Good, Bad and Ugly: Ole Miss

  • 11/19/2009 7:57 pm in


This is what this Hoosiers team can be. Running the break efficiently, not letting teams get set up on D, pushing the pace, getting controlled buckets in transition with Jeremiah Rivers and Verdell Jones leading the charge. It actually looked slow to me at points, because IU wasn’t trying to do too much — just simply taking what they were offered.

Rivers had a nice play during this stretch, as he grabbed an air ball and went coast to coast. But then Ole Miss turned up the pressure, started dominating inside, starting hitting shots, blocking IU’s shots, and IU began turning the ball over at an alarming rate. What was once a 20-11 lead quickly became a double-digit deficit.

Ole Miss just had too much to throw at the Hoosiers. They blocked a ridiculous 12 shots on both lines (starters DeAundre Cranston and Eniel Polynice had two each; Terrico White had one, while the bench picked up the remaining seven), and scored at will in stretches. They overpowered IU. The Hoosiers were able to make mini-runs here and there — something last year’s team would not have done — and had it to 69-61 with a bit over 5:00 to go. But after yet another turnover on a fast break (an errant Devan Dumes pass), that was basically it for their chances at a comeback.


So far this season, what killed IU last year is killing them this year. Sure, there’s more talent at pretty much every position. And a turnover from Rivers this early evening might not look as bad as a Daniel Moore one from last year. But the fact remains: this team is having an awful time taking care of the ball. They had 14 turnovers at half, and 21 for the game. Rivers led the way with six (though some of his drives to the rim were pretty, no?), while Maurice Creek had five. And free-throw shooting was bad again as well: the Hoosiers only hit 12 of their 27 attempts for 44 percent.

It’s tough to win a game, no matter how well you play otherwise, when you’re shooting under 50 percent from the free-throw line and turning the ball over more than 20 times in a contest.

I have faith the Hoosiers can correct the sloppiness as they begin to adjust to Crean’s up-tempo style. But sometimes with free-throw shooting you either have it or you don’t.


Tom Pritchard’s air-balled free throw. Back-to-back-to-back missed threes from nearly the same spot late in the second half: the first two from Dumes, the last one from Maurice Creek. The near empty gym:


Filed to:

  • Jason

    I don’t know why Bawa isn’t playing more than he is considering we have no better options. Tijan is absolutely awful and should never see a minute of the floor or even wear an IU jersey for that matter. Bawa will only get better but needs minutes to improve. I would seriously play 4 on 5 than with Tijan because he creates turnovers and does NOTHING positive. Pritchard will always be average and does not have the ability to become a force inside but Bawa does. He has to get more PT or we should have redshirted him.

  • nathanzimmerman

    hey a lot of reason for optimism tonight….we played them tough and tthe main reasons for the L are correctible…..turnovers and ft's…..we cut down and shoot a higher percentage and this is a real ball game.

    additionally, i think crean should be texting/calling/(whatever is aloud at this point) his main recruiting targets to tell them “did you see how much you can come in and contribute? our young guys are our offense. come be a playmaker and put us over the edge.”

    i think our starting 5 played them outstading….you see where the depth comes into play as we really struggled when our starters left the game…one more playmaker in this offense and improved free throw shooting = a lot of wins. hulls isn't up to speed yet. rivers was fantastic what a playmaker. creek is really really polished and poised. dumes is still working his way back into the flow and will only improve. watford really attacks which i like. verdell played like he wants to be the captain of this team. again, a ton of energy and effort from elston.

    i had a great time watching this game tonight. i think that coach has a lot to build on from this.

  • nathanzimmerman

    in response to the article….i think there was a lot more good than the first 5 minutes…i think the greatest take-away from this game is the way the team responded from a 30-5 run in the middle of the first half…we could have tucked our tails and accepted a 30 pt loss but the fellas really responded and made a game out of it and refused to go away. from a young team, that is very very promising.

    in response to “the bad”: we were down 15 with a minute or two to go….we had to jack some low-percentage shots. period. the fact that dumes missed those, for me, doesn't go under the headline “bad”. it was desperation time. give the kid a break. everyone's dogging him but he's coming off an injury and has had very little time to play with this new group. can we give the guy a break??

    but yes, pritchards free-throw may be on sportscenters “not top 10”

