The Minute After: IPFW

  • 12/09/2015 9:52 pm in

Thoughts on a 90-65 win against the Mastodons:

If you’re looking for a encapsulation of Indiana’s night, look no further than Troy Williams.

The junior grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds. Blocked a career-high five shots, too. But Williams set another less impressive career high with six turnovers. He jacked contested 3-pointers in the first half, shot just 36 percent from the floor (4-of-11) and let Mastodons go by him off the perimeter all night long.

The stats, career highs (Yogi Ferrell had 38 points to join Williams on a career night) and 25-point win look nice in a vacuum.

But Indiana’s most pressing problems reared their heads once more.

After controlling the turnovers for the last three games, it was a sloppy performance tonight. The turnover percentage spiked back over 20 (22%). Troy got called for palming on two occasions. Tried to do too much at other times. He failed to covert on an alley-oop from Ferrell. Collin Hartman made a bad pass for a turnover. Thomas Bryant (four points) looked lost tonight and had four turnovers of his own. (Tom Crean said after the game that Bryant has been dealing with “injury situations”, which could explain why he looked the way he did this evening.)

On defense in terms of points per possession, the Hoosiers did a respectable job holding IPFW to .84. But that was masked a bit by some poor shooting from the Mastodons (40.9 eFG%). IPFW had a lot of open looks tonight it simply didn’t convert. More of those drop and we’re looking at more points per possession and a game Indiana doesn’t win as convincingly.

The Hoosiers also got beat in transition due to lack of hustle and not picking up the opponent. They had a hard time dealing with some curl action from around the rim, through the wing to the high block and down the lane for scores in the first half. It got beat in the pick-and-roll and off the perimeter.

Assembly Hall was far from full and pretty dead at the start of the game. That likely didn’t help Indiana at the onset, as the Hoosiers looked a little flat during the opening minutes of the ballgame, a malaise they carried over a bit throughout the contest.

All that said, Ferrell’s performance tonight was impressive. While yes, this came against IPFW, his 38 points was just four points shy of Steve Alford’s all-time record of 42 points by an IU player in Assembly Hall. On a night the whistles never stopped, he capitalized, going 10-of-10 from the line. He shot 50 percent (4-of-8) from distance, 12-of-18 overall (66.6 percent) and added five assists and five rebounds to boot.

Robert Johnson also had another nice game in a starting role. Johnson was feeling it from distance and knocked down all five of his 3-point attempts and one from the line to finish second on the team in scoring with 16 points.

In the end, it’s a 25-point win and the Hoosiers move to 7-3 on the season with McNeese State on deck Saturday night. But if you were looking for Indiana to build some consistency off its bounceback performance against Morehead State, it didn’t quite happen tonight.

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  • Alan

    Troy is a solid college player. I don’t get what the NBA folks see in him. He has to stay one more year IMO.

  • dwdkc

    Considering you have to fill out the schedule with these kinds of games to get enough home games, I like the idea of playing Indiana based teams–and state public schools even more. Here the money is staying within the system which is more friendly to the taxpayers.

  • JetpackJunky

    His potential is ridiculous. His pure athleticism and quickness are far beyond most players. He should have been developed in college and taught how to slow down and how to harness his athleticism. He wasn’t, but NBA folks may look at him and think their coaches can do better.

    Another year will only help him if there is someone to develop him. Right now, he could make more improvements in the D-league than in another year at Indiana.

  • dwdkc

    James played OK on D, but he picked up 3 fouls halfway through the first half (with the erratic and overzealous whistling, not really his fault either) and with his sporadic and reduced minutes he never got into a flow. At least he didn’t try to force things, so he didn’t hurt the team. With the number of talented scorers we have that is the right approach and everyone will have those games; I had no problem with James. Troy actually bothered me more because of so many out of control drives and leaving his man on D. I think after a while he may have been stat-hunting on the boards. He got bailed out in the second half on a number of poorly conceived drives that drew questionable foul calls.

  • Jrod

    I would like a career night for Troy of zero turnovers

  • SilentBob

    Dang! I didn’t realize it was that small! That’s only a few hundred larger than my high school. But ya I think that would be just great for the state if we got some home and homes going with those smaller universities. A lot of families can’t afford the money and or time to travel to Bloomington in the winter for a game. First time I actually ever saw IU play in person was at the Hulman Center against Indiana State back in Mike Davis’ first year at the helm. I saw these guys walk in with their candy stripe warm ups and I was like what these dudes the New York Yankees?

    Usually it’s considered a good turnout at the Hulman Center when half the seats are full. But when IU would come it’d be full to the brim with little kids like me (at the time) and their parents. Even though IU lost by one that night (which was okay with me cause I was/am an Indiana State fan from growing up in the area) I refused to go to bed until my dad flipped on the backyard light and played horse with me in the alley behind our garage.

  • dwdkc

    I have no problems with Niego playing anytime. He looks like he knows what he’s doing out there. He won’t give you the upside of our most talented players but he can be the kind of nice, smart, complementary piece that makes the team on the floor play better.

  • Terry Moore Sr.

    Starting at Point guard!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bballpop

    I’m not saying take those away. He just needs to clean up the turnovers. Play more under control.

  • Bballpop

    Yeah, the turnover issues are so frustrating! But I’m not ready to give up on the team yet. Hopefully they peak at the right time this year.

  • pdhoosier

    You are ridiculous. I’ll spare you stats. But just wrong

  • TomJameson

    HS team indeed … lol You exaggerate to make your point, but this team was a decent team, not elite, but decent. They would probably be in the bottom 4-6 in the B1G, beating a few teams along the way. They are one of the favorites to win their conference and could easily go dancing in March. Those are facts.

  • TomJameson

    I hear you, and I agree with the way you said it this time. lol He does need to play under control a bit more. I was just playing the “what-if” game along with you. I do that in golf too. Hahaha

  • TomJameson

    He may have trouble keeping up when playing higher caliber teams right now, but with another year of beefing up his body and skill sets, and gaining more confidence, I think he’ll develop into a nice solid 4-year player.

  • TomJameson

    For comparison … Ben Davis HS in Indiana, has an enrollment of over 3,000 students.

  • FU2

    Don’t worry about the turnovers, coach Crean said they were something he’s going to ‘take a look at’ after the mess in Maui.
    Me thinks he should have been looking at this issue a few seasons ago….

  • dwdkc

    I’m starting to wonder about that. With our highly touted athletes getting confused and out of position and not anticipating where to be, why is our D any worse with a smart kid playing like Niego? How many old Bo Ryan teams had athletes like him all over the court shutting down the opposition? If he knows how to be fundamentally sound it doesn’t hurt us with him on the court. We also know he can shoot lights out; once he gets used to the speed of the game and get into its rhythm we may see some of that.

  • TomJameson

    I know man, I know. lol I’ve liked Harrison since I saw a clip of an interview where he talked (of course), but they also showed some highlights of his senior year. The kid can really shoot and has an incredible range. But he still needs to beef up and actually play some B1G teams to experience the difference in the quality of players. That’s why I say soph/jun years is where he will be a complete player.

    I do agree that if he can give 10-12 minutes a game in a relief situation, and play good defense, and communicate … well there you go. The scoring will come, I just hope that the first three pointer he shoots goes in. Confidence can take a hit if he misses.