Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Alcorn State

  • 12/01/2015 10:18 am in

Indiana rolled to a 112-70 win over Alcorn State, likely the worst team on this season’s schedule, on Tuesday night at Assembly Hall to improve to 5-2.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Braves:

· IU’s defense wasn’t great, but it didn’t matter: It was obvious from the opening tip that Indiana outclassed Alcorn State, which is currently ranked the fourth worst team in the country in the Pomeroy ratings.

The Braves couldn’t stop Indiana, but the Hoosiers also allowed one of the country’s worst teams to score nearly one point per possession.

With Duke looming on Wednesday, Indiana’s defense, currently ranked 83rd in the country, is going to get its toughest test to date. If the Hoosiers can’t do a better job stopping penetration and defending the rim, the Blue Devils will put up explosive numbers.

· Turnovers are the key to IU’s season: As much as the defense is being discussed, the real key to Indiana’s season is its ability to take care of the ball. The Hoosiers aren’t going to be a team built on defense, so outscoring teams is how many games will be won.

When Indiana turns it over, the Hoosiers are throwing away opportunities to let one of the country’s most efficient offenses do its job. IU’s current turnover percentage this season (22.9) is 5.7 percent higher than last season, which is a major difference.

IU turned it over 12 times on Monday in the win over Alcorn State for a turnover percentage of 17, which is more in line with where things were last season. In order to have sustained success moving forward, Indiana needs to clean up the careless mistakes that have been prevalent through seven games.

· Regardless of the opponent, it was smart to play a game before going to Duke: Last season, Pittsburgh came to Assembly Hall following its trip to the Maui Invitational and looked out of sorts from the onset.

Even though the opponent was overmatched, it was smart for Indiana to play a game before going into what will be a raucous road environment.

“It wouldn’t matter if we’re playing Duke on Wednesday,” Tom Crean said. “You want to try to play another game because, again, the time changes and things like that hit everybody differently.”

· Blackmon Jr.’s career night: James Blackmon Jr. deserves a mention for an efficient evening that resulted in the most points scored by an IU player under Crean.

His final line: 5-of-6 on 2s, 6-of-9 on 3s, 5-of-5 on free throws for 33 points. He also had four steals.

“I felt like my teammates were finding me every time I was open,” he said. “And second, I just felt like I got my hands on a lot of balls defensively, and I got a lot of deflections.”

· Wednesday will tell us plenty about where IU stands: The Hoosiers will enter Cameron Indoor Stadium as the underdog, but how will IU respond in its first true road environment?

Adversity is likely to hit early and often and how IU responds to it will be key to how competitive things are with the Blue Devils.

Given the fact that IU starts out with two road games in conference play, having an experience like playing at Duke under its belt could pay dividends down the line. Aside from maybe Michigan State, this will probably be the most intimidating environment the Hoosiers face this season.

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  • inLinE6

    Didn’t check any iubb news until today. I felt like I needed some time off from basketball following a dismal performance in maui.

  • Sorry I’m just not impressed by blackmon’s numbers against these small schools. Quoting another ITH staff writer “While he certainly pumped in points in the non-conference slate, Blackmon Jr.’s efficiency dipped as he struggled in a number of conference games against stiffer defenses — especially on the road.

    In games he didn’t have it, Blackmon Jr. often forced up shots, leading to a number of forgettable lines: 2-of-14 (at Michigan State), 4-of-13 (at Purdue), 2-of-14 (at Maryland), 1-of-10 (at Northwestern), 2-of-12 (vs. Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament).”

    If he doesn’t have it against Duke, I hope he won’t continue to force up shots like he did last year during conference play and also this year in Maui.

  • Hoosier Hall

    If he learned anything in those terrible games last season he won’t try to force it. I just hope he buckles down on defense and makes good passes. JBJ draws a lot of defensive attention so he can be a very effective distributor if he will embrace that role. Also, I hope if he isn’t playing good D and turning the ball over that Coach Crean will set him on the bench in favor of Rob Johnson. Can’t afford to let mistakes happen too many times against Duke.