  • sacajacabuncar

    I'm surprised the bad didn't include our terrible zone defense and Ole Miss' ability to penetrate at will down the middle of the lane and score. The bad should include a guy who is supposed to be the leader of the team with 6 turnovers. However, the good should have included Rivers' pretty scoop shot in the 2nd half. Free throws at 48% is absolutely unacceptable. Unlike Nathan, I did not enjoy watching this game at all. Come out at half, cut the lead to 5, then let it get away from us. Later we cut it to 8, then let it get away from us. Yeah, yeah I know we're still young, it will take awhile, blah, blah blah. My tolerance and patience is not going to be what it was last year. With a top 10 class and everyone but Taber back I'm expecting much more. I suppose my expectations are to see a marked improvement and aside from Watford and Creek, I'm not too confident we are improved. Pritchard is still Pritchard, Jones wants to go 1/1, Moore is still a gimmick, Jobe is bad, Dumes is forcing it and obviously not happy he isn't the focus of the offense, and I didn't miss Roth at all. Getting embarrassed on national tv is not my idea of enjoying a game. IU is not relevant on the college basketball scene and quite frankly as an IU fan I'm even getting tired of the announcers telling us how we'll be back, it takes time, Crean walks on water, we have a great tradition, blah, blah, blah. I'm sure other teams and fans are tired of hearing it as well. Fact is it is going to be a long cold winter again.

  • illinoishoosier

    I choose to see the glass half full. It will take time to correct some of the mistakes we made tonight. Ole' Miss had a very athletic team and we played with them for most of the game. They had two stretches that did us in. I believe we WILL limit turnovers by B10 season and WILL improve our free throw shooting.

    How about Creek, though? He made some nice shots and Rivers led the fast break better than I have ever seen a hoosier lead it. Even though he did commit 6 TO's, he shot the ball better tonight than he has all season.

    Watford and the rest of the starters could have made this a better game if he hadn't gotten into foul trouble.

  • gregmquinn

    I'm surprised there is no mention of Crean's substitution patterns. At key points we were sitting our best players (not always due to foul trouble) and the game got away from us. Sorry, but Moore and Jobe are not D-1 basketball players. Hulls looks completely out of sorts. As hot as we were in the first 5 minutes, we broke the momentum by pulling the guys who made it happen.

  • Yeah, but you know what? I saw something tonight that gave me hope. I saw a team that was beginning to gel (sorry, this was my first time to see the Hoosiers this year) and looked like they were getting it. The no longer look like a bunch of high school kids without any feel for one another whatsoever. I'm sure a lot of the mistakes will calm down over time as the guys get more familiar with one another and how to work together–I saw several instances of people being out of position, which is just a familiarity thing.

    And, I think Hubert Davis (?) made a point toward the end of the game: they looked tired. Was there an issue getting to Puerto Rico for the team? Just curious. I know it sounds like grasping for an excuse, but they really did look leaden.

    Anyway, for the first time in a while, I'm hopeful. I knew it before, but this just reaffirmed it: Tom Crean was the right man for the job.

  • dabig

    Rivers is awfully dang good. He just needs to realize that he can't do everything for this team, which might take some time to develop. Once these guys get a little more time together, I think there are going to be a lot of highlight assists from Rivers.

    They don't have any structure in the half court, but that may come with time. Plus, these guys have to realize that they can't shoot over or drive around every defender, like they did in high school.

    You cannot downplay the inexperience–we start two frosh, two sophs, and a redshirt. Time fixes inexperience.

  • NMHoosier

    I was at the game…don't discount the early foul trouble for Watford, Rivers, Creek and Pritchard as having an affect on the outcome. I'm not saying the Hoosiers would have won this game if those 4 stayed out of foul trouble, but it didn't help.

    All in all, very encouraging to see that the main issue with this team is experience and confidence. We had enough talent to play with Ole Miss, but just lacked the leadership/experience/confidence that comes with having a roster with several seniors and juniors who have been around for a while.

    The future is bright. Let's get a win tomorrow night and build from there!

  • bloomingtonian

    The game was much closer and more competitive than the score would indicate. NMHoosier makes a good point with the early foul trouble. The turnover off the steal late in the game when we had the 3 on 1 really killed momentum. I think that was shortly after Rivers came back in playing with 4 fouls and started the comeback. I think a basket on the 3 on 1 would have made it a 6 point game with plently of time on the clock. The next possession, Dumes chucked up an ill-advised 3 and didn't come close. After that the game was over.

    There was another play that stands out. I think we were down 8 at the time, Rivers got the ball in the corner for a wide open 3 in transition and decided not to shoot. He ball faked and fed the post, but by then, ole miss D was already back in position.

    Ultimately, the game came down to who won the battle inside the paint. They blocked a ton of shots, and our zone D was no contest for their easy buckets off dribble penetration. I think we all need to be happy that our young team playing in their 3rd game together competed much of the game against a team that will be ranked at some point this season. Team defense takes time to develop, certainly more than 3 games.

  • Dirk

    The Bad: white stitching on the under armor, help D, blockouts, defensive awareness, offensive awareness, getting back on defense, defending the ball, defending the passing lanes, offensive spacing, ball movement, moving away from the ball, screening, hustle, patience, and communication.

