Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over UNC Greensboro

  • 11/29/2014 8:42 pm in

Indiana moved to 5-1 on Friday night with a 87-79 win over UNC Greensboro at Assembly Hall. Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s win over the Spartans:

· Indiana has a long way to go defensively: Despite coming away with the win, the numbers were not pretty for IU’s defense. 1.13 points per possession allowed to UNC Greensboro, a team that came into Friday night’s game averaging .95 points per trip. The Spartans also posted an effective field goal percentage of 60.3, which was eight percent higher than they’d shot through their first five games.

Rather than struggling to defend the paint, Indiana allowed UNC Greensboro to hit 14 of its 23 attempts from behind the 3-point line. Afterward, Tom Crean shouldered the blame for where this group is defensively at this point.

“I got to take full responsibility,” he said. “It’s not on the assistants, on nobody else but me to get our communication right. And whatever that’s going to take we’re going to have to get that right because all it is is calling out who you have and calling out when you switch and calling out when we switch a defense.”

· Balanced scoring effort: As poor as Indiana played defensively, its offense continues to put up points at a healthy rate. Through Friday’s game, the Hoosiers had the country’s 17th best offense according to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings and also ranked in the top 15 nationally in both effective and 3-point field goal percentage.

Friday night saw a change in the starting lineup with Troy Williams replacing Nick Zeisloft and all five of IU’s starters finished the evening in double figures with James Blackmon Jr.’s 24 points leading the way.

“Offensively we can get shots. Our ball is moving,” Crean said. “They were doing a great job of taking away the middle of the floor on the break. So we got the ball into the corners. We were getting what we wanted in that sense.

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· Holt shows potential to contribute: After not using him in Monday’s 88-86 loss to Eastern Washington, Crean inserted Emmitt Holt for 12 minutes on Friday night and the freshman from New York delivered hustle, rebounding and a couple of blocked shots.

Holt is still going to need time to develop, but the potential is there for him to claim a rotation spot and perhaps push Hanner Mosquera-Perea for minutes as the season rolls along.

“We’ve got to be much more attentive, much more physical. We just have to,” Crean said of his team. “Emmitt brings that. Emmitt will bring that, especially as he gets used to the pace of this game, the speed of this game, the speed of the college game. He’s reacting very well. His quickness has improved. He’s improved athletically. I thought he played pretty comfortable out there.”

· Indiana keeps another opponent off the foul line: As poor as Indiana’s defense has been at times through the first six games, there’s one encouraging number on that end of the floor: opponents aren’t getting to the line against the Hoosiers.

UNC Greensboro was no different as the Spartans posted a free throw rate (defined as free throws attempted divided by field goals attempted) of just 11.1 percent. Through six games, Indiana is allowing an opponent free throw rate of just 24.1 percent, which ranks 10th nationally. The only team to post a free throw rate of more than 29 percent against IU so far was Eastern Washington.

If Indiana is able to tighten things up defensively and develop some consistency, keeping opponents off the foul line could prove pivotal, particularly with a thin frontcourt rotation.

· Mosquera-Perea’s inconsistent night: The evening started off well for the Colombia native, who amassed a solid first half line of nine points and five rebounds in 11 minutes. But by the end of the evening, Mosquera-Perea would tally just one more point and one more rebound in 12 additional minutes of action, which caught the eye of Crean.

“I said to Hanner, ‘you can’t get one point, one rebound.’Be aggressive, play the way we need to play,” Crean said. “That’s why it’s a process with Hanner. Everything is about building up, becoming more consistent. The moment Hanner thinks he’s arrived at some point, he hasn’t. He has to keep building it up. He’s got to have a hunger.”

Indiana is asking a lot of Mosquera-Perea, but his rebounding (or lack thereof) to this point is a concern. Offensively, he doesn’t have to bring much because the Hoosiers have plenty of weapons, but 4.7 rebounds per game isn’t going to get it done in the long term. And with six games already in the books and a rough slate of non-conference games quickly approaching, the time for Mosquera-Perea to bring more has arrived.

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  • Court Storming Hoosier

    6th Takeaway:

    IU KEEPS THE BUCKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • PBzeer

    I wish there was a reason to believe our defense will improve, but I can’t find one. Yes, individuals may, certainly should, improve, but good defense is a team effort, and I’ve yet to see any signs of that being a priority over the past 7 seasons.

