Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Georgetown

  • 12/28/2014 8:22 am in

Indiana fell to 10-3 on Saturday with a 91-87 overtime loss to Georgetown in Madison Square Garden. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Hoyas:

· Hoosiers had no answer to Josh Smith: In their previous two losses this season, Indiana was dominated by physical big men: Venky Jois of Eastern Washington and Montrezl Harrell on Louisville.

On Saturday, Josh Smith of Georgetown had a similar effect.

The Hoosiers had no answer for the 6-foot-10, 350-pound senior, who freely attacked the basket without much contention.

Due to Indiana’s lack of size — only Jeremiah April is taller than Smith, and April has played just 14 minutes this season — the Hoosiers had to double team Smith to be effective at all, Tom Crean said. Smith turned the ball over three times and had four fouls on the afternoon.

But Indiana did not nearly defend Smith to the level it hoped, and the big man found open looks because of his size and physicality in the paint. He finished with 14 points, six rebounds (five offensive rebounds), three assists and two steals in just 26 minutes of action.

· Turnovers make their return: Much like Indiana does to its opponents, Georgetown switched defenses on the Hoosiers often on Saturday.

But this time, Georgetown’s physicality forced the Hoosiers into multiple shot clock violations, multiple rushed shots and multiple turnovers.

Indiana finished with 17 turnovers against the Hoyas for a turnover percentage of 21.8 — its third-worst effort this season. And despite playing the Hoyas close, it was that high turnover number that had a direct effect on the result of the game: Georgetown scored 20 points off Indiana turnovers on Saturday.

· Ferrell shows up in the big moment (again): Last weekend against Butler, junior Yogi Ferrell took over the game by scoring 20 points in the second half.

Against Georgetown, Ferrell once again had a similar effect — this time in the final minute. With the Hoosiers trailing, 76-71, and less than a minute remaining, the Indianapolis native came up big. He banked in a 3-pointer to cut the Hoyas lead to two with just 37 seconds left.

And after Jabril Trawick converted on only one of two free throws at the other end, Ferrell once again took matters into his own hands. He drained another 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to tie the game, thereby sending it into overtime.

Ferrell finished with 27 points in 41 minutes of action, although he did have four fouls and four turnovers, as well.

· Williams continuing to show improvement: After matching his career-high of 22 points last Saturday against Butler, sophomore Troy Williams one-upped his effort against Georgetown.

Williams finished with a career-high 23 points, but he also continued to show his improved influence in the game outside of scoring. The Virginia native loaded the stats sheet with an additional eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in a career-high 33 minutes of action.

Still, Williams had three turnovers — a part of his game he has been trying to cut down on. And those turnovers all came in the second half and two were in the final 3:35 of regulation.

Just in his past five games, Williams’ stat line speaks volumes to his improvement: 77 points, 34 rebounds, 15 assists and just 10 turnovers. Last season, for comparison, Williams had 29 total assists to 57 turnovers.

· The jury is still out on this team: As Alex pointed out in The Minute After, with the way the non-conference season has concluded, much of the book has still yet to be written on this year’s Indiana team.

It has won big games against SMU, Pittsburgh and Butler — showing it can compete with physical teams — but also has losses to Eastern Washington, Louisville and Georgetown — teams that dominated the paint and could also shoot from outside it.

Indiana’s NCAA tournament fate will be decided in its next 18 games of Big Ten action — not from its prior 13.

(Photo credit: Associated Press/Kathy Willens)

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  • Hoosier Hall

    I didn’t feel like it was Josh Smith that killed us, it was Smith-Rivera. He had open looks from outside and broke up our perimeter passing with 2 or 3 steals. Rob Johnson showed his freshman side in this game too, making sloppy passes. Can’t really complain too much about Yogi and Troy because they tend to carry us but their turnovers were extremely ill-timed. I felt like we really needed to win this game to make a statement.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I didn’t feel like it was Josh Smith that killed us, it was Smith-Rivera. He had open looks from outside and broke up our perimeter passing with 2 or 3 steals. Rob Johnson showed his freshman side in this game too, making sloppy passes. Can’t really complain too much about Yogi and Troy because they tend to carry us but their turnovers were extremely ill-timed. I felt like we really needed to win this game to make a statement.

