The Minute After: Louisville

  • 12/10/2014 12:49 am in

Thoughts on a 94-74 loss to the Cardinals:

Despite a valiant effort from the Hoosiers under the lights at Madison Square Garden, at one point leading by four in the second half, No. 4 Louisville was just too much to handle.

Indiana, as it did against Pittsburgh, tried to gang rebound as best it could, but its lack of size was exposed again against a strong offensive rebounding squad. The Cardinals flat out dominated the offensive glass, rebounding 52 percent of their misses leading to a ton of easy opportunities and 25 second-chance points. Its defense, as it does, also turned the Hoosiers over a lot (24.6 TO%) and that led to 19 points off turnovers.

With Yogi Ferrell off the floor in the first half, Indiana had a number of miscues in a row and Louisville made the Hoosiers pay. Stanford Robinson turned the ball over fives times in nine minutes of action tonight. Though some of IU’s mistakes were a bit self-inflicted, it was still a rough performance  holding onto the ball any way you slice it.

Louisville hasn’t been a great shooting team this season, but that wasn’t quite the case tonight against Indiana’s defense. It hit a number of key shots in this one, poured in 1.22 points per possession, and bested its season average on 3-pointers (28%) by going 8-of-23 from distance (34.8%). Terry Rozier hit 5-of-8 from beyond the arc on his way to a career-high 26 points, while backcourt mate Chris Jones made a number of nice moves and worked over the Indiana defense for 24 of his own to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.

The Hoosiers also really had no answer for Montrezl Harrell inside, as he dunked again and again and again for 21 points. Harrell snagged 11 boards tonight as well. Mangok Mathiang added four blocks as Indiana guards had trouble getting the ball over his length at the rim. Louisville also scored 48 points in the paint.

Yet, even though the Hoosiers lost by 20, there were plenty of positives in this one.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea played his best game as a Hoosier. There’s been a lot of talk about Emmitt Holt perhaps being the better frontcourt player of the two as of late, but that was not the case tonight. Mosquera-Perea came out of the gate like a man possessed. His first bucket of the night came from a move out of the right corner where he got by his man and scored on the other side of the hoop. It was like nothing we’ve ever seen from him. Mosquera-Perea also went right to work in the post early, showing little hesitation or awkwardness. He had eight of Indiana’s first 13 points. The junior also had a nice block in the second half, but did find himself in a bit of foul trouble and on a night where he played well, Indiana could have used him out on the floor more.

Other positives: Louisville came into this one allowing opponents to score just .84 points per possession. The Hoosiers scored .96 per possession tonight, the most the Cardinals have allowed this season. Indiana’s 74 points were also the most Louisville has surrendered this season as well. Indiana shot the lights out in the first half (7-of-10 from 3-point range) and save for a few blocked shots at the rim, also got some nice buckets in the paint as well. It trailed just 46-41 at half and was its usual mix of penetration and 3-pointers. As Tom Crean said to Andy Katz at halftime about the offense: “We’re going to get whatever we want.”

But after getting up by four points with 16:57 to go in the second half, the Hoosiers just ran out of gas as Louisville’s relentless defense appeared to wear them down. It made just 1-of-10 from distance over the final 20 minutes, and that just wasn’t going to cut it against a team that was murdering them on the boards and turning them over. They needed to keep the hot shooting up to make it a game down the stretch and it just didn’t happen.

Still, if Indiana plays like this and brings similar effort to every game this season, it’s going to win ball games.

“They’re going to be an NCAA tournament team,” Rick Pitino said after the game. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”

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  • Kendall Bombard

    I agree. That’s what I was trying to get at lol we turn it over more when are trying to go too fast. *cough Troy cough*

  • cooper

    He had 5 rebounds. Really that’s a great game

  • Zach

    Agreed. I can definitely see him as a constant energy Kenneth Faried type guy

  • b_side

    I think Crean deserves some warranted criticism for his hockey line substitutions last night. I read through the replies with others and still feel strongly that against a team like UL, subbing one at a time is far less hectic than the detrimental impact of bringing in 3-4 at once.

    I discussed this at length with others in the Premium Forum (Are you a member? If not, get on it. I think you’d love it). Crean gets away with it against cuocakes, Pitt, even SMU. I don’t have a problem in those instances. But not when the talent discrepancy between our bench and UL’s starters is that wide.

    It was deer in the headlights with everyone off the bench except for Nick and to some extent Max.

  • b_side

    Such a myth. The 2011-2012 team was playing fantastic ball at the end of the season.

  • b_side

    Harrell has plenty of NBA role models: Ben Wallace, Kenneth Faried, Dale Davis, etc.

  • ForeverIU

    Yes, I agree. I don’t know why our team/coach is wedded to the idea of an uptempo game, especially now that our passing game has improved.

  • whomikewho

    ^ don’t have a heart attack

  • calbert40

    I’ll agree that I’m not a fan of the “hockey line change” substitutions. That said, I do not think that’s what hurt us last night. Specifically, whenever Yogi was not on the floor, they destroyed us. Crean likes to go deep on the bench. That’s nothing new for him. I’d like to see us stick to an 8 man rotation instead of the 10 that he typically uses, but as the season continues, maybe that tightens up a bit. But I think it is evident that the reason we lost is because we aren’t as good as UL. We aren’t in their league.

    No, I am not on the forum. I’d like to, but I really don’t have the time this year to be on the site as much as I’d like already. Maybe soon, though. I’d probably love it…and never get any work done!

  • Hey, don’t worry about me.. I’m 6′ 4″ weigh 210 lbs and work out for three hours three times a week.. I can still bench 250 four times and squat 400… No history of any heart problems in any of my family.. I’ll be just fine.. It’s ypu that I’m worried about… Don’t think you’re a true IU man, that is all…

  • b_side

    Totally agree that we lost because UL is simply better.

    My concern with Crean’s subbing of Yogi is that if you’re going to take him against a team like Lville, keep in the other 4 starters.

    I’ll be curious to see how the rotation tightens too.

    Hope you make it on the forum. Give yourself a holiday gift if you have some extra time in late December.

  • whomikewho

    Lol. Alumni big boy. No need to question me. Worry about yourself and I’ll worry about me. Good day.

  • Hoosier1158

    Sounds like you are fine with IU being a mediocre team?