  • SilentBob

    You are correct. Crean has always been better with the offense. However we had a solid (not great) defense last year because we had a better defensive lineup, and the ’12-’13 we were ranked 28th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Outside of Vic we had pretty bad defensive players that year, but the team cohesion was off the charts.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Hanner doesn’t rebound because Hanner doesn’t have instincts at this point to put himself in good position! Sometimes you see Troy and Robert Johnson just end up in the right spot when the ball goes up because they have good instincts. I saw a little bit of that from Emmit last night.

    Hanner doesn’t have it. He’s constantly moving late and into the wrong position! That can be learned to some extent through drills and game play but some of it could be his lack of experience having not played as a kid, and thus it may always be a weak spot. Some guys who aren’t stud athletes are great rebounders because they have a nose for the ball, use their bodies well, and position themselves well. Hanner will have to learn some of that to go along with his athleticism if he’s ever going to be a good rebounder!

  • CreamandCrimson

    People have wanted CTC to take blame and accept responsibility for issues that we see on the court…there you go. He publicly and emphatically said, “it’s on me”. I don’t know what difference it makes but many have wanted to hear it and now it’s happened. Tuesday night is a very, very big game. Louisville is great, Butler and Georgetown are both better than us right now, that means Pitt is a game we really need. I’m anxious to see how we battle and if we can progress at all on defense. Go Hoosiers.

  • Kyl470

    The one thing that has remained consistent in the Tom Crean era is that the team you see at the beginning of the season is the same team you see at the end of the season. He has never had a team show they can improve on their weaknesses throughout the year. I don’t think our defense will improve so the only way this team will win is to simply outscore the other team. Our best defense is hoping they miss open shots.

  • inLinE6

    Hoping the other team miss open shots is nice, but we have to grab that rebound.

  • VAHoosier

    I watched Holt carefully during his minutes. There is no doubt that he should be getting substantial minutes by B1G season, if his conditioning is there. He only grabbed one defensive board, but he had his man on his hip or on his back every time the ball came off the rim; he was always in good position.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I agree, it’s time to start working holt into game shape … Either at the 4 or 5…

  • Hanner is killing us. There is a reverse magnatism between his hands and the ball. Its a strange thing to watch a dude who looks like he was bread to manhandle wild bears fumble around the court with no fight at all. Seems like he’s got no head or heart for the game. Think I’m done waiting for Crean and company to turn this guy into the gladiator EVERYONE knows he should be. Get Holt on the court!

  • Speed

    Time to get ready for Tuesday’s game with Pitt! I’ve got a rosary in one hand and a bible in the other!

  • Tucson Hoosier

    Funny !

  • JohnFromBeyond

    Turnovers have improved dramatically this season already. Never say never.

  • David Macer

    CTC has accepted responsibility for the poor defensive execution. Let’s see what transpires over the next several games.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Good post! Players on those teams also talked with one another on the court. This year it’s mostly silence, except for the occasional, “Oh sh..” mumbled as the opponent blows by on the way to the rack.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    He was referring to the lack of on-court communications when he said that it was on him and he’d take full responsibility for it. One issue. It’s a start, to be sure. I’d submit that to simply speak about the tail of the elephant which remains in the room is a bit condescending and lame. I honestly don’t care if the team loses to Pitt IF the players start to play as a team and put forth fundamentally sound effort on both ends of the court.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    I can think of a couple teams on the horizon who are hoping and praying they face a 4-guard IU team. They will bring new meaning to the phrase “Career night” to the viewing audience.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Listen to the presser again. He accepted responsibility for the poor communications on the court. He commented about the other shortcomings (caught up in screens and switches, not demanding the ball when posting up, guard rebounding, best post defender cannot be a guard, etc). It’s a big step, and I hope he does something about all those issues. We will NOT be able to outscore everyone and hope is not a strategy for us.

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    The one silver lining is all of this is that it’s apparent that JBJ is nowhere near ready to play defense at the pro level. He should be a Hoosier for at least another year or two.

  • PBzeer

    Nice to know somebody else seems to notice. Yes, players improve over the season, but March still brings us the TEAM we see in November. 5 guys on the floor instead of one team.

