Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Morehead State

  • 12/07/2015 10:23 am in

Indiana bounced back from Wednesday’s disappointing loss at Duke by crushing Morehead State on Saturday night at Assembly Hall.

The win moved the Hoosiers to 6-3 with four non-conference games remaining. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Eagles:

· Indiana was better defensively: No, Morehead State wasn’t a very good offensive team. But the Eagles were better than Alcorn State, which scored 70 points in Assembly Hall last Monday.

As today’s film session points out, the Hoosiers were simply more engaged and in better position on Saturday night. They drew shot clock violations and got out in the passing lanes. Rather than being back on its heels, Indiana was aggressive.

“I think we know our defense needed to get better and really worked on it the past two days,” Max Bielfeldt said. “Just simple things. I think we really kind of worked together today and put out a pretty good product.”

· There was a sense of urgency on the floor: The matchup with Morehead State was expected to be relatively close, as the Hoosiers tipped as a 13-point favorite. That number is much lower than what we’ve seen with many of the guarantee games in recent seasons in Assembly Hall.

But after things stayed close for the first seven or eight minutes, Indiana dominated this game. Morehead State isn’t the quality of opponent that the Hoosiers will see in the Big Ten, but it isn’t a slouch, either. From that standpoint, it was encouraging to see a competent team beaten thoroughly.

Can Indiana sustain that type of energy over multiple games?

“The challenge is, you know, daily reminders to our team that we want to go out there and get stops,” Yogi Ferrell explained. “We pride on getting as many stops in a row as we can. We want to go out there and just stop them, because I mean, defensive rebounding, those are the two things that we struggled at in a few games, but I feel like I said, this game is another step in that direction for us to becoming a more complete team.”

· Robert Johnson provides defensive spark: His statistics don’t jump out in the box score, but sophomore guard Robert Johnson was a major key in the win.

The 6-foot-3 guard got the start and made the most of the opportunity. He was in the passing lanes early and often, his ball pressure was solid and he was a defensive catalyst on several possessions.

“He’s going to get a lot better this year,” Tom Crean said of Johnson. “He’ll get a lot better on both ends. I think as his confidence grows in his defense, it will grow in every other part of his game.”

· Indiana’s turnover percentage is coming down slowly: It’s still not anywhere close to where it needs to be, but the Hoosiers are gradually improving at taking care of the ball.

For the third straight game, Indiana had a turnover percentage of 18.3 or less. In its first six games, IU didn’t have one game with a turnover percentage below 19. That’s progress.

One of the keys to Indiana’s season is getting the overall turnover percentage back in line with the number we saw last season: 17.2 percent. Right now, Indiana is still at 21.6 percent through nine games.

· The Hoosiers found offensive balance: When Indiana is at its best offensively, the ball is moving and the scoring is balanced. On Saturday, that was the case.

Five Hoosiers scored in double figures and two others had eight points.

“Really proud of the effort, energy, attitude, the way they responded,” Crean said. “And it’s been obviously a long week; it’s been a long couple of weeks and I thought they did an outstanding job of learning and applying it and bringing their practice game and practice preparation to the course, and they did it for a long period of time.”

Filed to:

  • straight no chaser


  • straight no chaser

    Also, here is the formula for turnover percentage (turnovers per 100 plays):

    100 * TOV / (FGA + 0.44 * FTA + TOV)

    This formula favors (unfairly, arguably) the player who attempts more shots. So I think this would favor JBJ unfairly over RJ, even we are looking at their reliability as ball handlers.

  • BL

    Really happy Max chose to join this team. Without Hanner and Emmitt, we would have been up a creek …. That said, I would definitely give O.G. more minutes. Max will struggle against true athletic bigs (see the Duke game) and I see no real upside; he is what he is. O.G. has the size and athleticism to be special. With more playing time I believe we’ll be genuinely impressed with his defense, rim protection and ball/shooting skills. He needs to develop if we’re going to make a late season run. Need to sacrifice early results to get him up to speed (a la Izzo’s approach).

