The Minute After: North Carolina

  • 03/26/2016 1:26 am in

Thoughts on a 101-86 loss to the Hoosiers:

North Carolina couldn’t shoot, and yet here was Marcus Paige dropping three … after three .. after three … after three. The Tar Heels were hot from distance from the start and it was an early nail in the coffin for Indiana’s hopes at its first Elite Eight berth under Tom Crean. The Hoosiers went down by 10 with 9:49 to go in the first half and never got any closer the rest of the way.

“We haven’t shot like that all year,” Roy Williams told Crean as they shook hands after the game.

North Carolina entered the game shooting just 31.4 percent from distance. The Tar Heels finished off the Hoosiers’ season by hitting 55 percent (11-of-20) from distance. It wasn’t all that sunk Indiana. Entering the game as the fourth best offensive rebounding team in the country, the Tar Heels snagged almost half their misses (47%) and even got three rebounds on multiple possessions in the second half. Their free throw rate was 53 percent and they hit 26-of-33 from the charity stripe. They turned it over on just 13 percent of their possessions. North Carolina scored 1.42 points per possession and shot an effective field goal percentage of 60.

Add it all up and Indiana simply was outplayed from start to finish.

Troy Williams tried to get Indiana over the hump to start the second half. IU’s junior wing scored 14 of Indiana’s first 16 points. But Indiana still trailed by 10 after his 3-point play at the 14:24 mark. It was as close as they’d get the rest of the way, as UNC’s lead would balloon all the way up to 22 at the 4:52 mark.

The Tar Heels were even in the bonus in the second half before the first TV timeout. Have you ever seen that before? At times, Indiana appeared lost and lacking confidence and rhythm on offense. Still, the Hoosiers were able to muster 1.21 points per possession, post 86 points against a team that entered the contest with a top 10 defense on KenPom and turned it over on a respectable 17 percent of their possessions.

In his final college game, Max Bielfeldt went 5-of-10 from the field (3-of-5 from distance) and finished with 15 points. Yogi Ferrell’s final performance in the cream and crimson was one the celebrate, as he hit 6-of-14 from the field, scored 25 points and had four assists. Williams turned it over three times, but scored 21 (6-of-14, 4-of-9 from 3-point range).

Had UNC not been so hot from 3-point range and IU done a little better on the boards, the Hoosiers might have been within striking distance down the stretch. But it simply wasn’t the case.

Indiana seemed dead after Duke, but credit this team and their coach for sticking with the plan of getting better and following through on it in a big way. This was a fun season — don’t forget that. Indiana won an outright Big Ten Championship — don’t forget that. The Hoosiers made the Sweet 16 for the third time in five seasons — don’t forget that, either.

But after this loss, banner No. 6 remains a dream, not reality. In Philadelphia, a city the Hoosiers have had a strong history in during the NCAA Tournament, the road ends in unspectacular fashion.

Season’s over.

Filed to:

  • They reported that on BTN this morning. It was well after the postgame interviews last evening.. They reported it as.. he said he’s as ending all speculation on whether or not he’ll return… ‘He’s coming back’.

  • BL


  • Dunkin’ Depot

    There will never be another Yogi. Similar conversations took place after Hulls- lots of anxiety that Yogi couldn’t be Hulls. We know JBJ is a different player- he’s not Yogi. But hopefully he will grow as Yogi did. I hope he saw on the bench what defense does and can do for his game

  • BL

    Forever, you should be giving some major Kudos to coach. He developed and pulled this team together and after losing two starting guards to injury, still won an outright BIG and made it to the Sweet 16. Oh and btw, handed us some Cat skins along the way. I’ve said it ad nauseam, you have to have the horses to win. We had the horses to go as far as we did but not what we needed to beat UNC. Consider this: how would UNC have fared against us if they had to play without Paige and Berry.

    Hope you’ll have a different perspective after recovering from the Scotch.

  • BL


  • ForeverIU

    I don’t think we can do better than Crean, and on some days I’m able to listen to him without getting annoyed. LOL. Injuries seem like a regular part of the narrative. What is wrong with us? And I also don’t want to define myself in the eyes of the Cats. I want to be able to play any given elite coach on any given day and make it a game and not get blown out. This is my measure for Indiana.

