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:

  • TomJameson

    One of the biggest problems about Hollowell is who he played behind last year. Playing in the shadows of those guys didn’t get him much playing time and not much experience. I actually agree with what you and others are saying about playing time and about Devin. JH will get very much better, we just have to have a bit more patience. By the end of the season I predict we’ll all be happier with JH … and Devin’s playing time.

  • Outoftheloop

    I think that both teams were playing really tough defense. The TO’s were “forced”. U Conn had 17 TO and IU 19. But 2/7 FG and 7 points is unacceptable for Jeremy. For this team to go to the Sweet 16 (my new “baseline” of success), he has to be at least a 45% (and 33% on 3’s) shooter and average 10 plus/game. He can do it. So now he needs to do it. No excuses. But talk of pulling him out of games or limiting his minutes is silly. He is a big part of this team. He simply has to take responsibility for being a leader, for wins and loses, and do it. He has to really want to be great. Not just to play. He is only a Sophomore who missed 1/3 of his freshman year and played with seniors and Pros and not much was required of him last season.

  • Joshmofo1

    I think Crean is hoping Jeremy will make a break through and is giving him lots of opportunities. Because we need JH to make a breakthrough. He’s one of our leaders and he has a lot of potential. I feel like with Jeremy it’s all mental.

    Now with Stan, I understand he was hurt a lot and is still rounding into form, but I think Stan will start by the end of the year.

  • Outoftheloop

    TW played 24 min-2 pts; JH 31 min-7pts. IU needs them both to play better. But it is early!!

  • TomJameson

    I agree, well maybe 7/10. 🙂 .Point is IU LEARNS from their wins and losses, and they’ll learn from this. We learned, as fans, that this team does NOT give up and will fight to the end.

    Some may not agree with CTC’s play calling, but you can’t really argue about his teaching and development abilities.

  • 5_Banners

    If you watch the play where Yogi takes the shot, Yogi comes off the screen and has some space. He decides to shoot a pull-up/ fadeaway jumper from 15ft. Watching the replay, coming off the screen Yogi three options: pull-up jumper, pass to Sheehey in the corner for a three or drive into two UCONN players for a layup.

    What was wrong with this shot selection…it was absolutely the right play given the options. It comes down to either a 15ft jumpshot from Yogi or a corner three by Sheehey with hand in his face (the UCONN defender was in position to contest).

  • TomJameson

    Guess I got down-arrowed this time because I liked watching Walter McCarty play 🙂 Yeah, yeah, on a pUKe team, but still really like Walter. A very nice kid and a lot like Calbert in his demeanor. I watched every one of their high school games in Evansville.

    Anyway, If you can get past the UK part, Pitino had some teams that could almost start 2 separate 5’s. Doesn’t that sound like IU right now, and especially how we’re going to look next year! Wow, this team is deeeep.

  • Outoftheloop

    I really like Devin Davis. He will be a great 4 year player for IU, much like Will Sheehey. But you have to be objective, his TO when IU had the ball and a 1 point lead under 3 min to go really hurt! That was game 6 of his career. It is early!! Syracuse and ND will be games just like this one. But even 10-3 isn’t bad for a young team getting better every game.

  • Outoftheloop

    Exactly! If we keep the top 10 non-seniors for next year’s team, and add these three great 3 point shooters, with the added experience of this year’s battles, 2014-15 is looking GREAT!

  • Outoftheloop

    How do you get better, improve, develop, etc.? Practice and experience! We lost by 1 to a good non-conference team, on a neutral court, where lots of fans of both schools were yelling, in the middle of November. Experiment and work out the team structure now. This team will not be ranked in the top 10 until we reach the Sweet Sixteen in March. So what!

  • Outoftheloop

    The Coach was NOT on the floor! The PG, our best player, had the ball in his hands, and this is what he created. Yogi could not win this game, Napier could, and did. But it was very close!

  • TomJameson

    Tough to be too objective, but you are correct. That turnover late did hurt, but can’t point to a single play. I will say that, overall, free throws (non) shooting, and turnovers in general, were two major factors in this loss. Turnovers will be a bit high because of the way IU runs, but they can still be limited. Free throws need to be 75% or better as a team.

  • Outoftheloop

    I think that you are totally wrong. The Coach was not on the floor. He put the ball in the hands of his PG, his best player, and Yogi created. Today Yogi was not good enough to win the game and Napier was. Players win the game by making plays! Napier: 10/14, 4/6, 27 pts; Yogi 6/19, 2/6, 19 pts. Thankfully Napier is better than any PG in the B1G!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    That doesn’t mean anything man. I’m not being critical! I love CTC, but that’s just not one of his strengths. We’ve seen it over and over again the past few years. He’s a good gameplanner, but doesn’t seem to draw up good one-timers.

