Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Maryland

  • 02/12/2015 10:18 am in

Indiana stayed close throughout but couldn’t take control in a 68-66 defeat to Maryland on Wednesday evening in College Park. The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 17-8 overall and 7-5 in the Big Ten.

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

· The shots just didn’t fall: The Hoosiers’ struggles from the floor on Wednesday night were epitomized in Yogi Ferrell’s last-chance game-winning 3-point attempt just before the buzzer. As Ferrell said — “Felt good, looked good, just didn’t go in.”

Time after time against the Terrapins, Indiana found open shots. But throughout the night — whether it was an open corner 3, a dunk attempt or a layup attempt — the Hoosiers struggled to convert. Indiana’s 15-of-42 effort (35.7 percent) on 2s was its second-worst this season, just behind its 33 percent performance in the 70-50 loss to Michigan State earlier this year. Even its 3-point shooting percentage of 40 percent (10-of-25) was its worst since the loss at Purdue.

Some of those misses were due to improved Maryland defense and ill-advised Indiana shots — the Terrapins’ eight blocks were the fourth-most they have had in a game this season — but on Wednesday, the open ones weren’t falling, either.

After the game, Indiana coach Tom Crean said he didn’t even know what the root of that problem was. He said the Hoosiers will have to look at tape to diagnose what exactly went wrong.

· Veterans led the way — on both sides: This is a game in which veterans shined — from junior Yogi Ferrell and sophomore Troy Williams to Maryland’s senior Dez Wells and junior Jake Layman.

Ferrell carried the Hoosiers with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 6-of-9 3s, also adding six assists, a game-high, and five rebounds. He also took Indiana’s final three shots — a 3-pointer to cut Maryland’s lead to one with 14 seconds left, and then an open 3-pointer that didn’t fall and a putback off his miss that didn’t go in on the final possession of the game.

“I wouldn’t trade him for anyone,” Crean said.

Williams, meanwhile, showed off his athleticism and awareness with multiple tip-in baskets — including one that came off a Ferrell miss with 22 seconds left to cut Maryland’s lead to 65-63. He finished with his fourth double-double this season — 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Wells (18 points) and Layman (14 points), meanwhile, showed their impact for the Terps throughout the game — both through drives to the basket and on the perimeter, as well. The two combined for 11 of the Terrapins’ final 13 points — including a Layman layup with just over a minute left to give the Terrapins the lead they would not lose again.

· Indiana never let Maryland pull away: As much as the Hoosiers struggled converting baskets and opportunities throughout the evening, they never allowed Maryland to have a lead of more than six points.

They forced a 20.7 percent turnover rate against the Terrapins — their second-best effort in conference action — and limited them to 1.09 points per possession (also their second-best performance in their past eight games). And even when the Terps got their largest lead of the night — six points — off a Wells layup, the Hoosiers responded right away with a 6-0 run of their own.

There were seven ties and 18 lead changes on Wednesday night. And although the Hoosiers did not pull out the win, it was a result Crean said they can be proud of.

“All you can ask is that your team does everything and gives them every opportunity to win,” he said. “Play through the lulls, ruts, mistakes, overcome it and continue to have that fight and resolve. And these guys did.”

· An off night for IU’s freshmen: James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson were the only two freshmen Crean played on Wednesday. Their combined stat line was not pretty.

Combined, the two finished 5-of-27 from the floor and just 2-of-12 from behind the arc in more than 30 minutes of action each. Johnson finished 3-of-13 from the floor. Blackmon finished 2-of-14.

“Out there, every shot they took I kept telling them ‘great shot, great shot; make the next one,'” Ferrell said. “So you know I’m not trying to get down on them about that shot, I need them to make the next one. If they miss it, that’s what I told them: if they make it I say ‘great shot’. That’s just the main thing with them, you can’t always take a jump shot when you go to an away game.”

Both Blackmon and Johnson, however, did make key plays down the stretch. Blackmon had a one-handed slam and-one to give the Hoosiers their first lead of the second half at 48-47. Johnson hit a 3-pointer to cut Maryland’s lead to 57-54. He then hit a jumper to tie the game at 59.

But in the final two minutes, each missed shots. Johnson missed a layup. Blackmon missed an open 3. That was the more telling theme from the game.

· A shortened rotation: Against the Terrapins, the Hoosiers played with a tightened rotation — as Crean used only eight players for just the second time this season. The Hoosiers also played eight players against Wisconsin —  but that was without Blackmon and Hanner Mosquera-Perea.

On Wednesday night, every starter — Ferrell, Johnson, Blackmon, Williams and Collin Hartman — played at least 29 minutes. Those off the bench, Mosquera-Perea, Nick Zeisloft and Stanford Robinson, played at least 10 minutes.

