Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Georgia Tech

  • 03/15/2017 8:29 am in

ATLANTA – Indiana’s 2016-17 season is over. The Hoosiers, once ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press top 25 poll with wins over a pair of NCAA tournament No. 1 seeds, lost in the first round of the NIT.

Indiana was beaten soundly by a hungry Georgia Tech team, 75-63, at McCamish Pavilion in front of 5,533 fans. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Yellow Jackets:

· Turnovers – a season defining problem for IU – were once again the difference: Indiana failed to take care of the ball with any consistency all season.

On Tuesday night, the Hoosiers turned the ball over on 22.9 percent of their possessions. Georgia Tech turned 16 Indiana mistakes into 22 points. The points off of turnovers statistic, a problem all season, was 22-10 in favor of the Yellow Jackets.

“We’ve got to get better with the ball [and] with the decision making,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “We’ve got to get stronger with the ball. We’ve got to get better with our finishing.”

· Georgia Tech was in control throughout: In a secondary tournament like the NIT, advancing is in large part related to which team wants it more. Every team is excited and engaged to play in the NCAA tournament, but that isn’t always the case with the NIT.

It was clear, from the opening tip, which team wanted to keep playing more.

Georgia Tech, which was picked in the preseason to finish in the cellar of the ACC, led the contest for more than 36 minutes. Aside from a few runs that engaged a solid showing of IU fans in the arena, the Hoosiers weren’t sharp nor did they play with the urgency necessary to win.

· Another poor shooting performance: Crean has often mentioned his team “missing shots they normally make” this season. The Hoosiers had another poor shooting performance on Tuesday.

Indiana hit just 43.6 percent of its 2s and 26.3 percent of its 3s.

But after so many poor performances and inconsistencies with shooting, it’s fair to say this Indiana team regressed offensively and with its shooting from where it was in November.

Beating two No. 1 seeds in a month doesn’t happen if a team isn’t playing well. But those wins – over Kansas and North Carolina – were the top of the mountain for Indiana this season. And both came in November.

“We had great wins, we had tough losses,” Crean said. “We were in a ton of games that didn’t go our way at the very end. We’ve got to learn and grow from that.”

· More questions than answers: In his postgame comments, Crean spoke like a coach who was ready to get to work in the offseason.

He referenced coaching the same whether he was in year one or in year ten of a contract. He spoke about recruiting, lineups and areas in which the team needs to get better.

“The program is in great shape, the team has to get better,” Crean said. “There’s so much good structure with what we have, but our team wasn’t where it needed to be. I don’t think you win two championships in four years and not have a really strong program.

“But obviously facts are facts and our team wasn’t as good. We’ve got to improve that. The guys that are going to be back have got to get better. The new guys that we’ll get have got to get better. I’ve got to get better. Everybody has got to get better. That’s our plan.”

The caveat in all of that, however, is what Athletics Director Fred Glass thinks about the state of the program. He’s been silent in recent months when it comes to discussing Crean, but will have to make a comment in the coming days to lay out where things stand.

· Whatever happens next, the action must be decisive: From an IU administrative perspective, there are many scenarios that could play be in play. The administration could decide to move on from Crean. Or Glass could opt to extend Crean’s contract for a couple of years.

The middle ground, of course, would be bringing Crean back without an extension. For two key reasons, that would be a poor choice.

First, it would make recruiting even tougher given that Crean would only have three years remaining on his deal. Other programs would negatively recruit against the Hoosiers and cite Crean as being in a lame duck coaching situation. And second, it would signal that Glass is content with the current state of things, which doesn’t align at all with the temperature of the fanbase.

Whatever decision is made, it needs to happen sooner rather than later. If Indiana is going to move on, the search for new leadership needs to begin. And if Crean is going to be back, Glass needs to come out publicly and give fans an explanation as to why he’s confident in the direction of the program.

(Photo credit: Georgia Tech Athletics)

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  • Yes. Think about that. A team with THREE future NBA players and relatively good health missed the NIT. Hard to do!

  • AndyCapp

    I never said your opinions were wrong so stuff that back in where it came from.

