The Minute After: UQAM

  • 08/13/2014 4:47 pm in

MONTREAL — Thoughts on a 109-77 win over the University of Quebec at Montreal:

Indiana’s five-game trip through Canada came to an end on Wednesday afternoon and in a lot of ways, the game felt much like the first game of the trip for the Hoosiers.

The opponent had little in terms of size, IU was clearly the more athletic and talented team and once it took control, there was little doubt as to what the result would be.

Still, there were positives to draw out of the effort, particularly when you consider this team was playing its fifth game in six days.

The bounce back effort of Robert Johnson, who went scoreless on Tuesday, is near the top of the list. The freshman guard from Richmond (Va.) finished with 17 points, hit all four of his 3-point attempts and also added five rebounds, four assists and three steals. In his postgame comments, Tom Crean mentioned that he didn’t even realize that Johnson failed to score on Tuesday because he was contributing in other facets of the game.

Devin Davis also had a strong final effort on the glass, corralling a team-high 10 rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. While Davis wasn’t consistent with his rebounding totals on the trip, he’s definitely worked on his body in the offseason and seems more comfortable when he catches the ball near the block. While he’s still undersized, the added strength should allow Davis to hold his own as he role continues to grow.

Troy Williams was also outstanding on this afternoon with a team-high 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists and said one of the reasons he’s more comfortable right now than he was last season is that his left hand is completely healthy. Crean has talked a lot on this trip about getting his team to understand that it’s often better to just make the simple play and Williams, with his elite athleticism, is a great example for a player where this should be the focus.

In addition to the strong afternoon from Johnson, fellow freshman James Blackmon Jr. also finished the trip strong with 20 points on the afternoon on 8-of-12 shooting. Blackmon Jr. translates immediately to the college game because he can score in so many ways. Over this five-game trip, we saw the complete arsenal: He scored from behind the 3-point line, he hit some mid-range jump shots and floaters and he was excellent finishing at the rim and in transition. He’s a player that is going to take a tremendous load off of Yogi Ferrell. Ferrell also had an efficient afternoon: 16 points (6-of-8 FG, 3-of-4 FT) to go along with five rebounds and four assists.

From a team perspective, IU’s numbers were, for the most part, strong in this finale. The Hoosiers scored 1.27 points per possession, posted an effective field goal percentage of 67.3 and rebounded almost 42 percent of their misses. The turnovers weren’t where they need to be eventually — 17 on the afternoon for a turnover percentage of 20 — but just as the shooting numbers aren’t likely to be indicative of where this team will ultimately end up, the same goes for turnovers given the circumstances (five games in six days, half of the roster being newcomers, etc.).

Now, Indiana heads home to Bloomington and the team will get a break before the fall semester begins. The Hoosiers leave Montreal with a 4-1 record, but more importantly, much needed experience and a checklist for the coaching staff of where things need to improve before now and the start of practice. With the start of practice less than two months away, Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon.

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  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Home whites!! Chills

  • Hardwood83

    I hope that Hanner & April missing out doesn’t stunt team progress. Even so I was pretty pleased with what I saw (McGill) and read about this trip.

  • mckillio

    Alex, after this trip what are your thoughts on the NCAA going to quarters and/or a 24 second (at least shorter) shot clock? Did the games seem to flow better, make it more entertaining etc.?

  • I’m glad we have a man in charge who doesn’t know who is scoring the points in a basketball game. That may qualify as being “indicative” of a head basketball coach

  • marcusgresham

    For all of those who tire of hearing others point out how young this team is, take note that 88 of the 109 points were scored by freshmen and sophomores (as well as 38 of the 48 rebounds.)

  • CreanFaithful

    It’s PR. He touched on pushing Rob into some uncomfortable positions last night as possible reasoning for his struggle in last nights game (scoring wise). The message is that he likes his play in a variety of ways (rebounding at the guard spot, steals/deflections, assists, etc) and is not dwelling on an off shooting night. If you don’t think CTC knows the stats you are outa your mind…

  • Brad

    What a stupid comment. Come on. I can understand being frustrated with last season, but good grief, I just don’t understand all of the Crean hate.

  • dontfiretomcrean

    if you don’t like it then go cheer for UK. they have a classy coach down there i hear.

  • CreanFaithful

    C’mon. I disagree with the message/intent of the post too, but let’s not resort to that. It’s an opinion/observation. Just tell em why you disagree. Too many fans butting heads on here. We all want to debate and more importantly, we all want wins!

  • ForeverIU

    Maybe that’s because we’ve been scoring past 100. What matters more from a coaching perspective is how and when RJ takes the shot, not as much whether he scored.

  • aubreyhouse

    which is exactly why i am cautiously optimistic about this season…

  • dontfiretomcrean

    i’m tired of all the crean hate on here. it’s unnecessary and unmerited. the comment he made has nothing to do with the article that was posted. if someone doesn’t like crean that’s fine, but at least make an intelligent comment based on something resembling facts. taking potshots at him is tiresome and the lowest common denominator.

