The Minute After: Louisville

  • 12/31/2016 3:50 pm in

Thoughts on a 77-62 loss to the Cardinals:

This game goes down in the books as a loss. There was plenty of alarmingly bad play for the Hoosiers — particularly in the first half.

Still, the feeling after this one is much different than Wednesday’s loss to Nebraska. Despite it being a home game against a conference opponent, Indiana came out flat and didn’t play with proper intensity, focus or effort against the Cornhuskers. That simply wasn’t the case this afternoon. Despite a woeful job taking care of the ball (30.7 TO%) and a lackluster shooting performance (29.3 eFG%) in the first half, Indiana made up for it in the hustle categories. The Hoosiers were a terror on the offensive boards, rebounding 45.5 percent of their misses to come up with 13 second-chance points. Indiana also found its way to the line a good clip (41.4 free throw rate) and it converted at a high rate there (10-of-12).

But the early poor shooting and carelessness with the ball — some no doubt inflicted by Louisville’s elite defense — was just too much to overcome for Indiana, despite a much better second half. The Hoosiers turned it over just three times over the final 20 minutes of the contest and shot it better (41.6 eFG%). Robert Johnson had a rough shooting performance from the field (1-of-13), but his aggressiveness on the drive in the second half helped Indiana’s offense to a more efficient performance. He also got himself to the line and converted (7-of-9). Josh Newkirk added in some late buckets at the basket off the drive (3-of-4, six points). OG Anunoby threw down a ridiculous posterizing dunk on Anas Mahmoud. The Hoosiers were able to make a game of it midway through the second half and trailed by just six with 12:20 to go, but it was as close as they’d get the rest of the way, as a career performance by Donovan Mitchell (25 points) helped keep the Hoosiers at bay.

Louisville outscored the Hoosiers by just three points in the second half.

Indiana’s 3-point shooting at Bankers Life Fieldhouse was rough this season. In its two games in Indianapolis in the non-conference, the Hoosiers shot just 10-of-42 from distance (23.8 percent). This afternoon Indiana made just 4-of-21 (19 percent). Louisville’s length and size contributed to the poor performance in some ways, but Indiana also missed a host of wide open 3-pointers in both halves. Had Indiana made just a handful more, this game would have been more a fight to the finish. But Indiana simply isn’t good enough in the rest of its offensive and defensive profile to shoot just 19 percent from distance against an elite team and expect to win the contest. 3-point shooting is too big a part of what the Hoosiers do.

Back-to-back losses is disappointing, but the reality is Louisville (KenPom No. 9) is a better team than Indiana with the best defense in the country. When you dig yourself a hole against a team like this, a loss is often going to be your reality.

The silver lining in this one? If the Hoosiers are able to give this kind of effort instead of the kind they gave against Nebraska, they’ll give themselves a better chance against Wisconsin at home on Tuesday night and for their Big Ten schedule going forward.

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  • IUMIKE1

    Well we all know that when you buy the multi-pack, inevitably you get it home and one of them never even lights up…..does this remind us of anyone ? Hmmm

  • pcantidote

    I think we agree on most points here. I just think there is a difference between effort (which in my mind leads to the rebounds) and being soft, which I gave several examples of. To me softness is more of intangible attribute, and there is no doubt in my mind that some teams are softer than others. I think Butler, Wisconsin and others play with a tenacity that our finesse style and soft mindset really struggle with. Of course those teams are more disciplined and fundamental than we are too.

  • Chappy Dan

    That says more about RMK than it does about the NBA.

  • Chappy Dan

    Offensively, I’d like to see more set plays. Louisville ran double screens to get shooters open. Surely we can do the same for JBJ and RJ.

  • Piker

    CTC bashers fire Turgeon fire Painter?

  • Piker

    Very good observation, made me watch the NC game again. And if we could trade those blocks with bad TOS I believe we would have a much better chance of wining.

  • I was just going to say, I didn’t watch the game. Sounded to me like they gave up. Hopefully, coming back to win a meaningless game doesn’t convince Irsay to avoid making the hard decisions.

  • True enough. And I just checked in and see that Minnesota beat Purdue. Looks like the B1G is going to be a bloodbath this season.

  • Got a bit less painful, maybe. Not “better,” because it’s a lost opportunity.

  • Missing Moye

    You have to go back a few years, but the 1-3-1 they ran with Oladipo at the top was mostly effective. You would think OG could be good in that spot getting steals and disrupting as well.

    Your point stands though, that if they haven’t mastered what they are playing now, they probably don’t have the time or ability to learn something new.

  • BeatDuke

    Thanks for taking a second look at the UNC game. Sounds like my memory if driving a ton was right. Anything else we did against UNC jump out as something we have gone away from?

  • Bk39

    ZM +2, DD -3, verses Newkirk -16, TB minus 15, JM minus 14, ZM is effective in short spurts had he played more min his Plus minus would have gone negative most likely.

