Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Purdue

  • 02/28/2017 11:06 pm in

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Indiana fell to 16-14 overall and 6-11 in the Big Ten on Tuesday night as the Hoosiers fell to Purdue, 86-75, at Mackey Arena.

The loss was Indiana’s sixth in its last seven games. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Boilermakers:

· Free throw disparity is once again the difference on the road: Tom Crean didn’t want to discuss the free throw discrepancy in last Tuesday’s loss at Iowa. He didn’t want to discuss it on Tuesday night at Mackey Arena, either.

But besides turnovers, there’s been no bigger storyline in Indiana’s 6-11 Big Ten record than free throw differential. The Hoosiers were outscored by 15 points by the Boilermakers in Tuesday’s loss. Through eight Big Ten road games, IU has been outscored by 94 points at the foul line.

Indiana’s opponent free throw rate of 46.4 percent is the second highest of any power five school in league play.

· Turnovers were a major factor in Indiana’s slow start: Through 20 minutes, it looked as if Indiana would have another loss with a huge differential in points off of turnovers.

The Hoosiers trailed by eight at halftime and a major reason was turnovers. Indiana had 11 in the first half, which turned into 14 points for Purdue. Many of them were unforced, fundamental mistakes that shouldn’t be happening in late February.

The second half was a different story as Indiana scored 12 points off of six Purdue turnovers to even the final points off of turnovers tally at 14 for each team.

· Foul trouble limits Indiana’s big men: Injuries have decimated Indiana’s frontcourt depth and on Tuesday, Purdue exploited that fact.

The Boilermakers took it right at Indiana in the post and fouled out both De’Ron Davis (nine minutes) and Thomas Bryant (17 minutes). The result was more playing time than usual for Freddie McSwain, who started, and Tim Priller, who scored a career-high six points in five minutes. Priller and McSwain also had four fouls each.

“I think it’s obvious, I think it’s obvious,” Tom Crean said when asked about the impact of the foul situation on his team. “Obviously Caleb (Swanigan) is very hard to guard. We were coming down on our digs. He’s very difficult to guard.”

· Green one of Indiana’s few bright spots: Freshman guard Devonte Green wasn’t intimidated by the fever pitch atmosphere of Mackey Arena.

Green came off of the bench and scored 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, including 3-of-3 from beyond the 3-point line.

Over IU’s last two games, Green has scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds to go along with four steals in 48 minutes of action. With the struggles of Robert Johnson, who was 2-of-8 from the field, there’s a strong case for more minutes for Green at Ohio State this weekend and perhaps beyond.

· Saturday’s game in Columbus will have major Big Ten tournament seeding implications: Ohio State beat Penn State on the road on Tuesday night, which means that Indiana must beat the Buckeyes on Saturday to be seeded ahead of them in the Big Ten tournament.

Rutgers is locked into the No. 14 seed, but the potential Wednesday matchups in Washington D.C. are still undecided.

In order for Indiana to get the No. 10 seed and avoid playing on Wednesday, the Hoosiers must beat Ohio State and Nebraska must lose its final two games (at Minnesota, Michigan). If IU loses on Saturday, the Hoosiers will be the No. 13 seed on Wednesday at the Verizon Center. There are also scenarios in which Indiana could be seeded as high as No. 9, but Illinois would have to lose out for that to happen.

(Photo credit: Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

Filed to:

  • My thought was some players like to stay closer to home or geographic area. I also think it would be wise to concentrate more effort on recruiting Indiana talent.

  • SeeingRed

    Well, long-term decisions like extensions have to be made using a coach’s body of work, and factors like trends and inconsistency. At a place like IU, there’s also a general imperative: Is this coach successfully laying the groundwork for getting the program where it should be?

    I think Glass has to look at the whole package and decide if Crean is that guy, or not. If he’s not, there is no good reason to keep him around unless there is a great chance at a home run hire a year from now. Not last season, not the COY, not the fact that there are certain aspects of his job he does well. IU has paid Tom Crean handsomely and does not owe him anything more than what is in his contract.

    OTOH, if they think he IS the right guy, leaving him hanging will do the program no good at all. It’s tough to lure desirable recruits to purgatory. And as I’ve said, Crean’s prospects for continued employment at another reasonably decent program are very likely better now than they will be this time next year.

  • AndyCapp

    Certainly NOT your jock size

  • AndyCapp

    You would certainly know, I bow to your mediocrity

  • AndyCapp

    No, I got it from you

  • AndyCapp

    IULore was comparing Davis’ number of B1G titles to Crean’s, THAT was what I was responding to.

