The Minute After: Morehead State

  • 12/05/2015 9:58 pm in

Thoughts on a 92-59 win over Morehead State:

The Eagles scored an easy bucket off the opening tip. On their next possession, Anthony Elechi blew by James Blackmon Jr. on the perimeter for a bucket at the rim. Two plays in and it looked as if Indiana’s defensive struggles were going to continue for yet another game.

But this simply wasn’t the case.

The Hoosiers reversed course and cruised to victory. Down 13-12 with 13:33 to go in the first half, Indiana busted out a 38-13 run the rest of way to halftime to lead 50-26. And get this: The defense was a large part of it. Indiana forced shot clock violations. It didn’t allow easy drives for points. It blocked shots. It got steals and converted those into fast break points.

Entering the break, the Hoosiers held Morehead State to just .75 points per possession and turned them over on a whopping 46.2 percent of their possessions. Indiana scored 23 points off those turnovers.

Indiana also did a nice job on the offensive boards, rebounding 53.8 percent of its misses for 13 second-chance points. Max Bielfeldt had a big hand there with three offensive boards of his own. In probably his best game of the season, Bielfeldt had an efficient line. The Peoria product scored 12 points (5-of-5) and also recorded three blocks in just 16 minutes of action. Thomas Bryant had a similarly efficient evening. The freshman scored 14 points (4-of-4) and hit 6-of-7 from the line. And after failing to record a rebound against Duke, he led Indiana tonight with six boards.

Indiana scored a strong 1.29 points per possession against the Eagles and did it in a bit of a different way. It shot just 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from distance. But the Hoosiers finally got to the line in a big way (27-of-36). The 36 attempts were a season-high. Just about all the regulars got in the mix as Troy Williams (4-of-8), Yogi Ferrell (6-of-6) , Nick Zeisloft (2-of-6), Bielfeldt (2-of-3), James Blackmon Jr. (4-of-6), Robert Johnson (3-of-4), Collin Hartman (2-of-4) and the aforementioned Bryant all spent time at the line.

It’s been a point of emphasis for this team that hasn’t always come to fruition.

Indiana’s defense dropped off a bit for short stretches in the second half and it allowed a 40-ish point lead to drop to 30-ish. But Indiana still allowed just .83 points per possession. That’s progress.

The Hoosiers, after taking care of the ball extremely well in the first half (14.4 TO%) also got too sloppy after the break and saw their turnover percentage go up to 18.3 by game’s end. Still, it’s better than we’ve seen in a number of games this season and more in line with where the Hoosiers need to remain in terms of turnovers heading forward. To not see it balloon up into the low 20s against a team like the Eagles who thrive on creating turnovers is a win.

As Tom Crean said after the game, this was a long week for the Hoosiers and the earliest they’d finished up on an evening all week. This also finishes a stretch of six games in 13 days. That’s a lot of basketball.

Tonight was a step in the right direction. But the Hoosiers are going to have to string several performances like this in a row to turn the skeptics into believers.

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  • SCHoosier

    Who WERE those guys i n th e white unis playing DEFENSE! Great job in th e first half.. All the usual posters must have died of shock from the effort. I’m the only one on here??? Rally ’round the Hoosiers. You’ve proved u can do it (M-head St was no total cupcake.) Now lets see that defensive effort every possession every game.

  • Jeremy

    Happy about the win. Sad that Crean is still hear.

  • GaHoosier

    Here…not hear

  • Kyl470

    For the first 32 minutes of the game this team gave an effort on defense that they have not put forth all year. I’m bashing CTC like everyone else, but you can’t be negative after this game. Hopefully the team continues to put for this effort on defense and maybe they can turn this season around.

  • Speed

    It was a nice win but we still have zero wins against quality teams. Notre Dame is our last chance before conference. We can only hope for the best!

  • Tim O’Nawbny

    Hope springs eternal. Even with this team and the ugly start of the season. Coaches and players come and go. The Hoosiers abide.

  • Tahoegirl

    Glad to see the effort, hope the team turns it around for the players sake, still want a new coach

  • Tim O’Nawbny

    Hear hear.

  • Tim O’Nawbny

    Me too. Barring an incredible turn around.

  • BL

    Small team; perfect match-up for IU. Not surprised we won going away.

    Really bummed OG didn’t get more playing time. We have to develop this kid. Without him, won’t be a threat come tournament time.

    Kudos to JBJ. He’s not throwing in the towel. Been a tough road but he’s getting better. Like his attitude. He’s working hard to improve.

  • HoosierHillbilly

    Great win! If we were in the OVC or MAC conferences we may actually win the conference title. Sadly we are not. This is what should happen when a borderline top 10 team in the nation plays any mid major on their home floor. We would all love to hope that this team has turned the corner and figured it out, however we all already know how bad coach is @ adjustments, whether in game or out.
    I do hope this whole week he scheduled no-ball practices and instead did calf – busting defensive drills and running drills. A guy can dream anyways right?

  • IUBizmark

    This is what SHOULD be happening against these types of teams. A step in the right direction. Still….yawn. Prove to me you can do it against top 50 teams. Then you’ll start to get my attention.

  • straight no chaser

    We do a few things REALLY well that work REALLY well against teams outside the top 50. In the meantime, Ken Pomeroy has Purdue at #4 in the nation, MSU at #7, Maryland at #20, and Iowa at #21, all of them above us. I am going to keep giving our players their space and not watch games (did not watch tonight) until we start playing for championships. Maybe our players can figure out a way to do it on their own until we get a new coach.

