ

    I was impressed by Luke fishers play on both ends of the court. He moves well, alters shots, and I saw a lot of hustle from him going after rebounds and lose balls. If Hanner continues to come along, the front court rotation of NV, LF, and HMP could be formidable.

  • MillaRed

    Hey the truth hurts but it is what it is. Go back and watch the Syracuse game. Exposed it more than any game I saw last season.

  • MillaRed

    Anything better than your prediction would surprise me. Rebuilding.

  • MillaRed

    Are you saying this team will reach the Elite Eight? Because this team is not reaching the Elite Eight.

  • BlakeD1223

    I’m looking forward to watching the game tonight. Just from reading the comments I have come to the conclusion that at the end of this season, we are going to be really looking forward to the next season.

    Meaning, that we are young and fun. Watching us develop this years is really going to want us to watch the next year. Our Freshmen will be much better and I think we will have a really good team. The future is bright. We are able to recruit very athletic and big/long guys. I expect to get a lot more points in the paint this year and not rely on the 3 ball as much. It’s definitely going to be an interesting year.

  • Blair McKee

    It is hard to analyze a team based on this D2 opponent, and based on the pre-season lineups Crean puts in. However, good to see a ridiculous slaughter when a slaughter is what is expected.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I’m stunned that quite a few on this board are predicting an Elite Eight run. Anything is possible in the tournament but I’m very surprised that some expect that. I understand the “more athletic” line of thinking. I also understand the “Hulls was a defensive liability” line of thinking (although those people are forgetting that he was a very good off-the-ball defender who created steals in the passing lanes). I just can’t believe how quickly forget the shooting, leadership and ability of Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller.

    Everyone can certainly set their own expectations but I think expecting a top 3 Big Ten finish and an Elite Eight run is asking for disappointment. We shall see though and I wouldn’t mind eating crow on this one!

  • Aux contraire… It is good to see a slaughter, but I don’t think it was necessarily expected. Look at the postings on pre-game predictions. Most were saying a score similar to the SI game. In fact Alex thought 20 points… indicated this team could ‘keep it close’ with their ability to shoot from the perimeter. CCI don’t think we should get too high on the outcome, but then again, there were definitely a lot of positives to be taken from this one. And as Crean said, we’ll get better at shooting as we get more comfortable. I for one think we will love this team by season’s end. Just hope we can finish strong in the B1G and make a deep run in the NCAA. Bu,t I don’t think it can be said we expected a “slaughter” last night.

  • Blair McKee

    well, I did! Point taken, though. Do you expect Chicago State to give them any kind of a test? (I do not.) Of course, that’s not what you say in the locker room.


    Yep !!

  • Trevor Howenstine

    Very deep team, without much drop off when subs come in. Here’s how I see it shaking out. With some polishing, team work fundamentals, taking care of the ball, ie another month of experience this team should compete well in the BIG. Here are 11 guys that don’t make me nervous when they go in after watching the 2 first games. In fact, 8 of these guys I find myself waiting for the next ESPN highlight play. Very good this year. Amazing next year.
    Yogi- Jeremy H.
    Stan R.-Austin E and Gordon
    Vonleh- Fisher
    Will S.- Davis
    Williams- Hanner

  • MillaRed

    I watched him for two years in WI. Watch his hands. Kid has great hands. Remember Hanner and PJ last year? You won’t see that.

  • HoosierTrav

    Maybe not… but its possible. This team certainly has the talent to make a run. The question will be whether they can cut down on the turnovers and commit to being a defensive minded squad. In a single elimination tournament, teams like the type we have, succeed greatly. I’m not EXPECTING this. I’m just saying it is most certainly a possibility. I am predicting. Hows about you make your prediction Milla and we’ll see hwere you end up at the end of the year? Always the best way to solve these type of debates.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I’m not concerned with trying to second-guess CTC by suggesting a “starting” lineup. It’s more significant to see who’s on the floor at “crunch time” I contend that those who have not mentioned Troy Williams and Devin Davis as candidates to log major minutes are going to be in for very pleasant surprises. Similarly, those who want-think-hope for Jeremy Hollowell to be the 6th man on this team should also hope he finds some passion for the game. He may have a decent skill set, but he still displays a lack of energy and heart.

  • TomJameson

    Here’s my 2-cents worth. I think 5th in the B1G, because we’re going to lose too many of those early games when the team is learning to become a team, making their identity. I think we’re going to come on in the last part of the conference and get some upset wins, but it’s not going to be enough to jack us up any further. But, then we’re into tourney time and the big dance. Don’t know exactly what to expect, but I wouldn’t be surprised to make it to the sweet sixteen. That would be a hugely successful season IMO.

  • MillaRed

    I just don’t want to put that high of an expectation on this group. We are one season away from your prediction IMO.

    I think we are 6th in the B1G and a 7-8 seed in the dance. With a great draw Sweet 16 is possible. But I’m thinking round 2 elimination.

    Love your enthusiasm!

  • MillaRed

    Really hoping his minutes are being limited because he is coming off injury. He does everything well. And that goes back to this time last year.

    Seize the moment Austin!!!!!

  • Ole Man

    Our current team is not better defensively. I grant you that they have that potential, but they are certainly not there yet.

  • Ole Man

    Not jumping on that last sentence. Just saying that the positives of Hulls and Watford far outweighed the negatives/liabilities.
    Think it’s silly to even use that word in association with either of them.
    They had faults that they more than made up for with other talents and qualities.

  • Well, like you, I tend to be kind of optimistic. It’s just that there was so much anxiety on here and so much pessimism, re: how easy of a time we were going to have.. I guess I expected more like maybe 20 points or so. Was kinda cool though, to blow ’em out like that. I expect Chi. State to be over twenty, bur not sure how good they are this year. If get the ‘D’ going, we could be pretty tough this year. We’re going to need it, with the apparent dearth of shooting capability…

  • Blair McKee

    Pessimism and nit-picking is the Hoosier way. I do it all the time during games (until we”re up thirty)!
    But stepping back, all the major programs schedule their patsies now, and around the Holidays. And they always are expected to win by twenty++