Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Illinois

  • 03/14/2014 11:27 am in

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s existence in the 2014 Big Ten tournament was brief as the Hoosiers fell 64-54 to Illinois on Thursday afternoon in the event’s opening game.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from Indiana’s 15th loss:

· The same problems that plagued IU in December plagued them Thursday: At the onset of the second half, it looked as if Indiana was gaining control and would put their early second half woes that have been a problem all season to rest for the day. But once the Hoosiers went up 38-33, Illinois quickly responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead for good.

So what changed after IU gained its largest lead? Here’s a summary of Indiana’s possessions from the 13:53 mark of the second half to the 9:39 mark, a span of four minutes and 14 seconds:

– Possession one: Yogi Ferrell missed jump shot, Devin Davis offensive rebound, missed putback, Davis offensive rebound. Illinois foul. Ferrell missed layup. Three shot attempts, zero points.
– Possession two: Stanford Robinson turnover.
– Possession three: Ferrell missed jump shot.
– Possession four: Noah Vonleh missed 3-pointer.
– Possession five: Will Sheehey turnover.
– Possession six: Robinson missed 3-pointer, Jeremy Hollowell offensive rebound, Ferrell missed 3-pointer.

A little bit of everything in this stretch, but most glaringly of course are turnovers and poor shooting. Two missed 2-point jump shots, three missed 3-pointers, two missed layups and two turnovers. By the time Indiana called timeout after the sixth possession, the Hoosiers were staring at a six-point deficit and never recovered.

· Indiana’s 3-point shooting disappeared after halftime: The Hoosiers trailed by just two at halftime despite scoring just two points in the paint. That’s because Indiana knocked down six of its 10 attempts from behind the 3-point arc. Illinois, on the other hand, had 16 points in the paint in the first half, but was much more balanced offensively.

As the second half went on, it became clear that Indiana would not be able to sustain its offense without hitting 3-pointers. IU did manage 18 points in the paint after halftime and attacked the basket hard coming out of the locker room, but missed all 10 of its 3-point attempts.

Illinois hit four 3s in the second half, several of them coming at key times, to put the game away.

· Once Indiana got down, its body language changed: As the misses and turnovers began to pile up midway through the second half and Illinois mounted its run, Indiana appeared to lack cohesiveness on the floor. Sheehey looked visibly frustrated on a couple of occasions at some of the defensive mishaps made by his teammates and Vonleh and Robinson looked over at the bench as if they were unsure what to do.

And in the aftermath of the loss in IU’s locker room, Ferrell offered the following explanation when asked his team’s issues when the opposition mounts a run:

“Lack of communication when the other team starts to make a run. We just get quiet and I feel like we just don’t have that same energy that we’ve had. I’d say that’s been the main thing.”

Following up on that, Ferrell was asked why that’s been the case and what can be done to fix it:

“I think maybe we just don’t know how to overcome adversity yet. Next year, I think you just have to hold guys more accountable, make some guys angry, get in some guy’s faces sometimes.”

· Illinois deserves some credit, too: The Fighting Illini, once 2-8 in the Big Ten, were presumed finished, but turned their season around by winning four of their last five regular season games.

Both teams have similar records, but there’s one glaring difference when you examine the profiles. With yesterday’s loss, Indiana fell to 3-11 in games away from Assembly Hall. Illinois, with its win, improved to 9-7 in games away from the State Farm Center.

· Vonleh’s struggles down the stretch magnified on Thursday: Whether he hit a wall or the foot injury took a bigger toll than originally thought, the finish to Noah Vonleh’s season has been less than impressive.

Over the last three games, the Big Ten freshman of the year averaged just 5.6 points and six rebounds. He also shot poorly (1-of-6 on 3s) and turned it over five times over that three-game stretch.

“The injury has definitely been there,” Tom Crean said postgame. “He was very limited in practice this week. I think you can see that in his energy at times in the game. We’ve really had to hold him back in the practices. And it’s part of it.”

Filed to:

  • ChinHigh

    This was noticed last year by many sportscasters. Doug Gottlieb and Dan Dakich both mentioned it during the game and/or at halftime. Gottlieb said something about “crean is substituting his way out of a lead- he needs to leave his best players on the floor.” People noticed. Bigtime.

  • INUnivHoosier

    There is a little bit of difference between top 10 recruits and recruits in the 100-150 range as predicting when they’ll leave.

  • b_side

    Dakich and Gotlieb have an agenda. Don’t let the media fool you.

    Essentially what you’re saying is we won last year (our best team in 20 years) in spite of Crean’s subbing ineptitude. This year we’re losing for the same reason. Not buying it. I’ll need more proof than a couple of talking heads who care more about being controversial than being right.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Check out the recruiting board for fall of 2015. Indiana is in the thick of it to add some elite players.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Just as Indiana always wants to add top level talent, Glass should always be pushing and willing to add top level coaches to the current staff. I support Coach Crean, and I support the current assistants. I also support in adding a few more coaches (big man and guard) for player development and who also have the name recognition to entice players.

