The Minute After: Notre Dame

  • 12/19/2015 5:05 pm in

Thoughts on an 80-73 win over the Fighting Irish:

The same old story was playing out in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Indiana found itself away from Assembly Hall against a respectable opponent and wasn’t getting it done. After a first half it shot poorly (41 eFG%) and defended even worse, the Hoosiers were lucky to be down just 10 (41-31). The Fighting Irish missed a number of wide open looks gifted to them by Indiana’s confused defense.

The second half started in tragedy. Notre Dame came out hot, hit its first seven shots. Up 16 with 15:13 to go, the Fighting Irish sat in the driver’s seat and you wondered how it was happening again. Isn’t this Indiana team too good and too talented for yet another embarrassment?

But Indiana flipped the script in the game’s final minutes, D’ed up, got to the foul line and pulled out a terrific come-from-behind victory. For an afternoon in Indianapolis, the Hoosiers got it done in a game it absolutely needed.

For all the griping about this team in the non-conference — and there has been plenty to complain about — there’s one thing not up for criticizing: The Hoosiers play hard. They don’t give up. They don’t fold. It hasn’t always looked that way from afar, but it’s the truth.

Troy Williams had some bad possessions in the second half as Troy Williams does, but his energy out the gate after leaving the locker room was a catalyst. He was a terror at times on his way to 18 points and 10 rebounds. He kept coming and refused to be denied. O.G. Anunoby also gave some great minutes (two points, four rebounds) in a reserve role and it’s something to build on for the freshman as conference play nears.

The Hoosiers simply just kept chipping away. James Blackmon Jr., Nick Zeisloft and Collin Hartman hit 3s to pull it closer. But during that stretch, Indiana played a 2-3 zone and allowed Notre Dame scores on three straight possessions — keeping the Hoosiers at bay. O.G.’s putback dunk pulled Indiana to within five at the 5:39 mark (71-66).

It was here the Hoosiers changed the game. Tom Crean had watched Bonzie Colson (game-high 24 points) continue to exploit the middle of IU’s zone. And so when the Hoosiers went zone for pretty much the rest of the contest, they adjusted.

It looked like they set up in a 1-3-1 — though after the game Collin Hartman said it was a rotating 2-3 and Tom Crean said it was more of a 2-3 as well. Whatever it was, it shut off the middle. Notre Dame couldn’t figure it out. The Fighting Irish scored only one field goal the last 5-plus minutes of the contest. They were gassed and out of sorts.

Indiana’s defense shut down one of the best offenses in the country to come back and win this game. I repeat: Indiana’s defense shut down one of the best offenses in the country to come back and win this game.

I was critical of Crean for not yanking Blackmon Jr. for some defensive miscues in the second half, but I spoke a little soon. The sophomore saw limited run down the stretch as Indiana’s defense pulled it out.

“There were probably some people at home that turned the game off, but we just came together,” Robert Johnson said after the contest.

It’s been that kind of year for Indiana fans. Notre Dame had this game in the bag and was the better team for 35 minutes. It all looked lost. But the Hoosiers got stops. Got buckets. That’s how you win a basketball game. Today’s win was the biggest comeback of the Tom Crean era, and it couldn’t have come at a time the Hoosiers needed it more.

With desperation setting in at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana dug deep and got it done.

Filed to:

  • not just yet. They’re entire game plan was to shut him down, so it shouldn’t be surprising that he had an off game.

  • yimyames

    one thing to misread something, a whole other thing when you do it while pointing out someone else’s mistakes and telling them to “read the article” lmao

  • I think I read or heard yesterday that he also has a quite high assist-to-turnover ratio. Can’t make any definitive statements on that, but I was surprised. Anyone have that stat?

    Edit: from what I found, it isn’t all that spectacular. Below 3.

  • there is a lot of potential crunch time remaining. I get your point and agree to a degree, but there have been countless games where he did come through, getting big buckets for the team when needed, etc. Two years ago it was basically all Yogi and “hero ball.” He hasn’t been the greatest, but he can’t also be so easily dismissed. Plus, it isn’t 2016 yet.

  • I think the other team’s plan was to key in on Yogi and try to take him out of the game; same with JBJ. Evidently it worked, but others stepped up. Fortunately.

  • If the other team “knows” what Troy is going to do, that’s a good thing. Leave the perimeter open at your peril against IU.

