Film Session: Nebraska

  • 12/29/2016 3:38 pm in

Indiana’s defensive performance against Nebraska in its Big Ten opener on Wednesday night left much to be desired.

The Hoosiers couldn’t stop Tai Webster’s dribble penetration at all in the first five minutes, so Tom Crean chose to zone up against the Cornhuskers. It was much quicker than he decided to do against Fort Wayne when Indiana had similar dribble penetration issues.

While the zone helped slow down the Cornhuskers, especially the last five minutes of the first half, they adjusted at halftime and absolutely carved up the Hoosiers at the onset of the second half. Indiana had no third option on defense and it meant Nebraska had its best offensive performance of the season and Indiana had its worst defensive performance (1.21 points per possession).

We’ll take a look at plays from the start of both halfs in the latest edition of Film Session:

Webster gets a ball screen on the right wing:

He makes a move left. Thomas Bryant doesn’t hedge over. Robert Johnson can’t stay with him. Webster has a lot of space in the lane:

OG Anunoby does come over for some help side defense:

But he never gets in front of Webster. Instead he just slides to the side of him. It allows Webster to get the ball to the rim and he scores for two points:

Video:

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  • SCHoosier

    Wow- a high school team could score the defense the Hoosiers offered on those plays.
    Nice execution by NEB..bad execution by IU. The zone hurt NEB for much of the first half but they figured it out at half time. TC talked about getting the hands up..hell these guys were so open..hands weren’t gonna do it!

  • DonaldneedsAsafeSpace

    Tom Crean switches back to man to man and the boys fall apart.

  • BL4IU

    Play 1 – TB is out of position; he should be at least two steps off his man.
    Play 2 – Good team defense would require JBJ to force the player baseline or TB anticipating better and cutting off that driving lane. Have to want to help a teammate that’s being isolated.
    Play 3 – Poor decision by TB. No need to double Jacobson.
    Play 4 – Several players out of position. JBJ should be cheating more towards FT line area. TB should be on post player with OG cheating to wing.
    Play 5 – TB totally out of position. Either front or play behind. Hedging the high side while the ball is in the corner makes absolutely no sense.

  • CreanFaithful

    All good points. I actually think our zone is terrible. I think it has some success at times, simply because we are giving the opponent a different look, but I hated seeing us stick with it. We do not rotate out to the wings well and therefore puts the two guards out top in a no-win scenario… a couple passes and you can easily feed it to the foul line (which allows for multiple ways of breaking the defense) or spot up for an open three. And dead on about TB on #5.

  • cbags05

    Out of position sums it up. And you can pretty much assume that if we are playing a zone, most guys are as such.

  • iugradmark

    Let me say that ITH has been doing a great job of sounding the alarm about our defense all year. Ryan took some heat for calling out the problems but now it is becoming clear that we are a poor defensive team we will shoot better some nights and overcome the defensive misses and horrible turnovers but this team is not going far like this. This is a coaching issue. Too much emphasis on offense no attention to defensive fundamentals. These kids are athletic enough but poorly coached. Bad angles bad help principles and no pride. Yes we will beat some teams but we will be embarrassed as well. We fans are living the definition of insanity watching the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

  • TomJameson

    Ryan only took a little heat because he focused only on JBJ. Even at that point in time it was a team problem. Even now a lot of people still focus most of the blame on James. He deserves his share of the blame, but all year a few others haven’t been showing up either, and that’s been overlooked.

    Don’t even look at James, and you’ll see a lot of kids being blown by, and out of position, or over-helping. JBJ isn’t the problem, he just seems to be the focus.

    Whichever coach took over the defense last year, needs to step up again, because a good defense is the only thing that can save this team right now. And I mean a good team defense, not any single player.

  • JBJ is never going to look good without good team defense to back him up. And this team isn’t going to look good on team defense without OG playing to his own special level — which he hasn’t been doing lately. Last night OG was as lost on defense as anyone, and more so than I ever expected to see from him.

  • IUfanforever

    All I can is this…we are missing some of last years players, however one constant remains the same, JBJ has “NO” interest in playing defense. He sets the tone. CTC has been trying to hide his defense for 2 1/2 years. For the 1/2 a year that Blackman was hurt with really the same players minus Yogi and Troy we was a much better defensive team when JBJ got hurt. We are more athletic this year and we are horrible as a team. JBJ as many sports analysts have mentioned ” absolutely has No Interest in playing defense”! The only thing CTC could do and that would be bench JBJ and that would be demoralizing to the team. What CTC has to do is figure out ways to hide his defense and stress more position defense and “yes” this would include playing more zone when he JBJ is in the game. When JBJ is out and you can play OG, TB, RJ, JM, JN, CJ and DD then switch to man. When you have a Junior guard like JBJ who is a scoring threat every time he has the ball but doesn’t want to play defense it sets a negative mindset on how to give effort on the defensive end of the court. The same thing happened last year even with YOGI on the court with JBJ…but when JBJ went down then YOGI took over and put his stamp on the defensive end and the rest of the players followed his lead. Please know I still love JBJ he is a Hoosier.. but he is not going to help lead or be led to play defense. I am just praying that CTC and his staff can implement enough junk defenses and play the right players together to hide this problem. There is enough talent to do this and with a team effort we could still win a lot of games. One last point JBJ is not a leader never has been.

