Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Mississippi Valley State

  • 11/15/2014 2:30 pm in

Indiana opened the 2014-2015 regular season on Saturday night with a 116-65 blowout of Mississippi Valley State at Assembly Hall.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win:

· Mosquera-Perea continues to progress: The competition level still isn’t up to par, but Hanner Mosquera-Perea continues to show signs that he made significant offseason progress. On Friday, Mosquera-Perea played 21 minutes and finished with nine points, a career-high 12 rebounds and just one foul.

Mosquera-Perea shouldn’t have much of a problem asserting himself against the lesser opponents on IU’s non-conference schedule, but whether he continues to produce against teams like SMU and Pittsburgh will be a bigger indicator of just how far he’s come.

“There’s times that he looks better than others, but there’s really not been times that he has not been up to par,” Tom Crean said. “He’s definitely improving. And I think you can see it in his foot work. He’s had a very good off season. He just — but truly, day by day with him, because that’s what it’s been. And that’s what it will continue to be.”

· Turnovers remain an issue: Through the game’s first 20 minutes, Indiana posted a turnover percentage of 30, which would have been a problematic number against a better opponent. The Hoosiers were better in the second half (just six turnovers), but many of the careless mistakes that plagued last year’s team were present early on. There were careless passes and there were guys dribbling into traffic, which are the kind of avoidable mistakes that simply can’t happen against good teams.

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To IU’s credit, things were tightened up after the break, but a final turnover percentage of 23.5 against one of the worst Division I teams was a negative on a night where IU moved the ball fairly well and shot a very high percentage.

“Sometimes with us we just have to not try and make the home run play,” freshman James Blackmon Jr. said. “But just make basic plays and that will help us.”

· The freshmen shine offensively: The trio of Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel was labeled by some as the best incoming shooting class in the country and each player had a strong regular season debut.

Blackmon Jr. poured in 25 points, Hoetzel wasn’t far behind with 19 and Johnson added 15. Blackmon Jr. was once again very efficient as he hit 7 of his 10 field goal attempts and also 8 of his 9 free throw attempts. Lauded as a big time shooter coming out of high school, Blackmon Jr. is showing that getting to the line can also be a major part of his game.

“Coach Crean has pushed me to even get in the lane even more, so I feel like that’s helping me right now,” Blackmon Jr. explained. “And that’s something I’m going to keep focusing on.”

· The Tim Priller phenomenon is a thing: In a 51-point blowout, there’s not many definitive conclusions to be made with one exception: freshman Tim Priller is already a fan favorite. The unheralded recruit, who Crean said last night reminds him of Shaggy from Scooby Doo, entered the game to rousing applause, brought the crowd to its feet when he scored on a tip-in and also had the students cheering “We want Priller” when he was on the bench in the second half.

So what’s the explanation for this? Not even Priller himself understands it.

“Honestly I don’t know why,” Priller said. “I just go in there and try to do my role and help us win.”

Priller was trending nationally in the United States during the game and in IU’s postgame press conference, Hoetzel had a little fun with the various nicknames he has for Priller.

“It’s Uncle Tim, you know? Big Tim Priller,” Hoetzel said, with a laugh.

· Ferrell’s role continues to evolve: As a freshman, he was the facilitator. As a sophomore, he was a score-first point guard. And as a junior, it appears that Yogi Ferrell is doing a little bit of both. On Friday, the Park Tudor product scored 15 points and dished out five assists in 30 minutes.

Right now, Ferrell isn’t get the headlines because of the focus on the newcomers and also Mosquera-Perea, but make no mistake about it: he’s still Indiana’s best and most important player.

Indiana will be able to get past many of the teams on its non-conference schedule on pure talent alone, but once the competition level stiffens, the Hoosiers need Ferrell as their alpha dog.

Filed to:

  • MichaelEFear

    Really like the Freshman. Blackmon and Johnson will be really, really good. And Hoetzel has a lot of sheehey in his personality – but a much higher ceiling basketball wise. Much better shooter.

