The Minute After: Butler

  • 12/17/2016 8:24 pm in

Thoughts on an 83-78 loss to the Bulldogs: 

Why did Indiana lose this one?

Let us count the ways.

1) The Hoosiers allowed 1.18 points per possession, their worst defensive performance of the season. Did Butler hit some tough shots? Sure. A healthy amount of them, in fact. But Butler torched Indiana on a number of out of bounds plays. Indiana’s lack of awareness hurt them at other times. A key play at the end of the game tells this tale. Trailing by two with 15 seconds to go and the game on the line, Thomas Bryant lost Tyler Wideman on an inbounds play. He dunked it home, which essentially put the game away.

Elsewhere, Kelan Martin went bananas in the first half and at the start of the second half (game-high 28 points) — with Indiana doing little to force the ball out of his hands. Andrew Chrabascz was a steady presence and hit 7-of-10 at the line and finished with 16 points. The Bulldogs also hit 47.6 percent (10-of-21) of their 3-pointers against the Hoosiers, who came into the game with the best defensive 3-point field goal percentage in the country.

Add it all up and despite a nice second half comeback from the Hoosiers to cut a 16-point deficit to just two, the hole ended up being just a little too big. The Bulldogs was able to enforce their style a bit more on the ball game, and it led to their victory.

2) Turnovers. Did Indiana best its season average? Yes, it did. Its turnover percentage of 18.9 percent is better than the 22.2 percent its been averaging so far this season. But the Bulldogs were absolutely masterful with the ball in their hands this game, turning it over on just 8.6 percent of their possessions. Point guard Tyler Lewis had no turnovers and six assists in 27 minutes. They had just six for the game as opposed to Indiana’s 13. Those 13 Indiana turnovers became 17 points for the Bulldogs whereas Indiana scored eight off of Butler’s six miscues.

Advantage Bulldogs.

3) Cold shooting to start the contest. The Hoosiers missed all eight of their 3-point shots in the first half and entered the break scoring just .82 points per possession. Josh Newkirk went 0-for-6 in the first half. Juwan Morgan, OG Anunoby, Curtis Jones, De’Ron Davis and Devonte Green were a combined 0-of-7.

Now, despite some key areas the Hoosiers fell short in, they didn’t fold and let Butler win this one going away. You got the feeling that if this game went another five minutes, Indiana maybe, just maybe, would have found a way to finally get over the hump and snatch a lead. The Hoosiers almost did it in the closing minutes. Despite racking up a team-high four turnovers, James Blackmon Jr. also scored a team-high 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting and helped Indiana get back into the game with his offense in the second half. Though he probably forced a 3-pointer too early in a possession with 58 seconds to go which could have tied the contest.

Thomas Bryant’s size and athleticism was a lot for Butler to handle. After just four field goal attempts in Indiana’s last two contests, he went 6-of-11 from the floor for 15 points. He also grabbed seven rebounds. Though his emotions boiled over a bit too much at times, shades of his freshman season in the cream and crimson. Juwan Morgan had a career-high four blocks and also snagged 10 rebounds, though Martin really got it going against him during his stretch of scoring in the second half.

This is a frustrating loss, to be sure. But Butler is also a very good basketball team and Indiana, for whatever reason, has had issues at times in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Indiana has one more game at the Fieldhouse later this month against Louisville — a team currently with the best defense in the country, per KenPom. If Indiana isn’t knocking down shots in the first half against the Cardinals?

Its hole could be even bigger next time around.

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  • Dave Carnes

    I was really just commenting on the AAU basketball I am seeing.Those teams will lose in the elite * most of them.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Did you watch CJ play the 11 minutes he was in there? Seriously? He played like a freshman…..in HS. He has loads of talent and desire, but this stage was too big for him. Tired of hearing about KU, the ONLY game he played well. I have great confidence he will be a good player with more experience, but if you wanted him in there with the game on the line last night the way he was playing…..we’d have lost by over 10. Agree about Newkirk. I’d have stuck with 2 guards or DG. CJ looked like he was playing in a pickup game. Still disagree…rewatch the 11 minutes he played……really bad.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Experience counts when deciding who’s better. Unless you are UK or Duke, experience counts A LOT. More talent does not equal better team. I hope by March you are right. No reason to think you are not right with the experience under these youngsters belts and hopefully the return of CH.

  • Koko

    I think DG played strong last night…..he should’ve played more minutes.