  • Takeaway #6: We still haven’t figured out how to attack the zone. Going back to that dreaded syracuse game, it’s so painful watching our teams try to execute against a zone. We continue to dribble drive, setting picks up top like we’re playing against man D when it’s a 2-3 zone. I don’t get it.

  • Gbwoolman

    It was a frustrating loss! TO’s took the win away and I agree with Hoosier Hall…Smith-Rivera killed us but Smith couldn’t be stopped either! Did GTown score anything outside the paint or FT line in the 2nd half?

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    Had them down and gave the game away. Frustrating.

  • Gbwoolman

    It’s the definition of insanity live and in Crimson and Cream colors…doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results!

  • PBzeer

    Until we get better perimeter defense, we’ll be vulnerable on the inside. We can’t stop the Harrells and Smiths, so we have to stop them from getting the ball where they can take advantage of their size. We can live with the other team’s big man getting his average, what we can’t live with is trying to stop that, and giving up big nights to the other guys. Smith-Rivera at 14.7 ppg gets 27 and Bowen, 8.6, lights us up for 22. It wasn’t Smith, or really even Smith-Rivera that killed us, it was Bowen, and primarily at the rim.

    I get the optimism, but unless, and until, we start playing better, consistent defense, we’re not going anywhere.

  • N71

    This loss has been like having sand in my shorts, a slow sawing that gradually gets more and more irritating. There’s been so much up to this point and it seemed like it was just blundered away with the turnovers towards the end of regulation. Perhaps I need to shift my glasses a little and view things as to how we’re positioning ourselves next year for a run.

    To that, even if we retain our key contributors and add a big man I still have this fear that our coaching staff is awesome at preparing but gets dear-in-the headlights’ed when punched in the face. Even if we were to be ranked #1 we’ll need to beat good teams throwing haymakers. With Knight I’d often say to myself, “wow, how’d we win that one”. Today I seem to be saying, “wow, how’d we loose that one.”

  • SCHoosier

    IU got nothing from its bench today (except the excellent screen Nick set to get Yogi free for his game tying three at the end). The sloppy passing of our guards..didn’t help and the Hoosiers started many too possessions trying to figure out who should be where against the Gtown zone. Fact is..IU scores well enuff to win any game..unfortunately the defense is so bad..IU can also lose any game. (especially with 17 turnovers.) Be interesting to see how NEB attacks our defense. Petteway and Shields can score..and Pitchford..at 6-10 likes to shoot the three. If the Hoosiers are forced into a half court game on most possessions..it’s gonna be a long night. I have us starting 0-2 in the conference..but think we do have a shot at the Huskers.

  • phaluska

    Yes they did- it was those early 3’s in the first half that opens the paint and was the beginning of the end. Wish we could just learn to avoid those frustration fouls we give up on the fast break after a careless turnover. Uggg- that could have won the game right there.

  • Disco_Briscoe

    Bench production was huge…Nick was in foul trouble never got in to help bust the zone, Stan is not doing well in his limited role and is not making a case for more minutes, Max played too many minutes and was tentative offensively, and both Colin and Emmitt probably could have used a few more minutes…I cringe every time Crean does a mass sub (3+ players at one time) and I feel that hurt us again during that stretch yesterday.

  • Disco_Briscoe

    L’Ville’s guards went off on us too…we were hurt by both teams in the paint and on the arc.

  • MK

    You can pick the zone effectively at the top in order to create a help situation for one of the other defenders but it won’t matter if continue to refuse to hit the middle of the zone or utilize the short corner. Of all the things we wonder about Crean, why does he struggle so darn bad with breaking a simple 2-3 which is what gtown used the majority of the time playing zone.

  • sludgemonkey

    As long as Tom Crean wants to rely on junk defense and the 3 point shot, he will die by it. If he tries that zone against Wisconsin, we should not make the trip. Forfeit the game instead and save the travel costs. We need a new coach. Now.

