The Minute After: Purdue

  • 01/29/2015 12:07 am in

Thoughts on an 83-67 loss to the Boilermakers:

Mackey Arena cheered loudly. The Paint Crew jumped up and down. Here came the opening tip between A.J. Hammons and Troy Williams. As Hammons gained possession for the Boilermakers, Williams never made it off his feet and fell to the ground.

It was symbolic of things to come.

The Boilermakers established themselves immediately behind a raucous crowd tonight. Indiana went down for the count early, never to recover. Like the Buckeyes on Sunday, Purdue ramped up its defensive pressure on the perimeter, playing IU’s dribble handoffs tighter and getting into its air space. With Hammons behind the first line of defense to challenge any Hoosier who broke through, it was an intimidating, tough defense that gave Indiana trouble.

After going down by as many as 13, it seemed like the Hoosiers were settling into the game as the first half neared completion. Williams hit a layup with 1:45 left to close the gap to eight points. After an Emmitt Holt block and steal, Indiana had the opportunity to close the gap even further with just over a minute to play. But James Blackmon Jr. made an ill-advised pass to Williams — during a game Indiana was a bit too careless with the ball — on IU’s ensuing possession and Basil Smotherman stole it and scored in transition.

It was as close as Indiana would get the rest of the evening.

The Hoosiers entered the locker room at halftime just 1-of-9 from 3-point range with an eFG% of 33.9 and scoring under a point per possession (0.9). Indiana improved a little bit on these numbers by game’s end (4-of-19, 40.9%, 1.01 PPP), but it mattered little as Purdue stepped on the Hoosiers’s throats in the second half to go up by as many as 20 points.

Hammons racked up eight blocks for the game. Six of them came in the second half as Indiana’s perimeter threats were thwarted again and again. He only had four field goal attempts but made them all (11 points). Purdue’s other seven-footer, Isaac Haas, attempted two field goals, making one. Only six field goals between these two tonight, but it was the collective effort of the Boilermakers on offense that saw them scoring 1.25 points per possession with an eFG% of 63.0.

Purdue had 10 players score, as Indiana’s perimeter defense allowed the likes of Raphael Davis (19 points), Bryson Scott (11 points) and Smotherman (eight points) to get into the paint and score. This one was billed as a contrast of styles and Purdue certainly had things tilt to its favor for most of this one.

Yogi Ferrell, the one who knows this rivalry the best, tried his hardest to keep the Hoosiers afloat in the second half. Ferrell (21 points) went 7-of-14 for 15 points in the second half. It wasn’t so much hero ball as it was you-can’t-guard-me ball. Ferrell continually got past the defense for buckets at the cup and simply would not be denied. But it didn’t matter. Indiana simply never recovered enough to make it interesting.

Yes, it’s two losses in a row for the Hoosiers. But these were road games they weren’t favored in. And in neither contest did Indiana give up or lack in effort. The Hoosiers simply got outplayed. It happens on the road in the Big Ten.

Rutgers comes to Assembly Hall on Saturday afternoon with Indiana looking at a good chance to move to 6-3 in conference play as the calendar turns to February.

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  • whomikewho

    Hanner is a toothpick compared to those boys. With or without…we lose. For some reason people are blinded when it comes to Hanner. His post D is terrible. Purdue had too much penetration from the other spots other than the 5. Hanner would have came for help D and left Haas and Hammond for dunks all day. Like I said, either way we get a beat down.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    all are absolutely valid points. the program has suffered from poor personnel choices. and you’re right about CMD. ironic how that championship run may have set IU back even further.

    but personnel aside, the program has so much going for it. amazing fan base, tradition, great facilities (which are about to get a much need cosmetic upgrade), beautiful campus, etc… all the pieces are in place for the right coaching staff to come in and right the ship. and while i think CTC’s done a great job in many ways to get this program back to the greatness it and its fans deserve, i’m not sold that he’s the one to take it to the next level.

  • calbert40

    I hope you are right, because I’d love to have him for 4 years. But NBA agents love to tell young men that they are a “guaranteed” first rounder only to see them fall into the 2nd or go undrafted. Hopefully, Troy’s family ties will keep that from happening to him.


    Couldn’t have put it any better myself. Exactly where I come down on that topic.


    I think all of them will be solid contributors next year, but…..none of those guys are a true “big”, nor do they really even come close to being someone that we want playing the 5, nor have they had any real experience playing the 5 before they get to IU. Every team has some players playing out of position some of the time, but it seems like we have heard that, when IU bball is discussed, to the point that it feels like IU bball would be the example shown if those four words were googled.


