The Minute After: Ottawa

  • 11/03/2015 9:41 pm in

Thoughts on an 82-54 win over Ottawa:

The University of Ottawa cut Indiana’s second half lead to only six points. The Gee-Gees had just hit three 3-pointers in their past five trips down the floor, making it a two-possession game with 9:13 to go on Tuesday night in the Hoosiers’ first exhibition of the season.

So, how did the Hoosiers respond against the only team it lost to during last summer’s exhibition tour of Canada? By simply going on a 25-3 run to close out the game, leading to an 82-54 Hoosiers win.

A variety of players contributed to the late-game surge — including freshman Thomas Bryant’s initial two offensive rebounds and put-back layup to back-to-back 3-pointers from James Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell. But the crux of the game focused on the Hoosiers fixing their previous errors during Tuesday night’s game.

The first half was a shadow of last season’s performance: a fast-paced offense leading to easy and exciting points in transition but also turnovers and overthrown passes, and a defense that at times was shut-down with blocked shots and turnovers produced but also one prone to overcommitting and allowing open shots.

Indiana led at halftime, 40-32, but the Hoosiers had turned the ball over 13 times and allowed the Gee-Gees to be in the bonus from the 7:23 mark of the opening half. But in the same token, the Hoosiers led in rebounds, 24-15, and they forced their opponents — who were averaging more than 13 3-pointers per game — into just a 2-for-11 mark from behind the arc.

Tom Crean also was not afraid to experiment with different lineups, as well — something he said he was open to doing on Monday. At one point, Hoosier lineups included Robert Johnson, Juwan Morgan, O.G. Anunoby, Nick Zeisloft and Collin Hartman (who played as he continues to recover from a rib injury), and another with Ferrell, Blackmon, Zeisloft, Anunoby and Ryan Burton.

To start the second half, the Hoosiers continued to make things difficult for the Gee-Gees offensively. They played compact defense and protected the paint — the Hoosiers had four second half blocks — while also ensuring their opponents were not getting quality looks from behind the arc. And after the Hoosiers’ defense did allow those three 3-pointers in a stretch of about three minutes, the Gee-Gees would not score again from behind the arc.

After Bryant’s two offensive boards and put-back put the Hoosiers back up by eight points, the freshman grabbed a defensive rebound at the other end and blocked a Mike L’Africain jumper on Ottawa’s next possession to force a turnover. In just his first college game, he finished with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

But the storyline throughout Indiana’s 25-3 game-ending run was that it played the way it needed to in order to win. The Hoosiers turned the ball over just once. Players found open teammates for open shots. The defense stayed compact and aggressive. Ottawa finished just 5-for-26 on 3-pointers on the evening.

Put simply, the Hoosiers had their opportunity to pounce on the Gee-Gees. And they did just that.

Filed to:

  • MM

    I like both Juwan and OG, and I’d be surprised if OG is a 4-year player with his combination of size/athleticism. Juwan is more limited athletically, but he impressed me after he posted up deep early in the exhibition game, got an easy basket and followed that up with a nice reverse layup.

  • b_side

    The purpose of my original reply was to add some context around the defense and the number of points given up relative to what the GGs are capable of. I thought that was a critical piece of insight missing from your analysis.

  • Arch Puddington

    By all means let me know what I got wrong! Watching live has its limitations….


    Well I guess Dmoe’s last comment could be called a lot of things, but I think I’ll just refer to it as, example 1a, of what some of us were talking about not being needed on here.

  • straight no chaser


  • straight no chaser

    hell no, i mean yeah!

  • straight no chaser

    I had a run-in with him and called him out. He kept calling me Sir throughout, and now we’re buddies. LOL.

  • Arch Puddington

    After two really disappointing seasons, a whole spate of off-the-court troubles, and some pretty nasty trolling on Internet boards, I think many fans really just want things to go well and to feel good about the program. One person even went so far as to literally post “Please only say good things.”

    I get it. I want that, too. But I and everyone with whom I watched the game saw a mix of good and bad, and my post reflects what we saw. Things will change over time, and I will have other observations.

  • straight no chaser

    It’s a struggle, Ole Man. A struggle.


