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.

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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:

  • Jeff Johnston

    I agree. Put Holt in for pure defensive purposes. There are enough scorers on the floor. He didn’t have a single point but had a very good game.

  • mharv2631

    My eyes tell me that Holt is better than Perea. He played great two games in a row, then go’s to the bench and rarely sees the floor again.

  • Bruce

    might be time to become butler fan. Crean is a poor x and o’s coach and will never take us to the final 4.

  • Bruce

    HMP is a soccer player …period. Does not know the game of basketball and will never be able to learn the game at this level in 4 yrs

  • Bruce

    how about playing HMP and Holt at the same time? what does TW do except dunk?

  • Bruce

    sub HMP for tw

  • There was a point when Holt was first in the game that I thought, “He’s playing so well right now [defensively] that I’m sure Crean will take him out.” Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened.

  • Bruce

    get real ole man. HMP is a soccer player, not a basketball player. He plays entire games with 1 or 0 rebounds. play both holt and hmp and bench troy the turnover dunking machine

  • Bruce

    Amen! ctc is not smart enough! last year we should have played both fischer and vonley together with fischer being the 5. crean is clueless. And we don’t need that many points from the post.

  • VAHoosier

    My main reservation about that lineup is our depth. With DD out, we’ve got no one behind those guys. And it looks like April needs more time to season. I was apoplectic last year that we never paired Vonleh with another big for any extended minutes (whether Hanner or Luke). But this year, given our frontcourt depth, I think we may need to (gulp) rely on Troy and Colin at the 4, primarily.

  • Bballpop

    That was my thought too on defense, better on the inside but with a lot of room for improvement. I also thought they hit several well contested shots that maybe got them on a roll a bit. Their one player hit several deep threes and was 6 of 8 I believe. I think they will improve given more experience. I think they roll Pitt.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    I think JBJ’s (and RJ’s) defense will improve. Both have discipline and both are inexperienced freshmen still growing into their bodies. What bothers me is a comparison to Ferrell, who acts tenacious but only when convenient, which is less than 1/2 the time. Honestly, in the last two or three games even the tv announcers have taken him to task. He has no idea where to position himself on defense, often ending up guarding thin air. He’s got further to go than either JBJ and RJ.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    The D league would be the place for JBJ…maybe next year, maybe the year after.

  • calbert40

    I’m not sure about that!

    Not to be hyper-critical, but there is no reason we should be weaker defensively on the perimeter than in the paint. If we have defensive deficiencies in the paint, I think we can all understand those issues. But we have numerous quick and agile guards who are capable of blowing past a defender on the other end of the court. For those players, it is all about intensity and desire.

  • WestSideHoosier

    As much as I appreciate your post, you did however leave out a very important Creanism- “Locked in”. We just have some guys that aren’t “locked in” defensively.

  • Arch Puddington

    You make lots of great points in these discussions, but I’m not with you on this particular post. First, you play your best players, period. This is big-time basketball, and everyone involved understands that. CTC would run a greater risk of creating “team dynamic” problems by sticking with someone due to seniority as opposed to putting the best players on the court.

    And to that point, over his last 90 minutes of PT, Hanner has 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. In his 17 total minutes of PT, Holt has 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. During those same stretches Perea also has 9 fouls, Holt has none. So while Perea scores more, Holt has already been more productive on defense, and he really hasn’t been worked into the offense yet. Based on what I see — better hands, better footwork, better overall court awareness — there is good reason to think that Holt is now, or could quickly become, ready to score the 6-8 points we really need out of the post.

    And I just don’t see the same progress you do in Hanner. The second half of last night’s game was so bad that for one of the few times in his career at IU, CTC actually chewed a player out during a game. He also called him out by name after the game. That doesn’t seem like progress to me, it seems like a player who has consistently failed to show the progress expected of him. I’m not saying Holt is any kind of savior, and like others I would be interested to see him and Perea in the lineup together. But everything I have seen says that Holt is already as good or better than Perea, and is more likely than Perea to improve with playing time.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • ForeverIU

    You’ll see what I mean if you watch the game. I’d be interested in your take. They seemed to be having trouble switching on the opposing screens, which are mostly on the perimeter. I think Collin said it came down to not communicating properly on those switches.

  • GaHoosier

    I will apologize for the “Guys and Girls” introduction, but I stand by my comments.

    I’m sorry if you felt my comments were condescending, that was not my goal. I’m not pointing the finger just at other fans, I’m also pointing the finger at myself (I’m just as guilty).

