Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Houston Baptist

  • 12/12/2016 8:40 am in

Indiana improved to 8-1 on Saturday afternoon with an easy 103-61 win over Houston Baptist at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

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

· Morgan sets record: There aren’t many moments worth remembering from a 42-point win, but sophomore Juwan Morgan had one on Saturday afternoon.

Early in the first half, Morgan set the program record for consecutive field goals made at 14. It was a streak that began in the North Carolina game and ended in the second half against Houston Baptist when Morgan missed a 3-pointer.

Morgan joked postgame about finally missing a shot that his “feet probably weren’t right.” Through nine games, Morgan has the 37th best offensive rating nationally, according to Ken Pomeroy, and is making close to 69 percent of his 2-point field goal attempts.

· McRoberts impressive again: Walk-on Zach McRoberts continues to prove himself capable of contributing against the lesser opponents on the team’s schedule.

McRoberts had four rebounds and two steals in 16 minutes against Houston Baptist, but did commit three fouls. However, the question with McRoberts is this: how much, if at all, will he play once the competition level picks up?

The Carmel product didn’t play against Kansas, committed four fouls in six minutes against North Carolina and has taken just seven shots in 90 minutes on the floor.

“(He’s) constantly in movement. That ball’s not in his hands very long,” Tom Crean said. “Certainly we need him to continue — he can really shoot the ball and he just hasn’t, he’s such a willing moving, such a willing passer, such a ball mover — and there will be some nights where he just knocks down shots. He does it in practice. And he’s really improved his shooting here, I think.”

· Jones continues solid freshman campaign: Curtis Jones generated plenty of discussion after his 15-point performance against Kansas in Hawaii, but didn’t score in double figures in the seven games that followed.

Jones posted his second game in double figures on Saturday against Houston Baptist with 11 points. And there’s plenty on his offensive profile that suggests he’s going to be a factor in Big Ten play.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Richmond (Va.) is hitting 38.1 percent of his 3s, 50 percent of his 2s and 81.2 percent from the foul line. And his turnover percentage of 16.2 is the lowest among Indiana’s guards.

· Bryant finding different ways to contribute: As Ryan pointed out in film session, opposing defenses are keying on Thomas Bryant much more this season.

But it hasn’t stopped Bryant from finding ways to make an impact. Against Houston Baptist, Bryant took just two shots, but got to the line eight times and finished with nine points. He also dominated on the glass with a game-high 13 rebounds and blocked four shots.

It’s early, but Bryant’s block percentage is up from 4.1 as a freshman to 6.6 this season, which ranks ninth in the Big Ten. Bryant’s improvement there is a major reason the Hoosiers currently rank in the top 50 nationally in block percentage.

· For a night, turnovers are no problem: Indiana had its lowest turnover game of the season on Saturday, committing just 12 for a turnover percentage of 15.9. It’s the first time this season that Indiana turned it over on less than 18 percent of its possessions.

Still, it’s an issue that bears watching over the coming weeks. Indiana wasn’t great at taking care of the ball last season, but the Hoosiers were under 20 percent for the season in turnover percentage at 19.6.

Through nine games this season, Indiana is sitting at 22.2 percent. While the difference isn’t huge, it could play a major factor down the road in a one or two possession game.

Filed to:

  • ForeverIU

    Bottom line is no criticism is welcome if we’re winning. The proof is in the number of upvotes you got. Good job, Don Puddington! LOL.

  • if it ain’t broke…

  • ForeverIU

    yet …

  • IdahoHoosier

    The fact that JBJ has room to improve (and maybe a lot) is a testament to IU fans’ high expectations in general, and JBJ’s perceived potential. The guy is a good player and a huge asset, but even performing at his current level there are visible areas where he could improve. That should be frightening for opponents and exciting for this team and fans if/when JBJ continues to get better. Perhaps in a backward way, the criticism could be taken as a compliment to JBJ’s true ability and importance to this team.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Forever,WhatsUp and Clyde! When I read that last night I thought I was dreaming. He healed quickly in my mind because when you are in a walking boot that isn’t a slight injury. Any muscle tear or strain can become significant, in my mind. Man am I glad to realize he really is back. OG means everything to this team. Take care my friends.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Heaven forbid a good team/player strives to improve and hone their craft. I think that is what practice and experience are for. I posted it earlier, but criticism can be taken as a compliment. We have high expectations for JBJ and see that he is probably even more capable than his present production! I think we have some people here who are a little too satisfied with doing pretty well. And that is just fine, if you don’t want to be great.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I may have missed it, but have people been down on TB? Are we talking forum people, media, or whom?

