Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Georgetown

  • 12/28/2014 8:22 am in

Indiana fell to 10-3 on Saturday with a 91-87 overtime loss to Georgetown in Madison Square Garden. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Hoyas:

· Hoosiers had no answer to Josh Smith: In their previous two losses this season, Indiana was dominated by physical big men: Venky Jois of Eastern Washington and Montrezl Harrell on Louisville.

On Saturday, Josh Smith of Georgetown had a similar effect.

The Hoosiers had no answer for the 6-foot-10, 350-pound senior, who freely attacked the basket without much contention.

Due to Indiana’s lack of size — only Jeremiah April is taller than Smith, and April has played just 14 minutes this season — the Hoosiers had to double team Smith to be effective at all, Tom Crean said. Smith turned the ball over three times and had four fouls on the afternoon.

But Indiana did not nearly defend Smith to the level it hoped, and the big man found open looks because of his size and physicality in the paint. He finished with 14 points, six rebounds (five offensive rebounds), three assists and two steals in just 26 minutes of action.

· Turnovers make their return: Much like Indiana does to its opponents, Georgetown switched defenses on the Hoosiers often on Saturday.

But this time, Georgetown’s physicality forced the Hoosiers into multiple shot clock violations, multiple rushed shots and multiple turnovers.

Indiana finished with 17 turnovers against the Hoyas for a turnover percentage of 21.8 — its third-worst effort this season. And despite playing the Hoyas close, it was that high turnover number that had a direct effect on the result of the game: Georgetown scored 20 points off Indiana turnovers on Saturday.

· Ferrell shows up in the big moment (again): Last weekend against Butler, junior Yogi Ferrell took over the game by scoring 20 points in the second half.

Against Georgetown, Ferrell once again had a similar effect — this time in the final minute. With the Hoosiers trailing, 76-71, and less than a minute remaining, the Indianapolis native came up big. He banked in a 3-pointer to cut the Hoyas lead to two with just 37 seconds left.

And after Jabril Trawick converted on only one of two free throws at the other end, Ferrell once again took matters into his own hands. He drained another 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to tie the game, thereby sending it into overtime.

Ferrell finished with 27 points in 41 minutes of action, although he did have four fouls and four turnovers, as well.

· Williams continuing to show improvement: After matching his career-high of 22 points last Saturday against Butler, sophomore Troy Williams one-upped his effort against Georgetown.

Williams finished with a career-high 23 points, but he also continued to show his improved influence in the game outside of scoring. The Virginia native loaded the stats sheet with an additional eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in a career-high 33 minutes of action.

Still, Williams had three turnovers — a part of his game he has been trying to cut down on. And those turnovers all came in the second half and two were in the final 3:35 of regulation.

Just in his past five games, Williams’ stat line speaks volumes to his improvement: 77 points, 34 rebounds, 15 assists and just 10 turnovers. Last season, for comparison, Williams had 29 total assists to 57 turnovers.

· The jury is still out on this team: As Alex pointed out in The Minute After, with the way the non-conference season has concluded, much of the book has still yet to be written on this year’s Indiana team.

It has won big games against SMU, Pittsburgh and Butler — showing it can compete with physical teams — but also has losses to Eastern Washington, Louisville and Georgetown — teams that dominated the paint and could also shoot from outside it.

Indiana’s NCAA tournament fate will be decided in its next 18 games of Big Ten action — not from its prior 13.

(Photo credit: Associated Press/Kathy Willens)

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  • Outoftheloop

    Having more points at the end of the game = victories. It is a simple game!

  • Hoosier Hall

    I want to see what Luke Fischer does with Josh Smith. He gets 2 chances this season…

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    No worries, the NIT is well within IUs grasp.

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    What’s with the name calling..very immature.

  • millzy32

    Thank God Patterson has been playing so well for us or we would have really missed getting that Smith-Rivera kid. Wait what?

  • millzy32

    Crean Era? It will truly end up being a forgotten period I am afraid.
    I like how he has the players adapting to the fact that they never have box out position by actually trying to smack the ball back instead of grab it. That appears to be the new coaching thing to combat our rebounding ills. Jump high and smack at the ball and hope it bounces back to an IU player.
    I thought I had seen everything but this is new. Why box out when you have several guys that are getting really good at smacking the ball around like a pinball. It becomes a fun game watching who will end up with it in the end. It’s like a game within a game. God help us all.

  • ForeverIU

    Somebody here is calling it “hype”, not sure why. Ed Smith has said (two or three online quotes I’ve read) that if Thon can complete his academic requirements in time for 2015 graduation then he will reclassify. If not, then he won’t. Ed Smith has also had very nice things to say about IU’s development of big men, and has praised Chuck Martin as a class act. I hope he and Thon deliver by paying us an official visit.