    I think B1G titles matters to US a lot. On a regional level and for other teams in the B1G I think it means something for bragging rights. But NO more than winning the B1G Tourney which we have NEVER come close to winning. On the national scene and for recruiting top talent on a national level? Doing well (not just Sweet 16 every couple of years) in the NCAA Tourney carries far more weight.

    And you care how much our team wins? Fine, I can accept that winning a B1G title shows good consistency in ONE year. How about the other years when we are in the toilet, average, or barely competitive? I am not suggesting that we diminish IU’s recent B1G crowns, but there should be a BIG asterisk when you look at CTC’s larger body of work. We are barely in the top half of the league over the past several years and, on recruiting alone, THAT is what the other B1G coaches have to compete against. CTC’s recruiting is on a downward trajectory and I CERTAINLY don’t see us winning many more B1G crowns if we cannot recruit top (read 4-5 star ) talent. Crean is not a good enough coach to be able to win B1G titles WITHOUT it.

  • AndyCapp

    YOU were the one who said Davis “inherited” the team. I SAID he didn’t inherit it, he “helped build” it under RMK. I did not say he built it, so don’t quote me as such.

  • INUnivHoosier2

    I didn’t say he has diminished mental capacity.

    I said he’s old, and he’s been out of the coaching game for almost a decade.

    Why would any major program take on an elderly man, even a hall of famer, who hasn’t coached for a decade for anything more than a publicity stunt?

  • AndyCapp

    Oh yeh, they are NEARLY identical. One is a regional title, the other national. One is for games won in a regular season, the other for competing against teams of the highest caliber in head-to-head competition. NO ONE CARES (other than the Villanova) that they won the Big East regular season championship last year, only that they won the NCAA Tourney.

    And you are nearly as brilliant as Einstein, excepting your IQ.

  • IUBizmark

    5 stars and NBA talent are frequently one in the same. The fan base seems to think we should be landing 5 star players annually or close to it and I agree. Having one in each class often puts programs in a great position to make deep tourny runs.
    I would bet Marshall has had a legit chance to land a 5 star already, he just doesn’t like that in his system, much like Izzo didn’t either until recently.
    Personally, I don’t care who he recruits as long as the results are making the tournament every year, consistently being a top 25 team, and making deep tournament runs (past the S16) every 2-5 years.

  • b_side

    Two mobile bigs (Jeffries and Newton) vs. two plodding bigs (TB and DD).

    Davis had a far deeper front line overall: JJ, Odle, Newton and Leach.

    Sure would be nice if Crean could add OG and Hartman back into the group with TB, DD and Morgan. Instead he was forced to play McFly and McRoberts far more minutes than any of us imagined at the start of the season.

  • b_side

    It’s the same offense we’ve been running with quality Big Ten talent since 2011-12. Right now it’s an execution and talent issue. Jordy, Vic, Cody and Wat got to the free throw line plenty.

    So do Yogi, Troy and co last season.

  • Bud Jenkins


  • INUnivHoosier2

    So, you just want a publicity stunt?

  • MorrisHoosier

    Sometimes they are the same, but Marshall has clearly identified some diamonds in the rough, which you could argue is the same strategy Crean has used, but to recruit 5-stars to Wichita St has to be near impossible so I don’t think he has much of a choice in that strategy.

    I agree with you that the recruiting strategy doesn’t matter as long as we have post season results. Getting 1 or 2 5-stars per class and filling the rest of with 4-stars would be ideal and seams very realistic for Marshall.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    I fail to see where you answered the question I posed. Maybe if you did, I’d be able to understand your POV better, because I’m struggling to understand it right now.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Compliment accepted and confirmed.

  • AndyCapp

    Not surprising since I tend to be (more than just a bit) verbose 😉

    I think it is disingenuous to say Davis merely “inherited” a team that he helped build.

    Did they come here because of RMK? I dunno, wasn’t in the room when Davis/RMK were recruiting them, but prolly.

    Could Davis have recruited them on his own without RMK? History after RMK left suggests otherwise. BUT Davis prolly was handicapped by the cloud surrounding RMK’s departure. That was national news and every coach/recruiter was likely using that against Davis/IU.

    Not comparing Davis to CTC, but Davis DID eventually take that team that he helped to create to the NCAA final game. Something CTC has not come CLOSE to doing at IU. CTC DID get to FF with Marquette but not relevant to what he’s done at IU.

    I WILL acknowledge that Crean DID inherit a pile of crap that he eventually turned around into an average performing (historically) BB team.

