The Minute After: UConn

  • 11/22/2013 10:43 pm in

Thoughts on a 59-58 loss to the Huskies:

We know this team is young and prone to mistakes. That nights like tonight were bound to happen, a game the Hoosiers could have had but let slip away because of turnovers and youth and inexperience.

Still, it makes it no less easy for fans to swallow.

The Hoosiers have had problems so far this season taking care of the ball (19.3 turnover percentage, 219th in the nation). And it was exposed in the first half — badly. They coughed the ball up on 34.1 percent of their possessions, UConn taking advantage of their uptempo style and penchant for driving into the lane in the halfcourt.

The angles closed faster, the quicker, more athletic defenders of the best team IU has played this season made the Hoosiers look sloppy when the wounds weren’t being self-inflicted. After posting 50 points on 1.37 points per possession in the first half against Washington last evening, Indiana entered the break scoring just .8 points per possession and 24 overall.

And then there’s the case of Noah Vonleh. After such a dominant first five games, Vonleh was a non-factor tonight (0 points, two boards, four turnovers). He picked up two fouls in under two minutes to start the game and had to sit. The 18-year-old didn’t see much playing time in the first half due to the fouls. Just a minute and 13 seconds in the second half, there was Vonleh picking up his third foul.

When he re-entered again mid-way through the second half, the Hoosiers got him the ball on the block and he seemed determined to score at all costs. But Vonleh was overzealous, using his forearm too much to back his defender down … and he was flagged for an offensive foul. Vonleh entered again later and fumbled a sure rebound off his hands on a missed UConn free throw. By this point, it seemed like it was mental.

Despite all the IU turnovers, the Hoosiers were still very much in this one at the break, as two late 3-pointers from Shabazz Napier had the Huskies up six. UConn barely saw the line by half (2-of-2). And after shooting so hot from beyond the arc to start the season, it went cold from the perimeter in the first 20 minutes (4-of-12).

The second half was a back-and-forth affair. Shabazz Napier was a tough cover, his shimmying and shaking to create space for jumpers is no easy task to guard. Despite his seven turnovers (and a key late one that turned the ball back over to the Hoosiers and gave them a shot at the victory), he ended the night an efficient 10-of-14 (27 points) and scored UConn’s last four points. Evan Gordon played perhaps his best game of the season, looking like the senior he is amidst all the IU youth. He hit a couple of key buckets in the second half to keep this one close (3-of-3, six points).

Yogi Ferrell didn’t shoot it all that well tonight (6-of-19, 19 points), but he also came up big at times in the second half and made the offense go as much as he could. UConn made a strong emphasis to try and keep him out of the lane and out of the pick-and-rolls as the second half wore on.

Despite two turnovers in the final 1:08 of the game by Devin Davis (and a woeful 28.8 turnover percentage for the game), the ball was in Indiana’s hand to try and win this one. Ferrell missed a jumper, the ball fell to Jeremy Hollowell. It was knocked away and ended up as an out of bounds call on the Huskies with .7 remaining.

Indiana’s final play was apparently looking for a lob first, then a catch-and-shoot. There was no lob open for Troy Williams, so Vonleh got the ball on the left high post. But he didn’t even get the ball off in time.

It capped off a forgettable night under the lights at Madison Square Garden for the freshman and chalked up Indiana’s first loss of the season.

Filed to:

  • notfargj

    jeremy hollowell is a liability to the team, not an asset. by no means am i suggesting he is to blame for the loss. however, i’ve never understood the hype surrounding him. up to this point in the season, devin davis has demonstrated far more tenacity. devin may foul more than hollowell but he produces more rebounds and put-backs. some might suggest jeremy needs time to grow but i just don’t see any resolve in the kid. it’s a mystery as to why he is getting so many minutes. ultimately, i hope i will eat my words.

    on another note, does anyone know why troy didn’t see much time tonight? given his performance last night, i don’t see why he wasn’t utilized more. the one dunk he had tonight appeared to get the crowd involved and – i assume – fire up the team.

    disappointing loss but the potential is evident. this game will prove to be a great
    learning experience for the team. we have a fantastic group this year.

  • HoosierPat

    22 seconds left, down by one. What do we do? Dribble for 15 seconds and settle for a fadeaway jump shot. Was this really the best CTC could come up with? Poor coaching at the end.

