The Minute After: Iowa

  • 03/03/2015 10:06 pm in

Thoughts on a 77-63 loss to the Hawkeyes:

Just get through the first half of the Big Ten season alive, they said. It was supposed to be all downhill from there. The Hoosiers did more than that. They exceeded what was expected of them, winning games they started as underdogs. They won on the road. Some in the media were singing the praise of Tom Crean and his Hoosiers. There was coach of the year talk. The Hoosiers were dubbed as the most watchable team in the country.

But there hasn’t been much watchable about this team of late. After starting 5-1 in the Big Ten, Indiana’s just 4-7 since then. The Hoosiers are limping towards the finish line, and it’s all passing them by.

This Indiana team was always built to score and it simply hasn’t happened over the last 60 minutes of play. Indiana went ice cold against Northwestern in the second half, shooting 3-ball after 3-ball over its zone and not scoring a field goal for 10:06. Indiana didn’t hit a drought quite as big tonight, but it wasn’t markedly better. In a sloppy first half for both squads, the Hoosiers hit just two field goals over the final 10:15 of the first half. And that two could have been just one if Robert Johnson didn’t hit a long 2 at the buzzer.

Beyond the scoring drought, the Hoosiers also turned the ball over on 27.2 percent of their possessions in the first frame. They’d finish the half scoring just .85 points per possession. Iowa had some trouble with the ball as well (21.2 TO%) and Indiana actually held them under a point per possession (.97).

A 32-28 halftime deficit wasn’t insurmountable, but Indiana wasn’t giving off many positive vibes.

As the second half began, James Blackmon Jr. hit a 3-pointer to pull Indiana within one (32-31) and maybe it was going to turn around. But it simply didn’t happen. Even good looks in the paint and around the hoop Indiana couldn’t drop in. And any time the Hoosiers seemed like they may be gaining a little momentum, Iowa was able to answer on the other end time and again.

The Hoosiers were able to pull within five on a Nick Zeisloft 3-pointer at the 11:20 mark (48-43). But after Yogi Ferrell — who finished just 3-of-11 from the court — missed a line drive 3-pointer that clanged off the front of the rim, Anthony Clemmons hit a 3-ball for Iowa on the other end to put them back up eight. It was as close as Indiana would get the rest of the way out, as Iowa pushed the lead out comfortably and settled on a 14-point victory, the Assembly Hall crowd booing and leaving the arena before the end of the game in disgust.

On a night Zeisloft hit 5-of-7 from distance to help Indiana set a program record for 3-pointers in a season, the rest of Indiana went just 18-of-53 from the field on the evening. Troy Williams tried to be the hero and bring Indiana back into this one, but he was a bit over aggressive at times and didn’t find baskets as easy against Iowa’s length. He finished just 3-of-13. Indiana entered the contest as the seventh best offensive squad in the country from an efficiency standpoint but were only able to muster .94 points per possession at home in a game it really needed to solidify an NCAA tournament spot.

Iowa didn’t throw a zone at the Hoosiers all evening, but when it did, Indiana seemed a little off. Without the dribble weave and freedom of movement in man-to-man, there’s just a little less energy and movement. And when the shots aren’t falling, the heads sometimes sink — as they did against Northwestern.

It’s possible Indiana could lose out and still go dancing, but it’s not anything fans are interested in seeing be put to the test. A win against Michigan State on Saturday would at least keep some of the pressure off this coach and his team. But after the last two games, another loss would come as little surprise.

Filed to:

  • Outoftheloop

    Fred is good until the perfect NBA deal comes his way!

  • Outoftheloop

    IU has zero, i.e. no players, that the NBA will draft this season.

  • nmstan

    I appreciate all the things Coach Crean has done. I appreciate more the GPAs of the players. No denying all that. I could live with endless sideline pacing and substituting a hot player for seemingly no reason. But I think it’s time to “go in a different direction” as they say as yet another season goes askew. I’m not a Brad guy either. Just my 2-cents worth.

  • Outoftheloop

    Yes. Or Shaka Smart at VCU.

  • Outoftheloop

    Yes. Or Shaka Smart.

  • Outoftheloop


  • JCook

    Try the pretzel with cheese. It’s the only silver lining.

  • Max

    Hanner, Holt, Hartmann are all a year older. Hopefully Devin is back. Maybe Morgan contributes. Troy might learn man-to-man D. Not saying it’s a rosy outlook, but our front court should improve by default.

