The Minute After: Nebraska

  • 01/30/2014 11:07 pm in

Thoughts on a 60-55 loss to the Cornhuskers:

This one, with its epic collapse by the Hoosiers, will give you a headache.

Indiana’s zone D flustered the Cornhuskers in the first half. They scored just 19 points on a woeful .57 points per possession. It was a lot of individual play for Nebraska, an offense that also turned it over on 33.1 percent of its possessions. Terran Petteway had just five points. Indiana had its turnover issues as well (36.1 turnover percentage), but it scored 10 second-chance points by rebounding 46 percent of its misses. Stanford Robinson had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting; Yogi Ferrell added 11 points by hitting 4-of-8 (3-of-4 from distance). Indiana punched the margin out to 16 before it settling at a 13-point lead at half, 32-19.

It was a strong first 20 for IU  — though also a bit lucky with two banked 3-pointers — and it had a victory in its sights.

But the Hoosiers failed to do it for a full 40 tonight and it doomed them in an arena that can get rowdy and where Nebraska is now 10-1 on the season. The Cornhuskers scored on their first six possessions of the second half and IU’s 13-point lead dwindled to just four with 15:49 to go. Nebraska would get hot from behind the arc after intermission, draining 6-of-11 from distance. Some of those 3-pointers came on open looks in Indiana’s zone that crumbled after a strong first half. No bigger 3-pointer came for Nebraska than Petteway’s with 2:39 remaining to put Nebraska up six, 56-50. Despite Indiana flirting with a full comeback during the final two minutes of this one, it just wasn’t in the cards.

After scoring that paltry .57 points per possession in the first half, the Cornhuskers reversed the trend in a big way in the second, scoring a strong 1.46 points per possession over the final 20 minutes.

Where Indiana’s D let Nebraska go off in big ways to come back and eventually win the game, its offense also did it no favors. It was outscored 41-23 in the second half. Ferrell’s only points came on a late 3-pointer. Vonleh ended the game with five turnovers, just three rebounds (only one second-chance point for the Hoosiers after the break to go along with it) and seven points. The thing about Indiana’s drive-drive-drive offense is a defense can pack it in and take the driving lanes away, and Indiana has no shooters with which to keep the defense honest.

So Nebraska would pack it in and the shot clock would tick and tick and tick and Indiana would have to flail something up late. As Tim Miles said after the game: “They were looking at their bench, they were looking around. We got ’em.”

Evan Gordon made some bad decisions for turnovers at crucial times. Vonleh was a non-factor. A lineup featuring Devin Davis and Hanner Mosquera-Perea played the stretch before the final stretch and they aren’t exactly two guys that are going to get the offense over the hump.

Add in a season high turnover percentage (31.4) for the Hoosiers and it was yet another reason they didn’t pull this one out. So it goes this season for IU. Head-scratching stuff mixed in with promise, but ultimately a loss.

Undefeated-in-the-Big-Ten Michigan heads to Assembly Hall on Sunday. A loss and the Hoosiers fall to 3-6 in conference, the road to an NCAA Tournament spot getting darker by the day.

Filed to:

  • MillaRed

    I am not stubborn! Yes I am! I don’t want to talk about it!

    All good Calbert and I go wayyyyyyyy back.

  • MillaRed

    Interesting point.

  • MillaRed

    Coach is not afraid to turn a valid question around and toss it back at the media. And when you push that button, it’s pretty obvious. I’m not saying it’s frequently. But it’s there.

  • HoosierinDC

    Please re-read my posting because I

    1. Never said anything about another B1G team starting 3 frosh and a Soph, or any team/conference in the country for that matter.

    2. I purely stated, “There are a lot of teams starting freshmen (every year) and they are having more success than us. That excuse is getting old.” UK is starting a couple frosh, or more, every year and doing pretty well with their inexperience (with the exception of last year). UK, KU, NC, Duke, Mich are starting frosh every year and seem to be doing fairly well.

    3. Funny that you bring up Michigan, though, as they are more inexperienced than us on an experience per minute basis. In fact, along with Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas, and Texas make up 4 of the top 10 least experienced teams in the country. I think it is fair to say that they are ALL having a more successful year than us. This is based on a players mpg and their grade level, it is not just the starting lineup.

    4. Oh, since you brought up starting line-ups (or maybe I just did), we have had 3 frosh and a soph start a total of…..3 games. Say again? Yes, that has been our starting lineup for 3 of 21 games with the other 18 consisting of 2 frosh, a soph, a senior, and either a senior or soph as the fifth player. Even though we rarely start 3 frosh I’ll give you a successful big ten team that did in fact start 3 frosh almost all of the time – UM’s 12-13 team didn’t do too bad. Did they?

