What to Expect: Mount St. Mary’s

121812auFollowing Saturday’s 88-86 overtime loss to Butler in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the No. 6 Hoosiers will get a chance to get back in the win column on Wednesday night as Mount St. Mary’s visits Assembly Hall. The Mountaineers (4-4) are coming off a 79-57 loss at Loyola (MD).

The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

Comparisons in style of play between Virginia Commonwealth and Mount St. Mary’s have been tossed around this week by Tom Crean on his weekly radio show and Kenny Johnson, who previewed the Mountaineers earlier today with the media.

Those comparisons likely stem from the fact that Mount St. Mary’s is led by Jamion Christian, who spent last year as an assistant under Shaka Smart and landed the head job at his alma mater at age 29 last spring.

Christian inherited an 8-21 team that is experiencing some growing pains, including four losses by an average of 20.3 points.


The Mountaineers have three players averaging in double figures — guard Rashad Whack (11.5 ppg), guard Julian Norfleet (10.5) and guard Sam Prescott (10.2). Whack and Norfleet have started all eight games in the backcourt with Prescott coming off the bench.

The style of play Christian has deployed is heavily reliant on 3-point shooting and the Mountaineers have the highest point distribution from behind the arc in the country.

Prescott has been the most effective 3-point shooter on the roster (43.1 percent on 51 attempts) with Whack not far behind at 40 percent on 55 attempts. Norfleet is also putting up 3’s at an alarming rate with 48 attempts thus far. His success, however, has been moderate at just 29.2 percent.

Given Mount St. Mary’s relentless pursuit to force turnovers, both Norfleet and Whack rank highly in steal percentage by KenPom.com. Whack is 23rd nationally at 5.7 percent while Norfleet checks-in at 162nd nationally at 3.9 percent.


HD Video: Kenny Johnson, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Victor Oladipo preview Mount St. Mary’s

Assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kenny Johnson, freshman Hanner Mosquera-Perea and junior Victor Oladipo met with the media on Tuesday to preview Wednesday’s game with Mount St. Mary’s at Assembly Hall.

Watch and listen to the press conferences in the embedded media players below:


Podcast on the Brink: Examining Butler’s upset of IU

podcast2Indiana is No. 1 no more as the Hoosiers fell victim to Butler on Saturday in overtime at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

To break down Butler’s stunner, Rick Bozich of WDRB.com joins hosts Matt Dollinger and Greg Rosenstein on this week’s Podcast on the Brink. Bozich shares his insights on what went wrong for the Hoosiers and how this loss could ultimately benefit the team going forward.

Among the topics discussed this week:

· Butler’s game-winner and Cody Zeller’s absence on the floor
· Whether or not Brad Stevens out coached Tom Crean
· Indiana’s lack of rebounding, especially on the offensive end
· The role of missed free throws in Indiana’s first defeat
· The difficulty of the Hoosiers’ non-conference schedule
· Tweets from IU fans on why the team lost on Saturday

So tune in and enjoy. As always, feel free to drop us a note at podcastonthebrink@gmail.com.

Listen in the embedded media player below, download the episode, subscribe via iTunes or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Film Session: Butler’s post-halftime scoring

Butler exposed Indiana’s defense at times in its 88-86 overtime win against the Hoosiers. This was especially apparent after halftime, as the Bulldogs pumped in 1.28 points per possession during the second half and overtime at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday. Indiana had done a strong job so far this season at limiting 3-point makes, but Butler connected on 50 percent (6-of-12) during the final 25 minutes of play, including back-to-back daggers in the overtime period to erase a four-point deficit and take a two-point lead.

A look at what happened on those two 3-pointers — as well as a look at another Butler score from distance and one at the rim — in the latest edition of Film Session.


I. Hanner Mosquera-Perea checks into the game for Cody Zeller before an inbounds play. He’s involved immediately, as Rotnei Clarke sets a screen for Khyle Marshall:


Sheehey switches onto Marshall, while Perea slides down in the lane a bit. By the time he turns his head, Clarke is already curling around Erik Fromm, who’s got a body on Christian Watford and preventing him from immediately picking up Clarke:


Clarke is able to get a clean look off — though Watford does eventually make his way out and try and get a hand up — which he hits:


Tough to be too critical of Mosquera-Perea here; after all, these were his first collegiate minutes of his career against a team doing a lot of screening. But the fact remains: Butler took the advantage and scored three points.



Tidbits from Tom Crean’s radio show

Tom Crean’s weekly radio show was Monday night. Here are some of the major tidbits to take from it:

· Reacting to loss: To open the show, Crean was asked if he had changed his mind about Saturday’s overtime loss to Butler after watching the film. Crean said his reaction was the same as it was right after the game.

