The Minute After: Duke

  • 12/03/2015 12:14 am in

Thoughts on a 94-74 loss the the Blue Devils:

No one expected victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 120 straight non-conference wins. The No. 1 offense in the country. The Duke and Coach K mystique. It’s a lot to overcome.

So all the IU faithful asked for was to keep it somewhat close, keep it competitive. Show that Maui was an aberration, not the norm. It started out the way fans hoped. Indiana was locked in offensively. The Hoosiers looked confident. They led for almost an eight-minute stretch during the middle of the first half. They were barely turning it over and this was just the type of performance that could put it all at ease.

But the wheels fell off and the Hoosiers stumbled to another embarrassing defeat. Where it started to go wrong: The Hoosiers failed to defensive rebound and the Blue Devils got second and third chances on possessions for scores. It led to 14 second-chance points in the first half. Freshman Brandon Ingram was straight fire. He scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting before the half.

But the second-chance points and Ingram’s performance weren’t the only reasons Duke built a nine-point halftime lead (51-42).

Because Indiana’s defense keeps going wrong. It’s a flat out atrocity. Yes, Duke sports the best offense in the country. But if you allow 1.62 points per possession and 51 points at the break, your offensive onslaught has to even more ridiculous. And Indiana’s simply wasn’t.

Where it went from bad to embarrassing: Indiana’s start the the second half. Duke busted out to a 20-point lead because the Hoosiers failed to score until the 15:08 mark on a pair of Yogi Ferrell free throws. The confidence and focus Indiana displayed to start the contest was gone on that side of the ball. With the game in balance, the Hoosiers didn’t step up to the plate. Duke had taken over and there was just no coming back.

From there, Indiana’s offense — thanks to some spirited play from Troy Williams (17 points) — got back on track a bit. The largest lead the Blue Devils got out to was 25 points before it settled back down to 20 at the final buzzer.

But the uptick in offense didn’t matter because the defense continued to disappoint in so many ways. Duke got a ton of wide open 3-point shots (11-of-24 on the night) because Indiana’s perimeter defenders spent the night in confusion and out of position. And when Duke got to the bucket, IU’s bigs seemed disinterested in mixing it up. Indiana sprinkled in some zone tonight and that didn’t help at all. Said one basketball writer on Twitter: “Looks like Indiana is trying to play a complicated match up zone that they just learned for this game.”

Dick Vitale harped on IU’s sad defense on the broadcast, echoing the IU faithful’s frustration.

So on a night it scored 1.22 points per possession and turned it over on a season-best 15 percent of its possessions, Indiana still lost by 20 points. Turns out defense matters. A lot. In 20 years, Duke has never lit up a major conference opponent for 1.52 points per possession like it did tonight against IU. Think about that.

When it’s not one thing (the turnovers), it’s something else (the defense) so far this year. Indiana now stands at 5-3 on the season and it’s fair to ask at this juncture if this team with so much talent is going to be spending the season on the bubble.

In front of influential IU boosters, the Hoosiers got mauled. There is no balance on the other side of the ball to keep the Hoosiers going when the offense fails. No counter punch when they can’t buy a bucket. These Hoosiers simply don’t defend.

And if it doesn’t get any better, the temperature will rise in Bloomington.

Filed to:

  • It’s realistic thinking. We’re in better shape then when Sampson left, but we were also more relevant at that time too. Its been almost 30 years since we won a championship which means the players we’re recruiting weren’t even born then. They don’t look at IU as a top flight program, heck even in the B10 we’d easily fall behind OSU and MSU from how we’re perceived by recruits and likely behind Wisc as well. Nationally its even worse, there’s probably 20-30 schools that would be more appealing than IU. This isn’t 1985, face it and deal with reality or be ready for CTC Part II.

  • Raynger

    That was Knight’s team and we probably would have defeated maryland with the general. We really need to make a rational effort to select the next coach. A special committee of ex-players, coaches and people with a high Basketball IQ should make a list of possible coaches and if Glass is still the AD he should have no input.

  • calbert40

    The only thing I will take issue with you on is the underlying suggestion that Crean doesn’t teach proper defensive techniques. That was part of my point. Whether I conveyed that or not is another story!

    My point is that if varsity coaches at 2A schools are coaching defensive fundamentals, I certainly believe that Crean and his staff do also. Something is getting lost in translation, though. They need to figure it out quickly, or heads are going to roll this offseason.

  • JimmyChitwood

    knight would have lost in the first round….

  • JimmyChitwood

    they have never played the zone good because crean doesn’t understand the zone…he also doesn’t understand defense or teaching it….

