Troy Williams Archive

The Inside the Hall Mailbag: January 2

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

kmark22 in the premium forum writes: Alex, what do you think has really turned around Troy Williams game and has Stanford’s shooting right handed hurt him? He just doesn’t seem comfortable shooting the ball.

Williams was brilliant in Montreal over the summer, but I think the suspension to start the season set him back and there was definitely an adjustment period for him after returning to the lineup. I think his ball handling improved greatly in the offseason and while he still looks to be out of control sometimes when he gets going full steam ahead, his turnover percentage is down more than eight percent. I think his confidence has also grown from the fact that he’s getting the opportunity to act as the primary ball handler in some halfcourt sets.

As for Robinson, there are a couple of problems I see right now. First, he’s really struggling at the foul line, which just about makes it a certainty that he’s going to be on the bench in a close game late. His free throw rate (FTA/FGA) is 72.7 percent, which is excellent, but that’s negated by the fact that he’s hitting just 46.9 percent from the line. It’s tough to say how much of a factor the hand switch has been, but so far, it hasn’t helped the percentages at all. Second, his shot selection has been poor in many instances. He’s taken eight 3-point attempts (all misses), which isn’t his game at all, and he’s also shooting just 40 percent at the rim. On a team that is loaded with offensive options, his chance to see the floor is to play defense and finish at the rim. Unless he’s able to make a bigger impact defensively, he’s probably a fringe rotation guy. — Alex Bozich

@rbkl on Twitter writes: With B1G play full steam ahead, will we ever see Crean run sets with HMP and Holt on the floor together?

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s win at Nebraska

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Indiana moved to 1-0 in the Big Ten and 11-3 overall with a hard fought 70-65 win at Nebraska on Wednesday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Cornhuskers:

· The Hoosiers controlled the pace: Tom Crean has talked about his wish to play faster this season dating all the way back to Indiana’s trip to Montreal in August, but many wondered if the Hoosiers would be able to do so once league play arrived.

IU passed the first tempo test as the Hoosiers played a 68-possession contest with the Huskers, including 36 in the first half. For a reference point, Indiana had just 60 possessions in last year’s 60-55 loss at Nebraska and only 64 in the 70-60 loss to the Huskers at Assembly Hall.

The extra possessions are significant particularly when Indiana is taking care of the ball as the Hoosiers did last night. IU turned it over on just 16.3 percent of its possessions against the nation’s 18th best defense coming into the game.

“I think we played at their pace too much (in the first half),” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. “Anytime you’re going to miss against Indiana right at the rim, they are going to make you pay. They really got us in transition. They really hurt us and were able to build the lead.”

· Hanner Mosquera-Perea was dominant down the stretch: IU’s junior big man logged just four first half minutes due to fouls, which is one of the few times this season he’s been in that predicament. With a comfortable lead and Emmitt Holt playing well, Crean opted to keep Mosquera-Perea on the bench to avoid a third foul and was rewarded in the second half.

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Film Session: Georgetown

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On Saturday in Madison Square Garden, Indiana began the second half with a 10-point lead over Georgetown. But thanks to the 1-2 punch of D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Josh Smith, the Hoosiers found themselves down 60-56 with 7:16 to go and little answer for the Hoyas’ 2-3 zone.

But Tom Crean put Troy Williams as the lead ballhandler down the stretch and it proved to be a gamechanger. Williams continually broke down the zone for looks for himself and teammates off of simple action to keep the Hoosiers within striking distance to set up the overtime frame.

A look at his mostly successful run in the latest edition of Film Session:

On his first possession with the ball, Williams went right to work. Here’s him taking a ball screen from Hanner Mosquera-Perea right:

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He finds space between himself and Mikael Hopkins:

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s non-conference season

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Indiana completed its non-conference season on Saturday with a 10-3 record. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the first month and a half of the season:

· Indiana won’t have a problem scoring: While last season’s team struggled at multiple points during games to find points, this Hoosiers squad has had no such worries. The lowest points output Indiana has had this season has been 74 — and that was against the nation’s No. 2 defense in Louisville. Only 64 teams in the NCAA are even averaging that many points.

