Film Session: Fort Wayne

  • 11/25/2016 7:49 am in

In its upset loss to Fort Wayne on Tuesday night, Indiana’s defensive issues were on full display before switching to a 2-3 zone the final 10 minutes of the game.

The Hoosiers struggled to contain dribble penetration and help defense often wasn’t there. On some occasions, Indiana failed to get back in transition, leading to easy scores for the Mastodons. And sometimes the Hoosiers simply didn’t pick up a man or communicate, giving Fort Wayne plenty of time and space to score.

Here’s a supercut of 12 possessions from the first half where Indiana broke down defensively in the ways described above:

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  • Sandra Wilson

    Defense must be coached, preached constantly, and demanded…..I’m not sure any of those things are happening…..It’s much easier to instruct and recruit with an offensive emphasis…..This team could be a Nat’l title contender if they would play just decent defense……The way it looks now, I’m not sure that’s going to happen…..Hopefully, I’ll be proved wrong……One game before Thanksgiving doesn’t mean a great deal…..North Carolina, on the other hand, might show us the direction this team is headed.

  • BL4IU

    Agree that “defense must be coached, preached constantly, and demanded” and it’s mostly about effort. Don’t agree that playing “just decent” defense will get this team a title. Coming into the season I thought this team could be excellent on the defensive end. I thought JBJ would be the weakest link but with effort, could be solid. What I failed to take into account, TB is really challenged defensively as well. He’s weak in the pick-and-roll, offers minimal rim protection and seems to offer little resistance in low post defense. I have wondered if he’s being too cautious trying to avoid fouls. What really irks me is seeing our good defenders (RJ, JM, OG) not giving max effort (e.g. on closeouts and in transition).

    I commented in the premium forum that notwithstanding the need to work on virtually everything following the IPFW loss, I hoped Coach would make defense the priority. Demanding effort is the easy part. Definitely needs to revamp and perfect the pick-and-roll defense. Also, I’m really beginning to wonder if we wouldn’t be best served to go to the Cuse style match-up zone. We have really nice length on the wings to close out on the 3-point arc, it would make it much more difficult to penetrate for guards like Mason and it would allow TB to capitalize on his length.

  • SCHoosier

    If the Hoosiers couldn’t stop the Ft. W dribble penetration..good luck against NC’s PG Berry!

  • Justin Beard

    We saw this last year too. Norte Dame game? I may be wrong on the specific game, but when they switched to the 3-2 and 2-3, it was very effective.

  • iugradmark

    Great work again and thank you for sounding the alarm on this year’s defense even when we won the games. This is clearly a lack of focus by the coaches. We have enough athletes and enough experience and should not be this fundamentally bad. Our angles, awareness to help, court position, etc. are teachable and correctable. Let’s hope we make defense a priority moving forward.

  • iubase

    Agree with most of comments above. However, I had the same concerns last yr when we lost several games on straight line drives and lay ups. We corrected these deficiencies and did well in the second half. CTC’s philosophy is in concert with today’s generation. RMK would have made it clear (clarity was his strength!) what the deficiency was that second. CTC tends to make his point over several games – and to his credit does this is a more cerebral way that lets his players work these deficiencies out. The optimist in me says that this game will be a good teaching tool and the team will grow into an aggressive defensive unit that will live up to their potential. I am pretty sure the players know that this is the only way to succeed and it is their careers on the line. Look to see some improvement in the NC game – but the real test is the beginning of the Big Ten schedule.

  • Well before the season started, I was making a point that we’ll probably need some patience as this season unfolded. Injuries, late starts, etc. were my mantra. And I think that’s exactly where we’re at. If JM, RJ, and JBJ hadn’t been set back with rehab, and if DD (particularly) and McFly had started on time, then I think we’d be seeing a different team. I think it will be the B1G season now before we see it. Maybe the IPFW game will accelerate the team’s mental development–can’t play without effort again!–but the fundamentals will still be lacking.

    UNC is going to be tough. Not sure we’ll have enough things fixed by then. Maybe Louisville and Butler will be the other big preseason victories to end up 3-1 in the main four games. If that’s how we end up, and if IPFW does as well as they should and makes the tournament, then a strong B1G season should take us into the tourney with a decent seeding.

    I just hope this forum doesn’t melt down if we lose to UNC.

  • Lance76

    Very well stated and exactly nailed my thinking in words. Kudos

    Totally disagree with the comment way above “This is clearly a lack of focus by the coaches.” IMHO the emphasis needs to be on players listening and following through on the court. This game likely was effected by OG and CH being out. Laying an egg I hope will be a wakeup call going forward.

