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.

Filed to:

  • RonB

    Quit telling us your leaving and just go! Maybe another team would cause you less stress but I would check their schedules first because most are not much different. For that matter go back and check some of IU’S schedules. Remember that IU team that was NCAA camps in 1981? They lost to UT-Pan America in the pre conference schedule. At least this team is beating their cupcakes. I DON’T like our schedule either but I am not quitting on IU. I love my Hoosiers in every sport, even football, because it is my school and I am a Hoosier!

  • Iucharlie

    IU starts BIG 0-4. When will the excuses of Freshman end? We had Remy and Creek but they were run off. Way too many turnovers to win in BIG!

  • NC Hoosier

    I honestly don’t think the 10 wins we have puts us in a better situation than a 7-6 record against quality competition. Right now we have zero quality wins. Under your scenario, we would have 7 quality wins.

  • Toms Crean

    We desperately need Troy. I’m fine with forgetting his, admittedly, way too high amount of mistakes. Why? Because he’s one of the very few amount of guys who actually seems to care on this team! He plays so hard.. and actually made a few nice defensive plays today. Plus, he definitely can make the highlight type of play that gets the rest of the team and crowd into the game.

  • hoosier1158

    Starting five should be Luke, Noah, Will, Stan and Yogi.

  • JohnFromBeyond

    In my theoretical 7-6 record, I meant 7 cupcake wins and 6 quality losses. One of the cupcake teams we played, can’t remember which one, had some extremely impressive opponents but they were all losses. I don’t think that helps their resume, but will probably help them win their conference.

    If we were 7-6 with some quality wins in the mix, and go 9-9 in the Big 10, I don’t think we make the tourney with 16 wins. There is something psychological about making 20 wins. No guarantees of course, but as a fan I sure do like the sound of a 19, 20 win season vs a .500 or under season.

  • Victorbear

    7 wins with 2 being against top 50 opponents combined with 9 or 10 conference wins is way better than what IU has right now.

  • Victorbear

    Starting to think Crean and Calipari both Agreeded to cancel series with a secret handshake whatever the reason it sucks.

  • Victorbear

    Don’t think so…….but keep wishing I did for Andrae Patterson, Charlie miller, Steve Hart……ect ect ect.

  • SCHoosier

    Your first, second and fourth sentences are rationale. Your third is pure bovine caw-caw.

  • NC Hoosier

    My apologies. I thought you meant 7-6 against quality opponents, meaning 7 quality wins. I agree there is something to be said for 20 wins, but at least a few of those 20 need to be against quality teams. If we go 9-9 in the Big 10 but all 9 wins are against the bottom half of the league, we don’t get a bid. If we substituted 3 decent teams for 3 of the 10 cupcakes we played and we won those games we would have a chance.

  • John

    I’ve always wanted IU to play Slippery Rock. Wonder if that will happen.
    Another cool match up would be the real IU vs IU Pennsylvania.

  • SCHoosier

    If three of those 7 wins were involving ranked teams…I would agree with you.

  • ForeverIU

    Is it just me, or is he also very active without the ball, screens a lot?

  • Andrew

    No.

  • ForeverIU

    Maybe you can simulate it in Nintendo or PlayStation or something like that.

  • Hoosier987

    Yogi is one of the best, if not the best, point guard in the Big Ten. If we didn’t have Yogi, my goodness, our win total for the season would probably be half of what it will be. He’s very important for this team and for future teams.

  • inLinE6

    Too bad we don’t have Mo Creek. I miss Mo a lot. Every time I see some “shooter” pass on open looks, I wish Mo had never gone.

  • inLinE6

    I’m glad this is over…. I just hope we don’t have to see this type of opponents for a while.

  • MarkDIU10

    These games against crap teams, and there were a lot of them, can be good for bringing the freshmen along. When I went to HH last year, I thought Hollowell was the best player in the scrimmage. Since then, I have seen zero of that effort. Time for 33 to grab some bench.
    Davis is a player. He should be getting 10-15 a game. I also think Robinson should get 15-25 per game. I love the upside of Williams but we can’t get so enamored with all the flash he provides. A big dunk still counts as 2 points last I checked. For a coach, the negatives should outweigh the positives he brings and if I were coaching I would sit him down and send a message. Remember what these guys want more than anything is playing time.
    I would have loved to have seen Fischer and Vonleh in there together. Did that ever happen in the preseason? I haven’t seen all the games in their entirety so was curious if that had happened. Feel bad for AE. I like his toughness but he just couldn’t hit shots. I had hoped he would be the shooter this team so sorely needs. But he just couldn’t hit shots. Wish Marlin could have gotten more PT too. Would have liked to seen some set plays at the end of a first half for example where some shooters are on the floor to set up for a shot. But then again the play calling after timeouts under CTC has been very poor since he got here. Definitely didn’t get that from Izzo.