  • Will

    The Hall was half empty on ESPN. Basketball foots the bill for IU’s entire athletic department and Fred Glass’ salary.

    Football can’t be much higher than the B1G’s bottom in revenue since Glass took over.

    I would be happy to donate towards a buyout. Just makes me mad how someone can con so many people into believing they are good at their job and get paid 3 mil a year. The JIGS UP Tommy.

  • Max

    Cody & Noah are in their 2nd and 1st year. The NBA is hard. Not saying either developed to their fullest at IU, but you can’t judge Crean on whether his players are instant all-stars in the pros.

  • Jewbaaca

    Let me know when we land a single front court recruit that is even remotely close to any of the ten that Kentucky has.

  • wow, the even split surprised me. Good info. $44.5 million is a very different number depending on which school it’s going to. Think Northwestern athletics vs. OSU. OSU football alone can eat up $44.5 million, but then again most of their games are nationally televised outside BTN anyway.

  • SCHoosier

    Hey the guy brought us back from the dead….he just couldn’t get IU thru the defensive Zombie stage. Of course losses to the NBA..decommits all took their toll..but hey that’s just part of the game..isn’t it?

  • SCHoosier

    Rational..if you think this list is “rational” u need to change your web-handle?:)

  • SCHoosier

    Good question becuse Stevens inherited..did not build..his ,championship team.

  • SCHoosier

    and that did it with something called DEFENSE.

  • OSU’s football program makes tons of money, via ticket and suite sales, plus advertising dollars, plus a whole bunch of other sources. Do not worry friend, they are plentifully well endowed., i.e., rich…

  • bojak

    Coach Crean will be a year older too, do you think that will help? This is where the problem lies.

  • bojak

    Watch what you say about Stan Robinson. There are people on this forum that believe if we had 5 Stan Robinson’s on this team we would make the final four. And I say Stan shouldn’t see a single minute in any game unless it is a run-a-way. And pretty much the same for Hanner.

  • bojak

    How in the h44$ can you figure this out when our 3M man hasn’t figured it out in several years.

  • bojak

    He shouldn’t even be on the floor.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Well, he’s what we got.

  • What about Mike as an assistant?

  • bvillehoosier

    I mentioned this on another article but I’ll say it again here…

    I read an article earlier today where Fred Glass was interviewed by the Bloomington newspaper I believe after last night’s game. He was actually discussing the buyout…I couldn’t believe it. Granted, he also mentioned how Crean was NOT coaching for his job Saturday, reiterated that he thinks Crean has done a great job, etc. etc. (which of course he said that, he HAS to say that).

    But the fact that he spoke of the buyout and how it wouldn’t necessarily mean handing Crean a $10 million check (it would be spaced out over several years apparently) speaks volumes in my opinion. Shows the idea has entered is mind anyway.

  • Drew

    Even during his good years (2011-2013) there was always a small, yet vocal contingent of fans calling for his head. Yet we packed the Hall every game, the atmosphere was always nuts, even in the losses. Their voices were drowned out. Now the momentum has totally swayed to the other side. And I don’t see what he is doing to foster or rebuild that bridge. If we are worrying about abysmal student/fan attendance this season, next year is going to be worse. It worries me.

  • Barancy Peloma

    Well, losing Coverdale to the ankle injury and has ton leaving a year early is what really did them in. I don’t see knight making up for those factors.
    Maryland was a better team that year.

  • calbert40

    I say if the students aren’t showing up, reduce the number of student tickets allotted. The general public will buy those seats, IMO. I’m not as worried about that as some others. That said, when I was a student, I never missed a home game (I didn’t go to IU…a lot easier to get a ticket). I haven’t kept track, but I know that for at least a couple of home games, the Bloomington area has had really bad winter weather. I’m certain that has had *some* effect. How much, I don’t know.

    I remember arguing with the vocal contingent a lot during those years! They were there, just in smaller numbers. I still hold out hope that Crean can get more out of this team. I’m not ready to ride him out of town on a rail, but there is precious little slack to offer him now. He needs to show people something the rest of this year, or next year will be rough. After EVERY loss, there will be #FireCrean stuff everywhere.

  • Sand

    Yea, I see that, but I will sway heavily towards the coach. Thanks for the reply.