    Now, yes, inexperience and youth is an obstacle that we must learn to win with. It is hard to have such a young team…. yet there are young teams doing well each year. AND some of the coaches of those young players make adjustments to make up for their youthfulness. Just saying. We’ll keep growing and I think we’ll make a run in B1G tourney (we CAN win it) and get into the field of 64, or 68 or however many they’ll add this year.

    Cheers!

  • Jersey Hoosier

    I totally disagree with you, as I usually do. I have no problem with amount that Crean is being paid. In fact, if it took a $10MM comp package to hire a coach who could (1) run a clean program and (2) win national championships, I would not object to that (particularly because I am not an Indiana taxpayer. Tom Crean may deliver on the first part of the equation, but he has not and, I believe, never will deliver on the second part. He may be a good recruiter (although I would suggest that Gary Harris, GRIII, Deshaun Thomas, Mitch McGary, and numerous others attending other schools suggest that he is just ok), but his lack of game management skill all too often wastes that talent. Yes he did win the Big Ten championship last year and sweep Michigan and Michigan State. But with the players that he had, he should have. However, what we all know is that what followed last year was not so pretty.
    I firmly believe that all of the people who have any kind of stake in IU’s basketball program – the players, students, alumni, Indiana taxpayers, whoever – have an absolute right to have their judgments heard. And if that chaps your khaki’s – well, I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to deal with it.

  • Jersey Hoosier

    No, they didn’t because he won the national championship the year before. Frankly, I’m not enamored of Calipari’s coaching skills, but until Crean puts a banner up at the end of Assembly Hall, all comparisons with coaches who have are irrelevant.

  • Jersey Hoosier

    Totally agree. If your team loses focus, refocus them. Don’t believe that happened last night.

  • TomJameson

    This is a perfect example of “inciteful” language, wording that incites a negative emotion, and reaction. Using phrases like “He who likes…” and “Crean lovers” (which I suppose makes the speaker a Crean hater?), “running dementedly”, etc…

    Other than the comment about Tim Miles (a good coach actually), there was NOTHING constructive about this post. Except as a great example of how to not have a civil discussion.

  • TomJameson

    LOL. That was a great summary on the JH commentary front!

  • IUJeff

    Don’t forget we lost Fisher who would have been playing the 5 spot some considerable time by now. Which would have allowed Noah to face the basket more and likely helped this team immensely.

  • Ole Man

    Agree. Think it’s a futile “what if” gesture.
    CTC is our coach. We all love him. He drives us all crazy sometimes.
    I’ve been cheering for IU for 40 + years.
    I’ve seen players and coaches come and go.
    If you open your mind, you can find something to like about each and every one of them.
    Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what I just wrote. LOL> However, I personally find it worth the effort.

  • Ole Man

    Meant to write that I did not want you to take it personally.
    Truly did.
    I’m just frustrated with hearing that observation over and over again (particularly in the Forum).
    Agree that those fans exist. They always will.
    It’s really hard sometimes; but I try to ignore them.
    Again, was not meaning in any way to “go at you.”

  • Mattcolliu

    HF76- I, too, am a Bears fan, and was a Cubs fan until about 2 years ago until I saw no point in spending 5 months of the year in frustration. I will, however, always be an IU fan.

  • gonzo812

    I’m not saying he’s great right now. I’m saying he needs minutes to get better because we’re going to need him next year. Stan had 3 horrible possesions at the end of the game too. We’re not good this year and it’s time to start looking ahead to next year. But I hear you.

  • gonzo812

    That I can agree with totally. It just seems if his minutes were more consistent he could develop more confindence. And most of our players are turnover machines.

  • gonzo812

    I honestly didn’t realize he played that many minutes. He didn’t play well last night for sure. My statement was more of a blanket statement of the entire season thus far but a good point by you none the less.

  • HoosierFan76

    Abandoning your Cubs fandom is a decision only you can make. However, before you turn your back on them for life, I ask you to envision how utterly incredible a Cubs World Series parade and celebration would be. At some point, it has to happen. Let’s hope we’re all alive to see it.

  • gonzo812

    You also left out an assist, a steal and 3 points (should’ve been 4 if not for the violation). Not amazing numbers by any stretch but nobody put up great numbers last night. We were bad all around. I just think if he got 10-15 a game he could improve, but whatever.