  • AndyCapp

    You’re welcome! 😉

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Fair enough. When I initially said “inherited,” I really didn’t intend it to come across as Davis just sat in his office doing nothing and POOF, he had a team. I know he had a hand in the recruiting. All I was trying to suggest is that the roster that Davis was fortunate enough to have on his first day as HC at IU was considerably better than Crean’s. Also, by virtue of Sampson, Crean had to completely rebuild, which is something that Davis didn’t have to do.

  • AndyCapp

    You are choosing to ignore data that directly links CTC’s legacy here to mediocrity. “Context” or “back story” only invites speculation and rationalization. Is he a bad coach? No. Is he an average coach? Historical data strongly suggests, Yes.

    If you are ok with average or mediocrity then keep supporting CTC, it’s your right as a fan. But it doesn’t mean the plurality of us are just blinded by Crean hatred. It just means we don’t want to accept the status quo of mediocrity, one where there IS an “historical context” backed by data, going forward into the future.

  • IdahoHoosier

    You’ve lost me at this point. The discussion started as a comparison between Crean and Davis’ tenures at IU, and relative success (or not) of each. It really has nothing to do with generally supporting Crean or not, and your assumptions about my accepting mediocrity are unfounded. I do think that many fans are just so blinded by hatred for Crean that at this point they fail, or choose not to, recognize some relative successes Crean has seen. They choose to focus only on the bad stuff, which there is plenty of no doubt. As you and I have already gone over elsewhere, I’m no apologist, just a fan who tries to be objective about my fandom. You make too many assumptions about me to have a reasonable conversation with at times, which is a shame, because you bring many good points to the table!

  • Bud Jenkins

    think of it as a healing, to break the curse, or we won’t see a championship for 80 years

  • AndyCapp

    You do too! And that thread was literally SO long that I didn’t even know it started out as a Davis/Crean comparison thread, lol. My bad.

  • Doubtful he would be.

  • pcantidote

    Sorry, but you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. You can’t say the first 3 years don’t count for CTC, and then say oh but he inherited this awful roster on day 1. Either you completely ignore the first 3 years or you don’t. You can’t have it both ways.

  • John D Murphy

    Injuries are a part of the game. Think Roy Williams would like to have a healthy Theo Pinson (at one time IU’s #1 recruiting target that year). You can argue we’ve been hit particularly hard but Crean’s teams are always hit hard for some reason.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    My comments are based off of what you said originally. For posterity’s sake, let’s just quote that here:

    “Tom Crean and Mike Davis both won 57% of their B1G games over their last 6 years. Tom Crean was 5-5 vs. Purdue during that stretch, Mike Davis 9-2. Both made 4 out of 6 NCAA tournaments with Davis reaching a national championship game. Davis won more NCAA tournament games.”

    Your comparison is leaving out an extremely important aspect: Context.

    Problem 1: Davis only had 6 years. His first six, middle six and last six are the exact same six.

    Problem 2: Purdue. During Davis’s tenure, PU was a combined 82-98 (.456) overall, and a horrific 34-62 (.354) in the B1G. They failed to win 20 games even one time during those six years. Compare that to PU over the past six years, and well…there’s not a lot to compare. Davis having that strong of a record against PU is more a function of how poor PU was during that time than a suggestion that he is a better coach than Crean

    Problem 3: Davis reached the tournament in each of his first two seasons, including the amazing ’02 trip to the Final game, with a roster that was already in place before he was named the HC. RMK was fired in September of 2000, which meant that the ’01 roster was set. The players were already in school, and to leave, they’d have been required to transfer and sit out per NCAA rules.

    In Year 2 (2002), the only loss off the roster was Haston, and the class Davis brought in (Donald Perry, Mark Johnson and Ryan Tapak) combined to average 3.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg and 1.2 apg for the season. In other words, they didn’t help very much in getting the team to that lofty perch. In fact, only Perry even played in the Championship game (10 minutes).

    Whatever Davis’s role was in helping or assisting in building that roster, he did nearly nothing to supplement it in 2002. While losing Haston was big, he was the only contributor to leave, so he had not only a really strong roster to begin with, but stability as well. None of which Crean ever enjoyed.

    Problem 4: Davis has one more tourney win (7-6) than Crean, but 5 of those 7 wins came in one season. When we are dinging Crean for his lack of consistency, it should at least be noted that Davis was even less consistent in the tourney.

  • b_side

    And if Roy also dealt with losing Justin Jackson for a period of time as well as a glue guy quality starter we’d have apples to apples