Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Notre Dame

  • 12/16/2013 8:04 am in

Indiana dropped its third game of the season on Saturday afternoon in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Hoosiers fell 79-72 to Notre Dame, squandering their last opportunity for a resume building non-conference win.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Fighting Irish:

· Indiana failed to play to its strengths offensively: Whether you want to credit Notre Dame for forcing Indiana to operate on the perimeter or blame the Hoosiers for failing to get the ball into the post against the zone, this game featured far too many perimeter shots from IU.

The Hoosiers hoisted 31.7 percent of their shot attempts from behind the 3-point arc and another 39.7 percent of their shots were 2-point jumpers. For a team that’s built on getting the ball inside either on post feeds to Noah Vonleh or getting to the basket using the dribble-drive offense, to have 71.4 percent of your shot attempts coming on jump shots is too high.

“Like I told our guys: We made one more three than Notre Dame did and lost the game,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “That’s not a good trade off … We’re not a team that’s going to be successful shooting a lot of jump shots.”

· Notre Dame didn’t shoot well from the perimeter, but …: The Fighting Irish hit just 30 percent from behind the 3-point arc, a figure that came in 10 percent below their season average. A lot of the looks were open, but failed to go down. The defense inside the arc was a much different story.

Notre Dame took 46.3  percent of its attempts on Saturday at the rim and hit on 48 percent, which isn’t great, but the overriding point is that the Fighting Irish did a much better job of finding high percentage shots and knocking them down.

· Will Sheehey comes alive and the freshman go (mostly) silent: It was the breakout game that Indiana needed offensively from its senior from Stuart, Florida. Will Sheehey tied his career-high with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and was as effective as ever in the midrange game.

When he’s at his best, there are few better in the country at moving without the ball than Sheehey and he was the only Hoosier that was consistently hurting the zone.

But as these things typically go, Sheehey’s performance came on an afternoon when IU’s freshman played poorly overall. Noah Vonleh had eight points and six rebounds, but had trouble guarding Garrick Sherman. Stanford Robinson had six points, but three careless turnovers. And Devin Davis, Luke Fischer and Troy Williams combined for 0 points on 0-of-7 shooting.

· Indiana beaten soundly at the foul line: The Hoosiers have enjoyed a healthy advantage over opponents at getting to the line this season, but on Saturday, it was Notre Dame that easily won the free throw battle.

The Fighting Irish shot 30 free throws compared to just 16 for the Hoosiers. Notre Dame’s free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 55.6 perecnt was the highest for an Indiana opponent. Crean said postgame that failing to get the ball into the post was a major reason that Indiana didn’t get to the line enough.

“There’s nothing wrong with shooting jump shots as long as you’re playing through the post,” he said.

That didn’t happen enough as Vonleh, IU’s most efficient post scorer, attempted just five shots.

· The Crossroads Classic feels stale: Two years ago, the Crossroads Classic had a considerable amount of buzz as it was the inaugural version of the event. Last year had some sizzle with the Hoosiers being ranked No. 1 coming into Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

This year’s event just felt tired overall despite an announced sellout. There were a ton of empty seats in the upper level and IU brought more fans than the other three schools involved combined.

While the idea of playing a neutral court game in Indianapolis each season is an excellent one, it’s certainly fair to ask what Butler, Notre Dame and Purdue are bringing that IU couldn’t get from playing a game on its own with a new opponent each year.

Filed to:

  • CreanFaithful

    #6 Louisville also has played 5 freshman in the regular season. Here is the distribution of minutes:

    SR: 33%
    JR: 33%
    SO: 12%
    FR: 22%

    SR: 26% (That counts Evan)
    JR: 0%
    SO: 35% (That counts Austin)
    FR: 39%

  • ScoopGeoff

    Yes… I was exaggerating on all of them. Point being you can’t just look at a roster and say “X number of freshman are playing”

    Thanks for the kudos…

  • SCHoosier

    Only worried in the sense that the team goal is to “get better every day.” With the exception of Gordon..this appears not to be happening.

  • SCHoosier

    So IU pulls a Calipari?

  • notfargj

    my thoughts exactly.

  • notfargj

    a healthy dose of competition, along with an in-state assembly of college basketball teams and fans. no matter who the competition is, hoosier fans will forever be up in arms over a loss. with all due respect, alex, your last question doesn’t quite make sense to me.

  • HumbleHoosier

    Weak mentality. Very disappointed in this attitude.

