The Minute After: Kennesaw State

  • 12/22/2013 2:48 pm in

Thoughts on a 90-66 win over the Owls:

This was a little more like it.

Following up Friday’s uninspired victory over Nicholls State, the Hoosiers grabbed the bull by the horns in this one. Save for a defensive lapse in the second half which allowed a run for the Owls (and a bit of a scoring drought for the Hoosiers after that), Indiana dominated this one.

Yogi Ferrell, as he needs to do, set the tone. He scored 10 of Indiana’s first 12 points on his way to 25 total — one shy of his career high. Ferrell hit two 3-pointers in that early stretch and connected on 3-of-6 for the contest.

The Park Tudor grad proved to be Indiana’s best long distance threat in the non-conference season, and opposing Big Ten defenses are going to have to honor him beyond the arc — not an easy task when you couple it with his ability to also get to the rim and break down a defense.

Noah Vonleh (14 points, nine rebounds) had his best game in weeks. It helped he got looks in more ways than just the Hoosiers trying to feed him on the low block. Vonleh made a nice move for a score after receiving the ball out near the free throw line and was the recipient of a few passes at the rim after other Hoosiers had attracted or broken down the Owls’ defense.

His double-double-ish output could be huge for IU in the conference slate if he’s able to provide it on a consistent basis. Vonleh’s defense is still a work in progress as he fouled out this afternoon and was also the recipient of an earful from Ferrell during the first half after he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to during a defensive possession.

Will Sheehey (15 points, 6-of-9 from the field) has now ripped off three strong offensive outings in a row, and that’s important as conference season hits. Sheehey remains the coach on the floor, at one point harping at Hanner Mosquera-Perea for improper defensive positioning. It appears the days of the fired-up-off-the-bench Sheehey are over, but if he can keep scoring like this while also providing teaching and leadership to Indiana’s youth, he bring incredible value to this team.

Luke Fischer looked confident out there today, racking up three blocks in the first half. And, in a shades of Cody Zeller performance, ran ahead of the pack and got the ball for a breakaway dunk. Fischer scored a career-high 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. He certainly has plenty of room for growth and has flashed some freshman moments. But his fundamentals and basketball IQ could make him a safer play as the first big off the bench behind Vonleh instead of Mosquera-Perea during conference play.

The turnover issues remains. Indiana turned the ball over on 26.2 percent of its possessions this afternoon, an unacceptable rate against a team like this. A good chunk of them came for mental lapses or silly decision-making. Troy Williams accounted for six of Indiana’s 20 turnovers amidst some crazy athletic dunks on both sides of halftime. Williams continues to get the start and the tools are all there. But his decision making at times is head-scratching and it’s the kind of stuff that’s going to hurt the already turnover-prone Hoosiers in conference play.

Indiana’s non-conference season would look a little better if they were able to score a win against Connecticut, Syracuse or Notre Dame. But it beat all the teams it was supposed to en route to its 10-3 mark. All of this is amidst a lot of experimenting and unknowns about just what you could get night-to-night from a host of young players trying to emerge on a team with so much turnover and one that’s searching for an identity.

Conference season is here, and if Indiana’s able to improve as it goes along, a trip the dance is there to be had.

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  • Eastwood88_2

    OlE Man, This Could Be Taken As Positive Comment. Glad You Eased up

  • Eastwood88_2

    His Mins Will Go Down If He Doesn’t Take Care Of The Ball. They Are Just Plain Terrible mistakes

  • SCHoosier

    Thought JH had improved last two games..but sort of disappeared again today.

  • SCHoosier

    Love Davis’ effort but until he can shoot more that a layup or rebound put back his minutes will have to be limited. Good D could also earn him some court time.

  • Snookafly


  • kbb247

    I completely agree with you on the perimeter defense. That is 5th grade stuff. When a guy picks up his dribble you automatically tighten up and get in his face, and make life difficult. The last thing u want to give a guy who has lost his dribble is a clean passing lane or to be able to see the floor well.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    this site is like watching The VIEW sometimes. and please, stop the 5 inch blogs. who cares about a starting line-up, it changes every 2 minutes anyway. I think I am going to follow Arizona and Syracuse for fun and sanity as well.

  • Ron Chron

    fischer deffffffinitely, without question, does more with his minutes than robinson. i really think fischer deserves the start over troy williams

  • Kenneth234

    Its not you, he rarely is inactive. Even when he goes down to the post, he is only there for a few seconds before vacating the area and allowing for there to be other players to try to fill that void.

  • PDXHoosier

    But I think we will need about 19-20 wins to get in the tournament either way. We need the cupcakes to get there.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    This would be the first time I ever said that, so I’m not certain what you are saying.
    I have been watching since the 75-76 season, and they are my team as well.
    I never said I was leaving in the first place, I said I would not watch the games against cupcakes next year.
    Perhaps you should read another posters comments, they may be less stressfull to ‘you’.