  • Forcing up shots was exactly what he did against Wake. He hasn’t learned much from last season yet

  • BeatDuke

    Here is the pitch to Brad Stevens (who has cited the IU job as his ‘dream job’). 5 mil per year, guaranteed for 8 years. Stevens can walk from the contract at any time with no repercussions. Bonuses for winning Big Ten, deep run in tourney, and National Championship. The pitch is: 1) less hours worked than an NBA coach, and 2) chance to be at IU for 20-30 years (NBA coaches don’t last that long). And, the possibility of becoming a legend if he can win a couple of titles. Reasonable?

  • NC Hoosier

    With the current state of IU hoops, he’d be a legend if he made a Final Four. Or an Elite Eight.

  • indianaourindiana

    Has he ever said that IU was his dream job? I also don’t know if I completely agree that college coaches work less hours than NBA coaches. Recruiting takes up a ton of time

  • straight no chaser

    I know for a fact that IU and Boston were both dream jobs for Brad Stevens.

  • While IU scored a lot of points tonight, the offensive approach was the same and outside of the brief zone the defense was marginally improved. It appears to me that CTC has promises to keep that are more important than developing a winning “TEAM”. As we all can agree, recruiting seems to be CTC’s forte, I can only surmise based on player comments, that his sales pitch is that he will develop player prospects for the NBA in his “Pro-Style” system. He may be good at finding individual talent but not interested at all in developing a ‘TEAM’ IMHO. Yes, I did just yell that ‘team’ word twice!! And it should be noted that the IU players who were drafted into the NBA were drafted on their ‘potential’. CTC had a part in developing their potential but he did an outstanding job showcasing and promoting them. So, it appears to me that the IU fan base just doesn’t appreciate CTC’s goal of providing a development environment for NBA hopefuls and then showcasing their talents. If we as fans would only accept CTC’s goal, enjoy the “talents” as they passed through the system, forget wins and losses, all would be right with the world.

  • I think he has recognized that steals and rebounds also lead to points. I think he has improved, but maybe not enough. I’ve shifted some of the burden onto him and off of Yogi, who frankly has been a little lackluster the past week or so. JBJ must be great if this team is to have any shot. I want to see him get mad…not at himself or teammates, but at the competition. And I want him to play that way. We’ll need it.

  • enough. it’s tired and stupid.

  • grudgingly and partly agree with some of the above (and recognizing the sarcasm)

  • dssnyder

    Are you serious? CTC’s job is to hang banners not get his players into the NBA
    I’m guessing IU nation could care less if any Hoosier player made it to the NBA, this is about winning at the collegiate level.

  • dssnyder

    I see your reply after I posted below, if sarcasm was the meaning it went over my head

  • It was sarcasm, sorry it wasn’t obvious.

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    Leaving the Celtics for Indiana would be like a president resigning to become a governor.

  • Outoftheloop

    Wrong! Right now the “President” is the coach of Cleveland or the Warriors! All other NBA coaches are “Senators”. Often a politician who wants to “Do” something prefers to be a Governor of a Big state! Indiana Basketball is a “Big state”!

  • He isn’t leaving Boston… believe it.. Why would you think it’s less hours? Not if he wants to win.. Maybe more.. there’s no recruiting to put up with in the NBA.. You don’t spend all of that time schmoozing recruits in the NBA.. Don’t know why we’re even entertaining this.. it ain’t goin’ to happen.

  • SCHoosier

    Blackmon should and does usually get the best perimeter defender on the opposing team. has. Something I’m sure he expects. That said, the cupcakes are like scrimmages..James is loose and easy with his offense. His shot seems to get quicker and tighter when the defensive pressure comes. Hope he can ring the bell at Duke!

  • DubCeeSwag

    We’re Back!

    Yea us.

  • millzy32

    Very timely comment. Thumbs up. Get that extension paperwork faxed over to CTC pronto.

