Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over LIU Brooklyn

  • 11/13/2013 10:20 am in

It wasn’t pretty, but Indiana survived on Tuesday night and moved to 2-0 with a 73-72 win over LIU Brooklyn in the 2K Sports Classic at Assembly Hall.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from Indiana’s narrow win:

· Sheehey shines in second half: Much has been written about the role of Will Sheehey as he begins his final season in Bloomington. Will he shift to more of a scoring role? Or will his role in the offense stay the same as it always has been? Last night, we learned that Sheehey’s role may change on a night-to-night basis. In the season opener, Sheehey took just six shots on his way to 10 points.

Last night, he was far more assertive offensively, but less efficient as he finished with 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting. But when Indiana needed Sheehey to step up, he did. After shooting 0-of-8 in the first 20 minutes, the senior from Stuart, Florida hit 6-of-10 after intermission on his way to 15 second half points.

· Vonleh’s dominance continues: There will be bumps in the road as is the case with any freshman, but through two games, Noah Vonleh’s impact can’t be overstated. Vonleh logged another double double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. When Vonleh gets the ball in the post, he knows how to find space and finish and he’s been excellent on the offensive glass through two games.

The scary part, according to Tom Crean, is the amount of growth that lies ahead for Vonleh. “He’s not even scratching the surface,” Crean said. “He has no idea how hard he can play. He knows how hard he can play, but he doesn’t know how long he can play that hard. I thought tonight was great growth. I thought he was much better tonight than he even was on Friday with understanding what the game was.”

· Indiana gets little from its bench: The Hoosiers want to utilize depth this season, but Tuesday night, it was the starting lineup that accounted for nearly all of the production. Freshman Stanford Robinson was the only reserve to score (five points) and Evan Gordon chipped in some heady plays in the second half that helped keep Indiana in the game.

Beyond that, only one other reserve, Devin Davis, even attempted a field goal. Crean has defined depth as not having a dropoff when going to the bench, but that wasn’t the case last night.

· Settling for jump shots early really hurt Indiana in getting to the line: A staple of IU’s offense last season was getting to the foul line at a staggering rate. The Hoosiers ranked seventh nationally in free throw rate (FTA/FGA) in 2012-2013. But last night, LIU Brooklyn took 10 more free throws. Just a game after attempting 55 free throws, the Hoosiers took only 17 free throws on Tuesday night.

So what was the difference?

Indiana didn’t move bodies or the ball against the 2-3 zone LIU Brooklyn deployed and dared the Hoosiers to beat them from the perimeter. IU finished the first half 1-of-16 from behind the 3-point arc. “We settled, obviously, including myself, early on,” Sheehey said. “They were daring us to shoot and we shot it, which isn’t what you should do. Eventually we figured out how to win.”

· A close game early is more beneficial than a blowout: Regardless of how it happened, Indiana won a tight game and that experience should help this group both learn and grow. There’s plenty of things that need to improve and should improve as the season moves along, but getting a challenge before going to New York next week is a positive. (And another challenge could await on Sunday as Stony Brook comes to Assembly Hall.) The Hoosiers were forced to play from behind for much of the second half, which is something they’d yet to experience. They also had to overcome adversity as shots weren’t falling early and foul trouble was a factor for some of IU’s key guys.

“This team does not have the luxury of going through close games and hard fought battles yet,” Crean said. “Some of the players do, like Will, obviously, but we don’t have a team of guys that have gone through that. Now we really didn’t want to have it have to be tonight, but it was.

“The bottom line is if we didn’t have the capacity to get better, if we didn’t have the capacity to improve inside of the game, and if we didn’t have the capacity to understand what the game was giving us, we’d have lost the game by 14, 15 points.”

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  • Miamihoosier

    To me so far, Luke Fischer deserves Perrea’s minutes. Hanner has vastly improved, but Fischer has the potential to be a legit inside scoring threat alongside Vonleh…… Perrea on the other hand, is still mastering the art of making a slightly contested layup. I know he was injured early, but we are going to need all the offensive firepower we can get this season. He was a bit slow up the court a couple of times, maybe not totally in game shape. but I think he might be the missing ingredient (at least until we get some shooters in next season)

  • Dee McDonald

    I think game experience is the most valuable thing that Perea can get right now. Unfortunately, he needs to fail in order to realize where to be and also needs to find a way to go a million miles an hour and utilize his athleticism. He’ll get there, but I think game experience is crucial. I agree that Luke Fischer needs more minutes, but it looked like he was wearing a faceguard last night when he first checked in. I’m assuming he broke his nose in practice…the kid can’t catch a break. Crean may NOT be able to play him as much as he’d like right now if all of that is going on as well.

