Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Nebraska

  • 03/06/2014 12:18 pm in

After impressive wins over Iowa and Ohio State, Indiana struggled on Thursday night and fell to surging Nebraska, 70-60, on senior night at Assembly Hall.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Cornhuskers:

· As Yogi goes inside the arc, so go the Hoosiers: It’s no secret that many of IU’s best games this season have come when Yogi Ferrell is shooting well. Wednesday was an especially tough night for Ferrell, who hit just four of his 14 shot attempts including a 1-of-10 performance from distance. Indiana expects a lot out of its sophomore floor general, but on nights when he shoots poorly, it becomes a major uphill battle for the Hoosiers to find success.

But as much as Ferrell’s 3-point shooting is discussed, the numbers actually show that it’s his effectiveness on 2-point shooting that bears out a much bigger discrepancy in wins versus losses:

ferrell

In IU’s seven Big Ten wins, 53.5 percent of Ferrell’s field goal attempts are 3s and in IU’s ten Big Ten losses, 53.1 percent of his attempts are 3s. The shot distribution and scoring totals are really no different, but he’s shooting nearly 16 percent better on 2s in IU’s wins versus the losses.

· A tough night for Sheehey: If this was Will Sheehey’s final game in Assembly Hall, he certainly didn’t go out how he would have liked. In fact, Sheehey summed up his thoughts pretty succinctly to begin his senior speech: “First of all, I do hate to lose and I hate tonight.”

After delivering 49 points in wins over Iowa and Ohio State, Sheehey shot just 5-of-14 in the loss to Nebraska and finished with 13 points. And it was clear by his comments in the postgame press conference that he wasn’t happy with IU’s effort on both ends of the floor.

“I think it was just both offensively and defensively, we just didn’t play with the same swagger and edge that we usually do,” he said. ” I think defensively, we made some mistakes, including myself, and offensively the ball just didn’t move.  We didn’t get too many transition points because getting stops on the defensive end became tough.”

· Nebraska never gave up control: The Cornhuskers never trailed, which speaks to how well they were able to navigate a tough environment. From Walter Pitchford’s scoring barrage to open the game to timely buckets down the stretch to answer when IU looked as if it might take a lead, Nebraska showed poise and toughness. Even more impressive about the overall effort was that Terran Petteway, a near lock for first team All-Big Ten honors, finished with just 13 points on 3-of-10 shooting.

After dropping its first five league road games, Nebraska has won three of four away from Pinnacle Bank Arena and is in position to grab its first NCAA tournament bid since 1998.

· This was Indiana’s worst shooting game since Purdue and third worst in Big Ten play: Save for IU’s home loss to Northwestern and the blowout defeat in West Lafayette, Indiana’s effective field goal percentage of 40.8 was its third worst mark of the conference season.

Indiana hit just 43.6 percent of its 2s and 23.8 percent of its 3s and Nebraska’s length while in zone bothered the Hoosiers down the stretch.

“We decided that we are going to win with defense,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. “We held Indiana’s shooting percentage to within the 30’s, which is the ninth straight team we have held that way. That’s been our calling card. I will bet you money, even though I would never do that, that if you would ask the players if their calling card would be defense in October, they would laugh at you.”

· Troy’s best Big Ten game on offense: Overshadowed in the loss was the productive offensive play of freshman Troy Williams, who scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, which included 2-of-2 from behind the 3-point line. Williams still struggles with turnovers when he tries to go into traffic with the dribble, but his late season growth has been a positive and is perhaps a sign of things to come in the future.

“You know, Troy drives the lane hard,” Sheehey said. “He looks for other guys. Tonight his shot was rolling. He can get into the lane. He has a bunch of energy. He gets out and runs, and things happen.”

Filed to:

  • E Foy McNaughton

    It was such a disappointing loss because, with their backs to the wall, they didn’t put forth the effort needed to win. Nebraska wanted it more, and they got it.

    Hello NIT

  • Gregory Spera

    In a game where the object of the contest is to but the ball through the hoop more often than your opponent, the Hoosiers last night shot a pitiful 36.7%. This has, of course, been the main reason this team has disappointed this season. The combination of a stagnant offense and an almost total lack of shooting skill doomed this team. That is why they, as currently constructed, can’t sustain any positive momentum. Because, as always, the next shot they take, most probably, is not going in.

