At the Buzzer: Nebraska 87, Indiana 83

  • 12/28/2016 8:57 pm in

Quick thoughts on an 87-83 loss to the Huskers:

How it happened: This was no fluke. Nebraska came into Bloomington and outplayed Indiana for nearly the entire 40 minutes inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The Huskers were the aggressors early on and raced out to a 12-point lead in the first half. The Hoosiers had their best stretch of the game late in the first half and went ahead 36-33 at halftime. For a brief moment, it appeared the 26-game home winning streak would be preserved. But it was short lived as Nebraska didn’t lay down in the second half and ultimately pulled away in the closing minutes for the upset win.

Standout performance: Robert Johnson scored a team-high 21 points for the Hoosiers on 7-of-11 shooting, but played just 21 minutes due to foul trouble. The Richmond (Va.) native was the only IU player to post a positive in the plus/minus statistic.

Statistic that stands out: Indiana allowed Nebraska to score 1.2 points per possession. The Huskers came in averaging 1.01 points per possession and hadn’t scored more than 1.16 in a game this season.

Final IU player stats:

Final tempo-free stats:

Filed to:

  • TomJameson

    Sure he did. You had on your anti-Blackmon glasses again (still). OG let his man by him more than JBJ did. His reach and athleticism bails him out more often than not.


    I’m not sure what game you watched.He actually got burned several times. It was obvious that a big part of their game plan was to go right at Blackmon. They even ran plays for his man to post him up down low. Granted he was by far not the only glaring deficiency we had on defense but his probably stood out the most.


    Could not agree more. Was obvious going right at him was a big part of their game plan from the very beginning.

  • IULore

    You would want him fired. You would see other local teams doing better and say some ignorant crap like “Indiana should always be better than any other local team ever and always, blaaargh! What has Izzo done since 2000?!? We are mired in mediocrity! IU is better than this! BLARRRGHGH!”

  • IULore

    I already saw a post where you said you would feel the same way even if IU had squeeked out a close one. Are you going back on that? Also, there is a difference between excuses and pesky facts. At what point do facts matter to you? Ever? If we lost half our team to injury and started 3 walk-ons, would that be an excuse to talk about? Bottom line, we know what the ceiling of this team is, they just need to get on the same page and over come their mental errors. I’m just saying that it’s possible they can, not that they will.

  • ForeverIU

    Really? Thanks for telling me what I would have said. I guess there’s no need to discuss then. You can just play ventriloquist and pretend you’re having a real conversation.

  • SCHoosier

    I was coached in the 6th grade not to dribble into a corner where I could be easily trapped. Exactly what JN did late in the game last night..and AFTER a time out. Not sure where that young man’s head is..well I know I just can’t say it in a post.): Not having Rob killed us all aspects of the game.

  • SCHoosier

    Maybe somebody can explain to me what happened to the team that beat KU with frosh playing a key role?

  • bojak

    Exactly right, that was not a foul.

  • Fivelefts

    I thought the substitution patterns doomed
    this game ultimately. The starting squad was out played by Neb. Neb. clearly had problems with our second unit. However, after we had stemmed the tide, CTC swapped out the entire second unit! Neb. Scored 4 points immediately after that mass substitution. Coach has got to ease up on his rotations. IMO

  • Ms hoosier

    I think CuJo needs to get more of McRoberts minutes and we need to play TB and DeRon together more

  • Ms hoosier

    That’s the problem CTC is telling TB to shoot 3’s and to lead the fast break when he can. That’s all part of coaches position less basketball!!

  • Chappy Dan

    Great comment. Really not seeing Bryant as a top ten pick as someone else is suggesting. He still doesn’t look that fluid to me. Yes, he can run the floor but that’s just a baseline for playing in the NBA where almost every player is a gifted athlete.

  • Ole Man

    If a bullfrog had wings it wouldn’t bust its bottom.
    Post some facts and I’ll respond again.

  • Ole Man

    Almost everyone except those who are blind about Blackmon acknowledge he was terrible on D against Neb., as was most of the team.

  • Ole Man

    Was he the only one?
    Thought not.
    Go elsewhere looking for your fall guy.
    TB isn’t it.

