The Minute After: Kennesaw State

IUKenSt0038

Thoughts on a 90-66 win over the Owls:

This was a little more like it.

Following up Friday’s uninspired victory over Nicholls State, the Hoosiers grabbed the bull by the horns in this one. Save for a defensive lapse in the second half which allowed a run for the Owls (and a bit of a scoring drought for the Hoosiers after that), Indiana dominated this one.

Yogi Ferrell, as he needs to do, set the tone. He scored 10 of Indiana’s first 12 points on his way to 25 total — one shy of his career high. Ferrell hit two 3-pointers in that early stretch and connected on 3-of-6 for the contest.

The Park Tudor grad proved to be Indiana’s best long distance threat in the non-conference season, and opposing Big Ten defenses are going to have to honor him beyond the arc — not an easy task when you couple it with his ability to also get to the rim and break down a defense.

Noah Vonleh (14 points, nine rebounds) had his best game in weeks. It helped he got looks in more ways than just the Hoosiers trying to feed him on the low block. Vonleh made a nice move for a score after receiving the ball out near the free throw line and was the recipient of a few passes at the rim after other Hoosiers had attracted or broken down the Owls’ defense.

His double-double-ish output could be huge for IU in the conference slate if he’s able to provide it on a consistent basis. Vonleh’s defense is still a work in progress as he fouled out this afternoon and was also the recipient of an earful from Ferrell during the first half after he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to during a defensive possession.

Will Sheehey (15 points, 6-of-9 from the field) has now ripped off three strong offensive outings in a row, and that’s important as conference season hits. Sheehey remains the coach on the floor, at one point harping at Hanner Mosquera-Perea for improper defensive positioning. It appears the days of the fired-up-off-the-bench Sheehey are over, but if he can keep scoring like this while also providing teaching and leadership to Indiana’s youth, he bring incredible value to this team.

Luke Fischer looked confident out there today, racking up three blocks in the first half. And, in a shades of Cody Zeller performance, ran ahead of the pack and got the ball for a breakaway dunk. Fischer scored a career-high 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. He certainly has plenty of room for growth and has flashed some freshman moments. But his fundamentals and basketball IQ could make him a safer play as the first big off the bench behind Vonleh instead of Mosquera-Perea during conference play.

The turnover issues remains. Indiana turned the ball over on 26.2 percent of its possessions this afternoon, an unacceptable rate against a team like this. A good chunk of them came for mental lapses or silly decision-making. Troy Williams accounted for six of Indiana’s 20 turnovers amidst some crazy athletic dunks on both sides of halftime. Williams continues to get the start and the tools are all there. But his decision making at times is head-scratching and it’s the kind of stuff that’s going to hurt the already turnover-prone Hoosiers in conference play.

Indiana’s non-conference season would look a little better if they were able to score a win against Connecticut, Syracuse or Notre Dame. But it beat all the teams it was supposed to en route to its 10-3 mark. All of this is amidst a lot of experimenting and unknowns about just what you could get night-to-night from a host of young players trying to emerge on a team with so much turnover and one that’s searching for an identity.

Conference season is here, and if Indiana’s able to improve as it goes along, a trip the dance is there to be had.

  • Victorbear

    Not sure what the mob thinks but I think it’s time to put #33 on the bench; 21 minutes 0-3, 2 points against that team. Really like Luke F and Devin to get those minutes. Hollowell obviously has issues.

  • Andrew

    I would rather put #5 on the bench. He takes being careless with the ball to a whole new level, even on this team. Plus he is a horrific defender, whereas JH at least can hold his own on that end of the floor.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    We beat Kennesaw St. at home…………….so what!!!
    These games are not entertaining to me.
    I know alot has been said about IU’s scheduling, but this is getting old.
    We are 151st. in strength of scheduling, 10 in the B1G.
    To boot, all of the weak teams have been at home, this will ‘not’ prepare us for a tough Big 10.
    I realize that Kentucky’s exodous has left us with a bit of problem, but c’mon.
    Some one here made the suggestion that if you didn’t like the schedule, don’t watch the game.
    Well, if next years preconference season looks like this years, I am going to take that advice….loyalty be damned.
    My time is more valuable than that.

  • Victorbear

    Yea but Troys got a great motor and I love his attitude. If its defense then play Devin…….too bad we don’t have Remy.

  • SCHoosier

    Race cars have a motor too VB..but they crash a lot. I think Troy mishandles the ball in some way one out of every three possessions? Luke earned more minutes today or if you bench Troy as a starter..Fischer would be my #5 starter. Then again what do I know except that for two straight games we’ve had 20 TO’s and allowed the other team to shoot a high 40 % in the second half. Hoosiers are razor sharp for the B-10.

  • HoosierPat

    Can anyone explain why Troy Williams starts and gets 20+ minutes? He can’t shoot, plays way too fast, turns the ball over too much, can’t stay with his man on defense when he has the ball, loses his man when he is playing off ball defense, and cherry picks. Everyone on the team has gotten better, and he has gotten worse. I recognize the talent and potential, but he just isn’t helping this team.

