The Minute After: McGill

  • 08/12/2014 10:16 pm in

MONTREAL — Thoughts on a 96-69 win over McGill University:

Unlike Sunday afternoon in Saint-Lambert, Quebec and Monday evening in Ottawa, Ontario, Indiana received little in terms of a test as it returned to Montreal for the fourth game of its Canadian tour.

The Hoosiers, who came into Love Competition Hall on the campus of McGill sporting a 2-1 record on their trip, dominated the Redmen, who lacked the athleticism to contain IU’s array of perimeter options.

From a team perspective, there was plenty to like in this performance from Indiana. The offense wasn’t nearly as good as what we witnessed Monday night against Carleton, but it was still quite solid. The Hoosiers scored 1.10 points per possession with an effective field goal percentage of 54, while limiting the Redmen to .85 points per trip and an eFG percentage of just 43.3.

Indiana also did a solid job grabbing the shots that it did miss as evidenced by its offensive rebounding percentage of 46.1. And while the free throw rate (FTA/FGA) wasn’t as high as Tom Crean would like at just 21.3 percent, the Hoosiers did make 15 of their 16 attempts at the stripe.

On the downside of things, Indiana was sloppy with the ball quite often this evening and turned it over 23 times for a turnover percentage of 27.2. Crean said afterward that many of those were unforced and a film session with this young group will show far too many occasions where a ball handler went airborne without anywhere to go. These are the types of mistakes that haunted Indiana a season ago and are exactly the kind of mishaps that can be the difference in tight games when the regular season rolls around.

From an individual standpoint, Troy Williams was aggressive attacking off the dribble today and Crean commented postgame that he was also IU’s top deflection guy in the first half. Williams nearly recorded a double-double (18 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals) and continues to show more confidence with the ball in his hands.

James Blackmon Jr. led the team in scoring with 21 points and his 3-point shooting (3-of-7) is immediately paying dividends for a team that desperately needed a perimeter threat. Blackmon Jr. continues to show patience and isn’t forcing things or pressing offensively at all, which just confirms what we already knew: He’s a mature player who doesn’t get rattled easily.

Illinois State transfer Nick Zeisloft is the surprise of the trip through four games. A relative unknown for most Indiana fans before he decided to transfer in over the summer, Zeisloft has flown under the radar, but deserves a ton of credit for how he’s come out and played through four games. Tonight, he was 6-of-10 from the field and finished with 15 points in 18 minutes.

Sophomore Stanford Robinson had a well-rounded performance with 14 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Most importantly, he only turned it over once. Robinson continues to experiment a bit with his shooting as he’s taken shots with both hands over the four games in Canada, but has been fantastic off the bench, a role that could become pivotal come fall.

Last, but certainly not least, freshman Tim Priller returned to the rotation after not playing on Monday in Ottawa and turned in his best overall performance of the trip with eight points in 15 minutes. Defense is still a huge area for Priller to approve upon, but his unorthodox shot was going in against McGill and if it continues to do so, his chance at minutes as a freshman will increase substantially.

All in all, it was tough to draw too many conclusions from a performance like this against a team that was totally outclassed by Indiana’s talent level, but it’s another feather in the cap for these young Hoosiers in terms of experience, which is the point of these exhibitions.

Indiana now has a quick turnaround and wraps things up tomorrow afternoon with a 1 p.m. EST contest with the University of Quebec at Montreal before heading home to the U.S.

Filed to:

  • ForeverIU

    There is just no excuse for so many turnovers, and it is 100% on the coaching staff! If it is part of the style of play, then adjust the style of play.

  • CreanFaithful

    Easy. It’s August. 10 practices in. Playing with a 24 sec shot clock. The ball is moving noticeably better despite it being so early. And if we are going by averages, our TO % is waaay down per possession.

  • Michael

    Lol

  • dontfiretomcrean

    yeah. it’s an exhibition game. in august. might want to dial it back a little bit. that’s why you play games like this. i’d rather they turn it over now than in January.

  • ForeverIU

    That’s what we kept saying last year until season’s end. Explain to me why we are among the few who do this. We had the highest turnover rate in the B1G last year, didn’t we?

    Nine of our TWENTY-THREE turnovers today were from the veterans. Crean justified it in part by saying we are also forcing turnovers from the other team at a higher rate, but I don’t think this can be sustained in the B1G. I’m beginning to think it has something to do with our frantic style of play.