  • ForeverIU

    Yeah, it says we got blown out by the big boys once again. LOL.

  • Koko

    Okay season over….well done team and coaching staff. I agree with BL….a healthy RJ and that game would have been close and even a win. Team stats are close aside from the FG% and 3pt%. RJ’s D and three point shooting might have changed those percentages to a normal level for them. But give it to UNC they played well….very well.
    I’m disappointed for the loss but not for the season. No matter what some will say,
    TC will be back so why even debate that point. We ride the pony we have and hopefully some good surprises come out of Spring making for a Summer of hope and excitement. It will be fun to see how it all shakes out and what we will have when it does. Enjoy it and embrace it….they are our Hoosiers and I for one can’t wait for next season to arrive.

  • BL

    We’ll be really good at guard next year. Promise.

  • BL

    Probably correct but I just don’t see him contributing next year.

  • BL

    You’re hopeless 🙂

  • IUfanToby

    Don’t forget about newkirk

  • RB11

    You think brice and paige couldn’t get drafted in 70 picks last year? Just cause they could get drafted… someone needs to talk to coach williams and find out how he does it.

  • RB11

    Anyone that said yogi couldn’t be hulls was just a fanboy without any idea how to grade a prospect. Yogi was at least hulls the second he stepped in the gym. Hulls was a good work ethic, high 3-pt conversion gamer. Yogi was top 10 in the country. Our only top 10 player in the last 5 years, would be nice to trip into another soon.

  • sam

    There were a couple different interviews of OG. On one he said he would talk with coach n parents. The other he said he was coming back…

  • beppecolo

    Big difference between 1st round, multi-year guaranteed contracts, and 2nd round contracts with no guarantees.

  • Ole Man

    Not a great season, Hoosiers. But a good one wherein you gave us fans lots of thrills and many wonderful memories.

  • Ole Man

    Yogi and Hulls were two entirely different players. Really can’t compare the two.
    And for the record, Hulls was a far better shooter.

  • Ole Man

    Have to politely disagree with some of your opinion.
    I loved watching the Cody/Vic team far more. They had a “special something” about them that this team lacked. They also played better D and handled the ball better.
    Not taking away from this year’s team. I just enjoyed watching the other team better.

    As for CTC, I’ve criticized him in the past, but I’ve also come to his defense a lot this year. I agree that he has grown.
    However, the idea that someone would not want to coach at IU because of the “heat” is silly. All major basketball schools come with heat. Plus, who would want a coach afraid of the fan base? Nope, that “criteria”, in my opinion, doesn’t hold water.

  • Ole Man

    I don’t see Gelon contributing until at least his Jr. year, and then only as a solid backup with spot minutes.

  • Ole Man

    Why won’t anyone say this: one reason for UNC’s success last night was the lack of D from IU.
    Yes, UNC is an excellent team. However, IU basically went down without putting up a fight.
    1.42 Pts per possession is varsity against JV stuff.
    Sorry, but I could find no bright spots in the loss last night.

  • RB11

    The question was whether you actually worried if yogi “could fill hulls shoes back in ’11”. No one is taking anything away from hulls, but they played the same position in the same program under the same coach, it’s a cop-out to say no comparisons can be made. Hulls was a deadly shooter, he just had to be wide open. As far as creating shots for the rest of the team (normally a pg’s job description) yogi was far better the moment he declared for IU. Oladipo did more to create shots for others than hulls. Hulls couldn’t dribble past an acc guard and breakdown a defensive set, you just hoped the defense condensed in the lane and left jordy open for a quick release. Obv jordy was a better shooter, thus bring up all time assists leader for yogi, oh AND he could shoot. The question arises this year about filling yogis shoes and unfortunately it’s not the luxury that hulls to yogi was. Best hope currently is an injury prone 2nd tier acc wash out that was given less playing time his sophomore year than his freshman… yeesh

  • SoCal Hoosier

    Not sure about the junior year aspect, but yes, expect him to be Zeisloft/Roth reincarnated. Always nice to have a guy with 30′ range, especially in this offense.

