The Minute After: Nebraska

  • 12/28/2016 9:36 pm in

Thoughts on an 87-83 loss to Nebraska: 

Yikes.

No room for excuses tonight because the reality is this: Nebraska outplayed Indiana. The Cornhuskers deserved the victory. This is a Nebraska team that entered the contest with the worst offense in the Big Ten, one with just the 313th ranked eFG% in the country. One that lost to Gardner Webb at home a mere 10 days ago and entered the contest just 6-6. One that KenPom gave just a nine percent chance of emerging victorious.

During its 26-game home winning streak, the Hoosiers beat some of the nation’s very best teams. But tonight the streak ends against a middling Cornhusker squad it had no business losing to.

Instead of a comfortable win and a 1-0 start to conference, this is a bad, frustrating loss and Saturday brings no relief. Louisville, currently the top defensive squad in the country, looms. Happy New Year, Hoosier Nation.

So what the heck happened? There’s the glaringly obvious in the turnover department. Indiana turned the ball over on 26.2 percent of its possessions (19 turnovers). Many came from poor passes, bad decisions and silly mistakes. Self infliction was the Hoosiers’ M.O. tonight. Nebraska had 13 freaking steals in this game. Against a team like the Cornhuskers, Indiana, though not ideal, can survive giving the ball away on over a quarter of its possessions. Especially in a home contest.

But when you couple Indiana wasting away that many possessions with a lackluster defensive performance? It’s how you end up losing to a team of this caliber. Early on, Indiana couldn’t stop Tai Webster. He dribbled penetrated with ease. Indiana ended up having to resort to a zone in both the first and second half to try and slow it down. Nebraska came into the contest as one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country at 29 percent. The Cornhuskers left Assembly Hall hitting 50 percent (9-of-18) from downtown. Did they hit a few tough ones? Sure. But Indiana also had trouble sticking with shooters and Nebraska got a lot of wide open looks that it converted. The Hoosiers also played poor transition defense off their turnovers at times and Nebraska turned their miscues into 21 points. The Cornhuskers also had 40 points in the paint and scored a season-high 1.2 points per possession.

Still, despite the above disasters, Indiana had plenty of chances to win this one.

But it seemed like whenever the Hoosiers opened up a road to victory in the second half, somebody grabbed the wheel and drove the team into a ditch. Thomas Bryant tried dribbling the ball up the court on the break and the ball was promptly stolen. OG Anunoby took a seriously horrific deep 3 with plenty of time on the shot clock left. The Hoosiers were lucky to retain possession, one where Devonte Green promptly threw a bad pass to Anunoby for a turnover. Robert Johnson was one of the few bright spots tonight, but he picked up his fourth foul early in the second half and what was left on the court was a team that couldn’t right itself on either end of the court.

Perhaps most upsetting for fans in this one is that Indiana didn’t come out with a killer instinct and let the Cornhuskers dictate the terms from the opening tip. It was the final nail in the coffin for tonight’s contest.

“We didn’t come out with the right mindset,” Robert Johnson said after the game.

Now, lest we forget: This is but one game. A bad, horrible game, yes. But just one game. This is still a team with wins against Kansas and North Carolina and one that can go a long way towards sowing up wounds of this loss with a win over Louisville on Saturday.

But tonight’s loss perhaps solidifies Indiana’s reality even stronger. The Hoosiers can play with any team in the country, but can get upset just as easily.

Filed to:

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Ok, OK that was pretty good! Take care.

  • DB

    Reminds me of past years when seriously good players didn’t rise to the occasion because they got sidetracked with off-court temptations like “partying.” Yogi was a guy that learned from his poor decisions off-court, which is cool, but he wasted a lot of time and opportunity getting to that point. Are some of our current players at fault here? Well, it’s as good an explanation as any. There’s just too much talent on this team to not at least speculate about alcohol or other substances, especially when you tell the group that they CAN’T because they are on the IU basketball team. We all want what we “can’t” have. Just sayin’.

