Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Ohio State

  • 01/26/2015 9:23 am in

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Indiana jumped out to a 14-6 lead, but never got going defensively on Sunday afternoon in an 82-70 loss to Ohio State at Value City Arena. The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 5-2 in the Big Ten and 15-5 overall.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Buckeyes:

· This was easily IU’s worst defensive performance of the season: The numbers are not pretty: 1.32 points per possession allowed and a 2-point field goal percentage defense of 74. It was an afternoon that these Hoosiers need to quickly forget as Ohio State got what it wanted when it wanted with no resistance.

The performance dropped Indiana to 13th in the Big Ten in defensive efficiency as the Hoosiers are allowing league opponents to score 1.10 points per possession. That, of course, has been negated in several games because of IU’s elite offense (1.10 PPP) in league play, but as John Gasaway pointed out last night on Twitter, these Hoosiers have allowed opponents to make 61 percent of their 2s.

Improvement must begin with doing a better job of containing dribble penetration as Ohio State shot layup after layup on Sunday and won comfortably as a result.

· Turnovers killed IU’s first half momentum: Indiana started out hitting everything and with excellent ball movement, but as Ohio State tightened up the defensive pressure, careless mistakes quickly began to pile up. The Buckeyes haven’t been great defensively this year, but they do force more turnovers than any other Big Ten team and on Sunday, they turned IU’s mistakes into easy points on the other end.

IU turned it over on 31.1 percent of its first half possessions and finished with a turnover percentage of 24.1, its second highest mark of the season behind the Louisville loss in early December.

“We reverted back to our mistakes,” Tom Crean said. “Troy (Williams) tried to make plays that weren’t there. Stan (Robinson) tried to make plays that weren’t there. James (Blackmon Jr.) and Rob (Johnson) didn’t cut and move without the ball the way that they need to.”

· Yogi stays hot from distance: If there was a positive to take from the loss, it’s that Yogi Ferrell appears to be finding his stroke from the perimeter. After knocking down 7-of-8 from behind the 3-point line against Maryland, Ferrell hit 6-of-11 from distance in Columbus. His 3-point percentage is now 39.1 in Big Ten games.

The one concern about Ferrell’s increased shot attempts in Sunday’s game is whether it came because IU’s movement and cutting off the ball wasn’t where it needed to be.

“We weren’t as good of a movement offense,” Crean said. “We still had our spacing, but we didn’t move the defense the way we needed to so we never really made them have to do two or three things at once.”

· A tough afternoon for Troy Williams: After averaging more than 15 points in IU’s four-game winning streak, sophomore Troy Williams struggled against the Buckeyes. He made all four of his field goal attempts, but had five turnovers and just two rebounds in 27 minutes.

There’s no doubt that Williams has been one of the Big Ten’s best thus far in league play and there may be no player more important to IU’s success when you examine his numbers in IU’s five league wins versus its two losses:


· D’Angelo Russell wasn’t going to be stopped: Indiana’s defense deserves scrutiny for its performance, but Ohio State freshman guard D’Angelo Russell also deserves credit for a brilliant performance.

After struggling in the Jan. 10 game in Bloomington, Russell finished with 22 points, 10 assists and six rebounds in 32 minutes despite battling cramps for a good part of the second half.

“He’s such a prolific scorer, he’s always going to get his shots,” Ferrell said. “When he gets open shots like he did today against us, he’s going to knock them down. He did a great job of distributing the ball, we helped too much off of him and they’ve got great shooters who knocked them down.”

(Photo: Ohio State Athletics)

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  • JJ

    I’m not going to languish over this game too much, but watching OSU take wide open mid-range jumpers on seemingly every possession was hard. Regardless, we need to focus on Purdue and put this one behind us.

  • SCHoosier

    Not sure where IU stands on “giving up point in the paint”..but we have to be close to last in the conference if not last. How does that bode for IU with Hammons/Haas (supported by outside shooters in Stepens, Davis and Edwards)
    this week? Not sure how IU defends the Boilers..but if they get the ball down low whenever they want ..IU is in deep trouble in both points and fouls.?? After OSU had success in attacking Indiana’s “weave”..why wouldn’t PU do the same thing?

