Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Purdue

  • 01/29/2015 1:42 am in

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Indiana fell to 15-6 overall and 5-3 in Big Ten play on Wednesday night with a 83-67 blowout loss at the hands of Purdue in Mackey Arena.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Boilermakers:

· Purdue did what it wanted on both ends: Much of the talk leading up to the game had to do with matchups and which team would be able to take advantage of its strength. Indiana’s high octane offense was going to have to make perimeter shots to win and Purdue’s chances for success hinged on dominating in the paint.

The Boilermakers not only dominated the game offensively in the paint, but they also dominated the paint defensively. Purdue had 46 points in the paint against an IU offense that had no answer for its size and junior A.J. Hammons had a career-high eight blocks to shut down the paint on the other end. From the game’s opening moments when Purdue raced to a 17-6 lead, the result was never in doubt.

“We were not good enough in the paint,” Tom Crean said. “Our best post defender was 6-foot-3. We just didn’t guard the paint well enough tonight. And our aggressiveness on offense didn’t turn into what it should have been, which is much simpler basketball.”

· Indiana’s perimeter game fails to get going: When the Hoosiers are at their best offensively, the success comes as a result of ball movement, spacing and an ability to make shots from the perimeter.

But with solid rim protection to rely on, Purdue’s perimeter guys were able to overplay near the arc which forced Indiana to either drive to the rim or take contested shots. The Hoosiers knocked down just four of their 19 shots from distance with Yogi Ferrell going just 1-of-5 and James Blackmon Jr. hitting just 1-of-6.

Collin Hartman, who had 27 points in IU’s previous two games, took just three shots and was not a factor in terms of drawing Purdue’s big men away from the rim.

“As simple as this sounds, we didn’t make the pass one dribble sooner,” Crean said. “One reason we’ve been shooting such a high percentage is because we just simplify it. We didn’t do a good enough job of playing through the guys who need to touch the ball more, like Collin Hartman.”

· A little more on the defense: With Hanner Mosquera-Perea not due back until the middle of February, Indiana doesn’t have an easy solution defensively on the interior. The Hoosiers had already been struggling to defend with Mosquera-Perea in the lineup, but his absence has taken a major toll on IU’s 2-point defense.

In five games without their starting big man, IU has allowed the following 2-point field goal percentages: Penn State (64.3), Illinois (50), Maryland (51.5), Ohio State (73.7) and Purdue (71.9).

Ferrell characterized IU’s defensive effort as “soft.”

“We think it’s going to be easier than it is,” he said. “Especially the guys who have never played here before or in the Big Ten. Now we’re just learning the hard way.”

· Blackmon Jr. struggling on the road: For the second straight game, James Blackmon Jr. had a tough shooting performance.

Against Ohio State on Sunday , Blackmon Jr. hit just 4-of-12 shots and on Wednesday, he finished with 13 points, but needed 13 shots and six free throw attempts to do so. He was also benched to start the second half in favor of Stanford Robinson, who was IU’s best post defender in the first half.

As a result, Ferrell again carried a heavier load and didn’t have much of a chance to facilitate, which isn’t a healthy development for an offense that seems to be at its best when he’s facilitating first and looking to score second.

· Rivalry continues to produce lopsided results, but still means plenty: The atmosphere in Mackey Arena was nothing short of electric, but for the ninth straight time, an IU-Purdue game was decided by a double-digit margin.

Still, even with the lopsided wins in recent years, this is still a game that means a lot to both sides. Various former IU players, including A.J. Guyton, Derek Elston and Jordan Hulls, sent out tweets during the game and in Purdue’s postgame press conference, Bryson Scott summed up the importance of getting a win from the Boilermaker perspective.

“Because they’re Indiana,” he said with a smile. “You’ve got to win against Indiana.”

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  • 47250HoosierFan

    i agree! to not be able to put April in for 2 min for defense last night is beyond me! The kid is 7′ tall! in our blow outs how did he not get any time? He has got 3 min all season long, wow ! Or how did he not get red shirted. I’m just wondering who gets forced out next year due to numbers!

  • marcusgresham

    You obviously missed a talented Bob Knight team taking it right up the butt for a 50+ point loss at Minnesota.

  • marcusgresham

    That would be the same coach who got the team into the position to be the “best team in the country.” Also don’t forget, that particular game was played with the person best equipped to shoot over the zone playing with one arm due to a dislocated shoulder the previous game.

  • marcusgresham

    It’s a hell of lot better than the SEC.

  • marcusgresham

    Other than Yogi, Stan probably had the best game of anyone on the team last night.

  • Laffy

    No, I saw it.

    I thought the Syracuse beat down was far worse…..especially when you consider what was on the line and how we were ranked for the season.

