The Minute After: Grand Canyon

  • 12/13/2014 7:33 pm in

Thoughts on a 94-66 win over the Antelopes:

I. The first half was an atypical one for the Hoosiers. They didn’t shoot it particularly well (46.3 eFG%), relied too much on the 3-point shot — even for them — and didn’t share the ball as well as we’ve come to expect so far this season. Yet, going against a team that isn’t a strong rebounding squad, they excelled where they’ve had issues so far this season, rebounding 42.3 percent of their misses. While the Hoosiers still scored 1.17 points per possession despite not shooting it that well, Grand Canyon was within nine in the final minute of the first half before Indiana took an 11-point lead into the break.

But Indiana started getting more buckets at the rim to start the second half and a couple minutes into the half the rout was on, as Indiana cruised to a 28-point victory.

And get this: Despite a frantic pace in which it attempted 75 shots by game’s end, the Hoosiers didn’t turn the ball over once in the second half. It also ended the game turning the ball over on just 5.7 percent of its possessions, the lowest total ever in the Tom Crean era. That’s impressive, especially as this is the type of game where Indiana has tended to get sloppy with a quick pace against an inferior opponent. The Hoosiers entered this game with the 85th best turnover percentage in the country, per KenPom. The days of last season, where they were one of the worst teams in the country in this regard (330th), appear to be over as Big Ten play nears.

II. In 21 minutes of action, Troy Williams posted a nice line of 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists. His best play might have been his last of the contest. Williams grabbed a defensive rebound, took it up the court himself, put it behind the back to get past a defender and dished to Ryan Burton for the score. The sophomore still has his Troy-being-Troy moments, and his ball-handling skills aren’t on par with those of Yogi Ferrell, Robert Johnson or James Blackmon Jr. But like those three, he’s still getting the green light to grab the rebound and go. And his speed, athleticism and improved decision-making can make him devastating to the opponent in such a role if he keeps improving at it.

III. Hanner Mosquera-Perea put up another spurt in the second half similar to his start against Louisville.  In the span of just over a minute of game time, the junior had two buckets, two offensive rebounds and two blocks. In 22 minutes of action, Mosquera-Perea had 11 points and seven rebounds. Maybe, as some thought, Emmitt Holt’s emergence has given Mosquera-Perea a kick in the butt of late. Between this game and the loss to Louisville, he seems to be bringing more of a killer instinct to the court, and Indiana is better from it.

IV. A few other items of note: Indiana again hit the double-digit mark for 3-pointers (10), but it came on 30 attempts. … Indiana had just four total turnovers this evening with no Hoosier having more than one (Ferrell, Mosquera-Perea, Holt and Stanford Robinson). … Speaking of turnovers, the Antelopes were nearly as good as Indiana tonight, as they had just six of their own and turned it over on just 8.6 percent of their possessions.

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  • hagster

    Well said speed

  • hagster

    Funny how Purdue beat Indiana last year and preceeded to lose last 7 games of the year. I guess the IU win was there national championship.

  • TomJameson

    To embellish on ForeverIUs reply … 2/3 of the 3’s (20) were taken in the first half where ALL 4 turnovers happened. Only 10 3s taken in the 2nd half where there were ZERO turnovers. Those facts alone tend to ‘shoot’ your theory down (see what I did there … shoot?) lol I think the very low turnover rate in this game was the players making an effort to stop them. They still played fast, they still shot 30 threes, they still did most everything else they always do … except they took better care of the ball. Simple as that.

  • No, Purdue still has zero championships.

  • That’s a good point. However, let’s not make too much of what I said. I’m suggesting that they only avoided a handful of extra turnovers here. A couple more in the second half and four more in the first, and they had ten total. And as I said, that’s still pretty good! I think this is still doable, within the stats you/the article mentioned. I still think the quick trigger prevented a few turnovers, overall. Probability suggests this to be the case. I think the stat too look at here is time of possession per possession, not how many three’s they took per half. A quick two-pointer works the same. Anyway, point well taken.

  • enickman

    I really like your understatement! QB was a “pretty good” guard for IU wasn’t he? Good one!

  • Ok, I never said they didn’t take better care of the ball. But I still think the quick shots added to the very low stat of 4 turnovers. I watched the game again and now know that what I said holds water. If you read what I said, you’ll see that I said that the quick shots only saved a handful of extra turnovers in the stats dept. In the first half, Stan and Yogi combined for a handful of overly quick three’s and bad drives, within the first 5-10 seconds of the possession. That puts the total to 9. They do the same a few times in the second half, and they are right around where I said: ten turnovers. You’ll also see that I said that that would still be pretty good. The point was that the rushed shots happened a lot, and probability says a few of these would be turnovers. Thankfully, most of these hurried shots went in. Stan seemed particularly prone to this, but so did Yogi and others, here and there. Yes, they took better care of the ball, but some of their decisions were questionable. Just because they managed to get a (wild) shot off doesn’t make it a good possession. Also, they seemed to share the ball a lot less in these hurried possessions, and when taking these quick shots, which lessened chances for turnovers, as well.