    The Good: the players are more talented this year, Jobe got a rebound

  • Kelin Blab

    I will go with the theme of the story…

    The GOOD…
    – J Rivers is hard to handle and he showed me 'briefly' a midrange shot I was concerned about
    – Mo Creek, with strength is going to be even better, didn't seem intimidated at all
    – The team has some fight in them and last years team would have been beaten far worse and earlier
    – VJ was more aggressive tonite

    The Bad
    – Not much going on inside the paint with our post, not sure what the answer is or what to do
    – Jordan Hulls is a Freshmen and played like one
    – Christian Wateford needs to hang out with Derek Elston…in the weight room cause he got pushed around tonite.
    – It is early but our Senior Leadership…..ain't there and not sure it will be. I am also not sure why Tijan plays and not bawa…surely Bawa can foul and not get rebounds.
    – Tom Pritchard needs to give something on the court on the offensive end to show we are a threat at least down low

    The Ugly-
    – Free throws and Turnovers, that simple
    – Gave up too many Offensive rebounds
    – When rivers was NOT in the game we seem to struggle

  • stephen

    i lend my qualified support here.

    my patience is running out as well. I honestly don't care yet about wins and losses. I supported last years team because they hustled. That won't be enough for this years team, I expect to see hustle, but also a team that is (or at least shows signs of becoming) fundamentally sound.

    In the game of basketball there are certain things that coaches are responsible for. Turnovers, free throw shooting, and defensive positioning are primary amongst those things. Yet, Tom Crean's version of the Indiana Hoosiers have made turnovers, missed freethows, and defensive lapses a trademark. Last season we attributed it to the lack of talent, this year to the youth. But at this point, i am beginning to wonder if Tom Crean is failing to teach the game of basketball correctly, to use a Knight idiom. I am still hopeful that experience will alleviate these issues, but I am a little sceptical.

    I have and still am really high on crean because of his personality, his ability to motivate the players to play hard, and his ability to bring in talent. But, I am still waiting to look at a Tom Crean Indiana Basketball team and say, “these guys are well coached.” They play hard, they hustle, but, as indicated by our free throw percentage and turnovers, we don't play well yet. The crazy thing about the game tonight is that Ole Miss played sloppier than we did!

  • stephen

    i lend my qualified support here.

    my patience is running out as well. I honestly don't care yet about wins and losses. I supported last years team because they hustled. That won't be enough for this years team, I expect to see hustle, but also a team that is (or at least shows signs of becoming) fundamentally sound.

    In the game of basketball there are certain things that coaches are responsible for. Turnovers, free throw shooting, and defensive positioning are primary amongst those things. Yet, Tom Crean's version of the Indiana Hoosiers have made turnovers, missed freethows, and defensive lapses a trademark. Last season we attributed it to the lack of talent, this year to the youth. But at this point, i am beginning to wonder if Tom Crean is failing to teach the game of basketball correctly, to use a Knight idiom. I am still hopeful that experience will alleviate these issues, but I am a little sceptical.

    I have and still am really high on crean because of his personality, his ability to motivate the players to play hard, and his ability to bring in talent. But, I am still waiting to look at a Tom Crean Indiana Basketball team and say, “these guys are well coached.” They play hard, they hustle, but, as indicated by our free throw percentage and turnovers, we don't play well yet. The crazy thing about the game tonight is that Ole Miss played sloppier than we did!

  • HoosierDavey

    Last year, we lose that game by 30 or more. Last year, we don't have stretches in a game where we are better than the other team. We are better; no doubt about it. We will have some unexpected wins. We will probably have to endure some roller coaster moments. But, I'm liking the progress. Remember, patience is a virtue….

  • nathanzimmerman

    Thank you for this comment!!! For whatever reason people think that because this is year two we are going to be remarkably better and light the world on fire. We replaced freshman starters from last year with freshman starters and we subistitute in a transfer. Yes there is better talent but good lord people, can we give it a few weeks to gel and come together.

    Any negative talk of coach crean at this point is absolutely laughable. The guy comes in, recruits one class on short notice and then brings in a great class but we are not beating seasoned teams with NBA talent so coach crean must be whiffing on the actual coaching aspect?? Would you give the guy a break?? He inherited this program with a roster that read (–). A year and a couple of weeks later we have a top 10 recruiting class and played a very solid SEC team pretty well for a good portion of the game. If that is not reason for optimism and praise than i don't know what is. If you think that you can take over a team and win the Big 10 from scratch in a year or two then go back to the Xbox 360 world you are living in. These guys are working their rears off. Give some credit.

    Go hoosiers and go crean. The guy can't shoot the free throws for us too, you know.

  • parvalue

    Let’s break down the game, shall we?