  • Hoosier1158

    It was a one – two punch of from those two players. IU is going to have a difficult time until coach starts playing two big guys at once. Of course that means he has to get a couple of big guys signed. I’m not talking about a big hulking center like Smith, although i would take that. Players like Jeffries, Newton, DJ White…

  • sludgemonkey

    Luke Fisher would have helped yesterday. Instead he plays at a mid major, Marquette, who seems to have finally cleared themselves of the Crean era.

  • ForeverIU

    We went into overtime with an excellent team, and we fought our way back from being down late in the game. I don’t think you can ask for a better fighting spirit from our players and coach. As fans we can help out our team by keeping the optimism and excitement up and clamor for an elite big for next year. Thon Maker looks like he will reclassify to 2015. If Yogi is still with us next year, and we have an elite big, we are final four caliber. I just hope we win some good games early in the regular season to further impress the spring signees (Maker, Zimmerman, Bryant, Swanigan).

  • HullsForMayor

    The TOs from Troy aren’t ideal, but they came in desperation mode when IU had to take on a little more risk on offense than they would probably like. Also, he had a positive assist/TO ratio, and is asked to do A LOT. Outlook seems very positive for him. I’ll take the 3 turnovers, because if not him or Yogi pushing at the end, then who? He and Yogi are the best options IU has.

    I would love to hear the chatter in the huddles during the 2nd half. Although there were clear missteps in communication and execution, the situations they had to work through were some of the toughest I’m sure they will see all season. Some of the most successful teams (including IU’s B1G champs a few years ago) seem to get things done when it’s tough, and have that ability to execute a plan in crunch time (and take advantage of teams that can’t). I can’t imagine too many teams, especially young ones, perform at such a high level without failing a few times.

    I’m sure this team will win some big games, and probably lose a few that hurt this season. Hopefully the Gtown game helps them have that “been here before” feeling in tight games so they can have clearer focus on plans and execution.

  • Ole Man

    Because I don’t won’t to be the pessimist, I’ll only say that GT is a good team; but far from an excellent team–at best 3rd in a muddled Big East.

  • Ole Man

    The TOs hurt. However, it was the lack of second half D that killed us: 61 pts in the second half and OT? Plus, stagnant attack against the zone–again, after all these years; thank God for Yogi and some for Troy in that second half.
    Word is out: penetrate on IU; they play “ole” defense.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    So Joshua Smith enters the game @ 6 minute mark in 2nd half, gets his 4the soon after. Why not take plays to him on the offensive end to foul him out? Seems like a simple strategy to get the Rock of Gibraltar out of the game.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Did you just type ‘we are final 4 caliber’? Ooooookay, how, pray tell, will the basketball gods infuse a defense in the Hoosiers to garner such high expectations?

  • PBzeer

    How can you be enthused about going into OT when you were up by 12 in the 2nd half? This game shouldn’t have been in doubt, not a “heroic effort” to almost pull it out.

    Coming into this year, our guards were going to “save us”. Now, it’s a big man to “save us”. Until we start having a consistent TEAM, that we add pieces to, we’ll keep on relying on “next year and the new savior”. I imagine that TC will end his coaching career, still waiting for the second coming of Dwayne Wade.

  • SilentBob

    They’re a streaky team, and pretty much have been since JT3 took over. Ruined my brackets almost every year in the past 15 years or so lol

  • IULore

    good job, troll.

  • MNHoosier

    True but they lost to Wisconsin by only three!

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    It apparently is too much to ask yogi to be aggressive guarding the ball with any regularity and apparently way too much to ask him to help defend in the post on anything approaching a team defense concept. IU has already taken point guard duties away from him and are developing JBJ, RJ and now Troy for that responsibility while yogi stands on the weak side. Yogi has raw talent, but apparently not the aptitude to embrace fundamentals. Yesterday he one handed passes into the expensive seats and into HP’s face from two feet. Simple fundamentals will improve his play. Yogi: 1 lousy assist yesterday and 4 TO’s plus the one given to Troy where yogi miss-timed his jump when standing at the free throw line. He was outplayed again yesterday and will be until he embraces fundamental basketball concepts. He has the raw talent, obviously.