  • Troy turns it over much less than scoring with the ball. Let’s not exaggerate. He turns it over a whole lot. But not always. They couldn’t stop him, so give it to him again. You’re trying to argue against a strategy that proved successful yesterday?

  • You’re arguing about style of play, against a player who had a very large hand in winning the game? Why not bring up his haircut, too? Sometimes reality trumps philosophy.

  • do puppies and laughing children often anger you?

  • Your thoughts on the NC State game years back mirrors my own on this game. Actually, I was hoping it would come after the first loss in Maui. This SHOULD be a great team. Let’s hope the new year brings back some magic.

  • you’re so original! and brave. keep it coming. it helps to keep me grounded when dealing with Purdue fans…they aren’t the only ones with a lot of d- bags. (arguably many more as a proportion perhaps) But yeah, thanks for the reminder.

  • I stated after Hoosier Hysteria in October that OG will possibly get a few starts by the end of the season. I’m frankly surprised he doesn’t play more. I think Max’s solid contribution (a pleasant surprise) has taken some of his thunder so far. I bet it won’t last all season!

  • totally agree.

  • great post!

  • It’s nice to know that IU basketball is the wholly-owned subsidiary of a bunch of heirs. God bless America!

  • Koko

    Ah yes it is…we got a nice Christmas present did we not?
    Merry Christmas to you as well IU Hoosier #34, 1979-83.

  • 3AM Burrito

    IMHO I think Yogi was focused on outplaying Jackson and having a good game in front of scouts. I felt that in Maui too- not just Yogi but Troy and JBJ. I can’t fault them totally, they want to get to next level, but playing to get theirs obviously disrupts team flow. But Yogi almost NEVER looks inside, and when he does it is half hearted. He wants to dribble drive and get a shot or assist. Again I am big Yogi fan and love him, I want him to do well but he seems to be pressing and forcing action too much this year.

  • Are you new to the Big Ten Conference? This is kinda how it goes most of the time.

  • OSU over kuntecky

  • There is something to this. For better or worse.

  • Koko

    I think I will stay excited. Your desire for a perfect team (and perfect Troy) ain’t gonna happen.
    The B10 is what it is on any given night. As with other conferences, anything can happen….TO’s or no TO’s….margin for error or no margin for error. Yesterday was not a good win….it was a great win no matter who the opposing team was and no matter who we face in the B10.

  • Young Hoosier

    Well sure… that’s when the B1G is good. Not when it’ll get 4 teams into the tourney.

  • BL

    Averages in preseason are meaningless. Against better competition:

    Wake Forest – 4/11 shooting (36%)
    UNLV – 3/9 shooting (33%), 4 TO’s (did have 9 Assists)
    Duke – 6/16 shooting (38%)
    ND – 2/7 shooting (29%), 2 Assists, 5 TO’s

    Moreover, he’s played poorly on the defensive end.

    Not what you’re looking for from senior leadership. If I were Crean and this continues, I’d move on. What’s the primary objective? IU winning or Yogi getting drafted? BTW, IMHO, I can’t see Yogi making an NBA roster. If he does, I would expect very limited playing time.

  • Young Hoosier

    I was born in 93. After Calbert had graduated.

  • eville87

    You have to check it out.

  • Young Hoosier

    So there was a sweet 16 the first year in 93-94 and Indiana finished 21-9. Then 3 straight 1st round exits. Back b to back 2nd round exits. 2 1st round exits. A Nat’l title game in 02. 2nd round exit. Then no tourney. NIT. Two 2nd round exits. 1st round exit. 3 straight tourney misses. Two Sweet 16’s. A missed tourney and lastly a 1st round exit. And a record of 427-290(201-175). Have finished ranked in the AP Poll 6 times. In the Coaches Poll 5 times.

  • Young Hoosier

    I’ve gotten to watch plenty of games from before I was born. Even Michael Jordan and Shaq’s last games. The 76′, 81′ and 87′ title games. And a bunch more.


    Exactly, and that’s not the first time we’ve seen that happen nor the last time I’d say.

  • Ole Man

    Thank you. That is really kind of you to offer.
    Depends on where they’re playing their game(s). If within reasonable distance and if the tickets aren’t too steep, I’d love to see them in person again.

  • Ole Man

    I misread; so I told him to read the article.
    It’s no big deal, except to some of you.
    Yin, thought you were way to cool for this BS.

