Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Southeast Missouri State

  • 12/05/2016 9:40 am in

Indiana recorded its seventh win on Sunday afternoon, an 83-55 beatdown of Southeast Missouri State at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

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

· Johnson’s strong start continues: Junior Robert Johnson turned in another solid performance on Sunday afternoon with 17 points, seven rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes.

Through eight games, Johnson has been one of Indiana’s most efficient offensive players. He’s shooting 43.2 percent on 3s and 69.7 percent on 3s for an effective field goal percentage of 67.1, which ranks 42nd nationally. He still hasn’t solved the turnover issue (22.1 TO%) that’s been present throughout his career, but Johnson is off to a very good start in his third season.

“Rob controls the tempo on the floor,” freshman De’Ron Davis said of his teammate. “And he controls everybody pretty much. As a team we’re working on our communication. But Rob really controls the tempo.”

· So far, Indiana’s 3-point shooting isn’t what we’ve seen in recent seasons: As Ryan pointed out in The Minute After, Indiana’s 3-point shooting this season has regressed.

Is it a trend that will continue?

Indiana’s 2011-12, 2012-13, 2014-15 and 2015-16 teams all ranked in the top 10 nationally in 3-point shooting. In that five-year stretch, the only team that didn’t shoot it well from distance was the 2013-14 group, which missed the postseason altogether.

This year’s team is currently hitting 38.2 percent of its 3s, which is 67th in the country. It’s a number that should improve assuming Juwan Morgan and OG Anunoby make a reasonable percentage. And even if the Hoosiers don’t finish the season as one of the nation’s best 3-point shooting teams, they can make up for it with elite efficiency on 2s and on the offensive glass.

· Bryant takes just two shots, but still makes significant impact: Sophomore Thomas Bryant looked frustrated at times on Sunday afternoon at the lack of post touches he received.

Bryant was posting up hard most of the game, but Indiana wasn’t finding good angles to get him the ball. But rather than letting the lack of touches take him out of the game, Bryant went to work in other areas of the game. This was the result:

· Quietly, Indiana’s defense proving to be above average: It’s not generating a ton of discussion, but eight games in, the Hoosiers have the 32nd best defense in the country according to Ken Pomeroy.

Indiana isn’t forcing turnovers, but is doing everything else well. The Hoosiers are defending without fouling and opponents aren’t getting to the offensive glass, either. It’s a small sample size, but IU’s effective field goal percentage defense is 12th in the country. Last season, the Hoosiers were 168th.

“We’re digging in the post more. We’re getting more connected,” Tom Crean said on Sunday. “But it’s not there 1 through 10 yet by any stretch. And I think that’s where we’ve got to continue to really make strides the best that we can. And so we’ve seen enough in this week to know that it can be there. We’ve seen enough to know that it’s not there.”

· Morgan stepping up in Anunoby’s absence: Indiana is expected to get OG Anunoby back soon, but in his absence, Juwan Morgan is gaining confidence offensively.

Morgan is 12-of-12 from the field over his last two games and owns the team’s best offensive rating right now according to Ken Pomeroy at 132.4. Morgan is just 2-of-9 on 3s this season, but he’s been excellent on the offensive glass and finishing in the paint the last two games.

On Sunday, he finished with 11 points, three rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal in 22 minutes.

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  • Hoosierkamp

    One thing I am not 100% sure on….. but watching Davis and Bryant. It seems like D David gets a few more touches. I can’t fully tell if it is because a.)TB needs to be posting better/stronger b.) DD is getting less attention from Defenses than TB or c.) our guards are doing a better job getting him the ball.

    I want TB to get the ball more of course, but not sure why it seems so difficult. I do think he needs to post harder, closer to the rim at times (not saying it is all on him of course)

    That said, I love how hard he played anyways.

    Go Hoosiers

  • Hoosier89

    DD is definitely getting less attention, but Thomas is also not sealing his defender behind him when he’s posting up.

  • BL4IU

    I can’t imagine anyone watching our games believes TB is as competent as DD scoring on the low block. That said, TB needs to get low post touches each game to keep the defense honest and to give TB an opportunity to improve.

