The Minute After: Washington

  • 11/22/2013 1:01 am in

Thoughts on a 102-84 win over the Huskies:

All the spotlight on Noah Vonleh’s sensational start to the season, but under the lights at Madison Square Garden fellow freshman Troy Williams finally got his.

In Indiana’s first four games, Williams has had some near misses on home run plays, some steals where he’s stepped out of bounds on his way to a sure slam. But tonight at Madison Square Garden, he couldn’t miss.¬†Williams finished an alley-oop from Stan Robinson on the break in the first half. He hit shots from the outside. He had some up and unders off the baseline in the second half that, like Will Sheehey, are becoming his trademark move. Williams did have another near miss, a dunk attempt where he was fouled in the first half that might have been his biggest “wow” play of the night. It was an electric 22-point (8-of-12, 6-of-7 from the line) performance. Williams was feeling it, he knew, we knew it, and it’s perhaps a sign of things to come.

The Huskies tried throwing a zone at the Hoosiers in the first half, and though there were some possessions early where IU floundered around and had to jack something up late in the shot clock, they rarely settled for long twos or 3-pointers. It was shots at the cup with clean up, a 50-point first half performance where the Hoosiers shot 16-of-18 from the line and rebounded 71 percent of their misses for 19 second-chance points (1.37 points per possession).

Vonleh was all over the boards for easy put-back dunks again tonight when he wasn’t making his own moves for scores in the post otherwise. His double-double streak ends (17 points, nine boards) tonight, but he continues to be hyper-efficient and forceful around the rim. Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge was in the building tonight. Vonleh and Williams certainly gave him something to think about.

Yogi Ferrell had another strong performance (20 points, seven assists, just three turnovers). He continues to take the quick 3-pointer (3-of-7 from distance). He was vocal and fiery and there is just something in his eyes on the court this year. It’s early and Ferrell really wants it all. It will be needed come the battles of the Big Ten. Sheehey was a little sloppy early, but had a great game when it was all over, scoring on his slashes to the basket off the baseline and wing (16 points on 7-0f-11 shooting) and finding some teammates on sharp passes (five assists).

The defense wasn’t always up to par tonight. The Huskies got a string of points in the first half off penetration and managed 1.10 points per possession. The Hoosiers also popped out to some large leads, only to see Washington rip off a few runs to half the deficit. And yet, it was another decisive victory for IU where they relentlessly attacked, absolutely mopped up the boards and posted 100-plus points.

The toughest test of the young season hits tomorrow night at MSG against UConn. Can these Hoosiers keep it up?

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  • OhioHoosier

    A few quality first half minutes from Mr. Robinson as well!

  • PDXHoosier

    Did something happen to Hanner? where was he 2nd half?

  • Sphinx 98

    Robinson should be taking more of Hollowell’s minutes.

  • drewheck

    Tonight they played like they are supposed to good game good wi bring on uconn

  • Dean Garret

    Hoosiers look like they are improving , Troy Williams wow! They will have to step it up to beat Uconn . Uconn can match up on boards with us

  • Dean Garret

    Hollowell was terrible !

  • PDXHoosier

    Fraschilla was awesome. He does his homework

  • indiana.austin

    Great game, very entertaining to watch. Tons of positives to talk about. My questions pertain to AE’s role when he is on the floor and Hollowell’s turnover issues. What is AE’s role? I thought he was a sharp shooter, but I haven’t seen any evidence of it. Hollowell has so much potential to be a stud, but he seems to push into spaces that are to small and is out of control, causing easy takeaways for the opponents. Once JH gets in gear, watch out, as we will surprise even more people than we already are.

  • notfargj

    my biggest gripe is – and, this is probably going to ruffle a few feathers – jeremy hollowell. the natural gifts are there, he can grab a few rebounds and block a few shots but i just don’t see how he has worked his way into the starting lineup. tonight he was 3-10 from the floor and had 5 turnovers, highlighted by a free throw lane violation that was mind boggling. there’s times i feel he is more of a liability than an asset. it’s not that i don’t like him but his overall productivity thus far has been underwhelming.

  • RoscoD73

    Tonight I was really questioning CTC substitutions, in particular late in the first half after Stan scored 6 straight points, and then following a time-out subbed in Evan Gordon for him. Keep Stan in the game when he is feeling it! IMO Stan is worthy of more minutes than Evan and probably Hollowell if he keeps playing like he has recently.

  • Sphinx 98

    So far he is the weak link. He does not look like he worked on his game over the summer.

  • CheesyHoosier

    UConn is 162nd in the country in rebounding.. So statistically, no they can’t.

