The Minute After: Boston College

  • 12/01/2010 10:25 pm in

Notes on an 88-76 loss to the Eagles:

Well, despite the double-digit loss, there were at least some positives tonight, eh?

Sure, the Hoosiers came out flat in the first half — running their Verdell Jones-only offense we’ve seen from time to time when they get stagnant. And in an atypical performance, Indiana was out-hustled for many 50-50 balls and long rebounds on BC’s end — or maybe they were just in the wrong place? — which gave the Eagles 13 second-chance points. Add in a weak first-half shooting performance — 39.3 percent from the field (11-28) and 22.2 percent from three (2-of-9) — along with seven turnovers (which BC converted into seven points) and the Hoosiers found themselves down 14 at half: 43-29.

It was their first road game of the season. We may not have liked it. But it wasn’t a shock.

Yet, as we’ve seen from these Hoosiers on a few occasions so far this season, they tightened up their D  in the second half (for a while, anyway), shared the ball much better and played with a lot more confidence. Jordan Hulls was hitting pull-up jumpers. Christian Watford put on a show inside, mid-range and long-range. Victor Oladipo had a spirited dunk. Creek, despite some bad misses, hit when he needed to.

What was once a 14-point halftime deficit whittled down to one twice (60-59 with 7:22 to go; 63-62 with 5:44 to go).

And then the wheels came off.

Over the last 5:44 of the contest, Boston College went 3-of-3 from 3-point land — they were 6-of-12 for the second half, for those wondering — 3-of-4 from the field and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line … with no turnovers.

That’s a veteran team closing out the ballgame right there. IU tried to stay in it with some late threes, but two turnovers over that same stretch costed them a few chances to try and keep this thing close.

If this was last season, the Hoosiers would have continued to get steamrolled in the second half. But this team is older, wiser and more confident. It was nice to see them get after it in the second half.

They’re just not all the way there yet.

A few other assorted thoughts:

+ The Hoosiers continue to send their opponents to the line at a high rate. But this time there was at least a caveat. As noted above, Boston College shot 12 free throws late in the game — all in the final 1:33, in fact — as Indiana tried fouling to get back in this one. For the night, BC was 22-of-28. It was a solid performance for a team that entered the contest shooting 77.8 percent from the line — good for second in the ACC.

+ Indiana’s defense was simply not as good as we’ve seen in the previous six contests. BC shot 50.9 percent from the floor (28-of-55) and 41.7 percent from three (10-of-24) for an effective field-goal percentage of 60.0 percent. Add in that this BC team hit their free throws and took care of the ball (only six turnovers) and that’s how this ballgame was won.

The Hoosiers simply can’t allow 88 points and expect to win most games.

+ Praise be to Watford. The kid continues to get to the line at a strong rate and is really starting to use his muscle. With a little over seven minutes to go in the first half, Watford took the ball off the wing, drove to the rim and threw it down for a dunk.

Might have been his strongest move ever in an Indiana uniform.

Watford finished the contest with 23 points (7-of-12 from the field; 2-of-3 from three; 7-of-9 from the line), three steals, one block … but only two boards.

Filed to:

  • stonaroni

    CTC controls the pace and tempo at which the PG plays. He is the coach. If they are playing slow, he is to make the changes to improve the play.

  • stonaroni

    I agree that DE needs more minutes purely because he is the best talent of TP, DE and Capo. However, we do not see what goes on in practice or how hard he works. Maybe it is as Jerry says that his helpside is poor as well as hedging our working on screens.

    Helpside defense is essential when we are so undersized at post. There has to be a reason.

    But i feel DE is a 10 ppg 6 rpg guy if he can stay on the floor.

  • MillaRed

    Many have pointed out “Hulls’ man” on this thread. What I saw was Reggie Jackson lighting everyone up on the floor, to include JR on a handful of occasions. Not sure anyone can stop him when he is on a roll. At least a 2nd team all-ACC performer that is getting NBA draft attention. He is also a senior with many juniors and seniors around him that have played together 3+ years.

    I’m just not willing to put all of this on Jordy. He is only going to be as good as the people around him as a young sophomore.

