Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Michigan

  • 02/08/2015 5:31 pm in

Indiana bounced back from a loss at Wisconsin with a narrow 70-67 win over Michigan on Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall. The win moved the Hoosiers to 17-7 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Wolverines:

· Indiana continues to find ways to win close games: A season ago, Indiana struggled to close out games for a variety of reasons. Turnovers was chief among them as was a lack of capable shot makers to turn to. The script has been flipped through eleven league games as Indiana now has seven conference wins and six of them have been decided by six points or less.

Sunday was another example of Indiana not playing its best game, but still figuring out a way to claim a win. The Hoosiers built an 11-point lead against the Wolverines with 14 minutes to play, but Michigan never folded and ultimately had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer. Still, Indiana never let go of control of the game, which is a sign of growth over last season.

“I’d say the difference has been mindset, our mental mindset going into a close game like that is just to get a stop and whatever is necessary to get it, we’re going to get it,” Yogi Ferrell explained. “We go out there, we fight for each other and we fight for the team and we come out with the outcome we want.”

· Another afternoon of (mostly) good Troy: We’ve written several times about the production of Troy Williams in IU wins versus losses. It was a tough first half for Williams on Sunday as he logged 15 minutes, but had four turnovers and just six points and three rebounds.

The second half was a different story as Williams exploded for 14 points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal in 16 minutes. More importantly, he didn’t turn it over at all after the break. All of his points in the second half came either at the basket (three dunks, one layup) or at the foul line (six of six).

“Just stayed in, kept moving, got back cuts, dunks, got fouled a couple of times,” Williams said of his second half performance. “I got more comfortable out there, got the steal for the 3-pointer (for Robert Johnson). I guess after that I just got more comfortable.”

· Ferrell continues All-Big Ten worthy season: Another game, another stellar performance for Yogi Ferrell. He again played major minutes – 38 in total – and did a little bit of everything for Indiana. The junior point guard started out hot offensively with 4-of-5 shooting and 11 points in the first half, but struggled a bit shooting after intermission.

That didn’t stop him from impacting the game as Ferrell dished out four of his six assists in the second half. His final assist of the afternoon was a lob for Williams with 30 seconds to go that extended Indiana’s lead to 69-64.

“Yogi is such a good player,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “I’ve been in this league eight years now and there’s few point guards that I could say are playing as well as he is.”

· Indiana again struggles to defend in the post: The Hoosiers got welcome news on Sunday as Hanner Mosquera-Perea returned to play four minutes, but it’s going to take time for the junior forward to get back into game shape and become a bigger part of the rotation.

With Collin Hartman playing the five, Tom Crean had to deploy a variety of defensive looks to try and slow down Michigan’s frontcourt players, Ricky Doyle and Mark Donnal, but the duo combined for 7-of-8 shooting in the paint.

“We weren’t doing a good job with their five man,” Crean said. “The number one thing those guys do is rebound the basketball and today, they did more than that.”

The addition of Mosquera-Perea will give Crean another alternative to defend in the post as the stop gap solution in recent weeks has been Ferrell or Stanford Robinson.

· Blackmon’s (successful) return: Freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. could only sit and watch last Tuesday as his teammates trailed by as many as 32 points and ultimately fell by 14 to Wisconsin in Madison.

Blackmon Jr. returned to the lineup on Sunday and started strong with 12 points and six rebounds in the first half. He went on to finish the afternoon with 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes.

“I was excited to get back out there,” he said. “It was so hard to sit out, especially since Wisconsin, since they’re the top team (in the conference). Coming in I worked hard on the defensive things, the things I had to know to get back into it and that helped me get going.”

Filed to:

  • Disco_Briscoe

    Thanks for your irrelevant post. Maybe instead of trolling comments, you should read Alex’s first take away or watch a game to understand what I wrote.

  • hardly

    Because many don’t really care for the style on the sidelines. IMO Indiana fans really appreciate clever, strategic, disciplined basketball and that’s not what we have these days. The only thing that soothes this desire is lots and lots of wins. With a 25-5 record and style will be forgiven. 20-10 and worse and people are not going to be happy. I would be curious to see what Indiana fans’ perception where the coaching ranks among the big ten. My guess is it would come in about middle of the pack, but definitely behind all the perennial big ten contenders. On floor talent is going to come and go, but Indiana fans are just not happy with the perception of mediocrity in the one constant that is the sideline presence.

  • IU diehard from CT

    Well said. Thanks

  • KB2

    Tell that to the Splash Bro’s in GS lol when either of them are going, almost everything, no matter how contested, ends up falling.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Since the two aren’t mutually exclusive, your comment is a fallacy. I’m not sure if you wouldn’t consider fallacious comments “trolling” as well.