  • Ole Man

    174 or there abouts.

  • Ole Man

    Morrow had fouled out and wasn’t playing the last two minutes. Try again.
    Your witch hunt against TB would be funny if it wasn’t so stupid.
    IU would be nowhere this year without him and RJ.
    Plenty of blame to go around, starting with Coach Crean.
    And I notice you never mentioned the disappearance of JBJ.
    Why is that?

  • Ole Man

    He is being elite, in so many ways.
    He’s just turned 19. He’s young; and he’s carrying this team.
    Lots to pick on for the Neb game; but he is at the bottom of the list.

  • Ole Man

    JBJ was reaching all night long; or being passed by his man as if he was in concrete.
    Whatever improvements he had shown against the cotton candy opponents wasn’t on display against Neb.

  • TomJameson

    I’m sorry to put a burr between us, but IMO you are focused way too hard on JBJ. You just can’t stop picking on him and describe his failings as absolutes. He isn’t “always” bad. I saw quite a few times where James cut his man off and he wasn’t blown by, but you ignore those times completely. Of course now, you’ll say something that you think is reconciliatory like “he’s only bad 90% of the time”.

    You always talk about the Kool-Aid drinkers, you are just the opposite about JBJ … makes me wonder what he did to tick you off. (purple)

  • TomJameson

    Just because you say it a lot, doesn’t make it true. Pretty hard to believe that was their big game plan, considering they blew by everybody pretty equally.

  • TomJameson

    Yeah, everybody got burned several times, not just JBJ. They ran plays for everybody to post up.
    JBJ’s deficiencies stand out the most because that’s where your focus is. Forget JBJ and focus on somebody else, take your anti-JBJ blinders off.


    Calm down Tom, unlock the bold setting and please read all of my reply. I made it a point to say that he was ” by far ” not the only glaring deficiency. Yes I used his name and no others, but the main reason for that was because I was replying to Ole Man on a comment that happen to be about JBJ, but I also think that, in a sea of bad defense, if his D stands out, which I and others believe it did, that says something. I might be wrong but I don’t believe they ran a play specifically designed to post up any of our other guards. I would also be willing to bet that JBJ was taken to the rim more times than any other player on our team, and it didn’t matter who it was on the other team that he was guarding. Several times when Neb. took him to the rim the other four Neb. players made sure there was a lane to do that and it was obvious that it was by design. Going right at him was not the biggest part of their game plan, but it was obvious that it was, by far, not at the bottom of the list. I’m not the opposing coaches, but it’s hard to believe that a big part of my game plan wouldn’t be to go right at him, because, most of the time you stand a good chance of scoring, drawing a foul on an important part of the other team’s offense or scoring AND drawing a foul on said part of other team, all the while getting into the bonus sooner. It is kind of a back handed compliment to JBJ, and a jab or dig at him at the same time. JBJ is probably the best on our team at being able to get his own shot, is our best shooter from behind the arc and can be unconscious from there at times. He is also one of our best rebounders regardless of position. Having those abilities doesn’t make his subpar defensive abilities go away, especially on a night where his shot isn’t going in. When a player puts up a lot of points the net gain is negligible when he allows basically the same amount to be scored against him. I didn’t call for him to be taken out of the starting lineup, or for him to see a whole lot less minutes. I do however, believe that when his shot isn’t falling like it normally does that he should see less minutes than he does at times, especially when the other team is making it a point for whoever he is guarding to drive on him. I actually blame Crean for parts of how he was used defensively in this game, in that he had him matched up with players on the other team at the start on defense when he should clearly have been guarding someone else. If you feel like he has gotten a whole lot better on defense than that is your opinion. While I feel like he has gotten ” better ” than he was last year, I still see him as the weakest link by far on defense and that’s on a team that is just not that good on defense to begin with right now. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. In short I guess I don’t feel replying to someone’s particular comment about JBJ’s defense doesn’t make me out to be wearing JBJ blinders, else I wouldn’t be able to see the things that I’ve said he is good at. Peace and Happy New Year.

  • BL4IU

    Yeah, I was making light of the fact I shared that with you in a prior discussion.