  • ForeverIU

    Lol, Ferrell the “alpha dog”! I think of him as our “shepherd dog”–patient, wise, magnanimous, and explosive!

  • Bill

    Yes. All the wtf when crean grabbed these guys. nick z, hoetzel, tim ” prowler” Starting to make sense. Pure athleticism was gone from the board. Had to go with guys who could score and be fearless. Can you imagine how fierce the practices must be. These guys want playing time. Will run you over in practice.

    With scollys the way they are. Not sure if all will stay. But I see pure love of the game and competitive spirit in these guys.
    Hope we get to see them grow as Hoosiers.

  • Zach

    Biggest problem i see is what do we do when Hanner gets into foul trouble. This will happen at some point. Whats the general opinion on Holt, we need him to be a solid backup. Sure gonna miss Devin all year, hope he is recovering well.

  • ForeverIU

    Well we still haven’t seen Emmitt in real action, but his strength seems to be on the boards (and I think decent wing span). And don’t discount Jeremiah April. Mark these words.

  • IUfanforever

    Really like our freshman, but they need to be better on guarding on the perimeter. Too many times their man drove past them and Hanner had to leave his man to try to block a shot or disrupt the drive to the basket. This resulted in layups or a rebound. The best way to protect our short supply of bigs (Hanner) is to control the perimeter and lane defensively with our guards. Hopefully we correct that with these early games before the Big Ten season comes….if we do correct that we could be unreal with our ability to shoot! Really miss Devin Davis! Emmit Holt has got to step up big time.

  • Gbwoolman

    I noticed something also could improve with the IU rebounding. A few times I’d notice during our free throw attempts that our big men leaving the free throw line and running back on D rather than crashing the boards on a missed free throw. It didn’t happen on every attempt but it did on at least enough missed FT’s for those of us in the stands to notice this. This obviously wasn’t a big deal but in a tighter game this could either give our O another possession or maybe even a bucket. Good O last night! It’s so nice to see multiple go to guys that can shoot and convert!

  • Hoosier Pride

    His wingspan is in the 7′ range I believe. I agree with you on April, he looked much more skilled and coordinated than I expected, definitely not a bawa/tijan/jurkin type project.

  • Dave Carnes

    Sheehey works how about Dane fife too

  • drunken_cardozo

    TOs are exceedingly frustrating considering it was such a massive and continuous problem last year. Considering the apparent guard depth, you’d think Crean would use the bench as a teaching tool when players start getting reckless w/ TOs.

  • Outoftheloop

    Some random observations: 1) Max Hoetzel, in his first game as a Hosier, was far better than Jeremy Hollowell was at any time in his 2 year career at playing the “Point Forward” position; 2) Tim Priller can play basketball, in 9 minutes he fills a stat sheet: 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal; 3) Jeremiah April, in his first game as a Hoosier, is better than Peter Jurkin, Bawa Minuri, and Tijuan Jobe were at any point in their careers, and is better than Hanner Perea was during any time during his first two years as a Hoosier; 4) Nick Zeisloft is a solid rotation player for IU; 5) Collin Hartman is a solid rotation player for IU; 6) Hanner Perea can be more than adequate for IU in the post this year; 7) Yogi Farrell, James Blackmon and Robert Johnson are second to no guards in the B1G! 8) IU is still bad at defense, rebounding and TO’s!

  • Outoftheloop

    Also much taller and a better rebounder. And I loved Will!

  • Michael Crawley

    You have made that comment several times and I always thought you were crazy. I really think ur still crazy. Lol. JK I actually am starting to belive you.

  • Michael Crawley

    He plays with a chip on his shoulder he is seriously an intense player

  • ForeverIU

    Lol, you mean about Jeremiah?

  • ForeverIU

    We had 53 rebounds yesterday, and we’re currently 11th in the nation, LOL! Wait till Stan, Troy and Emmitt join the party.

