The Minute After: Wake Forest

  • 11/23/2015 8:31 pm in

Thoughts on an 82-78 loss to the Demon Deacons:

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Indiana had finally found its stride.

After a first half it failed to defend at an acceptable level and Wake Forest had a lot of confidence, the Hoosiers made things more difficult for the Demon Deacons to start the second half. They contested better at the rim and off the perimeter.

On the back of a 9-0 run, Indiana entered the under-8 timeout at the 7:09 mark up 72-63. The heavy-IU crowd was rocking and the Hoosiers were on the verge of closing the door and facing Vanderbilt tomorrow.

But they fell apart down the stretch. The defensive issues crept back in hard. Senior Devin Thomas (game-high 21 points) scored at will on Indiana in the post. Freshman Thomas Bryant just had no chance against him. Welcome to college, kid.

“Still waiting for one of our guys to remember to take away his left hand,” Tom Crean said of Thomas after the game.

Bryant Crawford (13 points) came in off the perimeter for scores on several occasions

The offense and Indiana’s confidence sputtered. Up one with under two minutes to play, Max Bielfeldt air balled a 3-pointer from the left corner. Yogi Ferrell hit nothing but backboard with Indiana’s next shot. For a team with such talent on offense, it was ugly and puzzling.

On Wake Forest’s next possession, Crawford came in off the right wing to the rim and hit the go-ahead score with three seconds left to put the Demon Deacons up one. Just too easy of a score and it happened all too often this afternoon. Suddenly, Indiana had let it all slip away. A last ditch play where Collin Hartman threw a home run pass to Max Bielfeldt instead of checking down for their second option was intercepted. Ball game.

“We just didn’t execute coming down late,” said Bielfeldt.

The stats tell the tale. Indiana allowed 52 points in the paint and 1.11 points per possession. Wake Forest came into this game as the fourth best offensive rebounding team in the country. The Demon Deacons rebounded nearly half their misses (48.6 percent) for 17 second-chance points. They brought a lot of intensity around the hoop and Indiana failed to match them there.

“Wake Forest deserved to win because they played a better game for a longer period of time,”  Crean said. “It’s hard to beat anybody when you play about 15-16 solid minutes.”

Crean, who opted to stand instead of sit at the podium after the game, sugar coated nothing.

“Highly disappointed in some of our efforts, disappointed in some of the toughness and disappointed in myself and some of the substitutions,” he said.

A disappointment this was. It was the first real test of the season away from home, and Indiana just couldn’t put it together for long enough to get over the hump for a victory. But it’s also November in Maui. There is time yet to grow.

“Today we learned a hard lesson and we’re going to learn from it,” said Beilfeldt.

Filed to:

  • your last line is the only (very slim) silver lining that I see. Go ahead and take a bad loss early, to shock the system. Get it over with. Maryland barely one, UNC lost, others in the top 10-20 lost last week. It’s not the end of the world, but it certainly sucks.

  • No mental toughness is what I saw, too. They were over-confident, it seemed to me. They expected to win without giving 100%. Maybe they can shake it off and learn something from this. This is the main question for this season. Do they, or do they not have the toughness and killer instinct?

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    i get your point, and maybe he does make for an easy target with some of his mannerisms. but it ain’t gonna stop, and i’m sure it happens with all high profile coaches. if you don’t believe me, google ‘coach k ratboy’ and take a look at some of the images. and i personally take great pleasure in likening pittino to count chocula (or any famous vampire, for that matter). 😉

    so my best advice is to ignore it as best you can. if he gets this team shaped up, there’ll be plenty of accolades to be had in social media too.

  • Bryant was a no-show. It needs to be said.

  • I appreciate this post and your spirit, and I’m right there with you. I woke up this morning and literally the first thing I thought of was how angry I was last night about this game (and still am, really). But that’s hardly a good reason to destroy everything. I think you’re reflecting on the pervasive, cynical death culture in the US today, particularly it seems with older white folks. It goes something like this: “I didn’t get my way, 100% just how I like it? Ok fine! Destroy everything and everyone right now!” It’s pretty stupid, ugly, and obviously destructive. And sad.