  • Cm

    Hanner jumps on every shot like a damn sixth grader

  • Dave Carnes

    That doesn’t mean he won’t be drafted on potential.My prediction is that next year we have a new coach and Williams JBJ are gone.I also belive RJ has proven he can play anywhere in the country.I am done blaming the players.If Crean were a boxer he would be a puncher,he has one plan and if that don’t work we go down.

  • david r

    maybe a tight end can rebound. hoping… dreaming?

  • TomJameson

    And the talking is what CTC is directly talking about improving and working on. I don’t understand how somebody can say they can’t improve, when all it takes is work. Work individually and as a team. Quite a few players on this team has show a great work ethic, now they have to turn that energy to learning defense. And it sounds like coach is going to focus more on that, and it sounds like he’s going to use EH more. That will be good for all of us, I think! LOL

  • TomJameson

    Hi Aceman – I agree, and I hope that with Holt getting more minutes that Hanner will work on that. Positioning and blocking out, come on Hanner!! lol

  • TomJameson

    Oh Huckleberry, you won’t be happy until CTC takes the blame for world hunger and warring around the world. LOL He steps up and takes the blame for the biggest glaring problem on this team, and you call him lame. IMO, THAT is what is lame.

  • TomJameson

    Well I disagree, mainly because of the absolute you used. “never had a team show they can improve on their weakness”. I believe you are suffering from the recency factor (letting recent event cloud you recall of previous events). Things do improve. On this team I think the defense improved from one game to the next, and I believe it will get better. I still think this is going to be a very dangerous team come March.

  • TomJameson

    Jamie, I think there are two Hanners out there. Take the 2 halves of the last game for instance. I want the Hanner that can get 9 points and 5 rebounds in 11 minutes, not the Hanner that gets 1 point and 1 rebound in 12 minutes. I like hanner, but he needs consistency.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Just two words–MORE. HOLT.

  • Ole Man

    Jamie, it wasn’t Hanner allowing all those threes.
    Stop trashing him. After everything else that’s been said, you sound like a broken record.

  • kbb247

    I agree on his instincts. He is thinking way to much, but with that being said…… I played the post as well. It can be difficult at times. He has to make WAY to many decisions every time down the floor. Our guards are letting people in the paint at will, which puts an enormous amount of pressure on him. Do I go help, do I stay with my man, do I take the charge, or go for the block?? He needs to relax, make a quick decision (quit thinking), and live with whatever decision he makes. I tell my kids all the time to make a quick decision and do something even if it is wrong, because it is still better than not making one at all. When that happens u can correct mistakes, but it is hard to figure out and fix things as a coach when players don’t react, indecisive, or just stand. Hoping for the best and time will tell.

  • Denise Buchman Einecker

    These are issues a good coach would have already been addressing – a good coach does not make “lame” statements like this well into the season. I think the IU BB program deserves better and should have a better well rounded coach. Nothing personal against CTC he just is not the calibur IU BB should have and needs.

  • kbb247

    I will add that instincts play a part in his lack of rebounding, but when u go for the block, you are out of position to rebound as well. He also needs to play much more physical. He doesn’t beat his man to the spot on the post and let’s him post up wherever he wants. If he would battle just a bit and move a guy a foot off of the block that would make a huge difference IMO.

  • CreanFaithful

    “Well into the season.” We apparently have entirely different definitions of what that means…

  • PBzeer

    It wasn’t a dangerous team two seasons ago in March, why should it be any different this time? Not to mention what’s it matter if we’re done when the BIG tourney is over?

    I’d love to have to eat those words, but I just haven’t seen anything that makes me think I’ll have to. The key to winning in any sport is consistency, and the only thing consistent I’ve seen is our continuing inconsistency.

  • IU diehard from CT

    They have played 3 games with a full roster. Ease up on the sauce

  • IU diehard from CT

    Is their anything in your life that makes you at ease?

  • IU diehard from CT

    I’ve noticed the same thing. Like he doesn’t take ownership of the paint, or play with intensity or edge. You either have it or you don’t. It APPEARS he doesn’t. I want to be wrong. Just what I see

  • IU diehard from CT

    True, just want to see the kid play tougher. He isn’t Tyler hansbrough but LIKE that. Get intense. It just seems to me like he’s out there playing with no fire

  • Ole Man

    Yep; now that makes sense.

