Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Texas Southern

  • 11/18/2014 11:15 am in

Indiana moved to 2-0 with a comfortable 83-64 win over Texas Southern on Monday evening at Assembly Hall. The game was the first in the four-game Hoosiers Showcase and also marked the return of Mike Davis to Bloomington for the first time since the 2005-2006 season.

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

· Johnson showing uncommon maturity for a freshman: It’s only two games and the competition level hasn’t been great, but freshman guard Robert Johnson is showing why he’s a major part of the equation for the Hoosiers. Johnson is a little older than your typical freshman because he reclassified after his junior season from the 2013 class to 2014. The extra time to develop at the prep level obviously proved beneficial as Johnson transferred to Benedictine Prep and saw his recruitment take off the summer before his senior year there.

Arguably the most physically developed freshman that Tom Crean has ever recruited to Bloomington, Johnson’s skill set is solid all around. He’s a very capable perimeter shooter and he’s good off the dribble despite lacking elite athleticism. In Monday’s game, he was on fire early on as he had 17 points by halftime and had a lot of ball handling responsibilities once again. Johnson’s turnover percentage is just 14.7 through two games, the lowest among IU’s starting five which speaks to his willingness to make the simple play and not try to do too much.

Like any freshman, he’ll have his ups and downs, but through two games, Johnson appears to have put a stamp on a starting position for the foreseeable future.

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· Mosquera-Perea excels again: Is it too early to proclaim that Hanner Mosquera-Perea has arrived? Yes. But with each game that passes, it becomes more and more clear that the Colombia native has improved significantly. There’s still plenty of work to be done, but it’s obvious that Mosquera-Perea is gaining comfort, particularly offensively.

On one sequence last night, Mosquera-Perea scored six points in 1:13 and each bucket showed something different. The first score was off a solid move in the post, the second was a rim shaking dunk after a steal and the third was a midrange jumper. A year ago, it’s tough to say if he would have converted any of those opportunities. Mosquera-Perea also blocked five shots in 26 minutes.

“I feel like Hanner this year has gotten better with timing the block now and going up and blocking it, so if we get beat off the dribble, we know we’ve got back line defense, and Hanner is going to be up there to block it for us,” Yogi Ferrell said. “We’re going to definitely need that from him.”

· Defensively, Indiana has a long way to go: The Hoosiers have been lighting it up offensively through two games with an effective field goal percentage of 70.9. But when the games get tougher, it’s tough to count on that type of efficiency to continue and getting stops is going to be imperative in tight games.

On Monday, Texas Southern missed quite a few easy looks that good teams will convert. So as the Hoosiers go back to practice and watch film in preparation for SMU on Thursday, there will certainly be plenty of learning points from watching the film from the defensive end.

· Without three rotation guys, Indiana took care of business: Assuming Emmitt Holt is going to be a contributor, the Hoosiers did exactly what needed to be done (win) in four games without Holt, Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson. Crean had to play guys more minutes than he would have liked this early in the season, but given the circumstances, Indiana comes out of the suspensions with some experience for its young players.

“They’re playing an awful lot of minutes early on in the season, and we’re spending a lot of time together,” Crean explained. “The last couple weeks, these kids have gone through a lot, and then the games come, and you would think that would be the freedom of movement, and boy, let’s go, and it’s — you know, they’re carrying a lot.”

· Quietly, Zeisloft puts together a solid night: Monday’s performance from redshirt junior Nick Zeisloft is more in line with what he’ll produce on a regular basis than the offensive explosion he had in the exhibition opener.

In 32 minutes, Zeisloft made both of his field goal attempts and finished with six points, six rebounds, two steals, an assist and a turnover. More importantly, he corrected a few of the mistakes of over dribbling and trying to do too much at times that he had in previous games.

It’ll be interesting to see how Zeisloft’s role changes once Indiana gets Robinson and Williams back into the rotation, but regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, his play so far shows he was a solid offseason addition for the program.

Filed to:

  • Gregory Spera

    Three points, one good, one bad, and one that I haven’t decided about yet.

    Hanner. Five blocks and several more altered shots. Never in foul trouble. Did I see Hanner bust out a reverse drop step for a basket? What’s next, the “Dream Shake?” We are seeing the improvement we we’re all praying for.