    The turnover situation falls somewhere between unseemly and unacceptable. The free throw situation is worse and along the lines of unforgivable. It’s easy to point the finger at CTC. While that may be fair, each individual player must be held accountable. The old cliché that ever possession matters, matters. Let’s get into it…

    Offense: Creek is good. Really good. It’s early, but Creek appears unshakable and solid. Creek had one rough exhibition game, but seems to be a player that we can count on for 15+ points per game. Watford disappeared for a night, which may be a good thing for him. Watford now knows that he does not walk on water and that he must show up for every game. Elston also learned a tough lesson tonight. Elston has to work within the offense to put up points; he is not a shot creator. Elston has to accept his position as a role player, at least for this season. That is the only way he will put up consistent numbers. Rivers is talented, perhaps too much so for his own good. Rivers pressed the issue too often today, to the detriment of the team. Rivers will be at his best when he realizes the capabilities of his teammates. I think he is asking too much out of them at this point, which leads to turnovers. VJ3 had a solid game, but disappeared at crunch time. I am least worried about VJ3’s ability to play well, as he showed tonight (and in the past) that he can play against anyone. Pritchard is a different story. I’m not convinced that he lacks the athletic ability to compete at a high level, but I fear that he may lack the heart. That’s all I’ll say about Pritchard for now. Dumes was the surprise of the night, for me. He came off the bench hungry, on both sides of the court. But, he is still a very selfish – and wild – offensive player.

    Defense: I don’t know what to say here. Ole Miss played sloppy basketball. I don’t think we forced many of the turnovers they committed. Our defense played well enough to keep us in the game though, bottom line.

    Rebounding: We rebounded surprisingly well, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Ole Miss is known as a terrific rebounding team, and I think they out-rebounded us by just three tonight. That’s fine, at this point in the season.

    Coaching: I love CTC. I really do. But, his substitution pattern is sporadic, to say the least. While I’m sure CTC has a method to his subbing madness, I think he needs to change his policy. CTC is known for using charts as a way to substitute methodically; I think he would be better served using his coaching instinct. After all, that instinct landed him a gig with IU. The real problem I have with CTC right now is this: I think he is over-working the team (Mangini style). The team has looked tired so far in every game. I know CTC feels a sense of urgency due to the NCAA-mandated short pre-season practice schedule, but maybe he should lay off the conditioning and focus a little more on the fundamentals (e.g., FREE THROWS).

  • parvalue

    More general observations:

    Our team is not as deep as advertised. Hulls is not ready yet to compete with the world-class athletes IU will face this season. Hulls will be a tremendously-valuable component to this team in the future, but his mind and body are not ready yet (although his heart is, for what it’s worth). Capobianco is another frosh not quite ready for the spotlight. He may never be, but I hope he changes my mind. CTC has shown no confidence in Bawa, for reasons only known to CTC and his staff. CTC has shown some confidence in Robe, which concerns me. Daniel Moore has earned my respect this season. He does what is asked of him, nothing more and nothing less. That’s fine. It seems Roth may be lost for the season, depending on whom you ask. It’s still too early to tell the extent of Roth’s injury, and it’s still too early to tell the impact his absence will have on the team. While one side of me says we will need his jump-shot during the Big Ten season, another side says Roth’s absence will benefit other guards on the team by allowing them to play more (thereby increasing their experience and confidence). So, we’ll see. Dumes and Elston must play well (and much more intelligently) as the sixth and seventh men for us to be successful. Our bench does not go much deeper than that.

    On the bright side:
    IU played very, very well in the first eight or nine minutes of the Ole Miss game. They looked like a team that could make a late-March run next season. The program is on the up and up, that’s for sure; but, this season could be a long one.

  • alank

    Goodbye. You won't be missed.

  • Ben_M

    Why do we have a big ten network if we can’t watch all the IU games? They should have midnight madness….cream and crimson…haunted hall of hoops…all of that. ESPN2 drags all there stuff to puerto rico and we can’t watch our hoosiers????????? This is a joke. I’m an indiana fan I want to see my games.

  • coachv

    that 3 on 1 was a killer. a 3 on 1 should always be turned into a 2 on 1 by the whoever is running the break. he needs to pick a side with his ball side teammate fanning out to the perimeter a little. it’s all about angles. 2 on 1 is harder to defend because you can force the lone defender to turn his back on the other offensive player running the 2 on 1. the key is the ball handler getting outside the lane. much harder for the defender to recover to the receiver that way. crean, along with most coaches aren’t teaching it that way which i consider a ding to his coaching acumen.

    i’m also worried that he allows players to take horrific shots early in the shot clock, dribble behind their back in traffic, be careless with the ball, players shooting with incorrect technique (like watford) etc. but as many here have noted, this team is young and nobody should be expecting much even with the best of coaching. we will be better than last year. patience is a virtue.

  • Sallad

    Don't know about the Not Top 10, but Rivers' reverse layup made the actual Top 10. Number 4, I think.

  • BFowler

    To stick with Ryan's theme:

    The Good I saw: Mo Creek is a ready-for-prime-time player. Rivers is the best athlete on the team. I did not see the frustration on the faces of this team tonight I would have expected last year. They compete on the boards and got multiple opportunities for offensive rebounding put-backs. The pace is much more exciting than last year. Hoosier fans turned out in PR.

