Following its first game away from Assembly Hall this season — a 94-74 loss to Louisville at Madison Square Garden — Indiana returns home on Saturday night for a meeting with Grand Canyon University.
It’s the first ever meeting between the two schools and it will be broadcast at 5 p.m. ET on BTN with Steve Physioc and Jon Crispin on the call:
Guarantee games have become a staple in college basketball, but so far such matchups have not been particularly kind to Big Ten teams this year. A guarantee game, for those unfamiliar with the term, is one program paying another to come play in its gym without a return game. Seven of Indiana’s first nine contests have been guarantee games and the Hoosiers dropped one of them to Eastern Washington back on Nov. 24. After Grand Canyon, the Hoosiers have just one more guarantee game on the schedule (Dec. 22 vs. the University of New Orleans.)
But as we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, many of these games are no sure thing despite the fact that their main purpose is to schedule a win. Purdue lost at home to North Florida. Michigan lost at home to the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Eastern Michigan. And most recently, Nebraska fell at home to Incarnate Word.
Ultimately, each of these teams will have the chance to play in the NCAA tournament if business is taken care of inside of Big Ten play. But as Indiana enters its game with Grand Canyon, it’s a game the Hoosiers must avoid any letdown in with tough contests with Butler and Georgetown still looming before conference play tips on New Year’s Eve.
Indiana dropped .96 points per possession on the Cardinals in their loss Tuesday evening in Manhattan, the largest such number Louisville has allowed so far this season.
Indiana was aided by a hot start from 3-point land, but also had some success — as well as some failure — off the dribble-drive. A look at four such dribble-drive possessions in the latest edition of Film Session:
With the Hoosiers trailing by seven in the first half, Robert Johnson has curled around the baseline from the right wing on a handoff from Yogi Ferrell. His man, Wayne Blackshear, is trying to fight through some traffic to stick with him. Ferrell makes the pass to Nick Zeisloft up top:
Zeisloft swings to Johnson. Blackshear couldn’t get through, and Johnson now has a mismatch with Emmitt Holt’s man, Jaylen Johnson, switched onto him:
Johnson fakes left and goes by right. As this is happening, Ferrell takes a similar path to Johnson:
Indiana dropped its second non-conference game on Tuesday night as the Hoosiers fell to No. 4 Louisville, 94-74, in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Cardinals:
· Louisville brought physicality and Indiana was unable to match it: There were stretches where the Hoosiers hung in with Louisville relatively well and they even had a second half lead, but ultimately Louisville’s defense and physicality was too much to handle.
Louisville hadn’t been particularly good offensively coming in, but the Cardinals scored 1.22 points per trip, rebounded more than 50 percent of their misses and got to the foul line at a better rate than Indiana. Defensively, Louisville did allow Indiana to score 74 points, shoot an effective field goal percentage of 54.1 and score 0.96 points per possession (all season-highs), but this game was never really in doubt down the stretch as fatigue was brought to the game and the more physical, more experienced team prevailed.
“We got a lot of growth potential to get better, but the toughness level certainly and the glass level was hit tonight – we weren’t ready for that,” Tom Crean said of his team’s effort. “We’ve got a short period of time obviously when you have so many games as we have to get better at it.”
· Indiana was too careless with the ball: A lot was made of how Indiana would handle Louisville’s pressure coming in and Rick Pitino’s signature ball pressure didn’t take long to become effective. The Hoosiers turned it over 13 times in the first half and despite that, only trailed by five at halftime because of hot perimeter shooting.
Indiana knew it would get severely challenged on Tuesday night against No. 4 Louisville in Madison Square Garden.
It knew the Cardinals attack the boards and force turnovers. The Hoosiers were going to do all they could to combat it.
It was not enough as Louisville (8-0) defeated Indiana (7-2) by a 94-74 score. The Cardinals rebounded 52.0 percent of their misses. They also forced 19 Hoosiers turnovers and an Indiana season-high 24.6 turnover percentage.
“They deserved to win, they did a great job and I’m sure we’ll find some bright things on it from the tape,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “Right now I don’t see it that way, but we’ve got to be much more competitive on the glass and we have to play with a higher level of intelligence and a higher level of toughness in other areas to improve and get better and to be able to challenge teams like that and be able to play in our league the way we need to play.”
For the first half and opening five minutes of the second half, the Hoosiers actually proved to be competitive against the Cardinals — a team that came into the game ranked No. 2 in defense in the country.
From the start, the Hoosiers struggled with turnovers and allowing offensive rebounds. But their shooting kept them in it.
Check out 31 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 94-74 loss to Louisville at Madison Square Garden in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. See more images and purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.
Thoughts on a 94-74 loss to the Cardinals:
Despite a valiant effort from the Hoosiers under the lights at Madison Square Garden, at one point leading by four in the second half, No. 4 Louisville was just too much to handle.
Indiana, as it did against Pittsburgh, tried to gang rebound as best it could, but its lack of size was exposed again against a strong offensive rebounding squad. The Cardinals flat out dominated the offensive glass, rebounding 52 percent of their misses leading to a ton of easy opportunities and 25 second-chance points. Its defense, as it does, also turned the Hoosiers over a lot (24.6 TO%) and that led to 19 points off turnovers.
With Yogi Ferrell off the floor in the first half, Indiana had a number of miscues in a row and Louisville made the Hoosiers pay. Stanford Robinson turned the ball over fives times in nine minutes of action tonight. Though some of IU’s mistakes were a bit self-inflicted, it was still a rough performance holding onto the ball any way you slice it.
Louisville hasn’t been a great shooting team this season, but that wasn’t quite the case tonight against Indiana’s defense. It hit a number of key shots in this one, poured in 1.22 points per possession, and bested its season average on 3-pointers (28%) by going 8-of-23 from distance (34.8%). Terry Rozier hit 5-of-8 from beyond the arc on his way to a career-high 26 points, while backcourt mate Chris Jones made a number of nice moves and worked over the Indiana defense for 24 of his own to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.
Indiana’s preparation through its first eight games this season has all led to tonight.
The Hoosiers (7-1) scheduled SMU for the Mustangs’ defensive pressure and steals it forces. It focused on Pittsburgh’s defense in the days leading up to the ACC/Big 10 Challenge meeting. But Indiana coach Tom Crean acknowledged none of Indiana’s eight prior opponents compare to No. 4 Louisville (7-0).
The two teams play tonight at approximately 9:30 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.
“This is a really big, athletic, mobile team that can rebound well,” Crean said. “They can post up. They can drive it. Their pressure is really strong.
“For us, we are going to have to play out of our minds.”
As with most Louisville teams under Rick Pitino, this year’s Cardinals squad is already establishing itself as one of the top defensive corps in the country led by 6-foot-8 junior Montrezl Harrell. As of Monday evening, the Cardinals ranked No. 2 in the nation in defensive efficiency, allowing 0.84 points per possession. Opponents are also shooting just a 35.2 effective field goal percentage (No. 2 in the nation) and are being forced into an average 27.7 turnover percentage (No. 4 in the nation).
The Hoosiers were tested on Saturday against Savannah State, which pressed and forced an IU 20.6% turnover rate. Louisville will do the same tonight. But Indiana has yet to experience a defense the caliber of Louisville.