    While TB may not be the best at establishing and holding good low post position, RJ and JBJ have been very inconsistent when it comes to getting him the ball, including pick-and-rolls where TB has been wide open numerous times. That’s got to change. However, if TB has many more games like SIU where he got numerous low post touches and failed to convert on a single one, no matter how much he calls for the ball, the guards will be reluctant to throw it in. That’s a recipe for disaster; chemistry and otherwise.

    TB is clearly this team’s heart and soul. Got to get this worked out for this team to make a legitimate run at a title. Will be interesting to watch as the season rolls on.

  • inLinE6

    I think Davis is more natural at post and positioned himself smart and close to the rim. Bryant would post then tends to step out. But I don’t know if Crean is running different sets for them.

  • John D Murphy

    Perfect comment. TB turns fully around on his post moves prior to putting the shot up and is very easy to block. He has to get his past the defender’s shoulder to score. He can’t score over them. However I am super excited about the high/low post action we are starting to see from TB/DD. It puts DD 1/1 low because TB’s defender can’t help off him and if he does…bingo elbow jumper (which is where TB will eventually make his living in the association) or even driving back into a recovering defender. TB seems very skilled at passing it in. I would like to see this rotation often going forward.

  • John D Murphy

    Loved the point about TB Alec made. I think TB is one of the four or five best leaders we’ve had since Buckner left. I really like that he didn’t force shots. If our outside shot was falling a little better, SEMO wouldn’t have been able to collapse the whole game.

  • BC Hoosier

    There were definitely times last night that IU’s guards/wings missed TB in the post and on the roll (pick and roll sets). With that said, I think TB could clean up two areas that would help him in the post.
    First, he is passing entirely to quick out of the post. Last night the defense would show a weak double or flash a defender but not commit to the double team. He would give the ball up immediately. While it looks like great ball movement and team play, the defense wins because they get the ball out of the post quick and didn’t really get out of position or have to rotate to do it. TB needs to have a little more patience in the post.
    Secondly, he has to seal and hold deeper position and time his seal better in relation to where the ball is. A few times last night he was fighting and had great position but the ball was still swinging to his side. By the time the post feeder could make a pass TB lost his position.
    I would love to see some film sessions on some of these situations because it seems to be a very talked about subject on here. (And bigger picture on how CTC uses big men in his offensive sets.)

  • BL4IU

    Yes, when he does have the luxury of a single defender, TB needs to back him down before showing his cards; then his drop step will become more effective; as you say, allow him to get past his defender’s shoulder. Also, many times, needs to react to the defense and use a secondary move (e.g. reverse to a jumper or jump hook, or a simple shot fake).

    Right there with you on the TB/DD duo and how TB will make his living at the next level. Actually, I think both could go hi/low and I’d love to see them screening for each other down low. Also, guards have to do a better job of anticipating when those two will come open. Timing is everything.

    Finally, love to see us throw it over the defender when he chooses to front TB. Again, timing is everything. Has to happen quickly.

  • BL4IU

    I’ve been posting film in the premium forum. Ryan, if you take that on, highly suggest you show wins and losses on all fronts (e.g. good post feeds, missed feeds, good low post work, inferior low post work).

  • sd chuck

    Great point about the timing! Yogi wasn’t good with timing until his sr year and he got better. Anyway great point!

  • HuntinHoosier86

    I was at the game last night and was getting kind of ticked that TB didn’t get more touches in the post. It’s easy to critique from the bleachers, but I (and others sitting near me) were watching and complaining more than a few times that TB got positioned down low, but never got fed the ball. Oh well, he obviously does much more than just score points for us and until I saw his stats at the end of the night, I really thought he was kind of a non factor. Of course, it was my first game watching in Assembly Hall and I was kind of overwhelmed by everything! It was GREAT!

    I was REALLY impressed with JBJ and RoJo. While they didn’t have perfect games, they played aggressively and really tried hard, especially in the first half, to get us to pull away from SEMO. Juwan Morgan really astounds me with how well he plays. I mean, I could go on and on about all the players b/c really, DD, CuJo and JN were excellent as well. You could definitely tell they were tired and rightfully so after playing 3 games in a week, but once the second half started, they were determined to put the game away. All in all, I’m sure with some rest and refocus, they’ll fix the turnover issue and other minor things. I was really happy to see them play great defense for most of the game. There were obvious lapses, but for the most part, our defense is considerably better from last year.