    Yes indeed, that IS the million dollar question.

  • Arch Puddington

    Adding to or even disagreeing with my observations is fine, but dismissing them as “silly” is not. I may be wrong, but my opinions are informed by 40 years of playing, coaching, and watching basketball, and driven by a near-lifelong support for the program. And given our many exchanges over the last 3 year or so both here and in the Forum, I would have expected something different from you.


    Doubt I will see that you seen anything wrong. You and I usually see most things bball related the same.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I think nearly every game is going to feature “a mix of good and bad”. My hope is that there is more good than bad the majority of the time but we shall see.

  • Arch Puddington

    “I think nearly every game is going to feature “a mix of good and bad”

    Exactly right. I have always approached my analysis of IU basketball in that very spirit, and it is clear that not everyone wants the “on the one hand/on the other hand” approach. They are entitled to disagree with me, although it’s better if it is not made personal. Someone observed that JBJ had 6 assists last night as a counter to my claim that he does not look like a PG to me. THAT is how one counters an opinion, and I appreciated it.

  • straight no chaser

    Clyde, I was offended once by Dmoe. But I think he’s sincere. It is not always easy to express or enumerate the “positives” and the “negatives”. Sometimes we just have a holistic feel for things and can’t quite put the feeling into words. Dmoe is talking about a different level of BB IQ, one that is more embodied than cerebral. Some players “ease” into the game differently than others do. What might seem like “sluggish” to us might just be a necessary mode of transitioning to the next level of play, an almost meditative state the precedes a moment of revelation. We all have our own poetics of movement and being. I can see where he is coming from. Players need to be given their space without this incessant hyper-analism that is so endemic to our culture.


    The good things are almost always the easiest things to see and the easiest things to discuss. Identifying areas that need improvement and then coming up with ways to be successful in doing just that is what makes good teams great. Some probably think all I do is harp on the things that need to be fixed or that they have a big need to get better at, but I’ll admit I just enjoy discussing those kind of things more than what we obviously done good or great. It’s not me dogging the team, being only negative, or being a big Debbie Downer, unless they refuse to admit certain things need improvement or don’t appear to be making a real effort to correct things. Guess that’s the coach in me rearing it’s head again. Compliment them on what they did right while giving them the pat on the back first and then delve into what it is that needs to improve and what your plan is to help them do just that.

  • straight no chaser

    I don’t understand why people fault Crean for his substitutions. I have not seen a good case made for why his substitutions are a problem. When we lose, people complain about his substitutions. When we win, they don’t, although his substitution patterns remain the same.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Six assists and he was +36 (easily top +/- in the game). I know the +/- number can be wildly misleading with small sample sizes but still, +36 is a little bit telling of a guy that played well and played well with those around him. Like I said, I haven’t seen it yet so it would be dishonest for me to say how I thought he “looked” but I do believe he is far more suited to play off the ball than as a “point”. That being said, the offense can be structured in a way that he can be used as a point for stretches. That will definitely be something to watch as we advance through the early portions of the season.


    I think a lot of it has to do with the old argument of taking a player out that is right in the middle of being on a roll or is hot at the time or however one wants to phrase it. Then that leads into the discussion of is that even a real thing or not.

    I happen to be one that believes in the, ” a player is hot or can be playing in a zone or whatever ” and believe that taking someone out in the middle of playing like that kind of takes the wind out of that particular player’s sails. Now I’m not saying that that player needs to stay in the game regardless of what else he is doing and not ever come out, but rather you wait until you see that his tongue is kinda hanging out and needs a breather or you see him take a heat check shot and that check shows that he may need to come to the bench to ” refuel “. Tom usually makes this fan do a head scratch at least a couple of times every game when it comes to how he substitutes, but that’s just me and my little ole opinion. lol

  • b_side

    I apologize for offending you. Using the word “silly” may not have been the proper word choice. Just seemed strange (better word?) to call out substitutions as a point of constructive criticism in an exhibition.

    That type of comment would make a lot more sense against during the Maui Invitational or against Duke when the rotation is starting to set in. I recall having similar feelings when Crean brought in April vs. Louisville last year.

