At the Buzzer: Northwestern 68, Indiana 55

  • 01/29/2017 8:38 pm in

EVANSTON, Ill. – Quick thoughts on a 68-55 loss to Northwestern:

How it happened: It was a promising start for Indiana on Sunday evening at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Hoosiers raced out to a strong start and after a Robert Johnson 3-pointer, led 10-1 with 15:32 remaining in the first half. The Wildcat faithful were quiet. But the lead didn’t last for long. Northwestern came racing back and by the 7:49 mark of the first half, led 21-12. That was the end of the Hoosiers, who never got closer than six the rest of the way. Without James Blackmon Jr., the offense struggled mightily. Indiana actually held Northwestern to a respectable 1.08 points per possession, but it didn’t matter. Indiana had nothing going offensively (32 percent shooting from the field) and couldn’t hold onto the ball (turnover percentage of 20.7). The loss, Indiana’s second straight, dropped the Hoosiers to 4-5 in the Big Ten with Penn State coming to Bloomington on Wednesday.

Standout performance: Thomas Bryant was the only Indiana player to score in double figures. He tied a career-high with 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in 36 minutes.

Statistic that stands out: Indiana scored just .88 points per possession, its worst offensive efficiency mark of the season. Their two previous lows were .93 against Fort Wayne and .94 against Louisville.

Final individual stats:

Final tempo-free stats:

(Photo credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

Filed to:

  • pcantidote

    Logic is not your strong suit is it?

  • PreKnight

    I think one reason that we don’t get the top players in Indiana is other coaches use the fact that Hoosier Nation wants CTC fired. After a win, things are always quiet as far as firing Crean. But lose one game and they are back. I guess if we fire Crean, we could always hire Calipari. He always gets the players he wants. Isn’t that what everyone wants?

  • PreKnight

    That is what is known as a “fair weather fan”. You should never bail on these student/athletes who play hard for the Hoosier Nation. As you can tell by my “name”, I have been a fan for over 50 years (class of 1967).

  • PreKnight

    Especially the type of injuries we have been plagued with. I don’t know how you condition knees. And from what I read,JBJ has had problems since when he was younger.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Do you ever get tired of talking out your ________?

  • Mike Twain

    we could always hire Calipari? in what world do you live in where he would ever leave or UK ever give him up?

    we missed the boat on him and Pitino.

  • Mike Twain

    you mean biddy ball not minor leagues…that was embarrassing.

  • Mike Twain

    not just a raving success, we hang up banners for a sweet 16!

  • The Hound

    Where?

  • bandyindy

    Yes, there were definite issues long before the injuries, remember we were ranked #3 in the country and heading South from there long before any injuries took place. It seems the longer players are coached under Crean’s system the worse they become!

  • IUHockey82

    Indiana has good players with the ability to play decent B10 basketball. The issue at this point of the season, without a doubt, is both offensive and defensive, aside from the injuries. Every team we have played from IPFW to now has scouted the IU system and has figured out that the offense is basically a high screen with a roll or pop, dribble-dribble-dribble-shoot, drive and kick, the occasional feed inside with a shot or kick-out, or shooting the first open three-pointer(reminiscent of the Mike Davis era). Ball movement through passing is becoming a rarity. Defensively, IU looks totally lost. They do not switch very often on screens and when they do, more often than not, both defenders go with the ball and leave the screener open. Please IU, make it simple and do automatic switching on screens to avoid confusion and easy buckets since communication on screens must be non-existent referring to the embarrassing “Call Out Screens” sign! No discussion needed concerning the sign! NW did a lot of automatic switching on screens and it stopped IU’s penetration and even drew an offensive foul on one possession. The over-help defense has been an issue for IU the last few season and CTC always addresses it in press conferences but must not be addressing it in practice, Turnovers have been an issue during every season under CTC and last night, at one point late in the first half, 31% of IU’s possessions were turnovers, 7 consecutive possessions were TO’s. If you can’t protect the ball and you continue to miss free-throws the game results will continue to be dismal at best. Not all players can score the ball, but all players, if coached properly and move their feet, can play tough defense as noted with several of our opponents, Butler, NW, PSU, IPFW, WIS, Mich, etc… I know we won against PSU, but they made it tough and thanks to JBJ’s outstanding shooting ability, IU pulled it out. But the point is, defensive toughness lies in the lap of the coaching staff, especially communication and direction in the defensive end of the court. It’s past mid-season now and we still have major issues with defensive communication!? The players are trying hard on defense, but it doesn’t look like defense is a high priority during preseason or practice in the CTC era. IU’s system is offense, offense, offense, hoping mediocre defensive pressure will cause the other team to miss a couple of shots here and there. That’s all good if IU’s shooting is around 50%, but when IU is 32.1% from the field and .88 PPP vs. NW’s 1.08 PPP, defense has to be a priority to make up for the lack of offense, and this wasn’t a very good game for NW either. It all boils down to the fact that other teams have figured out the current IU system and scout us out accordingly to the point that we are almost paralyzed on the court with the coaching staff having no answers or adjustments to combat our opponents. I love the players, I love their effort, I love my school, but the direction of this team is not leading to improvement. I feel for the players because I think they are getting the short end of the stick and their development from the offensive and defensive standpoint isn’t as multi-dimensional as it can be. We can always take relief in the fact that CTC always tells us in his press conferences that we didn’t adjust quick enough, we didn’t have the right people on the court, we didn’t switch defense soon enough, we didn’t hit enough shots, we over-helped too much, we left too many points at the free-throw line, we didn’t talk enough, we didn’t fight through the screens, but we can fix this and fix that, and without question, we can get better. Well, the same thing has been said over and over again and the getting better part of the conversation seems to be slipping away faster than ever now.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    This counts as a Sweet 16, right?

  • PreKnight

    It is about time for him to get in trouble with the NCAA again. So he can move on to another school and leave pUKe with the sanctions. And you would really be good in hiring another Sampson? And I want players who are more committed to IU rather than being a one and done that doesn’t really care about the university. I guess I am “old school”.

  • Koko

    Fire Glass and whoever Glass’s boss is. Glass gone….Crean gone.

  • IU_theoracle

    It’s past time for IU to move on from the Tom Crean era. I realize the team is depleted from injuries, but the fact he refuses to adapt to the players and team he has is the biggest issue. We have good post players and basically no shooters now yet we are taking 21 three pointers and shooting 32% from the field while still pushing the issue of playing “downhill” and in transition. Northwestern is better in transition that we are right now and that is really why we lost.

  • Ohio Hoosier

    I remember 1967, Bill DeHeer, Butch Joyner, Jack Johnson, etc..
    Heck I remember watching the Van Arsdale twins and Jon McGlocklin.
    Man I’m getting old.

  • PreKnight

    You and I have similar memories (I wish I could remember what I did yesterday). I live in the Phoenix area where the Van Arsdale twins have lived since they retired from pro basketball. Watching them in 1965 (I think) was really great.

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    and tied his career high in points–which is hard to do the way this team chooses to utilize him…

  • Ohio Hoosier

    We moved to Columbus Ohio when I was 6 years old. Went to college at Ohio State but always remained an IU basketball
    fan. Saw a lot of great OSU / IU games during the early Knight
    years. Got to see big George and Steve Downing play against OSU. Sure miss that era of college basketball.

  • PreKnight

    Amen to that!