    I hope they rebound (pun unintended) and put together a couple of wins and limp home. The season just started and lots of teams are taking their lumps. It could turn out that Wake Forest is a surprise team this season, too. Nobody knows how things are going to turn out. Cynicism and pessimism are signs of laziness and a dead spirit. Keep the fire burning.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Just to be clear to others, I wasn’t trying to make a comment about any type of cynical death culture or about the mindset of “older white folks”. I’m attempting to evaluate the season as a whole…the Eastern Illinois and Creighton games were good, the Austin Peay and Wake Forest games were bad, they are each a part of the whole season. I’m concerned with what I saw last night and how much it resembled last season and I’ve never thought IU was going to be capable of playing championship level defense this year but I’m hopeful they can improve from here and that we’ve seen “the floor” and are ready to get wins over St. John’s and then UNLV and move on. There’s still plenty of good non-conference tests for this team to prove themselves in. Time will tell whether or not they are willing to do so.

  • nobody is going to confuse your words with mine, and a whole lot of people know exactly what was meant by that and know it to be true. I think there is a pretty obvious link and have seen it and lived it for years. Let’s not try to get all “PC,” right?

  • INUnivHoosier

    Totally agree that people talk about other coaches appearances and mannerisms. It’d just be nice to not see that as a very good portion of the conversation to the lead up of games and not encouraged (or started) by IU fans.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I don’t what link you are referring to but okay, we can leave it there and agree to move on with the same mindset about the overall context of the Wake Forest loss.

  • you probably can understand that the general mean-spiritedness of today’s culture, as in the state of Indiana or other similar places, spills into “conversations” about sports. They aren’t walled off from each other. And I refuse to discount my own personal experience and knowledge, so as “not to upset the nutters.”

  • INUnivHoosier

    Right now, I’m dreading that one. Hopefully something happens over the next couple months to make me more hopeful. We have no answer for their height.

  • they could start throwing elbows and making them pay for bringing the ball down low. make them shoot free throws.

  • INUnivHoosier

    OG better start sharpening his elbows, cuz we can’t afford to lose TB and MB in that game.

  • straight no chaser

    There is a national crisis of racial tensions on many college campuses, in my own classroom. It’s not just older white folks. Speaking of, did you notice in the Maui pep rally how our black and white players were standing in two separate groups, with only Thomas “mixing it up”? I’m not against folks gravitating naturally to “their own”, but symbolically it just looked surreal, and disconcerting. Maybe it’s because I have become over-sensitized to it as an educator and see us going down in a spiral with our toxic leadership at all levels.

  • IU Coop

    Absolutely spot on. I am so tired of seeing no repercussions for poor play. Has Crean EVER take a kid out for doing something wrong? I’ve never seen him get on someone on the sideline for doing something wrong. I’m all for being a positive guy, but sometimes YOU HAVE TO COACH!!

  • straight no chaser

    Exactly. The discussions are inseparable, and if our leadership doesn’t get it right, it is going to affect us at all levels, especially in recruiting.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I’m so confused…It’s probably due to the fact that I’m not real bright but please enlighten me. I understand how the discussions of “general mean-spiritedness of today’s culture” and conversations “about sports” are inseparable. I get that part. What “leadership” are you talking about and what can he (or she) do to “get it right” and how will not getting it right have an impact on recruiting? Thanks in advance.

  • straight no chaser

    I’m talking about the governor of Indiana and his positions that are fomenting hatred against people of color in general. We would be blind to think that recruiting will not be affected. If you are not real bright and in touch with what is going on around you, don’t put the burden on me to enlighten you.

  • calbert40

    No way to get around the fact that this was a bad loss, because it was. Not only did we lose to a team we were favored to beat by 12, but now we have lost the opportunity to play the quality opponents our non-conference schedule was expecting in Vandy and Kansas.