    The Bad I saw: FTs and TOs, obviously. Rivers and VJ III lack confidence in an outside shot (which wasn't VJ III a fairly good shooter last season??? or are my Crimson clored glasses getting fogged?) The 2-3 zone was as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

    The Ugly I saw: We are not nearly on par athletically with other teams at this point. 12 blocked shots from Mississippi. (If I could make the 12 about 24-font right now, I would.) This team has length, and some fairly good height, but lacks explosiveness. VJ III and C-Wat are the same kind of athlete, long and lanky, Tom Pritchard can not get his shot off (and frankly, does not use his wide frame well enough), and Mo Creek has not shown the kind of athletic explosion I would have expected.

    I was disappointed in the performance tonight because I expected the game to be much closer than it was. (As any Kelley School of Business graduate knows, you can only be disappointed if your expecations are not met, and I had higher expectations.) I was getting excited when they cut it to 5 early in the 2nd. There was some good play early in the 1st and at the end of the 1st/beginning of the 2nd. They seemed out of their league much of the game and I did not think Mississipi was playing that well either. The 2-3 zone was horrible, too many quick, contested shots.

    Here's to dominating Boston U, correcting the FT and TO plagues that have haunted them this season, and I have not lost faith, but my expectations are a bit more tempered today.

  • Kelin Blab

    Not sure if anyone else saw this….but Mo Creek had a good game but he had trouble getting to the basket and settled for jump shots…which he has a good shot, but I don't want him to become Bracey Wright. Ultimately the weight room will help him and wateford a TON.

    I am kinda ok with VJ3 and Rivers NOT chucking three's if they can get to the basket, draw fouls, and MAKE F/T…..

    I agree with everyone on Bawa….I could care less what he is doing in practice as I will bet my home he ain't worse than Tijan. Tijan is a big body to use during garbage time or right before the half……He just is so raw and not helpful, and Bawa could have used the floor time last night to get his feet wet….

    Also and MOST IMPORTANTLY….Would anyone like to start the rumor and chirping of Austin Rivers coming to IU and decommitting from FLorida's verbal. I have officially decided to start that right now, today……

    Now I know why we need that break down point guard for the future….he is it, he is 6'5 and from what I have seen he is better than his brother. Hopefully he can see the success his brother is having this season and want to become part of that…..

    AU-STIN RI-VERS clap clap clap clap clap

  • plane1972

    Amen, Zimm! Great post.

  • SB_Hoosier

    Couldn't agree more. People need to relax. It's the third game of the season for crying out loud. Our freshman struggled early on and got better last year, and amazingly the freshman will probably struggle early this year before getting better. The hope should be that they improve, and get accustomed to the physicallity, quicker than the freshman last year. We simply got pushed around. We were beaten up on the court by a more physical team. Now that they kind of know what to expect, hopefully the team can respond.

    If it's really that bad they maybe these Negative Nancy's need to invest in a TV that lets them change the channel.

  • CreamandCrimson

    There were definite positives tonight. However, I just can't stand poor free throw shooting and Indiana lowered the bar tonight. 12 for 27, are you kidding me? IU has to get this number over 70% if they want to compete with the upper half of the Big Ten.

    As for tonight's game, anyone expecting a “domination” of Boston University better not listen to the game. Boston is one of the better teams in the America East conference and this game is going to be close. I look at it as a 50-50 contest. Sorry, that's just where this program is right now. I think we'll get there but last night was another indication of how far we have fallen.

  • Hoagland

    SB_Hoosier and Zimmerman,

    While I agree its not time to freak out and think all hope is lost, there is such a thing as being too forgiving and going the other way. There are definitely causes for concern. Maybe I'm just old fashioned (is that possible as a 23 year old?) but I grew up playing ball in Indiana, as did a lot of the fan base and members of our team. All of us (If you actually played high school basketball here) know what help side defense is and can run at least 3 plays. The Hoosiers can't. I know we are young. I know it's a learning experience. But you can't report about all of these marathon and tough practices then expect me to sit back and at least hope to see some TEAM defense and maybe a set play or two. They learned to stop our break after about 7 minutes of the game and we got destroyed from there, often running the Mike Davis offense of set a ball screen then someone goes 1 on 4 and throws up a shot.

    I can forgive the team getting tired. I can forgive freshman turnovers when someone is quicker or more physical. I can even get over getting pushed around on the boards by a more physical team. What I refuse to excuse for this team, is to be outsmarted and to try to out class every other team athletically when every other team we play is deeper athletically than us.