    In the second half, is it just my paranoia, or did I see the old “one guy dribbling, four guys just standing around” starting to creep back into our half court offense?

    I am beginning to think that, that for better or worse, Crean is never going to be able to take that “wild hair” out of Yogi’s game.

  • ForeverIU

    LOL, Yogi has us wrapped around his little pinky!

  • millzy32

    Whether it’s “wild hair” or “wild hare” if it’s the thing that makes him jump out of bounds under the basket and wildly try to throw it back on the court then it needs to be tamed.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    It will be interesting to see how how changing the rotations will affect the way that Rob and Zeisloft play, but clearly having Stan and Troy slashing to basket will open up outside even more and help Yogi out. Can Holt be a contributor this year? Also, it was encouraging to see that Devin was at sister’s hs game. That shows recovery to me. I am always the optimist but maybe we can get Devin back mid January? Loved watching Hanner play last night, but I have seen enough basketball to know that shotblockers fall in love with blocking shots and:
    1.. Get into foul trouble
    2. Get out of position and don’t rebound.

    As long as he is blocking shots of players that he is not primarily guarding, he should be ok.

  • OhioHoosier

    Loved seeing the thriller embrace his inner Bill Lambieer last night.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I’m glad Rob Johnson is playing well, but a freshman combo guard shouldn’t have a lower turnover ratio than our preseason all-conference, Cousy Award Watch List, upperclassmen point guard.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Love the hot shooting but It’s not surprising. We will struggle at times against good defensive teams but I think we will be one of the highest percentage shooting teams in the nation. Rebounding and turnovers are the issues right now but I’m not as worried about the rebounding. I think we will improve on the boards with Troy and Emmitt. The turnover problem is frustrating though. Teams like Louisville will make you pay dearly for those turnovers and what’s even more irritating is that most of our turnovers are coming from the 2 guys that have been here for 3 years…

  • Hoosier Hall

    I’m assuming you’re referring to when he blasted through the guy trying to screen him? Because that was funny.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    “1. Get into foul trouble.
    2. Get out of position and don’t rebound.”

    Hammer, meet nail….

  • HoosierOz

    Exactly…I keep thinking to myself that yes, Yogi does make us a better team overall, but I think he gets a little too much praise. An upperclassman who got to play as much as he did frosh and soph years shouldn’t be this wild on the court. The constant dribbling through heavy traffic and the throwing passes from out of bounds needs to end by B10 season!

  • BruceA

    Mostly concerned about our defensive intensity in the second half, or lack thereof. Like MVS, we should won going away. Very impressed with RJ…reminds me a bit of Jim Thomas, but a little better outside shooter.

  • Ole Man

    You did see the old “one guy dribbling…”…..Thought we’d gone through some kind of time warp.
    They were lost, to be honest, for about seven minutes of the second half.
    Scary!

  • ForeverIU

    Has anyone noticed that RJ’s perimeter shot has looked cleaner in the last 2-3 games, and I don’t just mean because it’s going in. Seems like he’s established quicker release and more efficiency. No more of this “yanking motion”, for lack of a better way of describing it, lol.

  • Gregory Spera

    If you are talking shooting “efficiency,” then I find that a “yanking motion” makes for a “quicker release.”

  • I’ve been blasted by the Hoosier faithful for my criticism of Yogi’s inability to make good decisions and take care of the ball. I’ll continue those criticisms until he shows me he’s capable of playing smarter, not just for one game, but consistently for a season. He’s still far too careless with the ball.

  • ForeverIU

    Lol, not that kind, it’s too early in the day Gregory! The sideways circular motion. Please use your linguistic skills and basketball knowledge to help me express better!

  • IU diehard from CT

    i think you are forgetting how good yogi is and how important he is to our team. ya, he made some dumb decisions last night and the night before, but nevertheless, he is IU’s best player and by far the most important. he’ll tighten it up

  • IUBizmark

    Agree. I was wanting Hanner to stay home under the rim more. Several occasions he was jumping from under the rim out to the free throw line to “alter” shots, then running back to the rim to try to rebound. Neither thing worked.

  • Gregory Spera

    Sorry, but that was just too easy. Thought working Peter Jurkin into the joke would probably be over-kill.