  • marcusgresham

    My favorite Dakich quote was during the IU/Purdue game. “If you sit in one of the first couple rows you better be paying attention because these two teams will throw it to you!”

  • marcusgresham

    I wouldn’t mind to see Woodson come in if he were an assistant if he just wants to come home but I’d think Crean deserves another year. It would add “street cred” to have an former NBA guy on the bench.

  • marcusgresham

    I’m kind of worn out on the “doesn’t develop post players” bit. He’s had two–3 if you count Fischer, of any substance. Fischer was starting to come around when he left.
    The other two, Zeller and Vonleh, aren’t even true post guys. They’re both more 4s than 5s, so unless he’s being criticized for not developing the African law firm of Muniru, Jurkin, and Jobe it’s not a totally valid argument.

  • marcusgresham

    Phil also never coached a game without a top-5 all-time player on the floor. That helps.

  • SilverAtlanta

    Having watched Woody coach here in Atlanta with what had to be one of the all time worst NBA teams, and him develop them into a playoff team, his resume is pretty good! He had NOTHING to work with and did a great job! We have gone away from the Hoosier family twice,(if you count Davis as a member) one cheated us into issues, the other well, I’m not convinced he’s the coach IU needs. Won’t happen anyway, so not like it matters, IU won’t be getting rid of CTC anytime soon.

  • CreanFaithful

    Good point!

  • CreanFaithful

    “Big time”

  • I’m with you on that on, Ole Man. I haven’t been coming out here as much lately. For one been busy at work, but the emotional roller coaster is really hard to take. yes, they also fooled me once again. I really thought, the way the Freshman were playing, we had a chance to run the table and maybe win the B1G tourney. The emotional drain for two or three days after a loss like that, wishing they could’ve, would’ve.. Wears a guy out. I just keep hoping next year will be better. I know you aren’t going to like this statement.. but when you look at that stretch.. which guys were letting us down the most? The guys that are supposed to be leading us.. Turnovers and missed lay-ups, missed threes.. It was pretty much Yogi and had some Will sprinkled in.. Pretty much how the ‘late’ season has gone. JMO, but I think it is a valid one.

  • You are so right. But, I’m not sure Yogi ‘gets that’.. And when it comes to crunch time, experience has shown, Yogi is not the guy you want to have take the shot. Witness as far back as the Butler game last year.. and how many close games this year, when Yogi took the shot at the end, or when we really needed it, can’t recall one that he made. Especially coming down with the game on the line. Often times he doesn’t even get off a reasonably makeable shot.

  • I’m sure that is being worked on, probably nearly every day.. He evidently just hasn’t gotten it.

  • SCHoosier

    IU has done that multiple times this season..mixed success. In a critical situation though…given this groups rep for not communicating or executing the basics..u have to say it was a questionable move. These kids need to play in your face man defense. Problem is..Yogi..Stan (at times) the only ones capable. Troy..JH..AE..HMP are usually targeted for drives when they are in there..can’t guard laterally very well. That has to change or somebody else needs to play. Who you asked..good question. Davis works hard but has it tough guarding a guy 5 inches bigger or 4 inches shorter…NV is actually good wherever you put him.

  • SCHoosier

    Kid continues to lead the league in questionable decisions at crunch time. I’d say Painter got a good piece of him..and Ronnie is looking for greener pastures where he can shoot at will and drive into crowds…hey you don’t think that…..nah couldn’t happen.

  • Wow, C&C that is pretty good news.. While I’m sure he hasn’t made up his mind yet, at least it sounds like there is a possibility he’s thinking ‘stay’ at least some of the time. I hope so, I do believe he can be a whole bunch better next year.

  • SCHoosier

    Are U kidding me. Iowa had twice the talent IU did…and was the most under-achieving team in the county. Coach Fran lost this team at some point during the the Iowa are screaming for his head..for playing too many people and deferring to a senior. Sound familiar? Seriously IOWA should have contended for the B-10 title..they didn’t and unless they undergo go a major culture change..won’t get far in the Dance playing like they’ve played. Now you put Yogi and NV with that group…and they are Final Four…IMO.

  • I can’t agree with you. he put on about 25 pounds of muscle after getting to IU. if you saw his game a couple of games ago, where they were using him outside, and he was using a screen, not always just to drive to the hoop, but was taking the pull up jumper.. he looked like, if he woks on some of those moves, he can be a totally different force next year. The kid is a very young Freshman.. Turned 18 late in the year last year, compared to most.. Don’t believe he can’t grow his game successfully at IU.

  • SCHoosier

    UM and WIS pass the ball for movement and open shots. IU of course dribbles into infinity. On the few occasions IU has passed the ball often and well with quick reversals..they got good open shots…with few TO’s. Of course having somebody to knock them down is another issue.

