The Minute After: Georgetown

  • 12/27/2014 3:17 pm in

Thoughts on a 91-87 overtime loss to the Hoyas:

This one had a little bit of everything this afternoon in Madison Square Garden.

There was Indiana opening a comfortable 10-point halftime lead and even extending it a bit to start the second half. There was Georgetown, led by its upperclassmen, making its run in the second half and appearing to take hold of things in the final minutes. And then there were late heroics from Yogi Ferrell, who made a pair of 3-pointers in the final 39 seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime.

For late December, when most teams are filling up on cupcakes before the start of conference play, this was a high level contest that Indiana had a great chance to win. But it just didn’t make enough plays when it mattered most.

So where do we start? With Indiana’s defense, which allowed 61 points combined in the second half and overtime. On the afternoon, the Hoyas scored 1.17 points per possession with an effective field goal percentage of 56.6. Had Georgetown not left 12 points at the free throw line, this game may have ended in regulation. Those numbers would be tough for any team to overcome, but Indiana nearly did it thanks to a hot shooting game from the perimeter.

But even more crippling to IU was its failure to take care of the ball. The Hoosiers had 17 turnovers on the afternoon for a turnover percentage of 21.8, their third-worst performance of the season. Despite hitting 13 3-pointers and also winning the battle on the glass (34.3 OR% vs. 30 OR% for Georgetown), the turnovers ultimately crippled Indiana’s chances to emerge victorious.

As for the positives in this one, there are plenty to point out. Start with the play of sophomore Troy Williams and junior Yogi Ferrell, who both came up with big plays down the stretch. Williams finished with a career-high 23 points and also added eight rebounds and four assists, but he had a few turnovers late that he’d like to have back. Tom Crean’s move to put Williams as the primary ball handler against Georgetown’s zone down the stretch helped the Hoosiers climb back after the offense went stale as the Hoyas went on a run.

And Ferrell continues to show why he’s still Indiana’s most important player in clutch situations. After the Hoosiers looked done at 74-69 with 1:27 to play, Ferrell ripped off eight straight points, including a contested 3-pointer with 12 seconds to play, to send the game into overtime. Ferrell finished the afternoon with a team-high 27 points.

James Blackmon Jr. also regained his shooting stroke and his first half performance (12 points and four 3-pointers) was a big reason Indiana enjoyed a 10-point halftime cushion.

Beyond that, the Hoosiers didn’t have any other individual performances to draw positives from. Robert Johnson was the only other player in double figures, but he had four turnovers and Hanner Mosquera-Perea struggled and had just two points and six rebounds in 29 minutes.

As for the problems defensively, it wasn’t just one matchup that Indiana struggled with. When he was in the game, the Hoosiers had no answer for the enormous Joshua Smith, who finished with 14 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, an Indianapolis native, also blew up in the second half as 24 of his game-high 29 points came after halftime. Afterward, he called the game “personal.” IU also had no answer for senior Aaron Bowen, who made 10 of his 13 field goal attempts, most of them right around the rim.

So this is how the non-conference of IU’s schedule ends, and the Hoosiers have little time to regroup before heading to Nebraska on Wednesday to open league play.

Wins over Pittsburgh, SMU and Butler and losses to Georgetown, Louisville and Eastern Washington won’t decide IU’s NCAA tournament fate one way or the other, but the 18 games that await over the next two plus months will. Ready or not, a wide open Big Ten awaits (outside of Wisconsin) and we’ll learn soon enough if this Indiana team is ready to seize the opportunity.

(Photo credit: Associated Press/Kathy Willens)

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  • Hey I’m with you on Collin. It’s just I believe it is way premature for some gys on here to be on the Collin bandwagon enough, to all at once declare he should start over Troy. That just isn’t the case IMO.

  • pcantidote

    Really? LOL that you are citing a single stat like that. Could it be possible that those ratings got inflated against a weak non conference schedule? I don’t think you are going to find to many supporters here that enjoy IU’s team defense (i.e. help side defense) under Crean. Most of the points we give up are on uncontested drives to the basket. It drives me nuts. Every drive should be contested.

  • b_side

    It does hurt to have HMP on the bench. In both games at MSG, Hanner got into foul trouble early in the second half. Not coincidentally, UL and Gtown made their run with him on the bench.