    Post Script: Seeing DD in person……..woah. That dude looks MONSTROUS! He’s just thicker looking than TB and I really thought from watching on tv that TB would look bigger. He can pretty well push anybody around in the post that he wants. I really like that game they have going with TB on the wing feeding the post or DD kicking it back out to TB for a mid-range jumper. Teams will be flummoxed all season with what to do in that situation! GO HOOSIERS!!!!

  • I am Baby Cakes

    The RJ love fest continues. He still has a lot to work on. Things that show why he’s not a PG. I can’t count how many times he missed open guys because he was focused on his dribbling. And every other time down the floor he for some reason just dribbles into people without a plan of shooting or passing. Doing just fine other than that.

  • Hoosierkamp

    great points here. And no doubt. I think everyone knows this team is good and has so much potential. I think these things are merely concerns that could prevent a Big 10 championship or a final 4 or better….

    I think everyone’s expectations are that this team is top 15 all year long. Those are mine atleast

  • Haven’t had a chance to watch the entire game, having been at my son’s choir performance yesterday at the Reagan Library. Nice event, even if it delayed watching the game. 🙂

    Still not worried about turnovers. CTC’s playing a bunch of different combinations, some of them unlikely to be repeated much, and I’m sure that’s contributing to the numbers. Glad to see the defense showing measurable results, and it’ll just get better from here.

    Can’t wait until OG is back and we go play Butler. Want to see how we continue to improve.

  • I’d have to pay more attention, but could it be that TB spends more time out of the post than DD and so the guards just aren’t expecting him to be there? It seems that DD is much more of a true center and can be expected to be planted in the post, whereas TB is playing as a forward and also more with CTC’s positionless concepts, and so maybe the guards just aren’t thinking of him that way.

  • Seems like TB is the emotional leader and RJ is the quiet commander on the floor.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Was doing a little scouting of Butler and they have a similar team to FW except with more experienced talent. Our front court better come to play and OG will be a necessity. They play physical and crash the boards. I’m confident we have learned from being soft down low in the FW game and if we have OG we should win. DD and JM need to keep TB and OG fresh with effective play. Our guards are better.

  • I’d love to see TB develop more of a midrange game. If he’s going to play the forward to DD’s more traditional center, then he’s just not going to _be_ in the post as often. So, why not jump hooks and midrange jumpers? Seems TB is either laying it in (too often getting blocked), dunking, or shooting threes, but rarely anything in between.

  • I think if we show the same effort as against UNC and KU, we’ll be fine. With JM showing his stuff given OG’s absence, we have yet another dimension added to this freakishly deep team. But yes, OG is the cornerstone of this team, and he needs to be back and healthy or I’d be pretty nervous.

  • IU Nines

    I love me some RJ. Turnovers are an issue – many caused by the dribbling into people you mentioned. Upside: Aggressive to the basket (and finishing), rebounding (add JBJ to that list), shooting confidence.

  • Senor

    I’m starting to get the feeling that the Ft. Wayne is shaping the narrative of our season. I don’t think its unrealistic we have a ceiling to win all of our “Big 4” precon games, and win the BIG, but come March when the high seeds are being chopped up, the analysis will be “the team that lost at Ft Wayne”, then everything else.

    OR it will be ancient history by then, and I’m just over analyzing between the lines. So…..one or the other……I guess.

    Hey, we win the “Big 4” and the BIG, I think Ft. Wayne should at least get some sort of special banner or a wrestling championship belt for the state of IN or a gift card to Golden Corral…..something.

  • Fifer39

    That’s why I’m happy JN is making the PG spot his own and needs to be backed up by CJ. Both very much still learning but we’re better with RJ at the 2.

    Not seen a poll update from you in a while. Surely you can’t be happy your zags are bottoming out at 8?

  • ForeverIU

    Exactly. Turnovers are a non-issue. We forced them to commit turnovers well beyond their average.

  • Lance76

    All comments above are great. We will need DD/TB for teams like Purdue. Can’t help but think some of DD moves will rub off on TB. Each are very good players and have the potential to be great players by practicing against each other.