  • Sphinx 98

    I agree. Too many turnovers and driving the ball too far into the defense.

  • Sphinx 98

    Robinson plays real smooth and under control. I wonder was he set to get more minutes, but the Hoosier Hysteria injury may have slowed him up a bit.

  • Miamihoosier

    Hollowell has had a couple bad games. He will fix his mistakes, and be a big time player for this team….this year…his defense is good, rebounding, blocks etc.. Pressing too much on offense, is not the worst problem in the world. In fact, I predict he plays great tomorrow versus UConn.

  • CheesyHoosier

    I predicted Jeremy would have a big game and boy, was I ever wrong. He kept forcing things, making bad decisions, missing layups, and it seems like he commits an offensive foul every game now.. Not good, but the potential is there.
    Troy was Troy tonight, but to the extreme. We haven’t seen the last of that this season and that’s a very good thing.
    Noah and Yogi were both studs, and Sheehey played his game. Overall I’m proud of how we played minus some defense at the end of the second half (should have won by 25+,) and this was good win for a young team. Go Hoosiers beat UConn!

  • notfargj

    i hope you’re correct and will hold you to that prediction!

  • Sphinx 98

    Great assessment, I’m just happy they have a group of freshmen who can get out there and play.

  • HoosierInMN

    Yes and no. He has not been good, but they have him playing out of position at PG/SG. He doesn’t have the lateral quickness to defend that position, nor does he have the handles and vision for point. He handles it well for a big, but he is the backup point guard. He’s played good defense when allowed to be down low, but we have an embarrassment of riches at the 3/4 and nothing behind Yogi.

  • tate14

    Couldn’t agree more. Stan is playing with confidence and deserves more minutes. Has good hands and a knack for being in the right place. Not selfish…low ego. I like his game.

  • AZIU71

    Here’s what I got:
    1)Our freshman are really good.
    2)Yogi Ferrell is really good.
    3)Our interior D was way too soft.
    4)This game should get Robinson out of Crean’s dog house.
    4)We continue to get better every game so far.
    5)Don’t want to pile on, but JH needs to get his act together or sit him.
    6)Still think the ceiling is high for this team,but it won’t be straight up.

  • Tucson Hoosier

    Perfect analysis…

  • dwdkc

    I thought Evan G was brought in to provide an experienced presence and to back up Yogi at the point. Not sure what the H Jeremy is doing at point, but maybe Crean is trying an unorthodox way of speeding his development. If so I predict he will move him back inside soon when the real games start–like tomorrow?

  • Joe

    Not playing as well defensively as Luke Fischer and thus on the bench.

    Hanner is looking like a 6 minute a game player at this point. Too many talented freshman to play him any more.

  • Josh O’Brien

    Agreed. This UConn group has a different identity than Calhoun’s teams. Okafor and Thabeet ain’t walking through that door.

  • GoIU811

    Agree!! I turned to my wife and said Stan just had an assist on Troy’s throw down and then 6 straight points and now he is on the bench? I don’t get it at all. definitely should have played more.

  • iuoiu

    Regardless of whether Stan should get more PT or not, you do realize we scored 102 points right? Also, you need to take into account the fact that this is an incredibly deep team filled with talented newcomers. It’s not like last year where TC was basically trying to solve a 7 piece puzzle full of pieces he knew very well. Bottom line is that despite trying to figure all of this new stuff out, TC is still putting out a team that is averaging more than 90+ a game, so going down the path of questioning his sub patterns seems a little funny.

  • Alford Bailey

    Agreed. I am really concerned with the fact that JH just is not getting it. I have been his biggest supporter but he still looks like a freshmen most of the time.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Good win and a very good performance! I was very pleased with the start. My concerns about this young team in their first road game were immediately put to rest and IU never really relinquished control. Well done.

    +Great job on the boards. Rebounding continues to be a strength for this squad.
    +Washington couldn’t stay in front of Yogi and he absolutely knew it. The highly touted Nigel Williams-Goss was given a lesson last night.
    +The shot selection was really good for most of the game. Attack, attack, attack.
    +Free-throw shooting was very good.
    +Troy Williams is going to be really, really good (sooner rather than later).

    -Jeremy Hollowell for most of the game. He did play better in the final stretch of the game.
    -We struggled to keep UW out of the lane (not a huge concern but there were some fairly easy drives given up).

    This is a good win over a quality opponent on a neutral court. The improvement since the LIU-Brooklyn game has been very encouraging and I credit CTC and staff plus the players for that. Let’s do it again tonight against UConn!

