The Minute After: Purdue

  • 02/19/2015 10:20 pm in

Thoughts on a 67-63 loss to the Boilermakers:

Most teams entering Assembly Hall this season left feeling the wrath of Indiana’s explosive offense. The pace and space, the 3-balls, the extra passes and great ball movement.

But not the Boilermakers. They came to Bloomington a confident — maybe even cocky — crew. They left with a victory on the strength of a great defensive effort and a sweep of this Big Ten series.

Forget the name on the front of the jersey, Purdue is a tough matchup for these Hoosiers. A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas are the twin towers inside Indiana has no answer for, despite the great effort Stanford Robinson and others put up against them to try and deny the ball. It’s men vs. boys. Hammons finished 8-of-9 (20 points) and hit two free throws to seal it late. If he was able to catch over the Indiana defender fronting him, it was a sure bucket. Haas wasn’t quite as dominant (12 points, 3-of-8), but went 6-of-6 from the free throw line and picked up nine rebounds — including six on the offensive glass to keep possessions alive for the Boilermakers.

Purdue would end the contest rebounding 50 percent of its misses for 14 second-chance points. It also posted a strong free throw rate (40.4) and hit 17-of-21 from the line. That helped balance out too many turnovers (23.3 TO%) and a rough 2-of-18 mark from distance. Purdue and Indiana shot nearly identical (48.2 vs 48.1 eFG%) as Purdue scored 1.04 points per possession to Indiana’s .98.

Purdue’s defense was impressive in holding Indiana under a point per possession, just the second time it’s happened all Big Ten season (Jan. 5 loss at MSU).

After racking up eight blocks in their blowout victory in West Lafayette, Hammons posted four tonight. His ability to essentially zone the rim against Indiana had them thinking twice and second-guessing around the cup — blocked shot or not. To try and avoid him, the Hoosiers had some odd-looking takes. Troy Williams got blocked by Hammons on one of his going away towards the right side hook attempts in West Lafayette, so he hurried it in the first half against him on a similar take and the shot hit hard against the backboard. It didn’t fall. When Yogi Ferrell put the team on his back down the stretch to try and steal a victory, he had to get cute against Hammons on the left block to try and avoid him, and his shot didn’t fall — just missing. It would have given Indiana a one-point advantage with 1:02 to go.

Beyond Hammons, Purdue’s perimeter defense played physical, slowed the game down and forced Indiana into tough 2s. It’s the kind of shots Indiana has rarely taken this season, but with the shot clock winding down and little else to do, the Hoosiers took more long 2s than usual. There were also some questionable shots in and around the paint that just didn’t look right. Indiana also tried to make some close passes in the paint that just weren’t there — a Stanford Robinson pass inside and across the paint to Max Hoetzel in the second half for a turnover comes to mind — as Purdue’s defense continued to keep the Hoosiers from going off.

Purdue held Indiana in check from distance, never letting them get into a rhythm or find momentum. Indiana had just three makes from distance heading into the closing minutes before Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. hit two to keep things interesting. Indiana finished just 5-of-16 from distance after hitting 18 in Assembly Hall just four days ago.

Despite the struggles on offense, Ferrell tried a similar 3-pointer like the one he missed against Maryland to try and give the Hoosiers a one-point lead with six seconds to play, but it missed. It was a little rushed and he didn’t have quite as much space. He would call it “bad shot” after the contest.

In any event, Purdue has won 7 of 8. The Boilermakers are now 10-4 in the Big Ten and sit in second place. Despite some bad non-conference losses, this is a good basketball team on a roll playing with a lot of confidence. They’re a nightmare matchup for the Hoosiers.

It all culminated with a victory in a place pretty much no team has been able to slow the Hoosiers down this season.

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  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    so you’re saying you enjoyed last night’s game? what about the previous two games against PUke when they thoroughly embarrassed us. you enjoyed those games too?

    to me, part of being a fan is getting emotional, regardless of impact or lack thereof. and quite honestly, i like getting people fired up. certainly makes this forum a heck of a lot more interesting than if everybody just posted ‘oh well, better luck next game!’. don’t you think?

    and i’ll never temper my expectations as you’re suggesting. i’ll never simply enjoy the game of basketball. if iu’s winning, i’ll feel great. if they’re losing, especially the way they’ve been losing these past couple seasons, i’m gonna be ticked. even if they’ve been losing for the past 20 years. if i feel the coach isn’t earning his paycheck, i’m not going to make excuses for him because he’s a nice guy who appears to be just as good a salesman as he is a coach.

  • bojak

    I have mentioned this before but I will mention it again. In my mind CTC is not a bad coach. He is not a good coach either. He is just an average coach. Now if the Indiana faithful is content with an average coach bringing in 3M and never figuring out how to defend, so be it.

  • IU diehard from CT

    its not just big bodies..if the big bodies cannot shoot, then hammonds will continue to pack the paint. we are spinning our wheels here bro…not sure what else to tell you

  • IU diehard from CT

    thats your opinion…my opinion is that max is tough, not great, doesn’t do dumb things and can shoot the ball from anywhere. forcing hammonds to come out could have burned purdue and forced painter to go small…its like I’m talking to myself here

  • IU diehard from CT

    did iu win the game? no, they didn’t. did purdue win the game as hammonds was sagging off of troy….yes. not sure what to tell you either

  • IU diehard from CT

    and in more minutes, colin and hmp had a couple more…point?

  • IU diehard from CT

    losing in the early rounds doesn’t mean you’re not any good. it just means you lost when you should not have….you cannot discredit all the games they won up to that point???!!! and duke IS good every year…

  • IU diehard from CT

    haha..mint

  • BC2

    a lot of IU fans discredit all the wins they had in 2012 due to lose in sweet 16.

  • Outoftheloop

    What a shame for Yogi! He played a really great game: 7/15 FG, 3/7 3-point, 4/5 FT, 5 reb, 21 pts, 4A/1TO, 1 steal in 36 tough minutes being fouled every second of the game. Just like in the game at MD. But all anyone will remember is that he missed the last second, hit and win the game shot, in each of those games. Life is not fair!

  • INUnivHoosier

    Point being, putting in Max wasn’t going to do much. In the four minutes he was in, he produced no offense and only had 1 rebound. I wasn’t calling him out for his number of rebounds. I was saying that was his entire stat line.

    Collin also produced zero points in 17 minutes of play.

  • IU diehard from CT

    cmon milla, ctc’s first 3 cannot count…go from his 4th year on…go check out how long it took coach k….it took him 11 years…11. he got hired in 1980. not saying the 2 coaches are the same, but guys need time…give crean more time…and by the way, he isn’t going anywhere

  • Outoftheloop

    No, the kids are letting themselves down. Four loses should have been wins: EWU, Georgetown, at MD and Purdue at home. That would be 22-5 and 10-4 in the B1G. That would be elite! Did the kids want to win? Sure. Did each kid fight and sacrifice all-out for the team? No way!

  • Outoftheloop

    You are a fool. Yogi hits that shot over 50% of the time. That would equal a win in a game when IU was NOT the better team!

  • IU diehard from CT

    dude, thats all they had! was dwade. oh my bad, they had diener lol

  • calbert40

    You don’t want to have a discussion with me on luck and its influence. I’m sure I’d aggravate you! 🙂

    I completely understand that he is the boss, and I agree with you, for the most part, that if personnel on the floor is lacking in an area, he’s the guy who needs to make a change. But you can’t discount that Luke’s leaving in the middle of a season killed us. Crean thought he was good in the post for this season, and poof…he wasn’t. Last year at this time, we were all howling at the moon for shooters shooters and a couple more shooters, oh and while you’re at it, get a guy who can shoot it!

    He did exactly that. The problem is that with the transfer, he only had the summer signing period, and most of the impact bigs were gone or looking at UK. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t downplay the transfer’s impact.

  • calbert40

    Also, have you looked at the recruiting board? Morgan is 6’8″ 220 4 star, Anunoby isn’t a post player, but he’s 6’7″. Also, we are in on Bryant and Swanigan. All he is trying to get is big men for this next class. And while I know it is a long shot, with Maker officially classifying as 2015, I’m sure Crean will run at him (and his brother).

  • Outoftheloop

    I sure thought that Indiana would have 3-6 minutes of “hard double team as soon as Hammons or Haas caught the ball (not when they start to dribble), somewhere in the game plan since we all knew that the Purdue Bigs were going to dominate the paint. But, alas, no such plan was ever considered.

