The Minute After: UConn

  • 11/22/2013 10:43 pm in

Thoughts on a 59-58 loss to the Huskies:

We know this team is young and prone to mistakes. That nights like tonight were bound to happen, a game the Hoosiers could have had but let slip away because of turnovers and youth and inexperience.

Still, it makes it no less easy for fans to swallow.

The Hoosiers have had problems so far this season taking care of the ball (19.3 turnover percentage, 219th in the nation). And it was exposed in the first half — badly. They coughed the ball up on 34.1 percent of their possessions, UConn taking advantage of their uptempo style and penchant for driving into the lane in the halfcourt.

The angles closed faster, the quicker, more athletic defenders of the best team IU has played this season made the Hoosiers look sloppy when the wounds weren’t being self-inflicted. After posting 50 points on 1.37 points per possession in the first half against Washington last evening, Indiana entered the break scoring just .8 points per possession and 24 overall.

And then there’s the case of Noah Vonleh. After such a dominant first five games, Vonleh was a non-factor tonight (0 points, two boards, four turnovers). He picked up two fouls in under two minutes to start the game and had to sit. The 18-year-old didn’t see much playing time in the first half due to the fouls. Just a minute and 13 seconds in the second half, there was Vonleh picking up his third foul.

When he re-entered again mid-way through the second half, the Hoosiers got him the ball on the block and he seemed determined to score at all costs. But Vonleh was overzealous, using his forearm too much to back his defender down … and he was flagged for an offensive foul. Vonleh entered again later and fumbled a sure rebound off his hands on a missed UConn free throw. By this point, it seemed like it was mental.

Despite all the IU turnovers, the Hoosiers were still very much in this one at the break, as two late 3-pointers from Shabazz Napier had the Huskies up six. UConn barely saw the line by half (2-of-2). And after shooting so hot from beyond the arc to start the season, it went cold from the perimeter in the first 20 minutes (4-of-12).

The second half was a back-and-forth affair. Shabazz Napier was a tough cover, his shimmying and shaking to create space for jumpers is no easy task to guard. Despite his seven turnovers (and a key late one that turned the ball back over to the Hoosiers and gave them a shot at the victory), he ended the night an efficient 10-of-14 (27 points) and scored UConn’s last four points. Evan Gordon played perhaps his best game of the season, looking like the senior he is amidst all the IU youth. He hit a couple of key buckets in the second half to keep this one close (3-of-3, six points).

Yogi Ferrell didn’t shoot it all that well tonight (6-of-19, 19 points), but he also came up big at times in the second half and made the offense go as much as he could. UConn made a strong emphasis to try and keep him out of the lane and out of the pick-and-rolls as the second half wore on.

Despite two turnovers in the final 1:08 of the game by Devin Davis (and a woeful 28.8 turnover percentage for the game), the ball was in Indiana’s hand to try and win this one. Ferrell missed a jumper, the ball fell to Jeremy Hollowell. It was knocked away and ended up as an out of bounds call on the Huskies with .7 remaining.

Indiana’s final play was apparently looking for a lob first, then a catch-and-shoot. There was no lob open for Troy Williams, so Vonleh got the ball on the left high post. But he didn’t even get the ball off in time.

It capped off a forgettable night under the lights at Madison Square Garden for the freshman and chalked up Indiana’s first loss of the season.

Filed to:

  • David Macer

    IUMIKE1 – I hate losing too. If my Mom was still alive, she could tell you stories about my reaction to losing. It didn’t matter if it was IU or New Castle, I always took losing very personally. Almost all the fans on ITH are very knowledgeable about basketball and IU’s history. It’s those guys that want to point out a single play or pick on a player who perhaps didn’t play his best game that I have an issue with.

  • dwdkc

    Kind of old news now, but as KY was up two, fouling was definitely not the right play for them at that time

  • IUMIKE1

    Yep !! A whole lot different.