  • SeeingRed

    I guess I trust Crean’s assessment that April is not capable of helping this team, even in situations where it seems there is nothing to lose. CTC has implied that this is the kid’s fault for not working hard enough. I am skeptical that this is the main reason April can’t get on the court. In fact, I would argue that when you offer guys as far off the radar as April was (and Priller), this outcome really shouldn’t surprise anybody.

  • INUnivHoosier

    That was what they call, in some areas of the country, a joke. When everything is taken to extremes, it is difficult to take you seriously.

    This question, though, is a little bit confusing. What is one good thing he does to make adjustments? I don’t know. I guess he probably writes on a little dry erase board. I imagine that when he’s yelling and making hand gestures, it’s not because he’s dying on the sidelines. He probably even thinks on occasion.

    Are you asking for an example of an adjustment he has made during a game? Like when he switched Stan Robinson onto Hammons during the Purdue game, and Stan kept Hammons from getting the ball during that stretch?

  • gm

    you’re spot on about jbj. when things aren’t going his way he becomes a little lazy and even comes across as spoiled. but he’ll learn and mature. he’s just not accustomed to the type of resistance he’s getting in college. i think yogi’s “soft” comment was directed mostly at him.

  • gm

    yogi didnt pass in the 2nd half bc he was too busy scoring! once again he had to put on the superman cape. yogi is the bedrock of this team and should receive the least amount of criticism. in fact, when he went on his one man scoring tear last night, i thought to myself that yogi’s more the coach of this team than crean. he is their leader. from defense to ball handling to assists to scoring, he does so much! no way they’d be in contention for the tourney wothout him.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Bailey, Henderson, Wilkerson, Evans, Graham… They also dipped out in the Sweet 16 that year (and the Elite 8 the prior year after being ranked #1).

  • INUnivHoosier

    Gotta start practicing on carnival rims.

  • Smilinjayd

    No way we finish the season undefeated in B1G at home. We will lost at least one game. Hell, we lost to Eastern Washington at home. Last year we lost at HOME to Penn State and Northwestern.

  • Eugene Debs

    The sky is falling!

  • cooper

    It is a lot like Oregon in football. IU plays finesse offense and defense. Against better teams it’s going to be difficult to win unless they shoot lights out. They aren’t going to win many defensive battles and aren’t going to win many half court games. Just gotta hope they hit a high percentage of shots and a big comings walking through the door next year.

    It’s a shame Vonleah left early. Though I don’t blame him for taking the money, he isn’t going anywhere being the 12th man off the bench and he would make IU a top 15 team

  • cbags05

    When we played 1-3-1 they hit 2 3’s and gave up 5 offensive rebounds. 3 possessions I think it was.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Hi ITH guys. Q: How is it that yogi “…didn’t have much of a chance to facilitate?” Isn’t that his job…creating open looks for his teammates and making plays?

  • cooper

    You can’t seriously put IU in the same category as UK. Cal is a dominant coach and recruiter. Crean isn’t in his league. Crean hasn’t shown he can build a consistent top 15 team. Cal does every year. You can’t argue with the results

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Yogi’s job on offense, as point guard, is to facilitate. He was unsuccessful last night. My opinion is that he’s good at it, but not great at it, although many others only see greatness. Regardless, its his job to facilitate the offense and it didn’t happen. He needs to take ownership of that. Unfortunately, he often defaults to one on one, further stalling IU’s offense. Yogi talks a lot about penetrating and dishing, but I want to see it, not hear it.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Sorry, can’t relate to your comment. Yogi choose to ignore his teammates. Unfortunately, as point guard, it is his job to facilitate. So he ignored his primary duty. I do agree that CTC doesn’t have yogi’s back. When yogi struggles to facilitate, last night because of the strong PU defense, yogi and his teammates need a few “go to” plays to get an open shot and get going. It isn’t there. I’m afraid that yogi is good enough to keep a defense off balance, but not dominate enough to win games all on his own. Now if yogi were 7’0″ not 6’0″…

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    but April played really well for the very few minutes he played during cupcake season. He should have been on the court last night towards the end of the game.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    I give JBJ a pass because he’s a freshman and his body isn’t strong enough to play big 10 defense yet. Yogi’s is, and his defense may be worse or, at best, not much better than JBJ’s.

  • Mr. Mitchell

    Welcome to the sensitive comment section

  • Mr. Mitchell

    When that happen I think we get the ball after half. Something CBC prefers

  • Mr. Mitchell

    Don’t ask what the B stands for

  • Dave Carnes

    You must be to young to remember Jay Edwards defense.

  • Dave Carnes

    I think Blackmon is going to be a very good IU player some day.But when you play for your dad and he makes sure everthing rolls right up to your feet you ain’t getting pushed that hard.He had his boy taking most of the shots on a pretty good team when JBJ was a freshman.He scored like 40 against KY in the allstar game that is darn special.Were talking Oscar,Skiles,Edwards,and that guy that left IU before Bob got there.