  • Adam Ross

    Someone please do some research….how many double digit 2nd half leads has Tom Crean and the Hoosiers blown in his tenure? Resulting in a loss or win? I would venture to guess its 15-20 in 7 years

  • bojak

    Very true. But as ForeverIU states,” he is playing hard, he needs more minutes because he plays hard”. He is lost out there on the court. Six minutes of playing time and 2 stupid turnovers. Hard to say what the outcome of this game might have been without those 2 dumb turnovers.

  • b_side

    Those 3 points can be the difference between winning and losing. Sure would have been nice to be 1-3 points better on defense in the second half.

  • b_side

    Don’t get the facts and my perspective twisted. None of us are pleased with the team defense THIS season.

    You made a general statement about Crean’s ability to teach defense – that he’s “never” been able to do it. The inverse of that is looking at all of his prior teams for context.

    Considering our two teams prior to this season were above average according to Kenpom (as well as others at Marquette), your statement still remains false in my opinion.

  • Outoftheloop

    Then you missed his physical defense, rebounding and intelligent moving.

  • Ole Man

    You’re seeing what you want to see; not what’s there.

  • Kelin Blab

    I would have either played more 2-3 zone or put Johnson or Williams on DSR some. GTown doesn’t have an offense where they would post up a guard so Yogi would have been fine.

  • ForeverIU

    b_side cited two stats, not one, and a third and fourth one below from the Marquette teams. And each one of these four stats is an average for an entire season of defensive performance and improvement. If you are going to criticize our defense this season, fine. But don’t make a blanket statement that “Crean has NEVER shown he is a good defensive teacher” and then expect us not to counter you with anything other than stats and facts.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Maybe CTC should have kept recruiting him. . .

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Yes, and how times did they foul us after our shot and no call? I counted 6+!

  • enickman

    We’ve improved on the boards and, this game not withstanding, done a better job protecting the ball. Defense is what it is and right now it’s not good. The concern I have going forward is as the talent improves in the Big 10 I fear that we may have a resurgence of turnovers which will not turn out well. I pray that I’m wrong.

  • IUBizmark

    I’d ask if that’s really “good.” What’s the lowest ranking a team has had to make a final four or win a title? Only 68 teams make the tournament, so to say we’re top 50 isn’t enough to get IU back to the levels of success we expect. Not hating or being contrarian, just sticking to the metrics we expect and putting in some perspective.

  • b_side

    I don’t know the answer to your first question, nor do I have time to look it up.

    I do know that Crean’s Marquette team made it to the final four in 2003 with a ranking of 120 or so.

    Top 50 is more than acceptable if we have an eite offense like this year.

  • Chappy Dan

    Yogi also had a late turnover (after Troy’s two) that really hurt us…

  • Chappy Dan

    Max had at least one good assist (to Blackmon for a 3), a key rebound towards the end of the game, and fought hard for rebounds all game long. Box score: 12 MIN, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 TO.

  • Chappy Dan

    It’s hard to disagree with this assessment more. We are not at all headed to where we finished last year. I believe this team will continue to improve. No one in the B1G really scares me (not even Wiscy) and I think our offense is good enough to put us over the hump against the teams we should beat, and keep us in the game (like Georgetown and EW) so that we at least have a chance to win at the end.

  • IUMIKE1

    They’re waiting in the shadows for Troy to have something less than the good games that he has had recently and then they will see it as their chance to come running out of those shadows to try and justify that stupid argument.

  • IUMIKE1

    I wasn’t calling for CH to start over TW, but I was calling for more CH and less TW, and I for one, am more than glad to be proven wrong. His game right now looks like an improved version of what his game was starting to look like at the end of last season.

  • RU4IU2

    Watched part of the Illini play the Kennesaw State Cupcakes last night. Didn’t see both Morgan and Egwu on the floor together. John Groce spoke excitedly about his team, and Scoonie Penn (BTN commentator) thinks they will be 1 of the teams making the Dance this year who missed in ’14. A sleeper in the league?
    Your thoughts regarding a possible poor start in league play having an adverse affect on this team open the door for some interesting conversations. Going into 4 hostile arenas and facing some tough, physical matchups would pose a significant challenge for an experienced team. It is really ironic and unfortunate for us that each of these teams have a post presence, a couple athletes who can shoot and rebound, and at least 1 guard/SF who can lit it up from just about anywhere inside the half-court. (Quite similar to G’town but w/o a great big big man.) How much HMP/EH get involved in the offense and how effective whomever guards their scorer(s) can be will be clutch. I think we’ll do well.

  • RU4IU2

    And he just got sent down to the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants…the Hornet’s D-League team to get more game experience .