  • The only problem with that ‘line of reasoning’ is.. Crean’s system and most coaches system today, doesn’t focus on the back to the basket ‘big man’. And that is not the game Noah has indicated he wants. Now, if you can find a coach that can teach him some LeBron’esq types of things.. that’s the guy you want. He has the tools to be more of that guy, than a ‘back to the basket’ Shaq kind of guy. Those guys in the NBA are 7′ or over and 300 +pounds, which Noah never will be, We need a Fischer kind of guy to fill that role, while Noah plays the four.

  • I agree, with you. But, from some of Crean’s earlier in the season comments on Kenny, we could lose him to a head coaching jobe sometime in the not too distant future. The way the team has struggled, that may not be a foregone conclusion anymore. Plus, I don’t think his resume at Towson or wherever, was really ‘stellar’. I hope we don’t lose him, I think he is an invaluable recruiter.

  • Alford Bailey

    No…LOL… I don’t think that could happen but I don’t think Johnson would be any worse than Evan Gordon was.

  • MillaRed

    It reminded me a lot of my 5th and 6th grade teams. Where the ball suddenly is greased and it pops out like a cork. At that stage you laugh it off. In the B1G you bury your head in the sand while your buddies laugh.

  • Outoftheloop

    Such total ignorance!

  • Outoftheloop

    Will is a great kid, but he had an average year when greatness was needed. Yogi really improved and had a very good year, but decision making and not knowing when to give up the ball for multiple passes still needs a lot of work. Noah is a beast, I hope we get one more season of having him in a Hoosier uniform. The three freshmen: Troy, Stan, and Devin are really good and showed great individual improvement. Hanner showed great individual improvement on the court but off of the court he stumbled badly. Jeremy seriously regressed. Austin and Collin are NOT good, or even adequate, shooters, or players, at least not yet. You must play Peter Jurkin as if he is healthy next season, or give him the medical hardship, a scholarship that does not count against the 13 limit. There is a lot of work for the off-season. The real question is will these players “lay it all on the line” for these coaches as Jordy, Victor, Cody, Will and Christian did in 2012 and 2013? The jury is definitely out on that question!

  • Outoftheloop

    Your team is never better when a key starter leaves the program on bad terms. No point in Painter recruiting at North Central for a few years!

  • Outoftheloop

    Rick Pitino and John Calipari seem to “say” yes to your question. Also Fred Hoiberg (NBA assistant) now doing well at IA St supports this view.

  • Outoftheloop

    Only two teams in the 200’s: MI and WI, the two best in the B1G! Only one team in the 400’s, Indiana! Enough said!

  • Outoftheloop

    How can you be consistent when you play for 90 seconds?

  • Outoftheloop

    I disagree. I saw Stauskas screen off of the ball repeatedly, to then receive a screen, and get open and score!

  • 3AM Burrito

    He did, i wouldnt say repeatedly, unless you would say IU ran flex repeatedly or cross screened for Noah repeatedly or baseline screen for Yogi repeatedly. IU did those things too but not as main offense, just like Michigan did some off ball screen but not as main offense. Either way their offense is much more similar to IU than to a motion offense.

  • Kyl470

    I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but when Yogi shoots a 3 off a pass and not off the dribble I know his percentage has to be dramatically higher. When he comes down and dribbles, dribbles, dribbles, and then puts up a long 3 it kills the offense. He has all the skills necessary to be a great and I mean great floor leader. This off season he needs to really work at knowing how to create good angles for him to feed the post and how to get his teammates into the right positions on offense. I don’t mind him shooting when he is open, but I just hate watching him force shots.

  • ChinHigh

    What were they wrong about? Crean’s substitution practices are nutty at times. Saying so isn’t necessarily controversial if it’s true. That’s not an agenda. They just said what hundreds of people have posted on ITH and elsewhere. “Welp, just took a 10 point lead, better sub 5 players out and lose the lead before halftime.” That happened last year. Many times.

    So, dissimilarly, you’re essentially saying you didn’t notice Crean substituting strangely last year with Zeller and Vic? Talk with Meniscus. Go get your DVR.

  • Alford Bailey

    Check out boiler blogs nobody is upset. Addition by subtraction again up there.

  • ChinHigh

    That spelling error bothered you that much?

  • Ole Man

    I think much of your statement is valid. Not down on Yogi, but he seemed worn out the last 3 or 4 games.

  • Ole Man

    We didn’t see enough of Collin to know if he’s any good.
    AE played very well at times.
    Don’t know what your criteria are, but based upon your post I disagree with them somewhat.

  • Ole Man

    I hope not.

  • Alford Bailey

    I’d love to have “The Mayor” in B-town. Great coach and recruiter. Don’t think he leaves Ames, though.

  • MillaRed

    Grasp….that…..straw. Getting desperate in here.

  • I agree with you. We ae better when Yogi is creating, rather than trying to shoulder the load all by himself.

  • Yes, that might be part of it. It just seems like maybe he isn’t trusting his teammates enough and trying to do it all by himself. We’re better when he is getting more assists… and less trying to do it alone.

  • CreanFaithful

    No. Just thought that it was funny. The use of bigtime or Big Time, however you want to spell it.