Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Minnesota

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Indiana’s up and down season continued on Saturday night as the Hoosiers followed up an 11-point win at home over Michigan with a six-point loss to Minnesota at Williams Arena.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from Indiana’s third straight road loss:

· Indiana had too many lapses at key points in the game: This has become a theme this season in games away from Assembly Hall and it was a major theme in the loss to Minnesota. Momentum is a difficult thing to keep on the road, but the teams who win with any regularity in hostile environments are able to sustain it. Through five Big Ten road games, Indiana has four losses by a combined 19 points and led in the second half of all four defeats.

On Saturday, it was a game of runs for both teams, but two key lapses were costly. The first was late in the first half when the Hoosiers had possession up eight and a chance to take the final shot. Instead, Troy Williams turned the ball over with 15 seconds to go and Minnesota scored on an easy dunk by Maurice Walker to cut its deficit to six at the break.

The second key sequence was at the onset of the second half as IU turned the ball over four times in the first 3:02 and Minnesota quickly tied the game at 38 on a free throw by DeAndre Mathieu. Neither sequence in particular is completely to blame for the loss, but both are examples of what’s holding the Hoosiers back from pulling out road games.

· Turnovers were a major second half issue: Indiana did a solid job taking care of the ball through the game’s first 20 minutes. The Hoosiers had just five first-half miscues for a turnover percentage of 15. The second half was a different story as Indiana had 11 turnovers and finished the game with a turnover percentage of 25.2.

The Hoosiers remain last in Big Ten games in turnover percentage at 22.8, and mistakes have been a common theme in IU’s losses away from Assembly Hall:

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· Indiana was balanced offensively: The Hoosiers didn’t get huge offensive outputs from Noah Vonleh, Yogi Ferrell or Will Sheehey, but were still in control for most of the game because some secondary options stepped forward.

The first was freshman Troy Williams, who scored IU’s first nine points and finished with 11 points and three rebounds in 26 minutes. The long term potential Williams possesses is enormous, but he’s still figuring out how to score against defenses who are playing him almost exclusively to drive, and turnovers are a major issue he needs to correct. Still, this was the best he’s played in the Big Ten offensively and his early barrage established IU offensively.

The second surprise offensive performance of the night came from sophomore Jeremy Hollowell, who came off the bench to score nine points in 13 minutes. Hollowell’s struggles this season have been well-documented as his effective field goal percentage of 39.4 is easily the worst among IU’s regulars. But on a team that’s still looking for consistent production, the engaged and energetic Hollowell we saw on Saturday could pay dividends the rest of the way.

· The bench was shortened: In total, Indiana played just nine guys and just two bench players logged double-figure minutes (Evan Gordon with 24 and Hollowell with 13). Gordon’s minutes were elevated a bit by the struggles of Stanford Robinson, who was scoreless and had three turnovers in 24 minutes. Beyond that, Indiana went with a shortened rotation as Jeff Howard, Jonny Marlin and Devin Davis, who all played against Michigan, didn’t get off the bench.

One performance from the bench beyond Hollowell that deserves a brief mention came from Hanner Mosquera-Perea, who chipped in three points, three rebounds and no turnovers in seven minutes. Turnovers have been a major issue for Mosquera-Perea, but the boost he provided at The Barn was certainly a positive.

· As Yogi goes, Indiana goes: Indiana’s two best Big Ten wins (Wisconsin and Michigan) have come — not by coincidence — on nights when Yogi Ferrell was outstanding. On Saturday night, Ferrell didn’t have his shooting touch from the perimeter and finished with just 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field. It’s obviously not realistic to count on one guy to carry such a heavy load offensively in every game and expect to win consistently, but that’s where Indiana is right now with Ferrell.

Overall, he’s been terrific and one of the top three players in the conference. But on Saturday, he had a tough night, and his 2-of-9 shooting performance after halftime was a big reason the Hoosiers were only able to muster 24 points over the game’s second twenty minutes.

(Photo credit: GopherSports.com)

  • b_side

    I’m still not convinced NV should be force fed with his back to the basket like others have stated. His court awareness and overall composure in the post is lacking as evidenced by multiple turnovers via forced passes to Troy and Jeremy.

    I loved seeing him at the free-throw line extended area when he put his guard skills on the display. It’s much harder for the defense to double because he can see over the top immediately.

  • b_side

    Not sure why you bring up Zeller since I didn’t mention it. I agreed with Scooter that Crean should have anticipated an early exit, and guess what, Crean planned accordingly. You know that guy Noah Vonleh, he’s doing some pretty special things right now. And we even had Fischer until he unexpectedly quit. Oh shoot, Crean was supposed to have foreseen that too right? Sheesh.

    I’ll echo what Alex already mentioned re: Oladipo and challenge you to find a reputable link in early November 2012 projecting him as a first round pick. Good luck.

  • MillaRed

    Why do we not run that 3 times a game? I’m beginning to feel like Jordy is chucking a three in terms of my confidence in Noah knocking it down.

  • MillaRed

    4 defeats while leading at half time. Coach’s half time adjustments have been questioned frequently ITH. I think that stat might tell us something about the theory.

  • David Macer

    .Cdog, what might that be since you seem to have some inside knowledge about his transfer ?? Inquiring minds want to know !!!