  • IULore

    If you don’t watch, don’t comment.

  • straight no chaser

    First of all it’s not your business if I comment or not. Secondly, my involvement as a fan is not contingent on me watching games, especially when getting into the emotionally of games diverts from the larger picture, which is that IU Basketball will never be elite under this coach.

  • MikeinNC

    Nice win, exactly what should happen against this kind of opponent. Now do that consistently.

    And the fact that we played strong defense tonight shows our poor performances really have been due to a lack of focus and effort, which continues to reflect poorly on this coach.

  • dwdkc

    These guys played like they were embarrassed last time out and finally had enough. We see they are capable of playing D, as that first 28 minutes was outstanding. I wonder why we didn’t see that before? This wasn’t even a bad team, their resume was pretty good. We all vented during Maui and after Duke but really now is probably not the time. Give the guys credit and hope they can keep it up. I have a feeling the last couple of days has not been pleasant in practice.

  • Michael Whelan

    One great game, but not willing to say they have turned it around yet. Beat Notre Dame and I will believe it.

  • Freemason

    Did Max get the first charge for IU of the season?

  • Jeff Funk

    Happy for the win, but let’s see how they’ve improved when they play a team that challenges them. It was a mis-match last night, and everyone knows it.

  • bazaroworld

    Honestly, this is the biggest and best expression of coaching that has come from CC (and staff) since day one. Good recruiter, questionable coach at best. My thoughts have long been, IU could have good teams if Crean would get some good assistant coaches and give them a lot of authority in practices (and games). It would be interesting to see win/loss records and some history relative to the assistant coaches. It has been very frustrating seeing good recruits come in, one after another, and glaring bad habits or weaknesses never get fixed, ie, bad coach. Of course there will always be those, like Olidipo, that will get better on their own, through a lot of hard work, but he obviously was/is an exception. Good for ‘question and answer’ with some players as to which assistant coaches were more outspoken this past week, if any.

  • Show-Me-State HOOSIER

    The Hoosiers that played last night played like this was their last game of the year! Great effort and most importantly, good defense! With the D that was portrayed last night, we can compete with almost anyone.

  • IU diehard from CT

    Effort. This is what effort looks like. Albeit to a mid major, but this is how it’s supposed to go

  • SCHoosier

    That’s the million dollar question….what happened between Duke and last night? Change their diets, threatened them with two weeks of work with B Knight or Frank Martian..or just threatened them with having to listen to a full year of Dickey V comments? I was shocked more with the total team help defense..that was a nuclear improvement.

    Forget about the coaching..Rally ‘Round the Hoosiers.!

  • Jtime

    Yep. It’s not that they can’t play defense…..

  • vicbert caladipo

    The million dollar answer is twofold. #1 Assembly Hall and #2 playing a team with one 6-8 guy who didn’t play much because of foul trouble and the rest 6-6 and shorter.

  • straight no chaser

    Nothing changed. We’ve had sporadic displays of good D throughout Crean’s tenure. Excellent D is consistent D, not temperamental D. And temperamental D is the result of bringing in temperamental recruits to play for a temperamental coach. It’s a culture thingy, and it ain’t going away as long as we are in this paradigm of coaching and running a program.

  • FU2

    Glad to see the effort that leads to a big win (imagine that effort produces results!!). Frankly this is what makes it all more frustrating to watch them play decent opponents because we all know they are fully capable of playing lime a top 25 team. Keep up the momentum and keep up the coaching search!!

  • IU diehard from CT

    It’s effort bro

  • VanBurenBoys

    Interesting observation: following IU’s six wins, the Minute After article has garnered 27, 63, 106, 72, 87, and 29 comments; following losses, the Minute After article has garnered 223, 189, and 279 comments. That disparity is likely reflective of the anti-Crean sentiment. I wonder if it suggests anything beyond feelings for Crean.

  • Tahoegirl

    It’s not just effort, I glad the players put up more of a fight, but MS is a small team that we cab excell against. When coach K doesn’t know what defense were in, and if you eyes can’t tell you it’s insane to continuously switch defenses within one possession, then I don’t know how to explain it to you.

  • Tahoegirl

    Well, I personally get concerned that with just one win against a much smaller and not as talented team observers some how now think Crean is a good coach. As I’ve said before many times my analysis that Crean is not an adequate coach is not based on one loss to duke or the Maui invitational—it’s years of poor coaching

  • dwdkc

    I fear this is correct. Remember the OSU home game last year? They couldn’t buy a bucket but busted their a** on D and gutted out a win. Thought they had turned a corner, but no.

  • dwdkc

    No that has always been the case. Posting lets off some steam, everybody is dealing with their frustration after a loss.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I feel you brother but I just can’t stand to skip too many games. After Maui I didn’t watch the next couple (Alcorn St and Duke) but I watched the highlights afterwards. I find it best to get drunk before the game to neutralize the emotional effect, lol.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Both OSU games last year were a prime example of our inconsistency. When we played at their house they had a layup line on us.

  • Hat

    Play Man to Man. Switch on Screens.

  • IU diehard from CT

    I played d1 ball at Iona. I don’t know what to tell you. You can’t explain anything to me because your level of knowledge about the game is not adequate.