The Minute After: Rutgers

  • 01/31/2015 6:18 pm in

Thoughts on a 72-64 win over Rutgers:

Sometimes it doesn’t come as easy as it should. You get stuck. You can’t break free.

So it went for the Hoosiers on Saturday inside Assembly Hall. Indiana couldn’t buy a bucket to start the contest. Even close-range good looks weren’t finding their way through the hoop. The Hoosiers opened the game 3-of-14 from the field. They ended the first half just 3-of-11 from distance. Were it not for the turnover-prone Scarlet Knights coughing the ball up – which Indiana turned into six points off turnovers to add to its 16 fast break points – the Hoosiers could have been down at the break instead of having a two-point lead (32-30).

The start of the second half didn’t fare a lot better for IU. Myles Mack hit back-to-back-to-back 3s at its onset. He was fouled and hit all three free throws a few minutes later. Mack hit yet another triple at the 11:33 mark. He gave the Hoosiers a taste of their own medicine, and the Big Ten’s worst offense had a seven-point lead (52-45) on the road midway through the second half. Indiana was struggling to string together consecutive stops on the defensive end or scores on the offensive end. But it did just enough over the final 11:33 to survive against Rutgers and emerge victorious.

Start here: To close that seven-point gap, the Hoosiers strung together four consecutive stops on the defensive end and tied it up at 52 off a James Blackmon Jr. 3-pointer. They went 4-of-5 from distance. Beyond that make from Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson hit one to start Indiana’s surge. Nick Zeisloft also hit two key ones late. The Hoosiers also made 11-of-12 from the line over that final 11:33. When Rutgers had to foul in the final minute to try and get back into the contest, Indiana had three different players (Yogi Ferrell, Johnson and Zeisloft) go 6-of-6 from the line to not afford the Scarlet Knights a window of opportunity.

Blackmon Jr. started slow, but ended the contest with a team-high 20 points. The freshman hit just 2-of-6 from distance but had a number of nice buckets at the hole off some hesitation dribble work — including a few over that final stretch. Fresh off what Tom Crean deemed good defensive work on A.J. Hammons in the first half earlier in the week, Stanford Robinson got the start this afternoon in place of Troy Williams. In 16 minutes, Robinson had no turnovers, two assists, five boards and four points. He didn’t really take any of the reckless shots he’s made a habit of this season. Robinson certainly isn’t the shooter his teammates are, but for a team that lacks a lot on defense, Robinson can give some needed help there if he can keep it together on the offensive end.

It’ll be interesting to see where his role goes during the back half of this Big Ten season.

Indiana’s final scoring surge helped them outshoot the Scarlet Knights (54.7 vs. 50.9 eFG%). Indiana also grabbed 44.8 percent of its misses today but failed to convert on a number of second chance opportunities — both teams had seven second chance points — for it to have a big impact in the outcome. Rutgers entered the contest scoring .89 points per possession in conference play. The Scarlet Knights put up 1.04 today, its third best number in Big Ten play.

Not every win will be pretty. Not every one will have the look and feel over Indiana’s romp over Maryland last Thursday. But a W is a W. And it’s a good sign the Hoosiers can emerge victorious even when they don’t perform at their best.

Filed to:

  • TomJameson

    Milla, I really like your new attitude. No sarcasm here. You are like the Zen Master. Watching IU nearly gives me a heart attack, which is why I watch the recording later. But I can’t stop, I’m addicted! LOL

  • Born&Bred2BleedHoosierCrimson

    Okay, thanks. I was wondering, they didn’t have his name with the starters in the box score. I’m assuming Stan started in his place, Ole Man?

  • SCHoosier

    More of a trauma that a test me thinks.

  • SCHoosier

    WIS beats IU by whatever margin Bo wants them to beat IU by. If we play zone the entire game..and WIS for some reasons has its poorest shooting night of the season..Hoosiers might keep it to a 6 point margin. Hoosiers try to play their ineffective man defense..the Badgers carve us up like a holiday turnkey. WIS will literally score at will against an IU man defense with their ability to pass the ball. Sorry there it is. Of course..if IU shoots 65% from 3..there’s always a chance..I wouldn’t book that with Vegas though.

  • Hoosier1158

    If Devin would enter a game, for 30 seconds, he would not be eligible for a redshirt.

