Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Nebraska

  • 01/31/2014 3:10 pm in

Indiana dropped to 13-8 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten on Thursday night with a 60-55 loss to Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss, which dropped the Hoosiers to 1-3 away from Assembly Hall in conference play:

· Turnovers may define Indiana’s season: After struggling with turnovers throughout most of the non-conference and then shoring them up briefly earlier in Big Ten play, the Hoosiers have been unable to shake the epidemic and it’s proving costly. Indiana’s turnover percentage against Nebraska — a season-high of 31.5 — was a major factor in the loss. The Hoosiers were actually worse turning it over in the first half, which is hard to believe when you consider they once led by 16, but the reality is that all of those mistakes prevented an even bigger halftime cushion.

The overall numbers for IU turnover wise this season are comparable to Tom Crean’s first two IU teams and are the third highest totals dating back to 2002-2003, the earliest season that has KenPom.com data available:

013114turnovers

· Turnovers aside, this was a game Indiana needed to win and should have won: Indiana was a slight underdog going into Thursday night, but those expectations shifted substantially when the Hoosiers went into halftime with a 13-point cushion. At that point, Indiana had a win probability of 87.5 percent.

Instead, this loss gets filed alongside the Illinois game on Dec. 31, the Northwestern game on Jan. 18 and the Michigan State game on Jan. 21 as close conference games where the Hoosiers came up short. With a 3-5 league record and Michigan at home and Minnesota at Williams Arena coming up next, the road gets no easier from here.

· 21 games in, IU doesn’t have a set rotation: The Hoosiers played 13 different guys in the first half of Thursday night’s loss and only Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey played more than 30 minutes. According to KenPom’s bench rank statistic, only Purdue and Iowa are playing more guys. But for as deep as Crean went on the bench, the production it offered statistically wasn’t very strong.

In a total of 59 minutes, IU’s bench produced just seven points and committed seven of the team’s 19 turnovers. There’s no doubt that Indiana is playing hard and attempting to bring fatigue to its opponents, but in a 60-possession game (the slowest pace since the Syracuse game), it’s fair to question the benefit of playing so many guys and not sticking primarily with the seven or eight who provide the best chance to win.

· Yogi Ferrell is Indiana’s most consistent player and it’s not close: It was another strong effort overall for Indiana’s sophomore floor general, who finished with 14 points, five assists, three rebounds, a steal and just one turnover in 37 minutes.

Unfortunately, Nebraska bottled him up in the second half and save for a late 3-pointer, he nearly went scoreless over the game’s final 20 minutes. With the focus on stopping Ferrell and denying him shots in the second half, no one else stepped up for the Hoosiers and IU’s offense, which is now 10th in league games, went stagnant against the zone.

· Indiana’s defense was poor after halftime: The Hoosiers closed out on shooters, didn’t foul and owned the defensive glass through the first 20 minutes, which was a big reason for the comfortable lead despite all of the turnovers. Nebraska scored just .57 points per possession in the first half, rebounded just 6.6 percent of its misses and had a free throw rate of just 4.3 percent.

The second half was a much different story as Nebraska found its rhythm early on its way to a 1.46 points per possession performance with a free throw rate of 85.7. It was a total 180 from half to half and the game turned quickly as the Huskers needed less than four minutes to match their entire first half offensive output.

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  • dssnyder1

    that says it all. sheehey is definitely not the same without those players. he does seem to have lost his shooting touch on pull up jumpers, but at the end of the day I like what he brings to the team.
    I am WS fan

  • Outoftheloop

    You are not watching the game! Will Sheehey is the only IU player who is really playing basketball: talking, moving without the ball, cutting, getting good quality shots, relentless on defense, helping on defense when others are beaten off of the dribble, solid rebounding, giving 100% every second on the court, directing his teammates into position, total team play! But poor Will just can’t make his good shots the way he has in the past. He is the one guy that must be on the floor for this team to play well (Yogi can win a game on his own, without good team play). He is still shooting FG .434 to Yogi’s .423. His 3-point shooting is pathetic .259, but his 3-point shot selection is awesome! If Will can just shoot 35% from 3-point range and 50% FG, Indiana will win a lot of games!

  • Outoftheloop

    Agreed!

  • Outoftheloop

    You are completely wrong! Yogi A/TO 85/56; Gordon 29/24; Will 36/36. No one else is close to 1.0 or better! He is a forward not a guard.

  • Outoftheloop

    You don’t watch the games if you put Hanner and Jeremy in the same sentence. Hanner is working very hard and improving every game. His FG % is .563, FT .769, Rebounds .27/minute, assists+steals+blocks=17/ TO 18. Each of these stats is Cody Zeller like, just the minutes are not there, 174=8.3/game. Play Hanner with Noah, Yogi, Will and Stan 30 minutes/game and this team wins!

  • Outoftheloop

    You got that WRONG! You can only play 4 years out of 5, or 6 with a medical red-shirt. That ship has sailed.