  • Arch Puddington

    I suppose like most things it’s in the eye of the beholder. When does legitimate criticism cross the line and become unreasonable? In JBJ’s case, I think there are a couple of issues. One is Clyde’s notion of zombie ideas. JBJ is no one’s idea of an All-B1G defender, but the criticism of his defense was not only excessive in the first place (in my opinion), in some cases it hasn’t abated despite clear improvement. There is also a good of bit of what I am certain is just uninformed criticism of his shot selection. Again as Clyde notes, he unquestionably has a green light, and as others have pointed out, he is only averaging 12 shots per game. Does he force one here or there? Sure, but he is after all a “shooting” guard.

    At least part of the reflexive criticism is due to many fans long love affair with the motion offense (including me). The dribble-drive in all its permutations just doesn’t look or feel like the old days, and I think there are those who object to JBJ on almost a visceral level. He doesn’t play like, say, Steve Alford, or even like Jay Edwards. He plays a more modern game, and while I am certain he operates within the guidelines set down by CTC, I think it just doesn’t fit the old mold that many are used to seeing. And, as I said previously, he isn’t warm and fuzzy. He has pretty remote look to him, which doesn’t endear him to fans the way TB or certain other players have been. Add it all up, and at least as I see it, there is just more criticism than is warranted.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Fair assessment Arch and well-stated. The discussion is probably overblown, but I don’t think JBJ is beyond criticism either. The one thing I am really glad for is that we can come here and discuss (or choose not to) facts and opinions about IU basketball. It has been a great source of information and entertainment and I sincerely value the site and the input from the forum posters.

  • Actually, I think they get put ’em in the boot immediately no matter the severity. The boot immobilizes things and they heal faster. So, boot is good. OG is good. Basketball is good. 🙂

  • I can remember a few years ago that people were complaining specifically about CTC’s substitution patterns. I think he turned that around last season along with his defensive schemes and less physical practices. CTC has made some great strides as a coach, IMO.

  • I just don’t question these things from CTC any longer. With his knack for spotting and developing talent, I just figure he knows what he’s doing when he plays somebody. And this team could be the penultimate example of it, like how he’s playing DD and TB together to leverage DD’s post strengths and TB’s ability to play all over the court.

    CTC is demonstrating himself to be a very good coach.

  • I don’t think that’s happening, though. I think that, frankly, the team is adjusting to TB being all over the court and so finding him in positions to score–especially when he’s not being triple-teamed–is more challenging than if he were simply rooted in the post a la DD.

    I’m willing to bet that after a few more games, TB will be scoring more points while continuing to contribute as he is everywhere else. It never hurts to remember that this team is still developing and remains a few weeks behind a lot other teams. Which of course is pretty exciting to think about.

  • Performance has been good enough against KU and UNC that I’m fairly confident already. Butler and Louisville will boost that even higher, assuming we win, and then of course the B1G. If we lost either or both KU/UNC and were performing like this only against the bottom feeders, then I’d be with you.

  • I’m hoping that TB goes pro after this season, because we’ll need him performing at that level to do great things. And if we were to hang banner #6, then there’d be no significant reason for him to come back. I think he only comes back if he’s not at that next level by the end of the season, in which case I don’t think we hang banner #6 and he’ll have something to strive for.

  • Nobody that I’ve ever seen has ever disparaged TB, and anyone that would do so would therefore be an idiot.

    That said, I think it’s misrepresenting his contributions thus far by saying that he needs to be utilized more. Fine, but exactly how is he not contributing, and contributing big time? (referring to no comments in particular) Points are a means to winning a game and are easily measured. There are many other ways a player can help win games. I guess I assume that winning is the goal in all this, and players are to be judged on how they help bring that about.

  • Yep, my thought as well. In JBJ’s case, it’s the “our defense improved last year because he was hurt” meme. It’s completely bogus–CTC was already sitting JBJ due to poor defense, his defense was already starting to improve, and the team’s defense was horrible prior to the second half of the ND game. It wasn’t JBJ’s absence that improved last season, it was OG’s and JM’s emergence and the team defense getting better. I’m convinced that with a healthy JBJ last season (and/or a healthy RJ vs. UNC) we make it to the Final Four.

