Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Duke

  • 12/03/2015 1:31 am in

DURHAM, N.C. – Indiana suffered its third loss of the season in decisive fashion on Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Hoosiers were crushed by No. 7 Duke, 94-74, in a game that wasn’t even close after halftime.

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

· It may be early December, but Indiana has a major flaw that isn’t going away: Tom Crean mentioned in his postgame press conference that it’s only December 3, but that doesn’t change the fact that Indiana has shown no improvement defensively when its played capable competition this season.

Duke scored how it wanted and when it wanted on Indiana to the tune of 1.52 points per possession. That’s not going to get it done, especially on the road. Crean offered little in his postgame remarks to explain why the deficiencies continue.

“Guard the ball better,” he said. “We need to guard the ball better. We need to make sure we’re not playing angles and giving up position, as much as getting up into the ball and putting really good pressure on the ball.”

· Second chance points were the difference: Duke beat Indiana to rebounds throughout the game and as a result, the Blue Devils absolutely dominated the offensive boards.

Not only did Duke shoot an effective field goal percentage of 61, they rebounded 54 percent of their missed shots and scored 26 second chance points. Indiana scored just eight. Two IU starters – Collin Hartman and Thomas Bryant – didn’t grab a single rebound.

· The Hoosiers didn’t turn it over, but it didn’t matter: Turnovers were a major problem for Indiana through seven games. Careless mistakes cost Indiana in close losses to Wake Forest and UNLV, but for the most part, those mistakes didn’t pop up on Wednesday.

Indiana finished with just nine turnovers for a turnover percentage of 14.6, its best performance of the season. The Hoosiers also scored better than 1.2 points per possession for the fifth time in eight games.

But it didn’t matter because Indiana couldn’t stop Duke. The Blue Devils took care of the ball even better than IU (six turnovers, 9.7 turnover percentage) and also shot an effective field goal percentage of 60.7.

· Indiana allowed Brandon Ingram to break out of his slow start this season: Freshman Brandon Ingram came to Durham with a top 10 national ranking and major expectations.

But through seven games, Ingram was struggling offensively. His effective field goal percentage was just 43.3, but he got it going early against the Hoosiers with high percentage looks that were lightly contested.

The versatile 6-foot-9 wing finished with a career-best 24 points on 6-of-9 shooting on 2s and 4-of-6 shooting on 3s.

· The Cameron Indoor Stadium environment is worth experiencing: If you’ve never been to Duke for a game, put it on your bucket list. Wednesday was my first trip to the venue and it didn’t disappoint.

In terms of seating capacity, it’s much smaller than other blueblood programs, but it’s every bit as loud as any Big Ten venue.

When Duke got things rolling, particularly in the second half, it wasn’t hard to see why the Blue Devils have now won 121 straight non-conference home games. It’s one of the best venues in college basketball.

(Photo credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports)

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  • SilentBob

    I’m just thinking out loud here, but could PART of the reason for Crean’s lack of success be attributed to the fact he doesn’t have experience as a player? I started thinking about this the other day when researching Bryce Drew (side note all my info comes from wiki so it could be flawed, but it’s the quickest way to do this kind of thing). Bryce of course is off to a great start continuing the Drew lineage as the head coach of Valparaiso basketball. But he also was drafted into the NBA as a player. His brother, the head coach at Baylor, never played in college. In fact he didn’t even make his varsity team in high school. Crean too didn’t play in college and said he rarely played in high school. These two are very similar in the fact that they’ve had great success with recruiting and are good guys but have yet to turn that into success. Or at least consistent success. And I have even seen this in another college sport, football, with Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame.

    Could it be these guys may not know how to do what they’re trying to teach? Do they not understand the wear and tear their own practices cause? Or even do the players simply not trust them because their coach hasn’t stared in a competitive game beyond peewee leagues?

    I imagine the vast majority of college coaches have college playing experience at some level. But when I look at biggest name college coaches in basketball the last decade they all have college playing experience. And a lot of them were very decorated and/or thought of as a team leader at those spots whether it be DI or DIII. From Izzo, to Self, to Coach K. Even with guys like Roy Williams and Mark Few, they had the potential to be. Williams made the freshmen team at UNC, but didn’t make it further. I imagine he could of had success at a smaller school but decided to stick around and learn how to coach from one of the greatest of all time. Few had a decorated high school career, but had trouble extending that to college because of a separated shoulder injury he suffered from playing football in high school.