  • David

    Watch out Purdue

  • KmanCRK

    This probably could have been narrowed down to Two-Takeaways:
    1.) We looked like last year’s team when it came to taking care of the basketball, looking like a middle school team when making routine passes.
    2.) We could not get a defensive stop. I am not sure I’ve seen so many wide open looks for the opposing team all season. Our guys were consistently out of place.

    3 days to regroup and refocus. We better bring more energy and toughness to W. Lafayette. That crowd will be ready.

  • VAHoosier

    I thought our help-defense was atrocious yesterday, after being exceptionally good against Maryland. I’ll single out Collin, who was late rotating time after time, but really nobody helped to the paint well. The intensity and focus we brought against Maryland on defense were totally lacking.

    And we had no answer for the ball pressure. They stifled our dribble penetration and we had no adjustment. Credit to them for some terrific individual defense, but we’ve got to find another way to engage our offense when the dribble drive is not there.

  • Dooteetime

    I will first say I wasn’t able to watch the entire game so if my comments are not correct I apologize. We seem to go into every game talking about how will we do inside since we have no inside presence for obvious reasons. However, I feel when we go up against a team that has athletic guards and wings and play man-to-man defense we have the biggest problems. Teams with athletic guards and wings that play man-to-man defense disrupt what IU has to do to win games and that is penetrate and shoot 3s. Thoughts?

  • CreamandCrimson

    I don’t think those thoughts are entirely off-base. That being said, we have very recent evidence that the formula of “athletic guards and wings” give us a big problem. Maryland has athletic and strong guards and a couple of good wing players and they played man-to-man for large chunks of our game against them…we torched them for nearly 90 points and we were extremely efficient while doing it.

    We had quite a few turnovers and the offense wasn’t good enough yesterday. That being said, the offense wasn’t the primary reason we lost to the Buckeyes (in my opinion) and I’m not concerned about the offense moving forward. We are allowing teams to score on 61% of their 2-point attempts and we allowed a ghastly 1.32 points per possession yesterday. If IU does a little bit better job of taking care of the ball (mainly being smarter with what you are driving into and being sharper with passes), the offense will be just fine against almost any squad’s defense we will see the rest of the way. In short, I think the offense has shown that it’s really, really good and should be really good in most games for the remainder of the season. The defense has many more questions to answer and a lot more uncertainty about whether or not it can be good enough (in my opinion).

  • Eastwood88_2

    The second takeaway is the key. Our turnovers lead to easy baskets on the other end. The turnovers are caused by lack of energy and movement. I think the hot start hurt us to get complacent. It was never going to be that easy. Our defense is average at best. It takes a full effort from everyone and when that doesn’t happen, yesterday happens. Another learning experience like MSU. We won’t be 100% locked in every game. Virginia, I experienced team, almost lost to an 0-5 ACC VT yesterday. Everyone gets to have these games. How we respond is all that matters. We will compete Wednesday.
    Regarding Johnson, OSU cheerleader almost ended his season. Watch the replay and you see him slip on the their sign. This is complete BS! Protect below the rim please.
    Officials, Watching several PU games this year, they body, grab and hold everywhere. Bigten road game, don’t expect to get the calls. We have to play thru the contact. We are more athletic, talented than them. Therefore they must bend the rules to compete.

  • iugradmark

    I am not sure that we will improve our defense that much for the remainder of the year. It is just not something that Coach is focused on. The first words out of his mouth after a loss are that we don’t make cuts on offense the way they practice. Rarely does defense come up.

    As you say we at the bottom of the league on defense. So what is fixable? I think the turnovers is what we have to hope improves. I hate the loopy passes, problems inbounding the ball, jumping in the air with no place to pass, etc. These are fixable as they are on the offensive side of the floor where the coaches clearly prefer to spend their time. Turnovers and shooting percentage will determine wins and losses for this team. Unfortunately our defense is baked in at this point and not likely to get better. There are just so many problems with our defensive approach and the kids already have all of the bad habits that I don’t see it improving this season.

