The Minute After: UNC Greensboro

  • 11/28/2014 11:53 pm in

Thoughts on a 87-79 win over the Spartans:

I. This one counts as a W. It’s a win.

But it failed to stifle concerns of Indiana’s defense and its inability to put away an inferior opponent on Branch McCracken Court. Leading 68-49 with 12:06 to play, the Hoosiers choked away the 19-point lead. They failed to step on the Spartans’ throats and put them to bed for the night, leading by only seven with just over three minutes to play. They hung on for the eventual eight-point win over the now 1-5 Spartans, a team ranking 302nd overall in the country, per KenPom.

Indiana was outscored 45-37 in the second half and gave up 1.13 points per possession to a team ranking 258th in offensive efficiency. The Spartans were white hot from 3-point range, hitting 14 of their 23 attempts (60.9 percent). Many of them came as good looks with Indiana failing to track down shooters beyond the arc. Nicholos Paulos (6-of-8) and Clay Byrd (6-of-11) did heavy damage. While Indiana allowed a much better 22 points in the paint after giving up 48 points there in back-to-back games coming into this one, it also allowed too many drives to the bucket for scores as the Spartans mounted a second half comeback.

It’s the same refrain from last TMA: All the shooting in the world won’t save a weak D over the long run. And Indiana has nowhere to hide on this with Pittsburgh coming to Bloomington on Tuesday.

II. Deep breaths.

For tonight at least, Emmitt Holt appears to be the safety valve for Hanner Mosquera-Perea’s mistakes. Early in the second half, Tom Crean pulled Mosquera-Perea after he picked up a foul biting on a shot fake. Holt entered the contest and Crean proceeded to chew the junior out on the bench. Holt has some serious length and, for as simple as this analysis sounds, looks like a basketball player. Good instincts, good technique, good form. But he’s still young, untested and unproven. The freshman failed to score in 12 minutes of action, but affected the game in other ways, picking up five rebounds and blocking two shots.

James Blackmon Jr. returned to his impressive form this evening on his way to 24 points (9-of-17) and nine rebounds, though he was just 2-of-7 from 3-point range. Blackmon Jr. also had a tip-back dunk in the second half where he appeared to out maneuver Troy Williams for it. That’s athleticism we’ve yet to see from the freshman.

Join‘s 1-day fantasy basketball league. Inside The Hall readers will receive FREE entry with their first deposit.

Indiana turned it over too much (18.6 TO%), but still managed a strong 1.24 points per possession thanks to a 51.8 free rate (22-of-29 from the line, 75.9 percent) and a 58.0 eFG%. Mosquera-Perea (10 points) finished 3-of-3 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line. The latter a good thing to see after he’s started the season out a bit rough from the charity stripe. He was used like Williams at times in Indiana’s offense, streaking in from the baseline, catching the pass from an IU ballhandler who broke down the D in the paint and using his leaping ability for scores. Williams has 11 himself on a 4-of-6 night with Robert Johnson chipping in 11 aided by a 3-of-6 performance from distance.

Filed to:

  • GaHoosier

    That works for me.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Jim Boeheim has repetedly said that the ‘cuse zone works because his players have good man d fundamentals. Standing and guarding an 8′ x 8’ area is a no brainer–until someone enters with the rock. Then it’s man to man. Help can come from another zone player, but it’s rare to see a lot of double teams in a pure zone. Most of IU’s current players lack solid man fundamentals–a primary reason why our zone d sucks. They were the best player on the court and probably were considered good defenders ONLY because they were able to outscore whomever they guarded. If all our players could de that, we’d end the regular season 31-0.

  • Michael Crawley

    I agree with what you are saying but it sure is frustrating. The intensity is definitely their but our team is offesively oriented. Is that a mindset or just a decision a player has make to be more physical on defense.

  • SilentBob

    The dramaticness of this post is unreal lol. Nobody likes mediocrity… SMH very very hard

  • SilentBob

    Defensively? No. I’m not the coach though. If he isn’t confident in him then don’t put him out there and risk confidence.

  • Pianoroark

    Bill, what are you talking about? I mean that both incredulously and practically—do you mean you wish we’d gotten some additional “mid-major” bigs this past spring/summer?

    Because I find that everyone is forgetting the key facts about our sad front court situation: Luke Fischer WAS the backup plan you speak of. And even he wasn’t supposed to be starting until next year, according to many projections about when Vonleh would be leaving. Then there’s DD, who was our backup backup plan. Vonleh left earlier than anyone expected, Luke got homesick, DD was in a freak accident, throw in the fact that April’s been injured, and all of these things were largely out-of-CTC’s-hands. We had a backup plan, and a backup backup plan. Things went sour in a crazy, I think largely unlucky way.

