The Minute After: Syracuse

  • 12/03/2013 10:07 pm in

Thoughts on a 69-52 loss to the Orange:

This had the makings of a great one.

During their first true road game inside a rocking Carrier Dome, the Hoosiers withstood an early 10-0 deficit. They stopped settling for 3-pointers, started working into the teeth of the zone (or simply beat it back down the court before it could set up) and started scoring points. IU didn’t shoot it great over the first 20 minutes (9-of-28, 32.1 percent), but it did what it does best by rebounding 50 percent of its misses and getting some putbacks — Troy Williams, in particular, had a spectacular tip-in — and some trips to the line (8-of-9, 88.9 percent).

Indiana also didn’t let Syracuse have its way too much on offense. At half, the Hoosiers had scored a respectable 1.03 points per possession and trailed by just four (33-29). It was a man’s game at the rim with both teams’ back lines swatting shots — athletes all over the court on both sides of the ball.

Williams and Noah Vonleh (who lived at the line tonight and made 13-of-16) scored the first two buckets of the second half and this thing was all knotted up at 33 with 17:51 remaining. IU’s freshmen feared little and it looked like the Hoosiers, if nothing else, were going to keep it close enough to make things interesting.

But the wheels absolutely fell off the remainder of this one. The Hoosiers turned it over again and again. They looked lifeless and lost and devoid of energy. They failed to score a field goal for 12:42 of game clock in the second half. Trevor Cooney got hot. When he wasn’t hitting 3-pointers (5-of-9 from distance, 21 points total) he was getting steals (four) and scoring on the other end. His partner in crime at the top of the Syracuse 2-3 zone, freshman point guard Tyler Ennis, also had a great game (17 points, seven rebounds, eight assists).

The Hoosiers were able to get the back of the zone in foul trouble as C.J. Fair, Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, Michael Gbinije and Baye Moussa Keita all had four fouls, while Jerami Grant had three. But with Cooney and Ennis doing a lot of damage themselves, and the Hoosiers without any answers on offense, it didn’t affect the outcome of the game.

Indiana, as has been the case all season, had trouble from distance in this one, shooting just 4-of-14 from the 3-point line. All four of those came from Yogi Ferrell, as he remains just about the only IU player that’s been reliable from the perimeter all season. A flagrant 1 foul from Vonleh in the first half and a flagrant 2 and ejection for Austin Etherington in the second half added the the ugliness on the night for the Hoosiers. By the end of this one, the Hoosiers had turned the ball over on 27.7 percent of their possessions and had an effective field goal percentage of just 41.5 percent.

If this early season is all about learning for these young Hoosiers, they must figure out how to keep the energy at a high level for a full 40 in an environment such as this. The Big Ten season offers plenty of similar road tests in just a few weeks’ time.

Filed to:

  • Walton

    So maybe more of a consistency thing, which experience should improve

  • HoosierGrampy

    Appears Christian Watford mentored Jeremy Hollowell very well. Stand around, rotate thumbs, look interested but only play when you feel like it. He needs to find a comfortable spot on the bench and stay there. He’s like the Tin Woodman in the Wizard of Oz, i.e., no heart.

  • Hoosiersdad65

    Thank you I agree totally.

  • Ole Man

    What I meant was that “fair or not”, it always goes back to the coach. I should have been clearer. Have to remember that others cannot read minds any better than I can. LOL.

  • InTheMtns

    K234, Will was WIDE open when he began the dunk. But he went so soft and so slow that Syracuse had time to recover and get there for the block. We’ve all seen Will throw it down authority before and If he had done so on this play, he would have had the basket. And probably an and-one, to boot. There were a couple other times that Will was swatted at the rim as well, and I’m not sure if those were his or not, But this one was his for the taking and he was too passive.

  • InTheMtns

    Agreed.

  • IULore

    Fair is capable of shutting himself down.

  • Ole Man

    LOL.

  • Wyatt

    I’m not dissapointed about losing, I’m dissapointed in the way our coach acts…like a 5 year old. If you can’t admit the over-signing is a problem then you too are delusional.

  • Wyatt

    OK haha keep living the dream season of last year, because that’s the best season he’ll have at IU, but you’re right I’m an idiot and a prick. I don’t know anything. If you think that the over-signing didn’t force a kid out the door you sir need your head checked. I don’t have a problem admitting that I don’t like CTC. I’ll see you on the same bandwagon in 2020 when he has yet to take this team to a final four.

  • SCHoosier

    U make a point..Stan really tried to run things..then he decided to start dribbling INTO the zone. Not good..but hey he’ll learn.

  • HoosierDiesel

    If you were not yet born the last time IU won a National Championship in Men’s Basketball (April 1987), then kindly STFU!

  • b_side

    It’s a two-way street and Crean is simply protecting himself. If we’re not competitive during a season after early entrants to the draft, then you’d complain that Crean didn’t put enough talent on the floor. Can’t have a both ways.

    And let’s be real, college basketball is a business for both players and coaches. Players looking out for their careers in the future (i.e. more playing time = better chance to play pro ball, whether it be international, the NBDL or the NBA). Coaches are trying to keep their jobs from the clenches of a rabid fan base.

  • hoosier1158

    CJ isn’t even close to being the player Calbert was. Calbert is my all time favorite hoosier.

  • Kenneth234

    Maybe we could set up a lob pass off one of Hartman’s 3 pt shots. At least their within range of Williams athleticism, then we could just blame Williams for failing to convert them!

  • Kenneth234

    Was it within 5 feet of the rim…really, I don’t know…I would bet not.

  • yimyames

    Crean was exactly 0 for 0 on field goal attempts in that 13 minutes.

  • hoosier1158

    That is the responsibility you get when you take that head coaching position.

  • hoosier1158

    Exactly. Will is a very good player and he should have the opportunity to lead. Will had several shots that just rimmed in and then out. That happens to everyone.

  • hoosier1158

    Right, he made a good play on the ball, he did have a hand in his back, but i didn’t really see a push. ref’s taking care of the home team. : )

  • dwdkc

    Venting is therapeutic. happens every time

  • IUMIKE1

    Well my mind is trying to put a mental block on it but as best as I can remember it was off bad enough that when I said, ” wth, an old man like me with two bad knees could come that close or closer ” it didn’t seem like it was all that unbelievable.

  • Kenneth234

    Are you saying Crean was afraid to shoot? Joking!