The Minute After: Nebraska

  • 02/17/2016 11:16 pm in

Thoughts on an 80-64 victory over the Cornhuskers:

Our recent podcast guest Jon Crispin hit the nail on the head at half.

“I think this Indiana team needs to find a way to find rhythm early,” he said. “Play 40 minutes of basketball the way they can play and they are near unstoppable. The problem is it takes them time to find rhythm.”

A lack of rhythm has indeed been a problem for Indiana at times to start games this season. Early turnovers have hurt the offense and put them behind the 8-ball. Those early turnovers were there again tonight. But that wasn’t the only problem. Nebraska was seriously locked in on defense, denying the 3-point line with fury and double-teaming the post. Tim Miles stomped and called out movement and it was all working.

Indiana was out of sorts and Nebraska was dictating the terms on Branch McCracken Court.  

But Indiana’s simply been too good this season at home to let it last all game. And so the Hoosiers didn’t.

They started to finally find the rhythm to close the first half. From there, save for a run in the middle of the second half from the Cornhuskers, it was a dominant performance for Indiana. After being down six (30-24) at the 5:09 mark in the first half, Indiana outscored Nebraska by 22 the remainder of the contest (56-34) to come away with the 16-point victory.

Troy Williams wasn’t Good Troy tonight. He was Great Troy. Yes, he committed four turnovers. But when you couple those four turnovers with a team-high 18 points (8-of-9), five rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal, you can live with the miscues. It’s when the rest of the box score is empty when Williams’ turnovers stick out like a black eye. The junior was able to keep control on a number of wings drives for buckets and did a nice job of finding teammates on other drives when he attracted the defense. Nebraska simply had no answer for him.

On a night OG Anunoby didn’t have his best defensive performance and scored just three points, fellow freshman Juwan Morgan stepped up and posted a career-high 12 points off the bench. Morgan found himself in good position on both ends during his floor time, added five rebounds, a steal and a wide open corner 3-pointer off a dribble drive from Williams.

Yogi Ferrell (2-of-8, 11 points) is still struggling to get the ball to go down. He hit just 1-of-5 3-pointers tonight, but man, did he have a few that were down and then out. And in a cruel twist, he hit an absolutely ridiculous contested 3-pointer as time expired in the first half. But it didn’t count, as the replay revealed he just missed getting it off before the buzzer.

He’s due for a breakout. It’s coming soon.

Indiana’s defense deserves some praise tonight as well after getting destroyed by Denzel Valentine and company on Sunday in East Lansing. Nebraska came in with the fourth best offense (1.11 points per possession) in conference, but Indiana held yet another conference opponent under a point per possession  — just barely (.99).

With four Big Ten contests left on the schedule, Indiana finds itself in a tie for first place in the conference. The Hawkeyes still appears to be in the driver’s seat, but as their loss in Happy Valley proved tonight, anything can happen.

Indiana lurks and has kept itself within striking distance of a conference title. We’ll soon see how it plays out.

Filed to:

  • calbert40

    We don’t need Troy to go for 18 on 8/9 every night. We just need him to be consistently good. I think he’s best when he is very active running the baseline. It keeps the opponent bigs honest, and they can’t help as much on the guards’ dribble drives. I hope that last night’s game will give Troy a ton of confidence, but that the gameplan for Saturday will involve less of Troy handling the ball and more of him running the baseline. Hopefully, that will keep Hammons and Haas somewhat neutralized on the defensive end.

  • BL

    Good analysis.

    We should bag the pick ‘n roll when teams are doubling YF. Let him operate in space (don’t bring a second defender with the pick) and rely on more motion offense.

  • BL

    Ya, he’ll be fine. I’ve noticed him get a little lackadaisical against lesser teams or when we’re up big. Not a good habit and I like the fact that Coach won’t allow it; hence, pine time. On the flip side, OG seems to bring his best in big games against the best competition. Generally, not something you can teach.

  • BL

    Agree.

  • BL

    Ya, no doubt slowing Hammons and Haas is the key but there’s no match up debate there – TB/MB will have to play really well with some help from their friends. Big thing will be not letting them establish position within 10 ft. of the basket.

  • ForeverIU

    I’m not so worried about Purdue. I think we’ll find a way to win a hyped-up game against a rival at home. We will only show true mettle if we can beat Iowa (a team we have already beaten) on the road.

  • Freemason

    Sorry I was referring to a different article when he was talking about what TW said about the MSU game. It was in the “Five Take Aways” article.