  • IU diehard from CT

    your points are refreshing and well written..the only error i saw was that coach k was hired in 80. he got to the final four in 1986 and lost to louisville

  • calbert40

    I started with his first ten years overall not just at Duke. I counted the Army years.

    Edit: but Duke pretty much was blah before he got there. He did an amazing job building that program, but it did take him awhile.

  • IU diehard from CT

    i feel the same way. not sure if i can justify it to my wife lol. evidently getting her hair and nails done isn’t the same

  • Outoftheloop

    What better strategy do you have when Yogi was 3/6 on 3’s and the rest of the team was 2/10 prior to that last shot? Yogi plays great in free-flow transition.

  • Outoftheloop

    You are wrong! Stan fought hard on defense guarding 7′ players, had 2 pts, 1 reb, 2 steals, 1A/1TO in 13 min. Collin had 0 pts, 0 reb, 1 steal in 17 min. But we all agree that he should play. Max played 4 min and got 1 rebound, took 0 bad shots, had 0 TO, and worked hard on defense. What do want from the kid. He played for the team!

  • Outoftheloop

    You are correct, sir!

  • HoosierFan

    Sure, I enjoyed parts of it, but definitely not the result. You didn’t enjoy any of it? Trust me, I’ve had my share of excuses and irrational thoughts, but I’m not ready to storm the castle. Is Crean the guy? I don’t know. Easy to lay blame when things aren’t going well. I’m tired of hearing “He got outcoached” or “he can’t develop players” or “he can’t recruit bigs.” The same people saying that give him no credit when he wins or his players do well.
    I’m holding my judgment until the season is completed. Us IU fans are so irrational. Four weeks ago, we are thrilled because the season is going WAY better than anyone expected. Now we are livid because we are going to finish at or slightly above preseason expectations. I guess that’s why fan is short for fanatic.

  • Outoftheloop

    A likely NCAA team, likely #3 in the B1G, on a “tear” at 7-1 in their last 8 games! It hurt, but it was definitely “not a bad loss” for NCAA consideration.

  • Outoftheloop

    Not me!

  • calbert40

    That is three guys today who have told me to join the forum. I hope Alex is paying you guys a commission! Fine, fine…I’ll join in the offseason! Goodness!

    To answer the comments, I don’t know about guarding Hammons, but nothing worked last night. What you see as craziness, I see as Crean throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. HMP couldn’t do it. EH and CH didn’t do it. Might as well try Stan and see if his quickness can do something. PU was just incredibly focused on getting him the ball that they wouldn’t be denied. One possession in particular that stood out to me was EH on Hammons. EH played him soooo tough…for 32 seconds. PU swung the ball around about 4 times, finally hit Hammons, EH went behind him, and Hammons pump faked, EH took the bait and Hammons went up and under for a layup with about 1 second on the shot clock. I think all the guys we threw at him did everything they could, but he’s 7’0″…it’s hard to stop him when you’re 6’7″.

    RE: Troy – I think we’d all agree that he is the most dynamic player on the floor, typically for both teams, in any game. Putting the ball in your playmaker’s hand isn’t a bad thing, and Troy has shown the ability to handle that responsibility. He has also shown the ability to dribble off his foot at a high rate in comparison to someone who truly brings the ball up regularly. I think that was an issue where if Troy does a little crossover, gets to the lane, hits a bucket and gets fouled, we are all thrilled…but he didn’t, so now it’s a bad thing. I don’t like to look at plays like that, but I understand the frustration. I punched my couch on that play!!

    RE: lack of fouling – that’s a head scratcher. No excuse. I don’t know if that is Crean failing to tell them to foul, or they just neglected to do it, but either way, that can’t happen.

    No one has mentioned it yet, but the one thing that happened last night that really floored me was the part of the game when Yogi was on the bench. I understand the need to sit him for a breather, but we looked terrible during that time, and maybe it just seemed like eternity, but those four minutes lasted forever. I thought Yogi needed to come back in quicker than he was.

  • Outoftheloop

    This is NOT a “dissapointing season”! However, it IS a missed opportunity at a great season (win the 4 loses to EWU, Georgetown, at MD and at home against Purdue = 22-5 and 10-4)!