  • Anonymous

    BC… too many uncontested looks. The competition level was much different than previous games, that being said. I think maybe the travel/1st road game may have affected the team….

  • MillaRed

    Overall I think I am a little surprised by some of the comments. Did we really expect something a lot different than this outcome? BC is going to give the ACC problems all season. And we are not there yet.

    I thought the comeback to get within 3 was fantastic. At that point I was sold on a moral victory for our young Hoosiers. Yes we can play better and need some tweaking here and there. But seriously folks, what we saw last night is who we are right now. None of it really surprised me.

    I would love to play those guys at home. Those three’s don’t fall so nicely on the road.

  • MillaRed

    Guy on the road = IU athletic dept. money. Not sure if he will get the same privileges under the circumstances. Or maybe at this point he isn’t allowed by rule.

  • Anonymous

    BC was just the better team last night at their home. The scored +9 points at the FT line with 78.6% to 65% shooting; they hit +3 3-pointers with 41.7% to 31.8% shooting; they were +5 in rebounds, +2 in assists and only had 6 TO to IU’s 10. Indiana needs work on defense, rebounding and shot selection. We rushed our shots in the first half and made poor decisions on defense, getting out of position to contest jump shots in the second. BC played a very smart and efficient game. IU played without poise and confidence. One loss and, hopefully, a lesson learned.

  • MillaRed

    One immediate correction that is easily fixed is Mo Creek chucking up terrible shots. It’s a bad habit right now. I know he can get it off quickly but come on. Some of them are just plain ill-advised. One hit the side of the backboard squarely. Something bad happens every time he does that.

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    Ok having slept on last nights game some and then looked at the box score…I am going to now defend what VJ ‘actually’ did last night…(All of you know I love defending VJ)

    He did not have as bad of a game as many of us think….
    + If you remember in the first half his scoring kept us competitive
    + Guess who led us in rebounding last night?
    + Guess who tied for the lead in assist?
    + Yes he did have 4 TO’s but none in the 2nd half and isn’t that what we want
    + He was 5-9 from the field and didn’t take a ton of shots nor a bunch of forces

    I think what happened with VJ last night, was Hulls and Rivers just played better and was a better fit for that type of game. But the numbers don’t lie, VJ didn’t have a really bad game it just wasn’t ‘his’ game.

  • Anonymous

    I thought that Elston played well on both offense and defense. It is not poor post defense when the opponents guards continue to beat our guards with ease on dribble penetration. Verdell’s defense is terrible as his his boxing out for rebounds. We need for VJIII to play great in all facets of the game, not just in scoring to win!

  • BaseballBuc

    I have since cooled off from last night but wow that was frustrating. A day later, I don’t really want to go into specifics but the whole game was very frustrating for me to watch. But then again, isn’t it a good thing to be angry at an IU game again? It means we are actually in games.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    No, I agree with you Casey. I definitely don’t feel like the season is lost but this was a big one. They could have pulled out the win. Yes, I completely agree that this is a better team than the one on the floor last year. Last year this game would have went from 14 at the half to 25 down in the first five minutes of the second half and that would have been it.

    This year’s team was in the game and fought hard and I can’t blame the loss on lack of talent or being young because, you know what, I actually thought we were the better team last night, and BC just shot well above their heads. I actually thought the bad moves last night were made by coach during what I thought was a mysterious lack of substitutions the last ten minutes of the game. If we are ten deep then why’d the same five guys remain on the floor for 5-6 minutes until they gassed and started to give up too many open looks. Why, even after that became obvious, did they still remain on the floor? It took CTC until the 2:30 mark when the game was pretty much out of reach to unload the bench and bring Will, JR, and Vic back in? Why did he take the ball out of Hulls’ hands when it was working so well?

    Those are just questions to a good coach. His team is better so now I think he may have to coach a little differently and maybe get better with them.

  • stonaroni

    By no means am I putting this on Jordy. No one really brought their A game last night…including CTC.

    And yes Jackson was lighting it up. My point is night in and night out against good competition, Hulls is getting outplayed because his man scores more, beats him with a step, as he clears Hulls, someone else from helpside has to step up to help. Hulls’ man either drops a bucket, misses and the other team crashes for an ofensive board since they now have numbers, or his man kicks it to the open man on the floor. It is really quit simple.

    He is not the only one, but when he logs 33 of 40 min in a game with inferior defense. THAT is a problem.

    When Lucious and Lucas run the point and can take it to the rim against the #1 team in the nation, that is a problem. WISC, OSU, Purdue, Ill, MSU, NW, Minn all have PG that can dribble drive effectively and can finish.

    We do not have that in Hulls, nor is he the defender that can keep that from happening.

    Defense is just as important as offense.

    “He is only going to be as good as the people around him as a young sophomore”???? That sounds like a poor excuse. In that case, like I have said before, let’s put JR out there. At least he isn’t a young sohomore and can play faster, taller, longer, stronger, than Hulls on defense. Then Hulls can log the 20 min and hit more spot up jumpers. That is the game that Hulls possess. At 33 min a game, he will continue to be abused by UK, N. Iowa, New Mexico, and the entire Big 10 conference PG.

  • stonaroni


    I think JR at PG and Hulls starting at SG with Creek at SF and CW at 4 is our best line up. VJIII can spell JR, Hulls or Creek.

    I think Creek plays against UK, but he may need to sit 2 or 3 games prior to Big 10 play. Yes there is a limp and I think he needs a week to rest before January!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I’m not sure what game you were watching. Jackson scored no matter who was guarding him and most of the second half IU was in a ZONE! Hulls also had four assists, with just 2 turnovers and 9 points. Not to mention the fact that it was obvious to even the weakest basketball eye that in the second half the offense ran when Hulls was leading it. Not only did IU get out in transition because he pushed the ball up the floor with the pass as much as the dribble, it also ran smoother in the half court and IU got good open shots. THE VERY FIRST POSSESSION WITH VJ3 BACK AT THE POINT WAS A NEAR SHOT CLOCK VIOLATION AND A FORCED HEAVED THREE BY WATFORD AFTER JONES STOOD WITH THE BALL FOR MORE THAN HALF THE SHOT CLOCK 30 FEET FROM THE BASKET POINTING LIKE A MORON TO HIS OTHER PLAYERS. The next three possessions weren’t much better and that’s when BC went on their last run.

    I’m not sure how you could watch the game and not see that? It was SO obvious. The very first possession after he takes over at point and we get a last second bad shot? Why? Why did IU’s offense go dead when they put him back at point? Why did the pace of the game slow immediately from uptempo to stagnant when they put him back at the point? Why did he throw a terrible pass right past Creek out of bounds during BC’s run when he was not pressured? Why did he miss the front end of a 1-1 down 6 or 7 points during BC’s last run?

    All of these questions suggest that, even though Verdell should play and is important, it SHOULD NOT be at the point. He slows and kills the offense too much!

    Also, your argument that Hulls defense is terrible is inaccurate. His defense isn’t good but it’s better than Verdell’s. Verdell consistently loses his man and forces other players to help him leading to open looks by other players. Jordan has at least improved in that area and he was not solely responsible for Jackson last night. Also, Jackson is their best player and leading scorer and is expected to play well. Hulls did a great job limiting that Clement kid (the shooter) the other night and he guarded him most of the game. IU SHOULD BE ZONING MORE ATHLETIC TEAMS still at this point until their level of athleticism can match their opponents’.

    I agree JR has earned more time but he is still an offensive liability if he only looks to score once or twice a game because teams suck off of him. I think he neutralizes that with his defense and rebounding so I think he should play, but not at the expense of Jordan!!! If you watched the game last night and paid a lick of attention then you would see it was obvious that the best lineup on the floor was the lineup that started the second half and started the run and that was four of the starter and Rivers instead of Jones! I still think Verdell is a key to the team and has a very important role but it’s not as the team’s PG.

  • stonaroni

    CW had 2 reb. That is a defensive stat. I cannot complain about the offense, but these guys have got to get an attitude on the defensive side of the ball. That is exactly why we beat Pitt last year, we man handled them. This team is better. That fire has to come out in close games. I hope and think they will learn from this.