  • I work with a guy that is from Ohio and an avid OSU fan.. He is always bemoaning the fact that they don’t have much size. They do have the one big guy, but he really hasn’t impressed to-date. That other guy that transferred in, hasn’t really contributed much either.. They do have that Freshman guard, Deangelo Russell (sp?) though who is playing very well.. Thinking he’s a lot like JBJ in terms of being a very good shooter. I do think DR is better with the ball though.. I think we have a definite shot at beating the Buckeyes, I certainly hope so anyway.

  • RU4IU2

    I’m not blessed with great guns…how big does the logo have to be in order to qualify as a real fan, and does it matter which arn?

  • Did you watch Crean’s after game presser?.. He had a pretty good discussion on the different aspects of guarding Smith.. and ‘fronting’ or playing behind him.. He actually did a very good job of commenting on what and how they were trying to do that. Made sense to ma anyway. He knows a lot more about these things in a lot greater detail than people like to give him credit for. The problem is and always will be, getting the players to do effectively enough and frequently enough, what they’re taught.

  • I really dislike what you’re suggesting here. I don’t think it’s fair to these players when comments are made like this.. I also think Stan could end up surprising a lot of people before his career here is over.

  • Kelin Crean explained that Troy sit down during the post game press conference I believe.

  • RU4IU2

    Would counter that the true Center is not necessarily a thing of the past. I don’t watch NBA games, but the play of Al Jefferson, Chris Bosh, Demarcus Cousins, Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard seem to be closer to the traditional centers like Jabbar, Chamberlain, Russell, Duncan, Reed and Malone than a Euro-center. I’d have included Andre Drummond in the list, but his game lacks solid post moves. I believe it might have been Greg Popovich (?) who recently said that just because there aren’t a lot of traditional centers in the league right now doesn’t mean that coaches wouldn’t like to have one–there just aren’t enough out there so we adapt.
    BTW, just saw where Vonleh has been sent down to the D-League to get more game experience…

  • INUnivHoosier

    It has to be the left arm (closest to the heart) and at least 2″ x 2″.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Vonleh was not expected to be a top 30 pick at the beginning of the year, let alone a top 10 pick. I would argue that he was expected to be a 2+ year player. You may want to jog your memory on that one.

    Corrected- it changed Vonleh to Conley. I changed it back.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Our rebounding numbers in this game were actually very similar to G’town.

  • b_side

    I should’ve stopped reading after you listed Chris Bosh as a traditional center. Awful example. The guy shoots more outside the paint than Reggie Miller (that’s an exaggeration of course).

    Demarcus Cousins is shooting 3 pointers – how many did Kareem, Russell, Chamberlin, etc shoot?

    Jefferson, Noah and Howard play center. We can include Gasol, Hibbert, Tyson Chandler and Lopez. There are others, but nothing like the NBA saw in its past.

    I’d also argue that Duncan played PF for half his career before Pop put him at “center” as his athleticism declined over time.

  • RU4IU2

    I was in Lexington from ’85 – ’11 and know exactly what you mean about Cal and what he’s done with the leeway allowed w/the1 & done’s. Will also offer that there are so many layers between him and the players that the NCAA will never be able to directly link or even associate him with any rules violations. Still when all is said and done, every other D-1 coach can try to emulate what he’s doing…and until the NBA puts in an age restriction, things won’t change except for the worse on the college scene.

  • RU4IU2

    That’s an offer which is well-nigh impossible to refuse! I liked the North Lawrence team when Damon Bailey was there. Things changed for the worse when Eric Montross decided to become a Tar Heel and Greg Oden & Mike Conley went to Columbus.
    Favorite Hoosiers = Eric Anderson and Ted Kitchel. Would you please add Anderson Kitchel to the name bank in the event I have to re-invent myself at some point in the future?

  • mharv2631

    Too bad, How is this run and gun offense working out for us? Seems like the other teams are in pretty good shape also.

  • mark

    What perplexes me most is why would you waste a year of his scholarship by playing him only in mop-up time for maximum 1 minute or so? If you’re not going to put him into the rotation , just redshirt him! It’s hard enough to find skilled 6’11” guys, so just develop his skills this year and preserve 4 years eligibility, instead of throwing the year away by giving him a minute of playing time in blowouts every fifth game.