  • Outoftheloop

    Sorry I did NOT mean to “thumbs up” your comment. We lost by not hitting a game winning shot in the last seconds to MD and to Purdue. Either of those teams will beat most top 20 teams including N IA, Wichita St, Ark, OK, Butler (IU already beat them), Baylor, SMU (IU already beat them), W VA, OSU (IU already beat them), OK St, and San Diego St.

  • Outoftheloop

    I totally agree! Crean is quick to publicly criticize his players and very slow to accept the blame for his own poor coaching decisions and lack of “game-plan” innovation. How can Indiana never try a “hard double” on the Purdue post immediately when they catch the ball? Mind boggling! Purdue shot 2/18 on 3’s!

  • Outoftheloop

    With a steal of the IU inbounds pass?

  • Outoftheloop

    Of course it was. His plan was to play IU “rough”, bumping and with constant “arm-bars” and force the referees to make the call. They didn’t and IU’s shooters are not tough enough. But 6/16 would have been enough to win! IU was 5/16 on 3’s Purdue was 2/18! But IU must rebound better than 21/38!

  • MillaRed

    Not sure what your point is but DWade is one of the best basketball players ever. Diener was very solid at 12, 6 and 3. Robert Jackson averaged 15 and 8. Scott Merritt 10 and 7. Do you actually have a question?

  • MillaRed

    I agree. But the three before that two first round and 1 second round eliminations. Before that two NIT bids. The body of work isn’t overwhelming.

    Fair enough on the chill mode LOL 🙂 I know I’m Mr Bitter Beer Face today. Have a good weekend diehard.

  • MillaRed

    They are not rim protectors Calbert. Come on man.

  • MillaRed

    Yes, yes, yes but only Hoosiers think like that. A loss is a loss is a loss. No one feels sorry for Tom Crean outside of Bloomington. Know what I mean?

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    you’re right, we as fans tend to not look at the big picture, we tend to have knee jerk reactions. but looking at the big picture, when your team has had more arrests and failed drug tests than big 10 titles, sweet 16, elite 8, and final 4 appearances combined, well…

    i’ll say this, the CZ era sure is looking more and more like an anomaly instead of the norm.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Relax.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    that’s pretty much what shaggy wrote below, so you can read my response to him if you want. but i agree with you as far as the tournament status

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    apology accepted this time, but do NOT let it happen again

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    totally agree, and i thought it showed a lot of leadership to step up and say publicly that he thought it was a bad shot. i personally don’t think it was all that bad. takes a lot of balls to fire off the potential game winner.

  • enickman

    It’s funny how many people on these threads tell everyone else how to speak. You said it exactly the way it was reported. Troy failed drug tests which means he was doing drugs. Pretty simple in my book. Putting a kid like Luke in there with him doesn’t seem smart. BTW, I didn’t know they were roommates. Good info and raises more questions about the team leadership?

  • enickman

    When you’re given a full-ride scholarship to a major University you should avoid anything that resembles a drug “experimental phase”.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    i’ve said some pretty harsh things and have gone back and forth with several fellow hoosiers on this particular thread, and i’d be lying if i said it wasn’t kind of fun (i sincerely hope the feeling’s mutual). but i want to be perfectly clear and say i genuinely like this team. i love the players we have, for the most part.

    my problem is, i hate the players we don’t have and desperately need. i feel genuine sympathy for CH and SR for having to try and guard the biggest player on the team night in and night out. it’s a thankless job that they can’t possibly perform effectively, and i daresay it’s not what they signed up for. and like i said in an earlier post, i think it’s very unfortunate that TC felt it necessary to criticize YF after the game and more or less pin the loss on him, especially given his coaching performance. scroll down and read milla’s post, which lists several major screw-ups he made last night.

  • IU diehard from CT

    Oh. Ok. Since you say so. Btw, I wasn’t upset. I just used to be a coach so I know more than you

  • IUGrad05

    Better strategy? Um, I don’t know but how about calling a timeout to draw up an easy bucket for 2pts. No need for hero ball. Yogi is great but as the Maryland game showed, hero ball doesn’t always work. I’ll take the easy 2 and take my chances in OT.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Whatever. This has grown tiresome

    But If you think more Max Hoetzel is the cure for what ails this team, I’m not surprised you “used to be” a coach.