Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Wisconsin

  • 01/06/2016 3:05 pm in

Indiana won its eighth straight game Tuesday night – a narrow 59-58 victory over Wisconsin at Assembly Hall – with the undefeated 1976 national championship team in attendance.

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

· Wisconsin set the pace, but Indiana’s defense won out: Wisconsin was successful in its goal to play a halfcourt game with Indiana. Greg Gard knew he didn’t want to get into a track meet, so the Badgers were deliberate and forced Indiana to run offense late into possessions. Turnovers were a regular occurrence. As a result, IU scored just .95 points per possession, their second lowest output of the season (UNLV at .94 is the lowest so far).

A month ago, Indiana wasn’t well equipped to win a grind it out game, but that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday. The Hoosiers knuckled down defensively, forced shot clock violations on multiple occasions and held Wisconsin to an effective field goal percentage of 45.6. That mark was lower than what Rutgers and Nebraska produced against Indiana in its first two Big Ten games.

“We knew this was going to be a grind-out game,” Yogi Ferrell said postgame. “And the only way was to basically just buckle down on defense and just try and take away some of the key tendencies like (Bronson) Koenig and (Nigel) Hayes and what they wanted to do.”

· Turnovers continue to limit Indiana’s long term ceiling: Through three league games, Indiana is 3-0, but has a turnover percentage of 26.9. Purdue has the next highest turnover percentage at 23.2, but the Boilermakers have played just two Big Ten games.

This problem isn’t limited to one or two players, it is one prevalent across the roster. And if it continues at this rate, it will end up costing Indiana a fair share of Big Ten games.

The Hoosiers are in the midst of a very favorable schedule to start conference play, but once the competition picks up in the back half of the schedule, turnover percentages over 20 aren’t going to get it done very often. Against Wisconsin, Indiana turned it over on 31 percent of its possessions and still pulled out a win. The sooner Indiana gets a handle on this problem, the better.

· Yogi Ferrell took over down the stretch: Indiana’s senior point guard did what you’d expect late in a close game. He made clutch plays, defended Koenig very well and knocked down crucial free throws to seal the victory.

Indiana’s final eight points of the game came courtesy of Ferrell.

With 2:30 to play, he hit a jumper to extend the lead to five. He followed that up with another jumper with 38 seconds left to give Indiana a lead at 55-53. His final four points came from the free throw line, including a pair in the final seconds to ice the victory.

· Freshman forwards answer the defensive challenge: OG Anunoby’s 11 points were certainly important, but his defensive contributions, along with those of Juwan Morgan, were also key.

With Collin Hartman battling foul trouble all evening, Anunoby and Morgan spent the majority of the game on Hayes. Their length and athleticism bothered the Badgers forward as he had trouble finishing at the rim and also had a few of his shots blocked by the duo.

“All I know is they work really hard, they’re improving. Juwan is getting healthier, which certainly he was behind when you look at when he got hurt in Maui and how much time he missed, and then he came back and got hurt again,” Tom Crean said. “They’re smart, learning. They’re winners. They’ve won. Those kids have won, so that’s really, really important. We just want to make sure they keep improving. We’ve got a long way to go, and we’ve got a lot of games left.”

· The slump for Troy Williams continues: The last three games for Indiana’s junior forward have been his three worst of the season when you consider his offensive rating.

Williams finished last night with just two points on 1-of-4 shooting and two turnovers in 26 minutes. Over IU’s first three Big Ten games, he has 13 turnovers.

Now that James Blackmon Jr. is out for the season, Indiana needs Williams, along with Robert Johnson and Nick Zeisloft, to help pick up some of the vacated production. It must start first for Williams on the offensive glass. He did have two offensive rebounds against Wisconsin, but given how much of a liability he’s been as a ball handler this season, perhaps getting him more engaged on the boards first could springboard his offensive game. With just 20 points through three conference games, the Hoosiers need more from Williams in a hurry.

Filed to:

  • Bankshot

    In this case, absolutely! Every member on the team voted for Neil to kicked off.

  • Bankshot

    Right on Clyde!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Good point. You were correct on the reason pending also.

  • Young Hoosier


  • great point. ouch.

  • Name one player on that team who would ever have stepped up and challenged the coach on this. And compound that with Reid being a turd anyway. Most people understand the power of the situation, situations influence how people act. ESPECIALLY in group settings. In almost every case, a group will squeeze together even tighter under stress, circling the wagons so to speak…so it isn’t much to say that they did just that in this case. Not even taking sides on this one, but let’s not go overboard here. It had all the hallmarks of a bad situation getting worse, and lots of people acting like Penn State fans about it. Wish it would have gone a different way, personally.