  • BeatDuke

    Agree re: zone. The fact that FT could hardly score for 10 minutes when we went to zone will not be lost on the couching staff (I hope). I hope we come out in a zone vs. NC, but suspect we come out in man to man, and get behind early. Anybody that watched the Wisc v. NC understands that NC may be the best team right now (until Duke gets healthy). We are about equivalent to Wisc right now (or will be when we get healthy and more experience) and NC made them look silly. My hope is that we go to zone for the rest of the year, as we are not equipped to stop the penetration of teams like Kansas, NC, Duke, etc.

  • vicbert caladipo

    It’ll never happen just like the full court press. Just token usage when things are already going bad. I do agree with you about UNC. They are much better than us and I’m watching Louisville right now and they look much better. Guessing Kansas game will be our claim to fame. Our only advantage vs UNC is the home crowd, but their talent is very experienced while ours is young. Jackson, Meeks, Hicks, Berry…too many to stop with our porous defense. But whether i’m right or wrong, we will see where we stand after that game.

  • vicbert caladipo

    It probably will, but shouldn’t. Losing to UNC is nothing to be ashamed about. It’s the FT Waynes, Penn States, and Nebraskas that SHOULD melt down this forum. Even at home it will take our best game to beat them while also having them have an off game. Louisville just blew a 20 point lead to Baylor, but they have several very long players that are going to cause our O and D problems in the paint. Everyone wants to talk about the D, but I think our biggest problem is scoring in the paint or even getting it into the paint. That no name #45 blocked 4 shots at 6’9. UNC and Lousiville has 6’10 and 7 footers. Is it me or does TB not play to his size? I said last week that it appears he has lead in his shoes. Someone else suggested using shot fakes, another a hook shot. I agree with both and that he needs to get into their bodies without using elbows and shoulders. Would be interested in your thoughts if it is TB not being great in the paint or whether it’s more CTC’s positionless approach that hinders our paint presence against really physical teams

  • Piker

    I don’t think Ryan called out the coaches but like your last post it is always the coaches fault.

  • iugradmark

    I was commenting on Ryan’s work pointing out defensive problems thus far and do no recall attributing anything else to him.

  • IU_Nation

    It looks to me like we didn’t get into a good defensive stance. Too many times we didnt get a good, athletic close out and they just drove right past. A good stance and a good close out take no skill, and it is all effort. This just shows that we brought no effort against FW. I expect hungrier, more spirited play the next few games. I think these guys will feel embarrassed about this pathetic, inspirited performance. I also think CTC will light into them a little bit

  • I’m not really sure what’s up with TB. He seemed to be turning into a stronger finisher toward the end of last season, with the UK game being his breakout performance in this regard. Now this year, he seems to be missing a number of inside shots because he’s not going strongly to the basket. I think he could have twice as many dunks as he does, and a bushel more made baskets–including a couple in the IPFW game.

    I was thinking that TB’s development was hindered because DD was late and then injured, JM was still recovering from his shoulder surgery, and CH got injured–and so there were fewer bodies for him to bang against in practice. Then, it seemed like CTC was focusing on pulling the team together and so TB’s inside development was delayed. I don’t know if I still feel that way. Jury’s still out, in my opinion.

    My thoughts on the “positionless” concept is this. Is CTC pushing TB to play positionless? Or is CTC simply leveraging TB’s strengths? We’ve always known that TB was capable of playing outside and hitting perimeter shots–there was a time that we were all excited about that when he chose IU, IIRC.

    I’m definitely leaning toward DD playing center and TB playing forward. That gives us a stronger finisher and defender inside–DD is moving quickly in this direction, IMO–while taking advantage of TB’s ability to pull the defense out because he can shoot from anywhere. That creates depth issues in the post, I understand, but that might allow TB more time to develop a stronger inside game.

    All speculation, of course. UNC now has me scared to death, and I’m with you–it’s going to be a touch game to win, and losing it won’t be the end of the world. I’m far less confident than I was, that’s for sure.

  • Old_Time_Hoosier

    Finally, a voice of reason. I was beginning to suspect it didn’t exist anymore. Ok, we lose to IPFW. Didn’t we just beat Kansas on a neutral court? Oh, that’s right we did. There’s a reason why the Kentucky’s, Dukes, Kansas’s don’t play these teams at their house. You can get your butt kicked, but, it can help you grow.
    I still think this is a final four team.
    IU 74 UNC 73.
    Total barn burner!