  • Bankshot

    I still believe the hoosiers have a chance to win the big 10. The conference competition is a little less than in past years. I also believe Tom Crean is a man of character. He hasn’t resorted to cheating like the two schools in Kentucky.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Amen to that. My son is being recruited by IU for football and the athletic department as a whole is extremely ethical. A different or many different layers of compliance personnel then when I played football there from 79-1983.

  • twarrior87

    When a kid fails a test in school do you blame the teacher for not teaching what’s on the test or the kid for not studying and executing at test time? I’m not saying CTC is the best coach, but you claiming to know what he’s teaching in practice is asinine if you’re not there. I’m not claiming there’s no correlation from practice to game time, but you’ve got to put some of this on the players not executing. Some people will never be satisfied with a coach who is not RMK even though he didn’t win a ‘ship for 14 years before he was pushed out. We could do a lot worse than Crean.

  • twarrior87

    People with your mindset will compare every coach to RMK even though his style of coaching no longer works with the millennial generation. What did Knight accomplish in his last 14 years at IU? Was it much better than CTC?

  • twarrior87

    Saw them try when they brought in Sampson. We saw how that worked out.

  • AssemblyBall

    It seems to work in Lexington, East Lansing, and Lawrence.

  • twarrior87

    Yep, could you imagine both on the court at the same time?

  • AssemblyBall

    Is this Joani?

  • twarrior87

    Are you really comparing Izzo, Slimapari, and Self to RMK?????? You’re delusional. They’re not even close

  • twarrior87

    No it’s Chachi

  • twarrior87

    Btw you never answered the second part of the question was RMK much better in his last 14 seasons at IU than Crean had been in the last 6 years? (Not counting the first couple seasons)

  • bojak

    Obviously turnovers just kills this team. Does anyone out there think maybe it would be a good idea to slow down instead of running around like a bunch of idiots. It just seems like most of these turnovers happen in the first 7 or so seconds after crossing the 10 second line. At least why not try it once or twice. Just a thought.

  • Banner6

    Not trying to defend RMK, but your 14 year argument is weak. RMK was fired in the fall of 2000. In the 14 years prior (going back to fall of 1986) RMK won 1 National Championship, made 2 Final Four appearances and won 4 B1G championships. That’s 1 more National Championship, 1 more Final Four appearance and 2 more B1G titles than CTC. I’m not a “nobody but RMK” guy, but I think IU can do better than CTC if we are who we say we are. Unfortunately, the athletic dept and fans can no longer think big. Therefore, CTC will stick around as long as he wants because IU fans/grads appear satisfied with the Sweet 16. CTC wins just enough to keep his job, but IU will never be great with a coach that could never win with consistency in C-USA.

  • twarrior87

    So CTC has won 2 big ships in last 4 years. Maybe he can win 2 more, a NCAA title and a couple final 4s in the next 10 years. If you gave Knight 14 years+ to do that why can’t you do the same forCrean? You can’t count his first few years as he started out with absolutely nothing.

  • twarrior87

    Just saying you gave RMK 14 years to do all that. You can’t count CTCs first few seasons, so why can’t you give him the same amount of time?

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    Are you saying that losing Yogi Ferrell equates to that team?
    You and I clearly have a different view, but okay, I get your point.

  • twarrior87

    Omg it’s apples to oranges. Crean was at Marquette not IU. Do you remember the state of the program when CTC stepped in as opposed to RMK? So RMK front-loaded in his tenure. Maybe CTC is better on the backend. He’s improved over his time at IU and had some unlucky regions in the tourney. For example – no one would have beat UNC with the game they played last year. The only bad tourney loss with a good team was the Syracuse loss. The UK and UNC losses can be defended. Even if Crean won a ‘ship this year ppl would be calling for his head next year as soon as things got rough

  • twarrior87

    You may have deleted your last post, but my last response was to that one

  • Missing Moye

    I will somewhat disagree. Certainly the shooting percentages, and mostly the turnovers, are out of the control of the coaching. We can argue that style and how they are taught to play/lack of discipline contributes to turnovers, but I think you are talking about this specific game and not in generalities.