  • millzy32

    Crean has no answer for any zone. Never has and never will. Why anybody plays anything else against us defies logic. Watch one game tape and you’ll figure out how to handle the Hoosiers. A smart coach will actually wait until the second half to pull it out because Crean’s teams have never made a half time adjustment (ever).

  • millzy32

    It’s sad but at some point if we ever want to get out of this spin cycle we have to hit bottom. The acceptance of mediocrity is starting to permeate throughout the fan base. Missing the tourney may finally get the needed change but if we scrape by and accidentally make it we’ll be right back in the same spot next year.

  • millzy32

    Fundamentals are lost on the long ball. Run fast and shoot the long ball. Live by it and die by it. Win some you shouldn’t win and lose some you shouldn’t lose. It’s gonna be a wild ride. Like watching a train wreck. Can’t keep your eyes off it.

  • millzy32

    You are correct. Being a disgruntled IU fan that doesn’t want to settle for what we are settling for these days doesn’t make someone a troll. Some fans have settled and decided to put on Blinders.

  • millzy32

    Smith is big and will cause him some problems but Smith really is just big. He isn’t all that skilled as shown when he fumbled the ball away against IU late in the game. If you can get a body on him and if the refs call charges you should be able to handle him. Fischer is a little thin but wiry but he’ll do a lot better than anyone we had against him.

  • NC Hoosier

    Completely agree. I love ITH, but I do get annoyed sometimes that if you aren’t a complete homer people bash you. Some people are realists, and the reality of the situation is that we are far from being where we need to be as a program.

  • Bill Graham

    Ok I normally do not post but I feel its necessary on this occasion. Everyone’s points about Josh Smith’s dominance, our lack of a big man, our immaturity (namely turnovers), and Smith-Rivera’s shooting are valid. However, I do not blame this loss on any of those factors.
    This loss is Collin Hartman, Emmitt Holt, Stan Robinson, Max Hoetzel, and Nick Zeisloft’s fault.
    Our bench scored only 2 points! The same bench that scored 16 points against SMU, 24 points against Butler, and 33 points against PItt! If our bench has even a 1/4 of its normal production we win easily. In the BIG we cannot rely on only 4 guys to score (Hanner only had 2 btw).
    Lastly, you cant give up 91 points and expect to win let alone make a tournament run, thats like a baseball team giving up 10 runs and expecting to be a conference or playoff contender.
    I said at the beginning of the year our team is ready for BIG offense not BIG defense. Its just like IU football, there comes a time when its toughness over talent. Whether its 3rd and 5 or overtime and a tie game, our Hoosiers eventually have to buckle down and get stops. and that is what will make this team as good as we know it can be.

  • esapata

    Last I checked, the new Big East isn’t a mid major conference, and mid major schools don’t have a national title banner.

  • Ole Man

    Easy. Vill and St. Johns are miles ahead of GT. They’re on a par with SH, Xavier, and Butler. They could end up as low as 6th.

  • PBzeer

    Yes, the bench production (lack thereof) hurt us, but it still comes down to we had them down, and let them back up. As you get to at the end, our problem is defense, again, a lack thereof. And that’s not any one individual player’s fault, it’s the team’s, and by extension, the coaching staff. My worry is that Butler will be our high point of the season, because just like last year, we see individual improvement, but not any consistent team improvement. And it’s teams that win games, not individuals.

  • Realityvill-an

    agree. 2 sweet 16s in 7 years? 5 years of not even being competitive? sorry..but you’re the highest paid state’re paid to win (among other things I know)…you do not win with regularity…you’ve had your chance and failed. you should be fired. period. when did it become ok to be this below average basketball program? and whats worse…how can iu fans be ok with this? “oh we’ll be good next year.” been saying that for awhile now…

  • SilentBob

    I am holding back judgement on St. Johns. Because of their schedule mainly, thus far the most impressive thing they have done is not get blown out by Gonzaga. Their bench is ridiculously weak.

  • Bill Graham

    Valid. I agree its the D.

  • twarrior87

    I get what you’re saying, but we had a big man last year and needed shooters. Our big man left and now this year we have shooters, but no big man. We need them both at the same time. If we can keep all of our shooters and land a big man then IU will be a legit threat in the tourney next year.

  • sludgemonkey

    Who “defines”: a conference as a major conference? Is Notre Dame really proud to have won in the Music City Bowl yesterday? Does Crean have to wear a shirt that could be used to host a picnic lunch after?

  • esapata

    Likewise, who defines a conference as a mid-major? Last I checked, Georgetown and Villanova weren’t mid-major schools either, and what does a virtual ACC school’s bowl success over a Big 12 team have to do with mid-majors?