    I guess none of this really matters, but in the future when looking for a new coach…. Having some sort of college playing experience should be a requirement.

  • mark

    Glad to see someone else noticed that … He was exceptionally mature for a freshman, too, as illustrated by the rarity with which he got into foul trouble (did he ever?). I feared this year that people would expect Bryant to be another Zeller, and although he is even better in certain respects (3-poiint shooting, blocking shots), he just does not have the same bball IQ right now. And the other players, too, are not nearly as smart as those of that team … that’s part of the problem: not only desire/work ethic, but intelligence. You’ve got to play smart to be a good defender.

  • Raynger

    Yes, he’s on the top of my list. I’ve said it elsewhere but I think we assemble a panel of ex-players, coaches and experts and ask them to come up with their recommendations. I don’t know how we ended up with the last 3 coaches but we cannot not allow the AD to find someone.

  • straight no chaser

    Yep, I said that the other day when people were comparing Crean and Fife as “Izzo products”. Fife definitely has the edge, having been a player, and a great defensive player at that.

  • SilentBob

    I love Fife, I really do. He along with Moye, Newton, and others were some of my biggest childhood idols. But I’m not comfortable with his sample size has a head coach this far to make him the next coach. I understand he was really young (still is by coaching standards) and that every head coaching hire is a gamble, but I’d feel a heck of a lot more comfortable if the next coach has experienced a high level of success at their last stop as a head coach.

    Which is actually why I started researching Drew in the first place. I went back and was looking at programs who were consistently finishing at the top of their conference. Drew was a Mr Basketball in high school in Indiana I believe, and as I said made it pro. He also comes from a big coaching family. And Valpo has finished first in its conference three of the last four years and won 2 conference tournaments. The year they didn’t finish first, they finished 4th. And his team again is one of the best mid major programs in the country this year. Last I checked the ranked 14th nationally in defense according to Kenpom.

    I’m not saying Fife wouldn’t make a great coach. I’m just saying his resume at this point makes me a little less comfortable than say someone like Marshall at Wichita State.

  • Jeff Linback

    How about Bobby Hurley as the new coach? Just throwing darts at this point.

  • vicbert caladipo

    This team struggled worse when they let Calbert go. He should be back here. No one that ever wore an IU uni was a more cerebral player. Where Victors pure atheleticism made him a smarter player, Calbert’s smarts made him a better athlete. Victor has many years left in the NBA, and Calbert is probably wishing he’d get a call to come back. So, yes. bring back Calbert. My vote is Wittman head coach, Calbert lead assistant. I don’t want Fife.

  • inLinE6

    Watched some plays again, and I think Blackmon should’ve been benched. He’s not a starter quality, at least not at Indiana. Pouring down 33 points against teams like Alcorn State does not mean much. The kid tried, but his defense would always collapse at some point. I’ve never said anything negative against our own players, and I hope you guys don’t take my comments as any negativity, but his minutes should be limited. I don’t know if it’s Crean doesn’t see him as a liability on the court (I hope he does). More often than not it’s because there’s consequence when you bench a 5-start McD AA player. But if Crean does not adjust the lineup, I don’t see how we fix (or improve) our defense in the coming days. How many of you thought we may not even make the tourney this year?

  • JimmyChitwood

    hasn’t proven himself yet…plus as soon as coach k retires he would be on list to replace him and how bad would that look for IU..?

  • david

    I typically can’t stand the fans that constantly blame coaching but it is painfully apparent he is not a very good game coach. He can recruit, he was great at the time for a broken program and from what we know he works tirelessly. But sadly that is not enough. We need a hire profile hire or we will suffer with recruiting. So depressing to watch them play defense.

  • Hoosier84

    You’re on point! And Thomas Bryant is not close to the athlete Zeller is.. Zeller has great lateral quickness, runs like a guard, and has an outstanding vertical. Zeller was a straight up game changer that made things easier for everyone else on the court.

  • dwdkc

    Self: never hurts to ask but less chance than Stevens. Calipari– no. Might as well bring back Sampson

  • david r

    BYE BYE Tom Crean HELLO Bryce Drew / Ya heard it here first

  • CreamandCrimson

    Who are the puritans you are blaming this start to the season on? The athletic department? The fans that were tired of hearing about IU players getting cited and/or arrested? The fans that agreed with the dismissal of Hanner and Holt? The coaches? People on this board? I’m not attempting to disagree or argue, I’m just curious who’s fault you think this is, thanks.