  • bojak

    I feel he has other options, such as Jeremiah and Tim. They can’t do any worse. Even if they don’t do better, they can’t do worse and that is why they should at least get the chance. But not with this coach.

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    So that makes 2 for Wisconsin in the last 7 years. To get 2 for IU, we have to go how far back? 13?

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    Eerie that would be the same record as Mike Davis in his last year at the helm–year 7 I believe

  • calbert40

    Any time, Sand. I mentioned somewhere else that I put more credit and/or blame on the players over the coach. It is just a philosophical difference that puts me at odds with the vast majority of people on this site. It comes from my time as a coach.

    In all of my time coaching, I had one team in particular that was fantastic…and one that was awful. I coached the same way. Actually, if anything, I put MORE effort into the lousy team. If you ask me, I’d tell you that I did a better job coaching that awful team, because any game we won was an upset. But that’s not how most people look at it.

    Ryan or Turgeron will win B1G COY, because they have the best teams, but I think if it goes to anyone but Painter it is a joke. Purdue was expected to be a bottom feeder this year. They are probably going to finish in the top 4. He did more with less than Ryan did. UW should win the B1G. It is similar with Crean. He won B1G COY the year we won the B1G, but he deserved it more for the previous year…when they finished tied for 4th.

    Most of us just look at wins and losses to gauge a coach’s success, when the fact of the matter is coaches need players to win. That’s why I put it more on players than coaches.

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    That would take some immense stones! And would be incredibly impressive in this day and age…

  • INUnivHoosier

    I bet Hanner makes Jeremiah and Tim look like little boys in practice.

  • bojak

    That could be true but I doubt it. How you play in practice doesn’t do the team any good unless you can duplicate it come game time.

  • Hoosier1158

    So Davis was just as good of a coach as Bob Knight? No one was better at preparing for a game that coach knight.

  • Drew

    I apologize for continuing this discussion but I just can’t pass up some good discussion here. We relate a lot as fans, Calbert. I have been in more than a few “discussions” with Crean dissenters from the beginning but the tide has really turned this year. My biggest thing this season has been the defense. What is going on there? And the thing is, Crean deserves nearly all the blame for this disaster. We should never be this bad. We never were in our first three years! So what gives. Whether he likes it or not, he has continually given the fans something to groan about without fixing it one iota and it has contributed immensely to our late season slide. For as much as I have supported him, the man is using his own shovel to dig his grave.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I don’t doubt it. If April and Priller were doing well, they’d be in games. There is no reason they wouldn’t be, unless CTC just really wants to get fired. He’s playing walk-ons and a football player.

    Hanner is not as bad as you say he is, anyways.

  • Barancy Peloma

    Whoa, slow down there! I NEVER said Davis was as good a coach. I just said that even with knight, they still aren’t beating Maryland in that game.
    A good coach matters a great deal but, even the best need talent spread out over the positions to win.

  • calbert40

    Don’t apologize, Drew. I enjoy talking with reasonable people on here (the list is growing smaller by the day!) I agree with you. There are many contributing issues, but I think there are two big ones that the #FireCrean folks are affected by.

    1) IU has knowledgeable and extremely passionate fan base that has very high expectations. This is a great thing…when things are going well. When we are struggling, it makes the job more difficult.

    I think the tide turned before this year. it turned in the NCAA tourney two years ago when we lost to SU and nearly got beat by Temple. He lost the majority of fans then. Fair or not, I think that’s when it happened. We had a great year that year, IMO. But it wasn’t enough for many fans. Now they can pile on. Even today on some threads you will see people referencing the loss to SU. He hasn’t won those fans back, and short of a FF appearance, I don’t think he ever will.

    2) We have had a major team problem or two each year since that loss to SU. Last year, we couldn’t shoot, and we turned the ball over like it was our job. This year, our D is atrocious. The problems persist, which makes it appear as though Crean is a) either incapable of correcting the problem, b) unwilling to address the issue, or c) unable to get his players to do the things needed to affect positive change. None of those things are good.

    Personally, I don’t believe a or c is true. B, on the other hand, may be accurate. I actually believe that he believes in his system and his players. He is stubborn (or steadfast) in his belief that he can win running a dribble drive and kick offense and a “confusing” to the opposition defense.