  • Jamie Rund

    I think we all know now why Coach Crean is recruiting shooters for next year. Blackmon or Johnson were at IU this year, they would easily be our best shooters.

  • MillaRed

    Will showed me perhaps the worst 1st half I have ever seen and the best half in a Hoosier uniform. Kid is mentally tough. But we see what he is capable of if he puts it together for an entire game.

    Noah is exceeding my expectations. Without him in the 1st half we lose by 10.

    Gordon’s shot is off and that is a little surprising. Putting too much pressure on himself. Hanner took a step back by disappearing. DD and Stan need to bring it every game.

    I understand jump shots will limit FT attempts. But we should have had more anyway. Not going there. Peed me off.

    Not sure how this win cannot do anything but help. They did not suck. But I thought we broke through the “home games are getting road game respect” after the last two years of success. Frustrating.

  • SCHoosier

    Not sure we’re told the entire story on Luke. I agree with you on his need more minutes 1) IU needs to move the ball on O and Luke is a great passer with good IQ and court vision. 2) He can shoot otuside as well as anybody throwing them up last night. 3) He’s a presence on the boards if not a spectacular jumper. Either Luke is more seriously injured than TC wants to admit..or he’s not producing in practice. I know his conditioning..because of the injury.. is a bit behind..but this kid is suppose to be able to play. Why he isn’t is a head-scratcher for me. Any thoughts on that?

  • WhatsUpKnight

    something to be said about the guys staying tough and grinding out a win, albeit against a vastly outmatched team (on paper). still, it was one ugly game. i’m seeing a team consisting of a bunch of players who want to isolate and create their own shots, though their ball movement was much better in the 2nd half.

    all in all, i can live with the inefficiency on offense early on. they’re still trying to establish an identity, and i’m glad to see NV stepping it up and becoming the go-to guy (though i’d like to see him taking more shots going toward the basket instead of fading away). and TW stepped it up late too, scoring 5 in a row at crunch time.

    my biggest concern is with the D. they’ve gotta get smarter and tougher or they’re gonna get eaten alive once B1G games start. being said, i thought the officiating was absolutely horrendous, rule changes or not! we kept switching over to the pUKeMSU game during commercial breaks, and couldn’t help but notice how much more physical they were allowed to play. oddly, teddy tv was one of the refs.

  • MillaRed

    For about 2 minutes we saw the TW of the future and it was impressive. Esp in crunch time.

    If a player running into you when your hands are up and you are not moving is a foul I am going to freak out the entire season.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    He tried to play with the mask last night and tossed into the photographers after he could not get it on before the whistle. He didn’t play with it on after that.

    Side note: I have seen the game stopped fir players with contact lens issues (and they immediately returned to the game without going to the bench) so why was the game not stopped for a second so he could fix his mask?

  • WhatsUpKnight

    exactly! at worst, it’s a no-call situation.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Bottom line, they won a game they should have lost. That is a good thing in preparation for the B1G. I’d like to see Yogi do less driving into the lane, jumping, and then thinking “gee boo boo…. I have no clue what to do with the ball.”

  • E Foy McNaughton

    1 of 2 things happen with Evan, his game improves or he will eventually lose his minutes to Stan and/or Jeremy will take his minutes at back-up PG. It is hard to find where he has been a positive contributor, which is sad for a senior.

  • MillaRed

    I think sometimes we forget how mental the game is regardless of class. Here we have Will, 4-year player and a Team USA guy and for one half he was the worst player in the country.

    Evan scored 20 plus multiple times in his career. That just doesn’t happen on accident. Has to be between his ears. We NEED this kid to produce. I think he will be fine but man it’s hard to watch right now.

  • Dee McDonald

    I was screaming at the tv at that point…my 5-year-old was like, “What the?”

