At the Buzzer: Indiana 74, Minnesota 68

  • 01/30/2016 4:31 pm in

Quick thoughts on a 74-68 win over Minnesota:

How it happened: Assembly Hall grew restless and the tension in the building was more than noticeable late in the second half. That’s because a 16-point first half lead was completely erased by a pesky Minnesota group that scored 30 points in the paint in the second half. The Gophers took the lead at 67-66 with 3:54 to play, but Indiana answered with two straight buckets by freshman Thomas Bryant to regain control and ultimately hold on. Bryant was the difference in the game for Indiana as he finished with a career-high 23 points. On an afternoon where the Hoosiers couldn’t hit from deep (2-of-18), it was just enough to escape a loss that would have been head scratching. Indiana, however, moves to 18-4 overall and 8-1 in the Big Ten at the midway point of league play.

Standout performer: Bryant was terrific in finishing with 23 points (on 11-of-13 shooting) and eight rebounds. The Hoosiers probably didn’t find him quite enough throughout the afternoon, but his two baskets in the final two minutes sealed up the victory.

Statistic that stands out: After holding Minnesota to .74 points per possession in the first half, Indiana allowed the Gophers to score 1.17 points after intermission. The Hoosiers did manage to hold the Gophers under a point per possession on the afternoon – a feat they’ve now accomplished in eight of nine conference games – but the second half defensive performance had glaring issues.

Final stats:

minnystats minnytempo

Filed to:

  • I hope you’re right.. I would like nothing mre than to see them dump Michigan, then win at State College and the upset Ioway… We’d be looking good.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Yeah you’re right. He has been struggling. Although, I did a minutes analysis lately and we are playing 3 guards less than 25% of the time. RJ is averaging 27 minutes since JBJ’s injury. Put those together and you realize NZ is playing third guard minutes just to spell YF and RJ. I’m not positive you could give his minutes to anyone else, without playing a four forward lineup more, which has worked to a degree but I’m glad its more of a necessary gimmick than an actual strategy. The thing I would say about NZ’s game is that he does have the team worst defensive rating. While we are undoubtedly better at defense with our starting guards, he is not terrible on defense and more than anything is a highly efficient offensive player. Rarely forces anything other than his own shot, which is what we are asking from him.
    Long winded way of me saying, I don’t think we have an actual alternative to NZ and I’m not worried about him either. He’s a good third guard.

  • Fifer39

    Sorry Ken, I thought you were talking about yogi. It’s a fine line between what makes Troy good and bad but the problem you’ve highlighted is exacerbated by the point guard experiment.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I am hoping the 2nd half was an off day. Clearly, ole man is right that yogi was not playing well today. If yogi can play like he has the first 7 B1G games (he was equally poor on defense today), then I think IU wins 5-6 more. If he and TW play like they did today, 2-3 more — ugh.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I’m with Ken- I’m ready for TW to move on to Europe

  • zoldirtybird

    Agreed. The whole team (including the bigs) have clearly been taught to extend out on the high pick/roll and hedge on the screens. This puts them way out of position and leaves the lane wide open for quick penetrating guards. It doesn’t help when you consistently give minutes to Troy Williams — by far the worst defender on the team. His transition defense and help defense were awful today. He continues to show no defensive improvement. It’s pretty clear that the defense has been better since the Blackmon injury because Troy is playing the 3 instead of moonlighting at the 4 with three other guards. OG and Juwan are infinitely better overall. If only we had more minutes to give them.

  • Koko

    I just sent TB a thank you note.

  • Koko

    We did make an adjustment and clogged the middle after they went ahead by one. They didn’t make a field goal after that. But I’m guessing you mean it should have been done long before that which I agree with.

  • Maybe a hundred thousand miles away. Lost badly on Tuesday, then yes, a million miles away.

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    Yeah, let’s see some of that Will Sheehy special!

  • pdhoosier

    The effect was digging us out of a twelve point whole. .. no Nick no victory (probably)

  • TomJameson

    Really? He has, I think, 1 turnover in all the times he’s been in, and he’s been in for much more than “mop up” times. He has played his role very well, IMO. In the NOT mop-up times… he has come in, taken care of the ball, given Yogi/RJ a break, and played decent defense. He rebounds, has made steals and deflections, and (again) plays decent defense.

    I don’t think he has set the world on fire, but I think he has done what CTC has asked of him.

  • TomJameson

    Well, I really don’t want to beat up on anybody. Especially to a player that has done pretty darn good for IU during his time. I would hope that somebody on the coaching staff is working with him and his shot. He’ll come out of it and knock down 3 threes in a row again (in 21 seconds ??)

  • Ole Man

    Your IQ doesn’t impress me.

    Now if you want to discuss basketball, explain to me what you saw that created that number.