  • Sphinx 98

    I agree Hollowell is extremely poor in judgement/skill right now. the fundamental pieces to the game kept us away from the win (freethrows/turnovers). They will be back stronger though.

  • ScoopGeoff

    What’re we 25-30 points better than that Uconn team? I’m not joking. We had Vonleh excused from participating, we had 14 (of 17) unforced turnovers, and Napier had a career shooting night (tonight 10-14, but career 40% – that’s not good). I actually came away feeling much better about our team. Either Uconn is waaaay overrated or we are much better right now than I thought.

    To be honest I’m not mad about it. It’s a great learning experience for Noah and our team… We’ll be that much better for it down the road. I think it means we’ll be better for it against Cuse… And I want revenge.

  • ML

    I agree. an early season game like this, @ MSG, versus a UConn team that will spend all season in the top 20, and nothing goes right for us and yet we have multiple chances to win and end up losing by one? I’m disappointed, but I’ll take it.
    I cannot imagine us playing worse than we did tonight. We’ll learn from this surely; I think it bodes well for us as we approach the Syracuse & ND games as well as B10 season. We’ve got work to do but we’re going to be okay. Go Hoosiers!

  • HoosierPat

    The hype is about his talent/potential. He could be so good, and I believe he will be eventually. But right now he is most definitely a liability.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    He also hit a very tough, crucial shot helped keep IU in the game down the stretch. I agree he hasn’t developed “yet” into what he’s been projected to be, but I think he will.

  • andrae

    I agree notfargj with both your points on Hollwell liability and Williams lack of PT. I’d like to see Perea start instead of Hollowell, he could help Vonleh down low and not try to do too much on offense like Hollowell does.

    IU has to find someone be able to spell Yogi at PG, hopefully Gordon develops there because when Yogi comes out they looks like a confused AAU team. Asking Yogi to play 40 min every night and run everything through him and be the only perimeter threat is going to wear him out.

  • Joshmofo1

    That one hurt. We were so close but it came up short.

    However, I think this game will do wonders for us down the road. Plenty of things to learn from, and Vonleh had a game where nothing worked for him. From what I’ve heard about him, you can guarantee he’ll be practicing twice as hard tomorrow working to improve.

    Overall I think this was a good trip for the Hoosiers to NYC. The young men grew up a lot and I think will get even better from this.

    I would like to see Stanford Robinson get some more playing time though. And less Hollowell.

  • Ole Man

    And poor coaching on the last shot.

  • ForeverIU

    Yes but Hollowell did not play at the expense of Davis. The latter played 21 minutes and was a good contribution.

  • Ole Man

    Yogi played like a dog tonight. Pressing too much instead of letting the game come to him.
    Still, for such a young team, they hung tough.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Those of you on here who’ve read my countless posts after losses know that I’m not much of a “moral victory” guy. However, I have to say that I leave tonight’s game feeling better about this team, and here’s why:

    1) WS, Yogi, JH (the last few minutes), and EG played pretty well down the crucial stretch of the game and each hit big shots tonight. Those are the “upperclassman” on this team and there will be plenty of games they’re called on to stabilize a young team and I think they did that tonight.

    2) We hung on a neutral court with a ranked team as a very young team without any production from 2 of our best players (Williams/Vonleh).
    3) I thought a couple of the freshman (Fischer/Davis) really matched the extremely physical play of UConn. That’s nice to see because they’ll all have to learn to do that in the B1G. This looked a lot like a B1G game.
    4) I was really pleased with Evan Gordon’s play. I was seriously questioning him after the first couple games, but he’s turned me around quickly.

    5) We turned the ball over, ran into each other on at least 3-4 could’ve been offensive rebounds, missed some open shots, left some points at the foul line, and got NOTHING from TW and NV and we were right there with a shot to win at the end of the game. I think that says really good things about the potential for this team down the road.

    I had IU losing three games in the out-of-conference schedule. This was one of them. The other two were Syracuse and ND and I think IU can beat ND for sure and could surprise Cuse because of our size. For some reason this game gives me some confidence that this team will develop and reach it’s potential and I’m normally a “glass half empty” kind of fan!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Oh, and the whole “last play call” thing doesn’t surprise me nor disappoint me. I’ve said for five years that CTC is a great recruiter and motivator and a pretty good game planner, but a terrible 1 big play caller!!! I’m still very happy he’s our coach though and how hard this team played and hung in there tonight is why!