    FWIW, I’m right there with you on your views, reasoning, rationale. I think the chance that we land a solid big, meaning one that can come in and make a big difference compared to what we are doing now, pretty slim and none existent. I hope like hell I’m wrong and will gladly be that way if Crean pulls one out of his hat. If he should some how land one it will be Bryant, and while he would be an improvement over where we are now, is by far the least coveted out of he, Zimmerman and Swanigan.

  • Zach

    I didn’t expect us to win this game, but I did expect us to at least act like we cared and gave some effort. We didn’t even try to match PU intensity all night. This is a little difficult considering this is the Super Bowl to them, but let’s have some pride in our defense!! Yogi gave his all but I don’t think I can say that about anyone else besides maybe EH and NZ at times. Despite this and all the crap we get to take from Boilers for this game, it still only counts as a loss. We better destroy Rutgers which will place us at 6-3 in B1G. 3 of our next 5 are winnable which would put us at 8-5. We’re in pretty good shape and all we need to do is hold serve at home and steal one or two on the road.


    Even if it did come out of his check I think he is making enough money to afford one here and there. It’s been one of my biggest complaints when it comes to CTC. I keep saying that there is a place and time for just about everything, and that included getting T’d up and last night was as good a spot as any to do it. If we’re trying anything and everything to turn the game around, why not include that.


    That isn’t gonna happen either. We have as much of a chance of getting him as we do Zimmerman, which is, very very slim and none. He has done everything but sign on the dotted line to play his home games in the Breslin Center. Makes it yet another quality player from instate to play for Izzo.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Vonleh is back at the Hornets.


    Agree, probably played one of the best, if the best, game he’s played the whole season.

  • KmanCRK

    I hear what you are saying, I just think you need some perspective. I recall watching the McD All-American game last year and all of the guys we were after were in that game. Problem was all of those top kids who are producing right now went to those schools you mentioned. In the last 20 years we have not been anywhere near the program that Duke, KS, KY, FL, AZ, UL, UConn, Syr have been. So am I shocked Crean missed out? Absolutely not, and you shouldn’t be either. Am I hopeful we can someday soon get back into that conversation, hell yeah. I actually think Crean missed the boat by not going after more 50-100 type kids, epsecially with a lot of talent at the roster down low at the time. I know we all think IU is a top program nationally, but to kids in H.S. today, they have no recollection of this. We are IU homers, they are being sought after by the programs with “recent” tradition (i.e. in their lifetimes). But CTC has landed 4 straight McD AA kids. When was the last time that happened at IU?

  • KmanCRK

    Reality can be a hard pill to swallow. But people need to understand we haven’t been a powerhouse in current H.S. kids lifetimes aside from 2 years ago.

  • TomJameson

    I know, you’re tired of excuses .. and the “we’re a young team” excuse more than most. But you made your point that UK won the championship with freshmen, but that was not entirely correct. Their upperclassmen made that team that year. Your point overall about UK doing it year-after-year with an abundance of freshmen is a valid point though, and one I agree with. BUT (you knew that was coming) A team full of 5-star MD all-Americans is much more advanced than most 3-star talent and maybe 1 MD all-American. Less of a learning curve is where I’m going with that. But I still agree with you that IU should be improving by now (and I think they are). I just don’t like absolutes in most arguments because there is always more than one side to any argument or situation. And the fact is that IU really is one of the youngest teams in the NCAA, like it or not. LOL (but I’m tired of hearing it as well)

  • Outoftheloop

    I remember some posters wondering what IU would do to win when the 3’s don’t go in. I was among those who thought that with so many 3 point shooters and other scorers, there just would not be days when all could not score. MSU, OSU and now Purdue have proven that this is not true. When a team “roughs” Indiana up defensively, we can not hit 3’s, we can not score and we lose. This team just is not tough enough! James, Troy and Nick can not score when the opponent bumps them off their dribble relentlessly. Collin and Max have a hard time scoring when the opponent is physical with them. Indiana is a poor defensive team so we have no margin for error. We work hard to rebound. We are in deep trouble when The TO’s are above 10. We forget to move the ball and assist. Yogi was very good and Robert was a wounded warrior against Purdue. That was it! Stan does not have a “mid-range” game, I wish he did. Purdue and Indiana are about equal, each wins against the other at home. Unfortunately, we don’t get to play Purdue at Assembly Hall. Purdue had a much worse pre-conference record, that is a blessing. This B1G season will be a dog-fight, even WI and MD will have road losses.