  • Speed

    Saw that. Looked like a 1-3-1 at times

  • Yes, Yogi has had big games.. but he almost never has made the shot, when it came down to a one possession game, and he was the guy with the ball. It happened two or three times last year.. I’ll have to look through some game notes, but I’m thinking one of those was the game against Maryland at Maryland.. IU had the last shot and they gave it to Yogi.. He not only didn’t make the shot, he had a very poor attempt at even taking the shot. It was like a 12 or 15 foot pull up jumper around the key.. really bad attempt at even getting off a shot.
    Hey as I said I like Yogi, but in y opinion he is better when he is a distributor first and a shot maker secondarily. I don’t think you can say that on the 2013 team (2 years ago), it was all ‘Hero ball’ for Yogi. if anything it was ‘Hero ball’ for Oladipo and or Zeller. Yogi has always been good, but he has never really carried the team. he has had some good games, I’ll give you that. But night in and night out carrying the team.. not really.

  • I think it was more he was trying to out duel Dimitrius Jackson and was more intent on looking good in front of the scouts in that match up than on finding the teammate with the best shot and being a distributor. To an extent you could probably say that about most of Troy’s game as well. Yogi, Troy and JBJ are all primarily interested in boosting their NBA for the team or IU’s sake. It’d be nice if they’d just get that out of their head and play well for the team and when their opportunities come, then make the shot or the play that’s there.

  • I agree 100%.

  • Alan

    It’s just getting laughable. We were top-15 preseason and now we go nuts after beating an unranked team. Maybe the fans should rush the court and cut down the nets if we beat kennesaw state on Tuesday.

  • If that was the plan, they’d have committed more than one man to it. The only guy that guarded him was Dimitrius Jackson.. and it was never any help needed or any double teaming… so I don’t know how or what they did that would lead you to that conclusion.

  • TomJameson

    Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. Hope you both get to go to a game!

  • rich

    Well actually, I’m arguing about the play call. My main point was that was the best call we could come up with over and over. He had a good second half, but was completely atrocious in the first. Another point I was making is that on those plays Troy was taking a shot regardless of situation, no matter how wild it has to be. No reading defense, no looking for open gunners or backdoor. It’s like Creans old “go get it Stan”plays. I just think we could do better than running that over and over in crunch time. Haircut. . Give me a break

  • RJ is a better defender and I think his equal at handling the ball. I like Yogi but truthfully I expected a lot more from him this year than we are getting. He was really disengaged yesterday, I thought.

  • SCHoosier

    Isn’t the 2-3 zone suppose to make it difficult to make entry passes to the middle of the zone? It was a 2-3 and Mr. Colson seemed to enjoy it. TB just doesn’t understand how to play that middle zone position (yet)

  • CreamandCrimson

    His emotions cut both ways. I love that he plays with some real passion and it’s very clear that winning means a lot to him. However, the demonstrative arm-waving and facial expressions (while he’s far from alone in this) and the “discussions” with coaches are a couple of things he’ll need to mature away from.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I offer no “analysis” or defense of Yogi but a quick glance at the +/- from Saturday’s game shows Yogi at +9 (Hartman led with +10). Take that with an entire container of salt because the sample size is so small but it’s interesting nonetheless.

    In a few other notable games this season…Yogi was +19 against Creighton (second on the team), -3 against Wake Forest (only Max and Johnson were + in that one), +5 against UNLV (team lead), +31 against IPFW (team lead).

  • BL

    I posted these stats in response to a different comment – Yogi against best competition this year:

    Wake Forest – 4/11 shooting (36%)
    UNLV – 3/9 shooting (33%), 4 TO’s (did have 9 Assists)
    Duke – 6/16 shooting (38%)
    ND – 2/7 shooting (29%), 2 Assists, 5 TO’s

    While I agree Yogi hasn’t been clutch during his career at the end of games (last second shots), the bigger issue this year is him not showing up in the big games. He hasn’t shot well, he’s turned it over and his defense has been well below average. Not what you’re looking for from senior leadership.

    Personally, I think Yogi needs to be more concerned with team success than his personal “legacy”. If I were Crean and this type play continues, I’d sit him. What’s the primary objective? IU winning or Yogi getting drafted? BTW, IMHO, I can’t see Yogi making an NBA roster. If he does, I would expect very limited playing time.

  • Nice work BL. Do you know what his turnovers were in those three other games (losses)? I agree with you.. I really expected much more from him this year.

  • BL

    Very few or I would have included.