The Minute After: St. John’s

  • 11/24/2015 5:45 pm in

Thoughts on an 83-73 win over St. John’s:

LAHAINA, Hawaii — On an overcast morning in the land of the cruel sun, Indiana’s fatigue from a never-ending Monday showed up in its win against St. John’s.

The disappointing, unexpected loss to Wake Forest was tough for this squad to stomach.

“We had some hurt feelings,” Tom Crean said of his team.

On Monday after the loss, Crean said Indiana spent longer than expected with their film session of the game. This led to missed scheduled evening gym time. They ended up having to do their walkthrough in their hotel ballroom instead.

“I gave us too much credit for having 16 good minutes (against Wake Forest),” Crean said. “We didn’t.”

Couple the long Monday in with a five hour time zone difference and a 9 a.m. start against a below average squad in a similar time-frazzled condition, and the quality of the performance starts to make some sense.

This is not to excuse all the listless play from Indiana. But context is important before we dive into the details.

Those details were tough to swallow. The Hoosiers have certainly showed stretches — or even full games — of the type of defense they need to play to be taken seriously this season. But that was not on display this morning. The Red Storm entered the contest with the 243rd most efficient offense per KenPom. Indiana allowed them to score 1.07 points per possession, just a touch less than the 1.11 it allowed to Wake Forest on Monday.

It was the same old story: Too much easy stuff off the perimeter to the basket.

Indiana played slower today and had six less possessions than in its loss to Wake Forest. But the turnovers still persisted. The Hoosiers turned it over on nearly a quarter of their possessions (23.5 percent) and the Red Storm scored 25 points of those miscues. A lot of them were of the mental variety. The Hoosiers made passes to areas of the court their teammates had vacated or simply never were. When Collin Hartman is making mental errors and turning the ball over (three turnovers), you know something is a little off.

“We were a little ruffled today,” Crean admitted after the game.

Indiana was never able to blow the Red Storm out of the gym as some had hoped the Hoosiers would. There were never quite in danger of letting the scales tip in St. John’s favor, either. It was a survival this morning more than anything.

The Hoosiers got Thomas Bryant the ball early and often and he had a nice bounce back game after a lot of defensive issues against Wake Forest. Bryant went to work in the post against the Red Storm and was an efficient 7-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the line for 19 points.

Crean sat James Blackmon Jr. and Troy Williams at the start of both halves today, sending a bit of a message about their play against Wake Forest yesterday. Blackmon Jr. still had four turnovers in just 17 minutes of play.

The Hoosiers have one last shot to string together more consistent play on both sides of the ball tomorrow and end on a positive note before they head back to the mainland.

But whether they’ll be able to shake the cobwebs out and put it all together is anyone’s guess after so much up and down play through five games this season.

Filed to:

  • BoxingGlobe

    That he won’t play in the NBA ? He 100% won’t. Unless he grows. Lol.

    He doesn’t have the size or speed. It’s just not in his cards. He can play overseas.

  • BoxingGlobe

    As a freshman he was a pass first pg. he had great teammates who could score and he was a freshman. Then he played on a team with no scorers so he had to score his sophomore year. Then it went to his head, last year, wooden award nominee, NBA scouts talking, but as a junior he missed the biggest shots of his career. What 2-3 game winners ?

    Now he has scorers around him, but he is also a senior and solid scorer. He needs to go into a pass first and early in the game type of player. Get everybody involved then his shot will open up and he can score and create.

  • Jimmy Chitwood

    Haha you’re clueless.

  • Jimmy Chitwood

    Haha!! wow just wow!

  • Jimmy Chitwood

    He’s always had scorers around him mr, obvious.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I know it’s tough to derail narratives once they take hold and it’s actually entirely irrelevant but….in my opinion, Tom Crean hasn’t been “clapping” nearly as much and hasn’t been nearly as demonstrative on the sideline as we’ve seen in the past. I don’t think it’s indicative of anything and I don’t think it has any impact either way but since you mentioned the clapping (a lot), I thought I would throw that out there and see if others have noticed the same thing, or if others care at all.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I don’t know why it even matters. It’s just a dig.

  • INUnivHoosier

    *directly at the team’s expense

  • INUnivHoosier

    Stop drinking the Lafayette water. It’s making you a jerk.

  • INUnivHoosier

    We’ve got nice facilities.

  • MisterSlippery

    You have to be kidding

  • VAHoosier

    I’m not ready to buy that narrative, yet (I know, how much more evidence do I need…!). The first 10 minutes of the 2nd half against Wake, we played *very* good defense. Our guards, in particular, were pressuring the ball and denying passing-lanes very well. Rob Johnson stood out to me defensively during that stretch. (Thomas Bryant, unfortunately, continued to be abused by Devin Thomas, but that is another story.) This team is capable of playing pretty good defense for stretches, but they just seem disinterested much of the time; they lack defensive intensity. I absolutely think this is a coaching problem, but more of a motivation issue than a technical issue.