  • Outoftheloop

    Will handles the ball very well, better than Evan.

  • Outoftheloop

    Knight hired in 1971, won Banners 1976, 1981, 1987, fired 2001, that is 3 in 30 years, or 1 every 10 years. This is Crean’s 6th season, and it is not over yet. His 7th season is looking like a “Banner” year!

  • notfargj

    “I don’t think it’s out of the question that this group can compete for the Big Ten title this season.”

    – Rob Dauster NBC Sports

  • Eastwood88_2

    Took half a page, but you finally spoke the truth. Happy we could play defense to hang on there!

  • andrae

    Yes TW over JH, I still like Perea upside more, he definitely has bad lapses but if he could play alongside Vonleh he could just be free to screen and dive and board. Many times Perea is coming in for Vonleh and asked to be a back to basket player and he is not there yet.

  • David Macer

    I love reading ITH after every game, win or lose. But the one thing I don’t love is “arm chairs”. None of us are there during practice, coaches meetings, on the bench or in the huddle. These are 18,19 and 20 year old kids that are doing their best. They don’t do it for the fans but for their individual growth.
    I know that I am going to get a bunch of kickback from this. But guys, its one loss. Basketball is a team game and you cannot point to one single play or player. Throwing Jeremy or Devin under the bus might make you feel better. But what about Troy and Noah. Or even Yogi for shooting under 33%.
    Placing blame on a loss is impossible to do since basketball has 120-160 total possessions per game. Anything can and does happen on each play.
    This team will be okay. It was a good learning experience for these kids and should be for us fans as well.

  • Ole Man

    Good points, all.
    I still think Will should have been on the floor. Scratching my head bald over that one–LOL..

  • David Macer

    He played 35 of 40 minutes !!!!

  • Scooter

    I cannot believe CTC used all 3 of his TO’s before ever in bounding the ball. Keep a TO in your back pocket should you not get the ball in. Or when the cruddy play that Crean drew up doesn’t work, call a TO to reset. Nothing changed in those 3 TO’s, the set up looked the same.

    Where was the screens away from the ball and screeners roll back to get the ball? For 3 TO’s taken that was a vanilla play with poor movement.

  • Scooter

    I know Yogi is our best player, but he had a lot of poor judgement shots last night. Sheehey took 8 shots, yogi took 19. This team will be better when they even that out.

    Hollowell was awful last night. I am concerned about his involvement with an agent coming out of high school. That tells me that he thought he was far better than what he is. He was the 40th best player in the nation and has agent issues? Come on, that means his parents bought the hype too. I am afraid he was brought up in an environment where Hollowell was put on a pedestal.

  • Oldguyy

    Then you’ve been wrong for five years. That’s been looked at, and statistically Crean is one of the best in rate of success in that situation. But I’m sure the facts won’t change your opinion.

  • Scooter

    I thought Etherington played well the past 2 games. Last night he was playing the 4 and 5 on Defense and held his own. He had that sweet pass to Davis as well. Etherington has a good floor game and defensively has improved. He gave up one basket which Napier shot at 19 feet off of a screen switch. But, that is more than what could be said for Davis and Hollowell in the second half last night. Yogi’s d was bad and Davis and Hollowell fell asleep too often.

    Would have liked to see CTC use Etherington or Sheehey for a pick and pop with Yogi at the top of the key.

    I say play Etherington more and Hollowell less. Davis had 2 huge, costly Turnovers last night where an experienced Etherington doesn’t lose the ball twice.

  • Oldguyy

    Not at all surprised you failed to notice Ferrell’s defense.

  • Oldguyy

    It’s striking how sensitive an indicator of idiocy calling Crean “Clappy” is.

  • Scooter

    Etherington is a guy who can do a little of everything and will not lose you the game.

  • Oldguyy

    Careful, David. That’s far too thoughtful a comment for this board.

  • Scooter

    You are exactly right Aceman and anyone who wants to disagree must be a Crean family member or apologist. 3 TO’s which yields a play where the lob is the best and only option???? Come on CTC. Run a couple screens away from the ball and get a shot where there is space to square up with a good shot.

  • Scooter

    Ironically Hollowell plays no defense but CTC loves the kid. CTC is a spaz half the time and Hollowell is polar opposite. Doesn’t make sense to me.

    This “have to play defense” motto by CTC is afarse because there are different rules for different plays.