  • vicbert caladipo

    All good points. To be clear I’m not laying total blame on TB, just as much goes to JBJ. We have 2 problems offensively. The one we are discussing with Thomas and the lack of a point guard. JBJ should not be driving into the trees. He needs to learn to feed the post better. Wish CTC would dump this positionless stuff and appoint JN or RJ as point guard. After Kansas I didn’t think we would miss Yogi that much, but we desperately need a guard who can feed the post and penetrate the post and kick out to shooters. JBJ is not that guy. Maybe CJ can be that guy. It’s up to coach though. He has to appoint the guy, not wait for it to surface thru time. That will keep us from losing to less talented teams. I don’t know what we are going to do to beat UNC. Going to have to be shooting the 3 over 50%. Kansas like MSU are teams that get better by March. Don’t think we got the real Kansas team. Hopefully we can be like them and be at our best later. I have never been more confused as to what lies ahead than right now. In previous years we ALL knew the team was going to struggle early, but this team I thought was different. Like I keep harping, we will learn immensely from the UNC game where we are at win or lose. I hate moral victories but if we can at least keep it close I will be happy we are progressing.

  • So, where/when is the game on Sunday? Having the hardest time finding it on DirecTV… It shows as ESP3, not sure which channel that is.

  • pcantidote

    It’s right next to the Ocho. Seriously, I think it is ESPN online only.

  • pcantidote

    It’s right next to the Ocho. Seriously, I think it is ESPN online only.

  • vicbert caladipo

    PC is right espn 3 is online programming….Crappy trhing is no rebroadcast like on BTN….always wonder why BTN can program all day old games but can’t pick up IU games. It makes great marketing sense to air every IU game they can get. We all saw the following in FW. IU has many fans all over the world and should NEVER be an online program. Normally I would be displaying my displeasure with many many words that ITH won’t allow

  • Well, see, that’s my primary point: we should have known this team would struggle early. I think the KU game threw us, but from the beginning CTC was telling us that the delays would have an impact and that the team was significantly behind. He made a point of telling us how little 5-on-5 time the team had gotten, which actually had just started a few days before the first exhibition games. So, I’m really just returning to where I was before the KU game, preaching the need for patience.

    I hear you about JBJ. I can’t stand when he drives into the trees. Thing is, all the guards were doing that early last season, including Yogi. Drove me crazy–they’d drive and get stuffed. I don’t know, though, if that’s the fault of not having designated point guard. I think it’s really the fault of poor ball movement overall. It’s not supposed to be drive into the lane and get stuffed, it’s supposed to be drive and pass when he defense collapses–only we’re not passing, or not passing quickly enough.

    As far as whether we _should_ designate a point and go with a more traditional offense, I feel the same way here as I do about TB–who I’m also not blaming for anything. Is it that CTC is trying to force something on the team, or is he trying to leverage the team’s strength? It’s a versatile team with lots of long athletes who can (theoretically at this point) handle the ball and shoot. JM comes most to mind. I think eventually we might be glad to have a 6′-8″ player who can handle the ball when we’re going up against an opponent with lots of length at guard.

    Anyhoo, my wife is wondering what I’m writing over here. So I better wrap it up. Can’t wait for UNC, is all I can say at this point.

  • Oh, crap, thanks. Actually, not terrible since I might be at my mother-in-law’s anyways where it’s easier for me to watch online.

  • Yah, saw that, thanks. As I said below, it might work for me better personally since I’ll probably be away from the house anyways.

  • And then Louisville loses to Baylor because (according to accounts) their offense couldn’t score. Baylor’s a good team, but not higher ranked than we are at #15 according to CBS. So, you just can’t tell what’s going to happen. That’s why they play the game. 🙂

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    Lots of comments about TB and not being as strong under the basket this year. To me, its a combination of things, one of which is his fascination with the 3 point shot. Big guys think they can shoot the 3 and they spend all their time practicing it, and they lose their strength and inside abilities.

  • IU_Nation

    I think if we get blown out at home, we may have a reason to be worried. I know, its UNC, but if we want to be a Final Four team we need to be competitive and beat teams like UNC in our house. I agree though, if we don’t get blown out we have no reason to worry. I think we will lose, because as Mark stated we won’t have enough things fixed by that game.

  • cbags05

    Running an effective matchup zone requires excellent man to man fundamentals and add to it great communication. I would also love to see it with this group of players but I have no confidence that this coach can implement it correctly.

  • cbags05

    You kidding? This place will come unglued if UNC walks away from Simon-Skjodt with the first post renovation visitor W.

  • IUBizmark

    To be clear, you believe each group of players the coaches have recruited into this program for nine season don’t fully listen and follow through on the court? At what point would you consider it the coaching?

  • Lance76

    Fair question. I would believe it is on coaches (note plural) if multiple players would say they have not been told to play defense in a certain way. I believe each of the nine seasons of players do attempt to listen and follow through for the most part. Unfortunately, things like drugs & alcohol usage may effect some judgements off and on the court. That does not even consider coeds, classes and outside influences of family and friends.
    Some players (more often early in the nine years) simply had not developed the ability to play at a high level. Some players worked very hard to develope like VO. The “movement” was a bust. At Halloween, players were told to act a certain way and chose not to follow instructions. Makes me wonder if an IU big really got “home sick” ??