  • Are you kidding? OSU is now picked by quite a few as in the top 5 of the B1G, they have a great group of very young players and a couple of very good veterans.. We will have to play one heck of a lot better than we did against Wisky to win this one.. and you’re not willing to acknowledge it as a quality win? You’re entitled to your opinion, but what planet did you say you are from?
    Have you seen the Pomeroy rating on this one?

  • MK

    I dont necessarily think there is a connection between mistakes and “trying to impress scouts” I just don’t think he has any concept of how to impact the game without putting his head down and driving

  • Koko

    You forgot to mention they beat Kentucky on a neutral court.

  • so did we!

  • Koko

    I agree we will have to play better than the Wisky game. That means we play a different game in that Wisky plays slow and good defense. Saw OSU last night (and their win against Kentucky) and they play a much different game than Wisky. More up and down and average D. Northwestern was open from the perimeter a lot last night (they took 25 threes). Their shots just weren’t going in. But Northwestern hung in there till the last few minutes. If OSU plays the same game as against Northwestern we will have open shots. Pop our threes and play as good or better on D as we did against Wisky we should win. Fingers crossed on RJ and TW coming out of their scoring funk.

  • Bankshot

    Yes, the General fell on his own sword. His mistakes were many, but the positives he brang to I.U. outweigh the bad 100 fold. Ted Kitchell stood up to him relentlessly. I believe RMK and I.U. deserved better. Lastly, you are 100% right about the TEAM banding together. Playing on the road in the big 10 was a cakewalk compared to putting up with the general. That is precisely why his teams were so tough minded. May they bury me face down so my critics can kiss my……….

  • Barry Kearns

    Out of control turnovers… unforced errors are a problem. 5 of IU’s most active players cause a TO 7.8% up to 12.2% of their playing time. Troy Williams…. commits TO’s , 12.2% of his playing time… no surprise. In comparison, Kansas and Duke most active players average close to 4.5%. While it’s ok for these great athletes to be creative… they still have to know where they are going. How times have you seen Troy or Yogi dribbling full speed into the baseline only to jump into the air and throw the ball away or even take a terrible shot (which doesn’t count as a TO).

    Sometimes IU plays with energy… and sometimes it is chaos like a nuclear explosion.

  • So what in my post was incorrect? The five losses-check, the losses to Louisiana Tech and UT-Arlington-Check, no votes in AP/USA today poll- check. Sagarin has them listed at 49, one spot above powerhouse Evansville and 5 spots below perennial contender Valpo. Oh and we’re playing them at home and am sure we’ll be favored. So I guess it has to do with what you’d call “quality”, which to me would be to beat someone in the top 25 or at least a win in which we were the underdog.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Wisconsin may have beaten Rutgers by nearly 20, but Indiana beat Wisconsin and Rutgers, so it doesn’t matter at all.

  • Sure it does when you consider where the games were played. We beat Rutgers by 7 @ Rutgers, Wisc beat Rutgers 22 @ Rutgers, we beat Wisc by 7 @ IU so if at the end of this month we lose @ Wisc then I’d say were not even as good as this sad 9-7 Wisc team that’s sitting at 58 in the Sagarin ratings.

  • TomJameson


  • TomJameson

    hahahaha … All truth (or facts)can be an opinion … but all opinion is not the truth (or fact)

    The problem starts when everybody who has an opinion thinks their own opinion is the truth (or a fact).

  • TomJameson

    Yeah Clyde, doesn’t really matter but I agree with you. That’s like people saying “it is a mute point” when really it is a “..moot point” Not that I’m a fanatic, but when the English catches your eye more than the point being made, well … you lose your point. LOL

  • In that case, I guess I would have to say ‘Hopefully you’re right’. If they’re allowing that many largely uncontested threes, we should have a pretty good chance to win. I can’t imagine Zeisloft will stay that ‘cold’.. and hopefully our other shooters will bury them with the three.
    I wish I could’ve watched the game last night. I saw a lot of the Kentucky game and then saw them in Columbus against Minnesota and I thought they looked pretty good. Would you call it a ‘quality’ win if we beat the Buckeyes? I don’t know but most of the analysts on BTN think pretty highly of them. yes they lost some games early they should’ve won, but talk about being a young team.. they truly are.. and then beating Kentucky wouldn’t have been easy.