    CTC deserves some credit for trying his best to figure this situation out (see: late Holt pickup, experimental lineups). Like many of you, I’m not sure he’s doing a great job in games. But let’s take it easy, and try to remember that he/we/the team got a little screwed with the front court this year.

  • Do it Bruce.. Do it…

  • AngelJWynnss


  • SCHoosier

    When you at the size and physicality that Pitt..UL..Butler and G-town will bring to face IU..don’t think it matters much who is in the Paint for the Hoosiers.

  • ForeverIU

    Agree totally about TW, but I just want to point out that his FG% is high partly because he lives under the rim. I’d like to see Troy get to the next level of shooting: mid-range and even perimeter shots. He also makes passes that are heart-stopping (in a bad way). I’m glad to see him back in the starting lineup.

  • SilentBob

    Agreed on everything. However we need someone to live at the rim on a consistent basis. Makes us more dynamic. The passing can be awful and that’s what sometimes will jump out to the pessimistic mind and make him forget about the good.

  • SilentBob

    I was with you on this thread until you said Hanner and Holt should play together. We’ve been getting great looks on offense and capitalizing on them. We need to be better on defense and the boards. I don’t think you sacrifice our first class offense to do that.

  • enickman

    Pretty sure they’ll eat HMP alive as well. I still think Perea should start but Holt needs more minutes for his development and playing the 2 together would be interesting!

  • IU diehard from CT

    Preach it brother

  • IU diehard from CT

    If you switch underneath, you give up the 3. If you go over the top, the offense gets the mismatch they want. McLean has to find a combination of guys who can defend the high ball screen well

  • IU diehard from CT

    Who’s McLean. Crean

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    You’ve been in the Urban Dictionary again: dramaticness of my post is unreal. Is that the best you’ve got?
    If, as you say, nobody likes mediocrity, you certainly seem to enjoy defending a coach who talks about excellence but produces a fair amount of mediocrity. You keep shaking your head at some posts; others will likely be shaking their heads over what the $3 million man is doing w/this team.

  • hardly

    joking…but it feels like that’s what’s being taught…or allowed.

  • SilentBob

    No….. Just no

  • enickman

    And we have players and no coach(ing)!


    Touche !


    LOL ! I”m way behind in my ITH reading. Even though we won I purposely stayed away from here, and then got too busy to really get anywhere in reading the comments.

    Hate to take away from our outside game on offense by going with another big versus a third guard, but it may be a case of us having to, whether Crean likes the idea or not. The way I see it, it is coming down to, can we make enough improvement on D, and quickly enough, to not have to try the three bigs on the floor at the same time experiment or is our pace of improvement on D so slow that it forces us to try that. If the pace of improvement up till now is the measuring stick than the answer is no. It’s probably a moot point cause I don’t see Crean rolling with a lineup that puts a third big on the floor at the same time as the two other bigs. Crean appears to just as soon give birth without any meds than go with a two bigs lineup, let alone three, and I don’t understand why he won’t at least try it, at least for long enough to see what it yields and not for just one 3 or 4 minute stretch. With our D being what it is I would think that if there ever was a time to try that, it is now, rather than when we get into the conference schedule. I remember Crean talking to Don Fisher after a game when Watford was a sophomore and he had scored like 30 points or something and Crean said, yea that’s great but it means nothing if the man he is guarding scores that many, or more, as well. OK, using his own rationale, and applying it in a team type of way, what good does it do to score 75 to 100 points each game if the other team is scoring just as many or more, especially by what is clearly offensively inferior teams.

  • SilentBob

    I was going to leave this post with only a short reply, even though it made my blood boil, until my gf said something to me earlier today. I told her I was a glass half-full kind of guy and she replied, “yea right you are the guy who would measure the contents in mL’s and say it’s no more or no less than that measurement.” I will get back to that later.

    First I was trying to do anything at my best, simply venting frustration in a simple, easy to read format. I’m a big fan of Socrates method of arguing in the common man’s language. I only use scholarly words when I’m writing a paper like I am tonight tonight on Emma Goldman. If I used a dictionary it failed me as I don’t think dramaticness is a word, or at least not spelled right, but I know what ya mean. A website called urban dictionary was one of my favorites growing up for cheap laughs. So believe me when I say I could write my autobiography in text acronyms before most people on here knew what e-mail was or at least how to forward one.