  • Alford Bailey

    Wills game last night was just Will being Will. He has always been a streaky shooter and I dont see that changing. He is a role player not a guy who can take this team on his back and lead the way. Evan Gordon was playing where he was for a reason. I just dont expect a ton out of him this season. The talent lies with the young guys especially Noah.

  • MillaRed

    Hmmmm, I’m not going to disagree with you entirely but……..

    Wasn’t Will a starter on Team USA? Was he the best player on the floor last night? 19 pts, 7 boards, 6 assists and 3 steals against a 3 time NCAA tourney team? That’s a pretty darn good role player.

    Wasn’t Evan Gordon a 20 game starter for Arizona State? A Pac 12 team that won 22 games last season?

    They deserve a little more credit IMO.

  • Alford Bailey

    Love the Hoosiers but I do have the ability of being realistic that many dont on ITH. Will and Evan are good three star college players. Will IS a role player he will be the best player on the floor AT TIMES and a 20 game starter for ASU in the PAC 12 does not equate to being an major impact player on a major B1G roster IMO. Not down on these guys just calling a spade a spade. The talent lies in the young guys now lets hope they come around quickly.

  • Ole Man

    Politely disagree with one thought, Milla — they did suck and were lucky to get the win.
    Yes, much better the second half. Yes, they learned and gutted it out.
    Frankly, however, even for a young team they should be farther along with basic BB principles. Right now, they’re a grade above AAU ball.
    If they continue as they are now, Stony Brook will beat them on Sunday.
    Not in a panic; but not expecting much either.

  • TheHonestTruth

    Is it not frustrating to anyone how we attack the zone. Brings back nightmares of Syracuse game. We are going to struggle if we can not beat the zone consistently.

    Bring people from behind the zone.

  • BMusic

    I loved it. The youngsters got a wake-up call and they answered the bell.

  • MillaRed

    Meant to say the opponent didn’t suck…………..

  • MillaRed

    We are spinning words a little here. No one said Gordon was a major anything. IMO he is the role player you think Will is, and Will is going to receive All-B1G accolade(s) at the end of the season.

    Your 3-star player was good enough to play for well, the USA. The other one went #2 in the NBA draft. Stars mean very little in Hoosier Land.

    It’s all good man. You are entitled to your opinion.

  • sarge

    Even though it was a tough game to watch, I like how we finished the game considering we played 5 on 8 most of the game. LIU deserves credit for what they forced us to do offensively and they have one of the best point guards I have seen play this year. They were a tough tournament team, and I am glad we didn’t fold under the pressure and pulled out the w.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Agreed! The new rule was suppose to allow for chest bumping as long as the hands are in the air or out of the opposing players way. Once again refs reading too much into the rules and going way overboard with what the intent was.

  • The_Bob_Michaels

    I love the intensity and IQ Will plays with. However, you are 100% correct, he has always been a very inconsistent shooter. I hoped that being thrust into the starting lineup would change that, but so far it hasn’t. The good news is the season has just begun and he has ample opportunity to improve.

  • Kyl470

    I posted something similar as well. Crean has clearly told guys to play D with their hands up which they did. It is insane that an offensive player can run into your chest and get a foul call every time.

  • Have you looked at his efficiency when he scored 20+? I haven’t, so I can only speculate. If it was just volume scoring where he was the primary option on his ASU team like Tim Frasier for PSU, it’s a much different story…

  • Joe

    Evan Gordon was beat off the dribble the whole night. Anyone else catch that? This is very concerning considering he was struggling to guard an LIU Brooklyn guard.

  • Gregory Spera

    “Indiana didn’t move bodies or the ball against the 2-3 zone LIU Brooklyn deployed…”
    This is also MY main “takeaway” from this game, that this team is still dumbfounded by a 2-3 zone. I know CTC isn’t a great Xs and Os guy, but he needs to figure something out, eventually. We had great shooters last year and still struggled. With our current lack of three point shooting, I would do nothing BUT zone this IU team.

  • JohnFromBeyond

    I agree, they should have waited for Luke to get his mask on, especially when the play was already stopped by a free throw. I guess the officials were too busy looking for hand checks.

  • Do you think it’s time to give up on HMP? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows. If not, then he needs valuable game minutes to further develop his game.