    Example: Rivers gets in foul trouble setting the stage for Jordan Hulls to HAVE (He can turn it over 20 times and Id still play him over D. Moore. The kid tries hard but is 0 threat to score) to play some point. Jordan Hulls is never going to get a step or two on someone and go in and finish in contact. What can he do? Get people in position and make a pass when defenders get out of position. All you have to do is look at how his HS team (Bloomington South) went undefeated and won the State Championship. They had TEAM defense and ran offensive sets that got people out of position (No I did not go to South, I actually really don't like South at all). We have the talent and smarts to do that as a Hoosier basketball team NOW!!!! Did we? No. We asked Hulls to try and be Rivers and run and have an NBA offense (1-on-1). With Rivers in should we run? Absolutely, it only took 1 coast to coast lay-up to see that. With Hulls? Heck no, set up an offense. A 6ft Hulls isn't going to school any 6-5 guard one on one, but you know what he can do? hit the kick out three and make passes the other team doesn't see coming if you we have some movement and get people out of position.

    I was a big fan of the Crean hire, and still have hope, but I don't know that I can stay behind the Marathon practices to get us in shape (which actually seem to just leave us without legs at all right now, but hopefully pays off later) instead of teaching an offense and defense. We need to start learning those, we will not beat anyone by trying to get in 1-on-1 and running situations. We have to have a half-court game as well. We are going to be young the whole year, so I can tolerate mistakes, but not using age as an excuse to have no concept of help-side defense or being able to run an offensive set. Junior High teams in the state can accomplish those two things, why is it too much to expect my college team to get it?

  • HoosierSmitty

    I don't know how to feel after this game. On one hand, I figured we'd lose, but on the other hand, once I saw what we were capable of, I felt like we could have actually won this game…there were a few stretches of play where we actually looked like were a damn good team

    As a result I was encouraged but pretty bummed at the same time, because I see what we're capable of.

    Three things cost us a chance at this game.

    1. FTs – Obviously if we hit HALF of those, the game is within a few possessions down to the wire.

    2. Turnovers – Just don't know what we're doing sometimes. Rivers helped the way we had hoped. Despite his strong game, he still makes silly passes. He plays out there like he's been playing pick up ball with the Celtics in his spare time.

    3. Offensive Rebounds/2nd Chance Points – To me this is was the No. 1 thing of frustration. How many times did we act like we were going to box out and then not really put a body on our defender. We went through the box out motions but didn't do it with any emphasis. The instant they THINK they know where the ball is going, they release from their man and we get beat.

    For as bad as we performed in certain areas, Ole Miss wasn't exactly playing great. I think if we just didn't allow all those 2nd chance points, we still could have won this game.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Tijan might be bigger than Bawa, but I agree. Bawa has to see court time. Jobe doesn't play like a 7 footer and never will. In the few minutes we've seen from Bawa this season, he's made positive contributions and used his athleticism and length fairly well.

    They're both projects, but Bawa is a freshmen that has time to develop. Give him his chances and let Tijan be a practice player (and give him elbow pads)

  • HoosierSmitty

    On the rebounding front, I think we got murdered on the offensive glass. The numbers might not show it, but there were plenty of times when we gave up easy bunnies after a missed shot. They got too many easy 2nd chance points against us…especially in crucial situations.

    We do not stay with our block outs. It's terrible and it's junior high stuff. I can live with the missed FTs, because it's not like they're trying to miss…but most of the TOs and inability to focus on blocking out your man consistently are just fundamental components on the game these guys should know.

  • JerryCT

    Greetings from Puerto Rico:

    Seeing the game live and seeing the comments makes me wonder what was televised.

    Creek: was awful….on defense. Which is why he sat large parts of the 2nd half. Ole Miss found him on D and exploited him shamelessly whether man or zone they found him. He killed us on D. It was if they had inside info on both he and Hulls

    Hulls: could not handle 1/2 xourt defense they laid on him . He was devoured.

    The best players on the floor for us were Rivers, Dumes and Elston. At one point Elston yelled at Crean not to take him out and luckily coach saw the wisdom in this and left Watford on the bench. TP should have tried to lay some moves but didn't . He was often open to do that.

    Jones played well except on D and Watford got a major lesson in physical play under the bucket.

    Roth: Anybody who did not miss him apparently doe snot want to come from behind to win games. When we needed 3's we were forced to rely on Creek, Dumes , and Watford but Creek was such a liability , even in the zone that Roth would have been our best hope. I talked to him and he does not know yet how bad the foot is.

    Tonight I am looking for some improvement on D and some 3's. Without this in our arsenal we are in for a rough season if last night is any indicator.

    The best highlight is that IU had the most and best fans present ……………by far. Very impressive from that perspective

    They were clearly the better team

  • HoosierSmitty

    I agree 100% on the depth issue. We have more bodies, but not more talent. Elston is the only true bright spot at this point.