  • vicbert caladipo

    FW and Butler are apples and oranges. We played awful against FW and ran into a buzzsaw against Butler. Really wish you didn’t erase the game. Watch that game again. Butler is really really good. Watch the way they move the ball. Watch how each player has a job to do. Lewis, a PG, does his job. Runs the offense, finds open players, and doesn’t turn the ball over. He did his job. Wideman clogs the middle, rebounds a little, plays good D, and is a smart kid. Martin’s job is to spark the team and score points. Shrabis is the glue guy who does everything. Baldwin’s job…knock down open shots, guard and not make mistakes, Woodrow…play D. The problem I always have with CTC teams is no one really has a true role. They are all over the place. You have guards rebounding, big guys jacking 3’s, and no one to run the team, like Lewis. It looks good when we win, and lousy when we lose. Since CTC is so infatuated with the NBA maybe he should pick Popovich’s brain. Every man has a role. Can you honestly say CTC teaches playing a role. No he wants a whole team trying to do everything OK when he should be teaching guys to do one or 2 things great.

  • vicbert caladipo

    JN was trying to get the ball inside in the first half, but seemed to try and redeem himself for playing so poorly in the first half by trying to be superman late in the game. This was a game where outside of ZM and CJ everyone played ok, but when your opponent is opposing their will on you…ok doesn’t cut it.

  • ForeverIU

    Me too. My impressions are based on a certain gestalt, which is how most of my impressions are formed, and are usually correct, hehehe.

  • Yeah, the DVR is low on space with nothing i can delete, so keeping games isn’t in the cards. And I haven’t had the time to figure out how to add storage to it. Such is life. I’ll punt the discussion around CTC’s coaching until I have more time to give it the attention it deserves. Two huge writing deadlines looming on Wednesday, and not enough time for them as it is.

  • Agreed about DG as well. I think CuJo leapfrogged DG because of the KU game, but right now DG is more solid. Especially on defense, and in not doing anything flashy.

  • JBJ had some passion as well. Those two tried to carry the team to a win, but didn’t have much of a supporting cast. And I’m not convinced that it was TB’s fault on that inbound play, but I can’t go back and watch to see if someone else was supposed to covering somebody.

  • Best thing about JM is that he’s a really smart kid. I think he’ll watch film and see what he did wrong, and it won’t happen again.

  • Speed

    Well said….may be attributed to the AAU and developmental programs that most kids go thru. It’s not desirable to teach good D and protecting the ball. You get the headlines by scoring 20 plus points. Box score doesn’t show that you may have given up 20 by playing poor D and turning the ball over.

  • Russ Mary Southard

    IMO only this is an example of Athletes vs. Basketball players with strong BB IQ. The loss is not a bad loss. Remember, Butler was 8 – 1 with wins over #8 and #22. I wonder what the critics of playing in this classic because I quote “It does nothing for us to play in such an event against lesser teams.” This was a poor performance for most of the 1st half. The 2nd half was much better with only 3 or 4 turnovers and much smarter play. I refuse to blame it on any 1 play or player so I’m ignoring the defensive mistake on the inbound play just as I will ignore JB deciding that he will fire up a 3 so quickly without running any offense or having help around him with down but just 3. It’s a long season Hoosier Nation so come down off the ledge. Go IU.

  • im4whoplays iu

    You IU fans always have an excuse…when the other team has the best player and the better coach on the floor, you all cry like Thomas Bryant the whole game!!! He could hardly see he had so many tears in his eyes! IU still has the same ole coach that lost to Butler in the Crossroads Classic when a 5′-10″ Alex Barlow hit a running floater in the paint to break IU’s back. Oh ya, where was 7 footer Cody Zeller…on the bench at crunch time enjoying the game. The Dawgs put it to the Whosiers from start to finish after their 6-0 start…and for those I Who fans who walk away saying they still are the better team well being the better team on paper never will get you a win!!! Butler for a long time wins on HEART, team effort and probably most of all the “engine that could” attitude and also the motivation from the media and I Who fans that shove it down the Dawgs throats that they are 2nd class and you “CAN’T’ beat us! Well, check out the stats,Butler has beaten I Who consistently in the Crossroads Classic and has also put it to Purdue, Northwestern, Wisconsin, etc. In fact they have the best record of all 4 teams! And oh ya, the refs were awful but both ways!!! That no call at the end of the game when Chrabascz almost had his arm taken off was as bad of a missed call as I Who’s choice of having Tom “Psychopacer” Crean take the helm of the Cream and Crimson!!! I Who got it put to them from start to finish! I Who fans get a new coach and cut out the over used excuses…You are NOT the best team in Indiana and haven’t been for some time…

  • Since JBJ pretty much single-handedly got us back in the game, at least in terms of scoring, I’d definitely never fault him for taking a slightly too-quick shot. When a scorer like that is feeling things, you have to let him shoot it.