  • calbert40

    The better question to ask is did he do anything that elevated the play of the team? In his four minutes, he fouled Bielfeldt on a rebound. Then he got an offensive board, got fouled and made 1-2 from the line. Then he played a pick and roll poorly and Donnal got an easy layup out of it.

    Nothing awful, but I fail to see how not playing him more evokes the reaction it does from so many. Now, we could discuss whether if he received more minutes, he’d be more productive, and we’ve seen in the past how he can be in those situations. But I think Macer is right when he says it wasn’t what he didn’t do, but rather what CH brought to the floor yesterday that kept Holt on the pine.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Agree with one caveat – we should feel okay to question and discuss decisions made by the coach(es). They do make mistakes like the rest of us.

  • calbert40

    Do you believe that Crean should have the same or similar substitution pattern regardless of whom we are playing? Does the game situation have any bearing on substitution patterns? Do you think that a coach (whomever it is) may have a better handle on his roster than those of us who watch 2-4 hours of that particular team play basketball per week?

    He played all 5 starters more than 30 minutes yesterday. That left precious little time for the bench. UM had incredible difficulty dealing with our offense (1.18 PPP). Those 5 starters helped carry us to a win. I have no problem with Crean utilizing a short rotation. He tried to ease HMP back in yesterday, and admittedly, he struggled. Those are minutes that Holt would have gotten otherwise. I just don’t see the issue in yesterday’s game at all. I’m curious what others’ thoughts are on the matter.

  • calbert40

    Thank you. Once again, people spouting off things that just plainly aren’t true, which requires many of us to spend the time to prove them wrong. Glad you did it, because I was about to!! You saved me a lot of time, ITM!

  • calbert40

    To paraphrase an old quote, Steph and Klay aren’t walking through that door. You are comparing our roster to two of the top 10 players in the NBA currently. Not a fair comparison.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I agree with you. I do think that we might have been a better team with Holt on the floor than Stan. I like Stan’s game, and I really want him to do well. He’s just got something going on in his head, I feel like. He’s strong, crafty, and a decent defender. He can add a lot to this team, but not at the 4. He just needs to get some confidence, and I don’t think playing out of position helps that.

  • calbert40

    copy. paste.

    Well said, Tom.

  • Key94

    Completely agree with your assessment. I wonder about our players’ decisions from time to time (like why does Stan take so many contested lay ups) but just can’t blast CTC for everything that happens in a game. I trust that he knows more about his players than I ever will. Some were calling for JA to get minutes against Wisconsin, because certainly he could defend Kaminsky. He hasn’t seen the court in months but he can defend a POTY candidate?! Come on man!

    The only thing that really grinds my gears is that we make some kids highlight film every single game! Career highs!!!!

  • calbert40

    Absolutely true. I don’t think any of us would argue that Crean is beyond reproach. However, I think you and I would agree that much of the discussion is based on faulty reasoning.

  • who’syourhoosier

    I agree, but isn’t the second half typically better for him. From the games I’ve watched, if he doesn’t do much in the first, he makes up for it in the second. So why sit him if he’s doing well in the first? Give the guy a chance to have a record breaking game. If you are in the zone(shooting wise) you should stay in. I thought that was an unwritten rule in basketball. Never pull a hot player.

  • KB2

    I wasn’t comparing the Splash Bros to anyone calbert. I was using them as an example to why the “hot hand” myth may not be debunked. When Steph or Klay are totally on fire, they hit some ridiculous shots that they probably wouldn’t have hit on a normal day. In no way was I comparing JBJ to them, though I hope one day he could be at their caliber of shooting in the NBA.

  • Blair McKee

    Getting that W was terrific! Where would we be without Yogi? He’s a college superstar.

  • calbert40

    I’m just suggesting they are both top 10 players in the NBA. They would be an exception as opposed to proof of the rule. I guess if we had those two, I’d be upset if they didn’t play 40 each night!

  • calbert40

    I hate to say this stuff out loud, so I’ll try to say it in the least offensive manner as possible. We don’t need Stan’s offense. We don’t need his ballhandling. We do need his D, but he hasn’t shown the consistency of intensity to be a player whose D DEMANDS he is on the floor. Until he does that, I am never unhappy when his minutes are limited.

  • KB2

    I totally get what you’re saying and agree completely. I’m just not totally sold that the “hot hand” myth is an actually myth. It’s all irrelevant in the end however and not worth bickering about lol

  • INUnivHoosier

    We don’t need those things, but he continues to offer them up with poor results. We don’t need Stan guarding the post, either, which is where he has been utilized. That’s where I feel like the biggest change could be made for him. If we can move him to guarding the perimeter players, I think that would be an area that he can impact the game positively.

    I did like him breaking down the zone from the free throw line against UM (in the 2nd half, I think.)