  • David Macer

    Crean does have OOB plays. One recently allowed Etherington an uncontested layup. I think a lot of it has to do with the amount of time remaining on the shot clock.

  • MillaRed

    Oladipo wasn’t even a 2012 1st team B1G Ten pre-season selection.

    And Scooter, please stop saying Crean is in year 6. Jordy and company was the first class, and that was still a “best I could do” scenario.

    He’s in year 4 at best if we are giving the man a fair shake. Crean has some areas to improve in but he’s not terrible. He just isn’t.

  • MillaRed

    Scooter have you lost your mind today? You’re not making any sense brotha. Have a cocktail it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

  • MillaRed

    Unfortunately the amount of practice time is regulated by the NCAA.

  • MillaRed

    On a very positive note I think we saw the future of Troy Williams in the first 5 minutes of the game. These things do not happen by accident.

    The dude is the 2nd coming of Scottie Pippen. He will be a force to reckon with. I have no doubt.

  • David Macer

    Sounds good in theory, except that might violate NCAA practice rules.

  • David Macer

    Milla – Great minds think alike !!!

  • David Macer

    Just needs to keep working hard….

  • MillaRed

    Other than the terrible officiating this was the only major problem I had with the staff. Call the TO, set the press with your 5 best athletes. Try to force the TO. If not foul. Sub in the best O you have. Deal with the FTs, and get Yogi to zip down, set a few screens and go right to the hole. You at worst are down 2 and repeat the process. If they hit two more FTs you have to shoot the 3. Now you’re down one, and can take the desperation 3 to tie. That is if, a big “if” Minny hits all 6 FTs.

    All of the above is 10 times better than letting Minny milk the clock down to nothing and go the length of the court in a panic. Poor decision.

  • BlakeD1223

    You are spot on! I couldn’t agree more. I understand that he is our BIG and that we need him on the block for rebounding but lets design some plays where he can catch the ball at the top of the key coming off of a screen and pop the shot or dish to someone else. Let’s make him a 4 and put Perea at a 5 and see what happens. Let NV do his thing. Let him face the basket and make things happen. He’s a better player than he’s being allowed to be. I felt this way about Zeller as well. Zeller was one of the best shooters on the team but never got to shoot. NV is the same way but he’s being pushed too far down low where he can’t get the shots off that he needs to get off without being double and tripled team. It’s frustrating to watch. The coaching staff has much more knowledge than I do but I would think they could see that we need to mix some stuff up.
    Here’s an idea…. have a designed play ever so often that allows NV to pop up to the three point line and give him a double screen so he can hit a three. He’s an incredible three point shooter for his size.

    Such a frustrating season to watch. We will be screwed next year if we lose both NV and Yogi. What if Perea gets frustrated with playing time and transfers? Dang, that would suck!

  • WhatsUpKnight

    no doubt this team is starting to show some life. the poor shooting and to’s will subside, tho maybe not til next year. gonna be a vastly improved team with or without NV (sure hope he stays though!!!)

  • Outoftheloop

    NCAA rules you can’t add minutes to the length of practice.

  • Outoftheloop

    I have to start reading the next reply before I post!

  • Outoftheloop

    Indiana is a classic “not yet ready” team. The talent is there, the coaching is there, the hard work is there. But, right now, the ability to execute, by making game winning plays, and avoiding game loosing plays, is NOT there! Yogi is great, but in games when he doesn’t shoot well, no one can pick up the 3-point slack; Will is playing great team basketball, but can’t buy a basket, even his good games are 40% FG; Noah is superb, but IU can’t get him 10-15 shots/game; Stan is a really good freshman, as is Troy, but they are inconsistent and make big mistakes; Jeremy is talented, but an enigma; Hanner is making real progress, but he can’t get on the floor with Noah and the starters; Devin is a really good player, tough and no quit, but he gets no minutes; Austin has improved, but talent wise he is a 9-10 rotation player; Evan was a great find, but he is inconsistent; Collin does not “have it” yet but he is only a freshman; Peter is injured; Jeff plays way above what anyone could have expected but he is not a B1G talent. So Indiana is 14-9 not 19-3 (yes, 6 loses: U Conn, ND, IL, NW, NE, MN, should/could have been wins if this team really was playing well for every game, a full 40 minutes). They are just “not yet ready”. The NIT could be just what the doctor ordered if they continue to work hard, play as a team, and make it to the NIT title game!

  • CreanFaithful

    Kansas runs a very similar offense to the Hoosiers. Plus they have 2 players that are going to go in the lottery before Vonleh. Your post is pure baseless speculation.

  • Alford Bailey

    Ha Ha, you are correct my friend. Pure speculation. But you know it true.

  • b_side

    Please tell me you are the real AJ Guyton. We could use some legit perspective in the comments.

  • Bruce

    The 9 games hp missed has 0 to due with his production. He does not know the game for starters. He used his first basketball as a soccer ball! He was way over rated! And JH reminds me of c wat. Slow, no ups but obviously not as good a shooter.

  • Guyton25

    I didn’t know practices couldn’t go a little longer, but that’s irrelevant. I just mean having a punishment specifically for turnovers. Not even necessarily in practice, just seemed like practice would practical.

  • Guyton25

    I’ve been reluctant to tell people that I wouldn’t be all that upset about an NIT bid. It’s been like 9 years since IU’s been there and I think we could win the championship..

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