Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over UNC Greensboro

  • 11/29/2014 8:42 pm in

Indiana moved to 5-1 on Friday night with a 87-79 win over UNC Greensboro at Assembly Hall. Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s win over the Spartans:

· Indiana has a long way to go defensively: Despite coming away with the win, the numbers were not pretty for IU’s defense. 1.13 points per possession allowed to UNC Greensboro, a team that came into Friday night’s game averaging .95 points per trip. The Spartans also posted an effective field goal percentage of 60.3, which was eight percent higher than they’d shot through their first five games.

Rather than struggling to defend the paint, Indiana allowed UNC Greensboro to hit 14 of its 23 attempts from behind the 3-point line. Afterward, Tom Crean shouldered the blame for where this group is defensively at this point.

“I got to take full responsibility,” he said. “It’s not on the assistants, on nobody else but me to get our communication right. And whatever that’s going to take we’re going to have to get that right because all it is is calling out who you have and calling out when you switch and calling out when we switch a defense.”

· Balanced scoring effort: As poor as Indiana played defensively, its offense continues to put up points at a healthy rate. Through Friday’s game, the Hoosiers had the country’s 17th best offense according to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings and also ranked in the top 15 nationally in both effective and 3-point field goal percentage.

Friday night saw a change in the starting lineup with Troy Williams replacing Nick Zeisloft and all five of IU’s starters finished the evening in double figures with James Blackmon Jr.’s 24 points leading the way.

“Offensively we can get shots. Our ball is moving,” Crean said. “They were doing a great job of taking away the middle of the floor on the break. So we got the ball into the corners. We were getting what we wanted in that sense.

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· Holt shows potential to contribute: After not using him in Monday’s 88-86 loss to Eastern Washington, Crean inserted Emmitt Holt for 12 minutes on Friday night and the freshman from New York delivered hustle, rebounding and a couple of blocked shots.

Holt is still going to need time to develop, but the potential is there for him to claim a rotation spot and perhaps push Hanner Mosquera-Perea for minutes as the season rolls along.

“We’ve got to be much more attentive, much more physical. We just have to,” Crean said of his team. “Emmitt brings that. Emmitt will bring that, especially as he gets used to the pace of this game, the speed of this game, the speed of the college game. He’s reacting very well. His quickness has improved. He’s improved athletically. I thought he played pretty comfortable out there.”

· Indiana keeps another opponent off the foul line: As poor as Indiana’s defense has been at times through the first six games, there’s one encouraging number on that end of the floor: opponents aren’t getting to the line against the Hoosiers.

UNC Greensboro was no different as the Spartans posted a free throw rate (defined as free throws attempted divided by field goals attempted) of just 11.1 percent. Through six games, Indiana is allowing an opponent free throw rate of just 24.1 percent, which ranks 10th nationally. The only team to post a free throw rate of more than 29 percent against IU so far was Eastern Washington.

If Indiana is able to tighten things up defensively and develop some consistency, keeping opponents off the foul line could prove pivotal, particularly with a thin frontcourt rotation.

· Mosquera-Perea’s inconsistent night: The evening started off well for the Colombia native, who amassed a solid first half line of nine points and five rebounds in 11 minutes. But by the end of the evening, Mosquera-Perea would tally just one more point and one more rebound in 12 additional minutes of action, which caught the eye of Crean.

“I said to Hanner, ‘you can’t get one point, one rebound.’Be aggressive, play the way we need to play,” Crean said. “That’s why it’s a process with Hanner. Everything is about building up, becoming more consistent. The moment Hanner thinks he’s arrived at some point, he hasn’t. He has to keep building it up. He’s got to have a hunger.”

Indiana is asking a lot of Mosquera-Perea, but his rebounding (or lack thereof) to this point is a concern. Offensively, he doesn’t have to bring much because the Hoosiers have plenty of weapons, but 4.7 rebounds per game isn’t going to get it done in the long term. And with six games already in the books and a rough slate of non-conference games quickly approaching, the time for Mosquera-Perea to bring more has arrived.

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  • I hear you. I’ve just seen so much choke from him that the 9 points and 5 rebounds seems like a fluke ya know? My doubt is almost faith at this point.

  • hagster

    What about taking resposibilty for the time Syracuse beat a beat down on us in 2013 tourney????? And all the crazy substitutions??

  • Hanner isn’t much better…he is just on the court more. That’s about it on that.

    Tom Crean must not be at the practices or doesn’t pay attention at them if he is 6 games into the season and just now sees his team can’t play defense.