  • Ole Man

    Another one with the most overused, misunderstood stat in the game.
    Alex has said he hates it.
    Most of us who have been around basketball for a long time ignore it.
    It’s basically meaningless.

  • Rantool

    At some point and time it would be great to see our players held accountable for their sloppy play! In plain english, when you play like Williams, Johnson, and at some points Zeisloff and Hartman as far as sloppy play and lack of effort, you need to have your hindend sit on the bench? Why doesn’t Crean do this? Also Coaches bad sub patterns are back, and if he didn’t reinsert OG and Bryant back into the game when he did, we lose! Why in the world did he take em out in the first place? If our older guys do not want to work at defending and rebounding, then let’s play the freshmen! We lose that game yesterday without them!

  • Ole Man

    You’re reflecting.
    I did nothing but post a statement.
    You don’t like it, which is fine.
    What is not fine is that you continuously seek me out to post personal, negative comments about me.
    You need to grow up.

  • Ole Man

    Max was minus four. Do you really think that reflects the game he had?
    That stat is basically meaningless.

  • Brklynhoosier

    I’d say it depends. Are you a little off the final margin? A lot off the final margin? -4 is 10 points off. In this game, I think what it tells us is that TB basically won the game for us and, when Max was in, TB was out (TB was +11). Also, in the 2nd half, Max was a non-factor (positive or negative) because we forgot that we have decent bigs you can dump the ball off to. In Troy’s case, I don’t see what (other than his play) you can point to. And he wasn’t just -4, he was -13 — which is almost 20 points off the actual margin.

    He consistently/wildly drove into traffic — he threw up wild shots/prayers — he didn’t look to pass the ball — he didn’t get back in transition. All of those things cost us points. Just look at the third- and second- to last plays of the 2nd half. Third-to-last: TW with the ball at the top of the key. Loses the ball. His man gets back, skies for a one-handed dunk. Minny up by one. Next possession: TW with the ball at the top of the key. Starts one of those cringe-worthy drives, 1-on-3. Has TB open down low but ignores him to throw up a prayer that doesn’t go. LUCKILY, all the defenders are strong-side and the rebound caroms to the weak side so TB can get it and dunk it home for the and-one (that he missed). Last true offensive play: Yogi gets the ball (after we remember that we actually know how to play defense/force Minny into a terrible shot). Minny standing around. Yogi changes speeds, draws the one defender who got back and: DUMPS THE BALL OFF. TB scores and the game is basically over.

    Ole Man, let me ask you this: based on how he was playing yesterday, if TW had had the ball on that last play instead of Yogi — do you really think he would have made the pass?

  • He still helps spread the floor and draw the defense. He also generally takes good shots only. I say keep firing away.

  • SCHoosier

    I would suggest that when Ferrell’s not on the floor..IU seldom has an organized offense…seriously.

  • I really don’t agree that has anything to do with it. I’m bettin’ if you look at ‘bad’ Troy experiences, 90% of them have coke when Yogi is on point and troy is just trying to do too much with the ball. You can try to frame this around Crean all you want, and I will readily blame him for quite a few things this year, but this is not one of them. TW’s turnovers are 90% him trying to create something on his own, not necessarily trying to set something up to dish to a teammate. He just makes bad decisions with the ball.. whether he’s actually designated as the playing the point at the time or not. Doesn’t have one thing to do with the fact that at sometimes he is actually playing point, which, by the way, has not really occurred an a very high percentage of our possessions anyway. In short, I ain’t buyin’ what you’re trying to sell.

  • You’re right, we weren’t getting back fast enough to get it set up, therefore it wasn’t working. What we were doing was primarily offense malfunctions. We were squandering possessions, shooting threes when we shouldn’t have been.. In fact on one possession when Minny was closing the gap, Our buddy, Max, jacked up a three about 3 seconds into the shot clock, missed it wildly, Minny took the rebound down and scored an easy layup. It was so flagrant the announcers commented on it as being something we do not need at that time.. I mean when you are shooting 2 of 18 from three.. and you just keep on jacking them up.. something is out of synch..

  • I don’t think it was that we want to want to win.. but you are right, we just didn’t seem to have a sense of urgency.. and well I guess you could say, Minny did.. and they were in fact out hustling us. It’s kind of like we thought we have this thing won, we don’t have to hustle. That is definitely the opinion I got watching it.

  • He gets driven around as badly as anyone on the team.. He just hasn’t been up against the better players on any of these teams yet. If his minutes are increased, you be throwing rocks at him as well.. He is not the answer believe me.

  • No true, he has had at least three turnovers in limited action… You may only remember one, I remember at least three..

  • Yeah but if you look at the numbers below, that’s like waiting for lightening to strike again.. He’s actually having a real bad shooting season.