  • Lance76

    Very interested to see FW play ND on Tuesday. Just curious if they had a hot night or if they are really good. I have watched Butler and they are sound team too. Like you, I hope OG returns for Butler.

  • If Fort Wayne wins its conference and gets in the tourney, it will no longer be a “bad” loss and likely won’t matter one whit come tourney time. If we do, as you say, win the Big 4 and the B1G, then we’ll be in great shape for a 1 or 2 seed.

  • SilentBob

    I choose option D) Davis has better post moves

  • I am Baby Cakes

    I have them at #12.

  • So, back in the top 10 at #9. For what it’s worth (and personally, I couldn’t care less at this point).

  • cbags05

    Look at the technique difference between the two on the block. DD uses his body. It is textbook. TB uses his arms and shows little body control. He just isn’t as easy to get the ball to. TB tends to get offensive foul calls because he tries to use his arms to gain position also.

  • curtis south

    In my opinion it’s because the man with the ball doesn’t move with the ball to get the pass to him and drag defenders away!

  • IU Cal 1809

    It may just be me but I thank Butler and Louisville are going to the kinda teams that IU could have problems with come tournament time. I’m every interested to see the guard play vs those two teams.

  • Absolutely, agreed. And I’m still pretty confident. 🙂

  • IU Cal 1809

    Thinking about it more I think Louisville can turn us over! But I think there going to struggle to score against us cause that team can’t shot a lick. And butler is going to be a great game for the city of Indy and it’s going to come down to who can make the winning plays in the last 5 mins. Just thinking about it how can kids from Indy not want play for IU or Butler!!!

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    I really hope RJ is. I may have been reading through the lines a little too much early in the season when (i) Crean was begging someone on the team to step up as a leader and (ii) when Max Bielfedt commented that the guy going to be the leader this year was either TB or JM. I was surprised to hear that RJ wasn’t even mentioned and even a little troubled by it.

  • Austin Alexander

    Tom also spends more time at small forward on the perimeter. I’ve watched some film and it’s about 1/4 of the time. DD sits in the post in perpetuity.

  • Fifer39

    Agree, but how is KU #3 with a loss to us, a scrappy win against a beat up Duke team and not much else? So our loss on the road to IPFW counts more than us beating them if you call our respective wins over UNC and Duke even?

  • beppecolo

    Hey, TB not only deserves more touches, the offense will improve if he gets them. He’s good around the basket, will draw fouls, and moving the ball inside will open up the perimeter for open 3s. But, then IU hasn’t had a big under TC that got the touches they deserved.

  • Senor

    I don’t disagree, but if you have a loss to FW and you’re in the top 10, I say you count your blessings and move on. These low-seed games are inert if you win, and will blow you up if you lose….all risk, no reward when it comes to the polls. Butler and UL give us a chance to move up.

    All this assumes that December polls are important to you.

    I think its great there are so many early matchups across the sport at the top this year. More than normal it seems. I’m also glad I can say we’re on that list.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Agree with you Mark. I wish they wouldn’t even do a poll until halfway through the season or something. The poll itself proves it doesn’t mean that much when IU is #9 and has wins over two teams ahead on the chart.

  • But if they didn’t have polls throughout the season, then they couldn’t put those little numbers next to team logos and the commentators wouldn’t be able to sensationalize things quite as much.

  • There’s a certain amount of politics and preconceived notions in the whole thing. Just like NCAA seeding. In any case, I’d rather see us underrated than overrrated at this point. Kids are kids, and no matter how much we hope they don’t let this stuff affect them, I’m sure it does. Heck, it would affect me, and I’m 50 years old and should be wiser than that.

  • ForeverIU

    And what’s wrong with that? LOL. Is it above or below us to sensationalize and market and make money?

  • “us”?

    And no, nothing wrong with (the media) making money, of course, but the sensationalism is a bit much at times.

  • HoosierCruz

    I am actually ecstatic that we aren’t in the top-10 on 3’s this year – This makes you rely on the 3 too much, which is what we’ve seen in recent years and likely the reason the 2012 team ended up not going all the way.

    I’ll take the ability to get an easy bucket over a dramatic 3-point shot any day!! Super excited about this team.