    Hoosier nation realizes we won’t compete well against better competion. Assembly hall alone will get this team a few big wins…shooting really well will get a few more….but to compete for any kind of title or go to the NCAA is pretty far off the radar at this point in my opion.

    If you miss the ncaa with two all Americans on each team you can’t be the head coach at IU. JBJ is gone after this year if he can go. He may have to stay to improve his defense…or possibly because of his position. Yogi has little choice but to stay if he doesn’t get drafted, so we have a chance at some pretty desirable talent for someone to take over with. I just hope this is the last year of the Tom Crean era. I like the guy as a person. I think he has done some really great things at iu, but he just isn’t the man for this job or this fan base.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    The team has been practicing for over a month. I guessI forgot that it’s ONLY during games that players communicating with one another is important. Oops, My bad.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Someone in his recent past understood that playing fundamentally sound defense opens up a world of possibilities at the other end of the court…without the constant pressure of knowing you HAVE GOT TO SCORE to remain in the game.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Neither TC, his staff nor these players grew up in a news vacuum. As with the $3 million man, each of them had a pretty good idea of what they were going to become a part of so none of them should get a “free pass”. TC deserves a little slack for the first 3 years. The fact that there are NO seniors on the team is on him…he recruited his own players.
    I would argue that it takes a coach with charisma, vision and knowledge to build and sustain a program. No question that social media and TV play into the final product much more than in bygone years. I recall a couple teams RMK put on the floor that just couldn’t seem to get it together. However, I also remember various announcers commenting that while the team might not be comparable to previous teams in terms of skills and abilities, they still played with intensity and effort.

  • IUMIKE1

    Agree, I did the same thing. I also pretty much came to the conclusion that on the things that he does need improvement on it appeared that it wasn’t anything that more game time minutes could not make better. Not saying game time minutes are going to make him into the kind of player that suddenly solves all of our front court problems, but rather improves him enough to where he is part of the solution of solving that problem.

  • IUMIKE1

    Here’s two more, I AGREE.

  • millzy32

    Hip Hip Hooray. Now go hire Bo Pelini. Thanks.

  • b_side

    “It wasn’t a dangerous team two seasons ago in March, why should it be any different this time?”

    While this team won’t win the B1G or a number 1 seed, there’s absolutely no reason to equate the team from 2012-13 to the roster in 2014-15.

    For starters, look at the starters. Recognize any similarities? I do – Yogi. It ends there.

    Does the bench look familiar? Didn’t think so.

    So why could it be any different? Because the team is completely different. It’s also younger so the learning curve to improve is actually more dramatic. There’s even a shot Devin Davis might see the floor in February/March.

  • millzy32

    Kevin Love is a good rebounder and he’s skinny, not as tall as advertised, and has lead in his shoes. Effort and knowing where to be for the rebound helps a lot.

  • millzy32

    A quick way to improve Turnovers is to shoot long balls. Less chance to throw it away if you are bombing away instead. This is a team full of gunslingers. Feast or famine every night against the average to good teams but a great coach will exploit IU’s weaknesses and games could get ugly.

  • millzy32

    IU plays AAU ball. Run and Gun and Fun. Defense is for Butler or Gonzaga or one of those non-flashy teams.
    No need to go inside the 3 point arc. You only get two points in there. Duh.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Jared Sullinger while at OSU was an excellent rebounder (with a lot help from the stripes) who understood that positioning had to be the key element in his game. Not blessed with jump-out-of-gym hops or great quickness, he managed to use his ASSets effectively and is putting up respectable numbers for the Celtics this year.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    If it looks bad by halftime, I’m switching to a beer and a bourbon!

  • IUMIKE1

    If memory serves me right, he was who Wilson originally had hired as DC, and then got the chance to take the HC job at Nebraska. Wonder if he would be willing to take the job now, couldn’t make our D any worse and if he goes gangbusters with it maybe we could get some input from him for the bball team. lol

  • Speed

    Kentucky bourbon? YUM YUM…what is your address again?

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Thank you! Hanner needs help, not the other way around. I simply am appalled at the number of times our junior, experienced player lets his man into the paint without any contest…no blockout, no hands up, nothing. A lot of times he’s not even watching. No defender can protect well against that. I think the freshmen will advance their skills with experience.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Thoughtful point millzy. The other point with turnovers is that for several games CTC took the ball out of Yogi’s hands. Now he has it back in his hands. He turns it over a lot, historically. We’ll see if that happens again.