Notebook: Offense and defense lacking in loss at Purdue

  • 01/29/2015 9:38 am in

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — From the start of Wednesday night’s game at Purdue, Indiana found itself in trouble.

The Hoosiers were rushing shots. They were dribbling too much. They were turning it over. They didn’t get many open looks. And when they did, they missed.

By the end of the 40 minutes of action, the Boilermakers (13-8, 5-3) had soundly defeated the Hoosiers (15-6, 5-3), 83-67, giving Indiana its second straight loss.

“They played well,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “But we put ourselves in positions to allow them to do that too many times by just not making simple plays.”

The basis of success for the Hoosiers’ offense has always been simple, according to Crean — make the easy pass, and find the open man. The Hoosiers don’t have the personnel to play a complicated style — one that involves “trying to create things that aren’t there.” That was the source of Indiana’s problems on Wednesday, Crean said.

The Hoosiers tried to drive on 7-foot A.J. Hammons. He blocked eight shots — his career-high. They were careless with the ball — they had six early first half turnovers that put them in a hole. They rushed jumpers — they were 4-for-19 from 3.

Those indicators of the Hoosiers’ poor offensive performance can be traced back to ball movement, Crean said.

“We just have to simplify,” he said. “And we didn’t trust the corners enough. We didn’t take the open jump shot that was there — we tried to drive too much and tried to drive into traffic rather than just making the simple pass, knock down the shot and let’s see what happens and get on the glass.”

The Hoosiers actually had their best offensive rebounding game in conference play yet – they grabbed 45.2 percent of their missed shots –  but the rebounds they didn’t get were costly.

“We did offensive rebound the ball and we did get some good looks and I thought we could have got a lot more,” Crean said. “But because of that they were able to get out in transition.”

Boilermakers pound the paint in win

One of Crean’s long-standing M.O.’s has been “defense creates offense.” On Wednesday, that was the case. But not for Indiana, however.

Crean admitted the Hoosiers’ offensive struggles led to their defensive struggles against Purdue. That started with the Boilermakers’ success off Indiana misses.

As the Hoosiers failed to get back quickly from those quick misfires, the Boilermakers did what they do best — score at the rim. They came into the country as one of the top 2-point shooting percentage teams in the country. More than 55 percent of their points came from 2s.

In the first half alone, 32 of their 38 points came in the paint. When they ran half-court sets to Hammons or 7-foot-2 Isaac Haas, the undersized Hoosiers were mismatched. The pair combined for 13 first half points on 5-of-6 shooting and 2-of-4 free throws.

But the Boilermakers guards also got to the rim effectively. 6-foot-5 Rapheal Davis scored 19 points on 5-of-8 field goals and 8-of-8 free throws. 6-foot-1 Bryson Scott had 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and three free throws. Wings Vince Edwards and Basil Smotherman added nine and eight, respectively.

The bottom line, Crean said, is that “we’ve got to do a better job of cutting off driving lanes.” But beyond Crean, there is more frustration among the Hoosiers.

“We’ve got to stop being so soft, man,” junior Yogi Ferrell said. “I just feel like whenever we go out there we don’t play with any energy.”

On the night, the Boilermakers shot 71.9 percent on their 2s and had 46 points in the paint — and another 25 at the free throw line. Just a game earlier on Sunday, the Hoosiers allowed Ohio State to shoot 73.7 percent on 2s and score 42 points in the paint.

After Wednesday’s game, Crean was asked how the Hoosiers can get better at defending the 2. His response: “Get healthy,” that the team is too small in the post — 6-foot-8 Max Hoetzel was the tallest Indiana player to see the court against Purdue.

Crean also said the Hoosiers’ interior defense will improve when they get better around the rim. But there was an agreement between coach and players.

They don’t see that changing any time soon.

“We think it’s going to be easier than it is, especially guys who haven’t been here and played in the Big Ten and think it’s easier than it is,” Ferrell said. “Now we’re learning the hard way.”

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  • SCHoosier

    “Panicking over nothing?” Even though I had IU losing both of those games in my pre-season picks..the WAY they lost them..especially PU really concerns me. Yes absence of a reliable post presence is a problem on O and D. However it appears that other coaches..with talent.. have figured out how to disrupt the creatively limited “dribble drive”..and realize that they can score easily against IU given our D-3 level defense. THAT’s what has me not panicked..but seriously concerned. An aggressive defense can keep a team in any game if they are not shooting well. IU’s defense gives every team a shot at beating them.

  • SCHoosier

    Admire JB’s courage in trying to get to the rim. However..he always goes to his right..and telegraphs the drive so much that opposing good defenses are now “waiting” for him. Needs to hit a few pull ups and not take every thing into the “its gonna get blocked pit.”

  • CreamandCrimson

    Exactly….San Diego State (one of the best atmosphere’s/student sections you’ll see), or Gonzaga or BYU (regularly top 15 in attendance), or New Mexico or UNLV or Utah…there’s a lot of really good fan bases and really good programs out West. To say it “means nothing” is way, way off base.