  • CreanFaithful

    Me too. But unless we allow debate, it becomes two camps (and has). I don’t like having to defend a positive CTC statement against the “koolaid” retorts. It works out a lot better when you have to defend a point of view on merit. Just my two cents after these last few seasons…

  • dontfiretomcrean

    i agree. however, a debate would suggest that two “sides” are actually discussing something of value as related to IUBB instead of taking unwarrented potshots at a superb head coach that has done a tremendous job restoring a program from utter ruin. i’m all for fun debate about IUBB. God knows that the majority of people on here are hardcore about Hoosier hoops. If we want to take potshots let’s take them at the one place we can all agree should be despised: UK. 😉

  • TomJameson

    I like those stats, thanks! You really can’t argue that the team is young, by definition of age and class. But I think that there are so many positive factors that help make these young men play “older” than they are. Number 1 has to be the basketball IQ of the individuals, and as a team. Then there is the chemistry of the team … they are actually playing AS a team, not as individuals playing ON the same team. And I think they have better leadership and finally (you all can think of more I’m sure) I think they are having fun playing basketball. Hoping that will be the same when they face the stiff competition of the B1G, but we’ll see that when we get there. Right now I am really happy with this team (get the TOs down please) lol

  • INUnivHoosier

    I hope Crean isn’t sitting there marking up a little stat sheet, tracking each individual player’s shots. If he’s doing that, he’s missing the game. That’s what assistants and managers are for.

  • CreamandCrimson

    On a sarcastic note (believe me, I am joking and I know you weren’t ripping on RJ)…maybe you should question Robert Johnson’s shooting more often. 4-4 from 3 and 17 points!

  • CreamandCrimson

    How successful this trip was won’t be determined until the regular season but I feel much more excited about watching this team play than I did prior to this trip. The spacing, shooting and ball movement looks better than it did at any point last season. Will the defense and rebounding be good enough to allow us compete in the top half of the Big Ten? Time will tell but I don’t have much doubt when I say that we will be one of the better shooting teams in the conference.

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t see Crean hate. With a name like “dontfiretomcrean” you might be creating your own monster straw man. Your name implies there’s a “fire Crean” campaign at ITH. I think the moderators have done a good job of chasing out those schmucks. There’s no need for fear-mongering here.

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t agree we should despise UK. Why? Because you said so?

  • David Macer

    This team has all the attributes of 2011-12 and 2012-13 teams. It will be interesting to see what impact Hanner and Jeremiah will have come early November.

    One observation is that these freshmen and Zeisloft have absolutely no fear. Remember that Collin Hartman will have some impact as well since he can light it up too. It just seems they are much more relaxed than the uptight feeling I think they had last year…Just one man’s humble opinion.

    GO HOOSIERS !!

  • ForeverIU

    Lol, self-referencing sarcasm, even more biting! I’m happy to be the good luck charm any day 🙂

  • MillaNun

    Hey, can’t we all just get along?

  • RMK

    And what puts us above other teams that are extremely young is that our point guard does not fit in to this stat. Guard play wins in college hoops. Have to have leadership and experience at that position. It allows everyone else just to play and when we have guys this talented just playing, it’ll be very fun to watch.

  • MillaNun

    Yes, for the 2nd time in my life I have resorted to MillaNun. You old timers in here remember what that was all about. It has been years since MillaNun has shown his/her/its colors.

    In this particular case, it’s an olive branch. An effort to slow down the Crean bashers and/or Crean extremists. A new season is upon us. The players are what is important and need our support. I’m ready to moooooooooooooove onnnnnnnnnnn.

    Go Hoosiers. And God Bless Inside the Hall! (not a religious reference just being a smart arse)

  • Outoftheloop

    Milla, I forget. What is/was the “all about” for the Nun?

  • MillaNun

    It was a long time ago. If anyone remembers exactly what went down please remind me. I was being my silly/jerky self and said if something went down with the Hoosiers i would become a nun. Well, as usual, I was wrong. And a nun was born. We had a lot of fun with it for quite a while. And there have been many references to it over the years. 😉

  • ForeverIU

    MillaMonk?

  • ForeverIU

    The Knight piece by Brennan?

  • MillaNun

    Yes. Bobby still getting some press.

  • iuoiu

    Funny, I was reading the article and got to that quote and said to myself that somebody will really show their…..lack of understanding by using that quote to bash Crean. I’m 1-1 today – sweet!

  • IUMIKE1

    IUMIKE1 smiles broadly and nods.

  • IUMIKE1

    And along those lines, an interesting resurrection it is ! This is also not a religious reference, cause that would be playing with fire…oooops another one that sounds that way….I can’t help it ! I can’t stop ! See what kind of bad influence you are on me ! I’m outtttta here !

    We had so much fun with it that I’ve never been able to entirely forget about that span of time or let it go.( and I accuse my ex-wife of not being able to let things go, but that’s a whole different type of website and conversation lol )

  • Outoftheloop

    Humility is good for the soul! Perhaps next the “Flying Milla”?

  • skotchie

    Against teams that would qualify for the NCAA tourney? No,
    teams that would qualify for the NIT? Probably not. Against teams that would
    qualify for the CBI? Maybe in a reach.

    I’m taking it for what it’s worth, exhibition basketball a
    place for learning and building team cohesion.

    Hate to see anyone set such lofty goals for the upcoming
    season for this team then be so let down this site and the forum becomes a
    place of taking pot shots at the staff, players, and other members. Saw enough
    of that last season.

    Common sense tells me this team may be a bit better than
    last but I’m willing to roll with the punches this season and yes expecting to
    take grief from friends who are fans of other programs, at this point I’m
    expecting an NIT bid.

  • Outoftheloop

    Because the “Coach Cal, professional player with extreme material rewards to the players, and the extreme disrespect of the academic portion of their ‘student-athletes’, model” is a terrible model which teaches all of the wrong lessons (entitlement, arrogance, etc.) But not “despise”, just be critical of this system.