The Minute After: Notre Dame

  • 12/14/2013 6:25 pm in

Thoughts on a 79-72 loss to Notre Dame:

Try as they might, the Hoosiers just couldn’t get over the hump in Indianapolis today. It was a game IU never led, despite threatening to take the lead on several occasions. The Hoosiers trailed by just two with two minutes to go, but they had trouble getting anything to go through the hoop their last few possessions. Yogi Ferrell missed three shots and the front end of a one-and-one (He did score Indiana’s only points of the last two minutes on a made 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left). Will Sheehey missed a trailing 3-pointer. Evan Gordon missed a 3-pointer as time expired.

Indiana entered today’s game with the ninth best adjusted defensive efficiency mark in the country per KenPom, but its defense today was lacking, especially in the first half. They got killed inside in the first 20 minutes, as fifth-year senior Garrick Sherman had 13 at the break as Noah Vonleh had trouble containing him. Indiana also lost Notre Dame players in transition before and after halftime, allowing the Irish to get some easy looks. Indiana also didn’t stay close with sharpshooter Pat Connaughton too many times in the second half. He hit 3-of-4 from distance over the final 20 minutes and was once left wide open as the Hoosiers curiously tried to sink into a zone during one possession. Jerian Grant didn’t shoot it great (5-of-14), but he was a perfect 11-of-11 from the line en route to 23 points.

After Will Sheehey’s past four rough outings on offense, he came alive early and often in this one. Notre Dame zoned Indiana up and there was Sheehey cutting to the middle of the zone and hitting mid-range jumpers time and again. The senior also hit a 3-pointer this afternoon and finished 9-of-15 for 22 points, which tied a career high. Evan Gordon started out the contest by continuing with his hot hand, but it cooled as the game wore on. He finished just 3-11 from the field, all three coming from beyond the arc. For a team that struggles from distance, Indiana was decent in Indianapolis today (7-of-20, 35 percent). Stanford Robinson (six points) gave the Hoosiers a spark during a crucial period in the second half when Sheehey and Noah Vonleh sat on the bench with three fouls a piece and IU had an offensively challenged lineup on the court for a stretch.

Indiana has excelled at getting to the line this season, but it didn’t happen much today. Notre Dame did a nice job of contesting without fouling around the rim and had the size and athleticism to not let the Hoosiers run all over them. Indiana’s free throw rate (FTA/FGA) was just 25.4 percent, well below its season average of 54.8 percent, though they did shoot it well when they got there (13-of-16, 81.3 percent). Notre Dame, on the other hand, got to the line 30 times (55.6% free throw rate) and made 23 of those attempts.

With no legitimate tests between now and its New Year’s Eve matchup with Illinois, Indiana failed to pick up a marquee non-conference win for its NCAA tournament resume. They’ll have to use the brutal Big Ten season to stack some wins against good teams, and that’s no easy task.

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  • Dave Carnes

    I was just commenting on his athletic ability.He is a turnover waiting to happen when he dribbles.

  • Ole Man

    Your thought on chemistry seems spot on to me. It certainly seems lacking.

  • David Macer

    But it is still up to the players to execute !! The pieces are all there. Remember AE missed an entire year of competition. That hurts development. He is basically a freshman again !!!

  • Dave Carnes

    U R right he has to shoot when open. Deffering to the other players aint working

  • David Macer

    JH leads the team in blocks and defense is one of his stronger suits. Right now he needs to think about offense more. Was glad to see his 7 dimes against 1 TO. He is doing what Yogi should be.

  • David Macer

    Hollowell was credited with 7 dimes and 1 TO against ND. What game were you watching ??
    Williams is a freshman and still learning to play at this level. You might have said the exact same thing about VO when he was a freshman.
    Davis may not have any assists but that kids plays hard on every play. THAT’s WHY HE’S PLAYING !!

  • David Macer

    WOW !!! Did you just join the bandwagon to fall off ?? I have been a Hoosier fan since the sixties !! Yes I am old (57). Yes I get disappointed when they don’t play well. But they we will have 10 wins before the B1G and they have 9 home games in B1G. Over the years, we win 80% of B1G home games. That means we go 17-14 at worst. Do you really think we will lose to Penn State, Nebraska and Northwestern on the road ?? A more likely scenario is 20-11 and on the fence. Should we get a marquee win against MSU, OSU or Wisconsin at home, then our record improves further.