    I know the D wasn’t what we hope for, but the reason we lost was the poor shot selection and individual play of our star players in the last 5 minutes of the game. When you are up 7 points with under 5 minutes to play, you don’t dribble down and launch a 3 in less than ten seconds without any ball movement. That is foolishness on the part of players who know better.

    But all of those who are jumping off the cliff need to calm down. It is November. They will get it figured out. This is a very talented team, and I am confident they will learn from this.

  • Same old CTC, same result on the floor. Offense looks good when the pressure is off but need a bucket in the closing minutes and everyone is standing around and we either get a TO or throw up some desperation heave. They still can’t play defense at all and the substitutions….oh the substitutions. Another aggravating year in store where we lose to lesser talented teams. Please fans, get a grip on reality its time for CTC to go.

  • CreamandCrimson

    No need to get nasty. I hope you’ve seen enough of my posts to know I was just trying to get further clarification and I didn’t expect a snappy response back, whoops.

    I had no clue you were talking about the Governor of Indiana or if you were talking about the President or maybe even about Tom Crean and Fred Glass. I asked for clarification to make sure I knew what you were writing about because the original post was somewhat vague and I don’t think there’s room for vagueness on the topic you were writing about. My background isn’t of particular interest to anyone but I work in outreach for a youth group so I am quite aware of “what’s going on around me”, I just didn’t know what specifically you were discussing. My mistake and this is another example of why it’s so hard to have civil discussions…ask for some clarification and get snapped at.

  • calbert40

    Passion + Social Media + Aggravation rarely equals wise decisions. It also rarely equals intelligent discussion on the topic. Just because someone posted it on Twitter doesn’t mean they are an authority on the topic. Starting last year, I ignore social media during a game. My heart appreciates it too.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    dang, look at all the controversy one bad loss stirs up!! haha! you certainly can’t accuse iu fans of being dispassionate, eh?

  • bojak

    Also, Biefeldt couldn’t guard a mannequin.

  • bojak

    Most the time he takes them out for doing something right.

  • straight no chaser

    You are sarcastic and smug so don’t act like you are innocent.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Whoa…I thought we had a mutual level of respect for the most part. Guess I was wrong. I’m sorry you feel that way and that’s certainly not what I was going for. I still enjoy reading your comments and have a nice day.

  • straight no chaser

    And yes I’m talking about all of these little tyrants ruling over a beautiful game. I’m done with sports.

  • straight no chaser

    Have a nice season I’m done.

  • CreamandCrimson

    What little tyrants? If I have lessened your enjoyment of IU basketball or sports in general in someway, I apologize. I’m not trying to be sarcastic and I have absolutely nothing to be smug about so I’m not trying to be smug either. I hope you are not done with sports but if you feel a need to “shut it off” for a while, best of luck either way. I’m not sure what I wrote that caused your previous comment but I do apologize for not getting my point across better, it can be difficult to do when intent and expression can’t be seen. Seriously, I hope you aren’t done and if so, you’ll be missed on this board by at least one.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Okay then, I guess that’s that. I’m not sure what, if anything, I’ve done to escalate things but if I played any part in you walking away, I apologize. Hope you are able to rediscover whatever it was that drew you to IU basketball and sports in the first place. Much respect to you Forever/SNC.

  • well to be fair, they did win the Big Ten a few years ago

  • I know. And it’s more than a little icky when those who support this sort of crap then try to turn around and pretend like they know nothing about it. It’s childish and destructive and has no place in an open society. It’s also just plain dishonest. Everyone has their own biases and areas of ignorance. Intentional ignorance is something else altogether, and is inexcusable.

  • they could have been a lot rougher and tougher. The “rebounding buddies” just got the crap knocked out of them down low. I’d rather they play tough and foul out, than see a repeat of last night.