  • NateMH

    Yea, take it easy there is no way this is a reflection on the coaching staff. At least we are showing improvement & we will dominate the glass with our superior size all season. Plus, it’d be different if we had a guard dominated line up

  • CreanFaithful

    Which foreign trip are you comparing this to? I’m simply saying the numbers are lower per possession than last year through 4. Zeisloft has been with the team less than 2 weeks… positive or negative we shouldn’t be drawing too many conclusions yet. If you want to point out our highest turnover game of the Canadian tour. How bout we give hats off to the coaches for the biggest margin win of the tour?

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t know what “foreign” has to do with it. You bring your best game anytime, anywhere. Nick actually had zero turnovers today, and I give CTC 100% credit for recruiting him. We were probably also strong on defense, I don’t know, but until we learn to temper our game when needed, I think we should just accept the high turnovers as a fact of IU basketball. I’m not sure I’m ready to do that.

  • CreanFaithful

    The point of “foreign trip” is this is the earliest look at an IU team we have ever gotten under CTC. They are also one of the youngest. Again the percentages are already lower and the ball is moving better. What am I missing?

  • IUBizmark

    I’m not disagreeing with any of your statements and if I had to guess what Forever is saying it’s that the numbers, while lower, still aren’t up to the standards of IU/Championship basketball.

  • ForeverIU

    Exactly, ball-handling should be an absolutely fundamental skill and requirement, not a late addition to the season.

  • Michael

    did you actually watch the game?

    This style of play is a lot different than in the states.

    And if you don’t know that JBJ, RJ, and Nick are upgrades in ball handling… I guess I have nothing else to say

  • ForeverIU

    I watched the first half. Listen, it’s not going to help us or IU basketball to justify 23 turnovers. Yes, I recognize the great things we have, which is precisely why the turnover issue bothers me even more. By the way, and I don’t want to enter into debate about this now, but I’ve also said in the past that I think there is a fundamental flaw in RJ’s shot, and our coaching staff should be helping him to fine-tune, especially because I think he is a great kid and a conscientious learner.

  • TJ91

    Wait a minute Nate…what superior size are you talking about? And how in the world is our lineup not guard dominated…? I’m praying that was sarcasm

  • Michael

    Well it also doesn’t make sense to believe that a completely different team will have the same result as another in terms of TO’s.

    Its obvious to everyone how much better the spacing is for this team and that will be a big key this entire season.

    And how do you know what is being done or not done to his shot. He isn’t considered one of the best shooters in the entire 2014 class for no reason. It blows my mind when people assume coaches or the individual aren’t working to improve major problem areas.

  • Bryce Kepner

    Frantic style is because of the 24 second shot clock that most of these guys haven’t experienced and won’t this year. Leave the judgements and conclusions of this team till we are in the actually season

  • IUBizmark

    You know what this team needs? Another 6’7ish wing.

  • Snookafly

    I definitely have some concerns about what this team can accomplish once the season starts, and turnovers are way up there on the list of reasons why. The other is size and the seemingly, ever present “youth” issue, which is just as prevalent now as ever.
    I will say the pace up here is ridiculous. Basically it’s two teams playing the same style and sprinting each other. Fatigue might’ve played into it as well. I’m not trying to make excuses, but there is some legitimacy to these explanations. You also have to realize McGill isn’t comparable to a high D1 squad. I don’t know the stats, but we were up by 30 at one point and playing some lineups we probably won’t see during the year– that and the starters started coasting a little.

  • CreanFaithful

    If that’s size 18 boots and a 7’3″ wingspan you might be right. .

  • marcusgresham

    23 is too many for sure, but (unlike last season, albeit with a far smaller sample size,) it hasn’t been a pattern on this trip.
    There are factors that have been mentioned by others such as the tempo, quicker shot clock, young team (including a few of the key ball-handlers,) and relative lack of time to prepare, but let’s also not lose sight of the fact that they’re playing for the 3rd day in a row with bus travel involved.
    As for Johnson’s shooting, I agree to work on it but there’s also a fine line when you tinker if he’s fairly successful with it (I haven’t looked at his shooting percentages so I’m not sure.) Jordy’s shot was technically not the way you teach it with the ball next to his head but it worked.

  • marcusgresham

    When you get that far ahead you can start trying some highlight-reel stuff you wouldn’t otherwise do. Would that have factored in, as well?

  • ihoosieru

    I will never accept high turnovers as being part of the game. It is totally unacceptable to turn the ball over in the manner that IU does, if there isn’t anyplace to go pass the ball dammit. Another theme of the last two years is that and I don’t know the statistics but it seems that when we have a lead that the veterans start forcing things.