  • BL

    TW had a good game against PU in Bloomington last year (6-11 from the field). Don’t recall how he got his buckets (transition vs. half court). Agree with you in feeling like he’ll need a mid-range game to be at his best.

  • BL

    When he just runs the baseline (e.g. MSU game) he doesn’t get many touches and than when he does he tends to force it. He just needs to be more under control when he goes to rack so he can pass when that’s obviously the best option (e.g. the layoff to JM last night). Also, if he doesn’t learn how to rely on the pull up J (e.g. late in the Iowa game), he’ll severely limit his ceiling.

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Agreed, I think Crean would have preferred OG on him, but OG looked asleep on D last night.

  • Koko

    Iowa’s remaining schedule is starting to look a bit tougher for them after last night.

  • Koko

    As to discussions on what is a good T and bad T…..we saw a bad one last night.

  • Koko

    Yes he did have an off night but I agree….only temporary. He and JM are a cut above a regular freshman. I expect good things from both the rest of the season.

  • Koko

    I hope he comes to life Saturday….would be fun to see what he can do against Swanigan.

  • Koko

    Agreed when those two are clicking the rest of the teams steps it up as well…..in a big way. We need both of them playing well in our B1G stretch drive.

  • Koko

    I think Troy the slasher can be used to decoy PU’s D. They will have their attention on him when he starts to move. He can open up options in a game like that and not even touch the ball. Then he can sneak into position for a put back or rebound. His rebounding will be big in this game. We have a deeper bench….run, run, run. Wear them out.

  • Indiana_Banners

    Maybe I’m not good at math but after they beat Iowa and their RPI took another jump the loss looks better and better. Hopefully they continue to knock folks off in Happy Valley. Can only help.

  • Indiana_Banners

    You don’t need to ever beat a ranked team in a road environment to win a title.

  • Sandra Wilson

    I know you don’t think so (trap game or whatever you want to call it), but the real danger is at Illinois…..Iowa is a real long shot and wouldn’t be a bad loss if it’s close…..To win in the tourney, you don’t need to win on the opponent’s home court.

  • sam

    That’s not a true statement. Funny..

  • IUBizmark

    We’ll see if he brings it Saturday. His drive the lane BS isn’t going to work there. I predict at least 4 turnovers, 8 points, 3 assists…2 steals in 29 minutes. He’ll cost us more, but it won’t show on the stat line. You know, things like getting the rebound and then, before even coming down, chucking it off the backboard directly into PU’s hands. Love when he does that 3x per game.

  • dwdkc

    Agree with this. He does some decent creating when he doesn’t try to force things. If he sees a seam and no help, explode to the basket; he’s unguardable. If not, keep the ball moving.

  • dwdkc

    Missed a lot of open looks last year. I think JBJ particularly struggled. Still should have won. Purdue is good, not great; awkward to play because of their size, but not as awkward as Wisconsin when Wiscy is at their annoying best, and this is Assembly Hall and a good IU team. IU should be a 75% favorite; some people are convincing themselves Purdue is a monster.

  • IUMIKE1

    Exactly what I was thinking, especially Davis. He seems like he has always has one of his better offensive games against us as well, whether it’s scoring or getting others involved.

  • IUMIKE1

    Exactly ! I have said all along that if a coach is going to get T’d up he has to do it at the right time, for the right reasons and the right way. He done none of those.

  • sam

    You were wrong again Sir… From now on your opinions on TW are considered bias BS. LOL…

  • IUBizmark

    Yes. I actually posted a comment about being wrong in the takeaways article. *Biased. Biased only based on historical results. And to be fair, he didn’t try to drive the lane. He destroyed PU with his baseline cuts and his shooting. I didn’t think either of those would work, but again, I was wrong. So, hopefully Troy can play like this every game.

  • sam

    No one in any sport will play good every game so why expect that from Troy? Be fare with your assessment of him as you would be with anyone else.

  • IUBizmark

    Sam, I obviously feel I’m being fair. I never even came close to saying he had to play “good” every game. Troy is a Junior who’s been playing starters minutes for 2.75 seasons now. He is a leader who we depend on. He shouldn’t be going scoreless against MSU. He makes the same mistakes. It’s frustrating to watch him play sometimes. It’s frustrating to watch him get minutes someone else deserves.

    I admitted my prediction for Troy was wrong for the Purdue game. Yet here you are, continuing to tell me that I’m unfair. This does not make me want to embrace Troy. Nor does it make me want to admit I’m wrong ever again. It also doesn’t endear you to me. I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish.