The Minute After: Lamar

  • 11/22/2014 10:44 pm in

Thoughts on a 85-72 win over Lamar:

I. With 5:09 to go in the first half, Indiana punched the lead out to 17 points (37-20) and looked well on its way to a blowout victory in a game in which it was favored by 30 points. But due to some turnovers and only two points over the final 3:14 of the half, the Hoosiers entered the locker room with only an eight-point advantage.

The second half didn’t go much better. An Assembly Hall crowd missing students on break was mostly flat. The Cardinals got as close as seven (77-70) with 3:42 to go before Indiana finally shut the door for good and closed this one out.

So what was the culprit for the sluggish victory? It wasn’t the turnover bug, as Indiana only had two in the second half and had a strong turnover percentage of just 13.6. Nor was it an off offensive night, as the Hoosiers shot it pretty well (59.5 eFG%) including a 9-of-20 mark from distance. It also got to the line at a decent clip (41.4 free throw rate) and scored 1.29 points per possession. Had we seen all these numbers without the final score, it would have seemed like Indiana cruised to victory here.

What allowed the Cardinals to stay in this was Indiana’s defense. It was one which allowed the Cardinals to score on seven straight possessions at one point in the second half. It was essentially a game of shot-trading after the break. Indiana allowed 48 (!) points in the paint to a Lamar squad that came into the game as the No. 346 offense from an efficiency standpoint, per KenPom. The Cardinals also scored 1.09 points per possession after averaging just .88 entering tonight’s contest. Too many times, Indiana let Lamar drive into the paint for scores.

While the Hoosiers should have performed better on defense against a team such as this, some credit is due to Lamar. It played with confidence inside Assembly Hall and got a strong performance from a host of players, including Tyran de Lattibeaudiere (18 points).

Still, this one probably shouldn’t have been so close.

 II.  Emmitt Holt made his Hoosier debut this evening and probably would have had the opportunity for more playing time had Indiana built more of a lead. The freshman only saw five minutes of action but scored four points and snagged two boards. Holt has a lot of length and looked solid in his limited run, which included a nice score in transition. Time will tell how much of the court he’ll get over the next few weeks, but for now he appears to be a player that should be able to carve out a rotation role with Devin Davis still sidelined.

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III. James Blackmon Jr. continues to be a flat-out shooter. As Shon Morris noted on the TV broadcast, every shot goes up the same with great mechanics, and it feels as if every one of them has a chance of finding the bottom of the net. Blackmon Jr. scored over 20 points (21) for a third time this season and hit 5-of-7 from distance and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Yogi Ferrell turned the ball over just once in in 33 minutes on his way to 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Troy Williams is impressing with his ability to make the smart pass (team-high three assists) and work the baseline for sneaky scores (10 points). Both he and Stanford Robinson — who seemingly can get fouled whenever the heck he wants on the drive (4-of-4 from the line) — haven’t skipped a beat since returning to the lineup this week.

Filed to:

  • ForeverIU

    Yes, I have to admit I hold my breath! LOL.

  • Arch Puddington

    Tom, always glad to hear your thoughts. I still think my post was accurate, though.

    Regarding our defense, consider this: playing against what Kenpom rates as the 334th most difficult schedule in D1 basketball — almost dead last, for the record — we have the 94th ranked defense. That isn’t just bad, it’s awful. Even in the SMU game, in which we forced a fair number of turnovers, we allowed an effective FG% that will lose 9 games out of 10.

    And while I agree this team will get better, don’t look for it to finish in the top 50,maybe not even in the top 100. The best defense we have had during the CTC era was the 2012-13 team, which finished 28th. The year before that — a team that included Vic and Cody — we finished 84th. The years before that sort of don’t count, but for what its worth none of them were in the top 125. Defense in general, and perimeter defense in particular, are just not CTC’s forte.

    As for Troy, Stan, and Emmit, I’ll just say this: we will be a better team if all three of them can become consistent, productive players who defend well and don’t turn the ball over. We can debate how well or how poorly they have played thus far, but I’m sure we agree that at their best they are good players whose size and athleticism we will need in conference play.

  • HoosierBuddy

    I understand everyone’s concern about how this should have been a routine beat down. Bit the quick turn around and beating a ranked team puts you in a different mind set. Look at Kentucky they put a beat down on Kansas beating them by 32 points the next game they entered the locker room at half with a 5 point lead over boston university. These young guys will figure it out and when they put it all together we will be back in the national discussion. In my opinion it will be after we beat Louisville.

  • Our leading rebounder was Blackmon. Not good!

  • Stanford Robinson’s defense was a bright spot, which I don’t think anyone has really recognized. And his ability to drive, score, and/or get fouled continues to impress. I was most disappointed in Hanner this game. Poor position, never blocked out, too many dumb attempts to block shots. He did try to take a couple charges, but the poor rebounding position really hurts the rest of the team. As always, Blackmon and Yogi were terrific. Hoping to see more of Holt, immediately.

  • absolutely agree. I love his slashing ability and think that his ability to draw fouls will be extremely important against much bigger teams.

  • Dave Carnes

    Brklynfan replied Larry Richardson,Good one remember when Bob walked down the bench after Larry had a breakout night and raised his hand like he just Knocked out Fraser.That had to be close to Bobs last year.

  • CreanFaithful

    and IU beat SMU… who cares? Hopefully this will be a good teaching/learning opportunity for film/practice. Much more to be gleaned from this than a 40 point blow out.

  • CreanFaithful

    Brilliant.