  • VAHoosier

    Yes. The D was bad, and we lost intensity in the 2d half (which exacerbated the bad D). We left shooters wide open. Of their made 3’s, I’d guess 75% came from whomever JBJ happened to be guarding. I deleted the game, otherwise I would go back and check this stat. He has a terrible tendency to simply drift away from his man too far to recover.

    Most of the issues are correctable, as Forever points out, so how you feel about the team should depend a great deal on how you feel about CTC’s ability to coach.

  • VAHoosier

    It is mostly a matter of focus on the defensive end. Some of our guys, especially the freshmen (JBJ and Max, in particular) simply lose focus on that end. It will take a while for them to get it.

    Hartman has actually stepped up and covered some other guys’ deficiencies. He has been a God-send this season.

  • GaHoosier

    Thanks for the compliment. These days I’m trying to ponder and re-ponder all my thoughts before posting any comments.

    I don’t believe that every fan who criticizes or critiques the moves that CTC makes on or off the court is looking to have him fired. The majority of the fans truly want IU as a WHOLE to succeed. But, too often the comments section on ITH is used as a place to bash CTC.

    I too question the defense. A 4-guard lineup makes rebounding and post defense difficult. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t work. I too question the substitution patterns (usually when IU has momentum and is looking to add to their lead).

    I agree that most of the major college basketball teams can use the excuse of being too young. IU is literally one of the youngest teams in the country. But there is no denying that these young IU players made some off the court mistakes. Does every school struggle with these? YES. But does every school let the world know? The answer is NO. Not only are these young men adjusting to the pace of the college basketball game, but they are adjusting to college life: parties, girls, classes, teachers, and grades! These young men are idolized in Bloomington. I’m not going to through stones at specific schools, but as a parent and a fan, I’m learning to be patient with these young men.

    CTC is a very unique and unconventional coach. Almost a complete polar opposite of Mr. Bobby Knight. This doesn’t make CTC wrong or a poor coach, it just means he needs to continue to grow as a coach and we need to continue to grow as fans.

  • enickman

    I think more than 3 or 4 but in no way a 500 B1G record. I sadly also think we go into conference with 4 losses. Looking up at the NIT with hope!

  • Denise Buchman Einecker

    I agree wholeheartedly with your statement. Play Holt more so he can get better for when we are really going to need him.

    Secondly, I don’t think for one minute CTC cannot coach (even though we all scratch our heads in wonder on some of his in game decisions) I think CTC needs more control over the players themselves. This team is not playing as a team too many times throughout the game (esp the last 3 games) players start playing “alley” ball and forget they are part of a team and that is when I would like CTC to take charge and bench those players make them understand that is not how IU is going to achieve a banner. Last night in the 2nd half when our players were all standing flat footed not moving CTC imo should have benched them all and put the bench on the floor.

    I love this team and would rather see them play with passion and determination and as a team and lose then how they are playing now and winning.

  • enickman

    Agree wholeheartedly! Except the part about becoming a Butler fan. Although it’d be nice to see Brad Stevens enticed to come to IU.

  • Michael Crawley

    I love ur argument I think HMP is the guy but he really is making it difficult for me to defend him

  • enickman

    Precisely!

  • INUnivHoosier

    They were having problems finding their man on the switch. Several times a guy would come off a screen wide open because one of the IU defenders slipped off to a guy not involved in the pick. On a positive note, the guy that got double teamed off the pick didn’t score I don’t think…

  • INUnivHoosier

    And RJ would be a good backup for YF. He’s got a different type of game, and would provide scoring and rebounding from the guard position off the bench. Hartman can spell Holt and provide another different look off the bench. He brings some energy and fundamentals.

    Edit: that would be game not tame.

  • Disco_Briscoe

    Will one of the administrators tell me why my posts go to pending and are removed from the board? This is the 2nd time this has happened and there is nothing trolling or inappropriate about them.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I wish I could get just a couple years of that income. Talk about a windfall to my retirement account!

  • Lance76

    I totally agree—–which is Crean’s predicament. Crean is searching for ways to win and compensate for our short comings in line up. I am sure that he would have liked Vonleh back or Fischer to have stayed. What about top 70 type players developing—-that is not all on Crean.

  • ForeverIU

    I’ve had this happen to me a couple of times and I think it happened when I was the first to post on a thread. Might just be a disqus thingy

  • ForeverIU

    By the way I think IUMIKE saw that coming so maybe he can help. IUMIKE for coach, lol.

  • calbert40

    Hopefully, I will get a chance to watch it. My wife is having a girls night tonight, so I will have the kids tonight. Let’s see if I get the chance!