  • Larry Brown

    all true, but even with Troy, remember how well he played late in the season, in fact he was a big reason for their surge. Fact is, they had some really good players last year, so it’s debatable as to how much was coaching and how much talent … but on-court LEADERSHIP was a huge part too and we just don’t have that this year. CH being in street clothes didn’t help at all

  • Larry Brown

    You’ve got several heralded scholarship freshmen who can hit shots, drive the ball, and even play intense defense. Instead a walk-on who is not able to do those offensive things is getting those minutes, and you think that’s nit-picking? IDK, I see the other teams picking on that player! I see the other teams sagging off him / helping off of him , which does not help us at all when guys are having trouble finding the rim already. And why not give the schollie kids a chance to develop? I mean, CuJo basically saves the game vs KU, then his mins dwindle going forward?

  • Larry Brown

    that’s it: short spurts. That makes sense to me. But for longer periods, I don’t get it

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    The Colts are much better than the Bears.

  • stillstoned2016

    So the ball didn’t go in the hole. It happens. Next game should be much better. The weasels from up north better watch out Tuesday.

  • 3AM Burrito

    I think there is something to the multi guard affecting D, but while JBJ not a great (or even good) defender b
    he has become a tremendous rebounder which helps level it out. I think the bigs have been just as bad on D. OG nowhere near level last year, Bryant repeatedly abused on PnR. Morgan plays hard but too slow to guard perimeter, too small to guard post. Deron tremendous fundamentals, not great athleticism. They really miss Hartman, could guard a lot of positions, extremely smart defender.
    IMO best lineup balance of O and D is Rojo, JBJ, OG, Morgan, Bryant. Swap Davis for Morgan or Bryant depending on matchup/hot hand. Jones and Green should get more minutes, Newkirk less. McSwain should get some more looks over McRoberts.

  • 3AM Burrito

    I like JBJ, what was startling was just how slow he looked compared to Louisville guards. He seemed to have to exert all his energy just to make a wing pass. He thought he had openings but just closed and he flailed some wild shots due to pressure. I do like how hard he plays this year, his rebounding and hustle is great. But I think he really needs to shore up his ball handling in a major way to get a crack at NBA.

  • Bk39

    Look what happened to JM, 29-24, 4 min to the half, drive and layup against JM, 31-24, 3pt over JM 34-24, 3pt over JM 37-24. Half ended 39-27. Butler did the same to JM. I could understand CTC looking for someone on the bench to play solid D at the wing.

  • cbags05

    You don’t have invalid points. Clearly what CTC is doing is not working on many fronts. I just think this particular issue is very difficult to measure how detrimental it really is. We also have no clue about behind the scenes stuff…maybe cujo and dg are in the dog house…maybe mcbobs is more coachable…too much we don’t understand about team dynamics.

  • Arch Puddington

    Not to quibble, but when you say “he is just able to teach defense at a high level”, I assume you forgot the word “not.” That’s how the rest of your thought reads, and I agree. Nine years and a whole bunch of high level players is an adequate sample size to reach a fair conclusion. His teams don’t defend well year after year, and the problems are always the same.

  • Arch Puddington

    I always value what you say, Kenny. You have as much decency as anyone who posts here, so I pay attention when you stand up for something. To me, though, the problems we see on the court are the same year after year, which means they are not about the players. I think our players play as they are taught, and when one team after another does the same things, that tells me they are being taught to play that way.

    So as much as I respect your opinion, I just can’t agree with the word soft. As I see it, our problems are about coaching, not toughness.

  • Bill Graham

    There’s been a ton of “Fire Tom Crean!” banter going around…and personally I think its disgusting. Look I hate that we jack up three after three and lose games shooting 19% from the arc (Stan transferred awhile ago we should be past those numbers)…I also despise how we play faster than a drag race…and I hate that we don’t get enough post touches…I even hate that CTC leaves guys in after they create more turnovers than Arbys during lunch hours….But here’s my larger point.

    We fired a fantastic hall of fame coach 16 years ago because we overreacted on a few major incidents. We fired a football coach that led us to back to back bowl games because we overreacted on a few major incidents.

    I realize that we have given CTC plenty of time…but do we really want to oust the 2016 BIG 10 coach of the year over a few bad losses???(by the way Purdue just lost to Iowa tonight…and Maryland lost to Nebraska…)

    My larger point is: If we oust CTC like that then we become THAT school. The one that is so prestigious that it actually works against them. If I was a prestigious coach…no way in heck would I want to go to a school that just overreacts and cans you. It took Jim Boeheim 10 years to make it past the sweet 16 at Syracuse (you
    think Cuse fans wish he would have been fired now???)

    Everyone needs to take a step back breathe and remember that the BIG 10 champion usually loses AT LEAST 3 conference games. This won’t be the last loss of the season and it won’t be our last pitiful showing (regardless of who our coach is)…If my wife, family, or employer raised pitchforks as quickly as some of you guys do I’d be a homeless wash up in Lexington, Kentucky (and no one wants to live in that god forsaken place)….We’re Hoosiers. We’re better than this unpatriotic slander. Put the pitchforks down, put your candy stripes back on, grab a brew, and lets get rowdy for the next game.