  • IUMIKE1

    I kinda wondered about saving a TO to use in case we couldn’t get the ball inbounded safely myself, but that is one of the reasons why I’m watching and he’s making the big bucks I guess. Out of the last TO there was different look as to where players were positioned at the start compared to what it looked like out of the other TO. I personally thought it wasn’t too bad of a play and when NV gains the experience to hold his ground better that will become a much higher percentage play, but then again it’s awfully hard to hold your ground when the guy behind you has his forearm in your back and is shoving you forward off of the block. I know refs don’t like to call fouls in an end of game scenario like that but with how the games are being called this year and a ref basically right on top of that I felt like it should have been called. If it had been the other way around & one of our players had used his forearm to do that and it wasn’t called I would have been saying that we probably got away with one on it.

  • Scooter

    Amen. You cannot score on the bench. Pick and pop wi Yogi could be a great way to get AE in the flow. The kid works hard. AE gets hurt last year and comes back the strongest kid on the team. That tells me he works hard and has bought in, more than I can say for Hollowell.

  • IUMIKE1

    Guess I better be careful as well cause while I never like or enjoy putting one in the L column I can live with this game and the outcome of it for the simple reasons that shouldn’t have to explained out in detail to a knowledgeable IU bball fan.

  • Scooter

    I think the refs were in shock because 3 TO’s yielded such a bad play and they missed the call due to poor coaching.

  • Scooter

    What has CTC rebuilt? We will settle into 23-10 seasons like CTC had aT Marquette.

  • Scooter

    IU will never win a banner at IU. He is not even the 4 th best coach in B1G

  • Scooter

    I just need more screens and movement when there is .7 seconds to assure the best possible shot

  • IUMIKE1

    Yea but would they have come to IU and took on the job of rebuilding the smoldering pile of bball that, he whose name will not come off of my lips, left for that amount or even a whole lot more, I seriously doubt it. And then again we will see how much they make when a contract renewal is done and if they still make less it’s cause in the past they made a whole lot more than almost any other coach did and are far from needing a pay increase that the university would be more than glad to give them.

    ” A person can take numbers and make them say and look like anything they want them to “……. Bob Knight

  • IUMIKE1

    Sorry but I’m not going to risk eternal damnation for saying anything even remotely good about pUKe. LOL

  • IUMIKE1

    Is he the best coach in the B1G, well that is certainly debatable cause there are a lot of quality coaches in it. I don’t think you win the B1G OUTRIGHT and not even be the 4th best coach in the conference especially when it’s won outright in a year when everyone said it was not only by far and away the toughest conference but it was the deepest that the B1G had been in many many years.

    Dude, grab Jersey Hoosier and come in off the ledge !

  • Ole Man

    Because you said something nice about me…LOL!

  • Ole Man

    You had to be there last night when I first posted it.
    So your “dig” makes no sense.
    Yep; great defense. His man only scored 27 pts.

  • IUMIKE1

    And it wasn’t even with his defender using his lower body or even his chest, it was with the forearm not once but twice and forcefully. That kind of thing has been a point of emphasis this year that has been almost overly enforced. I know the refs don’t like to call fouls on a last second shot but when i’ts right in front of them, has been called more or less every other time and factored very heavily in whether or not it gave the defender an unfair advantage it should have been called. As I said in one of my replies to, Scooter I’m on the ledge and I”m gonna jump, if it had been the other way around and one of our players had done that on D I would have wiped my forehead and said, man we got away with one on that.

  • IUMIKE1

    His 3 pt shot has for sure improved but IMHO it hasn’t improved to the point that he should shoot one a step or more behind the NBA line, especially when he could take one quick dribble forward before shooting it. Took one like that against UW and done it again at least once against UConn. Wondered why WS wasn’t on the floor as well. Would really like to hear Crean’s explanation on that one as it could very well be something that we aren’t seeing or understand but yea it was a head scratcher.

  • IUMIKE1

    No it was for the guy impersonating you. LOL

  • mharv2631

    turnovers, turnovers, turnovers! In a defensive struggle they might want to learn the value of each possession.

  • 3AM Burrito

    Little harsh on Yogi, if he doesn’t play we lose big. Combine his teammates, other than Will- who also forced some bad shots, being passive and all plays being called thru him he had to force action many times.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    There are things that JH can do that Etherington can’t. Not that I don’t like your idea but CTC players ball a certain way and yes JH CONTINUED to screw up but he still had his moments. I haven’t seen enough of E. to justify the replacement? But can go on. One of which is that the commentators continued to give so much credit to CTC about his coaching ability on TO plays but it’s seems like every time he calls TO to set up a play it always falls short with a turnover/steal/etc. I think he would be best to let them play through as in the first half TO. The end of the game TO was different and that’s why he saves them.