  • Ole Man

    Ah, now it makes sense.
    Total agreement on Hartman.
    Wasn’t he touted as somewhat of a shooter when he was recruited?
    ESPN recruiting analysis: “Collin is a solid wing player with terrific shooting range out to 22 feet. He is more of a catch and shoot perimeter prospect than a guy who can create on his own. He earned his Big Ten scholarship with his ability to knock down shots.”

    Instead of the “high flyers”, maybe IU needs these down to earth, less athletic shooters.

  • TheHonestTruth

    I agree 100%. Now with the new ball checking rules. Zone’s will be more prominent defense going forward by many teams.

  • Frosch

    Surprised no one has mentioned this…does anyone other than myself really miss Remy from both a leadership and playing standpoint? Hard nosed with a great work ethic and sad not to see him in the candy stripes anymore. Not trying to get down but darn I miss the guy.

  • MillaRed

    Through the roof. Usually over 55% FG when over 17 pts. Overall 32 games, 10 ppg, 40% FG, 35 3p FG %, 75% FT. Kid is capable.

  • TJ21

    I do not miss him, he was no better than what we have now and with less upside. Stan is a much better option.

  • HoosierPat

    I saw that too. He kept getting his shoulders turned and kept getting beat all night.

  • HoosierPat

    I think Stan and Luke are probably still trying to get their conditioning back from when they were injured. I really like Stan. He is very skilled on both ends of the court, but he needs to improve his ball handling, as CTC noted. As for Luke, when I’ve seen him play, he has looked very skilled and very smart. I think he will be able to to step in for spurts when Vonleh needs a breather. Perhaps my biggest concern though was Hanner Perea. I barely even remember him playing. We need him to be able to contribute. If he can’t contribute, we are really going to struggle in B1G season due to lack of depth in the front court.

  • marcusgresham

    I kind of disagree about Sheehey’s first half. It was frustrating as hell to see him miss all those shots, but he really didn’t take bad ones, they just didn’t go in. Even with his shooting troubles he continued to work hard, play good defense, and rebound. Lots of guys would get frustrated and start doing stupid stuff at that point.

  • IUMIKE1

    Was wondering why they couldn’t stop the game long enough to let him get the mask on as well, but that decision was pretty much on par with some of the other questionable decisions the zebras made. Speaking of the mask I haven’t heard why he was even wearing it. Have you or anyone else heard why ?

    I’m kinda thinking like SCHoosier in that I think that there is a good chance that the severity of his injury is more sever than Crean and staff have let on and rightly so. I just have a gut feeling that it is one that is going to limit him, at least somewhat, for most, if not all of this season. Would tend to think that he has been back practicing long enough now that his conditioning, while probably not exactly where it needs to be, wouldn’t be cause for his limited minutes so far. IMHO this is something disconcerting enough that it warrants keeping an eye on since pretty much everyone was expecting him to play and contribute much more than he has so far. I know it’s still early in the season but something just doesn’t feel right with his situation.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I actually laugh out loud….had to spell it out just because….
    I think the reason we’re not seeing Luke is more due to the shoulder injury and CTC has probably taken so much heat from everyone about his player’s always getting injured that he is actually listening to us fans for once and putting him back into the games slowly……
    BC

  • Bleeding Crimson

    NO WAY. Second Game of year 1 and 2/3rds. He was out for a 1/3 of the season last year and never seen any action and has played limited minutes in two games this year. He’s no Noah (all around polished player) but he is gaining BB IQ and is just as athletic. Give him some more time and minutes.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Thanks for the info…that’s why I love this site.
    Keep in mind that these kids are all learning a new style and many have different roles…and yes young except for WS.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Milla, it’s starting to look like I’m pick’in fav’s here but I’m going to have to agree with you once again. Wasn’t Will the 6 man of the year only for one reason…..because he would have started last year if it was not for our already star studded class.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I tore a labrum playing competitive mens volleyball in my mid 20’s. Not easy to come back from. My serve was never right after that too. Positive thoughts go out to Luke.

  • IUMIKE1

    That’s what I’m afraid of. Have talked to some others that have had the same kind of injury since it came out as to what his injury was and they have said pretty much the exact same thing as you have.

    Positive thoughts out to Luke….ditto that !

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Also not to further upset you but that was also the end of my competitive basketball days. The broken hand in my early 20’s wasn’t, but my torn Labrum was. Just shoot around and casual pick up games only now.