    WS and VO need more minutes. I think VO and WS combinig 30 minutes would produce the same if not better result of VJIII’s play at this stage. VJIII is struggling a bit.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I agree with you on this one. Jackson wasn’t Hulls’ man. He was guarded by different players including Hulls and IU was in a zone for 2/3 of the second half.

    Also, apparently coach isn’t worried about Hulls’ defense if he’s putting him on the other team’s aforementioned best player!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Um, wrong! Have you not watched the past 3-4 games? Jordan is breaking his man down by the very definition of the word and getting to the free throw line where he can make decisions (pull up as he did a couple times last night/or dump down to a cutter for a layup as he did a couple times last night). VJ3 is NOT breaking his man down. He’s using the whole floor like an isolation play and leaning on them then going around them. He has a great pull-up mid-range jumper when he uses it but he looks for his shot 90% of the time so it’s very one dimensional.

    Hulls has proved during this regular season that his handle is good enough for the PG position and for God’s sake he broke down Jackson last night on that one move and made him look like a lost little kid on the floor.

    What more does he have to do to prove he’s the PG?

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    How could you tell that about Rivers? He also went to the bench (10 min mark or so) after he was key to the big run (along with Elston and Will) and never saw the floor again until a little over two minutes remaining.

    Crean put the starters in and left them in WAY TOO long while Rivers, Vic, Will, and Elston sat after playing a key role in that run. You know what? Bobby also had a couple big boards and a three point play during that big run and he never played again so I’m not sure what the he** Crean was thinking last night???

  • AmazedinAZ

    jones does need to watch for a bit and rivers SHOULD see the floor more. Has anyone noticed how hard he has been working on the free throws (better % than hulls). He does (and looks like accepted) his role. kid could really be a leader this year.

  • Anonymous

    I saw Rivers and Creek guard Jackson the majority of the game. Not saying that Jordy didn’t guard him at all, but he certainly wasn’t the primary defender

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I have to disagree with you a little this time Milla. They said during the game last night that BC is picked to finish 10th in the ACC and the ACC is down with only one ranked team. IU is picked to finish 8th in the Big Ten and the Big Ten has five ranked teams and NW and WISC are very good teams as well.

    BC had two losses, one to Yale, and on paper those numbers would suggest that IU was capable of more than a moral victory, even on the road. I also thought the comeback was good and for a while I thought IU was the best overall team on the floor. IU moved the ball better and stayed in the game with good interior scoring off cuts and screens (they did not shoot the ball well from deep). BC shot way better than their numbers would suggest and they even had a kid put three daggers into IU to interrupt Hoosier runs who hadn’t hit a three all year and who’s coach had suggested he look to score in other ways.

    I think IU was as good or better than BC and unfortunately I think coach made a couple mistakes the last 6-10 minutes of the game that hurt IU’s momentum.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    He did have one bad turnover where he just tossed the ball out of bounds behind Creek during BC’s last run. He missed the front end of a 1-and-1 during BC’s last run and he also killed the offensive momentum by slowing down when he was put back at the point right before BC went on their last run.

    I’m not saying he shouldn’t play because he should. I’m just saying that last night Hulls was the guy who needed the ball in his hands to create and he proved that more and more as the second half went on. VJ3 should have been on the wing and created only if he got the ball isolated on one side of the floor one on one.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I have to admit that was the first game in a long time where I was actually having fun watching the game. I genuinely felt like IU had a chance to win despite the bad start and I too and glad that I am frustrated for a reason other than just not having players and being over-matched.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s worth mentioning that Pomeroy currently has BC as the 5th best team in the ACC. The season is still young, and a lot can still happen. But I think it’s safe to say they are better than most people expected.

  • Anonymous

    His free-throw shooting is so frustrating because you just know it is all mental right now. It’s obvious he has a good enough stroke to convert at the line, but something is going on his head that’s causing these misses.

  • Anonymous

    Elston struggled keeping BC’s big men from going to their right, which is what CTC kept getting frustrated with. If you are too small to push him off the block, at least make him go to his off hand to shoot. He’s also pretty bad, and I’m being generous, at hedging on the pick and roll.