  • Outoftheloop

    I think that you are wrong. We have all witnessed how easy it is to defeat an opponent when they have one or two players on the floor that can not score or handle the ball. 5 on 3 is easy defense and gives a great advantage. You can’t be a Sweet Sixteen team or above (my goal every year) without 5 offensive options on the floor plus good defense (our freshmen are getting better at defense).

  • calbert40

    I’m not suggesting that we only need Stan to play D and then be a spectator on offense. I’m suggesting that we have plenty of guys on the roster who are better ball handlers, shooters, etc. We don’t need Stan to be on the floor to give us those things.

    Stan is a good defender, though. Good not great. If Stan would devote himself to being our stopper (think Dane Fife), we wouldn’t be able to take him off the floor for long. Dane was good at many things, but only great in one area, and that was D, especially on the ball D. Stan isn’t a bad offensive player or ball handler (perimeter shooting is another story!). That just isn’t his strength. But teams wouldn’t be able to ignore him on offense.

  • calbert40

    So far as guarding the post, our strength on offense is a stumbling block defensively, no doubt about it. Being able to play all 5 guys on the perimeter leaves us very vulnerable on the defensive end. It is just the way the roster is constructed, and barring a significant improvement from HMP, I don’t see it changing.

    Side note: this is why I think our defensive struggles are more personnel than coaching. Watching Yogi or Stan be incredibly physical on a big man after a switch…you can see they are giving full effort. Physically, they just can’t match-up, unfortunately.

  • KmanCRK

    When we rebound, move the ball and play aggressive team basketball we are very tough to beat.

    Props to Yogi for continuing to lead by example and to Taz for bringing the thunder over and over again.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    curious to see how much HP’s return helps this team on the defensive end because i’m not sure how great a defender he really is. in his brief time yesterday, i saw him once again going for the highlight block, taking himself out of position to get the rebound. and it resulted in an easy basket for scUM. we’ll find out soon enough against MD, hoping for the best.

    regarding JA, i unfortunately don’t think there’s a whole lot of mystery. we’re seeing why he wasn’t high on anybody’s recruiting list, he apparently just ain’t that good.

  • KmanCRK

    Maybe you should check our record in games decided by less than 8pts, especially against teams we were supposed to beat (6-0).

  • Outoftheloop

    I re-watched those 4 minutes, it is pretty tough to keep up with the individual moves in basketball. But I seriously disagree with your descriptions. Emmitt enters at 11:26 and IU up 11-8 (+3). Unfortunately he plays with Stan and Nick. He immediately does a good block out on a FT; then sets a good screen on offense; then good position for an offensive rebound but James hit the drive; then good defense on 44 shot missed IU rebound; then good position for a pass but James hit the drive; then no screen roll but a fake screen slide, James no defense even though no MI player within 3 feet of James, MI hit shot not Emmitt’s fault; then great O rebound, went right back up with shot 2 foul shots, 1/2; then good D on 34 Stan is trailing his man by 2 feet screen takes 2 Stan does not cover the roll give up a layup to 34, but recovers to almost block shot; then good position for rebound James drive shot good; then great D on 34, screen roll takes 11 who is free and stops the shot, IU rebound; then good position for Robert’s drive, shot good; subbed out IU lead 20-11 (+9)! Those 4 minutes were the best played by any IU Big. However, it is a false choice to say that any minutes given to Emmitt must come at a reduction in minutes for Collin (who does play well!). Collin and Emmitt should sometimes play together when Troy is out. But not only did Emmit do nothing wrong, he contributed IU’s best play by a Big in the paint for 4 minutes which directly led to IU’s largest lead of the game!

  • KmanCRK

    I agree Brad. Crean has often been grilled for the Offense IU runs. And while it isn’t the motion offense, IU fans covet, it is one of the best in the country.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    some of it i think you can chalk up to life in the b1g. i doubt iu’s the only team struggling to sustain leads. granted, our poor defense sho nuf doesn’t help.

  • Ron Swanson

    Hi hear you PB, but I challenge you to consider what you just said. They were wins but “they could have been losses.” I know what you meant but technically that is true for every win. 🙂 If we were losing all of those games, would we then be griping that we can’t win the close ones? And deciding who’s falt that is?

  • Ron Swanson

    Thanks for that tip, Tom. I think I will indeed jump onto the premium site.

  • KmanCRK

    Not sure I’d be upset by winning 4 or 5 that “could’ve been” losses. Kind of nice to win all of the close games don’t you think?

  • KmanCRK

    he played 30 minutes, and kind of tweaked the ankle at one point. I’m guessing his ankle stiffened up on him some during halftime (pure speculation). He just didn’t seem to have the same pep in his step in the 2nd half.