  • b_side

    See here’s the problem – you act like I put Crean on a pedestal. Far from it. I have my issues with his style like others. This debate was born out of your comment that IU hasn’t had an offense under Crean’s tenure. I used verifiable and reputable stats (Kenpom) to put that notion to sleep. Despite those stats proving your generalized theory incorrect, I’m still the one giving too much credit to Crean. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • IUMIKE1

    I’ve chosen to just kinda lurk around in the shadows after this game while reading, analyzing, thinking and taking everyone’s comments into consideration.

    That particular math example jumped out at me too, well, that and HMP being 1 for 1 from the field, 2 for 2 from the line, 0 fouls, but only playing 3 minutes. Then there’s the question of why AE almost has to be forced to shoot, FROM ANYWHERE, let alone open 3’s. For me those are the real head scratchers. Was wide open from the elbow once and almost got a five second call looking for someone to pass to instead of shooting the damn thing. Then there’s the ole stand by when it comes to head scratchers in that Yogi STILL gets up in the air with no place to go with the ball much too often.

  • IUMIKE1

    ANYBODY taking it to Calislimy and his band of turds gives me a warm, fuzzy, cuddly feeling. Even if it’s the Russians.

  • Simon DoGood

    Agreed 100%. Many of these freshman are GREAT athletes but they played AAU ball where defense and passing are an afterthought. We need to find the players on the team who are willing to play defense first, pass to the open man second, score third and crash the board ALL the time.

    Not complicated. A great coach once said you can ALWAYS play defense”.

  • IUMIKE1

    It was CC’s job to have and he chose not to take it at the time. The situation that was presented to him at St Louis was a set of circumstances that would not come along often, maybe at all, and made him feel like he couldn’t pass it up. Guess you’re one of the insiders that “knows” what “really” happened. Since you are, care to enlighten the rest of us noninsiders ?

  • IUMIKE1

    Agree with the particular points in this comment.

  • IUMIKE1

    Damn it Alex, if Milla gets a kick off button I want one too.

    Mom ? Dad ? Alex gave Milla a kick off button but won’t give me one !

  • IUMIKE1

    Guess 95 to 98 percent of the coaching out there is “trash heap coaching” if hanging a banner in the amount of time Crean has had a decent team to work with at IU is the where the bar is set at. Man, Mister Negativity, you wear that drum out. You should probably just go ahead and quit wasting your time on here and get that FireTomCrean. com website up and running.

  • IUMIKE1

    Stop you are making “Scooter” very confused as he hasn’t said, ” this team doesn’t like playing for Crean”, in his last 3 or 4 comments. I for one am starting to worry. NOT !

  • Ole Man

    Your stat from Kenpom backs up nothing. If anything it strengthens what I said about the players making the offense work. My “generalized theory” isn’t generalized at all, but based upon the same stats you quote. Two different observations upon those stats.

  • b_side

    Couldn’t be more wrong. I’m just gonna copy and paste my previous post because it hasn’t changed.

    “When Cody/Vic and an upperclassmen team was here, we had a top 5 offense according to Kenpom. Crean is coaching 2 returnees and 8-9 new faces playing regularly. This isn’t an apology, just stating the obvious challenges that come with player turnover.”

    I can’t argue with the “players have to execute the offense” part of it. But those players weren’t just talented – they had struggled with it early on, lost a ton of games and developed over the course of 3-4 years (with the exception of Cody and Yogi whose superior talents enabled them to blend right in). We don’t have that mix right now. We will next year.

    I can see it now….when the offense looks more fluid, you’ll note the arrival of JBJ and the current crop players (who won’t look anything like this year after a year of experience in the system), while I’ll offer credit to both the players as well as the Coach who recruited them here, got them to buy in to it and helped them develop during their “season on a brink.” Feel free to respond, but I’m done here.

  • MillaRed

    I remember the crowd’s collective gasp when he wouldn’t take that 10 footer.

  • Ole Man

    Thanks for your response. It’s all good. As passionate IU fans we must, as you previously stated, agree to disagree on this point.

  • AJGuyton

    CreamandCrimson appears to be an advocate of censorship. I think censorship has unique benefits for any board. Hopefully someone can add you as a sytem administrator for this website so that you will be able to determine what is appropriate material for the board. If not, you could always move to Bejing. I would recommend using an N95 rated respiratory mask, however, as PM2.5 exposure has been seven times higher than the World Health Organization’s recommneded daily level . Best of luck in either endeavor!