Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Northwood

  • 11/07/2014 10:31 am in

In our first exhibition look at the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers in Assembly Hall, the outcome was a 94-70 win over Division II Northwood on Thursday night.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win:

· Nick Zeisloft comes out firing: The Illinois State transfer was the surprise of Indiana’s trip to Montreal in August and on Thursday night, Zeisloft showed no hesitation to generate offense when the ball came his way. His numbers through two seasons in the Missouri Valley Conference don’t suggest he’ll be featured and last night shouldn’t change that thinking. However, there’s a lot to like about what Zeisloft can potentially bring. He’s confident, seems to have a good connection with his teammates and is a guy who will take care of the ball.

On the evening, Zeisloft finished with 24 points, including a 10-of-10 performance from the free throw line. With defenses keying on Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr., the opportunities for Zeisloft to find space for open looks should be plentiful.

“My teammates made the extra pass a lot tonight,” he said after the win. “We’re going to continue, and there’s a lot of shooters out there and a lot of weapons that we have, and plenty of guys that can find the open man and make the play to get someone else open.”

· Will IU be capable of generating enough easy looks? The Hoosiers struggled to find many easy baskets early on in the exhibition and while adding Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams back into the rotation should give this group a more balanced look offensively, the fact that IU doesn’t have much of a post presence isn’t changing.

IU took a ridiculous 38 free throws last night, but in terms of getting to the offensive glass (a stat of major importance), only grabbing 26.4 percent of offensive boards is a low number considering the opponent. When you dig a bit deeper into the numbers, only one of the team’s starters, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, was able to corral an offensive rebound. With an undersized frontline, there’s going to be pressure on IU’s guards to rebound and on nights when outside shots aren’t falling, easy buckets will be difficult to come by. That’s just reality.

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· James Blackmon Jr. is a college ready scorer: Some freshmen have an adjustment period when the real games begin, and it’s possible that may indeed be the case for Blackmon Jr., but he’s probably the best pure scorer that Crean has recruited to Indiana. Cody Zeller was obviously a more impactful player for many reasons, but Blackmon Jr. is probably the best newcomer since Eric Gordon at generating instant offense.

In his prep career, Blackmon Jr. not only scored a ton of points, but he did it in an efficient manner. Last night, he hit seven of his 11 shots from the field and went 10-of-10 from the foul line.

“It felt really good to play my first game here,” Blackmon Jr. said. “I felt my teammates gave me the confidence I needed to get going, and once they got me involved, I felt like it got better for me scoring the ball.”

· How will IU defend the post? It’s a legitimate question at this point and one that this roster will have a tough time answering. Hanner Mosquera-Perea still has shaky hands, but his play on defense, particularly on the defensive boards and in protecting the rim, are going to be major for this group.

Last night, Mosquera-Perea played 33 minutes and only picked up two fouls, which is an accomplishment in itself when you examine his fouls per 40 minutes numbers from his first two seasons. There are going to be nights, however, when Mosquera-Perea finds himself in foul trouble. When it happens, what’s going to be the solution?

· Now, it’s about basketball: That’s not to say that the off court problems or the horrific injury to Devin Davis are to be forgotten or brushed aside, but this story now shifts to how Indiana performs on the court this season. When Tom Crean was asked on Wednesday if what happened to Davis was an eye opener for his team, his response was simple: “I would certainly hope so.”

Last night after the win, comments from Mosquera-Perea seemed to indicate that the group is collectively doing its best to move forward.

“We have been dealing with that stuff, but we cannot let anything really get in between us right now,” he said. “We just need to keep being strong, just keep working hard because we have a long season ahead of us, so just keep working on it.”

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  • IUDan

    Thanks for the report guys – I actually thought he’d be out for the season … So good to see him get in game action!

  • hagster

    support Hoosier Nation

  • david r

    While I’m excited about what we added outside this year, I can’t help but think about what could have been if Luke Fischer hadn’t left. It could mean the difference between making the tourney or not. I should be mature enough to wish him well, but I don’t. I think a better man would have given our program a chance for a semester. Quitting on us that easily really bothers me. In fairness to him, he might have left because he witnessed the immaturity and antics of some players before we did. I would love to know if that is true.

  • Outoftheloop

    Tim:1-1 FG, 1-1 3-point, 2 reb, 2 fouls, 3 pts, 1 A, 0 TO, 1 blk, 1 stl, 8 min; Ryan + Nate + Collin: 1-6 FG, 0-2 3-point, 5 reb, 1 foul, 2 pts, 1 A, 1 TO, 0 blk, 1 stl, 34 min. Maybe Tim should get more minutes?