  • Gregory Spera

    “…these Hoosiers have allowed opponents to make 61 percent of their 2s.”

  • Lance76

    Interesting comment about good spacing, but not moving. I had a conversation or two with the TV during the game. No movement means defense does not shift and driving lane becomes more of a challenge. Also, no movement means Yogi becomes more of a dribbler/shooter than distributor and team becomes more one dimensional. Learning is sometimes painful. That game reminds me of last year.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    In the whole scheme of things, this loss was to be expected… all at home, 500 on the road. Honestly, I wondered when a team would begin overplaying the weave; we either need to set better picks or run some plays with the ball at free throw line and begin cutting north and south. Losing is not the end of the world, how you respond to a loss is what matters. IU has done a good job this year after a loss, so Go Hoosiers!

  • Real American

    I agree. This loss was expected. I felt like Ohio St. was allowed to play too physical, which is not a good matchip for our style of play. Either way, make adjustments and move forward. Purdue will be a tough matchup with their size, but it is a winnable game.

  • PBzeer

    I think what this game makes apparent is that underneath it all is the same foundation as last year. Stymie the offense, Yogi puts on his Superman cape, and everyone else throws up bricks or turns the ball over. And what semblance of defense we have becomes a caricature.

    We don’t need a top 10 defense, but we do need a top 50-75 one. The one thing that no one but the players have control of is their effort. And win or lose, we should never walk off the court having given less effort than the other team.

  • Hoosier4life67

    Stan,,,,,,,,,,, Geez I just cringed typing his name let alone watch when he receives the ball on the court. I just assume there will be no more passes, He’ll dribble into trouble and either get blocked by the wall he just dribbled into or he’ll just turn the ball over. Whatever the case, he needs to ride the pine cause his defense isn’t enough to warrant his time on the court and the possessions he gives up.

  • IUBizmark

    Can someone explain what that weave is designed to do?

  • Brklynhoosier

    Confuse the defense through multiple handoffs/screens, creating mismatches on the switch and opening up potential driving lanes. It often works. See: Maryland game. But OSU was very good about sticking close to their men and keeping a hand in the passing lanes, thus completely disrupting/discouraging our attack. We panicked a little, dribbled too much, and our passing was just a touch wild.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    CTC has had pretty good defensive teams historically, so I think they can play better very quickly. Getting Hanner back will help as he can correct defensive mistakes with shot blocking. I like the idea of starting Colin and then bringing Hanner in for energy and defense, not too worried about fouls. Also, working Emmit in as well. We are an energy team, and replacing starters with energy bench players is what we need. For whatever reason, Emmit provided more energy coming in for Hanner than Colin. Maybe he is hitting the proverbial freshman wall. Anyway, on to the next game, GO HOOSIERS!

  • Craig S. 81

    Is anybody else disturbed by our lack of inbounds plays? Especially underneath our own basket. It’s brutal to watch the ball just get chucked towards half court and hope a guard catches it. Oh well hopefully we can take down PU and forget about this game.

  • IUBizmark

    I’m going to debate CTC and his “pretty good” defensive teams comment. I don’t think anyone in here would argue his focus is offense first.

    His defensive prowess is pretty bad historically. The following are his AdjD ranks by season and the result:

    2002: 13th, NCAA First Round
    2003: 119th, Final Four
    2004: 189th, NIT
    2005: 142nd, NIT
    2006: 67th, NCAA First Round
    2007: 36th, NCAA First Round
    2008: 27th, NCAA Second Round
    2009 – 2011 We don’t talk about this time period
    2012: 84th, NCAA Sweet Sixteen
    2013: 28th, NCAA Sweet Sixteen
    2014: 47th, No post season
    2015: 208th, TBD

  • Dr Dave

    I’ve been thinking similar. From what I’ve observed, there are two styles of defense that have been pretty consistently effective against IU’s offense:

    – Challenging outside passing lanes with quick, long guards, ala Ohio State
    – Hard challenges on the driving lanes with good team help-recover, ala Mich State and the Syracuse zone. Again, size helps to recover on the shooters.