  • iugradmark

    From IDS:

    There are two Thomas Bryants.

    There’s the Bryant we all know and love, the jubilated, emotional Hoosier fulcrum who lifts his arms to the banners as the IU zealots cheer on. He yells and dunks with the energy of 1,000 men, an NBA prospect with the enthusiasm on the court of a child after he makes his first basket.

    Then, there’s the Bryant from the 1:32 mark of an atrocious IU loss to a Nebraska team that just lost to Gardner-Webb. Up one point, Cornhusker guard Glynn Watson Jr. lofted up a tough shot from behind the arc as the big man trudged down the paint awaiting a rebound. Watching the ball and not his man, Bryant immediately reached as forward Ed Morrow easily caught the ball and laid it back up for two points.

    This was an opportunity for the Hoosiers to retake the lead. Instead poor positioning by Bryant led to a Nebraska basket and the opposition never looked back.

    We all have had many excuses for Bryant’s poor play as of late. He plays to his competition and the recent string of cupcakes weren’t doing him any good. Let role players Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis shine before the Big Ten season begins. He’s working on skills that will be crucial later in the season: long-range shooting and passing from the paint.

    Now we see where the team is truly at. The big man hasn’t been himself since the North Carolina victory and without him at his apex, IU just isn’t good enough.

    His stat line’s fine: 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists. Looking at the box score, one would assume that he did everything he could for a Hoosier victory; it just eluded his grasp.

    On a team without senior leadership due to forward Collin Hartman’s preseason injury, this is Bryant’s team. And on the night of Dec. 28, he wasn’t good enough.

    One of the main qualms with No. 31 is his passiveness. It obviously doesn’t show in the highlight reels or on the Vines and gifs as he posterizes despondent onlookers. But Bryant seems content with drifting around the 3-point line from time to time and relying on his athleticism instead of boxing out around the rim.

    Yes, IU is predominately a shooting team — one that relies on its ability to come away with three points — but there has to be a threat inside to open up the court for junior guards James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson.

    I recently wrote that IU has the potential to repeat as Big Ten Champions, a column whose shelf life seems shorter than the gifts bought on the bridal registry of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. I still believe what I wrote to be true. The impending NBA star-power is there with Bryant, Blackmon and Anunoby. The pieces are all there, yet it doesn’t matter if the big man doesn’t play like a man possessed.

    Just under the 10-minute mark, Bryant caught the ball posting up in good position. He dropped his right foot, spun counter-clockwise and threw the ball over the rim on a wild shot. He watched as the ball was volleyed around until Nebraska caught it and made its way across the court for an easy fast-break layup.

    A little more than a minute later, Bryant made a similar move from the opposite side. He dropped his foot, spun clockwise this time and attacked the basket without abandon. He absorbed the contact, finished the bucket and puffed out his chest for all of Assembly Hall to see.

    That’s the Bryant that IU needs all of the time and it’s that Bryant that makes his lapses so infuriating.

    The Hoosiers are now 0-1 in the Big Ten with a loss to one of the conference bottom-feeders. With games against No. 6 Louisville and No. 14 Wisconsin on the horizon, IU doesn’t have the time to lick their wounds.

    Everyone has to step up, especially the man in the middle and animated lightning rod Thomas Bryant.

    Without him at his best, this supposed top team in the Big Ten will have more losses on the way.

    There’s still time, but Bryant either has to wake up or watch as the Hoosiers take an enormous step backward from last year’s success.

  • TomJameson

    Hahaha … the “stop bold” didn’t take, Just edited it to show what it was supposed to look like.

    I still don’t see any specific plays to go against JBJ in the post, what I see are specific plays to go against whoever is in the post at the time. He isn’t being targeted, other than by some IU fans – and not saying that of you Mike, you aren’t even anywhere near the worse complainer of JBJ.

  • Ole Man

    I read it. Thought it was student wannabe writer BS for the most part.
    What about JBJ’s left handed layup miss that would have tied the game with under a minute to go (not picking on JBJ as there is lots of blame to go around.)
    What about CTC’s asinine use of TB too often out beyond the 3 point line.
    Like I said; total nonsense by somebody that was in diapers when IU still played real basketball.