    The story of this season is not yet written. It may be that this team does not have a blue-collar bone in its collective bodies; maybe they’re just soft. But I’m still hopeful that pride, if nothing else, will spur them to better defense.

  • VAHoosier

    He’s averaging 7 assists per game with a 3:1 assist/turnover ratio. Yogi is distributing the ball just fine, and I hope he keeps trying to score.

  • Khoosier3

    Pre-season rankings are a bunch of Bull. They take into account what you bring back from the previous season and what you bring in. It also factors in the potential of the team. Believe it or not, this team has loads of potential AND talent. I thought #13 pre-season ranking was low for the pieces that we have. HOWEVER, low and behold, the season starts and you get brought back down to Earth. Seeing us on the court makes you remember things never change. Year in and year out we have the same problems. Turnovers and can’t play defense. We will fall out of the rankings soon enough and be a bubble team come March. And that #13 rankings will just be a sour memory of what could have been.

  • MikeinNC

    Fair point. I think of the clapping as a euphemism for a lack of substance – players that don’t improve over time, teams that do not improve over the season, classes that do not gel and never have leaders emerge, press conferences where the same problems are discussed but never improved, second halves where the other coach adjusts and we don’t. Defensive intensity and overall intensity that is frequently discussed but does not improve. The clapping is the Crean way – it’s almost as if he tries to use displays of energy and enthusiasm to overcome a lack of effective coaching and leadership. If he puts on the energetic front it will somehow overcome the fact that he is frequently out coached and is probably middle of the pack at best in the Big10 in terms of coaching ability (although his enthusiasm along with the lavish support of the athletic dept due help him overcome some of this with great recruiting classes). But in the end, all the talent arrives and generally underperforms because when the players get here they start to realize he cannot get them to gel as a unit and they are not addressing the persistent issues that are plain as day but never improve. So the players just default to making sure they take care of #1 – oh they are smart enough to give the right sound bytes at pressers about leadership, accountability, teamwork, defensive intensity, and playin hard for forty. But in the end, like much of what Crean does, those are just words with no real meaning or execution behind them to back them up. Just empty clapping.

  • FU2

    Couldn’t agree more, I firmly believe Fred Glass is part of the problem not the solution. How ridiculous is it to watch pUKe perform at elite levels year after year while we are now relegated to the average/good levels. We used to be considered a Blue Blood basketball program, that sun set on us years ago.
    To truly get back to elite status we need an elite coach leading us, a proven winner whose won championships. As a prior posted above said the only thing elite about IU bball is the coaches salary….

  • CreamandCrimson

    Okay…that’s fine. This stuff has been discussed ad nauseum on ITH both in the offseason and during the season. I understand it and I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with anything you’ve said, I’m just choosing to focus on the current games being played. Tom Crean is the coach for at least this season and that won’t be re-evaluated until after the season so I’m not going to rehash or go through each of your points…they are all valid and understandable opinions though.

    He benched two guys for poor play and yanked a player (Zeisloft) after a mental lapse so that was at least some type of change…baby steps. I just thought you were referring to the literal clapping on the sideline that made him look manic at times and I’ve seen a lot less of that this season. Anyway, hopefully today is another baby step forward…go Hoosiers.

  • BMusic

    I noticed that. A couple times I saw him just sitting there, like Boeheim.


    Heard that also and also agreed with it. That means that it is even more important that they work together as one cohesive unit to lessen the effect of that being true, but I’m believing more and more all the time that this coaching staff, for whatever reason, just can’t get that accomplished.


    I know what you’re saying, and it does sound like something outlandish to try, buttttttttt then again what is being done isn’t exactly shutting teams down either. Have to try something different, don’t know that that is the answer, but we gotta do something different. Try it for a little bit just to see, cause we can always switch back, it’s not like it’s a, “if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it”, scenario. Worst short term damage would be that they get some easy baskets that they are already getting.

  • It’s CTC, while JBJ isn’t a complete player by any stretch he has some strengths. CTC needs to put him in the right situations, isolating him and asking him to take his guy to the hole and scoring isn’t what JBJ can do at this stage. He needs to be utilizing screens to get mid range jumpers, 3 point shots and he needs to do it with a consistent line up where everyone knows their role. This team feels like 5 guys trying to do it on their own, at least in crunch time when the defenses get tougher and the pressure rises.

  • MikeinNC

    Let’s hope so.