  • Penny Stryzek

    Interesting Nebraska lost to Rhode Island (Neb. shot 36.8%; 3 point shots 15%). It is November time to improve on defense. Maybe there was a let down from the SMU game. Plus they are playing 3 games in 5 days. When Hanner is close to the bucket to take a shot, he should go to the bucket strong and stuff the ball through the bucket (make the shot plus probably get fouled).

  • CreanFaithful

    We are witnessing a Hanner that had an entire offseason and 4 games of 25+ minutes under his belt. I like him and hope he continues to improve, but he is just not there yet – i’m still hoping. But how would he have improved our team last year? We were 39th in defensive efficiency. Our problem last year was our inability to put the ball in the hole.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    An excellent point which I overlooked! JBJ = money at the line. Reminds me of a kid from New Castle who wore the #12 jersey
    .

  • Outoftheloop

    You look at Indiana and you see NO team defensive concept or identity! This is a problem that needs fixing!

  • Outoftheloop

    So Crean played Etherington and Holloway? That is really stupid!

  • Outoftheloop

    Play Hanner plus Troy, there is only one guy around the rim on offense. Playing two out of Collin, Emmitt and Max still only places one guy in the lane on offense.

  • CreanFaithful

    What has Hanner showed you this year that makes you think he would have improved our offense last year? We were 39th in defensive efficiency.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Louisville will be us by 15.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    The Hoosiers have no consequences: stupid TO – no problem cuz we are playing fast, lack of effort on defense – oh well get ’em next time, no box out – they were more aggressive. No player on this team ever gets benched unless they slug a player/ref. They need to be led and coached, not massaged.

  • HoosierBuddy

    We will win that game mark my words. And friend crow will taste very good.

  • b_side

    Both were better defenders than Hanner. As was Jeff Howard.

  • b_side

    He’s already got a nice frame for a frosh. But I bet he can play at 240-245 effectively.

  • Outoftheloop

    Hanner in 4 games: 25 min, .650% FG, 5.3 rebounds/game, 8.8 pts/game, 7 blocks/4 games; Hollowell in 29 games: 18.3 min/game, .351% FG, 3.5 rebounds/game, 5.7 pts/game, 16 blocks/29 games; Etherington in 30 games: 10.6 min, .326% FG, 1.6 rebounds/game, 2.0 pts/game, 4 blocks/30 games. I wish all test questions were this easy!

  • Outoftheloop

    WOW, I totally disagree! Hollowell was a terrible defender, very lackadaisical and Austin was physically inadequate against anyone with 6’7 size and above.

  • b_side

    That’s ok, you’re entitled to your opinion. But it doesn’t jive with last year’s rotation. Why didn’t Hanner play more?

  • SCHoosier

    He was talking about Troy’s pass to Hanner which turned into a TO..the pass was a “ridiculous To”

  • SCHoosier

    I was comparing him to the guys around him. those Lamar guys had some guns and strength. Holt is not flabby…he just needs more heft.. and physical strength..Those long arms will benefit him at some point.

  • ForeverIU

    Ah, Sorry! It didn’t seem like Crean to say that, which is why I thought it was funny.

  • Jonny McClain

    I know I can be hard on guys as well as I expect a lot but after reading this thread, it’s as if everyone needs someone to pile on and troy and stan seem to be those guys this year. does anyone remember these guys last year – they were fantastic. let’s just let the season play out and cut those two some slack – 10 games from now they will be back in everyone’s good graces.

  • SilentBob

    A shooter should never play 35 minutes a game in college. Takes his legs out of his shot, makes him even more of a liability on defense, and takes the little explosion he does have. And no both Williams and Robinson should strive to be the best players they can be. Limit their roles and you limit this team because they are studs

  • Outoftheloop

    Then change the match ups. IU has 6’11, 6’9, 6’9, 6’8, 6’7, 6’7 and 6’7 players to put into the game!

  • Outoftheloop

    Not yet, 2 games: 3 A/0 TO and 2 A/1 TO!

  • Outoftheloop

    Because the Coach made a big mistake, he ended up 17-15 and with no-post season! If all of Howard’s minutes and some of Etherington’s and Hollowell’s minutes had gone to Hanner last season, then Hanner would be MUCH better this season, and IU would not have lost a single game more last season!

  • b_side

    Ha, massive assumption with no support whatsoever to back it up. But I know you’re a big fan of throwing out stats, so here’s two key ones from Kenpom last season: 127 and 47, our offense and defense rankings, respectively. Quite a gap.

    Based on that alone, Crean pressed the right buttons defensively – that team performed better than the 2011-2012 when we went to the Sweet 16. It’s the offense that was the problem. I think we can both agree that Hanner wouldn’t have made a significant impact on that front.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    And pray

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Here’s the thing, IU will need a couple of big strong guys in the paint come B1G season games…. If Lamar’s players can push IU around, the players in the B1G players, well, it’s all bad. There is NO WAY IU can defend the paint with 4 players 6’4″ or shorter on the Court in the B1G season.

  • Outoftheloop

    Wrong! The goal is not to be a top 50 team, but a top 25 team! Hanner would have greatly added to IU’s defense last season. With doubling his minutes to 15.4, his rebounds would likely have gone to 124, blocks to 26 and steals to 10 and 68 fouls in 30 games for a guy playing 15+ min/game is no problem. IU’s defense was NOT strong when games against weaker teams were there to be won: PN St and NW. Nor when home games could have put us in the tourney: NE.

  • b_side

    Alright, I’m done here. Your viewpoints are far too hypothetical to even merit further discussion. Showing only the enhanced positive stats while not taking into account turnovers and lack of court awareness (something that can’t be measured) demonstrates a limited perspective. We can armchair coach all we want, but Crean (and his staff) watch the film and practice. We get neither. You haven’t convinced me so ‘ll side with the coaches on this one.