  • Outoftheloop

    I like your thinking. But NW will try to rough Indiana up the way MSU, OSU and Purdue did.

  • Outoftheloop

    You are completely wrong! Cody improved every year (2). Noah was much better at the end of the season, when he was healthy.

  • Outoftheloop

    That is a foolish statement.

  • ForeverIU

    We do play the purr doo doos in AH, February 19! I can’t wait.

  • Tyler D

    We run no offense, no sets. We play no team defense. We are having a mildly successful season beacuse our guards improvise and make a lot of tough shots. We are having a mildly successful season in spite of Tom Crean. It’s evident he doesn’t know X’s and O’s and his sub. patterns have been ridiculous since forever. I’m fed up

  • Tyler D

    Thank you Khoosier3. People on here are just fine with giving Crean a pass on average or hell even below average seasons. Everyone wants to bring up his B10 Championship and that’s great but what is our 2nd highest finish in the B10 with Crean at the helm?

  • INUnivHoosier

    You’re talking about a pretty small sample size. You’re welcome to include the first 3 years, which most people (including me) would tell you is pretty unfair. If you don’t include those 3 years, which were clearly rebuilding years from taking less than nothing, he had two straight Sweet 16s, a bad year, and now another possible tournament run. He had a B1G championship, a #5 year where they came on late and fell behind a final four team, two sweet 16 teams, and another tourney team. This year, they are still in the running for top 3 in the B1G.

    Is he my top choice for coach at IU? No. Is he a complete failure? No. Should he be on the hot seat for back to back Sweet 16 runs and then a bad season? No.

    If he misses the tournament twice in a row, he should be on the hot seat. It just hasn’t happened, yet, barring his first three years, which would frankly be unfair to really give him heat for.

  • John

    If they play against Wisconsin the way they played these last two games, it could be their worst loss of the season.

  • mdtreat

    Is Rutgers better than Wisconsin? They played their best game of the year vs. UW at home… and UW allowed.

    I think its unfair to say they didn’t have heart last night. Shots weren’t dropping and they couldv’e given up multiple times but they didn’t. Just were overmatched the whole night by a team that came out with an axe to grind.

    And trust me when those blockheads come down to Bloomington our fans will be just as brutal as they were, and will hopefully embarrass them even worse.

  • Gregory Spera

    I’m sorry but Rutgers beating Wisconsin (even with their best two players out) was a fluke. Our bad defense is (to quote the Bard) as constant as the north star.

  • Boiler_Ditsor

    Purdue fan here….prayers for you and your father. The bond you have with your father with IU basketball is special. Don’t ever think that one or two games will change that. Best wishes.

  • Gecko

    Well here we are again being blown out by Purdue.. They have 2 big men and they know how to use them, both are better than our last 2 lottery pics. There defenders are much quicker than our numerous 3 point shooters.. Now who is the best coach ?? That’s right Mike Brey, year in and out .

  • VAHoosier

    Frankly, I thought we looked worse this year in the MSU game. Which is saying something.

  • Tyler D

    I always exclude the first 3 years. So the next next best finish was 5? Like I said lot of Crean supporters on here who are fine with mediocrity.

  • calbert40

    Took the words out of my mouth.

  • calbert40

    One of my favorite old school phrases is “Discretion is the better part of Valor.” If I may turn the phrase a little bit, I’d say that Reason is the better part of Passion.

    I do NOT think PU is better than we are. I’ve said as much on this discussion board a few times over the past two days. However, I do acknowledge that PU is an especially difficult match-up for IU specifically, because of their size…athletic size. Their team strength is our team’s glaring weakness. Add the fact that we are playing them at Mackey, and I believe it is reasonable to suggest that PU on the road is a difficult match-up for us to win.

    If I may take a different approach to your argument now, during the late summer, we all discuss what our predictions are for the upcoming season, including overall and conference records. Did you expect we’d go undefeated? Did anyone? Or did you, like everyone else, scroll through the schedule and pick out the games you thought we’d lose? I know I did. Did you think we’d win at Breslin? Do you think we will win at Kohl? Personally, I thought we’d lose in Champagne, but we didn’t. All I am suggesting is that losing to PU in Mackey is not a bad loss. It only bothers us because it is Purdue, and we have just lost the shouting match for a few weeks. But it only counts as one loss just like it only counts as one win for PU.