  • JktIU

    I think I like him better in the post. Every player needs an identity, and while CTC trying to make him into Jack of All Trades is a great idea, it appears JH is just not mentally ready for it. I think getting him to take a page from Will’s book and letting the game ‘come to him’ would do him wonders as he has obvious talent. Right now though, it is like watching Verdell Jones drive into the lane with his head down and just waiting for him to lose the ball.

  • HoosierDD

    Yogi is the one who chose to take the shot. Just one of many poor shot selections by him for the night, and his field goal percentage reflects it. Give it to Vonleh down low for the higher percentage shot.

  • Candy Stripes

    Totally agree. Hard to understand why Stan doesn’t get more minutes, especially on nights like tonight where JH is really struggling. Coach had no problem sitting down Hanner and Troy a good chunk of the game. Why does Jeremy seem to get a free pass?

  • JD

    We stayed this close with out Vonleh. That’s got to say something.

    Where was Troy?

  • mpwdoyle

    Tough loss, ugly game. However, if you had told me that Troy and Noah would be pretty much invisible all game, I would have thought we’d lose by 20.

    I don’t know if it was the zero night turnaround or not, but I like how Crean stuck with one lineup over the last 10 minutes or so. Crean was admittedly terrible at substitutions last year, so it was refreshing to see the Yogi/Gordon/Sheehey/Davis/Hollowell lineup stay. The lineup was unorthodox but it worked and Crean didn’t change it.

    Lastly, good two games for Devin Davis. Got in foul trouble in both games but definitely showed a lot of energy and the rebounds were great.

  • Candy Stripes

    Troy played like he drank 10 pots of coffee before the game. Way too fast and out of control tonight.

  • NCHS1971

    Hollowell is lost. I have no idea why he continues to start. Yogi did nothing tonight to get others involved in the offence…too much chucking it up for him rather than running the offence and getting it to the bigs in the paint

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Yes, this. Hardly any Noah, not too much out of Troy, lots of mistakes, and yet IU was within a single bucket of winning over a ranked team on a neutral court.

    This team’s young. These sorts of games will happen. They’ll learn from it. The fact that all the youth and inexperience came out tonight and IU *still* almost took the game bodes well. The big picture is the tournament and the continuation of this program being a legitimate contender anywhere it goes. It takes more than one loss to derail that.

    Not a good game, but lots of upside is evident. It still looks like a bright future for IU.

  • Ole Man

    I posted earlier that Yogi played poorly (overall) tonight.
    The moderator took the comment down.
    You going to do that again, Mod?

  • Apoc

    After watching the game, I think the comment about Hollowell is spot on. I also think this team desperately needs a secondary ball handler that can initiate the offense. The team looked so lost without Yogi being able to start the offense, and wasted to much time trying to get him the ball. Someone else needs to step in this role for this team to progress.

  • JktIU

    So what would Captain Hindsight have done instead?

  • Joe

    1. Funny how they hype the freshman Vonleh for a bit on ESPN, then absolutely screw him out of a game. The nation didn’t get to see that kid play, plain and simple. It was as if he got injured. I’d like to see the NCAA change the rules and allow 6 fouls, so that the best players can decide the game.

    2. Napier is a beast and deserves all the praise (as is Ferrell). Would have been great to see Vonleh contest him at the rim more than one time all night.

    3. That last fourth foul with Vonleh backing down was atrocious, regardless of what the commentators said. That’s a “Julius Randle” play–watch a UK game and I guarantee you will see that exact move over and over.

    4. Who is ready for BIG Ten refs?

  • Ole Man

    Watch the last play–Vonleh is pushed from behind continually. He begins inside the lane and ends up almost outside the lane. Should have been a call made there.
    Not using that as an excuse, but the foul should have been called both ways.

  • JktIU

    Oh and by they way, how does a ‘dog’ play basketball? I have never seen it and I am having difficulty imagining how Yogi’s play tonight would equate to playing ‘like a dog.’ How about saying something like: Yogi got caught up in the moment too often tonight and did not always play as smart as he is capable…I don’t know, I guess I’m the idiot for expecting a little class on a college basketball discussion website from a person who gives themselves the title ‘Ole Man.’

  • Ole Man

    You tell me since you seem to know it all.