  • PDXHoosier

    “upside”

  • HoosierPat

    I don’t want a coach who is “gearing up” for next year. I want a coach who takes what he has and makes the most out of it this year.

  • HoosierPat

    Unfortunately his “upside” is nothing compared to his downside right now.

  • HoosierPat

    If by caring you mean getting his head down and whining after mistakes then yes. There are plenty of guys who play harder than he does. And I don’t care if he can make a highlight play, because he struggles to make simple plays.

  • HoosierPat

    So nearly all of my comments have been about Troy Williams, but I would like to clarify that I do not have some sort of fierce vendetta against him. I think he’ll be a very good player before he is done at Indiana, but right now he is struggling and making way too many mistakes.

  • cdog

    We need 6 Big10 wins in order to get into the NIT. Illinois is not very talented this year but Groce has his team playing hard. We couldn’t beat them there last year when we were ranked #1. NV is going to foul out of a lot of games in the Big10. Let’s face it, this is not an NCAA team this year. We have 11 Freshmen and Sophomores and they play like it. I just hope the team finds some mojo before the end of the season so they can carry that over to next year. By the way, what ever happened to CTC shortening his lineup. Every player got minutes today. Why are the walk on players still getting minutes right before conference. I really want to see more of LF than HP this year. LF will be an all Big10 player in a couple years. HP is a great kid, but this isn’t HS anymore were he could out physical smaller players. The lack of offense is understandable, but I expected him to rebound and play defense at a high level.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    We have a chance to beat Illinois if we protect the ball and rebound like I know we can. Really we don’t have to shoot all that well to win. Just take care of the ball for crying out loud.

  • MarkDIU10

    I think these types of opponents are here to stay.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Ya I would like to see Noah, Yogi, Will, Stan, and Luke in the starting line up. and getting at least 60% of the minutes. JH, Troy, HP, Gordon, Davis getting the other 40% at most.

  • Ole Man

    Amen!

  • Ole Man

    Yogi is absolutely necessary for this team. And if he continues to play as well as he has the past 1 1/2 games, then he will begin to climb into the conversation of best in the B1G. But right now, he isn’t; not nearly.

  • oldiufan

    Troy’s motor, attitude and mental approach to the game right now is perfect for a sixth or seventh man. Coming in off the bench he could provide a spark and it would likely cause him to be more careful with the ball … many of his turnovers are not ballhandling issues as much as they are decision-making problems and he is not looking for the open man! Nothing like a little bench time to change your in game perspective.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Clearly a hypothetical… Choose 1:

    – play some mediocre veterans who will give you more steadiness and win you 22 games instead of 19 this year, but stunt the growth of the massive potential in a couple of your younger players.

    Or…

    – do what we’re doing now, playing a mix of guys between 10-25 minutes each and win 19 games.

    Or…

    – play the younger players, even through their mistakes. Cut down the rotation drastically and eliminate the mediocre, but steady, veterans from any meaningful minutes. Win 16 games this year instead of 22, but next year be a favorite to win the conference and challenge for the Final Four.

  • HoosierPat

    I’ll take the players that get me to the tournament, which would be the mediocre veterans you described. If I were a coach, why would I try to get ready for next year instead of getting the absolute most out of the team I have now?

  • Hey miller had that good game Against purdue…and Patterson had 39 against duke….and hart wore cool hats…and that’s that

  • This man is paid 3 million dollars a year and plays Johnny Marlin and Jeff Howard.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Because your goal is a title and you believe that this years team is not going to do it. Too little experience, not enough shooting… But you think next year, if the right players gain a lot of experience and you add some sharpshooters then you really have something. It’s a matter of perspective on what “getting the most” out of the team means… Is it the most wins this year or the most improvement towards next year?

  • SouthernbornHoosierbred

    Observations:

    – Troy Williams is playing horrible. If you don’t see that then you don’t even deserve the brain in your head. Given this program’s reputation he will get better in every aspect of the game (unless his name is Jordan Hulls). But right now the best spot for him right now is next to Joe Fagan.

    – Luke Fischer is freaking great. He is just so fundamentally sound compared to some of his teammates that I want to cry tears of joy sometimes when he’s out there.

    – Jeremy Hollowell is getting better, but it still seems to me like he hasn’t really learned what playing hard is. If and when he does, watch out.