  • What it appeared you were saying, is he should play more and shoot more.. That was my take from what you said…because he hit four in the last game with Minny.

  • IUMIKE1

    Wow ! Knew he was struggling, but didn’t realize he was struggling that much. Yes he shot it well against MN the first game, but that may very well just been the law of averages catching up at a very opportune time too.

    Off the NZ debate, but I’m thinking more and more all the time that OGA should maybe get a start over CH soon and see how it goes. I really like CH, and I think there is for sure a role for him to play on this team, but am really starting to wonder if it’s not coming off the bench instead of starting.

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Hahah gee I wish I had your basketball knowledge!!!!

  • IUMIKE1

    While I don’t exactly see eye to eye with you when it comes to TW, I do agree that we need, at the very least some from him, and having him come off the bench is not going to give us the best chance to get that. I think he either presses even more coming off the bench trying to prove he deserves back in a starting role or just pretty much goes off the cliff, neither result is in the one that we need if he is going to contribute what is needed from him. I think you give him the start and then manage his minutes accordingly with what we are getting out of his minutes.

  • IUMIKE1

    I would even go as far as saying there will be a direct correlation between the number of times we get him the ball at the right time and place and the chance that we have to win most of the upcoming tough games.

  • I agree, but only somewhat. The way they played showed regression instead of progress, at home, against poor competition. The OT loss in Madison was better than this “bad win,” in terms of the team’s overall play. I hope it’s an anomaly only.

  • dclouz

    No, that is not what I meant. What I’m saying is that we see 10% of the total picture. NZ could easily have been on fire in practice, and that’s why he gets more minutes. Or because he is a senior and a leader on the floor instead of a walk-on freshman. Really I just stated that we shouldn’t forget what he did the first time we met, that was it. Take that as you will I guess.

  • Meadows007

    I believe the PSU game is on the road too.

  • Ole Man

    Good analysis. The type of stuff I really enjoy reading on this forum.
    Look, TW is an enigma. What I dislike is that some fans have to pick one player to beat across the head continuously. A couple of weeks ago, it was TB. CH took some unnecessary heat earlier in the year.
    It gets old, tiresome, adds nothing to the conversation at hall.
    It just becomes a constant whine.

    I like TW. I wish he played great all the time. Maybe part of the problem is that many on here thought/predicted he would have a break-out year and it isn’t happening.
    But the constant scapegoating by some is very, very negative.

    Don’t do hypotheticals all that well, so with respect, I’m skipping your last question.

  • Unfortunately I can’t agree with you. If a guy is going 0 for.. you don’t just keep wasting possessions in the hope that he may somehow get one to go.. Not unless you want to lose the game…

  • Ole Man

    Amen to that.
    Said at the beginning of the season, go through TB and this can be a really, really tough team.

  • Ole Man

    Good point. Yes, hopefully, he does make that difference.

  • ForeverIU

    I agree. I think the Yogi dribble is Crean’s back-up (or at best, default) plan when he’s run out of ideas.

  • Fifer39

    “IU made its best run of the game with him [Yogi] on the bench.” Let’s start with that and then it might be worth talking basketball.

    If you want to be the man that always sticks up for Troy, that’s great I respect that. But don’t always do it by slamming one of the other kids.

  • Fifer39

    Lol. You may be right and the stats don’t change for bad Troy whether or not he brings the ball up but I don’t think it’s playing to our strengths.

    My comment does look like like a bash at cream but really wasn’t meant to be. I think the coaching’s looked just fine the last few weeks and I doubt the gameplan, either last night or at Wiscy, was to stop sharing the ball so much. A few head scratchers last night but I think it’s mainly about the level freshmen can play at consistently, the impact that has on confidence and trust, and the fact that our perimeter threat seems to have all but evaporated in the last week.

  • Brklynhoosier

    “Maybe part of the problem is that many on here thought/predicted he would have a break-out year and it isn’t happening.”

    That probably has a lot to do w/ it, yes.

  • I was hoping that was the case, I’m thinking when they started the concept of Troy playing some time at the point, they too probably thought or were hoping, good Troy would emerge and become the norm, rather than just a rare coincidence.. Admittedly right now, it doesn’t look like has added to our strengths on offense for sure. But just think, if Troy were able to play the point effectively, we could have had two shooting guard in the lineup at the same time, I.e., JBJ, and Nick, or JBJ and Collin.. But the way it unfolded with JBJ getting injured and Collin really hasn’t been burning it up from three anyway.. So I guess I’m just saying I understand the concept.. Admittedly it hasn’t worked out well, but who’s to say. I guess we all wish ‘good troy’ would emerge once again and that other guy that wears his uniform a lot of the time would just go away and stay there…lol..