  • Indiana_Banners

    I disagree that the effort was poor. I think the effort was very good, but the offense was not. When Sheehey found the middle of the zone, or the baseline, our offense was fairly efficient. Unfortunately our best players Sheehey and Yogi took poor shots early in the shot clock and turned the ball over too much, but I disagree that the effort was poor.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    rough night shooting. for the most part ,it sure didn’t look like a must-win performance, at least not for some of the players. to me, that’s more disappointing than the loss.

    on a positive note, i saw fantastic effort from our freshmen. a little more polishing up in the off season, and those guys can be some serious ballers next year.

    and i have to say i really appreciate DD’s energy, toughness and effort. if anything positive came from NV’s injury, it’s that DD got more minutes to show how he can contribute.

  • Disco_Briscoe

    1. Same story…Zone still kills us / No shooters
    2. Great to see Troy do well…yanked at the end?
    3. Couldn’t capitalize with Petteway on the bench in foul trouble
    4. A lot of unfair blame on Yogi…He’s the only one who can shoot and when the offense (often) goes stagnant he’s has to try to do too much on his own or is stuck with the ball in his hands with no time on the shot clock.
    5. I know it was senior night but Will could have used a few short breaks last night. He exerts a lot of energy and it showed at the end of the game.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    and you have to credit neb too. that team’s proven they’re for real, and they definitely had our guys out of rhythm. still, i found it disappointing to once again see a lot of standing around on offense. thought we were past that.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    I love my Hoosiers but our best player Noah was out for second game; most teams can rally and get through one game without their star, second much tougher. Yogi stunk, Will tried too hard, Austin, non existent, Hanner non existent first half and then no minutes in second, Jeremy not good, Howard showed why he is walk on, Evan below par, Troy played great but is a defensive liability as a freshman. Nebraska is well coached team that is very difficult to make runs against.. this all adds up to a home loss. Lets get Noah back for tourney, and make a run. Go Hoosiers!

  • OhioHoosier

    I didn’t think yogi ran the offense as weell last night as he is capable. Regardless of his shooting, he didn’t move the ball like he normally does. He finished with five assists but could have increased that number significantly. There was one specific time where Jeremy was absolutely wide open going to the hoop and yogi wouldn’t give it to him. A little to much of a yogi first mentality last night especially from beyond the arc when he just didn’t have the shot working for him. Great play by Devin and Troy tho.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    Very disappointing loss and the Hoosiers obviously could have played better, but Nebraska deserves a lot of credit. Any time IU delivered a punch Nebraska punched right back. That is a well coached team and they played with the determination and effort it takes to get a big win on the road. I, for one, will be rooting for them to beat the snot out of Wisconsin in their regular season finale and make the NCAA tournament.

  • dwdkc

    Bingo. You nailed it; the problem is not complicated. To be successful this year, we had to be an overwhelmingly tough defensive team. We needed an identity like the best Gene Keady Purdue teams years ago that turned every game into an ugly knife fight. We had the athleticism but not the experience to be that team. This team has some really good pieces, but isn’t constructed to be outstanding due to lack of shooting. In retrospect, Mo Creek could have really had a good year here; that was a shame. But it wouldn’t have been enough to make us more than a game or two better probably. Another takeaway is that this Nebraska team is now a good, poised team playing solid basketball. They could make a March run if they get in.

  • Walton

    I started the season with high expectations of our players
    this year; I end the season with lower ones. These players lack all-around
    game. Athletic: yes, overall talented and consistent: not so much. Yogi is our
    best player and in my opinion with Noah, our only all around highly talented
    players, Sheehey near by. Outside of them there is too much inconsistency with most of these guys. Offense is the most glaring with the obvious lack of shooting #7 fg% in B10. Our center takes open 3 pointers, but our guards and forwards don’t even think about taking them. Our overall passing, ball control, dribbling, and decision making lacks efficiency, so much as we are the worst turnover team in the B10. I think our defense and rebounding is our strength because of our athleticism but they are still toward the bottom in defense scoring in the B10.

    Our coaching can be adjusted to suit these players differently and not make it
    even more difficult for them. Some of our players will improve a lot with
    experience. Our future incoming classes, with more overall talent (hopefully)
    will mix with well with our current athleticism. But this class of players right
    now lacks overall talent and consistency and I think that’s the most glaring factor with our losses.