  • JohnnyBattaglia

    Bryant is clearly not a Davis or Towns. Hell, not even a Vonleh.

  • JohnnyBattaglia

    IU was clearly not a dark horse for either of those two things.

  • straight no chaser

    Can someone please tell me where “politics” begins and “basketball” ends. Maybe if I can dumb down my thinking down to where I can “see” that dividing line, then I’ll be able to be the good ITH citizen and avoid “politics” altogether and not get any of my “political” posts deleted by the mods. If someone knows of a forum in which one can intelligently discuss the firing and hiring of basketball coaches then please let me know. In the meantime, taking a rest from ITH. This jazz man is one less subversive schmuck you have to deal with.

  • cooper

    Again whose program has had more trouble the last three years Kentucky or IU?

  • Khoosier3

    Come on now dude. Who’s program is more corrupt than UK?!? I mean seriously… They are corrupt from head to toe. From President to Cafeteria Worker… They owe everything they have to their basketball squad and even if a kid at UK got caught drinking or smoking a joint, they would do whatever it takes to keep it hush. All these players are 18 year old kids who have about a 99.9% chance to drink or smoke a doobie, and I’d bet you’d be surprised at how many do. With that said, you’re telling me that IU is the only school in the NCAA who has McD’s AA that get involved in college shenanigans…. PLEASE… We’re just the only ones that are honest about it…. Which look at where thats gotten us.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    Hartman played very good defense last year, yet this year he has on several occasions, allowed his man to blow by him for layups on his strong side without forcing him to his weak hand. Hartman has a great bball IQ, so has he regressed this year? There are high school drills where you continually practice forcing your man to his weak hand. Not saying this is cure all, but maybe its a start?

    Has anyone else noticed that Yogi’s shot is a little different this year, especially free throws?

  • Khoosier3

    Couldn’t have said it better. UK probably has half the Lexington PD on their payrole to keep these things quiet.

  • Bud Jenkins

    Well said. Will say this though, I have always been told to not discuss politics or religion in public; it is US a cultural thing. Whether this is a good thing or bad, maybe we should look at the state of politics and religion in the US 😉

  • Khoosier3

    One thing I don’t get, is that we try all these different defensive looks, and as we have noticed they look historically awful. However, it seems to me, whenever we play a press, it looks at least halfway formidable. It could be that we mostly play the press in junk time….. Nevertheless, playing the press plays into our hardcore full speed offense forcing the other team to play full court rather than slow in the half court. With the Shot Clock at 30secs now, our opponents have to get the ball down the court even quicker. It works well for Pitino and he plays it the whole game. I would love to see us play a press against a bigger lineup like PUke, because their ball handlers suck, and this would put their Bigs at a disadvantage, especially running up and down the court all day.
    This is how WE, being the superior team(talent wise) should dictate the flow of the game. I’m just so sick and tired of seeing ALL Crean Teams (even the Vic/Cody Teams) get pushed around, into the other teams’ gameplan. We are the superior program. We should be the bullies.

  • Khoosier3

    Lets be honest. IUFB is always going to take a backseat to IUBB. Also, its going to take a backseat (recruiting wise) to OSU, MSU, MU, and the SEC. As long as Wilson is owning PU, then I am completely stoked. Puck Furdue.

  • Khoosier3

    Fife and Crean couldn’t be anymore different. IMHO.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    The reason this season is so disappointing so far is that expectations were so high this year, and all of us see a team that is completely lacking on the most basic of elements, defense and rebounding. Even Colin Hartman, a very good defensive player last year, seems to have regressed this year with his matador defense. In high school, there are a number of drills that teach you to force your man to his weak hand, basketball 101. That is NOT the catch all or savior of IU Basketball but its a start.

    It is frustrating because defense and rebounding can be accomplished by less talented players through hard work, will and desire. Butler’s teams come to mind. The only two team members I see exhibiting this work ethic with emotion on the court, ironically enough, are the two transfers, NZ and MB. Are we fortunate enough that they learned that aspect of basketball before they came to IU? They have skill/physical limitations but they seem to always bust their butt while playing.

