After 32 games, Indiana’s turnover issue remains

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INDIANAPOLIS — There have been plenty of recurring issues for the Indiana Hoosiers in the 2013-2014 season. Scoring slumps, second-half collapses, the list goes on.

But on Thursday in their Big Ten tournament opener, another recurring issue reared its ugly head: turnovers.

In their 64-54 loss to Illinois, the Hoosiers turned the ball over 16 times — on 25.9 percent of their possessions. Through 32 games this season, the Hoosiers have turned the ball over on 21.8 percent of their possessions.

No Indiana squad has had a worse turnover percentage since the 2009-2010 team that finished 10-22. And after the Illinois loss, many of the Hoosiers weighed in on why it has remained an issue throughout this season.

“It was just awareness on the court,” redshirt sophomore Austin Etherington said. “Some of the times the turnovers we had, we had the right intentions and we were making the right play, just sometimes you were over-dribbling or over-thinking a play.

“I wouldn’t say it’s something like skills-wise, that’s the reason why we had turnovers — with a young team it’s hard to really get used to everything. But I mean it is the end of the year and you don’t consider them freshmen anymore. It’s something that you just have to be more aware of on the court.”

From the first game of the season, when IU turned the ball over on 22 percent of its possessions against Chicago State, it was apparent that turnovers would be a part of the 2013-2014 season.

Multiple Hoosiers admitted on Thursday the chemistry needed to not turn the ball over early in the season simply wasn’t there. They had never played together, after all.

And the cause of turnovers, they said, was a simple lack of awareness of where each other are on the court. A lack of communication.

“We just didn’t take care of the ball like we should have,” senior Evan Gordon said. “There were a lot of over-drives and miscues on back-doors, so we just didn’t take care of the ball like we should have — overall.”

As the season went on and Indiana’s chemistry improved — it did, players said on Thursday — the turnovers did diminish. For five of six games from Feb. 15 to March 5, the Hoosiers turned the ball over at a rate less than its season average.

“But then they just got back to where they were,” freshman Noah Vonleh said.

In the second half, especially, against Michigan, the Hoosiers’ turnovers caused a Wolverines run. Against Illinois on Thursday it was an issue throughout. The same one that has contributed to 15 of the Hoosiers’ losses this season (in its 60-55 loss at Nebraska, the Hoosiers, in fact, turned the ball over on 31.5 percent of its possessions, a season-high).

“I think we have communication when we’re playing really well, scoring and defending really well,” sophomore Yogi Ferrell said. “But you know, when the other team kind of makes a run or we’re not hitting shots, guys get quiet.

“We’ve got to keep communicating whether we’re up 20 or down 20. It’s how it has to be.”

32 games have elapsed this season, and not much has changed. The Hoosiers’ past two outings have produced turnover percentages higher than its season average. Tom Crean said on his weekly radio show this Monday that his team lacks “good decision-makers.” But the one question that has everyone searching for answers: How do the Hoosiers stop turning the ball over?

And the answer, players, said, comes in practice. That, they said, is the one way they will learn from not making the same mistakes they have made all season.

“I just felt like the turnovers came from over-drives or uncertainty,” freshman Stan Robinson said. “I felt like sometimes when we could have shot it we wanted to pass it and when we should have passed it we wanted to it. It’s just things we can learn in practice with reps against the defense and things like that.”

“It’s been a recurring issue,” freshman Troy Williams added. “It all starts in practice, so that’s the most we can do.”

  • http://insidethehall.com Ben_M

    He will be a lottery pick and get paid some serious cash to loose…what would you do?

  • ForeverIU

    I am not in judgement of him. I will respect his decision whatever it may be of course, but I would certainly hope that we will try to develop a culture of a 2-year instead of 1-year stop for big talent, and that they come here with this understanding (I get the impression that this is the understanding, though unwritten of course, with Noah). I could be wrong.

  • http://insidethehall.com Ben_M

    It’s not our choice to give up or not…I’m just calling it like I see it.

  • ForeverIU

    Maybe you are projecting your own sense of doom, lol? I think our guys are still playing with heart, and turnover, ha. But seriously, I never sensed esteem-type breakdown. They are kids still learning, and I think they like and respect their coach and see great things coming next year.