“We settled for too many pull-up jump shots,” Crean said. “Their defense is really predicated to give you that shot. That only works if you let them. It’s not what we’re built on. We’re a pretty good pull-up shooting team, but we don’t want to do that all the time.”

And of course, there was second guessing, as there always is with a loss. Crean said he wish he would have gone to his bench more early in the game. He said there has to be a great trust in all the guys you put on the floor in a competitive game like the one on Saturday.

As far as how his players reacted to losing for the first time this season, they were upset.

“They were down, there’s no question about that,” Crean said. “It wasn’t like I walked in the locker room like, ‘everything is fine, let me pick you all up.’ The last couple of days, the resolve has really come back. They care. There was nobody that was masking how down they were. But the last two days is when that resolve starts to come out.”

· Mosquera-Perea plays, but not much: Freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin were eligible for the first time in their college careers on Saturday after serving nine-game NCAA suspensions to start the season. Mosquera-Perea got on the floor against the Bulldogs, but he only played for three minutes, scoring two points.

Jurkin did not play.

“It’s just going to take a little bit of time,” Crean said of Mosquera-Perea. “We didn’t go in with a set amount of time for him. His minutes will continue to go up. He’s going to be a force for our team. He’s an energy giver. When he’s out there, people can just feel it.”

· Reaction to Big Ten expansion: Don Fischer asked Crean for his thoughts on the addition of Rutgers and Maryland to the Big Ten Conference.

“It’s great because we don’t have to look to schedule games in those areas as much,” Crean said. “We always want to have an East Coast presence. It’s great for our school, it’s great for our recruiting, and it’ll be very competitive. Those are two outstanding schools and programs.”


Recruit roundup: Hartman scores 18 in season debut

Throughout the season, Inside the Hall will keep you posted on how IU’s six 2013 signees and James Blackmon Jr. are performing at their respective schools. (Photo credit: Jamie Owens/J. Scott Sports)

You can send us stats or results for this report at insidethehall@gmail.com


Collin Hartman (Indianapolis Cathedral): In his first game of the season (concussion), 18 points in a 68-63 win over Louisville Ballard on Dec. 15.

Devin Davis Jr. (Warren Central): Nineteen points and 10 rebounds in a 51-50 overtime loss at Ben Davis and 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 58-55 overtime loss to Chicago Orr on Dec. 15.

Luke Fischer (Germantown, WI): Twenty-four points in a 105-27 win over Cedarburg on Dec. 11. Nineteen points in a 75-39 win over Milwaukee Lutheran on Dec. 14. Sixteen points in a 87-44 win over Menomonee Falls on Dec. 15.

Noah Vonleh (New Hampton Prep, NH): Did not play as New Hampton is off until Dec. 27.

Stanford Robinson (Findlay Prep, NV): 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in a 120-79 win over Southwest Prep (FL) on Dec. 13.


Hoosiers will learn from Saturday’s loss

There are many ways to try and explain No. 1 Indiana’s upset loss to Butler on Saturday. There are many ways to try and justify it.

But maybe, just maybe, the right answer you’re so desperately looking for doesn’t have all that much to do with Indiana. Perhaps it has more to do with Butler.

There’s no question the Hoosiers didn’t play like the nation’s best team in Saturday’s 88-86 overtime loss. No question at all, they have to play better going forward.

At the end of the day, though, no matter how good and how talented the Hoosiers are, they continue to run into situations they haven’t experienced before. On Saturday, it was an overtime game against a smaller but more physical team. They had to adjust inside of the game and, for the most part, they failed to that.

It doesn’t happen often, but Tom Crean and Indiana were outcoached on Saturday. And that’s no insult to Crean. It’s more a compliment to Butler coach Brad Stevens, who continues to prove his value as one of the best in-game coaches in college basketball.

Stevens and Butler have been there before. They’ve been to two national championship games. They’ve played against and beaten bigger teams. They’ve taken on the so-called “best” of college basketball and won.

Saturday’s game was nothing new for the Bulldogs. Even as their best players began fouling out — first Roosevelt Jones, then Andrew Smith and Erik Fromm — Butler remained calm.

“It’s no surprise to us,” Smith said afterward. “People are going to be surprised when an unranked team beats a team like IU, but we have a great team.”

And that’s just it. These are the kinds of games Indiana needs to learn how to win. The Hoosiers won’t always be able to win in run-away fashion. Sometimes, they’ll have to grind them out.


Ferrell hits clutch shot, but Butler answers with one of its own

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana looked dead in the water. Down 74-69 with 38 seconds left in regulation Saturday afternoon against Butler, the No. 1 Hoosiers went to full-court pressure, desperately trying to remain undefeated. They swarmed around and did everything possible to get their hands on the ball. And eventually, they got within three points at 76-73 with 16 seconds to go.