    Regardless, I don’t believe he is a bad coach. I will admit that I give him more credit for the program rebuild than most do. I will forever be grateful for what Crean did here in the aftermath of Sampson. But even for me, those happy feelings have become fleeting. I want consistency. I don’t expect a B1G title every other year. I don’t require a FF appearance to call a season a success. But I can’t handle the inconsistency. I didn’t expect a top 4 B1G finish this year, so I am not as upset as most, but I didn’t expect to lose at NW and Iowa in games where we looked bad. We had a real shot to finish in the top 4 and we choked.

    So, regardless of what his real coaching ability is, the perception is that he isn’t. More and more people are falling into the belief that he stinks, which makes perception his reality.

  • Drew

    There really isn’t much that you said here that could have been stated any better. I think for many detractors, the Syracuse game in 2013 is their end all on his postseason capabilities as a coach. My biggest thing with that is 1.) these losses happen to all great teams and Syracuse went to the Final Four as well. They were damn good, went through a rough patch midseason that affected their seeding but were one of the elites that year. 2.) Jordan Hulls’ injury is always overlooked. It threw us off at Temple and continued in to our game with Syracuse. Obviously, there were adjustments that could be made that Crean didn’t do. Utilizing Cody at the free throw line was one. He did not do a good job of opening up that zone and it killed us… Now, my reasoning was always that we could build on that season. We had a great recruiting haul, and it was only year 2 of relevance again. Not too shabby in already bringing back a Big 10 title. But what else has he contributed since then. He did not get a hold of last years team and our lack of shooting and turnover issues were a black spot on that season. Now this year, we slip from a top 50 defense in the 2 years prior to one of the worst the Big 10 has ever seen? What gives? Whatever momentum we had going for us after 2013 is gone now. He has lost the trust of the fans and you just don’t come back from that. Even as early as January, I couldn’t have seen this coming.

  • calbert40

    Again, completely agree with you. There is absolutely no shame in the loss to SU. There’s a reason that all 4 #1 seeds don’t make the FF the vast majority of seasons (once or twice in the tournament’s history). It isn’t easy, and the difference between a #1 and #4 seed is not too big. Throw in Jordy’s injury, our size disparity, and a horrible shooting evening against an excellent team, and it isn’t hard to see why we lost. I don’t think any of those reasons would have changed if RMK, Dean Smith or Wooden was coaching that team. To blame Crean for that loss is simple-minded and very hasty, IMO.

    So far as where we stand since then, I hate to mention player names in a negative light, but since I think we are just down to you and I on this thread now, I will break my personal prohibition on the practice. I think these last two teams are noticeably void of player leadership. Yogi is an excellent player, but he’s a lousy leader. When our best leader is a grad transfer student in his first year at IU, that’s a problem. I don’t know how Crean can go from recruiting nearly an entire roster FULL of leaders to having none. It is baffling to me.

    I sincerely hope one or more of the guys coming in next year are vocal leaders. I was one of those guys on my HS teams, and it makes you unpopular at times, but I didn’t care. I wanted to win. We need a couple guys who aren’t as concerned about winning the IU locker room popularity contest.

  • Drew

    I think a reason we don’t feel the leadership anymore is because guys like Hulls, CWat, Vic etc. had to earn their stripes. The success wasn’t a given. Day in, day out they took beatings and it ultimately made them stronger. Add a 5 star big guy who gets along with everybody and isn’t a prima donna type and you can start to see how we sorta became successful overnight. As far as leadership goes, I really hate pinning a tag on Yogi as a poor leader. I look at a guy who has performed beyond brilliant these past 2 seasons and carried this team on his shoulder. He is our best defensive player and I haven’t seen any quit in him yet.. Could he be more vocal or demanding? I am not sure. I haven’t seen the practices or team trips or anything like that. All I know is that his product on the floor has somehow kept improving. I can’t ask him to do anymore. And ultimately, it isn’t his job to get these guys to respond night in and night out. If I’m Yogi, outside of Troy, who else do I see trying to carry the load with him? That is where I am starting to wonder if Crean is having trouble reaching to his guys. Before, it wasn’t the desire that was missing, but collective talent. I look at our roster now and see a collectively talented team. But outside of Yogi, Troy, Collin and Nick, I don’t see much mental toughness that we so desperately need.

  • Drew

    Also, I really can’t wait until you join the forum. You will reap benefits as an Indiana fan and you would really bring top notch intelligence. Alex has that place well run and the dialogue is really excellent.