  • http://insidethehall.com Ben_M

    I don’t think any coach in their right mind would turn down a talent that could be 1 and done.

  • MillaRed

    Think you nailed it.

  • Alford Bailey

    Guys, I’m not sure its a “given” IU makes the NIT. A lot of good teams out there in the next best group.

  • ForeverIU

    It depends on the choices, I suppose. I think the long-term is always part of the equation, even if it means slightly less spectacular talent. I don’t know what model would evolve at IU if we continue to get better. I think we become the school that develops extremely talented but very raw players, like Noah, who might be in a good position for the draft after their first year, but so much better after their second.

  • SCHoosier

    Yea he did all those bad passes..over dribbling and flying walendas..!!

  • ForeverIU

    Lol, I did look at the comparative numbers, and I don’t think I want to see them again.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Soccer.

  • hoosier1158

    CTC picked the coaching staff and recruited the players and is teaching them the game. Doesn’t appear he is doing a very good job?

  • Alford Bailey

    Seriously ,Yogi is coached to jump out of bounds and pass to the corners.

  • Bud Jenkins

    Mistakes are contagious, it is a team.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I truly hope that a couple names on the current roster are invited to “enjoy their college experiences” at another institution. IU will not progress when the “team” has to lug around a couple hundred pounds of “attitude” and dead weight. Playing for IU should be deemed a privilege–not an entitlement or right of passage. I believe that enthusiasm is contagious–so is the lack of same.

  • Arch_Puddington

    Sheehey is an imperfect but nonetheless accomplished basketball player who played a key role on a conference champion, was B1G 6th man of the year, and played for a team that represented his country in international play. I’d say he was worth following, especially by freshmen.

    And for the record, he averaged 2.1 turnovers per game, not “3-5″. This is the same or less than Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Noah Vonleh, all of whom are expected to be lottery picks. You can always find flaws, but dismissing a player who came from out of the top 150 as high schooler to major D1 ball as unworthy of respect is just silly.

  • Bud Jenkins

    His responsibility, let him fire some assistants..

  • HoosierGrampy

    If CTC’s offensive sets (which really were offensive to watch at times) had involved NV and/or HMP on a CONSISTENT basis, we might not have had to endure games featuring 20-25 seconds of dribble-dribble-dribble-jack it up or dribble-dribble-dribble-TO from Yogi and his back court mates. The influx of shooters will not cure the things this team needs to fix/correct.

  • David Macer

    The same offense this year was run last year and the year before. I also suggest that you watch some other teams and their sets. Some are very similar to IU’s or visa versa.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I tend to agree Milla, sometimes you have to swallow your pride to accomplish greatness. He could learn that from D Wade

  • Jersey Hoosier

    Just finished watching the Michigan-OSU game. Anyone think CTC could have coached either team to a victory?

  • Ole Man

    Let’s go on the Kentucky blogs and start a rumor that Cal is meeting with Phil Jackson about the Knicks’ coaching job!

  • Ole Man

    Sorry; love Yogi, but have to disagree that he was the best this year.
    He carried a heavy load for the team and scored, but he wasn’t the best PG in the B1G.

  • Ole Man

    Don’t know why you youngsters like to trash Wooden so much. Haven’t read anything by Walton; who wasn’t enamored with Wooden, BTW.
    Do know that he won with every conceivable type of team.
    That takes coaching.
    Unless you can elaborate on his “cheating”, and site some sources, your post is meaningless drivel.

  • Ole Man

    A jolting, smokey ride. If you weren’t careful embers from the locomotive would blow in the window and set your clothes on fire. This was a particular threat to the women.
    They did have a spittoon in every car; two in first class, one at each end.

  • ForeverIU

    LOL! You sound like an Ole … Hand.

  • Don Daiker

    I like Tom Crean as a person, and I think he is a fine recruiter. But I think he is below average in his coaching abilities, and so IU is likely to finish in the bottom half of The BIG as long as he is at the helm and doesn’t change his approach to the game. So here’s my question: How can a coach improve? Is there a coach’s clinic or series of seminar meetings that he could attend? Could he look to a mentor–a Bo Ryan or John Bellein or Phil Jackson or Coach K–who could help him out? My worry is that unless Coach Creen has the courage and intelligence to realize that he must remake himself, our Hoosiers will continue to underperform and to disappoint us. I’m rooting for Coach Creen to understand this and then to take positive action.