    I respect the heck out of your opinions. And after reading replies to your initial post, you’re taking some unnecessary heat from others. No need to lump me in with them though.

  • Arch Puddington

    Fair enough! Bro-hug.

  • Arch Puddington

    I agree with this. I did not make a point earlier of opining that it makes no sense to me to have an elite PG playing off the ball while an elite SG initiates the offense, but that is what I think.

    Having said that, the return of JBJ’s shooting stroke was probably the most exciting thing I saw last night other than Thomas Bryant. His release was quick and the form was pure. If he and Yogi stay healthy and play the roles for which they are best suited, “epic” may be exactly the descriptor.

  • Yeah, I get that. But if he’s looking to avoid “incessant hyper-analism”, this might not be the place he’s looking for. Seems to me he only cares about protecting Morgan. That’s fine, but in my view he needs no protection and that this stance really doesn’t really add much to the wider conversation on the game itself.

  • Good good. I’d only add that JBJ seemed to have a nice bounce to his step, too. He’s the sleeper this year in terms of high-scoring and highlight reel plays. He should be spectacular and I think he still flies a little below the radar. For now.

  • straight no chaser

    Thanks, IUMIKE. Not that it ever will–or can–be, but the verdict is not out on the “hot hand fallacy”. I think part of the reasoning in the hot hand fallacy is that even if a player is “hot” the probability of him remaining hot on the next play is not greater than the probability of another player (his substitute, for example, or someone else already in the game) becoming “hot” upon that outgoing player’s exit. Different coaches I am sure have different approaches and philosophies of roster management. I would think that Crean’s approach is one that tends to assume the validity of the “hot hand fallacy” as it weighs the other constraints of his model. I think that Crean likes to inculcate a culture of perpetual “readiness to play” on the part of players, and that you are in the game even when on the bench. This is part of HIS rhythm and “hot hand” as a coach. Perhaps.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    ok bashing was not the right word to use

  • straight no chaser

    That’s true, LOL. Even Crean has to go back and watch tape before he can make assessments!

  • Zach

    Just talked to him in class today. He said he was frustrated with the refs giving him a couple ticky-tack calls and it definitely disrupted his rhythm. The charge call especially was bad. I joked with him and said it’s still the preseason for the refs too 😛

  • TomJameson

    I’m sure they all know who’s coming up on their schedule … lol … but they can’t afford to look past anybody. And they can’t afford to get cocky either. They have the tools for sure, but still have a lot of room for improvement (coaches and players).

    I’m with you about crushing Duke, but just want to beat everybody leading up to them also. LOL

  • TomJameson

    That charge call … OG was outside the red (inner) line, but his feet were within the white (outside) line. If the white line is the new line then it was a block.

  • IUBizmark

    I checked the stats of our losses. You can decide for yourself.
    65% of our losses we were out rebounded.
    Net net, we had a -63 rebound margin in our losses.
    That’s an average of -4.5 rebounds per loss.

    Eastern Washington: -5
    Louisville: -18 (!)
    Georgetown: +5
    Michigan State: -22 (!)
    OSU: +5
    Purdue: +3
    Wisconsin: +3
    Maryland: -2
    Purdue: -17 (!)
    Northwestern: -5
    Iowa: -4
    Michigan State: -5
    Maryland: +1
    Wichita State: -2

    Analyze the margin of victory in those losses. The five games below we lost by 6 or less points. In fact, we lost by an average of 3.8 points in those losses.

    Imagine if we could’ve grabbed 4.5 more rebounds per loss and we score ~50% (our season FG average) of those 2-3 extra rebounds a game. That’s 4-6 more points per game.
    We could’ve potentially won the following 5 games:
    Easter Washington
    Michigan State
    Witchta State

  • TomJameson

    Can one of the moderators please tell me why my response to Arch’s reply to me was deleted?? I don’t believe I went over the line in any way, and if I did I’d like to know how.

  • rich

    Love Bryant’s energy and enthusiasm. You can tell he really wants to play well and improve. .


    You are for sure right about the, different coaches have different philosophies when it comes to substituting. I might also add that, just like a coach has to know how and when to push the right buttons for each individual player, cause each player is a little bit different, he has to apply this type of approach when substituting.