That’s when freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell — who had struggled all afternoon — stepped up like a veteran and nailed a game-tying 3-pointer from the right wing.

“That’s Yogi,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said afterward. “He did the same thing in New York [against Georgetown], he’s done the same thing in a couple of practices. He’s got great toughness. He really does. He’s a ‘next play’ guard. That’s why he’s such a special guard, especially at that age.”

The Hoosiers surrounded Ferrell at midcourt, celebrating like they had just won the game. They hadn’t. They had merely gotten it to overtime. And Butler, with two of its starters already fouled out, refused to go away.

After Indiana (9-1) jumped ahead 84-80 and looked to be headed for its 10th straight win, Butler’s Rotnei Clarke and Chase Stigall hit back-to-back 3s to put the Bulldogs back on top. Stigall’s attempt was uncontested as there was miscommunication between Will Sheehey and Remy Abell.

“There’s no question we cost ourselves at the end of the game defensively,” Crean said. “They made the plays and they get credit for that, but we made the mistake in how we guarded it.”

Cody Zeller quickly scored to tie the game at 86-86. And then came the final possession of the game.


Notebook: Hoosiers outmuscled on the glass

INDIANAPOLIS — Cody Zeller didn’t provide much of an answer when he was asked about Indiana’s effort on the glass in Saturday’s 88-86 overtime loss to Butler in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

While the final rebounding numbers showed Butler with just a 40-38 edge overall, the Hoosiers (9-1) allowed Butler to rebound 48.1 of its misses, a season-high for an IU opponent.

Indiana came into the game allowing an offensive rebounding percentage of just 26.4, which ranked 20th in the country.

When asked how he and his teammates allowed Butler to grab 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, IU’s star sophomore offered little in terms of an explanation.

“I don’t know, we’ve gotta figure it out,” Zeller said.

It sounds like the Hoosiers may begin to figure it out sooner rather than later.

“I’m excited about the rebounding drills we’re gonna do,” Crean said. “I’m not sure there will be many people that will be sharing that joy with me, but I know I’ll be excited about it because, right now, that’s an area we’ve got to really shore up.”

Butler’s success on the offensive glass led to 27 second-chance points and despite giving up some size across the frontline, the Bulldogs (8-2) won the points in the paint battle 42-32.

Crean didn’t point to one area in particular that contributed to the Hoosiers’ struggles on the glass, but it was clear that he saw rebounding as a major factor in the outcome.

“I think we’re going to be disappointed with some of our contact on the block outs,” he said. “Some balls bounced wrong that we’ve just got to go up with two hands and get ’em. But that’s not an excuse for us in the fact that we didn’t rebound well enough.”


The Minute After: Butler

Thoughts on a 88-86 overtime loss to Butler:

I. Welp, it happened: Brad Stevens’ crew of lesser talented homegrown Indiana kids took the Hoosiers out of their game for long stretches in this one, and by the time the dust settled on a thrilling final minutes and overtime, the Bulldogs emerged victorious. Butler makes noise in the college basketball world once more — taking Indiana’s No. 1 ranking along with it. Tom Crean preached all week about Butler’s physicality and it really got to Indiana this afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs were able to limit Indiana’s fastbreak opportunities, save for Indiana turning defense into quick scores, which meant the Hoosiers would have to make a go of it in the halfcourt. Stevens had his plans there: Butler packed it in, made the Hoosiers a perimeter shooting team with freshman Yogi Ferrell taking a host of shots. Indiana looked out of sorts. Quick long jumpers. One-on-one play. Andrew Smith out-muscling and out-hustling Cody Zeller. The Hoosiers didn’t hit a bucket from the 11:17 to 3:43 mark in the second half. They were lifeless, their body language looking of defeat.

But a 1-2-2 press Indiana employed late had them surviving until an overtime period. It helped stop the clock. Victor Oladipo got a steal out of it and a score. And Ferrell, after fumbling a pass out of bounds for what might have been Indiana’s last shot at this one, hit a huge 3-pointer to tie it at 76. Butler’s ensuing possession came up empty.

The Hoosiers had the momentum in OT. Smith and Roosevelt Jones were on the bench fouled out. Hulls shot faked and hit a shot early. But back-to-back 3-pointers by Rotnei Clarke and Chase Stigall put Butler up two and had the momentum shifting. Zeller — after being a bit lifeless in this one — got a lay-in to tie it at 86.

Yet, walk-on Alex Barlow took Hulls in isolation all the way to the rim and hit the bucket on Butler’s last possession. Just 2.5 seconds left for Indiana to do anything.

Hulls’ desperation shot at the buzzer just over halfcourt never had a chance. Ballgame.