    Fortunately for us, it takes an opponent with either above average length/quickness or above average team defensive cohesion to be disruptive. In particular, Maryland had the size, but not the quickness or cohesion to make it useful.

    It can look ugly for us when an opponent has the tools to be disruptive, but I haven’t seen PU exhibit either skill-set yet, or many of our B1G opponents, for that matter..

  • Hoosier89

    They also were trapping off of the ball screens we were setting for Yogi. I think we eventually stopped screening for him, but it really killed our offense for a while.

  • JWaltFTW

    You cringed typing his name? C’mon, I understand critiquing the guy’s game but don’t start that you can’t even type/say his name without a negative reaction.

  • pandabear

    The issue is that perea is pretty bad defensively for a guy his size. You arent done playing defense until you get the rebound and hanner is a surprisingly bad rebounder for a 6’10” dude. His post defense isn’t very good either. Ive seen him make a few plays on help defense but thats about it. The guys just doesn’t seem coordinated enough to be a plus defender. So I dont see our defense really improving once he comes back.

    The other issue is that we are better offensively with him off the court. This team seemed to play its most inspired ball when hartman got the starting minutes and the kid is on fire from beyond the arc right now. Hanner may have a slight edge over hartman defensively but hartman brings much more to the table on the offensive end.

    My point is that I dont see a healthy hanner making any real impact on this team. I think we are stuck as an undersized run and gun 3 point shooting team that cant play a lick of D. I dont think we get very far in postseason play with that approach but its been surprisingly effective in big ten play so far and its fun to watch so whatever.

  • dwdkc

    The D won the game for us against OSU in Bloomington; it was much improved with a really strong effort. There were also stretches of good D against Maryland, so until Sunday I was much encouraged at that end–but they regressed yesterday. As they’ve said it is effort and communication which sometimes is there and yesterday wasn’t. They won’t be a good defensive team, but they only need to be passable.

  • dwdkc

    Yes his fundamentals and instincts are lacking, but he’s quick enough to be effective on help D (needed because we aren’t great at stopping penetration) and getting in position for charges. Just the size and quickness has created more issues for the other teams than when he’s not out there. I think he can help marginally.

  • IULore

    I think a lot of coaches would coach this team into oblivion trying to predicate them on defense. Coach know we must out score our opponents, while just playing switched up junk defense. Not ideal, but it’s what we have.

  • g. mann

    I agree that defensively, we’ll not likely see much improvement, but at the same time even a below average defense improves as the energy level picks up. When they are “communicating and flying around” as CTC puts it, they become more disruptive and it feeds their offense at the same time. If you don’t at least match the opponent’s energy, especially on the road, your chances for a good outcome are close to zip.

  • SeeingRed

    Mostly agree. The key when he comes back is this: do the things he actually adds to the mix really make this particular IU team better? Not the things we assume he should add — the real world effect of what he does add.

    Chemistry in basketball is a bit mysterious. I hope he comes back and plays hungry, like he really wants to earn his 15-20 minutes. An inspired HMP (first 10 minutes of the Louisville game) is an asset to any college team. A flat HMP racking up fouls and taking up space will not make this team better. Deeper, yes, but not better.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    What is interesting to me about IU’s defense is how out of position they are and how little they demonstrate fundamentals. Yogi can’t even stay in defensive position with arms spread and legs apart for more than a few seconds before he’s reaching and crossing his legs. No recovery from that positioning.

    The other ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: OSU isolated yogi in the paint. Ouch that is a disaster for IU. Yogi can’t guard anyone over 6’5″ in the paint. OSU executed that isolation on yogi well yesterday. I expect to see it again and again because IU likes to switch on defense.

  • metalhead65

    this game was a case of IU coming off a big win then having to play on the road against a team they had already beaten on national TV. with a team as young as IU it had loss written all over it and until they develop the mental toughness to face the hostile crowd and teams gunning for them this will be a pattern you see all season.