  • IUED

    Who are you to call anybody ignorant? I would bet you any amount that I have forgotten more about IU BASKETBALL
    than you know. CTC is a average bench coach who is an above average recruiter. What happened last year against Syracuse? HE DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO BEAT A GOOD ZONE DEFENSE. This year the same and 2007 while at Marquette the same.LOOKE AT HIS RECORD AGAINST THE ZONE.

  • 3AM Burrito

    I believe the IU/UK series ended because UK preferred a neutral site game and IU preferred a home and home. So not the same situation-if anything it would be more like pulling a Glass, I would gladly rather play UK in neutral site than play in Crossroads Classic. Or play ND in a home and home.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Oy. Enough with the 8 freshmen bit.

  • PDXHoosier

    Unfortunately, they’ve been bringing IU beatdowns

  • Bannedguy

    Amen…some of these guys post all the time and think we all believe that because they live on here, that they are knowledgeable. Then if you laugh at them or say anything cross they cry foul and ask Alex to ban you. Funny. Hope hoosierfan2335 gets banned.

  • Eggman

    You need to join crean faithful and millared’s slumber party.

  • Gerg

    I did not know. I was on vacation.

  • Nathan

    I haven’t seen any comments about coach’s remarks regarding substituting based on nerves. In his interview I recall his having said something to the effect that the lights were too bright for some of the guys. Was he talking about Noah? What did folks make of that?

  • dwdkc

    Beyond Noah and Yogi, and Will based on his experience and knowledge, it is hard to say just who are best players are and that is part of the heavy subbing–I think CTC is playing the long game here focused on getting these guys experience in different roles and situations, as most of them are pretty versatile. The pre-Big 10 season has been more about player development than maximizing our win chances in that time. I know he is expecting big things from Jeremy, because he is getting big minutes despite driving us all crazy with some of his decisions. But the talent is pretty obvious. I also, however, hate seeing guys taken out right after they’ve done something good. However I may not be seeing blown assignments on D or otherwise not being where they were supposed to be.

  • dwdkc

    Which they actually did, sorry to say. Very apt and topical analogy there

  • CreanFaithful

    How about contributing something to the discussion, instead of trash talking fellow fans. I never once discussed anything with you, nor had any hand in getting you banned (which you obviously are not as you continue to change usernames).

    Let’s take a look at the most recent HoosierFan post that you replied to. What exactly about that talking point do you refute? I’m not sure you’re old enough for the slumber party fella…

  • Eggman

    I like this post, except I really wonder what obvious talent jeremy shows. Really so many like him and so many are disappointed. I am on the disappointed side. I just don’t see any real quickness or jumping ability…not an explosive type athlete.

  • adam

    Here’s the bottom line. Unless IU puts all the pieces together in a game, they’re simply just not going to beat quality teams. You can argue it is youth, coaching, shooting, defense, lack of leadership, or whatever, but bottom line is this team is middle of the big ten and a low NCAA tournament seed to a first four out team. Sure, they may win vs one or two top 25 teams in assembly, but just simply not a good enough team to not play their best and still win. This team has the potential to beat some good teams and win games, but consistency is going to be the key factor this season. Need to bring your all every game to beat these kind of teams.

  • Eggman

    I took exception with him calling someone’s opinion idiotic. I figure that is quite offensive and could result in getting him banned. Just not sure how this works. I myself have never even had a comment deleted, but I have seen some preferential treatment on here to those that post all the time. You really have slumber parties with milla? Too funny .

  • CreanFaithful

    Lol. I truly don’t know the guidelines for posts getting deleted. I typically post the day after a game to keep my thoughts coherent. Usually, “said posts” are already gone by the time I join in and I don’t know what was said to begin with.

    Which makes me question why I was singled out??? Regardless, I want to participate in thoughtful discussion and I hope you do too. In fact, I usually appreciate counter arguments because it illuminates differing perspectives and the rationale in which they are based. I don’t care for slumber party comments, as fun as they may be…

  • I would like to add to what oldiufan touched on. The substitution practices of bench players has been terrible. You need a strong bench to compete later in the Big Ten season. When Perea or Etherington get opportunities on the floor and are shown scoring or making good plays CTC takes them out of the game shortly afterwards. Unfortunately this has happened repeatedly during the past several games. If there is a blowout against an opponent why do you need to keep any of your starters (Shehey, Yogi, Hollowell) in with 2 minutes to go? They don’t need extended playing time. Your bench players need the experience to play more minutes than what they are given. Remember Creek or Abel from last year? The same thing can happen with current team members that aren’t being utilized.