A non-conference player-by-player breakdown

  • 12/29/2014 10:33 am in

The non-conference portion of IU’s schedule is complete and the Hoosiers are 10-3 heading into Wednesday’s Big Ten opener in Lincoln.

Here’s a player-by-player look at how each Hoosier performed in the non-conference portion of IU’s schedule:

Yogi Ferrell – 17.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, 3.7 rpg, 56.1 effective field goal percentage

The junior from Indianapolis has been remarkably consistent as he’s scored in double figures in 12 of IU’s 13 games and his 3-point shooting is up to 47.5 percent. Ferrell is second on the team in scoring, first in assists, first in free throws made and second in 3-pointers made.

His assist-to-turnover ratio is better than 2-to-1 and as the team’s point guard, he must be given credit for leading the way in improving the turnover issues that plagued last year’s team. Ferrell came into the season with major expectations after a breakout sophomore campaign and he’s met them so far. As the Hoosiers enter the Big Ten, they’ll rely heavily on his experience to navigate a schedule that is front loaded with tough games.

James Blackmon Jr. – 17.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 57.1 effective field goal percentage

Touted as arguably the nation’s best incoming shooter, Blackmon Jr. has lived up to the billing. His effortless stroke has been effective from both the perimeter (44.3 percent on 3s) and the foul line (87 percent). Like Ferrell, Blackmon Jr. has scored in double figures in 12 of IU’s 13 games. His even keel demeanor and approach to the game are uncommon for a freshman and he rarely gets rattled. Via Shot Analytics, here’s a look at Blackmon Jr.’s shot chart through 13 games:

jbjshot

If there’s been a downside for Blackmon Jr., it’s been his defense. Beyond Ferrell, Indiana hasn’t developed consistency with its perimeter defense and like many freshmen, there remains plenty of room for growth in this area for Blackmon Jr.

Troy Williams – 13.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 59.5 effective field goal percentage, 9.4 offensive rebounding percentage

Arguably the best pure talent on the roster, Williams appears to be hitting his stride just in time for the start of conference play. Over his last three games, he’s averaging 17.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and is shooting 61.7 percent from the field. Williams has also dropped his turnover percentage by nearly eight percent from his freshman season and while he’s still careless at times with the ball, the high octane nature of his game is a joy to watch.

While Ferrell remains Indiana’s best player, the emergence of Williams may ultimately determine where the season ends up for the Hoosiers. If Williams can continue to improve on the glass and plays smart, efficient basketball, Indiana will continue to be one of the toughest teams to cover in not only the Big Ten, but the entire country.

Robert Johnson – 9.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 56.9 effective field goal percentage

Like Blackmon Jr., Johnson’s demeanor is uncommon for a freshman. He’s not easily rattled and he typically makes the smart play rather than going for the home run. His offense has slowed down considerably in recent weeks (double figures just once in IU’s last five games) and he’s also committed 11 turnovers in that same span, but the positives have far outweighed the negatives.

Johnson is hitting 41.5 percent of his 3s and 52.8 percent of his 2s. As IU enters Big Ten play, they’ll need Johnson to do a better job of taking care of the ball (25.4 turnover percentage) and also become more reliable from the foul line (69.6 percent).

Hanner Mosquera-Perea – 7.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 63.9 field goal percentage

The transformation hasn’t happened over night, but the Colombia native continues to improve in his third collegiate season. His rebounding numbers still aren’t where they need to be, but Mosquera-Perea has 11 blocks over IU’s last three games and his instincts are improving as he gains experience. Indiana doesn’t ask Mosquera-Perea to score much, but he’s converting on the opportunities he’s receiving for the most part.

He’s struggled from the free throw line (57.1 percent), which is a bit of a surprise after he hit better than 70 percent last season. The rebounding piece remains the pivotal piece for Mosquera-Perea, who has proven he can hold his own against top level competition, but now must do it consistently.

Nick Zeisloft – 6.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 62.5 effective field goal percentage

Zeisloft was a starter to begin the season due to suspensions, but is now coming off the bench as a 3-point specialist. Of his 68 field goal attempts, 62 have come from behind the 3-point line and he’s making 40.3 percent.

shotzeis

Beyond the shooting, Zeisloft seems to have emerged as a leader on a team that desperately needed one. In the aftermath of the Devin Davis accident, it was Zeisloft who addressed the media despite just joining the program over the summer.

Collin Hartman – 4.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 66.2 effective field goal percentage

Not only has Hartman overcome a major injury, he’s emerged as one of the better stories on this IU team. Many, myself included, wondered if he’d even have a role on this team. Not only does he have a role, he’s emerged as a player that Tom Crean trusts in key situations. In IU’s win over Butler, Hartman started the second half and played down the stretch. He’s improved his outside shot (45 percent on 3s) and his offensive rebounding percentage (12.9) ranks in the top 100 nationally. On the negative side of things for Hartman: In 33 combined minutes against Louisville and Georgetown, he took no shots and scored just two points.