  • Fisticuffs

    Yeah, I follow the mock’s and prospect websites closely and really almost nobody has had Troy or even Thomas in any of their mocks. Last year they had Troy and Yogi going in the late 1st and early 2nd so it’s not that these websites/scouts don’t consider them, they go with whoever they think are the best players. Yogi’s the only one I’ve seen mocked in any of the drafts this season and even then he’s usually a late second or not drafted at all.

    Thomas is still very raw and would be much better off coming back and raising his stock next season.

  • Yes, that was what they were reporting. Now someone else on here said, that, ‘all three will be going to the combine’… So I don’t know where he got his information, but he seemed to be pretty positive in his statement. Personally I don’t really think he’s ready, but I would think he’d at least attend the combine.. Thing is, when they changed this rule, to allow players to attend the combine and still return to school, I thought they said the NBA would invite them to the combine.. Then when Coach Calipari said his whole team is attending the combine.. not sure how that’ll work. Seems to me if everyone who wants to.. attends the combine, they’d have way to many players to handle and really do a good job of advising them as to their chances, if they do come out. Of course then when Coach Brey of ND, kind of refuted Coach Cal’s remark, when he said, ‘Oh well, that’s just Coach Calipari, his team is no longer in the tournament and he’s just trying to find a way to grab a little spotlight’.. ‘or stay relevant’ ..or something to that effect. Not really sure how that will work

  • I think the reason is because it wasn’t really lack of D that accounts for UNC’s success last night. If UNC was a better 3PT shooting team all season and we just didn’t defend against a known strength, that would be one thing. But they’re not a good perimeter shooting team, and they came out and shot better than anybody could have possibly expected. Paige hits four threes in a row (and not all of them wide open), and suddenly the entire defensive game plan goes out the window.

    And, as I’ve noted elsewhere, if UNC _were_ always a 50%+ (or even 40%+) 3PT shooting team and still produced like they do inside, then they’d probably be undefeated on the season. Seriously, nobody in the country could have beaten UNC the way they played (or shot) last night. Toss in the way the game was called, and I’m just not going to beat up the team for a poor defensive showing.

  • I definitely think our definitions of “great” and “good” are different. To me, a season where I was given lots of thrills, many wonderful memories, and toss in great kids who showed tremendous improvement and grit–that’s a great season in my book. Sure, I would have loved a sixth banner, that’s always the goal, but falling short of that doesn’t change what was accomplished.

    Not knocking your definition of greatness, whatever it might be. Not really even arguing with you. Just wanted to toss out a different perspective for whatever it’s worth.

  • When Colts football and IU basketball are over, that’s my least favorite time of the year. I’ll probably get more work done, so that’s a good thing, I suppose–just not as much fun. This season really revitalized my own passion for the game, so I owe this team (players and coaches) a good deal. Can’t wait for next season to start.

  • I really have to say: last night was an anomaly. You can’t reasonably judge this season, this team, or this coach by what was an incredible outlier. NOBODY would have beaten UNC last night–hell, nobody would have beaten UNC all season if they were able to shoot from outside like that. I even disagree that RJ would have made a difference, because a ton of their shots were contested.

    You just can’t lay this one on CTC. And I submit that with his own improvements this past season, there’s reason to believe things will be different going forward.

  • tinkles

    I’d check the mocks. A number have TB first round (Chad Ford/ESPN at #22…and likely rising. One knock against him has been lack of athleticism…but he’s been showing better in recent weeks. Could next year raise his stock? Sure, maybe. If he has great pre-draft evaluation, and goes in first round with a guaranteed contract, you take it and don’t look back. Brian Cardinal made $40+ Million in the NBA for freaking sake. That just doesn’t happen in any other alternative path in their life. You cash in the lottery ticket as soon as possible.

  • Every tournament, there’s a team or two that wins a game through something unpredictable and essentially “lucky,” like shooting uncharacteristically and phenomenally well. Usually it’s a lower seed that upsets a much higher seed. When it’s the #1 seed that does it, it’s like a force of nature. Nobody should get upset with themselves when a tornado blows their house apart.