    Finally I’m not defending or supporting anything other than logic. I was probably the only one at HH two years go who shook their head when they announced Crean’s new contract. Not because I didn’t think he was deserving, but because we’re not Notre Dame and if he did fail it would cost our University a boat load of money. I also care about winning now and in the future. Is Crean the best for the future? I don’t know, but he is right now. I’m more than content with criticism of his coaching, I have some myself, but it has eclipsed that and turned into insults on not just his techniques but his character. I find that unethical and stupid. Whether we like it or not he is here for at least 20+ plus games, and to start this firing talk after six games is straight silly.

    Have a good night and enjoy the game tomorrow night.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Appreciate your thoughtful comments and the insight to your personna! Your gf and my wife would make a great pair. Not long ago I said something that was true but unkind and she said, “Say What?” Knowing the fertilizer was about to hit the Osterizer, I tried to bail myself out by saying, “I guess that was just old behavior.” She simply smiled–no make that she smirked–and said, “It’s not OLD behavior if you’re still doing it.” Point taken. Bad day for me. Worst thing was that I created my own misery. UGH!
    Ah, the Urban Dictionary..LMAO at some of the “words, phrases and acronyms” in there.
    Have taken a couple days to reflect on some of my prior posts and responses. I owe you an apology for becoming sarcastic and saying things in what could rightly be thought of as a hurtful way. In another thread, I said that I really do try to only get PO’d at things, not people. Things don’t have feelings, but people do. I’m not always successful in following that mantra, and sometimes thoughts rolling around my head take a stroll right out of my mouth/or onto the keyboard.
    I was one of the big time advocates for TC in the early years. A former KY governor once said that it’s hard to make chicken salad out of chicken sh##. The players on those early teams may not have had the elite talents and skill sets of our current players, but they played with HEART, passion and effort as a TEAM. I doubt that Kory Barnett, Kyle Taber, Tom Pritchard, Eric Suhr or Daniel Moore ever left the floor wishing they had run a little faster on that breakaway, jumped a little higher for that rebound or shot the rock better. They gave it their collective best and let the score fall where it did. I embraced their play–the current edition simply has no common focus and for all the talk about getting along w/each other…well I’m waiting for evidence of how tight they are to manifest itself on the court. TC cannot control their attitude, but he has a lot to say about who plays and who sits. I don’t want to hear another presser in which he says the players didn’t follow the game plan. He has 15 roster spots. Surely there are 5 who can commit themselves to following the plan. Acceptance does not require approval. I don’t really care if this team loses every one of the remaining 25 games — if they find their collective heart and play with passion and effort, I’ll support them in every way possible! Long way to go until March. I look forward to seeing progress not perfection. Hope you also are able to enjoy the games ahead! Be well. 🙂

  • SilentBob

    With what you said about the chemistry with this team, I think that’s where you begin to see the whole it’s good to be friends but not buddy-buddy that Crean has talked about. I don’t know if you remember in a game like 2 yrs ago with Mich St, Appling and Nix got into a heated confrontation on the sidelines. We need some of that IMO.

    With the roster spot situation you throw big numbers round but in reality they’re much smaller. I hate the lack of experience excuse as much as anyone, but right now it’s a big battle. Just for the sake of argument let’s say Hanner is the source of all our defensive problems (he’s not but just as an argument). Well we at most have two options, both are freshmen. What is the likely hood that those two freshmen, one who came in late August, know the plan better than Hanner? Even if they know it just a little better you are sacrificing a lot with Hanner’s athleticism and even mediocre scoring ability. We’ve seen Emmitt rebound and block, but can he score at all? Also as fans we’ve seen only a fraction of Emmitt’s play. I’ll compare this to the News because I’m a big Newsroom fan. If you get a thousand twitter posts saying this is the suspect, but the FBI has made no such statement who are you trusting? I’m going with the FBI. They have to see it more before they’re comfortable. Also you don’t want one of two things to happen, either he losses his confidence with a bad game or gives himself to big of pat on the back for a good one.

    Right now we’re experimenting. People say there isn’t reason to believe we get much better as the season progresses. From a technique stand point they may be right. Our starting line up is set in stone yet and if it is they’ve only played one game as a whole group starting. The best improvement we will see is when we start to trim the “fat.” As the season progresses I expect to see drastically less Nick and Max, and much more Emitt, Stan, and Collin. It’ll take time, but I think we will drastic improvement with simple experience. Both with individual and team experience.