  • SCHoosier

    Close games with a tough opponent are usually won at the end with defense. Glad to hear coach Miles say that. When IU made its runs last night it was because of good defense. When NEB extended the lead..Hoosiers gave them good shots (how many layups..contested or otherwise did the Huskers get last night?) The nail in the coffin was the screen/ switch mix up between Yogi and Troy which resulted in Pitchford getting and hitting the wide open three that sealed the deal . Hoosiers shot badly..give NEB some of the credit..plus 3 key second half TO’s. Same ‘ol Same ‘ol..I hated it too Will.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I will concede that the offense wasn’t there. And there was effort in some areas (like TW hustling to save Yogi’s airball 3), but I felt the defensive effort wasn’t strong enough to win.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Enter JBJ & RJ – shooting problems solved next year. Hopefully NV stays, won’t blame him if he moves on. That said, we did see a glimpse of HMP being a stud inside during the Iowa game.

  • I think sometimes confusion, uncertainty, and even poor technique can be mistaken for a lack of effort. Sometimes this team gets confused in the half court on both ends, and it seems like they aren’t playing hard … but really they are just thinking too much and not playing instinctive. When we get out and run, the effort is there. Troy Williams is a great example. His defensive footwork and awareness are awful, but you can see him trying. And he made plenty of effort plays when they required instinct and athletic ability. I’ve rarely thought this team wasn’t playing really hard this year. But sometimes the lack of a cohesive plan and deficiencies in understanding make us look that way.

  • Alford Bailey

    I’m really happy about the growth Troy Williams is showing as of late. I’ve been saying Troy needs to keep shooting that open three because he has to start hitting that to improve his game and he finally hit a couple. Hope it gives him some confidence moving forward. Still needs to work on defensive position, though. He is gonna be an important player for us next year.

  • Alford Bailey

    Some talk of lack of effort last night and I gotta say I did not see that. I saw poor shooting and no post presence (NV) on defense to protect the basket. Our zone offense at the end was horrible but has been all year. If Yogi and Will hit 3-4 of the 12-13 three pointers they missed we probably win the game.

  • Alford Bailey

    And what about Devin Davis? Starting to show me a little something. I hope last night gives him some confidence going forward also.

  • SCHoosier

    When/Yogi gave up that Pritchford 3 by not switching..Howard came in the game for Troy…Jeff has defended that move well in the past..TC probably thought he could give up some offense with Yogi, Will and Stan in the game..hoping Jeff might prevent another successful pick and roll. Never got to that point.

  • IUJeff

    Nebraska just flat out had better ballers than IU.
    Attacked at will. Defended well. And IU did look confused on O and weak on D.
    Tough pill to swallow. Getting sent to the NIT by freaking Nebraska. Geez………….

  • Gregory Spera

    Yes, it has become apparent that Nebraska has a better basketball team than Indiana. The reasons for this bizarro world reality are currently up for discussion.

  • IUJeff

    We have gotten some highly ranked low bball IQ guys for one.
    When we need to fall back on instincts because the O stinks, there
    are little to no instincts to fall back on for some of the guys.
    I was actually joking at one point when Jeremy hit a nice J and I said to my boys “if Crean pulls JH out now, I am going to yell.”
    He of course yanked JH immediately from the lineup. Yanked Devin as well right after he did something that made me think Devin will be special down the road.
    So, the players need to get better and so does CTC IMO.

  • IUJeff

    True that. I think we are missing Remy and possibly Luke as well.

  • iuoiu

    Yogi didn’t run it as well because when he received the ball he was double teamed aggressively by Neb. With no Noah they knew all they had to do was take Yogi out of the equation and they would be sitting pretty.

  • IUJeff

    Mark my words. Devin will be a special player at IU.

  • IUJeff

    Ditto. But I’ll also be rooting for someone to accidentally pull their guys down by the hair.

  • IUJeff

    Say what you want about this.
    I still believe the me-first Yogi this year had a large effect on our team being unable and unwilling to shoot the ball.
    Needed facilitator Yogi for this young team early in the season. Then more of scoring Yogi in the latter part of the season.

  • iuoiu

    Takeaway #6: IU – Vonleh – Yogi = Looong Nights

    Yogi accounts for a huge % of our made threes. So much so that there are only about 8 teams that have players that account for a higher % of their team’s made threes than Yogi. By the way one of those teams is Syracuse – take a look at Cooney’s production their past 5 games from beyond the arc and then you’ll see why they have lost 4 of 5..

