The Minute After: Rutgers

  • 01/15/2017 3:06 pm in

Thoughts on a 76-57 win over Rutgers:

Indiana’s defense has been a large factor in it failing to live up to expectations so far this Big Ten season. But in its win this afternoon against Rutgers, it was a strength.

Did Indiana start poorly on the defensive end? Yes. It helped Rutgers bust out to a nine-point lead at the 14:26 mark (15-6). But once the Hoosiers settled in — and particularly when they started turning Rutgers over — the lead for the Scarlet Knights was erased, never to return. Indiana played the passing lanes well and racked up a season-high 14 steals leading to a number of easy looks on the fast break. OG Anunoby had seven of those 14, the most from an Indiana players since Michael Lewis in 1999.

At half, Indiana had outscored Rutgers 17-3 in the points off turnovers department. By game’s end, that ballooned to 33-10, as Indiana continued to steal the ball, even when Rutgers wised up and tried going back door on IU. The Scarlet Knights turned the ball over on 28.2 percent of their possessions, the worst turnover percentage for an Indiana opponent this season. Conversely, the Hoosiers turned it over on just 14.8 of their possessions — a season-best. Rutgers also shot just 12-of-26 from the line.

Juwan Morgan played a particularly inspired stretch of rim-protecting defense to start the second half before going out with an apparent foot injury at the 14:50 mark. Add it all up and Rutgers scored just .77 points per possession, below their season average of .82.

Indiana’s defense helped make up for a game in which its offense floundered at times. The Hoosiers shot just 4-of-22 from distance. James Blackmon Jr. missed all eight of his 3-point attempts. Curtis Jones (2-of-2) and Robert Johnson (2-of-5) were the only two Hoosiers to connect from beyond the arc this afternoon. Indiana’s offensive rebounding, about the only consistent strength of this team game in and game out, wasn’t there today. The Hoosiers rebounded just 17.6 percent of their misses against Rutgers, a season low, which meant just four second-chance points.

Devonte Green’s 15 minutes were the most he’s played in a Big Ten game so far this season, and some were wondering why he didn’t get more run in the second half after some good minutes in the first. Tom Crean appears to be cultivating a growing trust for his freshman — who just might be the most skilled pure passer on the roster — but the end of the game may have evaporated some of that good will. Green tossed up an alley-oop to Freddie McSwain on the last possession of the game, a pass which McSwain mishandled as time expired. Crean stormed out onto the court and screamed at Green after going for the highlight reel play with the game already in hand.

Beyond his seven steals, Anunoby played a nice balanced game, adding 11 points (4-of-8) and three rebounds. Josh McRoberts hit two mid-range jumpers with no hesitation on his way to a four-point outing. Thomas Bryant was just 3-of-9 from the floor and continues to struggle 1-on-1 in the post.

The Hoosiers now head on the road for three of their next four games, and depending on how things shake out, it could be a season-defining stretch.

Filed to:

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    I have no faith in this team or this coach.
    I see them going 3-10 the rest of the way.
    I would say ‘I hope I’m wrong’, but I’m not certain it matters anymore, I’m just numb to it now.
    I have no feelings other than frustration about the win today, we walked on a doormat, so has every other B1G team that played them at home, so did the mailman, the paperboy, and the pastor.
    Perhaps I will feel differently next year!

  • JustInSports

    So he will yell and scream because Rutgers quit and Green threw an oop… but if you turn it over, don’t hustle,play crappy defense… he just claps and pats you on the back…

  • ForeverIU

    There was a game today? LOL, why didn’t anyone wake me up!

  • everettdean

    That moment was the most worked up I’ve seen CTC all year which is quite telling…I don’t necessarily have an issue with it but it seems misplaced to me…of all the things he needs to be worried about Green’s sportsmanship would seem way down the list

  • JustInSports

    Greens sportsmanship is perfect. Rutgers should probably worry about theirs.

  • everettdean

    That was my point although I guess that was not completely clear…Have seen nothing out of Green this year that says this is an issue and now that’s the story of the day…how about careless unforced turnover, take a seat

  • dwdkc

    Look at the bright side. The two biggest problems we’ve had were D and turnovers. Both were much much better today. We couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean from 3 but still won easily, because the D was intense and stayed intense. Definitely something to build on.

  • eville87

    It’s Rutgers were supposed to win. I will take it. You can see some of the players aren’t listening to Crean. This team needs to go on run of a few wins to make the tourney

  • Ian Karanovic

    I wish Josh McRoberts was on this team, but Zach hit some good shots this afternoon

  • SCHoosier

    Hoosiers keep having starts like they’ve had recently..you may be correct. Let’s hope for better at PSU..some very talented youngsters up there.

  • SCHoosier

    I think DG just was in the excitement of the moment and forgot he was suppose to hold the ball. TC may be feeling a little heat from non- performance on the court. He chewed Bryant previous game…for fumbling a rebound…gave JN the look of death when Josh threw the ball out of bounds to nobody (deserved). About time he’s getting on some butts..team needs to be awaken every tip off apparently.

  • JustInSports

    Why is he “supposed” to hold the ball in that situation?

  • bojak

    Great observation.

  • bojak

    CTC should worry about teaching his kids on how to play defense rather than get angered about taking a shot late in the game on a blowout win. Let the subs get some shots and have some fun. This coach disgusts me.

  • Piker

    Uhm didn’t they play well against Iowa? Lost by 6. Iowa beat Purdue by 5. Alot of the sports guys think Rutgers is a decent team and even some on here posted that Rutger players would have career night against IU. Should give some credit when it’s due.

  • Ole Man

    I think it was bush league to chew the kid like that in front of everyone. Save it for the locker room.

  • Piker

    Yes. Just ask coach Knight.

  • Let’s not get ridiculous about this. There _is_ such a thing as basic sportsmanship–no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater because some people take it to the opposite extreme. And don’t feel the need debate me on the whole “competition is bad” movement because I’d be on your side there.

  • kaponya44

    Crean’s every muscle twitch is being highly scrutinized every public moment .Imagine the uproar over Crean appearing to fail to speak up soon enough in a matter of player sportsmanship..We’re talking about Devonte Green who isn’t going to go cry in a corner anytime soon..I didn’t expect you to sound so sensitive..

  • JustInSports

    How is it bad sportsmanship just because the other team doesn’t want to play? I never see a problem with pushing a lead. Play til the fat lady sings. If you’re up 20 get up 30. Up 40 get up 50.

  • Yes, typo aside, I was really glad to see him take those open shots. Instantly makes him a more effective player to go along with his defense and overall hustel.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I gave you a good write up and and motivation to watch. You ignored again?

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    I will give them credit for being the worst offensive team in the league.
    I will also give them credit for being better than they were last year.
    But I will not think highly of IU or Crean for beating them at home.

  • Brad

    I’m happy to see Crean finally getting on a player for attempting a boneheaded play. However, I feel like Green is getting singled out for Crean’s frustration. Of all the people that should have been chewed out for making a dumb play over the past couple years, it’s Green? Not Blackmon for refusing time and again to play defense, or Bryant dribbling down the floor like he’s Yogi or falling down seemingly every time he drives to the basket. It really just came across as being out of touch with the real issues of this team. If Crean wants to now after 9 years start delivering some butt chewings, he should at least be consistent and treat each player the same. It looks bad when the “stars” always get a pass, but the young guys who aren’t considered pro prospects get hammered.

  • Jeff Bryant

    We are one dimensional this year as we are every year. If a team comes in running and gunning, we have a chance to win, provided our threes fall. If we have to play half court ball, facing a set defense while we ourselves need a motion offense, stick a fork in us, we’re done