  • calbert40

    I’m not going to defend our D too much, because it has been very poor for most of the season. However, yesterday, I thought it was much better. RU hit a ton of well-contested shots, which makes their FG% look better than what it may have otherwise, but our effort and intensity were much improved, IMO. This team is never going to bea defensive giant, but if they continue to play with heart as well as improve consistently, that’s about all we can ask.

  • Ole Man

    As always you capture it perfectly! Even if IU shoots that 65%, Wisc still has to be playing a bad game.

  • Ole Man

    Stan did start, yes.

  • Eugene Debs

    The sky is no longer falling!

  • who’syourhoosier

    I almost agree with you. I feel that Holt would do well with more PT. When HMP was getting started it was a nightmare. He could barely hold on to the ball. He needed more practice time not playing time. I simply feel that Holt and Hanner are completely different in that regard.

  • Drew

    I was reading up on Crean’s previous teams efficiency rankings on the defensive end a few days ago and noted that his 2003 Marquette team that made the final four ended the season with an efficiency ranking in the 200’s. Granted, they did have Dwayne Wade and Steve Novak, but I think if they give optimal defensive effort, we do have a chance at some sort of run in the tourney.

  • Drew

    I maybe should’ve worded it a bit differently. I guess you could just tell that they came out with little energy, looked flat. Last year against Northwestern, that resulted in a lot of turnovers. This year, a lot of missed shots to start the game. We just couldn’t string together a run for a long time it seemed. I am very happy we did though, marking it down as a W and not looking much further into it haha.

  • dwdkc

    Hanner got screwed by the NCAA his freshman year, then not to have his visa for Canada was a bad break too for a guy that really needed minutes. That suspension was a joke and he would have gotten some more time at game speed late in those preconference games. I agree though that Holt doesn’t hurt us out there and I’d like to see more. But he also disappears at times like most freshmen, and Crean sees what is going on at practice and should have a feel for how much is enough.

  • dwdkc

    I’d be OK with your conspiracy being true, because IU would be one of the biggest beneficiaries! Nobody travels better; when I went to the nightmare in DC 2 years ago (Sweet 16 loss to Syracuse), out of the 4 teams there, IU had the loudest fan support and it wasn’t really that close. The place was only really rocking when IU made their little run early in the 2nd half, which was derailed by refs swallowing their whistles on muggings inside. Yes I’m still bitter about that.

  • Outoftheloop

    This team tries your patience. Only once (at home against MD) did I feel really confident the whole game. The kids do play hard. They just keep forgetting what leads to victories: 1) rebounding, 2) defense, 3) low TO’s, and 4) Assists. When they do those things the shots fall, the hustle plays produce points, the flow of the game goes IU’s way. Even against a tough team that roughs them up, like OSU at Assembly Hall, it works. Indiana could really use an “upset” win at WI! GO IU!

  • b_side

    So let me get this straight:
    IU has won 6 B1G games and all came down to the final possession?

  • Outoftheloop

    Emmitt has played very well and deserves more time on the floor! He is Indiana’s #2 rebounder at 51 reb/218 min = .234 (Troy is #1 125/526 = .238; Max is #3 37/191 = .194; Collin #4, Stan #5, James #6, Hanner #7, and Robert #8). He shoots FG at .667, #1. He has only 8 TO’s. But Max and Stan also deserve more playing time. What is a Coach to do?

  • Outoftheloop

    We should lose only 2 out of the next 9, at WI and at MD. But there are always surprises!

  • Outoftheloop

    Rutgers beat them. Anything is possible!

  • Devout Hoosier

    We beat them last year. Their problem last year was not defending the drive, completely open and unchallenged and our speed with Stan & Yogi was enough. Can we contain Frank, nope. Can we outscore Frank & Team, maybe.

  • gm

    i was exaggerating but their first four wins were decided in the final minute if not the final possession

  • alwaysiufan

    That’s how Rutgers beat Wisconsin. ….dratw money to the big from the east

  • SCHoosier

    Kaminsky was out the entire Rutgers game..and Jackson went down with 10 min left. The Mack-Jack combo just destroyed WIS in the final minutes. As I remember..Rutgers damn near beat us?): I’d like to see a strong showing against the Badgers,.,.just to get the teams confidence up.