  • IUchrome

    Nice win by IU. That win was pretty much par for the course. Build a lead, hang on for a late win. I have come to the realization that this is what we are this year. Watching the game I was upset, but in retrospect, I am not sure why. The only reason is maybe because we are underachieving slightly. Not in the W/L column, but just overall as a team. Maybe some of it is age, which brings the inconsistencies, some of it is IQ, I don’t know. It can be frustrating for sure.
    A couple of thoughts I have. (1) As crazy as some of the substitution patterns have been, I’m curious to see how fresh it keeps some of our guys. I’m hopeful, that come tournament time CTC will have a very tight rotation. (2) Nice to see HP back. He takes a lot of criticism, but he will become very valuable once he his back at full strength. It’ll be nice to have him and Colin out there together. (3) Love Yogi, I think he is a great player, but I can’t stand when he just pounds the ball into the ground. Sometimes it just kills all the movement and guys do the watching thing. This happened a ton last year, and moving forward it is a scary thought. We are successful IMO when we move the ball, drive, kick and cut.

  • Outoftheloop

    Review the stats. Dan became a very good 3-point shooter and that directly led to IU playing in the NCAA Championship game not losing in the early rounds in his senior year!

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    you’re right to an extent, but restricting the forum to simply the winloss columns would be kinda boring, eh? and that’s actually not all that counts, not when it comes to selection sunday. if only wins and losses count, there would be no need for SOS ratings. and we might as well play ellettsville university or similar opponents in every preseason game.

  • Ron Swanson

    Respectfully SCHoosier, where I disagree with your point about potential is that if you go back to what many of us (and various “experts”) thought in August about this team, I would suggest that they are already outplaying their “potential.” Could they be much better if they played defense? You bet! But do they have a significantly better record so far than most of us expected? That’s a yes too. With the bulk of our big ten wins being in games in which we were not favored, I feel like they are certainly playing to their potential. It just comes down to what our expectations are vs. where they were. Just my thoughts on it.

  • KmanCRK

    Just because Yogi can play 38 mins a game doesn’t mean just anyone can, let alone a freshman. He still played 30 minutes. The fact that he wasn’t making plays had nothing to do with him sitting on the bench for the entire 2nd half as you allude.

  • KmanCRK

    BOOM!

  • KmanCRK

    honestly, rebounding is not even an area we need help. I continue to be amazed at how well we are rebounding the basketball. No way anyone would have thought it was possible for us to rebound like this.

    But post defense is a huge area for concern, and hopefully he can help slow down the teams with true post players.

  • KmanCRK

    Keep your stat based common sense stuff up in the mountains. This board is for off the cuff remarks only.

  • Ron Swanson

    I hear you hardly and I respect that opinion. My perspective on that is that many who feel that way, and are discontent with the sideline presence as you put it, are still holding on to the ghost of Bob Knight and his style of basketball. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with that! And it also doesn’t make TC the best coach in the country. But I find it much more fun and satisfying to support who we have and the what we’re trying to do than constantly look for the flaws. Especially when we are winning. I don’t want to turn this into a Bob Knight discussion. I just can’t help but feel like there remains a division with IU fans in there somewhere.

  • KmanCRK

    please read InTheMtns reply and feel free to edit “You are right” part.

  • KmanCRK

    well Crean should have recruited those two guys. period.

  • KmanCRK

    Please read InTheMtns reply above. JBJr wasn’t sitting on the pine in the 2nd half…

    come on people.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    reading through these responses, there seems to be a recurring theme, ‘we should learn to be satisfied with whatever product is being put on the floor, especially when it’s over achieving’. and to say a team’s over achieving with a 17-7 record and 3 embarrassing blowouts on their resume where they weren’t even remotely competitive, it only shows how low expectations were. as a passionate, life-long iu fan, that just ain’t good enough. i think we should expect more, and i think it’s realistic that this program is capable of more. i’ve been watching some of the top 10 teams in the country, and there’s no doubt each one of em is easily 20+ points better than us. is that acceptable at iu? should we as fans be ok with that?

  • KmanCRK

    I think you nailed it. Aside from giving RJ a breather, he needs to be sitting. until he can take care of the bball, his offense is regularly negating any positives his defense can bring. And I still think he’s got a bright future.

  • KmanCRK

    He can get to the basket at will. But until he learns to make better decisions he really hurts our momentum at times.

  • Ron Swanson

    I hear what you are saying WhatsUp. Speaking only for myself, I definitely don’t want to be “satisfied with whatever product is being put out there.” I think where what I’m trying to say is different from your last point is that my focus was on the potential of “this team” not “the program.” Because I definitely agree the program is capable of much more. Just not sure this team is. I remain optimistic though that the program is getting there. With the potential for everyone back next year, it may be very near.