  • InTheMtns

    I quit reading right after you said “Creanites.”

  • Scooter

    Oh but it is ok because Crean oversigns players and turns his back on veteran 5th year players.

  • Scooter

    I feel you were spot on. God analysis.

  • Scooter

    Good

  • Scooter

    I have been skeptical of CTC since game 1 at IU. Over 6 years of inconsistencies and lack of in game coaching improvements I am still skeptical.

  • Tomcanola

    I think we lost the game because we have too many players with limited abilities and some poor coaching. Let’s start with coaching. Someone has to tell Vonleh that he only gets one dribble down low and then go straight up. He had 5 turnovers trying to dribble through 4 guys. When is someone tell Stan Robinson (who I think is our future) to move the ball out of his hand and into his finger tips when shooting free throws? Someone needs to tell Yogi and Gordon that they Only make 3 pointers when they jump straight up and square up. Gordon has been jumping forward and missing every one. Crean has been recruiting too many players with limited abilities. Besides Yogi name one player who can shoot off the dribble. If you run a dribble drive offense like we do You have to have people who can shoot off the dribble. DUH. . Hanner can do one thing , jump. He can’t dribble more than 2 ft without turning it over. Williams can jump and run period. Will Sheehey can drive and hit the short jumper period. Gordon has been giving us zero stats recently. We just have too many players with limited basketball skills period.

  • Scooter

    Buddy, it is going to take more than a year for us to compete at a high level again. Patience is a virtue all Hoosier fans have hsd to attain over the past 27 years.

    Did you forget that Cal and UK had an Elite 8, Final 4 and NCAA Title prior to the NIT last year? Crean has never experienced that level of consistency and success.

    Keep in mind, these players run the offense that Crean teaches and dictates in games. 55 points against Nebraska? You would have thought with that few of points we would have played Syracuse.

  • Scooter

    Crean’s free pass of tough questions needs to end. Time for some real questions. Do reporters where kid gloves in the Assembly Hall press room?

  • Scooter

    Nasty, no. Short and agitated, yes.

  • Scooter

    Someone needs to tell Crean Vonleh is a PF.

  • Scooter

    Yes, i would take Matta any day.

  • JerryCT

    Of course I completely agree. Against UM I think the screening is most important because I do not see them as tough . A few Tom Pritchard screens and they think twice about trying to break over the top. I see DD as our best hope

    On defense NV/HMP MUST hedge out on the dribbler if it is Levert or Stauskas and stop the rhythm and direction

  • NA Hoosier

    And setting good screens is very coachable. We haven’t seen a good screening team since Knight left.

  • Tom Crean is not paid out of Indiana taxpayer money. He is paid out of Indiana University basketball program funds. That program is not supported by taxpayers.. the University granted does get tax money, but it does not go toward funding athletic programs.. You’re free to bash him all you want, but I do not agree with you, because your basic assumptions are wrong.. Additionally, Gary Harris’ mom is a Purdue graduate.. It was a pretty foregone conclusion that he would not be going to IU, no matter what CTC did in trying to recruit him. We are not going to always get every top player in Indiana.. Mitch McGary, liked Indiana basketball so well he went out East to a basketball factory to High School. He had no ties to wanting to ply for his State school. Jeremy Hollowell was a highly recruited Indiana player in Indiana. I was delighted when he chose Indiana…. it doesn’t always turn out like you would hope. Some players just don’t make the transition to college basketball as well as others. IU is ever going to get every top guy we go after.
    If you’re an IU alumnus, then I can agree with you, you have a right to voice your opinion, but just because you live in Indiana or pay taxes in Indiana doesn’t mean you have any more say in what Tom Crean makes than the next guy. And you’re more like to have your undies in a bunch than I am, I don’t even wear khakis.

  • NA Hoosier

    What unprecedented success? One B1G championship?

  • NA Hoosier

    Look at Crean’s 15 years as a coach. If that’s the type of winning we’re going to see over the next x amount of years with Crean then I think people will continue to have very legitimate concerns about his coaching.

  • calbert40

    Par for the course for some posters, including the one in question. Sadly, that type of post gets 55ish up votes, while reasonable posts on the site have 5 with more down votes. Ugh.

  • calbert40

    Still beating the Pritchard drum, I see 🙂

    He did set solid screens, though. If Sloan isn’t available, maybe we can get him to come back?!

  • aHoopandaPrayer

    #1 Ranking, B1G Championship, two top-five draft picks.