  • TomJameson

    I would like you to cite your source “many sports writers …. no interest in playing defense”. I would settle for 3, in lieu of “many”. No, no, no, no …. don’t just throw 3 names out there, tell us all who said that and when.

  • BL4IU

    Completely disagree with that assessment. Can’t imagine a fan watching this year that hasn’t been impressed with JBJ’s effort on defense. Has he gotten beat? Sure. Has he gotten caught out of position? Sure. Does any player win all defensive plays? No. Do we have other players that do their best work on the offensive end? You bet. Suggest you watch some film and focus on others. For example, TB is easily as big a liability defensively as JBJ. Is TB trying? Yes. Is he blessed with the athletic gifts you typically see with a great defender? No. Can he get better? Hell Yes.

    This team has the overall length and athleticism to be great defensively but only if the Coach and players choose to make defense the priority. Moreover, it’s not a quick fix because it’s not just about individual effort. It’s about playing intelligently as a team. For example, I’ve seen a player give effort by closing out quickly and getting in an opponents grill. Unfortunately the effort was wasted because they closed out too strong and the opponent went right by them. Compounding the matter, the bigs didn’t anticipate the play and offered no help at the rim.

    Just like good offense, good D requires a team playing as one; not as individuals. JBJ is not the issue. If I were to guess, I’d bet the issue is not enough practice time allocated to defense.

  • pcantidote

    Saying “JBJ has no interest in playing defense” is just lazy parroting of a narrative that has been out there for years. People who say this don’t watch the intricacies of the game, they just watch the TV.

  • pcantidote

    In other news, our loss to a supposedly good Butler team just took a hit last night.

  • sarge

    Maybe you watched the film session but didn’t really see what was being pointed out to you. It is not JBJ, it is the entire team. It is bad TEAM defense. Not guarding the pick and roll well is a result of bad TEAM defense. The basics are two guys playing defense, but the other three defenders should know where the ball is at all times. When we are in a zone, each man plays their spots on the floor. Constantly leaving areas of the floor open when the ball rotates around the perimeter is bad TEAM defense. They didn’t score 87 points on only JBJ, he wasn’t even singled out. Did you watch the 5 examples? It is the same problems we have every year, since before JBJ even played at IU. It is bad team defense and fundamentals. Bad spacing, bad rotation, bad communication and a lack of effort. We might as well go under every screen in pick and roll because otherwise it is a layup. Dribble penetration and turnovers are a problem with IU every year. Every year. Stop trying to blame one player for an entire team playing poorly. If anything, blame CTC or the coaching staff, because these have been constants under their leadership. I can understand that frustration, but James isn’t the problem and he isn’t the only Hoosier who was beat on the defensive side of things. I asked Santa for defense and less turnovers, hopefully he delivers before March.

  • It struck me just now that we were playing better while CTC was saying that large chunks of our offense hadn’t been inserted yet because of the late starts for some players due to injury and late arrivals. I wonder if the regression is because things got more complicated–maybe too complicated too quickly as CTC tried to get caught up.

    One of CTC’s complaints on offense is failing to make the simple play. That could be the result of kids trying to do too much. Maybe he needs to simplify the offense just as he simplified the defense last season to great effect. Then if the offense is simplified, maybe the defense could get more attention in practice.

    Just a random thought for a Friday morning.

  • Tracy

    I’m not watching the IU/Louisville game tomorrow because I already know what’s going to happen: IU will run the high pick and roll every time down the floor. No, take that back. They MIGHT run the three man weave about eight feet behind the three-point line. They’ll drive and pass, and take nearly 25 3-point shots, hitting 30 percent of them. They’ll start out in man defense, then once they get exploited because they don’t guard anyone or take pride in playing team (help side) defense, Crean will make them stand around like aimless jokers in a 2-3 zone. After they give up 4 three pointers in a row because they don’t step out and contest shots, or force opponents to the baseline, Crean will make them go man to man again. Then it really gets ugly when Blackmon gets worked off the dribble and plays his magical bullfighter ole defense. Thomas Bryant will then try to take over the game by dribbling down the court on a fast break. He’ll stumble and lateral the ball to OG for a three pointer that misses the rim and clanks off the backboard. OG will land awkwardly and be out for 4-6 weeks with a severe ankle sprain, all because he came back to soon. Throughout the game, Newkirk will take several Reggie Miller floaters and hit one of them. Earth to Newkirk, you are NOT Reggie Miller. The only hope is that Tim Priller gets a bucket in garbage time. Moral of this prediction: Indiana does not take pride in playing team defense, nor do they run an offense. The only pick that ever happens now is the high ball screen. Lastly, Indiana does not play physical, which goes back to setting screens off the ball. Indiana should drive up the road to Hinkle and watch a tough, physical team practice.

  • Tracy

    On the road at St. Johns. Road games are hard to win anywhere. Now, losing a big ten opener at home to Nebraska is another story.

  • weitrhino

    Damn.

  • weitrhino

    Those were 5 egregiously bad examples of defense. You can bet Pitino and company are wringing their hands in anticipation of all the ways they intend to exploit the cavernous holes in IU’s defense. First they’ll shove the ball into the paint over and over while TB is busy looking the other way then they’ll start raining in the threes. OG will try a few blocks from behind with limited success. With team defense like that all I can say to the professional hopefuls is ‘welcome to the D-league.’

  • Jeff Linback

    What offense? 3 man weave of death is getting old.