  • dwdkc

    Having Yogi create on the last full possession was sensible to me. We don’t have good ball handlers and a polished attack; that just isn’t the skillset right now. The TOs were so bad that after a while I wanted us to hoist up a quick shot just so we had an outside chance of hitting it or getting the rebound before we gave the ball away. Anyway the outcome of the last possession was pretty good; Yogi’s shot wasn’t that difficult and we were in good position to crash the boards. Jeremy got the ball in easy putback position and either was hacked or the UConn guy made a good play to knock it out. I agree with Ole Man about Will sitting on the last play–didn’t get that at all.

  • David Macer

    I will give you Izzo and perhaps Matta but who else would you put ahead of him?? Bo Ryan ?? No way. He knows only one way to coach. Jim Berlien at Michigan, maybe. After that there is NO ONE better than Crean in the B1G.

  • papawglen

    I totally agree with you on Hollowell. I see nothing good in him but he might make a good forward if he stays close to the basket and don’t handle the ball a lot. I see no reason he is playing point guard.

  • IUMIKE1

    I replied to Oldguy but was doing so to agree with your comment. Feel the same.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    If you notice CTC doesn’t uses his TO…he hangs on to them for the situations like last night. He also knew he was going to burn the second one regardless and was looking for the lob but it didn’t work out so we got stuck with what we got.
    I always think that he should only call his TO when a team makes a huge run 8-12pts but I think he’s coached enough that he wants the leadership of the team to instruct the kids to overcome…i.e like Bobby did in his days. He would always save his TOs.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I totally agree…one thing that we did learn is that we can hang with the best of the top 25. That’s a good thing.

  • dwdkc

    OK, let’s check the record. He takes the Marquette job when it has become irrelevant for years. The first team that he fully put together after a few years at Marquette went to the Final 4. It included Dwayne Wade, but DW was an Oladipo-style project and not some obvious 5 star stud when recruited. 4 years later, after solid tourney teams, had he stayed at Marquette he would have had another Final 4 quality team–he had Trevor Mbakwe as well as 3 great guards and a few other nice pieces that contended in the Big East even after Mbakwe’s transfer. The only thing that team didn’t have was a force down low, which it would have had if CTC stayed. We know what he did at IU starting from scratch–last year wasn’t 23-10. This year might be but next year he will have a team that any but 4 or 5 coaches in the nation would trade for. So I don’t see the evidence for your comment.

  • dwdkc

    Yes, but once UConn had the lead, the next 3-4 sequences down the court were our best all night. Really nice to see some good play from Evan G, we need him as a solid PG backup. Too bad Yogi couldn’t get a reasonably easy shot to fall or Jeremy could have finished the putback, and we’d have had a great gut-check win.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I agree with JH disappointment up to now but we are not sure where he is going to end up. His responsibility has totally changed and that changes not his entire game but his mind set. It will take time for him to totally adjust. I do agree but time will only tell. So before we start making blanket comments we need to think about the over all plan for his job. He is adjusting but his actions are starting to speak louder than his words.

  • dwdkc

    This is true, but I will stand up for the right of every fan to vent and say dumb things out of frustration. And then get properly ridiculed, as they should. All part of what we’re here for!

  • dwdkc

    I think it’s more like playing a middling Big 10 team to a draw despite playing lousy. UConn didn’t impress me much against BC or in this game, but I do think IU is a load to play against with all of our length and athletes. It just is jarring to see how different it is from last year’s polished but less athletic team.

  • Ole Man

    If I’m not mistaken, they had a timeout left.

  • Ole Man

    It’s probably just my perception, but Will and CTC have butted heads a couple of times when he’s pulled Will out.
    I’m not sure that CTC has a doghouse, but if he does, Will could be in it.
    Then again, it could just be because CTC is stubborn (to a fault, sometimes). That’s part of what enabled him to bring IU back from the depths. It’s also part of why he sometimes has a brain freeze on Xs & Os.

  • Ole Man

    Now I am ROFL!!
    Hey, I can change–maybe, sorta…er….

  • HoosierRob

    Totally agree with your take on this game. Very encouraged with the upside of this team. This young squad with the addition of next year’s recruits will make IU a legit contender for a banner in 2015!

  • Ole Man

    Yep; after I slept and read some other posts, I altered my perception a little. Not a lot, but some….LOL!