  • notfargj

    So, respond to the comment by writing “down-vote.”

  • notfargj

    There’s no question he’s a gifted player. My hope is he will stick around, become a scholarship player and have a positive impact in the locker room the next three years.

  • notfargj

    Less noted, I must say the new candy stripe pant tradition at Hoosier Hysteria was like watching an episode of The Bachelor. The only thing missing was having the former player cautiously precede by saying “Will you accept these pants?”

  • ScoopGeoff

    yeah…. sorry, but even he isn’t stupid enough to get caught up in a point shaving scandal, especially with everything else that’s going on with him… totally bogus story.

  • InTheMtns

    Tim is still having more problems on the defensive end than Collin+Nate+Ryan are. But, he’s making improvements and is looking better I thought. I loved the block and the steal. I hope we see more of him, too. If he can get to where he can play adequate defense he could really cause match-up problems for other teams.

  • Outoftheloop

    Jeremiah, Emmitt, and Max must rise to the occasion! Next year I hope Devin can also be included!

  • Ole Man

    Tim looks really “awkward”.
    I think his minutes are about right. This is actually a good situation for him. He’s getting time with starters that he might not get otherwise.
    Great for him to see how far he has to go and how hard he has to work.

  • Outoftheloop

    James is at LEAST worth two Bracey Wrights!

  • Ole Man

    April will be limited this year. Max will be learning how to be an inside scraper this year. (Don’t know, but I’m guessing that has something to do with how he was injured in practice.)
    Holt is our one real hope for this year.

  • Ole Man

    It was improved over last year (what couldn’t be…lol).
    Definitely, a work in progress.
    Would love to have seen more passing — still a bit too much individual dribbling.
    A few too many “Oh, we’re across half court so let’s jack up a shot (are you listening Yogi?) moments.
    A little too much, “Hey, we’re a 3 point shooting team so why try to work it inside.”
    However, all this is nitpicking.
    (Don’t won’t to get too excited too quickly…lol)
    And All of this is excusable considering the “depleted numbers” team and lineups that were thrown together.
    Last night was a great platform to build upon.
    And that’s what these games are for.

  • SilentBob

    Eh if it wasn’t the right fit then it wasn’t the right fit. I don’t think his loss was that big, he still had quite a ways to go to be big ten ready himself. He would’ve added nice depth, but I’m not losing sleep over it. I’ve never been able to stop myself from thinking what could have been if Remy hadn’t left. Maybe these problems wouldn’t have happened. Strong head on that kid. Would’ve helped Sheehey a lot in the locker room. Not to mention he probably would have started last year.

  • SilentBob

    Idk bout that. I think people forget about Bracey cause of his failure in the NBA and low fg% (ball hog) on teams lacking scorers (especially his last 2 yrs). He was a workhorse averaging almost 36 mins a game in his 3 yrs. Averaged 17.6 points. 2.4 assists, slight over 5 rebounds and 1 steal per game those 3 yrs. That’s pretty amazing if ya ask me.

  • 3AM Burrito

    I was at game and honestly did not see a lot of difference in what was run offensively. Still primarily spacing ball screen and cuts, just better shooters. Defense was alarmingly bad.

  • 3AM Burrito

    I agree on Yogi he seemed to over dribble and jacked up some bad shots. He could learn from JBJ on how to be more efficient with the ball and shot.

  • mark

    This kid is an interesting case. A role player at a mid-major then comes to IU and starts lighting it up. Maybe it’s just a better system for him , or maybe e just didn’t have guards around him who could get him open looks at ISU?

  • mark

    Amen. “WE NEED A TEAM CONSISTING OF PLAYERS WHO GET WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT.” What a privilege, an honor, to receive a full scholarship to play basketball at a legendary basketball school.

  • Shawn Congo

    I thought he was there only 2 Years.

  • SilentBob

    Naw his junior year he lead the Big 10 in scoring and was first team big 10.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    From what a prior article stated, “Max was injured trying a tomohawk slam against Hanner.”.

  • Devout Hoosier

    Two early TV treats:

    TODAY 11/8 @ 4:30 BTN to replay 1st exhibition game.
    MONDAY 11/10 @ 7 BTN to televise live 2nd exhibition game
    produced by students.

  • notfargj

    Amen and amen.