  • Ole Man

    Too early to say he has a higher ceiling than Sheehey. People forget how athletic he was.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    leave Hanner alone, thx

  • ScoopGeoff

    not bad, except for #3… Hanner has had many games in his career that flashed his potential and were far better than what April gave us in game 1. Namely, but not limited to, 8 pts, 5 reb, and 3 blocks against OSU last year.

  • ForeverIU

    I agree with some of the other commenters. No need to compare Jeremiah to Hanner. He had both the fortune and misfortune of living in the shadows of Cody and Noah.

    Having said that, I upvoted you, and what you’ve been saying about Tim and Jeremiah all along I think is prophetic!

  • Michael Crawley

    I actually do believe that JA will be able to contribute especially if DD cannot make it back.

  • CreanFaithful

    What bench?

  • CreanFaithful

    Holt has a 7’2″ wingspan.

  • dschiller33

    Why is everyone talking like April is the next coming of Jesus in our line up? The guy played hardly at all and most of it was in garbage time! I’m not sure if you all watched the same game I did but he has a Long way to go! I’m optimistic on what he could become but guys relax a little on this guy is great talk! He has an upside better then all of the other 7 footers we’ve had and that’s prob where we should leave it until game ten, if he gets more playing time??
    Our guards are at that top teir in the B1G for sure. They will compete with every back court! Looking forward to watching them play even through all the growing pains! I’m most excited about watching Troy Williams! He could be a first or second team All Big Ten player this year! Very reserved on first game results but hoping this is a start of brilliance coming back to Hoosiers Nation! Get well soon DD, We miss ya homie!

  • ForeverIU

    I thought he was up there, impressive. I wish wingspans would be included in the official stats. Isn’t Hanner 7’4″, close to Noah?

    Not to be nitpicky, but two players with the same wingspan and height can have different vertical reaches depending on what proportion of wingspan is due to chest-width.

  • ForeverIU

    Because we’re hungry for a chill towering big man! LOL!

  • dwdkc

    Agree with Ole Man. Styles are a bit different. Taller and better shooter but Will was very athletic, great motor without the ball, very good defender. Would love to see the same kind of fire and fearlessness from Max, which I think is what we’re talking about.

  • Corey M

    It is time we all realize Hanner will never be perfect. We need to quit talking about what he does not do well and talk about what he does. He brings everything to the table that this team needs. With the shooting and offensive firepower that this team has all Hanner needs to do is protect the rim, score around the basket a few times a game, and rebound the hell out of the ball. He is more than capable of doing all of these things and it is time we embrace his strengths instead of constantly pointing out his glaring weaknesses.. Go Hoosiers!

  • VanPastorMan

    On the BT Network they kept calling him Jeremy. That really bugged me.

  • Outoftheloop

    Troy could be great this season! He needs to be great for IU to be great. A lineup of Hanner, Troy, Robert, James and Yogi is second to none as an offensive starting 5 in the B1G! You have 4 potential All-B1G players plus the “most improved” (not that all 5 will win those awards). But Indiana MUST improve at defense, rebounding and TO’s to have the kind of season that we want. Come on coaches!

  • Outoftheloop

    You have to read #3 together with #6. This game (IU v MS Valley St) was the first real game where Hanner hit a 15′ jump shot (in his first game of his 3rd year). Jeremiah hit one in his first game ever (in his first season). But I have been a big Hanner fan for two years now! I like the way that he is working and playing so far this season. I liked the way that he improved last season. I have no idea why he did not get more minutes on the floor last season and get to play with Noah? Thus, my comment #6.

  • Outoftheloop

    Fife was the original Olidipo! Dane was a very average to poor shooter as a freshman. But as a senior he was an excellent 3-point shooter!

  • ForeverIU

    At least they didn’t call him Jerry, LOL!

  • CreanFaithful

    Yes. Hanner has a 7’4″ wingspan.

    “I wish wingspans would be included in the official stats.”
    – I’d settle for accurate height listings to start….