    I know I have a rep for being a Crean defender, but that is one thing I have never cared for about his defensive system: switching up high. I understand the rationale, but the way I was taught was you switch underneath, but you fight through screens on the perimeter. Switching high can lead to lazy defense, because it is almost like a matchup zone without the intensity. Someone decides to take you off the dribble, and a lot of times you are on your heels, because you are reading the screener more than you are defending your man. JMO.

  • calbert40

    I hope JBJ improves with more time. I watched him in HS against other D1 talent, and he played solid D. Nothing spectacular, but definitely not weak. I think that the biggest transition from HS to D1 is the intensity that is required to stay in front of your man on D. Maybe he has just been surprised by this?

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Hardly…i hope you are joking. please tell me you are joking.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Officially this year Yogi has 35 assists and 14 turnovers…a 2.5 ratio. Last year he finished at 1.5. These ratios are telling. Both are low for such an “elite” guard, of course, but the improvement is about half as much as needed for this team to reach its potential. And chances are a 2.5 ratio is regressing towards last year’s low ratio with better competition on the horizon. And that’s Yogi’s most telling offensive team related output/statistic. His defense is worse. The question is why? Yogi obviously has flashes of brilliance.

    I think Yogi, more than any other IU player, needs to embrace team basketball fundamentals for this season to be a joy. I expected to see more and more of that this year, but have not seen much, yet. I was/am hoping that CTC would demand more out of Yogi from a team fundamental basketball viewpoint. I think Yogi would respond well to that coaching also.

  • ForeverIU

    Okay, a virtual bro hug then. LOL! Peace.

  • ForeverIU

    I have seen several players set screens, Huckleberry. I agree with many things you say, but you discredit yourself when you make a horrendous statement of fact such as this one. I’ve seen a bunch of players set screens, including Hanner and Tim. You can even see some of those in the clips posted by Ryan.

  • SilentBob

    Get real Bruce, RJ is averaging more TOs than Troy. Have ya checked out his stat line? 3rd in points, 1st in rebounds, 1st in steals, 2nd in FG%, and 3rd in FT% of the people who actually play solid minutes or better.

  • ForeverIU

    Well listen he got 12 minutes of playing time, so that’s good. And there’s no indication yet that Crean does not intend to gradually increase his minutes. He did well yesterday, and I posted about that, but he also had 2 turnovers. Turnovers are a delicate issue for a freshman, and he needs to build up his confidence gradually.

    As far as playing Hanner and Emmitt together, what would you propose as a lineup? I’m assuming you’d still want Troy or his equivalent in the game, which leaves us with only two guards/shooters, which in turn denies us a third of one of our biggest strengths (perimeter shooting). In fact, by having less perimeter players, we get less spacing to maneuver inside.

    In my mind there’s a very good likelihood Emmitt will overtake Hanner, but it should be done gradually. As I mentioned, we also don’t know what his free throw shooting numbers are (do we have data on that?), and also his stamina.

  • The_Bob_Michaels

    I couldn’t help thinking last night – Colin spent his freshman to sophomore off season rehabbing and working on his game, while Stan and Troy spent theirs getting high.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Cards have a coach and players.

  • mharv2631

    I hope so!

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I wish I could tell you and Forever IU is probably correct. I have not moderated your post, but not sure about the other mods. Keep posting and I will watch.

  • enickman

    Bobby Knight won 3 National Championships. If Tom Crean is the polar opposite then……

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Perhaps we have a different concept or working definition of what setting screens means, looks like or accomplishes. I, too, have seen Hanner stand in the area of whomever was guarding JBJ, Yogi, RJ…but either our guard went the opposite direction from the screen (FAIL) or didn’t take advantage of it for any of several reasons (also a FAIL). Tim hasn’t played in any of this season’s regular games, but if he set screens in the pre-season, great! Indicates that he’s got potential to do it live when it counts and I hope he gets some minutes as soon as his foot heals.
    Setting screens may not merit critical focus right now, but there will soon come a day when the guards’ athleticism will be insufficient to get themselves open for a clear look. They will need a little “help” from others on the floor…I hope it comes, but hope is not a strategy.

  • GaHoosier

    I guess I should have been more specific. Polar opposite in terms of personality!

    🙂

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    They have a Defensive Coordinator; we have an associate and assistant coach who prepare game plans and screen film for “tendencies”. No appreciable difference in outcomes, though.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    How do you know what he was doing? He answered the question by saying that April wasn’t ready and that the game was too fast for Emmitt…whatever the heck those words mean. He should give himself a +1 for that “Deflection”. It doesn’t appear that many posters have to try very hard to come up with ways to get frustrated/mad at what and how your $3million man is running our beloved program. You may like mediocrity, but some of us recall days when it felt good to say, “I’m a Hoosier fan.”