  • HoosierPat

    Hollowell is not the problem. He is way more under control than he was two weeks ago. He has been getting better and I believe he will continue to do so.

  • JohnFromBeyond

    Given we are dead last in the Big 10 in experience, I’d say playing the 10th toughest schedule is about right — this year. There needs to be a blend of confidence-building cupcakes and tougher opponents and we probably hit that pretty well this pre conference season, given our 3 losses. Not sure there is any way our young team can really be prepared for the Big 10 season, it will be learning the hard way I’m afraid.

    Having 10 wins in December might help our tournament resume a little, and we’ll get many chances to knock off some better teams during conference season.

  • HoosierPat

    We have Stan Robinson who is better than Remy.

  • SCHoosier

    Wonder how Coach would have reacted back in Nov if you had predicted that IU would have 20 TO’s in its last two warm-up games against cupcakes. Probably would have said “Oh sure…and those guys will shoot in the high 40% against us the second half too.” Damn..they did. Hope our guys rally for the conference…and I hope everyone on the ITH board has a great Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate. Real b-ball world begins 12/31 at 3pm at that “other” Assembly Hall…the one that doesn’t have $42M to make itself “pretty.”:)

  • gonzo812

    (Team Christmas Dinner)

    “Hey Yogi, pass the mashed potatoes”

    Grabs the potatoes and jumps in the air, looks at everyone at the table before flinging them wildly to someone who’s not paying attention and they land on the Apple turnovers. Meanwhile Crean asks the cook if he could substitute the mashed potatoes for sweet potatoes, the ham for turkey, etc. all while pacing laps around the table and clapping while quoting Joyce.

  • Andrew

    Great motor? All that means is he runs around wildly, which is most of his problem. He had SIX turnovers today in only 24 minutes. JH had one in 21. At this point in time, nothing is more important to this team than playing the 5 guys who best protect the basketball.

    Too bad we don’t have Remy for what? He was not exactly known for his ballhandling. We’re fine w/ Gordon instead.

  • RON B-BALL

    While we’re playing Kennesaw State, Illinois is playing undefeated Missouri. That 1st B1G game has the potential to be ugly. This team is not ready for that level of competition. Next year will be different, but it’s not happening this season. That’s been obvious these last three games.

  • HoosierPat

    Having a “great motor” means nothing if he can’t touch the ball without turning over, I know he wows the uneducated basketball fan with his athleticism, but his mistakes greatly outnumber his productive plays.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    Good points John…however.
    I don’t see how the 10 wins against those 10 opponents are going to help at all outside that it was a victory.
    I don’t judge schedules by age, but by talent.
    Heck, we had a tougher schedule when we had nobodies 6 years ago.
    You may think I’m being unreasonable, and perhaps I am, but I’d rather lose to a good opponent, than slaughter an undermanned one.

  • Victorbear

    Do yourself a favor and go watch the Pacers play, tape the iu game if you are brave enough, that’s what I’m doing.

  • Andrew

    It’s the State Farm Center now.

  • Victorbear

    It did not help Iowas last year.

  • Tucson Hoosier

    It is madness to watch. I would much rather see Stan with those minutes if we are going small or Luke if big.

  • HoosierPat

    Or even Devin Davis! Davis makes some mistakes, as you’d expect from a freshman, but he’s smooth and plays really hard.

  • kbb247

    Identity??? Can’t have one with crazy subbing. Plays small 2 minutes. Plays big 2 minutes??? Confusing anyone?? Fischer and HMP need more playing time. Both played really well overall. NV has to do a better job of post defense b4 the ball is caught or he is going to to be in big trouble in conference play. Yogi, Troy, Will, Hollowell, and NV starting lineup. Luke/HP for NV. Luke/HP for JH. Evan for Troy or Yogi. Stan for Troy or Yogi. JH then subs in for Will. NV in for whoever subbed for him. Will subs in for whoever is playing the four. Yogi and Troy back in for Stan and and Evan. Use DD when someone is in foul trouble or if Luke or HP aren’t playing well. That IMO should be the rotations. And please give them 4 to 5 consecutive minutes at the very least.

  • kbb247

    Forgot to mention. Turn overs are horrendous.

  • Ole Man

    I was entertained. I no longer have great expections for this season; so, it’s fun to watch them play good sometimes.
    Not excusing the sloppy play, etc.
    But just thought today they looked like they were having fun playing basketball. And that’s infectious.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    Maybe next year we can schedule Lower Slobovian St.

  • Tucson Hoosier

    That’s probably the right attitude to have in order to watch this team and not have an ulcer.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Illinois beat Missouri too…

  • HoosierPat

    Did anyone else think Cody Zeller was back when Fischer beat the defense down the court and dunked the ball?

  • Hoosier Hall

    Positives: Luke Fischer showing enormous potential, more assists from Yogi, Sheehey still bringing it and Stan is looking good.
    Negatives: Gordon in a little funk, Troy Williams and Jeremy Hollowell playing like crap, turnovers, Noah is foul prone, turnovers, defensive lapses and more turnovers.

