Notebook: Defense and rebounding non-existent in loss at Duke

  • 12/03/2015 9:23 am in

The final numbers for Indiana tell the story of just how lopsided Wednesday’s 94-74 loss at Duke was. And a good place to start is probably the number zero.

IU’s starting power forward and center, Collin Hartman and Thomas Bryant, combined for zero rebounds. Zero, for the entire game.

In the first half, you can add in starting small forward Troy Williams, who had zero rebounds. He finished the game with three.

IU’s five starters combined for nine total rebounds in the game. Its leader was Robert Johnson off the bench with six. Duke outrebounded IU 38-25, 19 of which were offensive boards for the Blue Devils. Duke scored 26 second chance points, the most IU has given up in a game since 2012.

The rebounding was bad enough that the fact that Indiana shot 51 percent from the field and turned it over just nine times didn’t matter. The Hoosiers still lost by 20.

Duke shot 53-percent from the floor, and turned the ball over six times.

Dick Vitale ranted about how he could play better defense at his current age than what he saw on the court from IU. He couldn’t believe that players at this level still needed to buy into defense.

Duke was able to do nearly anything it wanted on the offensive side of the ball. Brandon Ingram had 24 points, including 18 in the first half. Matt Jones scored 23 points, Grayson Allen added 16. The three players combined to shoot 26-for-45, good for 57.7-percent.

Duke scored 1.52 points per possession, the highest it’s ever had since that stat started being tracked 20 years ago.

“We were not nearly good enough on the ball defensively,” Tom Crean said. “We never really made them feel us, presence-wise. We didn’t have a lot of trouble scoring ourselves, but we didn’t put a lot of pressure on them.”

Crean said his team was forced to play help defense which left shooters open, and that that way of defense caused problems for IU. He doesn’t want to be forced into that help defense, and his players hadn’t seen the length a team like Duke had before.

“We didn’t get enough stops,” Crean said. “We didn’t get enough stops in a row. We didn’t create enough pressure on them to put them in enough uncomfortable situations.”

After the game, Crean mentioned several times that it’s only December 3 in a brief press conference that lasted just over four minutes.

“It’s eight games in,” he said. “I think we’ll get better. That’s the bottom line.”

Other Notes:

  • Indiana led for 8:04 during the first half, with it’s largest lead of the game being six. Duke would later lead by 25 in the second half.
  • Duke’s starters out-rebounded IU 30-9.
  • IU shot 16.7-percent from 3-point range in the second half.

(Photo credit: Duke University)

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  • PBzeer

    Is it so hard to comprehend that playing one type of defense well, is better than playing multiple defenses poorly?

    Defense and rebounding are built on fundamentals, not athleticism. Footwork, positioning, blocking out … discipline … it’s like no one on the coaching staff knows how to teach them, if, one has to wonder, they’re even aware of them.

    I said it last season, and nothing so far makes me think I need to change it. I see 5 individuals wearing the same uniform, not a team.

  • FU2

    I might actually have a sliver of respect for Crean (to be clear i have absolutely none) if he’d just forgo the press conferences. Everything that he says during those conferences is nonsensical garbage. Seasons early?? 8 Games in??? Are you joking man? Time to list your mansion on the market and get outta town!

  • Jeremy Pinnell

    Defense Defense Defense Defense Defense Defense Defense Defense Defense Defense

    Rebounding and Defense are all about effort and wanting to do it. This team just didn’t seem to want to do either in the 3 losses.

  • Ole Man

    “We didn’t have a lot of trouble scoring ourselves,”
    Actually, Tom, we do.
    The offense is little more than AAU/Streetball.

    Every team we play makes halftime adjustments and slows us down in the second half (except ASt) this year.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    The matador defense is almost unbearable ….Coach K said that he thought they would be able to drive to basket and hit the offensive boards ….but that was painful. .

  • Oldguyy

    Not saying that Duke played particularly good defense, but almost the entire difference between the two teams last night was in rebounding, with most of the rest being the small difference in turnovers. Duke took 17 more shots than IU did. IU played with little energy in the second half until it was too late, and that is worrisome. Let’s hope Bryant moves quickly along the steep part of the learning curve with regard to defense and rebounding.

  • FU2

    Did he watch the start of the second half or is he completely delusional? They didn’t score a single point until almost six minutes into the half, to me that indicates trouble but perhaps he has a different definition of the word trouble (considering all the off the court ‘troubles’ it would appear he has a VERY different interpretation of that word).

  • IURob1997

    Yes it was a bad 2nd half start but the team still had a season high shooting percentage and turnover amount. The offense is not an issue at all. The defense however is going to cost Crean his job for being arrogant.

  • Benhyoung14

    He should’ve taken the Alabama job.

  • Indiana_Banners

    1.2 ppp is high and should be enough to win even on the road. Crean isn’t a good coach in totality but the offensive numbers have been strong for years. That is not the problem at all.

  • NA K.W

    In all of Tom crean’s press conference he said we need to guard the ball better! We have not done that at all! Why is the problem not being solved! We need a new coach and a new athletic director!

  • Bobby Bilco

    It’s = it is; its = possessive form of ‘it’. Get an education.

  • NA K.W

    Why didnt we win when we had the #1 team in the country and go to the ncaa tournament and get blown out by Syracuse!!!!!! all the coaches fault! can i get an amen

  • Ole Man

    IU shot 16% from 3-land in the second half.
    Duke didn’t care how many twos IU made…they were making more and adding 3s.
    So, alas, the myth of great offense is just that…a myth.
    It’s not there when IU really needs it.