  • I would like to see the numbers, but I don’t think the bulk of his turnovers are when he is at guard. He makes them when we already have two guards on the floor.. and he gets the ball and takes it upon himself to try to drive the lane when no opening is there.. and/or he has received an out let pass or has taken a defensive rebound and brings the ball up court on his own and invariably loses it when he tries to drive between two players or take it on in on the fast break and the lane isn’t open and he loses the ball off his knee or whatever. I don’t think you can attribute the bulk of his turnovers coming as a result of his trying to or being made to, play the point guard position. In fact, I think a high percentage of his turnovers are coming when we already have an actual point guard playing point.. but when troy gets the ball he thinks he has to drive to make a play. . and the opening isn’t there.

  • I think you’re right, that is probably not his primary motivation. However, I just think he feels if he can make something happen and make a ‘highlight’ reel play, it’ll somehow impress the scouts. remember how close he was to going into the draft last year? I think one of the big reasons he came back this year, was to improve his ‘draft stock’, ergo, there is likely at least some of that in his continual attempting to force some type of solo action when it clearly isn’t there. JMO.

  • I just think the reason I would feel it to be a quality win is;
    OSU is really trending upward. Yes they lost some early that they should’ve won, but talk about a ‘young’ team, they truly are. In the games I watched, they had four Freshman on the floor a lot.. and they all performed very well. The analysts on BTN network are very high on them.. By the end of the season this one could very well be a ‘quality win.. although, I would have to agree that since they currently are not in the Top 25, you have a good point. I just think they are trending up and by years end we may well look at this and say it was a ‘quality’ win. JMO.

  • ForeverIU

    I see what you’re saying, Ken. And the numbers you refer to are important. But it’s not just about controlling the turnovers per se. It’s about the rebounds and scoring that will offset (to some degree) the turnovers committed. Again, I am not saying this with certainty, but my sense is that if we try to get Troy do too much at different positions, it might happen at the expense of his scoring down low and his rebounding, thus magnifying the turnover issue. But I agree that it’s important to identify where and how the turnovers are happening. I don’t know if ITH has offered a breakdown of Troy’s game, or if such turnover info is available, but I sure would like to see the data the you are asking about.

  • Koko

    Would I call it a quality win if we beat OSU?……hell yes. My idea of a quality win does not include the team we beat being in the top 25. Taking care of business at home in the B1G is always a quality win from my point of view. I have heard the BTN analysts too and do agree OSU is playing better but what I saw last night was an average D that we can take advantage of.

  • ForeverIU

    Let me scroll back up and reread your Knight Defense in light of this new revelation.

  • ForeverIU

    I propose that jokes and sarcastic comments about players’ mothers and family be deleted. How much lower can we get? What do you all think?

  • Bankshot

    what game, turnovers, no D, spells of disappearance.

  • Bankshot

    What does coaach Knight have to do with Troy’s mama’s NBA obsession?

  • CreamandCrimson

    Not that it truly matters because the on-court matchups and standings at the end of the season will speak for themselves but…Wisconsin beat Rutgers by 22 in Madison, not at Rutgers and we didn’t beat Wisconsin by 7, we beat them by 1.

  • CreamandCrimson

    How much lower can we get? I don’t want to find out but I’m guessing once we lose a few games in the B1G, things will go “lower”. Delete the posts? I’m for the board self-policing itself but I don’t understand why some need to talk about “Troy’s mama” and I’ve chosen to ignore the posts that go that route but I agree, it doesn’t add anything to the discussion.

  • INUnivHoosier

    That is just ridiculous.

  • You’re right, I mixed that up.

  • Koko

    It is what it is. Nothing really to talk about. I’m sure that sort of thing occurs quite a bit in this day and age of NBA/NFL banter in college sports. We all know it is about the money….nothing more. If his mom wants to talk that is her biz not mine. I’m more concerned for Troy playing well and helping us win games. The better he plays the less likely those “low points” occur. We are going to lose some games in the B1G so lets stay above the banter and support the team no matter what. Heck they have already gone through quite a bit and look to me like they continue to adjust and improve. The B1G is a bumpy road for any team as we have already witnessed (Purdue blowing a 17 point half time lead and losing at home, Valentine getting hurt and MSU getting beat by a really good Iowa team, Melo having a hamy problem). A lot of things can happen and will. We just need to stay steady on.

  • Koko

    I forgot to mention JBJ getting hurt and out for the season.

  • Freemason

    True…THey point I,was trying to make is the she’s always running her mouth. Every time something negative is said. She also thinks her brother boo Williams should replace Coach Cean. LOL