    Take Yogi out of the game, which they did through aggressive pressure and double teams and it leaves IU with no #1 or #2 option, and teams just don’t win much when this happens. It’s really that easy. Nebraska played probably the best defensive game I’ve seen this year and they earned this.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I will second that. Nebraska has impressed me this year. I mean 10 and 7 in the Big 10? That’s good any year. I really thought we would pull that one out though after Sheehey hit that 3 to tie it.

  • Alford Bailey

    Probably headed there before last night but I get your point.

  • Hoosier Hall

    He got pulled because he was the one who missed the switch on Pitchford when he nailed the 3 to go up by 4.

  • Alford Bailey

    You watch, Remy will be a beast at Xavier along with Bluiett.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I don’t think so. Remy was pretty solid defensively (which could have been useful this season) but I just don’t see a scorer in him. Maybe 8-10 ppg.

  • Walton

    Gotta give some credit to Nebraska; they made a few tough shots.

  • Walton

    That would still be 4th best on our team behind yogi, vonleh, and sheehey

  • DRT

    Yogi has been in a no-win spot this whole year. When he’s the me – first Yogi and shoots a lot it’s usually successful – but at the detriment of a lack of ball and offensive movement by the rest of the team. When he concentrates on facilitating we have NO ONE who can shoot the ball consistently. This is the problem with a great PG on a young inexperienced team. He has to put the whole team on his shoulders. Things will be better next year.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    What? Bald, dude?

  • Disco_Briscoe

    We saw/know that from watching the game but the way he was playing, I think he stays in the game. Does he make the same mistake next time down the court or does he do something to offset that mistake? In my mind (which means nothing) I let him play it out to find out.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    This is the end of the season. Meaning, Crean has had all season to work on these players. And as a team the players have faded down the stretch.

    Nebraska: 7wins out of last 8games. Pre-season picked last in conference. You want to praise a coach? There was 1 on the court at Assembly Hall last night. His name was Tim Miles.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    Close games are won by coaches having the best players in the game at those close times. 1:18 left and down by 4 IU ball game winnable and Crean’s wholesale substitution madness sank the game.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I don’t disagree, I was just stating why he got pulled (I assume). For me, that is something you can pull a guy for early in the game to do a little teaching but at that point in the game you’ve got to keep the hot hand in.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    Lotta hard thinking going into an irrelevant coaching move.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    Yeah, reality check. Wasn’t Nebraska sending us to the NIT. Or CBI. Or…

  • MeniscusDiscus

    How many times have we seen Crean pull Sheehey or another player after they’ve just made shots? “Gotten a hot hand?”

  • OhioHoosier

    Definitely agree on the double teamd, it just felt like yogi was forcing it more from the outside last night rather than getting to the rack or making the extra pass. Will passed up on giving an extra pass to yogi as well. This team is at it’s best when the ball is moving and we all know that, yogi has been great for us all year, it was just disappointing to see him struggle last night and I don’t think it is all due to nebraskas defense or his off night shooting.

  • The stat I would like to see is… What is Yogi’s shooting percentage when the team really needs it? I can think of countless games, when He has come down with the ball in hand, and fires up a three, or even a two.. ad clangs it. Or like last night when he shot that ill advised three and everyone in the house knew it wasn’t going in.. Or at least they should have. Don’t get me wrong, I like Yogi, bit it just seems like when we have to rely on him to make a shot, we do not get it.. When he is a contributor, he’s fine, but not a clutch guy. IMO.
    I just can’t understand why we haven’t been able to solve the turnover bug all year long. That has been our biggest nemesis by far..

  • gman

    I don’t think that was called for by the way.

  • gman

    Do you truly believe that? The Big East is not that good but a beast… Com-on-Man!!!

  • Blair McKee

    Inside, get the ball inside! Don’t settle for a long J early in the shot clock! It’s really very simple. The Cornhuskers (Good lord, it was the CORNHUSKERS!) totally intimidated the Hoosiers out of the only offense we have.
    Go inside, take the pounding, and draw the fouls.
    Is this not what the coaches are telling them? Heavens! Are the players that uncoachable that they won’t go inside, or do the coaches not realize what everybody knows: You (easily) beat IU by making them shoot J’s.

  • Blair McKee

    It is for a player that is a natural shooter. For these guys – no. Taking the shot is a reflection of confidence; the shot going IN is a reflection of ability.