    Coach Knight always said that the best place to learn the game of basketball is while your butt is resting on the bench. Landon Turner comes immediately to mind.

    IU basketball is not about grooming players for the NBA, it is much much more than that. Please IU, lets return to good old IU team basketball where the needs of a few don’t outweigh the success of many!

  • IULore

    The is: our McDs players are not the cream of the crop, they are the barely there bunch. That desire for good defense is lacking.

  • BeatDuke

    I am wondering if some ex-coach or player on here could explain WHY or defense is so bad, in detail. Not just that the coach teaches it wrong, but watching film to find, physically, what is being done wrong.

    I will use Troy and JBJ as examples. Both are good athletes, but not so good on defense. Could someone explain what is going wrong at the moment that they get blown past with SPECIFIC reasons. For example, perhaps:
    1) they don’t get low enough in their defensive stance, or come out of it for an instant;
    2) they don’t hedge on the strong side;
    3) they take too big or too small side to side steps;
    4) they don’t extend their arms out;
    5) they don’t get up on their toes when they are on ball (seem like I even do this when my man has the ball in my rec league and is threatening to drive);
    6) they watch the ball, not the man’s chest;
    7) they are too close to their man, or too far away; or
    8) their spacing (too close or far away) creates terrible angles for playing defense.

    I’m not looking for speculation, I’m looking for film break down type analysis, the way Alex breaks down parts of the game (perhaps Alex could do this, if we are able to identify the major problem). There has to be enough bball IQ on this board to pin point what the problem is for these guys. I suspect Coach K could tell you after watching film (and the coach of UNLV, Wake, etc.) and told their players to heavily exploit whatever the flaw is.

  • Don Daiker

    The problem with Coach Tom Crean is that he is just not very smart. He seems like a nice guy, and I’ll bet he is a wonderful parent, but he simply does not learn from experience.

  • IULore

    That’s Cal’s speech, but I mean, defense makes you more attractive to the NBA.

  • IULore

    For the BIG, yes they were.

  • IULore

    having 10 7 footers helps too.

  • IULore

    Same coach.

  • JohnnyBattaglia

    Clearly they should never have been. This team, sadly, isn’t anywhere close to being that good.

  • dwdkc

    The things the IU players did are tolerated in Lexington (and most places; they were not serious transgressions except for Hanner’s DUI), and the UK players are protected. Calipari’s past two schools had Final 4s vacated and while his boosters always proclaim his particular innocence, there was significant circumstantial evidence of more issues related directly to him that the NCAA did not have the resources nor will to pin on him given that the schools were already punished. It doesn’t matter; the actual history is enough that IU does not want to go there, and I really don’t think Calipari wants to go to IU either. Most IU fans don’t want to go the exclusive NBA factory route. If they could do it a little differently a la Duke, or say Kansas, then that would be the ideal.

  • straight no chaser

    Big deal. At least his players like him, and he has a team and can teach defense. True he gets 5-stars, but he also plays for championships every year. He screwed up and got punished for it, and that’s it. No need for all the mythology and superstition about what a villain he is.

  • dwdkc

    Yes, good coach, and a total sleaze. There are good coaches that aren’t total sleazes. We can argue all day about the level of sleaziness, but I really don’t think the IU fanbase is with you on this one so it’s a moot point.

  • dwdkc

    The most logical speculation I’ve seen is that he is still hampered by his injury. He definitely isn’t moving as well, that is clear. Might be a few more weeks before he is himself.

  • straight no chaser

    The reason it is even possible to separate “politics” and “religion” in our discourse is that we have a priori assumed that they are separable categories. Such a position is in itself a political one, because it consecrates a paradigm of thinking that gets its disciplinary power from such segmentation of the spheres of experience and discourse.

  • straight no chaser

    Funny you mention it, because our program also represents a type of “sleaze” to me as well. A different flavor of sleaze, but sleaze nonetheless. I mean, we have prostituted ourselves to the NBA and lure of multi-million dollar salaries. And we can’t even teach basic defense to one of the more talented classes we have had in the last decade. It might be legal, but to me it is sleaze.

  • Bud Jenkins

    On a side note; as a born and bred Hoosier, I would not go as far as to say we are anti-intellectual, far from it, we are anti-trying-to-hard; this is imho, is why Crean rubs so many people the wrong way…

  • obviously the fans who are puritanical. neuter all the things!