    The defense, however, is the one thing I felt the coaching was mostly responsible for. The way they played the pick and roll was a bit different than they have been playing it this year, and it was completely ineffective. They made a run and got back into the game once they switched to zone, and then all but completely abandoned the zone in the 2nd half. That part is on the coaching, imho.

  • Larry Brown

    No. We’re not talking about “A” kid; rather, when THE WHOLE CLASS FAILS you do indeed blame the teacher … unless of course its one of our now-commonplace failing urban public schools where the union steps in and covers for those failing teachers and failing schools.
    YOU KNOW HOW THE TEACHER IS TEACHING BY THE TEST RESULTS OF THE CLASS AS A WHOLE; LIKEWISE, YOU KNOW HOW THE COACH IS COACHING BY THE GAME RESULTS. Shall I jab back at you and say that to say otherwise is “assanine” (no, I don’t believe in insulting you for having a different opinion). Look, I played college basketball myself. Coaches should go over stuff like defending the pick and roll hundreds, even thousands of times. When I see TB step out and then even though the guard has not gotten over the pick, step back and give a hot shooter an open jumper over and over, that means there’s a problem. If it’s been drilled into him hundreds of times to make sure that shooter doesn’t get that look, then he’s not going to let that jumper happen. Come now, defending the perimeter pick and roll is pretty basic stuff and it cost IU the Butler game and now Nebraska game, and you’re going to tell us with a straight face that Crean is coaching it well in practice but for some mysterious reason there’s no carryover into games by almost all the players? Seriously? Likewise, look at how that small team was killing IU on the offensive glass. But wait: no, it had nothing to do with Crean not motivating his players, according to you, it was all the players’ fault!
    As for RMK: on the one hand you are saying that we cannot know how CTC coaches because there’s no relationship between coaching and player performance, and other hand you DO know how I think about RMK even though you don’t know me and I didn’t even follow IU basketball when RMK was here. Interesting double-standard there.

  • Larry Brown

    When in the world did RMK come into this conversation? No one is talking about him but you!

  • Larry Brown

    Who cares about RMK? Not me.
    However: When RMK had multiple NBA prospects like in 1992, yes they were better. They were not losing to Nebraska or Fort Wayne. I think in Cheaney’s senior year they lost, what, 3 games maybe? We have 3 guys now who are projected NBA 1st rounders. You cold also argue that in 2 years RJ will be drafted, and eventually probably Davis. But this team would get utterly destroyed by by that Cheaney team.

  • Larry Brown

    OK let’s wait and see about the Final 4s. Had 2 NBA lottery picks a few years ago and couldn’t advance beyond the Sweet 16; looked like they’d never even heard of a zone defense. Have 3 NBA projected 1st rounders right now, yet have lost to Nebraska and Fort Wayne, and look like they’ve never practiced defending a pick and roll.

  • Larry Brown

    Not expecting a “‘ship”, just expecting to beat Nebraska at Assembly Hall. Is that too much for you?

  • Larry Brown

    What Bankshot is saying is simple: FOR GREAT COACHES, THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE PARTS. FOR INFERIOR COACHES, THE WHOLE IS LESS THAN THE PARTS. Look at Butler. How many NBA prospects do they have? One. Yet they are top-15. Look at IU. How many NBA prospects? 4-5. Yet losing to Nebraska at home, Fort Wayne, and Butler (as good as they are, but IU still has superior talent).

  • Larry Brown

    you hit the nail on the head. We are losing with more talent. Teams like Butler are winning with less talent.

  • Larry Brown

    BRYANT: LOTTERY PICK.
    ANUNOBY: LOTTERY OR CLOSE TO LOTTERY.
    BLACKMON: LATE FIRST ROUNDER.
    JOHNSON: PROBABLE PICK IN ’18
    DAVIS: PROBABLE PICK EVENTUALLY
    Tell us why , with that talent, we are losing to Nebraska AT HOME and to Fort Wayne.

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    Come now, be fair. Further up in this very thread, Haggard referenced “a certain other coach benching 3 starters for freshmen in an nationally televised game!”