  • JimmyChitwood

    knight was a newcomer…

  • JimmyChitwood

    exactly .. that’s who catfish hughes said and I agree…

  • JimmyChitwood

    he got eric gordon back from Illinios is why though…

  • JimmyChitwood

    co-sign. but crean doesn’t use the bench like he should. at one time he would just play players because it seemed he wanted everyone to play like some little league bullsh*t.

    sit’em down and tell them why, and when you put them back in, if they don’t play D then take them back out.

  • JimmyChitwood

    UK wanted no part of Blackmon and his dad was a star there….Calipari knew JBJ couldn’t play D….

  • JimmyChitwood

    it appears they don’t have an x’s and o’s coach at all….

  • JimmyChitwood

    there was a few ‘at home Duke calls’ early in the game that I saw. Crean never goes at the refs…at one point coach K got up and yelled at the refs because that’s what a good coach does.

  • JimmyChitwood

    the first half IU was cutting and got easy buckets because of that…they even scored on an out of bounds play, but it seems the players set it up not crean, but they lost that focus as Duke went on a run and it was OVER.

  • JimmyChitwood

    no, it was clearly Yogi and Nick that set it up…I taped the game and rewatched it….yogi is telling Troy what to do and Nick comes over and tells him what he is going to do…

    and it isn’t at 0% for scores on out of bounds plays, there has actually been 1 that maybe Crean drew up. it was last season.

    so he is at 0.01% but last night was def the players calling their own play not Crean… He was probably puzzled at the play…

  • JimmyChitwood

    they don’t even take away the right hand from a player or guard the P&R right, how is he teaching anything?

  • Raynger

    That’s possible, as we did on occasion get upset in the first round i.e., Cleveland State, but we learned later that Mike Davis really did not know what to do he too during the game– he was a good recruiter. That IU team was on its own. My point is that Coach Knight was good at making a game plan and a strategy on how to beat any given team. Remember UNLV? Now we have a coach that is less capable than even Mike Davis in terms of on court coaching.

  • Ole Man

    He shouldn’t have to, but no one else was even making the attempt.

  • Koko

    Thanks for the answers.

  • Bankshot

    Yes, coach Knight had lots of W’s at Army. but it was against competion that was inferior to the big 10. Bill Orwig had the foresight and courage to hire one of the greatest coaches of all times. If you use the proven winner requirement, Crean would rank higher with his final four appearance before being hired at I.U.Glass and Crean are tied at the hip. The point is, would Glass hire a young and coming coach like the General. Glass is no Bill Orwig. My only question is, will I.U. reach the final four again in my liftime? Not on this path. Heres to the glory of olde I.U.!!!!

  • INUnivHoosier

    As I said before elsewhere, it may not be what but how.

    I’ve often defended Crean. I don’t think he’s a bad coach. Something is clearly missing, though. It just seems like a new problem each year, or worse, the same problem each year.

    The lack of improvement over last year with nearly the same cast of characters irks me.

  • calbert40

    I hear you. I typically am penned into a corner defending Crean, but it is more that I have difficulty believing many of the hyperbolic statements about him that we read around here. Someone like Tom Crean doesn’t get the job at IU, if all of us armchair coaches know more about basketball than he does.

    The funny thing is that D should be easier to coach than O. Offense is more precise. Defense is just about muddying up the waters, so to speak. He is fantastic at developing an offense, regardless of whether some of the old guard enjoy his brand of scheme or not. But something isn’t clicking right now. They have some time to work it out, but if they keep allowing teams to shoot 50 percent, we are going to get carved up in the B1G portion of the schedule.

  • Kyl470

    No he was not. Why do people think that? He took Army, yes Army to four NIT tournament bids back when the NIT was a big deal.

  • calbert40

    I never played at that level, and it’s been a LONG time since I played competitively, but when I didn’t practice well or play well, I sat…and it sucked. When the bench was used as a disciplinary tool, it always got my attention.

  • INUnivHoosier

    To me, he just seems a little too abstract. I have no doubt he is a great basketball mind, but he’s having problems translating theory to practice. Maybe he needs an interpreter on the bench.

  • b_side

    On occasion? Have you seen Knight’s NCAA tourney record from 1995-2000? In 4 of 6, we lost in the first round to teams seeded 8 or lower. In the other two years, we didn’t make it to a Sweet 16.

  • Raynger

    I agree, but prefer to call it a slump. Maybe that is why he hired Mike Davis to help recruit. The general had shortcomings but he also had his hits. I think he would have evolved had he not been fired.