  • notfargj

    Good point regarding player development. In retrospect, I can’t recall Crean actually making the claim for being personally responsible for this. In terms of walk-ons, it would be a thrill if we could take a couple of them and see that they flourish under the coaching staff. Ritchie’s athleticism in particular is impressive. I for one would like to see the full potential of his game unleashed during his time in Bloomington.

  • Outoftheloop

    Thanks for the “heads up”.

  • Outoftheloop

    Once Emmitt is back, he and Hanner are the “Post”. But Max (17) and Tim (13) are the “4”. They must be able to rebound, defend, and find openings in the corner for the 3 shot. Troy will get some minutes at the 4 (10) but mostly at the 3 (15). Rebounding and defense will be the key to success! Indiana can shoot with anyone this year!

  • InTheMtns

    You could be right, but CTC isn’t to much into the whole position thing so we’ll see. I absolutely agree with you about rebounding and defending. I’d expect to see us use a zone when Tim is in to help hide him a little. Otherwise, I think he’ll have trouble staying in front of his man, especially as the competition improves. The fans love it. though, when he drains a 3! I hope Emmitt is able to get up to speed quickly once he gets back. We’ve got to remember, though, that he’s a freshman and most freshmen take a while to transition to the college game.

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    I agree that we don’t want to “fan the flames”, so to speak, but the off-court problems cannot and should not be ignored or denied.

  • TomJameson

    I actually watched the game last night, and I agree that Nate has talent and athleticism. I’d be willing to bet a nickel that if Nate puts in the work, he could be a very good player for IU. Coach can teach, but he can’t make them work the “24/7” type of work. In a nutshell … I like Nate.

  • TomJameson

    I guess a lot comes down to the system. Nick definitely seems to be flourishing in this one. I also noticed that Nick was very vocal and busy on the court. Not just going to a spot and wait for a pass (although there was some of that to good fruition LOL). I think Nicks two years at IU is going to be pretty special.

  • TomJameson

    Tim still managed to get some things done but, yes, looked a little slow and awkward. I did perk up thinking of his potential though. 🙂

  • GaHoosier

    I agree that the problems should not be ignored or denied, and they won’t be. IU is not going to brush these issues under the rug. Fred Glass and Coach Crean have been quick to expose the issues @ IU and they have no desire to HIDE them.

    I can’t speak with 100% certainty, but I believe there are quite a few NCAA schools who have similar issues but choose to cover them up (several schools come to mind…but I won’t name them).

    I just believe IU nation needs to rally together and help carry this team through these trials. These are young men, who made mistakes, but they should learn from their mistakes. Whether or not Coach Crean is going to lead IU to banner #6; I can’t think of another coach I would rather have mentoring these young men through these times!

    As always, GO IU

  • SCHoosier

    He’s got to be in there for one reason: to shoot. I counted 5 times in the Northwood game that he was in a corner unguarded during an offensive possession. Blackmon, Yogi and Rob all managed to do something else with the ball.(nothing great) ..instead o f throwing it to an open Priller. That probably needs to be corrected

  • SCHoosier

    Given our personnel situation it was dumb for Max to try that in a scrimmage/ practice and even dumber for Hanner to try and block it…risking injury to either or both. Maybe Hanner ought to wear a Yellow shirt…”hands off warning” to all concerned??.

  • SilentBob

    That would make sense if we were going for a more “traditional” lineup. However our guards are clearly our strength, and to not have 3 of them on the court most of the time would be a mistake IMO. I imagine, especially with what has happened with Devin, you can expect Troy to get the vast majority of his minutes at the four.

  • Jrod

    We are just going to have to ask the guards to crash the boards. I think RJ will be very difficult for any gaurd to box out and keep of the boards. Rebounding is all about want and positioning.

  • Ole Man

    It won’t be.

  • Outoftheloop

    Sometimes a little perspective helps. I just read where U VA suspended 2 players for 4 games (2 exhibition and 2 real) for “violating team rules over the summer’ (the identical wording to the IU press release on Troy and Stan). There is no uproar in Virginia as they were 30-7 with a Sweet Sixteen season last year.

  • John D Murphy

    My 5 takeaways 1. JBJ can and will score…a lot 2. Yogi is still in love with his dribble 3. We choose to make the hard pass rather than the easy one 75% of the time 4. Hoosier nation will fall in love with RJ 5. TC’s obsession with always going too fast and his lack of concern about turnovers will plague this team again