Notebook: Bryant bounces back, loss sparks lineup change

  • 11/24/2015 7:58 pm in

Less than 24 hours after suffering its first loss of the season, Indiana was back on the court in Maui looking to earn a win.

The Hoosiers did just that, winning 83-73, albeit in sloppy fashion.

Yogi Ferrell led all scorers with 22 points, and also had seven assists and four rebounds. Thomas Bryant bounced back from his struggles against Wake Forest and finished with 19 points and three rebounds in 22 minutes.

“The type of adjustments I made was just staying on the attack,” Bryant said. “Just let the process go through and just play with my teammates and trust Coach and all my teammates out there. I just know if I just keep playing, keep running and posting up, that those guys will give me the ball, and they did. Luckily, I made some moves and got some buckets in there and just took it from there.”

Bryant’s offensive effort was key as the freshman goes through those first year growing pains. He’s being counted on to produce immediately for a program that struggled in the post last season.

Despite the win, Tom Crean said he was even more displeased with his team’s performance against Wake Forest after watching the tape. He said he doesn’t even think they played 16 good minutes, as he had credited the team following the game.

“We got away from what was working,” Crean said. “We got away from what we needed to do, and we needed to grow up in a matter of hours.”

Crean noted that IU is still making adjustments inside to match its opponents as it acclimates Bryant, Max Bielfeldt and its other newcomers.

“We didn’t play great,” Crean said. “It wasn’t always pretty. (St. John’s) made baskets. But it’s not going to be when you’re playing against other competitive teams when you’re in this environment. But we played with great purpose. We went to a game plan that really was where we needed to end the game yesterday, and we didn’t end it that way, but we came at it and established it right away.”

Turnovers were also an issue as St. John’s scored 25 points off of 16 IU turnovers.

“They scored too many points off the turnovers,” Crean said. “But today, if it was going to be a 15-round fight, we wanted to make sure we could be in it all 15 rounds, and I think that ended up happening that way. It’s not easy to win.”

Loss sparks lineup change

Crean decided changes needed to be made after IU’s loss to Wake Forest, so he replaced James Blackmon Jr., Troy Williams and Max Bielfeldt in the starting lineup with Robert Johnson, Nick Zeisloft and Collin Hartman.

Despite each new starter playing more minutes than those who they replaced, they were outscored by Blackmon Jr., Williams and Bielfeldt 28-12.

“I thought Yogi and Rob did a fantastic job of getting the teams centered early and Thomas did a great job of getting the team anchored,” Crean said. “Collin and Nick were all over the court. That’s exactly what it has to be.”

After scoring just two points in the second half against Wake Forest, Ferrell took over the game, similar to what would happen during times last season.

“We were upset with the loss yesterday, but we looked at this as another opportunity for us to go out and show everybody what we’re made of, and I felt like we did that today,” Ferrell said. “We showed a lot of toughness. It starts off in the first half.”

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  • Speed

    The loss to Wake might have been a blessing. Vandy destroyed them and clearly we are not ready to face the likes of Vandy.

  • Marek Wojciech ?ugowski Lugows

    I don’t know. I think being destroyed by Vandy might have been therapeutic, or at least more so than a close loss to Wake,

  • And One

    We are all grumpy about the win, I know, but can we come in off the ledge for a moment to talk about Bill Walton? I recorded the game (that may bet he best way to watch our boys this season) and just finished it. I haven’t laughed so hard in years. Walton rambled non-stop about completely random stuff, often to the obvious bewilderment of his partner, who stammered once or twice that he had no idea what Bill was getting at, and was doing his best to deliver the play-by-play while Walton talked about sand (“red sand, white sand, black sand…”) and other stream-of-consciousness topics. “I love Chris Mullins,” he purred, “I love my bike. I love Chris Mullins.” Great stuff. I was in tears.

  • SeeingRed

    I had the opposite response — had to mute the old hippy. Can’t believe any TV network actually pays that guy to do a game. I always thought smoking a lot of weed wouldn’t do a guy much long term damage, but Walton is making me reconsider that opinion … 🙂 The guy sitting next to him deserves hazard pay.

  • BoxingGlobe

    Have to agree. Rather listen to tinfoil through a typewriter.

  • Jimmy Chitwood

    How far we have fallen when people like you think we aren’t ready for a powerhouse basketball program like “Vandy.” Get a clue.

  • INUnivHoosier

    He did make at least one astute observation. It was something along the lines of “don’t jump to pass.”

    Listen to him guys. Don’t jump to pass. Buy Maui Jim sunglasses. Roll on Continental tires. Ride a bike.

  • FU2

    It was absolutely absurd, not only did he completely gloss over any meaningful coverage of the game but his relentless nonsensical babble often took my focus off the game. The guys incessant ramblings about his travels and life experience lessons was an absolute disgrace. And while I understood every one of his Dead song references they too were completely out of nowhere and completely uncalled for.
    Good player but a TERRIBLE announcer, I really hope I don’t have to listen to him call another IU game ever!
    Please ESPN do us all a favor and tell him to get on topic or get off the network.

  • Speed

    Are you suggesting we could have beaten Vandy with this team at this time of the year? Vandy destroyed St Johns. We won by 10.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Yeah. I felt bad for his counterpart.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Yeah, that dude sounded like he smoked a bale of it before going in front of the camera.

  • IUMIKE1

    I know a lot of people that smoked a lot of weed and NONE of them ramble on aimlessly like Walton does. Maybe a combination of the time frame that he was on the west coast and just a really different personality all together. Regardless I hope I never have to listen to him do another game as long as I’m watching bball. Caught myself saying, oh my gosh, about him as much as I did our team, and that’s saying something. lol