  • esapata

    It’s finals.

  • InTheMtns

    I’ll bet Troy didn’t have to buckle down very much on defense in high school. As you said, he’s long and athletic and I’ll bet that served him pretty well. Now, he’s playing against other long, athletic players and what he used to do is no longer enough. Rather than being uncoordinated due to a sudden growth spurt, it seems more to me like a short attention span. When he’s on defense sometimes he reminds me of one of the dogs in the movie “Up” when someone says – look, squirrel !!!

    I keep thinking someday maybe it will all click for Troy. Think of what we’d have if he could defend like CWat – man would that be good!

  • Hoosier Hall

    While he was a little brash I have to halfway agree with him. Stan has 12 turnovers in only 87 minutes of action and his strength of getting to the free throw line is useless due to his 56% shooting when he does draw the foul. I saw a lot of good things from him last season but I’m just not feeling it this year.

  • Ole Man

    Think you’re right–somebody was suspended???

  • Ole Man

    Somebody else knows a hookah-smokin’ character. . . and he listened to his call…. LOL!!

  • Ole Man

    Man, you make so much more sense when you’re not ranting–lol.
    Not totally agreeing with you, but at least now I understand your point.

  • ForeverIU

    All I’m saying is that every player has his own set of issues and challenges, and it will not help us to compare him to a player who left under very specific circumstances and for specific reasons. The Hollowell episode was a very troubling one, and I just don’t see a reason to remind ourselves of that episode in particular. Coach will deal with Stan on his own terms I’m sure.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I agree on these points but you have to concede that Stan is struggling (surprisingly).

  • twarrior87

    I used to cringe every time Oladipo put up a 3, but he worked hard and when he came out his Junior year he was one of the best 3pt shooters on the team. Hopefully we’ll see the same from Stan.

  • millzy32

    Your theory would be great if it weren’t for the fact that Tom Crean recruited these very same kids.
    Can’t tell if you were trying to be sarcastic or not but if you were then disregard this comment:)

  • ForeverIU

    What you’re saying makes a lot of sense, and its significance goes beyond whether lack of turnovers was a direct result.

  • Outoftheloop

    Yogi should really set a goal of zero shots without at least 1 pass when he is controlling the offense with the dribble. Obviously, when he is spotting up for a 3 or driving for a lay-up, go for it!

  • Outoftheloop

    I disagree. Stan does not “need” to shoot 3’s, he is not good at shooting 3’s (0-5 this year, 3-16 last year). He needs to drive, kick-out, stop and hit the 15-7′ jumper, have low TO’s, play great defense, rebound like Rodman, etc.

  • Outoftheloop

    Quinn could do all of the things that he did so well in his first appearance in Assembly Hall, in an exhibition practice, 3 hours after he started at safety for the IU Football team against Purdue!

  • Outoftheloop

    If you don’t see the determination and effort in Stan’s play, you are missing a lot!

  • Outoftheloop

    Then you saw him shoot 60% on FT’s last year! Give Stan 17-18 min/game and you will see him improve greatly!

  • Outoftheloop

    No one is “stuck” in yesterday’s “reality”. That is why we work to improve and set goals to achieve!

  • Outoftheloop

    He does not “square” up his body between the offensive player and the basket. He is usually turned side-wise and then over reacts to fakes, taking himself out of defensive and rebounding position.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Very few players can walk into a locker room full of older players and command respect from day 1 (so to speak). I think Thomas & Alford did that; Reynolds, Guyton/Lewis & Coverdale needed a little more time.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    I’d prefer he learn to defend like Brian Sloan or Steve Eyl…and along the way, if he developed a shot like CWat we’d have a solid baller.

  • InTheMtns

    As posted above, Jeremiah was sick and couldn’t play.

  • InTheMtns

    Yes, absolutely, it would be great if he could learn to defend like Steve Eyl or Brian Sloan! I mentioned CWat because he was more recent and because he could defend every position, 1 through 5. I remember several games when his defense took opposing point guards by surprise and he limited, frustrated and thwarted their plans.

  • bojak

    I agree with you 100% on his determination. I am just saying that in a close game I believe there are other players on the bench that should see some of his minutes.

  • Zach

    If I had balcony tickets, I probably would have just watched on TV honestly. But I had GA tickets so I definitely wanted to go. But like others said: weather, finals week, and a weaker opponent were all factors