    But, that “JBJ’s defense sucks!” meme was repeated so many times last season it became reality for some people. Even though if you watch the Duke game, Yogi’s defense was worse than JBJ’s.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Gotcha. Yeah I hadn’t heard anyone hating on TB. Some might think TB should get more shots specifically? That might be argued. But obviously IU is doing some things right and are winning games (aside from the obvious blunder). TB also has shown a willingness to pass up shots to find teammates. Not to mention TB is being doubled and tripled most of the time. Totally agree TB is a team player and things are looking good! Always areas to improve though!

  • to be fair, Yogi really didn’t take very many bad shots.

  • Exactly. I’ll let TB and the coaches decide whether or not he needs to shoot more. Here’s where we should focus: better passing into TB, better passing by TB (i.e., more assists). If he’s wanting to play team-ball and not shoot as much, then they need to work on his passing skills, too. Not that he’s a bad passer by any means, but rather, if he isn’t going to shoot, then he can pretend like he’s going to, while also making better passes (for points). There’s an area for improvement. And would make IU even more deadly. (and help his pro prospects, if that’s a concern?)

  • Per your last sentence, I’d rather not!

    And to be somewhat of a contrarian (but only to refine the discussion generally), I’d say that JBJ’s worst game this year was in our loss. I personally faulted him for playing a little too much one-on-one, maybe for reasons to do with hometown crowd and old teammates. There is one exception to the meme of him playing too much of an isolated game and “hunting” for shots (only at times), and that was against Ft. Wane. (sic intended) And we lost. Which does NOT mean it was entirely his fault, of course. Maybe that’s the origin of this year’s undead JBJ anti-band wagon?

  • So you have a “theory” and are using every (perceived) misstep of one single player as “proof” of said theory? What else does “yet” mean?

  • Ole Man

    You get my vote for comment of the day!

  • Ole Man

    I would hope by this time we are not “a few weeks behind other teams.” After nine games, I’m pretty sure IU is still adding stuff as DD gets in shape for instance. But I don’t see IU being weeks behind anyone.
    Just find that a really curious thought. Maybe if you said more about what that meant.

  • Thanks. This probably deserves a screenshot.

  • I simply meant, given the delays for some key players due to injury (JM, RJ, JBJ) and starting late (DD, FM), we’re still developing where other teams had more time as complete teams to put things together. Yes, that gap narrows as time goes on, but I think at this point we’re still delayed. “A few weeks” is probably overstating it, because really it comes down to coaching styles, player development (some develop/learn faster than others), experience, etc.

    But I’d submit that to some significant degree we’re not as gelled as teams that didn’t have so many injuries to recover from and players coming into the program later than expected.

  • You know, I was so disappointed throughout the IPFW game that I didn’t really notice individual player performances. Given that, I wouldn’t doubt that JBJ had a particularly poor game, but I don’t remember anyone other than ZM having even a decent game. If that’s kept the anti-JBJ mantra going, then it’s even less excusable given how bad almost everybody played in that loss.

  • Exactly.

  • Fifer39

    To be fair, he did go through a phase of taking out anyone who made 2 or more consecutive FGs but I agree his coaching philosophy seems to have changed since then.

  • Fifer39

    I think he’s winning many over on his defense. Just a shame they’ve moved on to his offense now!

  • Fifer39

    Man, Clyde! It’s like an education every time I come on here. And sometimes I even learn about basketball!

  • ForeverIU

    No theory really. Just saying that one loss and all the merry revelers will turn into dragons. LOL.

  • Ha, well we’ve seen that before. Let’s just say not ALL of them will turn into fire-breathing flying lizards.

  • Yeah, that’s what I mean. His substitutions used to be highly suspect, and now it seems much better. Seemed to have started around the middle of last season, along with all of the other improvements.

    Now, that’s not to say everybody will agree with everything CTC does, such as his reluctance to take timeouts that drives me crazy, personally. But then again, not everybody agreed with everything RMK did either, even as a coach, and he was a pretty good one. I do wish we had this kind of forum back when he was coaching–would make for some darn interesting discussions, I’m sure.

  • IUowns

    Man I am so hyped for the Butler game! We get another chance to get a top 20, neutral court win on our already impressive resume. Must stay focused, that team will surely be ready to play. If we look over them we certainly would get beat. But, with that said I am confident that this teams shows up. Should be a great game and with OG back, and almost 2 weeks of rest we’ll come out firing!