  • CreanFaithful

    JBJ’s eFG% is better and as stated before, better rebounding %, better steal %, FT%, etc… I’m not knocking Rob. He’s averaging 4 min less/game than JBJ and that margin has been shrinking. I don’t get the argument. Rob is playing good min and it seems some want to argue that Rob should obviously be getting more minutes than JBJ, but what is obvious about such an argument? They both should play good amounts of minutes.

  • PBzeer

    My remark was more about the team play at that point, rather than anything in particular that Max did. They seemed more cohesive, as a unit.

  • Dagwoods

    Not that it matters, but Scout has all three of those guys rated as 4 stars. Bracey Wright & Marshall Strickland were highly touted 5 stars and look where that got us. I believe Noah Vonleh was a 5 star but, I have to say, we accomplished absolutely nothing that one year he was here. I think the problem are the players that THINK they are 5 star caliber players – nothing good comes out of egos like that. Back in the day, there were only a handful of 5-star rated players in each class – we must have ratings inflation now. LOL.

  • straight no chaser

    There is no big issue. I think some of as fans are just extra protective of players who don’t get as much publicity as others. I’m not criticizing JBJ either.

  • straight no chaser

    We’ve been comparing player stats. But these are only averages and only tell part of the story. I think in the end the best measure of value for us is when a player can take ownership and rally the team for a win when we need him most: when trying to overcome deficits or hold on to leads.

  • IUBizmark

    On kenpom Butler and IU are side by side right now which makes for an easy comparison. Here are some numbers:

    IU 229 Butler 234

    Adjusted O:
    IU 4 Butler 8

    Adjusted D:
    IU 114 Butler 83

    Overall Record:
    IU 6-3 Butler 7-1

  • Ole Man

    We “sacrifice” any more early results and we’re NIT bound.

  • vicbert caladipo

    There has been some discussion on this thread concerning 4 and 5 star recruits, so I decided to do a little research. I don’t know how accurate you will find these results, but they were compiled from 2008(CTC’s first year) and according to ESPN’s rankings. OSU leads the way with five 5 star recruits, Mullins, Buford, Sullinger, Russell, and Diop. OSU also has fifteen 4 star recruits. MSU is second with three 5 stars, Harris and 2 new kids from 2016 in Bridges and Langford as well as seventeen 4 stars. Next year MSU has 4 recruits ranked in the top 40. IU is third with three 5 stars and 14 four stars. Our 5 stars include Zeller, Vonleh, and Blackmon. I mention the accuracy because I was shocked to see a few names considered 4 star recruits. Nick Williams(remember him Creans first class) was ranked 35 and Pritchard 85. Watford was ranked 34 and Creek 71. Maryland would also be ranked higher than IU, but I only counted recruiting while in the BIG10. Other BIG10 5 stars include two from Maryland, Stone and Trimble, two from Mich.(Irvin and Robinson) and one each from Purdue(Swanigan) and Wisconsin(Dekker).

  • TomJameson

    That is where RJ is most vulnerable, for sure. But he is cleaning them up this year. Hopefully that trend continues, because he is going to be a real “lock-down” defender next year. You can see he is really getting into playing defense. If he can continue to eliminate those pesky turnovers, he is going to be awesome next year.

  • TomJameson

    I’m with Ole man on this one, no more sacrificing. I want OG to get more minutes also, but only when we have a 30 point lead with 3 minutes to go. If Juwan can’t play, than I can see OG coming in for 2-3 minutes to give somebody some relief, but only if he can NOT turn the ball over. And fouling counts as a turnover … lol

  • BL

    Agree but plenty of cup cake games left before BIG season begins.

  • BL

    Don’t develop players in scrub time and I believe O.G. has way more potential than Morgan.

  • IUJeff

    Nice put downs Ken. You should be proud.

  • Thanks that means a lot coming from you Jeff.. You’re the best there is…

  • Dooteetime

    Good win.. looked better but I will reserve a lot of praise as it was just Morehead St.

  • IUJeff

    More nice put downs. You’ve obviously gotten away with it in the past so think it’s okay. You would be wrong again.

    And my posts are spot on regarding how the team looks and is led.