  • who’syourhoosier

    I agree that’s what it’s supposed to do, but when we run it, it seems so damn slow. They either need to pick up the pace or find something else to do. It seems that that the ball never really moves but the players do to some extent. Like their doing some sort of exaggerated hat dance. I don’t think I’ve seen it properly executed, so I don’t feel that it works for us. I like it when we pass around the perimeter until we hit an open man and make the three. I know we can do it. I’ve seen us do it.

  • who’syourhoosier

    I agree. We can handle a big man. When we have defenders in our face, we lose JBJ(when I say lose, I mean he isn’t AS effective) and any effective passing around the perimeter. I feel that both Mich State and OSU are examples of this.

  • who’syourhoosier

    I agree, but I look at the MD game the same way that I look at the Mich State game, as an outlier. Hopefully we won’t play that bad again, hopefully we will play that good again.

  • pcantidote

    Michigan st 2.0

  • Brklynhoosier

    Honestly, I don’t get the critique of the #7 offense in the country (one that somehow functions w/out an elite (or even mediocre) big-man). I’d much prefer to see someone explain why our #200+ D can’t stay in front of its man on the perimeter. Or why, since Vic graduated and Remy left, we’ve only developed one serviceable perimeter defender — one very liable to getting switched off and posted up down-low (amazing to me that it’s taken opponents a year and a half to figure that out).

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Did you see us get smoked on the boards against OSU? Yogi switching and defending their post player how many times? We have NO presence in the paint on either end in that game.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Dude, Troy had 5 TO’s. Stan needs more reps and needs to not force on offense.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    We run NO screens on an inbounds play. It is ridiculous!

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    You are probably right although I think Hanner at the beginning of year was told not to get into any foul trouble and therefore backed off much of the time. With Colin starting and Hanner coming off the bench, he can afford to be more aggressive. Hanner has horrible hands, probably due to growing up playing soccer and not basketball. Starting Colin to get off to a fast start and then using Hanner and Emmit seems like the best strategy to me as long as they both bring energy, which they have shown they can do on occasion. Go Hoosiers!

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    simply put, OSU was going to be difficult for us to beat at home, no matter how well we’re playing at the moment. so the loss didn’t come as a shock to me, and i’ll feel a heck of a lot better after we beat PUke tomorrow night.

    of course i’m a bit disappointed in our defense the other night, but absolutely give OSU a ton of credit. they had our guys confused the entire game, and i thought the ref’s were awful. so many ticky-tack fouls (and i could have sworn the ball was slightly deflated).

    mostly, i’m disappointed that out-of-control TW made a dramatic return. after going missing for four games, i was hoping we’d seen the last of him. still i have faith he’ll be gone for good by the end of this season.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Ok, a couple of days late, but some perspective gained by sitting on it for a while. Yeah, the loss was disappointing. And yeah, it was even a bit ugly.

    But man, considering IU’s already got 2 wins out of a 4 game stretch where it wasn’t unreasonable to come out 0 – 4, considering they were able to stick with OSU for a decent part of the game despite missing a true big man, and considering the fact that we can honestly and with no self-delusion say that tightening up just a few aspects – like, as Crean said, moving without the ball, and forcing plays – could’ve won the game, I’d say we’re not really in bad shape at all.

    Again, not saying that the loss is anything to blow off. But there’s accepting it was a bad showing and there’s overreacting to it. I don’t want to contribute to the latter. In terms of what it means for the season, I’m not yet ready to accept it was truly representative (well, aside from being killed inside… but we knew that weakness going into the game; it’s no surprise). It was a bad game, no doubt, but IU’s already ahead of the curve they were predicted to be on, they’re ranked, and they’re showing that their good wins aren’t flukes. One loss isn’t a season ruined.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    i have to agree, it’s not a MSU-caliber loss, not even close. to me, as i said in my previous post, all is well if we beat PUke tomorrow night.

    i gotta ask, do we have a better chance tomorrow night with HMP in the lineup? or are we better off with CH in spite of the size mismatch? to me, they’ve looked much better (at least offensively) without HMP

  • I just hope they can get the ball in as If I was PU I would pressure the inbound pass every time as they have to be the worst team in the big ten about in bounding the ball. No reason for this at this level!