Through their first 13 games, the Hoosiers rank No. 10 in the country in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. They also are in the top 10, nationally, in effective field goal percentage and 3-point shooting, and are No. 47 in the country in turnover percentage (compared to No. 330 last season).

Whereas last season the Hoosiers had very limited shooting options, the Hoosiers have a variety of proven weapons this season — including Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Nick Zeisloft, Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel. And Indiana’s inside-out threat continues to grow, as well, with the continued development of Troy Williams and Hanner Mosquera-Perea.

· The lack of a big man can be problematic: While scoring won’t be an issue, stopping physical big men will. The biggest warning signs came in the 88-86 loss to Eastern Washington, in which 6-foot-8 Venky Jois piled on 20 points and 14 rebounds against the Hoosiers.

Montrezl Harrell of Louisville and Joshua Smith of Georgetown had similar impacts on the game as big men who dominated Indiana.

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A non-conference player-by-player breakdown

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The non-conference portion of IU’s schedule is complete and the Hoosiers are 10-3 heading into Wednesday’s Big Ten opener in Lincoln.

Here’s a player-by-player look at how each Hoosier performed in the non-conference portion of IU’s schedule:

Yogi Ferrell – 17.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, 3.7 rpg, 56.1 effective field goal percentage

The junior from Indianapolis has been remarkably consistent as he’s scored in double figures in 12 of IU’s 13 games and his 3-point shooting is up to 47.5 percent. Ferrell is second on the team in scoring, first in assists, first in free throws made and second in 3-pointers made.

His assist-to-turnover ratio is better than 2-to-1 and as the team’s point guard, he must be given credit for leading the way in improving the turnover issues that plagued last year’s team. Ferrell came into the season with major expectations after a breakout sophomore campaign and he’s met them so far. As the Hoosiers enter the Big Ten, they’ll rely heavily on his experience to navigate a schedule that is front loaded with tough games.

James Blackmon Jr. – 17.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 57.1 effective field goal percentage

Touted as arguably the nation’s best incoming shooter, Blackmon Jr. has lived up to the billing. His effortless stroke has been effective from both the perimeter (44.3 percent on 3s) and the foul line (87 percent). Like Ferrell, Blackmon Jr. has scored in double figures in 12 of IU’s 13 games. His even keel demeanor and approach to the game are uncommon for a freshman and he rarely gets rattled. Via Shot Analytics, here’s a look at Blackmon Jr.’s shot chart through 13 games:

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Video: IU players react to loss to Georgetown

NEW YORK – Yogi Ferrell (27 points), Troy Williams (23 points, eight rebounds and four assists) and James Blackmon Jr. (22 points and seven rebounds) met with the media following Indiana’s 91-87 overtime loss to Georgetown on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Watch their postgame comments below:

The Minute After: Georgetown

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Thoughts on a 91-87 overtime loss to the Hoyas:

This one had a little bit of everything this afternoon in Madison Square Garden.

There was Indiana opening a comfortable 10-point halftime lead and even extending it a bit to start the second half. There was Georgetown, led by its upperclassmen, making its run in the second half and appearing to take hold of things in the final minutes. And then there were late heroics from Yogi Ferrell, who made a pair of 3-pointers in the final 39 seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime.

For late December, when most teams are filling up on cupcakes before the start of conference play, this was a high level contest that Indiana had a great chance to win. But it just didn’t make enough plays when it mattered most.

So where do we start? With Indiana’s defense, which allowed 61 points combined in the second half and overtime. On the afternoon, the Hoyas scored 1.17 points per possession with an effective field goal percentage of 56.6. Had Georgetown not left 12 points at the free throw line, this game may have ended in regulation. Those numbers would be tough for any team to overcome, but Indiana nearly did it thanks to a hot shooting game from the perimeter.

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