  • Dave Carnes

    He ain’t 6 ft either.

  • calbert40

    I think defense is more about attitude on the individual side and identity on the team side. We have a lot of talented scorers, but no one who has the attitude of “I want to be a defensive stopper.” That attitude is contagious. That individual attitude can blossom into a team identity. But first we need a player who is willing to become a stopper.

    I think it could be Stan. Maybe the coaching staff should be honest and tell him that he is going to continue to receive 10-15 mpg at his current level of play, but if he concentrated on D, he’d play a lot more. That’s how Vic got in the lineup originally. He gave us next to nothing offensively at first, but he could lock down anyone.

  • calbert40

    Did you ever see Reggie Miller practice shooting 3s over the summer? My HS team went to a Pacers practice at Mackey over the summer once, and Reggie was shooting 3s with a heavy ball that was about 50 percent larger than a regulation ball. He was draining them like it was nothing. You jest, but maybe there is something to that?!?

  • calbert40

    It’s a good thing that RMK was always a gentleman to Marlow. If he wasn’t, I’m sure you called him out. What do you expect? We just lost to our rivals and looked awful doing it. While Crean was out of line, he was expressing frustration. It shows he has fire in his belly and is less concerned about how is is perceived. I’ll bet you a nickel that he has already personally apologized to Fish, and it is no big deal. Fish dealt with RMK. He knows what coaches can be like after a loss.

  • calbert40

    Ugh. You can’t stand Crean. We know. Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • calbert40

    Strawman. No one has said that. But I guess if you can’t win an argument, a valid defense mechanism is to change the argument. You’ve done well in that regard. Cheers!

  • Laffy

    Actually, I did rip Knight. Unlike the vast majority of you guys, I actually have principles and don’t excuse away everything our coach does automatically.

    Too bad the team has no fire in it’s belly.

  • calbert40

    Well, I will concede that you are consistent. I am not an RMK fan personally, though I know some revere him. Still, I think you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill on this. If I can be honest with you, it feels as though you have a personal dislike of Crean. You cut him no slack, and everything he does is further proof that he is the worst coach who has ever stalked a sideline. It’s almost “jilted lover” type angst. Very hyperbolic and passionate dislike.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I better see you on the news getting caught sneaking into Cook Hall to bend the rims!

  • KmanCRK

    It really hurt to hear a local radio guy say that we’ve turned into Marquette…because it is hard to argue with. I’m starting to think of his “style” as one that can be great in spurts with the right players. But really lacks consistency. And aside from one McD AA a year, we aren’t really surrounding them much else in the way of top 50 talent with the exception of the guys that there were based on potential (HMP, J Hollowell, etc). I think reality is setting in that we will not be a top 15 team consistently, yet will hoover in the mid 20s. That’s not the direction Hoosier Nation is looking for.

  • IUMIKE1

    Laffy is a refugee from over on the Hoosier Scoop, where he done nothing but rip on Crean for anything and everything. Was one of the main reasons that I don’t even bother to go there anymore and the reason that I groaned out loud once I seen that my hopes that he had just come on here to just comment once or twice were dashed.

  • calbert40

    Never was a Hoosier Scoop fan. Thanks for the info. I should probably just ignore him and leave him to his opinions…but I am just so darn obstinate!

  • IUMIKE1

    LOOOL. No, no, don’t do that, cause every time I read his comments, using the term “comments” loosely, I silently said to myself, ” I’m glad calbert40 is replying to him in the way I would, saves me the keystrokes”. He reminds of the wife that no matter what the husband does she is never satisfied. Even if he has done exactly what she says she wants him to do she will find something wrong with it and complain about it.

  • IUMIKE1

    What did he say. I usually listen to the post game with him and Fish but didn’t after this one. Figures the one in great while I don’t listen there is actually something to hear that I would have wanted to hear.

  • IUMIKE1

    It is on his team mates to also do something to get themselves open. Don’t remember too many times when Yogi drove it that I l said why didn’t he pass it to X player cause he was open.

  • IUMIKE1

    In the past I have spoken up at times when I disagreed with your comments so I’ll also speak up when I agree with them and this is one that I totally agree with. The only way that I might differ from it is that maybe it should have been even earlier than towards the end of the game. What was he gonna let happen that others playing the 5 were not letting happen. Maybe if he got a taste of what other guys that play the 5 in the B1G dish out it might inspire him to get after it harder.

  • SeeingRed

    If this board is representative at all of Hoosier Nation, hanging around the fringes of the Top 25 every year and making the dance now and again IS good enough. It’s simply the new IU reality, and if you don’t hop that train you’re a torch wielding whack job … 🙂