  • ihoosieru

    I watched the game last night and Nick was everywhere. He shot the 3’s good, rebounded and hustled on defense. He reminds me of the type of player Butler gets year in and year out. He talked about leadership in one of his early interviews and he is doing it with play-that’s leadership, and he can play 1, 2 and 3 positions, what a add on.

  • ihoosieru

    Who cares, he can make shots!!!!!!!!!

  • TomJameson

    How is anybody watching the game without being there? ihoosieru and ForeverIU … both mentioned watching the game. ???

  • Benhyoung14

    24 Second clock. That’s an 11 second shortage.

  • SCHoosier

    The trip has been good for this team. IU will have to be guarded everywhere on the perimeter this year. Defense for these Hoosiers is still a big ?? To say we need a solid performance from a yet undetermined front line is an understatement. Lot of work to do..but this team should be fun to watch. 3rd quarter in the McGill game was a disaster..but that will happen with a 40 point lead at half. Entire second half Hoosiers were throwing up shots whenever..from wherever. It is August.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I’d bet $100 that Nate was being sarcastic.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    And he’s slightly faster than Tim Priller, too!

  • Ole Man

    It was streamed.

  • marcusgresham

    If you’ve never been on here during the season here’s your tip. Go to the top of the story and in the first sentence you see the score in bold, red numbers. Click on that. In today’s game it’s a picture of a printed out box score; during the regular season it will be a regular one but Alex or whomever just busted his butt to get it to us in this form for this trip. No problem doing it that way, it’s still very easy to read.

  • INUnivHoosier

    ITH posted a link on Facebook. That’s how I found it. Might have posted something on Twitter, too, but I don’t do Twitter, so I don’t know for sure.

  • ForeverIU

    Many thanks to Alex. I preferred his tweets to live audio the other day.

  • ForeverIU

    It streamed online. Alex and others tweeted the link. Are you on twitter?

  • ForeverIU

    I think it’s not just the shots you make, but how you miss the ones you don’t.

  • Snookafly

    RJ is good and he’s going to get even better, but his biggest problem right now seems to come when he tries to do too much on his own.

  • ForeverIU

    His 0-6 last night is what reminded me of this point. Not sure what’s going on. I know turnovers haven’t been a pattern yet, but we also had some great games last season. In any case, it’s new day 🙂

  • ForeverIU

    I know he’ll be great because he has a fantastic attitude and the ability. I’m not an expert, but there’s a certain lack of finesse in his shot. I don’t know, just MHO, as they say.

  • Snookafly

    Not really. I’m kinda of surprised at the lack of dunks/attempts. It was more like they were settling for threes and passing on some looks. One parent I spoke to thought some of the “killer instinct” fell off in the second half when we knew it was in the bag. We were also playing some deep bench guys.

  • Snookafly

    I know what you’re talking about. I’m not sure he’s started slow because his shot is getting contested. It seems right now like he’s either getting used to the pace or he’s forcing his shot a bit. Altering his technique might put too much on his plate this early.

  • SCHoosier

    It also ruins what was designed as a beautiful game which is sometimes required in the half court. 24 sec clock makes it a NYC park game

  • Benhyoung14

    I would like a 30 sec shot clock. 35 is just too long.

  • CreanFaithful

    Huh? I was talking about Holt. If you knew that and still made a Priller comparison then you need to get those eyes checked…

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Did you watch the video from yesterday’s ITH article? His speed is unimpressive for a 6’7″ kid that will play PF for us.

  • CreanFaithful

    I did. It’s a highlight reel of him dunking over other guys from within 3-4 ft of the basket. Nothing slow about his dunks. There were a couple swats in there too. The athleticism looked good. I really have no clue…

  • Outoftheloop

    Doc, if you have $100 to throw away on a bet about whether or not someone is being sarcastic (an unproveable fact), then Purdue is paying you way too much!

  • Outoftheloop

    But you play the way you practice.

  • Outoftheloop

    Nick is better than Austin already.

  • Outoftheloop

    Or remove the clock altogether. I remember a great game in the IN State Final Four where Loogottee ran their offense until they got a lay-up, for minutes at a time, constant movement, total control and discipline.

  • Outoftheloop

    And if there is no open pass, hold the ball. By Rule you get the ball back on a through-in 50% of the time (the arrow). That means that you lower your TO’s by 50% even when you do nothing! Barack is right in this one situation-“just don’t do stupid stuff”!