    I honestly think we should be playing through Will more. I think as Will goes, so goes this team.
    I know that runs against the grain, Yogi as top dog, but Will has the mental strength and game to put this team on his back and carry them.
    Last night, down the stretch, they forgot that; and then CTC benched him. Sorry that last bit of “strategy” will stick in my craw for awhile.

  • 3AM Burrito

    100% agree on Will, he is senior and been through many battles, it is a waste not to use him more during crunch time and crucial possessions.

  • thrawnjan

    As soon as there’s a loss, the number of comments skyrockets. Hooray internet, hooray

  • DeeLyle

    Comments from”Ole Man” are negative 95% of the time. Just ignore the guy…

  • Kenneth234

    I am not trying to say that Troy deserves to be on the bench, I guess what I am trying to say is that the mental part of the game for him is not quite where it needs to be. Perhaps the lapses he had was more due to playing back to back nights, and the staff not getting him prepared enough to understand the defensive assignments and how his changes based on the substitution patterns that are changing by the minutes. Either way, last night was not Troy’s night.

  • Kenneth234

    Come on, “plays no defense”, that is not accurate at all.

  • Kenneth234

    What?

  • ForeverIU

    Amen.

  • Kelin Blab

    Hollowell completely shut down their second best player…..

  • Bobby34

    Clappy? Well, you just lost any faint amount of credibility you might have had. Please never comment again.

  • Bobby34

    Jersey Boiler more like. Dope.

  • Darrell Allen

    Tough loss … tough to watch! NV’s early foul trouble appeared to affect team’s confidence! Hard to listen to Shabazz’s post game! What a self-centered young man. Good player, but needs to learn a little humility. What was up with his classless hand gesture (sleeping hands) after discarding his defensive man? If he were as good as he thinks he is, he might make it in the NBA. Someone needs to inform him that … in the college game … lowering one’s shoulder and driving into the chest of a defensive player who has established position and is retreating is an offensive foul. The refs didn’t cheat him on the call. However, except for one call … he was routinely permitted to palm/carry the ball on his shake & bake drives! Good ballplayer, but totally lacks humility & character! UCONN didn’t win the game … IU lost the game! Down one point with 22+ seconds left, we should have won the game! We appeared unsure/undecided in setting up the final play. With the new contact rules in place, drive the ball, look for anyone open, get a decent shot up and crash the boards! Why were WS & TW riding the pine with the game on the line? What’s TC’s obsession with Gordon & Holloway? Is this all about recruiting his upcoming younger brother? What happened with the PT for SR? Expect return to better play against Evansville.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    Someone needs to remind Yogi that he is not Steph Curry.

  • MarkDIU10

    Tough game the other night. I don’t know if it was so much as UConn beating us as much as us just not playing well and giving them the game. Sure it came down to a last shot and was just a “tough” overall game with a lot of sloppy play by both teams.
    I am a basketball fan and could not coach the game. So I like getting on here for knowledgable guys on here who actually coached. Its a young team and its early. But here is my thing about that last play. CTC’s X&O’s has come under scrutiny by fans here on ITH over the last few years. My question is why does CTC put Williams and NV in the game on that last play when they hadn’t played in quite a while. The quick fouls on NV took him out of the entire game early. I don’t understand why you put him back in there when it was many others is who carried the load. Was Sheehey not even in the game? Any coaches out there that can educate me with their thoughts on the last play is appreciated.
    I am also beginning to agree that Hollowell should not be a starter for long. Devin Davis is a worker. You won’t see him float around and disappear like JH does.

  • notfargj

    he also turned the ball over three times. if one of those turnovers resulted in a basket, his shot made up for the turnover. in the event two or three of his turnovers resulted in baskets – which is likely the case – his shot is insignificant, other than the context in which it happened.

  • notfargj

    completely? who is their second best player?

  • IUMIKE1

    You don’t see the evidence cause there isn’t any.

    Excellent points.