  • mark

    even Fischer

  • mark

    what is going on with Robinson? He’s averaging a turnover every 2-3 mins in several games. Shooting is atrocious. Prior to the sason, I imagined he’d be starting, but now I cringe whenever he enters the game. Statistically, just not the same player as last year

  • Outoftheloop

    That is what college ball is for the great ones! If you can start Facebook after your sophomore year, why go to Harvard for the next 2 years?

  • AUKevin

    I just watched the presser. I think you’re right, clearly Coach had a better idea of what he wanted to see happen. I had forgotten that Collin was fronting when Smith picked up his third. But I think I’m going to stick with my original point on this one. Hanner at best was riding the left hip of Smith and just trying to put one arm in front. I think during any 10 second break in a game you could say, “No Hanner, stand completely in front.” idk. just hard to fathom that something like fronting isn’t more clearly understood.

  • RU4IU2

    My bad on Bosh–as I said, I don’t watch NBA games and took names from a list of today’s best NBA centers per the fansided dot com web site…no reference was made regarding from where they shot. Russell & Chamberlain had retired before the NBA adopted the 3-point shot in the ’79-80 season. Jabbar went 1 for 18 behind the arc–hardly a significant part of the 38,387 points he scored.
    The gene pool for true play in the paint centers is not what it once was, but I hope it never totally disappears.

  • Yeah, well you’re free to think what you want. But, if you’ve played basketball, at a reasonably high level (well really almost any level), you know that the coaches say things at the timeouts, reminders of what they practice in some cases, but with the speed of the game, whether everything gets carried out precisely as requested at the timeout can and does vary a lot in some cases. It’s one thing to tell a player what to do, it’s quite another thing to always have it happen when the fight is back on and things happen as fast as they do, and the opponent doesn’t always cooperate with what you’re trying to do..
    I guess if you were in the ‘time out’ huddle and you heard what was discussed and Crean didn’t say any of those things, then I would have more of a tendency to agree with your post. Other than that, it is speculation of your own choice not an actual account of what really took place…

  • Besides nearly everywhere you’re reading that Jeremiah is dealing with a back issue of some type.. and no matter how minor that may be, it’s really not a good idea to put him into a situation like that.

  • AUKevin

    You are right, this is all speculation. Including yours; i.e. coach said it and Hanner just can’t figure it out at game speed.

    I could understand having trouble remembering which guards to close out on, on which side to double someone, in which order are our 3 defenses this single possession, am I switching on this person etc, all of those things combined. But “Uhm do I stand in front….or behind?” possession after possession? I think our guys are smarter than that. Especially, assuming Coach wanted him to, the fact that doing it incorrectly resulted in bucket after bucket after bucket.

  • Yes and I am assuming that as clearly as Crean had in mind how he wanted to handle Smith, that would have been a topic of discussion in the huddle. I think Crean is smarter than that… so you believe what you want to.. and I’ll believe what I want to. I just know that I am right…lol…It’s easy for a player to be caught out of position, it happens all of the time in a game. That’s why some teams are better than others. They do what they are supposed to do, and what will be successful more of the time..

  • AUKevin

    My take away from the presser was that Crean’s plan was to clearly double. Hanner stopping the drop step to the basket, and the double man taking away his left shoulder so he couldn’t turn to the hoop through the lane, as Coach said it would be his go to move. What I heard about fronting was, that they had Collin try it and worked okay, generic comments about how Vic and Sheehey used to do it and it didn’t work today… better plan was to double and try and make him put it on the floor. No real emphasis on Hanner fronting, at all. Maybe I missed something. Thanks for an engaging discussion; sounds like were at an impasse 🙂

  • Haha, yes I guess we are. You do make good points. It seemed to me he was posting up so low, that once he got the ball, he was close enough to the basket and he did (in most cases) was turnaround, take a step and shoot it… If we could’ve gotten him to put it on the floor, yes, I would like our chances better of doing something with it. He was a ‘force’ inside for sure.. Just his bulk alone was very hard to stop, let alone the fact that he is a pretty long guy as well. It’s clear if we could’ve resolved that issue, we’d have very likely won the game. Ya really can’t say enough about this year’s team and their fighting type of attitude. It was posted elsewhere, but so true.. Last year, when we got behind, you knew the game was over. This year, we have much more capability of getting back in front even after losing the lead in a game. When we got back in front 78 – 75.. I believe it was, I thought for sure we’d win.. but just couldn’t close them out.

  • pcantidote

    He seems to be trying to fill the Jeremy Hollowell role from last year.

  • MourningWould

    it’s a team game…and IU has no big.