  • JktIU

    Not sure how you figure that? Pretty weak response from my perspective.

  • HoosierDD

    Haha I saw that. I was trying to respond but it got deleted before I could. Personally, I didn’t see what the issue was with it. I’ll try again though. Definitely wasn’t Yogi’s best game. When he takes a rhythm shot in the
    flow of the offense he’s money. Too many times he tries to do it himself
    and chucks up an out of control shot early in the shot clock. One of
    those shots you can get at any time. That’s my only critique. Other than
    that he is an outstanding player. It did hurt us tonight though. It was
    a learning experience. Would much rather it happen tonight than later
    this year.

  • Ole Man

    Well, you got the idiot part correct.
    Down South, “like a dog” is a common well understood expression.
    You understood it well enough to put it into other words.

  • Ole Man

    Go troll someone else.

  • JktIU

    You clearly don’t get the point that you don’t need to be insulting. Which is the reason why the ‘mod’ took your post down.

  • IU80

    The scheme to get Noah out worked like a charm. It’s a blue print. Watch the video. They wanted him gone and it worked.

  • Ole Man

    Are you that mod? If so, read my post above. “like a dog” is a common expression. He played poorly. Is that less insulting for your “sensitivities”?

  • JktIU

    Oh so I’m the troll for trying to make the point that maybe some vocabulary is unnecessary? I’m guessing the ‘down south’ response now is to call me some name that has to do with an animal right?

  • JktIU

    Fair enough, I’ll take my perspective as being sensitive, if you claim your own to be ignorant.

  • BKLock

    Disappointing game? Yes.

    Moral victory? Don’t believe in them.

    CONSPIRACY THEORY: REFS WERE PAID OFF BY UCONN ALUMS TO TAKE NOAH VONLEH OUT OF THE GAME. (I don’t have any proof, I just don’t want to believe that the kid could have this kind of game. I have to remember that he is an 18 year old freshman and even the best players have off nights.)

    In spite of our best inside scorer and rebounder being ineffective, we were in this game with a chance to win it. Here is hoping that Noah has a short memory and moves forward and learns from this game.

    As poorly as this game was played I believe these guys will get better and we will be looking at a much improved team in February and March.

  • AUKevin

    I’m tired of Coach Crean and others say that IU can have 5 guys on the court that can bring up the ball. Jeremy, Noah, Devin, Troy and Will occasionally will make a great rebound and then try and dribble the ball up the court rather than finding Yogi or Evan. It’s in traffic and the defense pokes the ball away in transition.
    Turnover, Turnover, Turnover.

  • Ole Man

    No, I’ll leave all the name calling: “Ignorant”, “idiot”, “captain hindsight”, an ageist play on my name, to you.

  • IULaw10

    Jeremy is playing out of position as a matter of necessity.

    Doesn’t anyone remember Jordan Hulls struggling as the primary ball handler (lack of quickness, lack of length, picking up his dribble)?

    I think Jeremy will prove to be a very good wing player. He is a good shooter and solid all-around player. Kid’s a sophomore. Growing pains are expected.

  • Let’s get back on topic, please.

  • Ole Man

    Thank you, Alex.

  • TJ21

    It seems Troy sat due to not playing good defense, yet JH can turn the ball over repeatedly and still play….who knows. I am tired of hearing about JH’s “potential”, the reality is he is a bad shot / turnover machine. I am OK with the effort overall, we lost by one and NV played very little and did not score. Everything that could go wrong did just about and we still had 2 shots to win. We will be fine, the freshman are learning and Yogi is much improved. Watch out in March.

  • TJ21

    One tough shot vs. how many turnovers that were unforced….

  • JktIU

    Okie dokie

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    Honestly, I thought UConns offense was not very good.
    A lot of over dribbling then just shooting, if Napier doesn’t have the kind of night he had, they lose.
    Plus the loss of offensive rebounding Vonleh brings.
    Our offense wasn’t much better, but we are loaded with underclassmen.
    I bet Kevin Ollie doesn’t want to run into this team in march.

  • HoosierPat

    That’s a geneally understood term just about everywhere I think. I agree, he did play like a dog.
    Hey JktIU, you say there’s no need to be insulting yet you insult Ole Man who is a pretty well respected member of the ITH community. A little hypocritical and immature, don’t you think?

  • TJ21

    Great comment