  • John D Murphy

    I couldn’t even watch the 2nd half. I’m sure I will tonight. And I’m sick of the announcers saying “clean some things up”. There is a difference between making mistakes on defense and not knowing what to do or having any fundamentals. There is a difference between making a bad pass under duress and being constantly careless with the ball. On the positive note, JBJ stayed in front of someone for a possession last night. I didn’t think there was a D1 guard in the country who couldn’t get by JBJ on every possession.

  • millzy32

    At this point I don’t think we’ve been in the Final Four in the B1G tournament in a long time and maybe ever.

  • “So, it appears to me that the IU fan base just doesn’t appreciate CTC’s goal of providing a developmental environment for NBA hopefuls and then showcasing their talents. If we as fans would only accept CTC’s goal, enjoy the “talents” as they passed through the system, forget wins and losses, all would be right with the world.”

    come on now! not sarcasm?

  • friendly reminder, the game’s tomorrow night. should be some good match-ups tonight, too.

  • millzy32

    You’re in luck. It’s all been positive. Everyone is so happy with the Maui results that another contract extension has already had ink to paper in Glass’s office. Children are singing in the streets and the feeling is 1976 all over again. Hip Hip Hooray. Hip Hip Hooray.

  • IU has always been exceptionally bad in that tournament for some reason.

  • IUBizmark

    I give this a 20% chance of happening this year. Maybe slightly higher after this season if we don’t let Crean go. The ONLY reason this is even slightly plausible, is because Brad’s family (wife and kids) still reside in IN. That tells me there’s something they’re not committed to in Boston. I could see Glass catching hell for holding onto Crean for one more year after this in the hopes of landing Stevens.

    I actually just questioned last night if Glass was wrong for not jumping on Stevens a few years back. It would’ve been cutthroat as Crean just had that breakout S16 year out of nowhere, but Brad Stevens would’ve been worth it for some many reasons. Longevity, Unity, Etc.

  • inLinE6

    Reason? The only reason is the B1G tournament didn’t start until 1998. We would’ve won it had it started from 1975 or 1976.

  • John D Murphy

    Thanks Clyde. I meant the 2nd half of last night’s game. I can’t help myself…I’m an IU hoops addict. Even when I know watching is just going give me high blood pressure.

  • dwdkc

    The worst part by far was the 2nd “quarter”; 2nd half was better fundamentally on D (while not very good) and with taking care of the ball. The guys were obviously hustling, but still made mistakes that gave up easy drives.

  • dwdkc

    2013, beat Illinois as the #1 seed and lost in semis to….no, don’t want to go there, we all know

  • dwdkc

    With James you have to think it is all about what the NBA scouts told him, which is why I think we have seen really strong hustling from him on D, and he’s made some nice passes for assists too. I still get frustrated with the lack of passing particularly by James on 2 on 1 and 3 on 1 fast breaks; we take it to the hole or try a low % alley oop instead of making the easy play. James did make the right pass at the right time to Troy for a dunk on one, and scored on another but took a much tougher shot than if he had laid it off.

  • I posted it was sarcasm right above your comment.

  • Brklynhoosier

    Cov/Fife/Moye/Jeffries/Haston/Hornsby/Newton got us to the finals in 2001. Luke Recker and Iowa (ugh) knocked us out in the semis in 2002.

  • twarrior87

    “Wednesday will tell us plenty about where IU stands”… yes in a way. If IU gets drummed it will confirm our doubts about the team. However, if IU wins I’m not sure it tells us much. Any team can pull off an upset on any given day. I need to see minimal turnovers and efficient defense in the victory in order to think there is a legitimate hope for this team right now.

  • Banner#6

    This is coming from the guy that predicted IU would go 24-7 this season. Good call dude. I guess you do know it all.

  • Patrick Gould

    Hire Kobe Bryant after he retires to coach please and thank you. Imagine the recruits.

  • hoosier

    anyone watching purdue pitt or maryland nc no way we could beat any of these teams, why because we are not physical (tough) and we do not play smart.

  • hoosier

    next great young coach collins northwestern probably end up at Duke

  • hoosier

    that is why we could not beat wisconsin when we had cody. Very plain to see. Cody was a player you could have won a National Championship with if used properly.