  • Smilinjayd

    Points well taken. Note I said this is a “down” year for B1G and that just means they are not strong nationally and very unstable after 2-3 teams. So within the conference, road wins are big, but compared to overall play, not as much. I just suggested that this team appears to be more vulnerable to fragility and I would not feel comfortable speculating wins. Cannot take that for granted by recent performances. Maryland lost by 24 at OSU last night. Proving, they are coming back to earth. Should have lost at Northwestern but those Cats do not know how to win close games yet.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I understand your overall point and I agree with it. No games can be taken for granted. I just didn’t want the two road wins we have gotten to be lightly dismissed when no one else in the league has won at either Nebraska or Illinois (and in general, teams aren’t winning away from home against the non-basement squads).

    One minor thing, the Maryland-Northwestern game wasn’t at Northwestern…the Terps were home for that one. Again (as you note), assuming victories is probably not a wise move and that goes for pretty much anyone in this league outside of Wisconsin.

  • dwdkc

    It means plenty in some places out west, but LA is another matter. LA fans have so many options they are pretty jaded, and are notorious for being bandwagon only fans. Since UCLA hasn’t been very good, I’m not surprised there is no atmosphere there.

  • dwdkc

    Hey I went to D-3 (Wabash) and I saw way better defense there. Not fair

  • I also agree with you.. Our defense is a problem. Especially if the shots aren’t falling and we get behind. What is needed at thet point is a couple of stops and we usually don’t come up with them. The key is really anyone with athletic ability and some coaching on techniques.. The problem is getting the entire five on the floor at that time to put as much into the defensive end as in the offensive end.. You can’t habe three or four playing good ‘D’ and one or two getting beat by their man. And in the case of a zone, one player not positioning just right, and maybe not covering the weak side pass. I guess what I’m saying you have to have ‘buy-in’ by everyone on the floor, just as much as you have on the offensive end. Everyone agrees we have a pretty good offense. But when a team such as PU, has the size they can put on the floor underneath.. It really makes it tough, especially if you’re outside shots aren’t falling on a particular night. I’d really like to see us take 3 out of the next 4.. but you’re right, we need to play at least .500 ball over the next four. We’ll be all right.

  • That’s a bunch of BS and you know it. IU would shred Wabash’s defense. You’re talking a whole different world when you’re talking D3 and you know it. If you don’t know it, you should just help us keep at least a modicum of respect for your opinions by not making such over simplified childishly rhetorical remarks that are in no way true and do nothing to forward your argument..

  • Wow big shot, that is really good. Is that the best you can come up with.. the ‘clapping hands’ thing again? You are one intelligent debator aren’t you? Would that be a master-debator? I’m thinking so….lol…

  • Why don’t you go troll somewhere else There have been numerous times when we came out after the half and significantly cut into the lead.. but many times the opponent then adjusted to whet we were doing and we couldn’t make it stick. In the end, you do have to hit a lot better than we were hitting at either PU or OSU, to win.. Not hitting well enough, turning the ball over resulting in an easy layup at the other end, and not playing good solid D enough of the time cost us those wins.

  • dwdkc

    Humor. Try it


    BING freakin’ O !!! That is something that is sooooo fundamental and has seemingly been absent from Crean coached teams. Aggravates me to no end. It is so freakin’ simple and helps so much so often. Does it work and help every time, no, but what single thing in bball does every single time, but it’s gonna help a helluva lot more times than it hurts, that’s for damn sure. Guess it’s the part of me that still has some coaching lurking around in it that fires me up so much when it comes to something as simple and fundamental as a shot fake. Have anyone (or even the whole team) that could have used a shot fake in practice and didn’t run a few suicides and see if that doesn’t change, it always did for me. OK, half time locker room rant flashback over, now let’s get out there and play this second half like we want it more than the other team !! LOL


    Have noticed that for some time now, always going to the right that is, also. I can only remember him going to the left on a drive one time in the last 3 games, and yes, you are completely correct in that teams have adjusted to that fact. IMHO that is one of the reasons that he is struggling so much on his drives, they simply over play him to the right, the second line of D simply waits and plays him to the right causing him to have to try a more difficult / low percentage shot more often than not when he drives it to the rim. Strangely enough (tongue planted firmly in cheek) that one time he drove it to the left he scored and didn’t have to shoot in a way that caused him to have end up on the floor. Might want to highlight that for him in the film room coach.


    And if TW won’t take a wide open shot from 12 to 15 feet, or can’t make it then put CH out there with Hanner in the middle. Teams have started to make it a point to watch and take away that baseline cut that he does. If you couple that with his unwillingness to take an open jumper from right around the foul line he doesn’t bring so much that it would be a mistake to try CH in his place.


    The new guys next year may be college ready, and if they are college ready, it will be college ready for the 3 or 4 spot not the 5, and there in lies the problem. I’m afraid that we will be stuck hearing and saying many of the same things next year as we are hearing and saying this year when it comes to discussing the 5 spot unless we get a surprise commit from a legit 5 that is not on IU’s radar right now.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    CTC will never play Hanner & Holt together.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Thus call a timeout & coach them! Wtf.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Umm, we all been saying the same thing for a fee years, time for a great coach