That meant Emmitt Holt and Max Hoetzel stayed on the bench for the entirety of Wednesday’s game. It was the first game Holt had not seen minutes since the Eastern Washington loss on November 24, while it was the first game Hoetzel did not see action since the Ohio State win on January 10.

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  • KmanCRK

    I thought this was one of his better defensive performances. He was matched up on a very good good player in Melo. Not many guys year to date have slowed him down. I’ve been very critical of his defense all year, but I didn’t think he was near as bad in this game as he has been in the past.

  • KmanCRK

    Yeah and you prob wouldn’t have seen the benefit when he’s scored 2 pts in the first half of games only to score 16+ pts in the 2nd half cuz you woulda had him riding the pine. You let scorers play and tell great shooters to keep shooting. Just like Yogi said. He has a history this year of putting up great 2nd half stats. You don’t sit one of your top scorers and best shooters because he’s some shots. Glad you aren’t the coach

  • KmanCRK

    maybe for most teams, but I think IU has won many games, especially close games by giving up more than 68pts to the opposing team. We win with offense, not our defense, and too many bunnies were missed unfortunately.

  • Max

    I’d argue the common core education is actually a decent metaphor. You look for high percentage shots … JBJ and RJ weren’t forcing up bad attempts; the open looks just weren’t falling. I’d take an open Blackmon corner three or Troy dunk attempt any day.

  • Max

    Hey, if they want to poke the bear, let ’em.

  • millzy32

    Anybody notice that the caption for this article is from the other game where we won? I prefer that game.

  • millzy32

    For Yogi anything inside the 3 point line is considered a lay up. He’s like the Most Interesting Man in the world of college basketball.

  • Ole Man

    It was obvious, early in the second half, that he wasn’t getting it done. No harm in trying someone else.
    Glad you’re not an analysis.

  • KmanCRK

    yeah you’re probably right. After JBJr tomahawked that and one early in the half, Crean should’ve realized he wasn’t ready to play.


    I don’t think that’s why it was let go, but I thought I seen one of the MD players’ arm go up through the goal as well. Didn’t have the benefit or being able to replay it, so thought maybe it was just me.


    I’m afraid you may be right, was thinking the exact same thing. As bad as I hate to say it I think PU is more capable of taking advantage of our biggest weakness more than anyone left on the schedule. Couple that with the fact that they will have a lot of confidence from drubbing us at Mackey and the rivalry thing and it looks like a very ” losable ” game to me. Hope like hell I’m wrong.


    Looks like I’m in the minority when it comes to agreeing with you but I do. If we just had a big that could catch the ball fairly low and was a decent passer it would take the pressure of having to drive the ball with undersized players and without losing the ball to get an open look from behind the arc plus it would allow for another shooter to be open for that 3pt try instead of one of the shooters being the passer. That is exactly why I fear that we may have a lot of the same problems next year that we have next year unless we can find a big that can come in and help right away in that way and not sit on the bench and only play garbage minutes.


    I hate to beat a dead horse, but I’ll say it again, I think a big part of it is that Crean will not work the refs hard enough and so they don’t have the fact that someone has aggressively pointed out to them that they have missed those calls in the back of their mind.


    Exactly what I’ve been saying about those games. A non rose colored glasses view of the two remaining road games tells us that either one or both are more likely to result in a loss than a lot of IU fans seem to want to admit.


    Excellent post ! Very good analysis, and not just because I agree whole heartedly with it either. This coach of days long gone by could see the coach oozing out between the lines. One of the better comments that I’ve read on here in a good while, big upvote given.


    It also drove home (not that I needed last night’s game to feel that way) the fact that if we do not get a recruit for next year that is more of a traditional 5, and that can contribute in less than a little way, we may very well be experiencing a lot of the same problems next year. I just don’t see the two already on board as solving the problem. If Crean is going to go with 3 guards again, and I don’t see him doing anything but that since, IMHO, none of the 3 starting this year is going to try and make the jump, and is going to start TW at the 4 again, the only way to improve it is to have someone at the 5 that makes more of a difference than HMP has this year.


    One of the few things that could help YF if he stayed another year would that we stand a lot better chance of having a good run in the tournament next year and doing that always seems to give a pretty good boost to a player’s NBA draft stock if they are teetering between late first round to not going in the first round or really early in the second round. Stats next year very similar to this year’s and a good run in the tournament and I see him his worse case scenario as being late first round and more than likely more of a upper mid first round pick. Of course an injury is something that has to always be factored in, especially for someone that ends up on the floor at the end of drives to the basket as much as Yogi does.