  • SilentBob

    People thinkin’ Thon will reclassify? Me likes this lol

  • sludgemonkey

    You don’t agree? That ending was extremely disappointing and very predictable.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Fundamentals IULore…fundamentals win games. IU plays loose when the clock has lots of time on it, but far less disciplined when its crunch time (at both ends of the court). Fundamentals = victories.

  • ForeverIU

    Next year.

  • ForeverIU

    Lost to Wisky by 3, beat Florida, and lost to Kansas by 5. Smith-Rivera is not a great 3-pt shooter (low 30s), but he is by far their biggest volume shooter from 3. It so happened that yesterday he shot 5-7 from 3. I don’t think it was all on our defense. Not making an excuse for our poor defense.

  • eville87

    This is the truth. I’m just waiting for everyone to realize that we have become content with just making the tourney and getting sweet 16 rings. Everybody is talking about maker,zimmerman,brant and Swann igan. We’re not getting any of those kids. I truly believe this is Crean last run. If he doesn’t make the tourney this year.

  • I watched the game again. Those high screens we were setting had no effect on the zone D. There just didn’t seem to be a plan of attack for the zone. Our guards wanted to drive after the screens, but were continuously stuffed. Try, try, try again. Same result.

  • SilentBob

    Still not enough being made of Hanner’s improvement since the Louisville game. I know we all want to be critical after a loss, but he still produced a solid game while giving up 125 lbs to his man and 1 inch height. Think about that for a second. Only guy we had who could even somewhat battle in there against. I hope this challenge yields similar growth as the Louisville game did for Hanner. Since the Louisville game he is averaging per forty minutes 4.98 blocks and 10.57 rebounds. Compared to 2.09 blocks and 8.17 rebounds before and including the Louisville game. That’s big time growth. Once he starts putting it all together and produces consistently we’re going to have a heck of a player on our hands.

  • HarrisonHoosier

    I’ve never understood this about IU since Crean has taken over. Why not attack the key guy with 4 fouls and eliminate him from the mix? Then we wouldn’t be here talking about how he killed us in the 2nd half. He picked up his 1st foul 25 seconds into the game so he showed that he had a tendency to foul. I’ve yelled at the TV for several years about the unwillingness to take the ball at the guy with 4 fouls.

  • HarrisonHoosier

    Also calling a time out with the 12 point lead was disappearing might have been helpful also – instead of waiting until GT was up two…

  • HoosierPat

    Josh Smith’s presence in the 2nd half was key for G’Town. He was too big for us to handle one on one down low. We were forced to double down which left a perimeter player, often Smith-Rivera, open for a shot.

  • marcusgresham

    Smith got called for fouls in the first half. In the second he was allowed to use his girth to just knock the defender backwards. Do you have to do the Vlade Divac Nestea Plunge for it to be called an offensive foul?

  • Hoosier1158

    Yes, he would have been a big help. So not only signing guys, but keeping them on campus as well.

  • Ole Man

    Just what about that comment was trollish? He has a right to his opinion.

  • MK

    sweet

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    you are correct, posters on here have claimed, “We have THE best backcourt in the USA!”. SERIOUSLY?!

  • NC Hoosier

    Call him a troll all you want. It doesn’t change the fact that he very well may be correct and a lot of IU fans agree with him.

  • Hoosier Hall

    He definitely helped draw the attention away from Smith-Rivera but #4 killed us on both ends of the court. He is their Yogi Ferrell.

  • RU4IU2

    A lot of that hype comes from Ed Smith, his legal guardian.

  • RU4IU2

    Offensively, they are among the nation’s better back courts. At the other end of the court, they remain work in progress.

  • RU4IU2

    Keep a watchful eye on that little blond Dookie…

  • Outoftheloop

    Wrong! Better than Xavier and Butler. So which 2 do you rank ahead of th?

  • Outoftheloop

    Then stay home. Not a single soul will notice!