  • Russ Mary Southard

    I agree, that’s exactly why I said that didn’t decide the game. However, it was ill advised and too quick of a shot at that point of the game. 2 plays later they ran their offensive and he nailed it. My point was no 1 thing decided the game. Thanks

  • vicbert caladipo

    Good Lord, would somebody close the door and spray some air freshener. Someone let some stank into the forum.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I love your comment. I use the same philosophy when I coach athletic teams. Sound judgement and slowing down half court sets do not have to be sacrificed in an up tempo style. You can run fast break sets that break down into deliberate half court sets.

  • IdahoHoosier

    That last dunk was 100% on TB. He lost track of his man for a second and got caught watching the ball. Can’t put that one on coaching.

  • GaHoosier

    Let me clarify: Several calls went IUs way, including the missed foul call on that play. I just question the use of replay, if the refs still get the call wrong after review!

  • Ole Man

    Good call! I should have included him.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Not seeing what you’re seeing in JBJ. Anyone he guards blows by him at will. He watches the ball giving his man back door layups. Yes he scores and we wouldn’t have been in that game without him. But if twice in the game he’d offered defensive resistance we win that game. Yeah he gets pumped when he hits a big shot. But I want to see him get that excited about staying in front of his dang man!

  • IdahoHoosier

    TB was guarding their big man on the out of bounds play. Not sure how that’s out of position or chasing. He flat out wasn’t tracking his man in the post.

  • iugradmark

    I hear you. I guess if it hasn’t happened before I could buy it. I agree that these kids need to own their roles but things like that just don’t happen to well coached teams. The announcers made a point on how they had watched Butler work on that exact play over and over at their practice. I wonder if we are doing same.

  • Right. Didn’t mean to come across as argumentative. Just wanted to take a second to call out JBJ for have some fire and playing to win.

  • Russ Mary Southard

    Not at all I agree 100%.

  • im4whoplays iu

    Typical I Who fan…can’t handle the truth of a loss, a hundred excuses, then cops an A H attitude. It’s fans like you that turned me off to I Who BB and I used to have season tix…you’ve run out of excuses so you stoop to determining that I STINK (not stank). Admit it…the WHOOSIERS STANK. PATHETIC! Hope you live in Ft. Wayne………………..

  • im4whoplays iu

    Hey VC…you are passionate about your team! That is OK, I take back my negativity, I would have not been happy if Butler would have given that game to IU myself!

  • ToothGuy

    Thanks. If you coach then you’re much more versed in these philosophies than me. Just seems like a fairly straightforward principle that has become blurred for us at times. I think CTC is aware of it, but not sure the importance has filtered down to the players. The KU and UNC wins were track meets while the IPFW and Butler losses were managed tempo games. If we can play controlled at the appropriate times then we’ll be dangerous and capable of winning (possibly big) across all styles of play. If we can’t adapt to stretches of controlled pace then you can guess what we’ll see all season in the Big 10 and beyond.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Poor defense will make them look like an elite shooting team. Our boys better lock down on them and capitalize on any clean looks because there won’t be many.

  • Veritas238

    I did watch him play from the nose bleed section. While he did not play well in small sample this game, my point is pretty simple. Under a minute left and you need points… who do you put in… newkirk or CUJO? Newkirk is historically a terrible 3 point shooter, poor finisher, and an abysmal free throw shooter. You have to expect your point guard to get to the bucket and be put on the line… which he was, and the result was as intended. IMHO… late in this game in this situation you go with CUJO, an unquestionably better shooter and free throw shooter.

  • IUBizmark

    I want Crean to play a slow, grind it out game against several cupcakes instead of the constant track meets. It’s clearly the area we struggle with the most, so why not expose players to that. Hell, build a first half lead against a cupcake with the track meet style and then grind the second half to see if you can build on that lead or at least maintain it.

  • Will

    I’ll take the blame here. I was at the Griffey IU – Ill game. I was also at this game Sat and the previous Butler upset over IU.

    Very strong correlation with my attendance and IU losing to inferior opponents outside of Assembly Hall. Crean did not bring that up, after the game. Going forward, my lack of attendance should sure up late-game defense.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I hope you were able to see the clip (Film Session). It was absolutely TB’s fault on that inbound play. I’m not a believer that those last few plays lose a game, but that was pretty ugly.

  • cbags05

    Lol. I was at the Griffey game as well. Sometimes the only time I can get to a game is at Ill.