  • Outoftheloop

    This works with Noah playing with Hanner, Yogi, Will and Stan!

  • chiswede

    The other thing that stinks is that since all of our freshmen are so athletic, they never had to develop an outside shot in high school. They dominated with the drive and no one could ever stop them. Can’t do that in college and especially not the B1G.

  • Outoftheloop

    To actually make it to the Final Four, a “Final Four Team” must beat another Final Four Team in the Tournament. There are always 4-9 “Final Four (quality) Teams” each year. Syracuse was one and they beat IU (another one) to make the Final Four!

  • Outoftheloop

    Why should we not “say” what we believe. You just have a different opinion. So what?

  • Outoftheloop

    We want Final Fours, B1G Championships, Banners,…Coach Crean will have his hands full EVERY year! That IS why he gets paid the BIG BUCKS!

  • Outoftheloop

    So you give them their full 4 years to perform! Say after me…”I remember Landon Turner…Matt Nover…etc.”

  • Outoftheloop

    Agreed!

  • Outoftheloop

    Put Noah at the free throw line extended (he can make shots from there all day long) and have Hanner move, cut, slash in and out of the lane (he is a great athlete). Not hard to do and still have dribble drive for Yogi and Stan and back-cuts, slashing by Will.

  • Outoftheloop

    Not really. Hanner assists+steals+blocks=17, TO 18. Not good but not bad for a raw talent.

  • Outoftheloop

    Who needs rest? Yogi, possibly, so you give him 3-4 minutes before the half and 3-4 minutes one other time in the game (with Evan and Stan in the game); Will, he can “play two” like Ernie Banks; Noah, he is never tired; no one else plays enough to get tired. You need a team, that is 5 guys playing together for long stretches at a time, knowing each other so well that they KNOW what the other 4 are going to do!

  • John Temple

    I wasn’t referring to their skills or lack of skills, just their body language when they are sitting on the bench. Both of them show a defeated look, resulting from their coaches lack of faith in them as he jerks them in and out of the game, with hardly any playing time to show what they can do. Watch how deflated Hanner looks the next time he gets pulled after barely a minute or two of playing time, particularly when TC is putting Jeff Howard in ahead of him and playing him longer. I agree that Hollowell’s two years have shown little or no progress but I was just referring to his crumbling attitude. There is something wrong with IU’s development of big men – I think it had a lot more to do with the quick departure of our freshman center Fischer than is being let on. Think how it must be for Peter Jurkin to show up every day and not see any time at all behind the walk-ons. and show no progress after 2 years.

  • Robert J Morgan

    Creans offense does not include picks or ball screens. Just dribble, dribble until the clock runs down, and then have to force a shot. They did pass more last game, but no one tried to get open. No one moves without the ball. That just stand and watch. Sheehy is not cutting back door very often. The announcers used to comment on how much Cream walked the side lines, now they know that does not help the team. Only distracts them . Hey Forrest Gump could walk a long way. Now the asst is getting up and distracting them. Assts are supposed to stay seated.. How often did Wooden get up and rant and rave? Watch Boeheim he only gets up occasionally, and does so much better with lesser rated recruits.

  • The only reason his scoring has increased, he’s playing the second most minutes of anyone on the team. Only Yogi plays more. I think if you check it out, he is shooting a poorer percentage and his turnovers have increased.. I wouldn’t call him mediocre, but you do have to admit more was expected of him this year than he’s been delivering.

  • IUBizmark

    I’m not disagreeing with the majority of what you said, but during the Wisconsin game was a pretty good example of Crean making adjustments.

  • Guest

    Even if he did have some eligibility left, I don’t think he’d do it.

  • Benhyoung14

    Even if he did have some eligibility left, I don’t think he’d do it.

  • Benhyoung14

    He also had ‘the movement’.

  • Ole Man

    OOTL, please say whatever you think. I do most of the time.
    My reason for saying that is simple: to me, it isn’t logical to make that leap.
    I laid out my reasons below, so I won’t repeat them here.
    I think, IF Noah returns, IU will be a very good team next year. But not a title contender.

  • Ole Man

    Amen on what we want. LOL.

  • Ole Man

    That’s just it, Ken. EXPECTATIONS. A lot, and I mean A
    LOT of posters on this board had him All-American, 20 PPG, leading this team to the promised land.
    I wasn’t one of them.
    I thought it totally unrealistic.
    However, fans being fans, they will create Fan-tasies.
    And when they don’t come true, they blame it on the player, as if he has somehow let them down.

    You’re not doing that. You’re too classy.
    But I hope you understand my “point”.
    Will has given IU 100% every game he has taken the court. However that may work out stat wise, and victory wise, for IU, I, as a fan, cannot ask for nor expect more.

  • I do agree with you. Will gives 100% every game.. I just wish so he would be experiencing a better year.. I like Will, hes’ come a long way in his career.. Maybe he’ll put it together yet. I do know, success is a bit contagious, success breeds success. I think if the team would just start performing better, Will would as well.