The Minute After: SMU

  • 11/20/2014 10:55 pm in

Thoughts on a 74-68 win over the Mustangs:

This re-tooled Hoosiers squad had yet to see length and athleticism like Larry Brown’s Mustangs. And so early, SMU worked Indiana on the boards while its defense kept the Hoosiers out of the paint and settling for jump shots.

But Troy Williams entered the game shot out of a cannon, his infectious energy igniting the Assembly Hall faithful. Deflections and drives and suddenly Indiana was right back in his thing and kept with it till game’s end for the victory. From Williams to Stanford Robinson to Yogi Ferrell to Nick Zeisloft to Robert Johnson to Collin Hartman to James Blackmon Jr., the Hoosiers have playmakers and shooters abound. They were all collectively enough to hit buckets and make plays at crucial times despite a rocky shooting night to ensure a win over the No. 22-ranked squad in the country.

Williams and Robinson got into the paint when their time came, something Indiana desperately needed early. Williams would make 5-of-8 free throws and take the most of any player on the floor this evening. Robinson hit 2-of-3 in just nine minutes of action to go along with three assists. During a crucial period late in the second half, Zeisloft outworked the Mustangs for a defensive rebound that seemed as if he had no business getting. He followed it up with a trey on the ensuing Hoosier possession and hit another one for good measure not long after.

The list goes on: Hartman hit a left corner 3 in the second half off good ball movement from Indiana on that possession. Ferrell hit one as well from the opposite wing late. Blackmon Jr. kept it calm and cool and scored in transition and from beyond the arc all night long. He’s seemingly able to step into a 3-pointer whenever he wants with the ball in his hands, taking 10 in this one and hitting five of them. On a night Indiana didn’t shoot particularly well (46.5 eFG%), Blackmon Jr. was the steadying force, going 7-of-15 from the floor and 7-of-7 from the line.

Indiana also made good decisions within their offense for most of the contest and posted their lowest turnover percentage (10.4%)  since a win over Northwestern last season (12.7%).

The second half started like a chess match between Brown and Tom Crean. Brown figured out his best chance at getting buckets was to pound it inside and let his big men go to town on Hanner Mosquera-Perea, who got exposed on more than a couple possessions, either jumping too early and letting his man score or simply just getting scored over in the post. In 29 minutes, Mosquera-Perea failed to record a rebound and scored just three points. Crean countered with a 1-3-1 zone that stymied the Mustangs from punishing the Hoosiers down low for a bit, and they were able to turn a deficit into a lead, never really to look back.

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SMU drew a number of offensive fouls and were sloppy all night. It ended the contest with a turnover percentage of 28.4 and it simply never allowed them to string enough scores in a row to make a serious enough charge in the final 10 minutes despite a strong shooting night (61.7 eFG%).

Make no mistake: This is a big win for Indiana. It’s a confidence-builder victory for this green squad and a statement that their style of play can breed success despite obvious deficiencies.

“We’re young, but we got some hungry guys that are very serious-minded about getting better,” Crean said during a post-game BTN interview on Branch McCracken Court.

The young, hungry Hoosiers passed their first test. And it’s a sigh of relief after all they’ve been through to start the year.

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  • Michael

    No the problem is people think crean is fine with tons of turnovers. No coach is fine with it. Ball handlers have arrived is how he solved that.

  • Benhyoung14

    Numbers don’t lie. In what universe is a .231 shooting percentage good? The fact fo the matter is that if Yogi doesn’t learn to make the better play then there will be games he loses for IU. Not CTC, Yogi. Last year, the game plan was: Yogi: chuck it from 3 after they triple team Vonleh. If Yogi gets hot then guard him. It doesn’t have to be that way. Yogi has options, and he needs to see that.

  • CreamandCrimson

    He was referring to SMU’s game plan when IU was on defense.

  • Erik Holm

    Agreed! Also, maybe land a 5th year transfer who can contribute immediately, unlike the couple 5th year transfer guys we lost out on this last year. Now that JBJ & RJ are showing what they can do in an IU uniform will help get attention. The coaches addressed this since at one point IU did have a couple big guys in that marquette transfer & kentucky kid. NV being 1 and done didn’t help either. Hoping for a some great bigs to slide in next year to compliment our back court. Hanner will be another year experienced as well.

  • BigAd007

    That moment was one of the loudest of the night in Assembly Hall. Definitely changed momentum

  • Arch Puddington

    Well, I am saying it. It’s not like I’m calling him an ax murderer. He played well, and we won. I am glad he is on our team, and I expect that he and the others will get even better as the year goes on.

    But he does dribble too much. He gets his head down at times and forces his way into traffic when others are open, and while he had no official TO’s last night, he did cause a few possessions to stall out or go awry. No player is perfect, and I have no idea why people feel the need to defend him from such a mild critique.

  • SCHoosier

    Against the cupcakes that dribbling is likely to get Yogi to the buck for a layup or foul..against the good teams..he just looks a little silly. Move the ball with the ball like SMU did against our zone..excellent.

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    I agree with your comments completely. Yogi got away with playing out of control tonight . He may not be so fortunate next time.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    You might want to go back and check the accuracy of your source which was used to say that VanVleet, Taylor, Pangos & Boatright were NOT PGs. The NBA’s Draft Xpress currently ranks the D1 PGSs as follows: Tyus Jones #13, Delon Wright #34, Marcus Paige #40, Kevin Pangos #41 among Seniors, Terrry Rozier #50, Fred Van Vleet #51, Isaiah Taylor #67, Yogi @ #76, Keifer Sykes #82, Ryan Boatright #36 among Seniors,…Andrew Harrison # 28 ran as PGs last year but so did Aaron #31 on occasion; Tyler Ulis, #21 among Freshmen, will have something to say about who runs the UK team before the year is over. Yogi has 6 guys whom the scouts rank higher than him at present. It’s a long season; IU needs him right now.

  • Outoftheloop

    Got it.

  • Outoftheloop

    I thought that it was clear that I meant that “the Harrisons are not PG’s”. The others listed are clearly PG’s, just not, in my opinion, better than Yogi.

  • Drew

    I believe Max was 0/2 as well. In complete agreement. But 6 3 pointers is alot to miss. RJ will be fine though, I absolutely love it when he is in the game.




    Exactly, a factor that many forget, or refuse, to acknowledge a lot of the time, can make a situation look completely different when one is in possession of that info. Even armed with that info sometimes it still looks like a mistake to do it until the game as a whole is examined.

  • enickman

    I don’t know about everyone thinking Crean is ok with a lot of turnovers? I’m sure he’s not. What worries me about him is I’m not sold on him as a coach of basketball. Never have been. I feel like whenever I watch IU I see a team with talent that all too often seems undisciplined. I place that on the coach. And I’m saying that about his teams going back to Marquette. He’s like our own (gulp) version of Joe B. Hall. Recruit like nobody’s business but unless the basketball god’s smile on him like they did for ole Joe once, I don’t see him hanging a NC banner or returning this program to elite status as it was under Dean, McCracken and Knight. I sound like a debbie downer but I always sayGo Hoosiers!

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    I misread your post–apologize for that! With a little more game experience from the Freshmen, I don’t think we’ll fall into the proverbial black hole when Yogi is on the bench. Be interesting to see how that plays out…