  • gm

    i don’t want this team to do poorly because i actually like the youth and potential of this bunch. and as much as i’m sick of crean, i can’t deal with another rebuilding period, even if it seems like we’re still in the midst of one. there’s a good chance that any crean replacement would face transfers en masse and less than stellar recruiting.

  • Penny Stryzek

    Don’t the coaches go over the past game tape to point out errors made in their defense? I would think during practice that some of these defensive errors are made. So this shouldn’t be a surprise to CTC.

  • Oldfan

    I feel that part of the team’s situation has roots in the mess Crean inherited years ago. Players that would have been seniors this year were recruited before IU even had a winning record. As were all of our juniors and Collin Hartman and Devin Davis. I takes years of a stable environment to build a program.

  • Jtime

    You are correct. Hanner isn’t a good rebounder because he is constantly leaving his feet trying to block shots. Rebounding is a skill that can be taught. For some reason Crean is not emphasizing this in practice. During the our next game, watch what happens after every shot attempt. We typically have at least 2-3 guys watching the ball once the shot goes up instead of finding a man to block out. In many cases we have 5 guys watching the ball.

    You don’t have have to be tall to rebound. You don’t have to be a good jumper to rebound. You need to be in good position and block out. Part of our problem is that we have 4 guards on the floor that were never taught rebounding skills. There first instinct is to be break for the hash marks once the shot goes up and wait on the outlet pass.

    Watch Izzo’s team rebound, then watch our game and it will be obvious even to the casual viewer. I’m not sure why Crean and his staff aren’t emphazing block out drills in practice. Probably because they are focusing on “deflections”.

  • iugradmark

    I would like to thank you for providing an honest review of this team. I have come to believe that this Coach cannot or will not do the things necessary to restore the program. Our limited success was due to Cody picking Indiana. Before and after we are not competitive.

    I think the coaching staff is in love with athletic players that cannot or will not play fundamental basketball. We are bad on defense, bad on passing, bad on rebounding, etc. Our team looks great on paper and when profiling after dunks but the rest of the time they are being beat like a drum by teams with better coaching / basketball IQ. The sooner we move on, the better. We don’t pass anyone’s eye test of being a good team.

  • Denise Buchman Einecker

    EXACTLY!!!! IUBB deserves a 7 million dollar coach and until we get one this dialogue will never end!!!!! Again, nothing personal against CTC he is just not what IUBB needs – plain and simple!

  • Actually, old man, I posted my comment before reading the other posts. So the presumed pile on was completely coincidental. Thanks for the geezerley reproach though : )

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    In a word, Yes! Catching smallmouth bass and watching fundamentally sound ballers play with effort and passion are always easy and fun things to do! I don’t believe that players like Haston, Jeffries, Moye, Fife, White, Coverdale, Oladipo & Hulls ever left the court thinking or wishing that they could have played harder or better. I don’t know how anyone could legitimately denigrate the effort and passion they exhibited on the court.
    I don’t see that same level of effort or passion on this team or most of the players. Motivation cannot be taught, but it can be learned/acquired. Perhaps they haven’t quite yet bought into TC’s style of play or game plan. Perhaps he hasn’t been able to “sell” the team concept to the team. Having played 6 games, I’d hope that the light starts to get brighter for these players and that it is coming from the other end of the tunnel instead of an oncoming train.

  • TomJameson

    The consistency of my inconsistency is the exact way to describe my golf game! lol .. PB, you can’t compare this team to any other team, not fair to any of them. But, the team 2 seasons ago was dangerous, just (IMHO) hit a string of bad circumstance at bad times. That’s been beat to death so we don’t need to debate that any more, but I really do see this team getting better. I can change my mind, be sure of that, but not just yet. I want to give this team a chance to prove themselves. No, not just a one-game chance! LOL

  • TomJameson

    Well, I’m sorry Denise, but it does sound personal because of the ‘tone’ of your message, and the fact that this is just the beginning of the season, not “well into” it. CTC said after the Canadian tour that they hadn’t even hit on the defense yet, and yes it shows now. But, that’s basically what he took responsibility for in his remarks. With that many freshmen I’m sure he had his priorities of what to focus on first. Obviously defense wasn’t one of them. Well, now it will be. I think they need a chance for all the pieces of their game to evolve into the year.