    So no, not just twarrior is talking about Knight. Unless you think Haggard was referring to someone else.

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    I can’t disagree that this squad with this talent should never lose a game at home to Nebraska. They have before and appear to be continuing to deliver the highest highs and the lowest lows. They can seemingly beat OR lose to anybody. This is the unhappy side of that double-edged sword.

  • Banner6

    I’ve not deleted any posts. Maybe the monitors are biased and deleted them. My point was that Crean was never a consistent winner at Marquette, which is what the AD should have looked at prior to making the hire. CTCs last 5 seasons at Marquette his teams finished 8th, 9th, T-4th, T-5th and T-5th in his conference. Not trying to pick on Crean just looking at the facts. I agree he gets a pass on his first 2-3 seasons at IU, but that has nothing to do with his resume prior to his hiring at IU. Just never understood the hire. If Indiana is as prestigious of a program as Kansas, Duke, UK or UNC how was CTC qualified based on his body of work at Marquette? IMO he was hired by a weak and incompetent AD (Greenspan) who knew nothing about hiring basketball coaches (see Sampson). Crean’s not a bad guy, nor is he a horrific coach, but I don’t see him ever bringing IU another national championship.

  • Bankshot

    I knew sampson was a cheat and loser before he was hired. The only way you can make crean look better is to compare him to sampson? Sad!

  • Bankshot

    Good luck to your son. I’m sure he has a good foundation due to his daddy! I lived in Foster Shea in 77-78. Joe Norman lived across the hall. He was a great hoosier. Tough as they come and a great guy to boot.

  • Geoff_85

    Making a complaint about the same fact over and over is whining. Making a suggestion to fix the problem, which you did with the suggestion of firing Fred Glass, is not whining. My refrain is to make a suggestion to fix the problem. That’s old and lazy? That’s an odd disposition. You saying that I’m “satisfied with the current situation” would be a prime example of an old and lazy refrain. I never said I was happy with the current situation with Indiana basketball, nor did I anything of the sort. I never said don’t fire Crean. I just don’t whine about it non-stop about it after a loss like the vocal majority of the Indiana fan base. I simply said offer a solution to fix the problem. That said, I would not agree with the firing of Glass. I think he’s made plenty of good moves in other sports. I hope his decision to hire Tom Allen can continue some of the momentum for the football program after Kevin Wilson’s resignation because the football program actually brings in more money than the basketball program, I believe. I don’t think Fred Glass is the problem. Indiana has to remain more than just basketball.

  • Bankshot

    Pray tell, how many complaints have I made about crean? Facts are not complaints! Tom crean is paid as a top 5 coach but I can’t point out his failures. He will never get I.U. to the final four! I will bet your entire worth on that! Glass made the stupid decision to give crean the outrageous extension than he fired Wilson who brought the football team from the depths at a basketball school because some players are whiners! The majority on this board were talking final four just a couple of weeks ago. tah was not only laughable but also ridiculus.Did you watch the bowl game? I.U.’S offense was in disarray! Allen is a great defensive coach who was selected by Wilson.

  • Bankshot

    Your oral diarrhea continues. You enjoy rooting for I.U. but you diminish a national championship. Steve Alford was a bust in the NBA but he has won as a coach at SWMS, New Mexico and U.C.L.A. I guess you don’t remember I.U. beating Michael Jordan. The power and light comment speaks for itself and your knowledge. Read Mr. Brown’s comments for your basketball 101 education!

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Philosophically speaking, I am almost never a guy who blames the coach over what happens in one game. For example, I believe that the Colts stink, because Pagano (and Grigson) are lousy at their jobs; however, Pagano’s coaching did not cause them to lose to Oakland this week. The players are to blame for the lost game, but the coaches are to blame for missing the Playoffs. Make sense?

    I feel the same way with Crean. Nebraska shot LIGHTS OUT. Part of that may be poor D, but I think a majority of it is just (bad) luck on our part. There were a couple where our defender was in perfect position: hands up, hands in face, toes on the 3 line, etc, but they dotted our defender’s eye. I don’t think that we can “blame” either Crean or the perimeter defense for all of what happened.