  • Bled4IU

    I wish u guys would stop wishing for guys to get minutes who don’t even wear the candy strips anymore, geez!

  • iuoiu

    You and your “logic”…how dare you?

  • papawglen

    Personally I’m not that crazy about JH either but I believe if he plays close to the basket where he don’t have to handle the ball much he can be a really good player for us. Just don’t play him at guard.

  • N71

    I’d be more interest to understand how prepared the “mob” thinks we are for the Big Ten season. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being suck, 10 being awesome, I’d give us a 5…specifically relevant to the Big Ten.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    Troy has all the tools he just needs to slow it down and give up the ball instead of streaking up court and trying to dribble through defenders. no bashing this guy he will be a good player. maybe CTC promised him he would start from day 1 and he’s honoring that lol!! but seriously Stan should be taking his spot as a starter with Troy struggling. a growing year for this team . NIT bound

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    Stan and Luke should start over TW and JH

  • Aiken_Hoosier


    This just in: If Stanford Robinson gets the ball anywhere near the basket, it’s two points.

  • Kenneth234

    I agree about Troy, however, I think that Robinson is best suited to come off the bench with him, Gordon, Perea, Davis, and Etherington. The bench should never be any deeper than that. I think that group coming off the bench brings energy, and doesn’t bring much drop off from the starters in short stretches.

    But it really is all irrelevant, because normal substitutions and rotations is just not something that we are likely to see any times soon.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Perfect lineup IMO…….

    Luke still needs to shake some of the defensive lapses, but he’s going to be VERY good. This lineup would leave Williams and Hollowell as major contributors to the second unit, which I think would probably fit both of them much better than current situation.

    I wonder if Crean will tweak the starting lineup or if he’ll be stubborn and stick with the status quo….going to be interesting….

  • Kenneth234

    Now the real flame throwing on this board begins as this team struggles through a tough Big Ten season. Almost wish there was a box score from here on about how many times a poster calls for Crean’s job, complains about a players mistake, effort, or calls for more or less playing time for someone.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Outside of the turnovers, when I look at the box score from yesterday I see a box score that will more often than not mean a W for us.

    Yogi both scoring and distributing the ball…..Noah in double figures with a good rebounding total…..Sheehey with a solid contribution…..and two or three other supporting role players with 6 – 10 points, rebounding contributions, and a few blocked shots here and there…….

    I understand it was against inferior competition, but this is the blueprint for our success this season.

    If we just cut down on the turnovers, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that we could turn in similar performances against better competition too.

    I guess we’ll find out soon enough…..

  • Shawn Congo

    Yogi outplayed appling twice last year as a freshman.

  • Rie

    They should both be on the bench. Stanford needs to start at the two and either Luke or Hanner at the five. Their style of play would be best suited for such a role, and they can still get good minutes.

  • Rie

    I love when people drop Jeremy’s stats like they are a good thing when he is seeing about 27 minutes a game.

    Give that time to Luke, Hanner, Stanford, and/or Evan and let me know how much better that turns out, both for the individual and the team.

  • Rie

    Because he finishes so well at the rim….

    He misses some of the easiest layups in non-conference history.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    like everyone else, i hate to see tw struggle like he has the past few games. i think he’s finding the transition to be a bit tougher than he expected. to me, it seems like his biggest issue is the same issue jh struggled with last year. he’s got to learn to play within the flow of the offense, as opposed to slashing to the rim or hoisting the quick 3. he’s still of the isolation mindset where he thinks he can score on physical ability alone. so i think it’s probably less about skillset and more about learning the offense. agreed?

  • VAHoosier

    I get the importance of developing players. But sometimes players learn more from not playing, from watching others execute in a way they couldn’t. I don’t think anyone is saying put Troy on the bench and leave him there. I think folks are saying (and I agree) that Troy needs to be reigned in a bit. Bring him off the bench for a few games, cut his minutes back a bit. It might do him some good.

  • calbert40

    Let’s not get carried away with schedule difficulty. Illinois’ pre-conference schedule is pretty similar to ours.

    They played four good opponents: UNLV, Georgia Tech, Oregon and Mizzou. (they played Auburn, but they lost to NW State in a game they gave up 111 points!!). We played Washington, UCONN, Syracuse and Notre Dame. I’d say those are pretty similar.

    They have played some powerhouses like Jacksonville St, IPFW, Dartmouth and Alabama St.

    The point is that barring a few rare examples, most major conference schools play a non-conference schedule like this: 4-5 games against quality opponents and about 8 cupcakes.