  • benchwarmer32

    AE’s is probably a sharp shooter, but since he can’t find the floor for more than 2 minutes at a time, it’s hard to get into rhythm with his shot. There’s a lot more pressure on your shot when you’re only going to take 1 shot than when you are Yogi and you’ll take 7 more.

  • TomJameson

    Not sure about AE, the same thing bothers me as you mentioned. He should be shooting the ball, right?!?? Hollowell can be really good but, IMO, he is trying too hard. Maybe trying to prove himself to keep minutes? Don’t know, but he REALLY needs to just let the game come to him, whatever position he plays.

  • TomJameson

    Well his minutes are increasing, just not by leaps and bounds. There’s a lot of talent on this team and it’s going to be tough to get all the minutes distributed to make everybody happy. Each player brings something different to the floor too. Gordon is pretty good and deserving of minutes. We probably have, what, 8 players that deserve to have starting minutes?? Good problem to have so far, as long as the players buy into it.

  • TomJameson

    Good points all. I think some of that soft interior D is because of terrible way games are called now. Cutting down on their fouls means not challenging the shot harder. But, I think they’re getting the hang of it, plus games are already being called a bit softer. Think that has to be an area that will improve.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I thought much of the same thing, except I also thought back to the first two year’s of Watford — that kid was so frustrating! We thought he’d never develop (was always getting his shots blocked, could barely dunk, couldn’t beat his man off the dribble, 3pt % in the 30s), but then he figured it out his junior — and especially senior — year. Give JH time. I think it’ll pay dividends.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    YUP! Or Devin Davis. My buddy and I have a bet on the next game – I will owe him $2 for every JH made basket/assist; he will owe $1 for every JH missed shot/turnover.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I know what JH is doing, turning the ball over and taking ill advised shots.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I agree with AZIU…. I would add that if DD can eliminate some of the personal fouls while maintaining the same level of intensity, then he will end up taking a lot of JH’s minutes – absent significant improvement by JH.
    Wow Troy is a stud – reminds me of an intelligent version of Ricky Calloway.
    NV continues to remind me of Chris Webber – so quick with the put back dunks and such a gift for getting in position to make good plays and use his athletic ability.
    Stan will eventually take Evan’s minutes.

  • IU Fan in Buckeye Land :(

    Agree with the Hollowell frustrations, as well as potential and upside (and hopefull development) The most frustrating thing to me, and probably others, is how frequent he turns the ball over by just seeming to lose it from his hands. I assume thats part pressing, as was pointed out. I did like a few of his drives. I thought they were good and controlled, until he got near the rim. I think he just needs to get better at finishing (maybe I’m just forcing myself to be positive). Having multiple players able to penetrate off the dribble will be awesome, of course having knock down shooters to kick it out too will be great too, but I guess I want it all.

  • ScoopGeoff

    “Mind-boggling”… Exactly right. I’m still trying to figure that one out. I hope the guys give him shtuff for it in the locker room… That kid needs to loosen up.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Devin Davis is going to have to stop fouling if he wants to take very many of anyone’s minutes. I like Davis’ game and I think he offers a lot but so far, he’s having a hard time staying out of foul trouble in his limited minutes.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I enjoyed him and I think he does a really nice job. However, one thing the announcers said that really made me cringe…they said that Hanner reminded people in Bloomington of Landon Turner. Whoa…were those people hanging out at Nick’s at 2 a.m.? I think Hanner continues to get better but that’s a reach even Hanner’s wingspan couldn’t make.

  • HoosierTrav

    Yogi Ferrell is a top 5 PG in the country. He gets his chance to really show the country that tonight against Napier…..

  • CreanFaithful

    Their guard play has been super efficient. They are also shooting 48% from three as a team. Whoa…

  • IU scout

    No williams should!

  • ben

    Williams is already starting…so he would not exactly be taking JHs minutes

  • Joe Pop

    Not to mention he kept referring to Troy as Paul George/Scottie Pippen. Those comparisons are better suited for a site like this not a professional commentator.

  • IU scout

    Indeed he is..after tonite he will be looked as the best point!!

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    DD limited by foul trouble, (What was his 4th foul? Faceguarding?) but he needs more minutes. I liked Stan’s play tonight, and this was the most poised he has looked thus far. I will brag on Vonleh and TW buuuuuuut I think it is expected out of them. With that said I will just give a high five and say keep it up.

  • IU scout

    Robinison will be taking Evan Gs minutes!!

  • Kenneth234

    Not really, he just got into foul trouble. Some of those were tough calls in which a driver got into his body while coming to help. We are going to have to live with that this year, because it can potentially happen to every player that sees the floor. But with his foul troubles, he never really got into a flow on the floor. Hopefully, tonight’s game will go differently.