Emmitt Holt – 5.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 80.0 field goal percentage

Holt’s shining moment so far was his performance against Pittsburgh when he came off the bench for 15 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes. Since then, he’s struggled a bit in limited minutes. In IU’s last two “marquee” games, Holt has played just 11 minutes and was scoreless with two rebounds. With Mosquera-Perea as the clear starter at the five, Indiana needs Holt to rebound and challenge shots when he’s in the game. His playing time will likely be tied to both of those factors as Crean has shown in recent weeks that he’s comfortable going with smaller lineups while Mosquera-Perea gets a rest.

Stanford Robinson – 3.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 28.2 effective field goal percentage

Robinson’s transition from a left-handed shooter to a righty has been a struggle. He’s making just 48.4 percent of his free throws, 34.4 percent of his 2s and has missed all seven of his 3-point attempts. As a result, Robinson is a fringe rotation player at this point, and it’s tough to justify playing him more with much better offensive options ahead of him. If Robinson is going to carve out a bigger role on this team, he’s going to have to finish at the rim, shoot better from the line and separate himself as a defender.

Max Hoetzel – 3.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 54.5 effective field goal percentage

Hoetzel wasn’t highly ranked coming out of high school, but he plays as if he knows he belongs, which is a big reason that Crean hasn’t been afraid to throw him in the mix. He’s making just 35.3 percent of his 3s, but does a pretty good job on the defensive glass (16.8 DR%) and is also making 56.2 percent of his 2s. He’s behind Zeisloft and Hartman on the depth chart, but looks like a candidate to continue playing 5 to 10 minutes per game as long as he continues to do so confidently.

All tempo-free stats via KenPom.com.

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  • VAHoosier

    This is a good time to pause and take stock of the team. First, the bad news: we have the exact same record heading into conference play as we did last year, and we all know how that turned out. But, the good news is that our non-conference schedule was quite a bit tougher this year than last. In fact, we have faired better than most of the B1G so far. Here are the records of each team vs. RPI top-100 teams:

    Wisconsin…..5-1
    Maryland……3-1
    Indiana………4-3
    Illinois………..2-2
    Purdue………2-2
    Penn. St…….1-1
    Minnesota….1-2
    Ohio St……..1-2
    Mich St………2-4
    Iowa………….1-4
    Michigan……1-4
    Rutgers……..0-4

    That’s right, IU is one of only three teams in the conference with a winning record against teams currently in the RPI top-100. (I know, the RPI can be goofy. Rutgers is ranked 90, 12 spots ahead of IU. And Buffalo is ranked 19, for crying out loud. But the RPI will gain accuracy as conference seasons begins and the major programs’ SOS will go up dramatically. Besides, the selection committee looks at it, so it sets a good benchmark for us to evaluate where we’re at).

    So, we’re not in too bad of shape. I thought we needed to be at 10 wins heading into B1G, and here we are. Lots of ball left to play, but I’m bullish on our tourney prospects.

  • MK

    If u cringe watching Yogis D how do you feel about Blackmon’s. Yikes

  • ForeverIU

    Maybe G’town will go on to win the national championship, or EWU for that matter, LOL.

  • VAHoosier

    Let’s not get carried away! But let’s hope they both have great years and meet us again in the Tourney!

  • RU4IU2

    Gracias! I want to apologize to you for the over-all tone of some smart-ass comments I’ve made to you in one of my “other lives” as well as in this one. Restraint of tongue and pen does not come easily to me. Although I try to be cognizant of that fact, sometimes words/thoughts which would be better left unspoken or unwritten take a stroll right out of my mouth or fingers, and the end result is rarely good. I’m still a work in progress.
    That plate expired in 2011 when we left Lexington, KY and moved to Huntsville, AL. Neighbors here are mostly Alabama or Auburn FB fans w/o much interest in the round ball. I can finally be at peace in SEC territory.

  • ForeverIU

    Ha, I was just making an indirect comparison to UConn from last year!

  • Key94

    It is evident that you do not like Yogi’s skill set, but I will take his bad along with his good any day! You and I don’t watch the same games! We are below .500 without Yogi.

  • MillaRed

    I don’t blame anyone on our roster for their inability to guard Jaba the Hut. Total mismatch and many teams will suffer the same fate. DSR was the player that killed us. He decided he could shoot threes for an hour for the first time in his career.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I think that the timing of some of the recent turnovers has stuck out more than anything. There were several in the last few minutes of regulation and overtime in that G-Town game. Valuing possessions is obviously a given throughout any game but in end of game situations I would like to see us tighten the reigns a bit.

  • Hoosier Hall

    A lot of these losses that the B10 took in the non conference schedule will haunt us. The general perception of our conference right now is that it is weak overall. A win over Michigan or Mich St. right now wouldn’t hold much water considering their losses. I think we get 4 teams in the tournament, maybe 5 max this year. Usually we are on the verge of 7 or 8 teams in…

  • Eugene Debs

    Better yet, can we go back in time and convince Luke Fisher to stay?