  • Bdub-hoops

    It wasn’t great to see, but when you’re blowing teams out you can lose focus sometimes. I’m hopeful that was all it was and that won’t hurt us in closer games.

  • IU diehard from CT

    IU wouldn’t have won 1 damn game if it weren’t for yogi last year. he is invaluable, and our number 1 option at all times. the last two games he has made some uncharacteristically bad choices, besides his jump passing. but he is virtually unguardable, and unselfish. he has options this year and he will have to learn to trust his teammates to help him carry the load. its going to take him a few games. the kid can ball, period.

  • ForeverIU

    No, that would be “over-flow”! Okay, this has to end!

  • David Macer

    I agree. Crean then inserted Hartman and things changed a little. I would not be the least bit surprised that Hartman logs between 10-12 minutes a game going forward. He will be fighting for Nick Z’s minutes I think.

  • David Macer

    More than likely, Devin will not be back this year and will earn a medical red shirt.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    More double-entendres from the world of internet advice pages:

    *In order to have proper control only your finger tips should be touching.
    *At the start you should be small, your legs bent as if you were sitting (this is where your power comes from). Then as you continue you are springing up, ending with your body straight, ending tall.
    *Remember, don’t make your arms do all the work.
    *You should always follow through, your arm finishing straight, your wrist loose, your fingers hanging down. Your fingers should be naturally hanging, not tight together or pointing.
    * By holding your follow through you are ingraining it into your muscle memory, making your mechanics come naturally without conscious thought.

  • David Macer

    I watched JBJ guard someone full court on the break and get past him every freakin’ time. He has to learn to make the dribbler change direction.

  • David Macer

    Did anyone else notice the JBJ got beat twice on the dribble up court on the break ?? Seemed to happen way to easily. This can’t happen in the B1G. Please someone teach him to beat the dribbler to the spot.

  • Guest

    It’s from a basketball shooters advice page!!! Sheesh, c’mon guys, get’cher minds outta the gutter! 😉

  • SilentBob

    That’s because he doesn’t possess an inability to make good decisions, he does however often make dumb ones. To ultimately cut out most of his dumb decisions would require tampering with his aggression. I don’t want that. So there are but two ways I can think to remedy this. First more trust in his team which takes more than two games. Second getting our suspended players back so we can finally make use of that guard depth and keep Yogi’s legs/head fresh. As ForeverIU pointed out to me last night he played 38 minutes.

    Take a look at last year he averages 33.8 minutes per game. In our big games, as can be expected, he frequently went over 35 minutes per game. In those games you’d be hard pressed, both wins and losses, to find a game where he wasn’t turning the ball over at high level and or shooting poorly. However IMO his/our best game came against Wisconsin where he plays 33 minutes and maintained his season average of a little above 41% fg%. He finishes the game with 25 points, going 4-5 from the line, 4 assists, and 0 turnovers. We beat #3 Wisconsin by three points. So bottom line when we get everyone back on Thursday I don’t want to see Yogi play more than 32 to 33 minutes per game.

    If you don’t think resting your players matters just look at the Spurs last season. Not a single player, not even the youngster Leonard, averaged 30 minutes per game or more.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    It seems more like he encourages Yogi to go fast. This leads to those Yogi’istic fumbles and foibles, but at this point of his career I get the feeling that the speed is encouraged over any ball security teaching.

    I’m not sure I agree with that, but after this many years of him playing the point, I have to conclude it’s something he’s being taught. Not the insecurity itself, but rather the push, Push, PUSH mentality that causes him to play a little faster than his mind is able to recognize things.

  • INUnivHoosier

    The good news is, Crean now has the ability to pull Yogi and still have Rob out there.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    These first games highlight what is needed from the suspended players: Can Emmitt rebound at this level…can Stan be efficient enough with other hand to keep on floor for his defense…and will Troy defend? ..we know he will play a ton of minutes.

  • Brad

    I think we all need to prepare for the very real possibility that Davis will never play again. If he sustained as devastating of a head injury as it sounds, he might never be able to play again. I hope that isn’t the case, but it might be.

  • KmanCRK

    Freshman or not, I’d love to see RJ become a leader on this team. He is leading by example in terms of taking care of the ball. Maybe Yogi should take note.