    – Hanner is playing good basketball. He had some great post moves and pretty good defense save for when he gets his back turned to the ball 1-3 times a game.

    – One little pet peeve of mine; when a guy picks up his dribble…GET IN HIS FACE. When a guy has the ball with less than 3 seconds left…GET IN HIS FACE (Evan Gordon was guilty of this against UCONN). There are enough guys that don’t do this that I think they’re not being coached to do it. Little things like this can be the difference between a turnover buckets and a win in a close game. This year one win could determine whether or not we make the tournament. If we don’t make the tournament it had better not be because of a negiligence of little things like that that a player on the last court in the HPER can do as well as a 5 star recruit.

    – BTW I like Coach Crean sitting down more instead of pacing like a caffeinated panther. I don’t care about the style of it, but I do think that pacing and clapping incessantly doesn’t do anything but make everybody nervous.

  • HoosierPat

    Hollowell has definitely improved because he stopped trying to do too much. Sure, he did not play a good game today, but he really is getting better.mI think we should be past the point of blaming Hollowell for everything. It’s like when the fans with sophomoric minds blamed VJIII for every bad thing that happened.

  • BeatWisconsin

    Why, why, why can’t the coaching staff see what we all see for a stating line up???? Are there some politics involved (eg, assistant coach recruited x and really wants him to start). We had 13 games to start what the general consensus is on this board. Maybe Stan and Luke are turnover machines in practice???

  • TJ21

    now that made me laugh, but its probably closer to the truth than we all would like it to be………

  • TJ21

    Frazier, Craft, Appling….sorry but true….now if and I say if, Yogi plays like he did tonight, he is at the least equal, but he is not the best at this point.

  • TJ21

    for some reason I do not think either was the answer or would be getting minutes if they stayed, bench why they left….

  • ScoopGeoff

    Bear with me for a second here Pat…

    Listen, I’m not saying there is a right or a wrong… It’s just a matter of perspective. I see this issue from many angles. In my college career I sat as a freshman… Didn’t play a lick… I then took a year off to get stronger… Came back essentially as a redshirt soph and started for 2 years for a decent team with mostly upperclassmen. My junior year we lost in the conference finals just missing out on a chance at the tourney. My senior year I was one of only 3 upperclassmen and a captain. We had a 7 man freshman class that was pretty talented. We weren’t going to be very good that year, but they had a chance at being a pretty special class by the time their careers were finished… So guess what – coach started 4 of them. I lost my starting spot and became the back-up PG after starting on 2 successful teams. Honestly, I was mad as hell! We lost games and I would be fuming afterwards because I thought I could have done more about it… But here’s the truth looking back at the situation, I was mainly a glue guy… I had occasional outbursts on the offensive end, but mainly I was a guy who knew the offense well, didn’t turn it over, was a good team defender… Could knock down open shots, but not really create my own… I was limited.

    I probably could’ve helped us win a couple more games that year had I played 30 minutes a game, but it would have been to the detriment of that class. I’m still a little pissed about it down deep, but I understand what my coach did. He’s got a job to protect, and being mediocre wasn’t part of the plan… We weren’t very good that year, but those guys went on and lost in the conference finals 2 out of the next 3 years, which at our level is the chance you dream about… The PG who started over me needed those minutes early in his development to give my alma mater a chance to get to the tournament later in his career.

    Sometimes it’s just the way it goes, and as a slightly more mature individual now, and 15 years removed, I know what my coach did was right for the program.

  • HoosierPat

    I would not hire you as a coach. You want to give up on a season before conference play. Four years ago, I might have agreed with you, but we are well passed the point of “gearing up for next year”. The talent is here and I expect the production to be here as well. You want to give up because you expect to lose. Where is your competitiveness?

  • ScoopGeoff

    False. I don’t expect to lose… Please see my (rather long) response above.

  • HoosierPat

    Just read it and I see your point but still maintain that I want the most out of the team we have now. This should not be a rebuilding year. We are one of the most talented teams in the country but we lack discipline. If this team became disciplined, they could become very dangerous.

  • HoosierPat

    Enough with the “Crean ran off Mo Creek and Remy”! You have no inside knowledge of the decision making so quit pretending like you know something we don’t.

  • SouthernbornHoosierbred

    Once you start screwing around giving guys playing time because of their “upside” you really run the risk of creating a horrible environment within the program. And if a coach is intentionally not putting his best players on the floor then he shouldn’t be coaching a little league girls team let alone Indiana University. The very suggestion of that makes me want to vomit. I want a coach who will do anything he (ethically) can do to win.

  • ScoopGeoff

    I agree.