    Our Bench Is Weak:
    Jobe – How is this guy the first big off the bench? That's a red flag
    Hulls – I think he has a shot to be a solid player, but he picks up his dribble and is way to unsure of himself at this point. Should always be out there with Jones or Rivers.
    Capobianco – He doesn't understand his role – yet. Size wize, he can be a good presence.
    Dumes – Defensively he's a great sub, but he continues to force the offensive issue. He's trying, but he's trying too hard.
    Bawa – Why does he not get playing time? Has a reporter asked this question?
    Moore – Did he seriously play last night? I'm sorry but not unless everyone has fouled out or we're up 25 with 1:00 to play.
    Roth – We might actually need him on the court more than we thought.
    Elston – He's our LONE bright spot off the bench. He puts more things in the + column than the – column every time out there. Has to hit the 8 footer regularly though.

  • Kelin Blab

    FYI everyone…..PLEASE READ

    Just called the IU ticket office and purchased some tickets to IU v Maryland AND IU v PU. They do have tickets available on a limited basis on the main level and upper deck. If you are like me who has a tough time getting tickets (non scalper tickets) give em a call today….

    They did tell me Kentucky is sold out! Sweet my first IU PU game………

  • iurons

    This team needs time to develop an identity. Dumes and other 2nd year players must accept and change roles from last year . We saw what the starting five was capable of in the first few minutes of the game. Depth was added from last year yet we still see players not performing staying in the game ( jobe and others ). When Hulls and others become comfortable with their 15 minutes this whole team will become better with turnovers rebounding defense and free throw shooting. They need some confidence and they will be competitive.

  • SB_Hoosier

    Your points are valid and I'm not arguing with them. The defensive shortfalls are definitely a problem, but I kind of expected them at this point. We're still very young, as even our sophomores who played a lot last year are still learning. While I agree that high school teams can use simple defensive principles let's remember that we're not playing high schools anymore. The offenses are better due to better players and athletes, and the help side defense has to get there quicker. I kind of doubt that the lack of help side defense is from CTC not teaching it. I would guess most of the guys know where to go, but are late getting there due to the speed of the offense. Still a problem though, no argument there. My main point was, it's only game three.

    As far as the offense, Crean himself said the team wasn't going to run as many set plays this year, but more based on principles. Can the team have a chance to learn the principles in a game situation? Growing up playing ball in Indiana you should have first hand knowledge that playing against another team is completely different than practice. I'm not arguing with your points. My point was simply, give a little time, let them learn, and let's not be so negative after 1 game. Amazing how people can bash a team as young as they are after only 3 games. Now if we still look like this going into the Big 10 season, that's a different story.

  • MillaRed

    Many good comments here. I'll throw in my two cents.

    The first team has great potential. When Rivers, Jones and Creek are running the break, they look like a high level college team. Next year will be fun to watch as they get stronger.

    We keep talking about turnovers, but the thing that really kills us is “un-forced” turnovers. The turnovers are coming whether we like them or not. But just throwing the ball around senselessly is unexcusable.

    Jordan Hulls in not even close to being ready. I'm talking NOT READY. Even the shortest passes are nearly picked off routinely. They smelled blood every time he brought it up the court. Until he improves he minutes are garbage time and Verdell needs to move over to the point when Rivers sits. It's downright embarrassing. Sorry.

    Dumes should not be on the court until his knee is ready. Everything he did turned into a negative. Turnovers, missed shots turning into fast breaks, jacking up 25 footers. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Get him healthy.

    CTC. Look coach, inserting the 2-3 zone really changed the game. It got IU back in it for sure. But they figured it out! Why stick with it? Change it up. If we would have juggled man to man and zone a bit I think they were very uncomfortable. But once they figured it out, it was really hard to watch. How many times can they split the guards and dish for a layup before you mix it up? Very frustrating.

    This team is much better than last years. But last night they looked a lot alike for 30 minutes of the game.

  • 47250HoosierFan

    can you video this game and uplad it please, vbg…thanks for the insight…any thoughts on Bawa not getting any PT

  • 47250HoosierFan

    1 word BAWA!!!!!!!!!

  • cooper

    I tend to be pretty realistic on what is happening with IU I think. I'm surely not jumping ship and don't think Crean sucks all of a sudden like some others. However, there are glaring problems with this team that need to be fixed:

    Free Throws and TO need to improve.

    Substitutions: IU completely lost momentum around the 12 minute mark of the 1st half with the subs made. Rivers was controlling the game, getting VJ and Creek or Waterford involved (I still get confused which is which). All of a sudden Crean brings in 3 new guys and the wheels fall off and IU never recovered. Not saying it cost IU the game, I think it just would have delayed the inevitable but still. Not sure why Jobe is playing, I could care less what happens in practice or if he is better than Bawa. Point is, and Crean must realize, Jobe is gone next year, why play him? He isn't helping win games. Get Bawa some experience for next year and 3 years after that. Ditto for Moore, he should not be on the court unless its mop up duty. If Hulls isn't cutting it and Rivers needs a blow, let VJ play point. I understand the need to reward players who practice well but not when they are such a huge liability. Remember Rudy was a practice stud but he only got in two plays his final game.