  • chris

    Having just retired my walking boot about a month ago after a severe foot injury, I can say that the Aircast absorbs about 30-50 pounds worth of impact, keeps things in proper position, and gives you security from accidental impacts. But I can see why the coaches don’t have them shooting while wearing it-really affects your walking and puts you off balance quite a bit. Did anyone see the Seahawks game where they mentioned that Russell Wilson was being woken up every 90 minutes to have physical therapy? I’m going to guess that OG was getting extremely frequent (maybe not every 90 min) treatment to get healthy this quickly.

  • Igotthecrabsfromyouthenishaved

    I like Yogi for the most part, but every time he drove to the basket and attempted a shot was a ‘bad shot’. It took until his senior year for him to not get blocked on 90% of those shots.

  • Ole Man

    Duke has had major injuries. MSU has had major injuries. That’s just off the top of my head.
    Get where you’re coming from, but don’t think that’s a real excuse. You play with the cards you’re dealt.

  • Enhanced therapy is one explanation. OG being a cyborg is another. I’m going with the latter. 🙂

  • Sure, and I’m not trying to make excuses (easy to conclude I am, I get that). Rather, I’m just expressing my excitement at just how much better this team can–and I think will–get before the season is over. Now that you mention Duke, I’d say the same for them, and probably even more so–they’ve had a ton of talent sitting on the bench, and their fans (blech!) are probably chomping at the bit waiting for them to start playing.

  • Sandra Wilson

    FROM CBS SPORTS – Yet no team in America has a better pair of wins than IU’s neutral season-opening victory against Kansas and its home-court conquest of North Carolina. Step back further, Indiana is 0-1 on the semi-road, 2-0 vs. the top 50 at KenPom — but has a strength of schedule clocking in at 318.

  • That’s fair, as I probably only had his senior year in mind. But let’s also remember that he was basically tasked with taking a LOT of shots at the end of the shot clock, too. Not always his fault.

  • Ole Man

    In agreement that there is much to be excited about!

  • IUMIKE1

    Even if he is “off “, you know the opposing coaches have to be scared that there is even that much more of chance that the next one goes in and several others could follow. Almost becomes a double edged sword in that they’re glad that he is missing a few in a row, but they also know that those misses may very well be followed by a several makes in a row.

  • IUMIKE1

    Good comment.

  • IUMIKE1

    I’m actually surprised, with as emotional as TB is at times, that he hasn’t publicly displayed his frustration with when he has been posted up well and didn’t get the entry pass. He seems to be ok affecting the game in ways other than scoring which, also shows some maturity IMHO. I think this shows that he has matured enough to know when and how to let his sometimes high and contagious emotions show. Guess the question is, will he remain that way if we start taking more than expected losses and/or his draft stock starts to drop.

  • IUMIKE1

    I can assign a percentage of the, ” not finding TB in the post ” blame, on the team not being used to him being in certain places on the floor, but it would have to be a pretty small percentage. As an old coach that practiced the timing, angle, footwork, etc, of the entry pass, until his players felt like it was running out of their ears, I had to reply. lol Our more perimeter oriented players do not do a very good job of looking for the entry pass, and when they do, a high percentage of the time they’re not using the fundamentals that are associated with making that kind of pass successful.

    To me the one biggest thing that would help with this problem is for the guards’ ball movement be more in synch with when he posts up and where he posts up, angles are everything when it comes to the entry pass. TB is not without fault here, could his post up timing be better at times, yea, could he post up in a better spot than he does sometimes, yea, but there’s a whole lot more of the blame to lay at the Adidas of our guards.

  • Alrighty, I’ll defer to you, of course. Ultimately, then, will just look forward to continued improvement. 🙂

  • IUMIKE1

    Ya know, ultimately, if it is still as big a problem as I feel like it is, after this many games, there has to be at least a little bit of blame laid on CTC’s Adidas as well. I have talked bball for more than just 5 or 10 minutes ( ok, 45 minutes or so isn’t really a long time, but for this bball junkie to get to talk X’s and O’s with the head coach of IU seemed like a good amount of time) with TC on a couple of occasions and came away pretty damned impressed with his knowledge of the game which makes me scratch my head even more so when it comes to this.

  • Well, it could be–could, mind you–that CTC knows something about this group of kids that we don’t. And I’m not being facetious here. I’ve seen good things from him now for a year and a half, much more than I’d seen previously, and I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and let this season play out. I’m hopeful we’ll all be pretty excited in the end.