  • Ole Man

    See my answer to IU Rob.
    And let me add, IU score 30-odd pts in the second half…not as many as the first half.
    SO, it’s an illusion that IU’s offense isn’t part of the problem.
    Also, as FU2 noted, IU didn’t score for over 8 minutes to start the second half.
    No offensive problems??

  • vicbert caladipo

    Get a life

  • Bobby Bilco

    I have one, thank you. A very good one, in fact. By virtue of a superior education I’m afforded many amenities, and one of those is knowing how to write persuasively. That skill includes a deep knowledge of grammar, spelling, and style. My experience is that those people who don’t care about such niceties are typically not attentive to other crucial details of life. I await your witty and erudite comeback.

  • Indiana_Banners

    Sorry, but no. 1.22 ppp on the road is a great performance over the entire game. You should win when you score 1.22 ppp no matter where you’re playing. That’s more than enough. The defense was the problem. We allowed Duke 1.5 ppp. That’s the issue. Even a poor defensive performance where we’d allowed say 1.12 ppp would’ve led to a win. You’re letting a scoring drought fool you but 1.22 ppp over the course of an entire game is an extremely good offensive night for a road team and that’s a fact. It’s an elite night for most teams at home, honestly. Could a great offensive night have been better? Sure. That’s true for Duke too. But it was the defense that wasn’t good enough, the offense was fine.

    How often do you imagine road teams score 1.22 ppp?

  • SCHoosier

    Yea and as i pointed out in the Forum that 51% shooting was impacted by the several mostly uncontested (but athletic) layups that Troy and Yogi had in t he last five minutes. Duke was scrimmaging..staying away from fouls and playing very soft defense. It was the lack of boards and three point shooting that sealed our doom in the second half (and of course the non-existent defense) Duke could have rung up 115 pts had they wanted.

  • 12 of those 2nd half points were during garbage time when duke just gave troy and yogi uncontested layups. Let’s not kid ourselves with 1.2ppp.

  • TomJameson

    Hahahahaha … Obviously I enjoyed that comment. He’ll get back to you as soon as he looks up the word “erudite”. LOL

  • vicbert caladipo

    Nah. I’d rather talk about Indiana Basketball. You know. What this forum is about. You two scholars can expound on your vocabulary and superior intellect over dinner and a movie.

  • IU Coop

    You can’t just look at the raw numbers. You have to consider the game situation and the tempo. Going 8 minutes without scoring will always be a problem.

  • Kyl470

    Completely agree. Bruce Lee said it best. “I fear the man that has practiced one punch a thousand times, not the man that has practiced a thousand punches one time.” Or something like that, might not be exact. If you want to get good at defense pick one, just one, I don’t care if it is zone or man to man, but pick one defense and practice like crazy at it.

  • Koko

    I agree…..I sit and wonder what in the hell did Crean say at halftime?
    Boggles the mind really. Sometimes they don’t look close to the team I watched in the first half. It makes me think Crean is obsessed with changing things with no observation of the successful actions occurring in front of him.

  • Of course, there’s also being flat-out pedantic. And pretentious. And rude. Do you spend time commenting on grammar everywhere you go? Because if so, then you have way more free time than I enjoy. And, you must be _so much_ fun at parties.

  • Koko

    We know the team wasn’t good on the ball defensively, we know their wasn’t enough defensive pressure and we know you didn’t get enough defensive stops….we all saw it. How about some insight on why those lapses were occurring coach? We didn’t have trouble scoring? Where were you during the first 8 minutes of the second half coach? Crean says it’s early and he “thinks” we will get better? Which is it coach….will we get better or do you just think we will?
    Double talk with generalities sprinkled in. Give us some specifics coach. Stop trying to misdirect our attention and treating the fan base like we don’t have a basic understanding of basketball. There are no secrets to basic defense coach. In fact there are no secrets to the basics of any sport. If you don’t know them and use them…you lose. The team doesn’t need a babbling guru, it needs a coach. Either step up or move on coach Crean.

  • pcantidote

    “Crean said his team was forced to play help defense”

    Wow, he really doesn’t get it, does he? Every team in America in every game is forced to play help defense. No one can stop the ball one and one. The problem, coach, is that your team DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO PLAY HELP DEFENSE.

  • Bankshot

    RMG stated that we all learn to read and write in the first grade, but most of us go on to bigger and better things. Education does not imply common sense or character.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Agree. Our best defense was coach K shutting his team down to half speed at about 6 minutes and idle for the last 3 minutes. YF “went off” in the last 3 minutes to reach his numbers (very important to him) but then pumped his fists at the ref to indicate that he had been fouled (3x I think). The ref was seasoned, and let YF’s immaturity go.

  • Bruce Clark

    At this point, it seems that running with one defensive scheme is very important: KISS. Pick a man and box him out. Start with the basics and let’s see if we can build on that.

  • hardly

    Somehow the ‘and recover’ has gotten forgotten in all of this. Man, was that ever drilled into us..’help and recover’, ‘help and recover’…i wake up from nightmares screaming it

  • Ole Man

    Exactly. With any D by Duke it would have been much lower.

  • Ole Man

    Sorry, but you’re incorrect…see below.

  • straight no chaser

    The anti-intellectualism that surrounds us makes people like us bitter. Unfortunately, anyone with a semblance of sophistication and nuanced thinking is labeled as pretentious. Yes, you did sound somewhat pretentious, but I was curious enough to look at some of your other disqus posts, including the one about Lebanon (the country). You are obviously a seasoned and traveled person, and an earnest thinker. I wish people like you were the norm and not the exception. The level of ignorance and lack of refined intellect is indeed frightening in our country.

    And, btw, this has everything to do with basketball, especially at a time when a coach is on his way out and our discussions about the future of our basketball program is in dire need of erudite discussion!