  • ForeverIU

    It’s Crean, not Creen.

  • AZIU71

    Unacceptable. Nobody cares about our youth, previous state of the program he has underachieved 5 out of 6 years(2011-2012 the exception). One or two more years and if no significant improvement ie. elite8, final four, NC, pull the plug and hopefully there are good coaching candidates available at that time.

  • PBzeer

    It doesn’t take a basketball genius to understand you can’t play the type of offense that it appears IU played this year, unless you have fundamentally sound players. Otherwise, you’ll continue to turn the ball over at the rate IU did this year.

    I have no idea what these guys are doing in practice, but one thing is clear … it’s not working. This has been a team without any apparent cohesion, camaraderie, consistency, or confidence, that I could see. And the brief flashes of good play, only remind one of what they could do, and seem more inadvertent, then planned.

    Many on here seem to think it’s okay that this team is no better, as a team, at the end of the season than they were at the start. That all the problems simply stem from youth and inexperience. And that adding more “youth and inexperience” next year, along with further individual development, will magically make everything better. But until we put a team on the floor, rather than 5 guys, we’ll be as irrelevant next year as we were this year.

  • Raynger

    I doubt if anyone was knocking on the door for CTC.

  • Raynger

    NO

  • MillaRed

    It’s not every day you see a spittoon reference. You have my respect sir.

  • MillaRed

    The fan base is quite simple. Don’t make decisions in game that make you look incompetent. We lost a game with an 11 point lead in 2 minutes at home. Don’t blow an 18 point lead to Nebraska. How does that look on your resume? You are concerned about the next coach’s intimidation? We are not replacing a rocket scientist. I’m comfortable the next coach understands that.

    I have advice to his successor. When you lose a game and are in the post game presser, don’t act like a 6 year old that just had your ice cream cone dumped on the playground. That would be a great start.

    Clap clap!

  • MillaRed

    No…….flipping…….way Tom Crean ever represents the United States on the sideline. They require men that understand basketball.

  • David Macer

    We committed, on average, less than 2 more TO’s in 2014 than in each of the three previous seasons. So at worst case scenario, it costs us 4 pts a game (loss of 2 possessions for IU and an increase if 2 possessions for opponents) at the rate of 1 point per possession.
    IMHO, our shooting ability covered up this problem in the previous seasons. This year we could throw the ball into the ocean.

  • Dave Carnes

    As aposed to draging the site through the well plowed paths of this story I would ask that you look up the name Sam Gilbert and his association with UCLA basketball.You will not find proof Wooden new of all the gifts But only an unreasonable man could believe he didn’t notice his player driving new cars.Had the NCAA investigated ALL of the banners would have come down.

  • VAHoosier

    I have a couple of problems with this. First, Crean had no intention of playing Noah as a 4. He never did, not while Luke was playing and not after. Luke saw minutes off the bench as a 5 and played alongside HMP as a 4. I agree with you that Noah is a natural 4 and he and Luke playing together would have been very effective, but CTC did not see it that way, evidently.

    I have been ambivalent about Crean, and I hadn’t really taken to criticizing him at all until this season. But I think the “mishandling” of Fisher really sort of changed my thinking about CTC. I was shocked how many on ITH were so non-chalant about Fisher’s leaving; I feared it would torpedo this year’s team, and it may have. I know the popular narrative is simply that Fisher was homesick, and I don’t doubt he was. But my view is that if he had gotten the minutes he deserved (and yes, he deserved more minutes than he was getting), he’d still be a Hoosier. Getting playing time and feeling valued can be a good antidote to homesickness. Again, this is just my conjecture. But I feel like Luke was put in a position where it was easy for him to be dissatisfied with his situation.

  • VAHoosier

    Maybe it is ranting, but Crean’s teams over his 15 year coaching career average more turnovers/game than assists/game. Yes, the players were young and inexperienced this year, but don’t forget to look at the other side of the coin–For over a decade, by and large, Crean’s teams have played much like we did this year. Youth and inexperience were only part of the problem this year.

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