  • SwishmacIU

    I expect to get ripped, however we all must come to the realization that this team just isnt that good. IMO they lack chemistry, commonality, and make mistakes that a high level D1 team shouldnt make. 20 TO’s against that team is absolutely pathetic. I cant tell if the lack of chemistry is a personal thing with these guys or that they are just so confused by what they are being asked to do. Dont get me wrong, give this talent 2-3 years and they will be outstanding, however this year is going to be painful in the B10.

  • calbert40

    Absolutely correct!! Two years ago, it was VJ3. Last year, it was CWat. This year, it’s Hollowell. The only question is who will it be next year.

    Obviously, Hollowell could play better (so could have VJ3 and CWat), but it feels as though ANYTHING he does poorly is magnified, while his positive plays are ignored.

  • SCHoosier

    I think for some its a lack.of fundamental b-ball IQ (light hasn’t gone on yet) ..for others..the speed of the game..and for a few..a likely mistake in recruiting. I’d say that’s common in all programs..but with 6 frosh on the roster combined with the number of soph’s..its more obvious with the Hoosiers. Makes for perhaps a bright future but a terribly erratic present.

  • Rie

    I am so pumped for conference play. We will actually find out what kind of team we have. Although we got embarrassed by Cuse, the UConn game was closer than it should have been and the Notre D game was on Crean. I really think the rotation will shorten up and we will see a much better product on the floor. If Crean can admit the starting lineup is garbage compared to what it could be (switch JH and TW with Stanford and/or Hanner/Luke), this team could really surprise people and even make a March run. Everyone is pessimistic, and rightfully so, but can anyone argue this team is not trending upwards? They will get better with time and experience, and if coach can improve on his end, this team could really take a turn for the better and maybe even compete for a back to back Big Ten Title. Call me crazy, but the talent is there. Just like a Kentucky team, we could have a late-season surge to dominance.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    no, i think we all expected pretty much what we’ve seen so far. this team’s very young, with a lot of raw talent still learning to play together. the chemistry will come, and i really hope to see it by the end of the year, but i’m not holding my breath (which is not to give the impression that i’ll be disappointed). and yes, the senseless to’s are painful, especially when it’s our upper class-men making them! we’re witnessing a very young team learning a college-style offense, all while dealing with finals. peaks and valleys have to be expected. pUKe, with all their McD’s, are going through the same growing pains.

    and don’t forget, we almost beat a top-ten team (and looked like the better team imho) on a neutral floor, and hung with the #2 team on their turf for 20 minutes. so i don’t think we’re quite as bad as you think.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    well said, SC. and i guess the silver lining is these guys are getting a ton of experience. unlike last year’s team, where yogi was the only one getting big-time minutes. i agree it’s gonna be a roller coaster season, just hope to see us pull off an upset or two along the way.

  • VAHoosier

    He only shot it, what, 3 or 4 times? But in my opinion, I thought it looked like he forced each of those shots. He is seldom in the offensive flow (though I admit, we seem not to have consistent offensive flow, and I think that is on Crean). Even against Nicholls St., where JH was 6 of 9 from the field, I thought he was a bit out of control on 6 or 7 of those shots. I’m not usually very critical of players, but I am truly mystified at how JH is still getting the minutes he is getting.

  • VAHoosier

    Funny, I kind of liked the notion of throwing a few minutes to Marlin and Howard.

  • Old timer

    Good thing about Fischer is he will probaly be here for four years!

  • Eggman

    Yep I don’t get it….I do not see the big upside in jh.

  • Rie

    Don’t get me wrong, I see upside in him. What I don’t see is any reason to defend his play up to this point this season. People flash these out of context stats to try and support his role and minutes, but really what they show me is that in about 27 minutes per game, Jeremy has below average stats and is a liability on the court. There are several people who should start over him, both as having superior talent and because they would not be playing out of position, like he is. Give me Stanford and/or Luke/Hanner over him and Troy. I really think Troy and Jeremy slow the ball movement, are not good on defense, and turn the ball over way too much. What these other guys give you is size, ball movement, and higher basketball IQs.

  • VAHoosier

    I think we’ll need 10 wins (including a couple of upsets over marquee teams) in the conference to have a shot at an NCAA at-large, so I hope you’re right and we have been underachieving thus far.

  • Kenneth234

    Hanner would turn the ball over just as much, shoot far worse and be out of the game with foul trouble before he ever got to 27 minutes. As for Stanford and Evan, all fine, if you enjoy playing smaller lineups, and getting out muscled.

  • gonzo812

    I agree. He’s got potential to be an All American as a junior and senior. If we’re going to hang a banner in ’14 or ’15 he’ll be our most important player. I’m just going to have with fun with the teams flaws this year instead of stressing over them. Much better for my blood pressure. Seems like a lot of other people could use the laugh too.