    Hulls: Sorry for all the lovers of this guy, but he didn't look much better than Daniel Moore in this game to me. Completely over matched when he was on offense. He couldn't get any penetration and couldn't get IU set up at all. Once he dribbled past half court their PG was all over him. Does not bode well that at points Crean saw Moore as a better option than Hulls in the 2nd half. As of now he isn't athletic enough to cut it. Imagine him trying to cover John Wall or Lucas from MSU? God help us. he has 4yr back up written all over him right now.

    Pritchard: He tries hard, he sets quality screens, but thats about it. Certain times he looked completely lost on D and he continues to play below the rim. He is beyond bad in zone, I've never seen a team consistently drive down the middle of a zone like they did with no one stepping up. His inside game is power, but without hops ineffective. Another guy not athletic enough.

    Capo: Looks like Pritchard junior.

    Dumes: For me, he is in the same boat as Jobe and Moore although 100x more skill. Wont be around after this year, so he should lose the majority of minutes to guys who will. Not fair but reality. He should be a Ben Gordon type of player. Bring him off the bench let him bomb a few threes and drive to the lane. If he is hot leave him in, if not he should sit. Let others get the experience. With that said he played ok on D this game, and he looked like he belonged athletically. One of the few players on the team not intimidated.

    Creek Was not good on D but this will happen with a frosh playing a more experienced team

    Rivers: One of the only players who looks like he belongs on the court. You can tell he came from the Big East. Has no problem with contact and no problem putting his head down and getting to the rim. Without him on the court, the offense was stagnant and lost. His TOs are high but I'm not convinced its all his fault.

    Elston: I like his game. I think the 1st half he struggled with the athleticism of Ole Miss. Once he got used to it he played very well. I think he could become a guy who averages 10 plus points and 7 rebounds a game. Seems pretty tough too.

    I think the way for IU to win right now is to go small, with Rivers, Jones, Creek, Waterford and Elston starting. IU should press as much as possible. It will be the best way to stay in games.

    You can tell I took a Friday off, way too much time to devout to my comments

  • floridahoosier

    dittos, hoagland, I too played basketball in Indiana, and defense was always the key
    to good offense. I have watched every game with last year's team and this years team,
    and I actually think last years team played better defense. If we are to win close games
    this year, we can't rely solely on offensive talent – we will be killed!

  • Kelin Blab

    Cooper enjoy friday off…You made some good points and I see now why Crean wants that big time scoring guard like Selby, Teague etc…..I don't forsee Hulls being able to break down guys at all, tough kid and love em but will need to get stronger and he is only a frosh….After Rivers, we don't have much yet that can get to the basket and break down a defense.

    either Dumes is still hurt or feelings hurt cause I don't see that “senior” leadership in his play. He seems to have digressed.

  • MillaRed

    I too think Cooper has good things top say but the ship isn't sinking……the expectations are still too high.

    First of all, who can stay in front of Lucas and Wall? Two potential All-Americans. I do get your point. I just don't think Hulls wasn't brought in to dish out 7 assists a game and play tough on the ball defense as a FR. He'll get better when he gets stronger. Did he even see the court as a FR in high school? Let's not get too hasty with this kid.

    If CTC hasn't gotten pressure to play Bawa yet I see the flares are flying and I agree. Hell, I'm starting to wonder if we should start him! If our three guards are going to chuck 50 shots a game who cares? Perhaps he would clog the lane on the five straight layups Ole Miss had against our zone. “Pritchard plays below the rim” You ain't kiddin' brother. TP has ZERO shot blocking ability and Bawa would beat him by 3 seconds in a 50-yard dash.

    At least Bawa has the length to catch the ball within five feet of the basket. Whether he has the skills to finish from there isn't the point. It FORCES the defense to sag. All of us that have played perimeter defense know you instinctively turn your head when the ball is behind you. It opens up the floor. The only time Pritchard touches the ball is above the free-throw line to bail out a guard. TP could, however, be a more than adequate back-up and that's important too.

    Kelin, I saw that Dumes wasn't himself when he elevated about 6 inches for that blocked layup. No way is he healthy. It's too bad because he really can light it up when he's ready. I still think he will win a few games for IU this year. But by playing him now are we delaying recovery?

    By the way, CTC isn't going anywhere guys. There's a lot going on in this program right now. I think we'll get a W tonight and by mid-season have a respectable squad.

    So there you have it.

    PG – J Davis
    SG – VIII
    SF – Mo (dude can score, who need defense?)
    PF – Watford
    C – Bawa

    Maybe they should start letting us coach. We clearly have all the answers.

  • iurons

    I think going small is an option down the road but lack of outside shooting from our guards and turnovers are already a problem so why wear them down sooner by going smaller with starters. As almost everyone agrees Hulls is not ready Roth is out and Dumes looks hurt. Stick with the bigs as much as possible. You don't have to teach size and try to get them more aggressive . For the first time in years we have fouls to give from our interior players.