  • millzy32

    VJIII needs to be a role player. He is a role player who masqueraded as a go to guy when we had nothing to go to in the past. Now we have better options and he needs to be smarter with the ball.

    I’m starting to get a Dumes vibe every time he touches the ball and I don’t like it. Maybe he’s just out of position but I just scream at the TV when he gets the ball and go NO NO NO and then turnover or miss or missed FT.

    I hope he changes but last night was awful. I can’t say that he alone cost us the game but he was a big factor.

  • HoosierFromCT

    I took my 10 year old brother to the game. It was his first true basketball experience. He doesn’t know much about the game but he’s now die hard IU Basketball.

    His exact quotes/assessment of the game:
    “Number 12 needs to learn how to make those free shots [throws]”
    “Number 2 is good making those free shots”
    “Number 1 is short but good”

    and my favorite:

    “I want number 4 to play more. What’s his name again? Home Depot?”

  • millzy32

    This was a good learning experience and I agree with some others that we would have lost this game by 20 or more last year.

    I can admit that even though I criticize I could watch the entire game last night and feel like everyone was giving it their all and I can see where with a little tweaking here and there that this team will be pretty decent this year.

    What I wouldn’t give for a healthy Creek right now. That would make such a huge difference. I don’t think he’ll be right until next season. We should be really good next year barring some crazy thing like Watford trying to go pro too early.

    Go Hoosiers

  • millzy32

    We got to within 1 at one point. Overall it was an improvement over years past.

  • millzy32

    He shot two terrible 3’s that hit nothing but the underside of the backboard. Elston also shot an ill advised 3 when we had a chance to tie or take the lead. That’s when coach needs to yank these guys out and talk to them a little and make sure they stop doing it going forward.

  • millzy32

    I watched him throw the ball away in the second half so he did turn it over in the second half. If they gave that TO to Creek then the statistician is way out of line because that pass was as the NFL says uncatchable.

  • millzy32

    The fact that you could actually watch it until the end is a good sign. Last year you may have turned it off as we would have been down by 30+.

    The fact that this team comes out of half time each and every game performing better than in the first half tells me something good is going on at halftime. If we could just have that same sense of urgency and determination in the first half it would be great.

  • Anonymous

    That’s the biggest takeaway of this game. Still not quite ready to get over the hump (probably due mostly to youth) but we’re not giving up anymore. I was at the game and very impressed with how hard they came out in the second half.

  • Anonymous

    I love the player ‘Home Depot’ too.

  • kentuckyhoosier

    If you listen to the end of the Julie Cromer post , she states that he cannot practice with the players .She said that he can work with the coaches individually , and that he would be able to retain a scholarship this year . I feel bad for him too , and it makes me sick how the ncaa smashes these kids opportunity . Plus our bigs sure coulda used him to at least practice against.

  • I’ve been as critical of Hulls as anyone on this site, and have been blasted in the past for it. With that said, I’m doing this off memory, but I’m pretty sure Hulls was on Jackson the least of any of our perimeter players, so relating Jackson going off to why Hulls should play less really doesn’t work.

    My big criticism of Hulls being the point guard in the past was that he takes care of ball which is good, but he doesn’t create offense, which I think is essential for a point guard, especially in this offense. But, Hulls has shown at times this year, and did so last night against better competition that he can now get some penetration for his own shot and open teammates. He’s now creating and running the offense, not just getting the ball across half court and standing in the corner.

    4 assists isn’t off the charts, but I believe last night he had several passes that led to the pass for open buckets. The bottom line is, I don’t know how you watch that game last night and think anyone other than Hulls should be the point guard right now.

    Let’s be real too, VJIII isn’t very good on defense either and got beat several times by Jackson early in the game. Rivers is obviously a good defender, but his offense is so inept that he can’t be in charge of this team on that end.

  • MillaRed

    Yes and he also committed to IU in a complete S Storm. So I think we can
    start there.

    None of this is new information regarding Hulls defense ability. Really not
    why he was recruited.

    And I like the idea of JR getting out there. But as you know we needed to
    see what he was doing first, because last year that was a disaster.