  • Purdue lost to Minnesota at home. They beat Iowa. Just FYI.

    Agree with you generally about the tenor of such posts. But I’m one arguing with them.

  • Yeah, but that’s damning with faint praise. 🙂

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    They don’t have the same problems as the Bears. I’m a season ticket holder on the Cadillac side. Mark, I am paying $250 a ticket. Stupid me. The Colts are loaded with talent. Not here though.

  • I hear you. But if the Colts have all that talent, and play in the AFC South, then they should never miss the playoffs. Their performance this year was pathetic at times, and in many ways it comes down to how the GM put the team together and then how the coach conducted the games. I’d love to see Irsay clean house and bring in Payton Manning as GM and a more effective coach. We’ll find out if he’s going to do anything like that tomorrow, most likely.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Can you imagine how nervous the AD of tenessee must be right now. Payton could walk in and clean house.

  • Yep.

  • Mike Twain

    Maybe. I’m just saying it wouldn’t have been a trick they didn’t know.

    Off the ball D is usually bad. It was better vs Cards. Not great but better.

  • Mike Twain

    Exactly. Louisville lost to Virginia at home and Virginia turned around and lost at home to FSU.

    It’s the beauty of college basketball.

    If Cream gets run out no one would want to come coach here.

  • Ole Man

    Wow! You posted something that runs through my mind almost every game.

  • Koko

    Yes I see a shake up in the B1G this season. Four or five losses might win it all……I hate to say this but look out for Izzo….he may just sneak his way into a B1G championship if IU, Purdue, Wisky and Michigan don’t hold court.

  • Ole Man

    Actually, Cody has grown significantly as a player since he became a pro. Not the same at all. He is much more physical, plays perhaps better D, and is offensively much more polished.
    Again, there is no point, however. Cody as a pro is immaterial to his time at IU.

    If CTC wants to play TB as a stretch four, then coach him as a stretch four, i.e. teach him a mid-range jumper.
    TB isn’t failing IU this year.
    Our “ahem” fans are looking for a scape goat and just as last year with Troy they’re dumping their frustrations.

  • Ole Man

    Unfortunately, I think PUke and Wisc do hold court. Much easier schedules than ours.

  • Piker

    Defense was much better. NC looked like us against Louisville at times scratching theirs heads on what to do. Held NC to 67 points. The players just seemed more agressive on both ends of the floor. Then if you watch the FW and Butler games the defense was porous. Maybe it’s the age of these kids. The team is your and the older guys have missed alot of time due to injuries. Youngsters tend to have more ups and downs and mistakes. We have to hope the ups rule as time goes on.

  • Piker

    I meant young not your above. I will blame the spell checker

  • Koko

    They probably will but Purdue didn’t show well yesterday. A Wisky loss tomorrow will make things pretty even. Will be fun to watch it all play out especially if Neb and Minny continue to flex their muscles….and then there is Northwestern.

  • IUMIKE1

    Not, should absolutely have been in there. I complain when I feel like Crean is making excuses, so I won’t use the fact that my German Shepherd was barking in my ear, demanding that I take her out and throw the Frisbee for her, as an excuse for not proof reading better. No sir, I won’t use that as an excuse, that big dog barking in my ear is not an excuse. lol

    I think one of the other areas of coaching where he could use some help at is working with the big guys, in all aspects of big play, and making our perimeter players better at getting our bigs the ball and at the most advantageous time, not after that have had their man sealed for several seconds and said defender has has time to recover defensively. While TB is a good player he still struggles to show good footwork when trying to establish post position, and when he does finally get the entry pass from the perimeter, that drawback more than once or twice a game rears it’s ugly head and a very off balance shot is put up by him. It seems to me that DD appears to be able to establish post position better than TB and while he has spent a whole lot of practice time in the gym with his current coaches, I have to believe he is better simply because his fundamentals and former coaching made him that way. If he can come onto the scene and be noticeably better at that, than the guy that was projected as a high draft choice LAST year than I think that tells us something about our coaching in that area. Hard to believe that Crean can’t see this himself, or that he can see it, but refuses to address it in a way that would resolve it, at least somewhat.

  • 3AM Burrito

    Yeah I agree, Louisville over time would have adjusted and not been rattled by it, they had a couple of guys feeling it on their jumpshots so might have got torched in 2-3. I just thought it would be a different look for them to attack and maybe produced 3 or 4 stops and disrupted their rhythm. I do agree off ball D was better, Louisville did make some tough shots.

  • Jeremy Somers

    Excuse after excuse what is it with you. The 3 out would not have made a difference. North Carolina is a better coached and thats why they won.

  • Jeremy Somers

    If you think you know so much. Why don’t you join your buddy Crean on the bench and help with the team.