  • IUMIKE1

    LMAO, Jersey Hoosier points out your incorrect spelling, of one word, and then uses the phrase, which is all that ” you ” will do with Clappy as ” our ” coach. Should go by Jersey Bozo instead. What a chump and makes me believe that, my initial sense that he was just a troll, was spot on.

  • Walton

    I still wanted him to take the last shot. For the reason he seems to always play with the same even keel – laid back but consistently. Seems he would play the same in a clutch situation as a normal one

  • Dylan Wallis

    2 things. Troy should have been on the floor a lot more. Stanford should be getting way more minutes, i have no idea what CTC’s deal is with this kid and having him in the “dog house.” We need him as a secondary ball handler, and i can tell you right now that JH is not the answer to that question.

  • CreamandCrimson

    It really is amazing that one player seems to always end up being “that guy”. Christian Watford was it last year (though not as bad as Verdell Jones two years ago). Not it looks like it’ll be Hollowell. I know Hollowell wasn’t good, not good at all actually. But he did hit a nice jumper late and didn’t cough it up twice late in the game. I don’t see why we need to pick out one guy at all but it’s weird, I find Hollowell’s mistakes stick out to me while I’m watching just because I’m aware of the “Hollowell is terrible” narrative from some people on this site.

  • Gregory Spera

    I wish our coach could “create” instead of Yogi having to.

  • Troy Stauffer

    I agree about being encouraged from this outing, but please let’s not be the fanbase that says, “We’re better than X team that just beat us.”

    The teams play the games, the team that wins is better. You can make predictions about future encounters with similar teams, but give UConn their props, IU is not, at this point in time, based on the facts of head to head results, 25 or 30 points better than them.

    But again, I’m completely with you about the future prospects of this team. And I’d feel good about another UConn matchup LATER in the year, postseason maybe, once we get some more experience against better defenses.

  • Kenneth234

    In general, I think this team is playing more out of basketball instinct rather than through basketball intelligence. Its just too early at this point for most of the players on the floor to understand their role, and their appropriate actions during the flow of the game. Hopefully, over the course of the season, this changes, but for now, its just something that us fans are going to have to deal with. The floor spacing and lack of half court offense and defense break downs to me are evidence of this probable ill.

  • BleedingCrimson

    I don’t understand why everyone is knocking Hollowell or Davis. Yogi’s our leader he shot 6-19! yes he scored 19 points but he also missed 13 shots which Uconn could have easily turned into 30 points (especially with Noah and Troy out). MOST IMPORTANTLY… why doesn’t Crean ever switch Defenses??? I understand these kids are young and they have to learn man-to-man before zoning… but for crying out loud Napier had 27 points! forget development in the last 5 minutes and run a 3-2 or a 1-3-1 or even a box and 1.. it was the championship in Madison Square Garden!!! we lost to cuse because Crean insisted on making our two 6-0 guards man up against 6-6 and 6-4 Carter-Williams and Triche (meanwhile our only guard with any height and our best defending guard (Abel) sat on the bench.. Im just sick of watching Crean in crunch time.. its like he doesn’t know what to do…sometimes you gotta switch it up to win. Lastly I know they only had 59 points but in the last 10 minutes they scored at will… We cant man up the whole season in the big ten…

    Also dont get me wrong I love the Hoosiers and Coach Crean, but against Uconn our players weren’t the only ones looking young out there. Hopefully its a learning experience and we bounce back. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • nwin iu fan

    where would troy yogi go if your thinking nba not a chance neither of them would get drafted

  • ScoopGeoff

    Well, if they had beat us with Vonleh in the line-up you’d have a point… But since the refs (not UConn) took away our biggest advantage, I’ll firmly stand by my statement.

  • Troy Stauffer

    Fair enough. I’ll also give that I _may_ be overreacting in an attempt to distance our fanbase from another that has repeatedly (and recently) played this card; a fanbase that is known for a less than steady grasp of the English language, a non-bifurcated family tree, and a blue wardrobe.

  • TomJameson

    I think for sure Troy is staying another year. Yogi may go if he keeps this pace up, but even at that I would still tag him as staying. Noah is the only one that may go IMO. That’s only my opinion and it’s worth exactly what you paid for it. lol