    I love the spacing and the extra passes, and hope that it isn’t disrupted when we have one or two less “shooters” on the floor when Troy & Stan come back. I think there is a lot to be excited about with this team. Are they perfect, NO, but they sure do a lot of things well.

  • JWaltFTW

    I think you’re missing the point of what’s being said here. I don’t think any of us can deny that Yogi is our best player, but we are acknowledging that he still makes boneheaded mistakes. We all love Yogi, but take out those mistakes and he’s going to be even better. That’s what everyone wants.

  • I’m not saying Yogi isn’t valuable. Yes, he’s good. He has huge potential, but he makes so many boneheaded mistakes that it keeps him from being rated much higher than he should. He’s had stellar games, but most of the time he makes too many bad choices in games. Those bad choices the past 2 games definitely aren’t uncharacteristic of his play. He has a career average of 22% TO pct. More than 1 out of 5 plays he’s turning the ball over. He doesn’t belong in the conversation of elite PG in the nation or even in the B1G if he can’t take better care of the ball.

  • Great points Bob. If Yogi can have a season full of games like he played against Wisc., then he’ll be a 1st team all american, and bet a top 5 draft pick next year. But the problem is consistency. He’s a turnover machine. 1 out of every 5 plays he turns the ball over. The truly frustrating part is many of those turnovers this year and his whole career have been completely unforced. Why does he still consistently leave his feet before finding an open man to pass to?

  • Eastwood88_2

    Do we have any evidence that Holt will contribute or has the ability to rebound? Other than being a big body? I know Davis has the ability, but who knows if he comes back this year.

  • Bdub-hoops

    Holt played and rebounded well in the highest AAU league last year. He’s not on the same level as Noah, but he does seem to have a knack for rebounding. I’m pretty optimistic that he will be a solid backup behind Hanner, hopefully that’s how it plays out.

  • Tcuomo

    I also noticed that he lost track of his man several times when he was playing defense off the ball. Looked extremely lost last night on the defensive end.

  • Hardwood83

    Right. It’s absolute speculation, but we need to be prepared for the eventuality Devin is finished. On the other hand, he might be back in time for the B1G season. I haven’t heard any ‘official’ prognosis.

  • Hardwood83

    Appreciate your restraint, but I woulda approved. Jurkin jokes are gonna be fewer and far between going forward.
    I haven’t even seen Tijan mentioned in some time. Keep the flame burning.

  • SCHoosier

    Everybody including me is being a little hard on Yogi today..because we all understand that the Hoosiers will go only as far as Ferrell takes them this year. Yogi had the 5 TO’s and struggled a little big on D last night..but he is still “da man” on this is team. He is adjusting also..playing off the ball more..and learning that a great assist to his other shooters WILL result in points. Some experimentation going on right now..but when crunch time comes..Yogi will step up. I did think the heading on one paragraph (Indiana has a long way to go defensively) was an understatement and probably my biggest concern about this team right now. On ball defense sucks.

  • Hardwood83

    Let’s hope Holt grew 3 inches during his suspension- along with gaining some maturity.

  • BruceA

    Agreed…and some help defense would be good as well

  • VAHoosier

    I wish this point were more meaningful… I would love it if CTC yanked Yogi now and again for some of his “loose” play. I love Yogi, but he gets careless and can be a ball-stop. That won’t get better unless he is accountable and has some consequences. I don’t think CTC would sit him for on-court issues, though.

  • Gwade8888

    As great as Rob, Nick and James are playing, I have to say that nobody has surprised me as much as Collin. So awesome to see.

  • GaHoosier

    More like Hanner, meet nail

  • INUnivHoosier

    Yeah. That doesn’t seem to be Crean’s style. Although, I thought I recalled him alluding to the fact that he really wasn’t able to sit people as punishment last year because they all came in and didn’t play well.

    I might be imagining that. Either way, he had the opportunity to do so already, and he didn’t take it.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    i got the impression that yogi played down to the competition a bit, and was more than willing to jump into the role of facilitator first. my guess is we’re going to see him being a good more deal assertive offensively once the competition ramps up (i.e. in a couple days). and i think that also means he’ll be more focused on protecting the ball. as far as our defense, yeah i’m worried too. gulp!