  • SCHoosier

    IMO Yogi is our best defender. The game plan for Gtown was suspect given the Hoyas size..and Yogi did make some bad plays. Guarding Smith-R was no easy job..and there should have been more emphasis on him when h e had to ball and to hell with whatever the big fella was doing. It was Yogi’s worst defensive game in a while. He’s still the gu yI want on the other teams best scoring guard.

  • BC2

    In Eastwood’s defense Coach Crean said the same thing about Perea in his radio show last night.

  • VAHoosier

    Ah, I see. Well both EWU and G’town are top-50 teams right now, so they are likely tournament teams… and you never know!

  • I politely disagree.. Crean said we need more than that from him. He DID NOT say he was ‘terrible’… terrible, is a very strong word and completely misused in this case IMO.

  • Blair McKee

    Good non-conference season, overall. One horrible loss in there to EW – but the entire Big Ten seems to have one of those. The rest of the season will be OK if we avoid any more disastrous losses to the bottom of the conference. Oh, and gotta beat Purdue or CTC will destroy his (limited, but growing) credibility for good.

  • PBzeer

    Don’t have any real argument with the assessments, what I’m more concerned with is are we a better team than at the beginning of the season? Not sure I can say we are … at least on a consistent basis. And I think that’s what has many of us frustrated. We see flashes of potential, of what they can do, and then it’s back to the same old “work in progress”, without seeing a whole lot of team progress.

  • enickman

    Looks like Body by Reggie now! Thanks for everything Ja’ Nay!

  • VAHoosier

    Don’t sell EWU short. They are a very good team (RPI right around 30 right now). Thought it hurt to lose that one, especially at home, it will not hurt us as much as folks think.

  • IUMIKE1

    Not trying to be argumentative or say you are wrong, but rather honestly asking who would be your top picks, that are realistic, to replace Crean if that becomes the situation. The fella in Boston has already publicly stated that he wasn’t interested in it. I really don’t see Crean going anywhere at the end of the season. Unless there is a total collapse I see Glass as being already committed to another year with him as head coach. IF…..If it is a case where we are looking for a new HC, and it is after next year, I’d be hard pressed to believe that the guy in Boston, that claims to not be interested in the job, wouldn’t at least take time to listen to what they had to offer.

  • Ole Man

    Hope you’re right–in that he is growing.

  • IUMIKE1

    Heard another ” huckleberry ” reference the other day. In the movie Tombstone. Doc Holiday (Val Kilmer) calmly gets up out of his chair and steps into the street and tells Johnny Ringo that he will be his huckleberry after Ringo calls some other guy out that he knows is too scared to go up against him. Thought about you when he said that. LOL IU bball never far from my mind regardless of what I’m doing.

  • bojak

    I have played enough basketball and watched enough basketball that I know players can get into streaks where they can’t miss. So it does happen. Not really about this topic but I believe IU has enough talent this year without a top not center to win a bunch of games and go deep into the tournament. Go get ’em YF, JBJ, RJ, TW. Go Hoosiers.

  • ForeverIU

    No worries! I’m usually a bit more thick skinned, but I get a little touchy as the season moves along. Looking forward to the conversations ahead!

    I too lived in SEC country, went to the U of A and was/am a Razorbacks fan since the Nolan Richardson days. Them beating Kentucky twice last year was sweet. Too bad they only play them once this year, @ Kentucky!

  • IUMIKE1

    Agree

  • RU4IU2

    Thanks for the thought & note! As info, a little later on, Doc finds Ringo alone in the woods and repeats the line
    just before shooting him.
    IU BB helps the days pass here, too!

  • RU4IU2

    I recall watching some of those 40 minutes of Hell in Bud Walton Arena games…Nolan reminded me a lot of Knight in that he spoke his mind, did things his own way, and ultimately became his own worst enemy.
    UK will not make it through the season unscathed.
    Iowa just beat the Suckeyes in Columbus. This is going to be another one of those seasons full of surprises.

  • eville87

    Heck I’m not an ad but here are some ideas. Crews? Chaney? Woodson? Keith smart? Alford? Yes Mr. Stevens. The coach from Dayton I can’t remember his name. Or we could have 2 head coaches let Crean recruit and talk to the public and actually have someone take care of the subs and x and o s. Coach dies recruit well especially lower tier guys that develop. But I’m not sure we can hang a banner with him at the helm. Here comes the crean parade.

  • IUMIKE1

    And in true IU bball ” team ” form, he knew had to get up off his death bed to take his ” teammate’s ” place if his friend was going to live, when he shot Ringo. Was one of those, ” YEA, he got what he had comin’ ” moments (kinda of like when pUKe gets beat lol). It’s one of those movies that I have to watch every so often regardless of how many times I’ve already seen it.

  • RU4IU2

    If I had a $1 for each time I’ve watched “Hoosiers”…and “Remember the Titans”…

  • ForeverIU

    Hope you had a good new year in SEC country.

  • RU4IU2

    Thanks for the thought–it was much better than a lot of my Alabama neighbors had. Hope yours was good, too!