  • Ole Man

    Totally understand. We’re all going to have different “perspectives/definitions” of good and great.
    As I said, lots of thrills and memories.

  • Ole Man

    Hulls was primarily an SG with Verdel at PG.
    So again, it’s not a real comparison.
    Two different players who contributed in their own unique ways to the legacy of IU basketball.
    I’m one of those who hates comparisons, so I really don’t have a dog in the fight; not the one who began the conversation.

  • RB11

    I didn’t pose the comparison either. I just showed up to offer opinions and comment with others. Makes more sense than going comment to comment taking time to comment that there’s no viable comment. I was also offended on yogis behalf for someone saying there’ll be another yogi in s minute before the door even closes behind a record holding contributor and all-time great hoosier. That’s not necessary

  • BL

    Yeah, OG may or may not attend the combine. Either way, I don’t see him going this year. Pretty confident he would get a draft position projection that would suggest 2017 is a much better option.

  • BL

    Yeah, truth is, I’m afraid you’re being kind. Coach has clearly gambled and won with under-recruited kids but I just don’t see the potential with Gelon. I confess I’ve watched just a very tiny amount of video but I’m guessing Coach gambled thinking he’d see Gelon take a much bigger developmental jump in his last year of high school. Anyway, hope I’m dead wrong and at some point we see another sharp shooter that can legitimately earn consistent minutes.

  • BL

    Don’t disagree. Much of it was them shooting lights out but we could have also played better defensively. That said, I’ll always feel things would have gone much more in our favor if RJ had played. Oh and wait, there was one bright spot; surprised it slipped your mind. Troy’s second half 🙂

  • TomJameson

    Troy is most definitely better this year than he was last year. Much better outside shooter, and a little more consistency. By that I mean his “bad Troy” periods are much shorter, just hard to judge because of the time factor.

    Hope he comes back for a fantastic senior year, but I doubt it. Maybe he’ll see how much good it did for Yogi and come back anyway.

  • CincyHoosier

    Wow, what a buzz saw that was. Who could have imagined a 3 point barrage from a previously inept perimeter shooting team! That said, I couldn’t be prouder. I’ve lived and died with IU basketball for about 35 years now and that was far and away the most improved IU team I’ve ever witness from beginning to end. Crean catches all kinds of crap, some very deserving, but his evolution as a coach this year and the tweaks he made can’t even be quatified. I was all in the second I saw him in his first year in Maui and have never wavered. I believe now more than ever. Come back next year, Thomas, come back and buy in on both ends, James. Can’t wait to see Juwan and O.G. grow even more, Rob will take control of this team and the freshman should be another great group. It was so awesome getting to send Yogi off in style. What a career and boy did he step up and lead this team like a senior should. 18 hours of driving in a 42-hour period to watch a single basketball game seems crazy, but it was worth every penny to salute this team in person like they deserved.

  • Kiddo2050

    Well I’ll never forget the Illinois game or losing the chance to win the Big Ten title in Bloomington. This year’s team wold not have done that. They never lost at home.

    You miss my point about elite coaches. They have other options. It is well k mm own across the country that CTC was in the hot seat with the IU fan base and he’s still in it with some after winning B1G coach of the year. It seems clear we win for crazies.

  • Ole Man

    UNC hasn’t been to a Final Four since 2009. Gasp! What if that was the standard at IU?
    So, CTC gets a break in a way.

  • Hoosier4life67

    there was also Troy’s first half, ball hogging, turn overs and no defense.

  • twarrior87

    I know i’m late on this and it’s b/c i was too angry to even look at this site or comments after the game, so i waited a couple of days. I think CTC did a good job of turning the team around this year, but i wish he would have had them prepared going into the Maui tourney rather than after biffing it there then getting blown out by Duke. Either way great job on winning another B1G regular season. However, I am tired of not being able to get past the sweet 16 while watching lesser teams cruise to the elite 8. Why can Boeheim cruise through the sweet 16 year after year beating better teams in their path, but IU even with great teams can’t do the same? Would really just like to see IU get to a final four again, but for whatever reason they seem to fall short every year. I don’t want to blame the coach, but what else could it be?