  • HoosierPat

    I agree with everything except the thing about Hollowell. He didn’t play very well today, but he has gotten much better and is under control with the ball. He will keep getting better.

  • BeatWisconsin

    It is simple. TW is not ready to be a starter! Insert Fischer/HMP/Howard at the 5. Let’s at least try this at our next game before big ten starts … er what, next game is a road game in the big ten , guess TW is going to start and somehow stop turning it over …

  • Victorbear

    He’s is best point guard in big ten if you don’t think so tell me who is and please don’t say Aaron Craft (puke), maybe Tim Frazier I could give you.

  • Michael Whelan

    Hollowell turned the ball over on IU’s first possession. He looks lost out there. Crean is finally starting to see it. He didn’t get much playing time this afternoon, and he doesn’t deserve it.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Yeah, as they showed the halftime highlights, I thought it was strange to show CZ. Then it clicked with me that it was Luke from a different camera angle.

  • Ole Man

    Tim Frazier.

  • ScoopGeoff

    That’s because Mizzou, Illinois’ big non-con rival, didn’t hold the series hostage with arena demands…

  • FtWayneNorth

    Have you seen Lower Slobovian?!

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    Ok…that made me laugh, thanx Ft. Wayne.

  • ScoopGeoff

    To an extent I agree… And I’m a big fan of Stan, so any plan that includes more minutes for him I like… But if I’m Crean, and I’m gearing up for a title run in 2015 then I need to iron out as many wrinkles this year as possible. Troy needs to make those mistakes, get pulled from the game, get coached on the spot, then get back in, and hopefully learn as he goes… He has far too much potential over the next couple years to be short-sighted against Kennesaw State.

    Obviously there’s no guarantees, but I’d be willing to take my lumps this year to have some real success next year and beyond. I’m hoping that’s the big picture Crean is looking at… If not, and he just thinks Troy is his best option for now… Hmmmm.

  • ForeverIU

    Zen Spectator. You will live long!

  • Kenneth234

    He didn’t make the few shots he took, and finished the game with one turnover. Even with just two points today, he is still the teams 4th highest scorer, 3rd on the team in rebounds and assists. Not to mention, the turnover he made, was a dead ball turnover, much better than nearly all of the rest of the turnovers by the other players.

  • ForeverIU

    I’m going to pretend you said this about some fictitious team and roll over with laughter. Merry Xmas.

  • Ole Man

    LOL.

  • Kenneth234

    I agree with Noah’s need to play a little better with positioning on the defensive post. However, the perimeter defenders (especially Troy Williams) needs to do a lot better job using their wingspan to deny or at least force a little hesitation on the entry passes.

  • IULore

    I see a lot of positives here. Luke is coming along well, looked a lot like Zeller on that one dunk, and Yogi is starting to play like a superstar. I think we are developing the all new “Hurryin’ Hoosiers.” Fun to watch.

  • Southport65

    Granted Troy has more than his share of Turnovers today and that is bad but he did do somethings that JH did not. He had 4 steals, 4 assists and 7 points mostly because of his motor. He is a freshman and will get better with ball handling. Victor was just as bad his 1 st year.

    JH had no steals, no assists and just 2 points. it is not enough from a starter like JH who has been at IU a year longer. IMHO Robinson does more with his minutes than JH and Fischer rebounded nicely from his poor game on Friday with 10 points and 3 blocks. That is how Freshman are.
    Very few players can be like a Cody Zeller or NV their first year. These kids are gong to do some amazing things before they leave IU but they can also drive you crazy.
    Merry Christmas Hoosier fans and Happy Holidays.

  • NC Hoosier

    These 10 wins will do nothing when it comes to our tournament resume. Actually, I am wrong. It will do something. It will hurt our chances of an at-large bid. Although we have 10 wins, we have beaten nobody.

  • Kenneth234

    Iowa also struggled to get enough quality wins in the conference. We will be in the same boat, if we don’t find a way to knock off some of the top teams at least at home this season.

  • kbb247

    I can agree with that as well. Good point. NV seems to always let the post player catch it where he wants. I am sure this will come with experience. Our perimeter defenders need to suck up or pressure the ball when they pick their dribble up.

  • tate14

    In my opinion , Stan Robinson deserves more minutes. Plays hard but under control. Thinks pass first but can finish when needed. Has knack for being in the right place when play breaks down, loose balls etc. Should be getting some of TW or JH time. They force things and are out of control.

  • JohnFromBeyond

    Sorry, I’m not buying the statement that winning will hurt our chances. That’s just an overreaction. I agree that we have beat nobody so far, but that’s better than a 7-6 record against higher quality opponents. Losing to good teams doesn’t help our resume. It may prepare us better to win against some Big 10 opponents in the future, maybe, but I’ll take those 10 wins with this young team and be happy for now.

    We STILL have to beat some quality opponents, and we will get that chance in the near future to go along with the cupcake wins.

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