  • CreamandCrimson

    One thing that I’ve noticed in the past couple of years (not just with white kids or Hispanic kids or African-American kids, but with 14-17 year old kids in general) is a visceral anger. They aren’t always sure what they are angry about specifically but they know that in general, things are not good. It’s something I’ve really struggled with when attempting to talk with them because I don’t feel that same anger. I understand why they are angry but it is difficult for me to adequately put themselves into their shoes. Anyway, I don’t think it has anything to do with the on-court product we saw last night but I do think it can be seen on this board in the general level of anger that can be seen throughout “conversations”…you are definitely correct about that.

  • I agree with all of this. But do quibble a bit on the defense. I’m not one to generally attack the defense (as if it hasn’t been belabored for years after every game and in between games), but I do have to say that the D was shockingly horrible last night, including the rebounding. It was virtually non-existant at times. That, combined with a very dispassionate effort overall…just a really bad loss at a bad time. I hope they do learn, learn it good, and learn it fast.

  • myrddin

    I don’t think yesterday’s loss defines the season (which is why I didn’t say it did), but I keep hearing people say “It’s just one loss in November” when its impact *clearly* goes beyond just one “L”. I also agree that 5th is better than ending up lower than 5th. But yesterday’s loss blew away all the hype smoke that the basketball media was buying into, now instead of solidifying their position in the top 20 or better, they’re going to have to basically start from scratch and earn it (without that many good opportunities in the non-conference schedule to do so).

  • Yeah, I know. It’s very troubling. One can’t but think that it comes with the environment, both at home and “virtual,” and especially tv/movies. Extreme violence everywhere and for no reason. General unfriendliness and mistrust and increasing incivility….What is to be done? Keep trying and don’t give up, as it can sometimes make a world of difference.

  • come on now, I think there’s some misunderstandings going on here, let’s be cool.

  • CreamandCrimson

    What is to be done? Wish I knew, that’s for sure. I know that I can do no harm by being “available and attentive” (as my pastor is fond of saying) to the kids in our group. Talking often diffuses anger, at least temporarily. And then being present at all times with my kid (soon to be plural). Beyond that, I don’t know. I always try to be civil but sometimes fail (I guess I did with Straight…no clue what happened there). I appreciate your generally positive outlook on here, I don’t always agree but I enjoy seeing it.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Yeah, just disappointing to see the Twitter stuff and two or three of the top four or five stories on Google News about Tom Crean are talking about how he and his children have been targeted for ridicule.

  • INUnivHoosier

    They were in poor position most of the time. I don’t know that they were really getting manhandled as much as they weren’t establishing position.

    Ol’ Collin was establishing position, but apparently the referees weren’t a big fan of his moves.

  • Lobills

    Your opening paragraph is trite. Your second paragraph I can somewhat get onboard with as it relates to how good Wake Forest will be. I think they’re more likely to be an ACC bottom feeder.

  • calbert40

    Absolutely ridiculous. I wish the biggest situations facing me in my life was whether or not the Hoosiers won the ballgame from the night before. Must be a pretty gilded life those who have time to do that live.

  • LennyFassbender

    Pretty sure he’s found medication. Which has led to the Twilight Zone color commentary. I’m glad he’s found relief, but he should not be doing big-time color commentary. He literally knows nothing about our team, yet tried to act like he’s besties with the entire lot. It was feeble and embarrassing.

  • calbert40

    Oh, it was certainly poor. The rebounding was atrocious too. Just a poor effort altogether. Yet, they still almost won. I think they will learn from the mistakes and play better as the year continues.

    I was excited for this tournament. Of course, I wanted them to win it, but I was more interested in seeing how they responded to playing higher quality competition and adjusting to it. I’m just not overly concerned about the loss…at least in comparison to how it helps them improve over the course of the season.

  • Fivelefts

    I’m sorry.. but I don’t believe that TW’s decision making will get better.

  • Fivelefts

    I think CTC talked Creighton up so much, that the team thought they were better than they really are, when they beat them.

  • calbert40

    Agree to disagree then. I think he can get better.


    Simply put…….well done.