    I think Crean’s body of work speaks for itself. At the end of a specific game, I may disagree with a couple decisions, but that isn’t the same as “blaming” Crean for the loss. I just think the majority of fans on this site think Crean is at fault for every loss, and they ignore the fact that we are in one of the best 4-5 year runs that we have experienced in 20 years. It also happens to be one of the main reasons why I don’t post here as often any more. I’m tired of arguing with irrational people. You certainly aren’t one of those. Your point is well made.

  • Bankshot

    Oral diarrhea continues. Your comment about whining non stop is not only false, it is childish.The majority on this board had the hoosiers in the final four a couple of weeks ago. Crean will never get I.U. to the final four. I will bet your net worth on that! Fred Glass gave crean the outrageous contract extension that put crean in the the top 5 paid coaches. Crean is at best top twenty. He fired Kevin Wilson who brought the football program from the depths at a basketball school. Wilson is the one who hired Allen. Did you watch the bowl game? I.U.’s offense was in disarray! The reason for Wilson’s forced resignation was a handful of players were WHINING that Wilson was too tough on them. My god it’s football. I am very familiar with all of I.U. sports. The seven soccer championships, Lilly King talking smack at the olympics and backing it up. How about Mark Spitz, one of the greatest swimmers of all time.
    Crean is not beyond reproach! when you have superior talent and get beat who is responsible?!!!!

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    Glad to see so much respect for a fellow fan. Keep calling perfectly valid points and facts diarrhea if you like but you still haven’t addressed counterpoints I have made.

    To your new points: where’s the banner for IU defeating Jordan-led Tar Heels in 1984? Ask Virginia? Duke lost to Lehigh and Mercer in 1st round games. Your point?

    Not sure what stating a curious and old fact about IU basketball says for itself in any way. I take it you didn’t know that.

    I’m going to stop engaging you because you appear to be more interested in arguing and being right that taking a balanced look at what exactly we have in the program we both profess to support. Have a good new year.

  • Bankshot

    You called me out for the 87 team as 1 out of 29 years so I came back with I.U.’s defeat of Jordan. An undermanned team that defeated an NBA legend. That’s the POINT. I know Othello Wilson’s Caviliers beat I.U. What about your ignorant power and light comment. You call that respect! Your more concerned with spelling than CREAN getting beat by an inferior Syracuse team. Crean has won 2 b 10 championships out of 8 years. Crean will never get I.U. to the final four let alone hang a banner. I knew you would quit. Losers always do!

  • Bankshot

    You must have not watched the final four in 87. There was no luck involved whatsoever. I.U. beat two teams that they were huge underdogs to by playing great team basketball. It’s not about me being right, on the contrary. It’s about you being so damn wrong and not knowing it!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Bankshot, Happy New Year to you and your family.Yesterday was really funny! I went through our back and forth comments. Wow! Don’t tick off too many people in Washington, In.!

  • Geoff_85

    My comment is “oral diarrhea” and I’m being childish. Right. Glass hired Allen as HEAD COACH. I wasn’t talking about his role as DC. Wilson forcing players to play injured in this era, with everything we know about concussions and long term injuries, and with how we are politically correct we are as a society and giving everyone “safe spaces” for everything under the sun, of course he had to let Wilson go. Glass and Indiana University would have been raked over the coals by the NCAA, guaranteed. As for the bowl game, the team has been in disarray offensively since Lagow began making AWFUL decisions i.e. the Wake Forest game. He began the season as a serviceable QB, even very good at times, then he threw 5 INTs vs Wake and his decision making went down the drain for the rest of the season. He’s not consistent enough to lead a Big Ten team, but I believe he has the potential.

  • Roderick Goggenheimer

    The problem with this team, is that it a group good athletes coached by Tom Crean. The man cannot coach.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    That game against Louisville was ugly.

  • Larry Brown

    You’re awfully silent there ….. but of course, the Louisville game had absolutely NOTHING to do with coaching, either.