  • calbert40

    Fluke or not, it happened. Rutgers beat UW. The point being that even the best team in the B1G can lose to the worst on the road. If that is true, then the suggestion that the 3rd place team could lose on the road to the 7th place team is not an outlandish proposition.

    But I’ll concede the bad defense point. We’ve got to get better. I really wish we had Remy back. He’d be very helpful this year. We just don’t have a stopper like Dane or Vic or Greg Graham on this roster. We need one.

  • I didn’t mean to knock SR, but just to point out that with him and Troy on the floor at the same time our perimeter offense was a non-threat. They’d sag off of both him and Troy and stack the post even more. Of course, with our shooting, our perimeter was pretty harmless anyways, so…

  • INUnivHoosier

    So, his first year that we are including, IU was at 5, then 1, then 9, now we are 1 win out of a tie for 2nd.

    It’s not that people are fine with mediocrity. It’s that people realize you don’t go from Bob Knight in his sunset years to Mike Davis to Kelvin Sampson to NCAA penalties to consistent recruiting success and consistent top B1G rankings and consistent NCAA runs in just a few years. It’s next to impossible. Maybe there is a guy out there that could do it. We may not want to know how he does it, though.

    I’m just not really into having seriously unrealistic expectations. I want to get back to the glory days, but we aren’t there right now. Does that make me happy? No.

    Let’s pull out a little historical perspective:

    B1G rank:
    80-81: 1 (NC)
    81-82: 2 (3-way tie)
    82-83: 1
    83-84: 3
    84-85: 7
    85-86: 2
    86-87: 1 (NC)
    87-88: 5
    88-89: 1
    89-90: 7
    90-91: 1

    They were coming off a national championship in 87-88 with no sanctions and some returning players. Finished 5th. Much better the next year. Finished 1st. Then, back in the dumpster. FIRE KNIGHT!!!

    The whole point of that exercise is that you aren’t looking at anything in the context of reality. Bob Knight took over 1 coach removed from a legendary coach. He took over 8 returning players, including a NBA draft pick that year and a future draft pick. Bob Knight himself was a legendary coach, and he proved it. He then left in turmoil. His successor did a mediocre job, much like McCracken’s. Then, his successor’s successor ruined the team. Crean came in with nobody plus penalties. He has a 5th place season with a Sweet 16 run. He has a 1st place season with a Sweet 16 run (and arguably should have gone farther with an uninjured Jordy – we’ll never know), a bad season, and a yet to be determined season that is so far beating all negative expectations and could turn out really good.

    Context. That’s not Crean support. That’s just reality.

  • Gecko

    Amen ! This is what I have said for 3 yrs. when we had big men{ Cody/ Vonleh} he wouldn’t or didn’t know how to use them.


    Oh, I totally agree with you. I’ve been, what some people consider a little harsh, on SR at times this year, so I just wanted to give him some cred for playing a much better overall game in this game. Having two players on the floor at the same time that everyone knows is not a threat at all to score, in a offensive scheme that is heavily predicated on outside scoring, is not something that is going to have a good end result the vast majority of the time.

  • Outoftheloop

    Thanks. Not sure what I was thinking!

  • eville87

    Well now let’s not forget coaches last good run. 92 93 and 94? I can’t remember right now with cheaney, graham, bailey , henderson, Anderson, the other graham. Fell short of a title but was a very successful run. Then Evans and guyton after that. I truly believe if coach had that team against Maryland they would’ve won. I think that is why he was trying to stick around at the end. watched some good stuff on you tube from the early 90s it was fun to watch and remeber what it was like to expect to win. And not to settle for being .500

  • INUnivHoosier

    I’m not forgetting. I’m illustrating that when you put things into context, having two Sweet 16 runs (one of those during a 5th place finish in the B1G), a no-show tourney year, and then an unknown (but assumed tourney year at a minimum), that really isn’t a bad four years when they are coming after 3 rebuilding seasons from an utter dumpster fire.

    RMK had some bad seasons in between NC and Final Four runs. He didn’t take over a garbage team, and he didn’t have to pull in guys that wouldn’t normally be recruited by Indiana and try to compete in the B1G.

    Nobody is settling for .500. Some people are trying to be realistic. That doesn’t mean they are settling. Even RMK had a .500 season in the B1G, 3 seasons 1 game over .500, and 2 losing seasons.

    People were settling for being about .500 for multiple seasons before that runner-up run in 01-02.