    Hulls was right in the middle of the comeback last night. I was prettty darn
    proud of him. If you think he being in his 2nd year vs. Reggie Jackson a
    senior on a very experienced team at home is an exuse on behalf of Jordy,
    then so be it. But we’re gonna have to agree to disagree.

    I would like to have this conversation in 2 years BTW. And Stonaroni, you’re
    my boy 😉

  • MillaRed

    I know, when Elston jacked that 3 early in the clock I kicked my dog (in my
    mind). Coach has no problem yanking Derek does he? But it appears for now Mo
    has a green light to chuck and duck!

  • kentuckyhoosier

    Ryan , is there anyway you can post the box score with the minute ater report ? As I read the comments it is fun to reference back to the box score .

  • MillaRed

    If BC plays like they did last night at home, I feel very comfortable saying
    they will be a tough out. Really don’t care about pre-season predictions,
    they usually whiff on that every time. They already knocked off Texas A&M
    and California, two teams that usually do well. Anyway we are splitting
    hairs here. But I will bet decent cash that BC has a winning record at home
    this year and by a comfortable margin.

    Guys we are not a very good basketball team. Has the positive recruiting
    news given us a false sense of hope? We absolutely are expected to lose
    games like this on he road right now. Still a very young team with a very
    suspect PF/C position.

    As far as Coach goes, not sure yet on the X’s and O’s. I need more time
    before I say he is doing this or that right or wrong. The zone def got us
    back in the game though.

  • It’s linked at the top of the post, every time.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Hey, by the way . . . wrong about Jones being at the point because he can break people down. He wears them out not breaks them down.

    You are not wrong about him putting his head down and you are not wrong that he should have been benched. Those comments were spot on.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you 100%. IU was beaten because of the long rebound tonight. Those long rebounds are perfect for the open 3, which there were many opportunities, and BC hit them. I was happily surprised that VJ didn’t start the 2nd half and IU looked better because of it. Elston does well in spurts but his play reminds me of a kid that just chugged 3 bottles of Jolt cola..he just tries to play so fast and it just looks wierd. I love the effort and if he had half the focus as he does effort, he’d be outstanding. I really like the freshmen and feel they should play more. Hulls played pretty well last night and had some really nice bounce passes to the post. Our zone is still a work in progress and appears that in order to be effective, it needs VO, Wat, Rivers, Sheehey, and either Hulls or DE as the 5 to be playing it. The other players don’t seem quick enough to recover on oustide shooters once the zone is penetrated. Maybe we can steal a Boeheim assistant coach to teach the zone to our players. I look forward to the beatdown that IU gives to our next opponent.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    All I’m saying is that, though they are young, we will know they’ve turned the corner from bad to decent when they start pulling out some of these “moral victories” on a consistent basis.

    It probably won’t come this year, but I saw something in that team on the floor last night that made me think that it might. And I would like to say that the players I saw it in were on the floor a lot during IU’s second half comeback!

    The guy who showed me the most determination in his eyes and game last night was Hulls. He was doing things he’s never done before and was really focused. I also saw that heart out of VO, Will, JR, and Watford and some out of Creek and Elston. TP played hard as well as did Bobby. The one player that irritated me was VJ. He just looked complacent and too relaxed like he thought they had it all together and I think there’s a fine line between being relaxed and “too cool” when you need to have some passion and some fire!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe this is because I know Jordy personally, but I’m willing to take Hulls’ basketball game over most others on this team because I know what kind of determination he has and passion for the game. He’ll always be the guy on the floor for a loose ball, and yea he might get beat out for it because of his size, but he’ll be there unlike some others on this team that just stay there stagnant like they did last night. Until we get our new talent from our recruiting classes, I’ll take Hulls (and his alleged inferior game) anyday because you can never question his effort. Oh and he’s shooting over 50% percent from three, and oh by the way his assist to turnover ratio 2:1. And I dont know what game you were watching but Hulls was rarely guarding Jackson

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Amen brother. Preach!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Amen brother. Preach!

  • HoosierFromCT

    And Cam Newton plays on….