    And of course it’s a matter of degrees, an opinion is an opinion. Just because more knowledgeable folks than you and I have submitted that the tourneys should weigh more than reg. season titles, AND THEY HAVE SAID JUST THAT, doesn’t mean I am more right than you… or maybe it does 😉

  • iugradmark

    Brian I accept that there are those that feel this way but look at the whole record and performance. Indiana is a basketball priority first school. We pay top dollar for coaching, assistants, facilities, recruiting budget, etc. After nine years with the current coach, we don’t seem to be stabilizing. Cody and Yogi are gone. The team seems to struggle with many of same problems we have always had. We don’t value the ball, struggle in the half court (offense and defense), often are not the best program in our own state (this year at least 4th best), poor recruiting in one of the hottest states for talent that is in our backyard…Some of us believe we can do better without resorting to cheating or running a dirty program. I don’t hate Crean, but don’t believe he is the right man for the job. For me, 9 years is enough and I am hoping we move towards someone that not only runs a clean program but gets us routinely back to the top of the league and is a good cultural fit winning the Indiana way.

  • AndyCapp

    Not really

  • AndyCapp

    Interesting you say that because you *rarely* mention his failures while pointing out his B1G reg. season championships. And then it’s usually only when someone else brings it up first. For most of us it took awhile to get to the point where we are tired of the inconsistency, tired of just *hoping* we make a deep run in the tourney, heck just tired of *hoping* for *anything* more than we’ve gotten. You, Idaho and others are just not there yet and maybe never will be.

  • Piker

    CTC is a michigan kid and learned under Izzo.

  • Missing Moye

    To one of your points, I posted something a couple of months ago that compared the 4 main Indiana schools over the last decade. I don’t mean to be redundant by re-posting it, but it seems relevant to your point (and forgive me, I’m in no mood to update it, so it’s only accurate as of January 23rd I believe):

    “So I guess I had too much time on my hands tonight… but I was
    sitting here thinking about how IU stacks up in the state of Indiana
    over the last decade or so. I ran the numbers just to see. Obviously
    we had 3 horrible years in the post-Kelvin era that skewed the results,
    so I also ran the numbers leaving out the 3 worst years for each team
    over the last decade (best 7 years in parenthesis) . I included this
    season in progress as the 10th year, for what it’s worth. Here’s what I
    came up below:

    IU – Winning% .584 (.704), Kenpom 68.1 (27.7), 5 NCAAs, 3 Sweet 16s
    PU – Winning% .676 (.743), Kenpom 33.4 (17.6), 7 (6) NCAAs, 2 s16s
    ND – Winning% .694 (.751), Kenpom 35 (24.4), 7 (6) NCAAs, two elite 8s
    Butler – Winning% .727 (.793), Kenpom 42.9 (26.3), 7 (6) NCAAs, two Final Fours (runner-ups)

    I don’t really want to draw conclusions, as we’re not comparing apples to apples here necessarily. Some of those years Butler played in the
    Horizon, and choosing the worst 3 years for the other schools was
    somewhat subjective. But for everyone that still thinks we’re “elite”,
    I’d say it could be argued that we’re the 4th best team in the state.”

  • KingofKentucky

    Knight at least had a foot in the door to the NCAA tournament on a regular basis. Indiana after Crean’s rebuilding has been in the tournament 66% of the time.

  • iugradmark

    Really good information. I think reasonable people can discuss the pros and cons of Crean. I have always admitted that he runs a clean program. He had a few kids but they cleaned that up quickly and nothing since. His kids graduate and represent the University well. My point is that I don’t just grade him on those things and I think the on-court performance as you confirmed shows what we have experienced. Like I said, Indiana fans have been pretty patient and after this season 9 years in it is hard to say he is getting it done.

  • Piker

    Ok have fun with UL and Butler. People are so quick to name call etc after a badyear….and quick to forget the previous. Good riddance.

  • Piker

    How did we wim the big last year, beat kentucky and make sweet 16

  • AndyCapp

    Wow, you are VERY emotional. Go look at the rest of his body of work, not just the two regular B1G titles. He is an average coach, at least that is his record against B1G competition. Yes, he is a clean coach. No, you can NEVER compare his record to RMK. We don’t want Knight back, we just deserve something far better than this.

  • Yogi took over the team, OG became a defensive stopper, and some other glue guys held things together. CTC deserves credit for turning things over to Yogi the way he did (letting Yogi take the coach’s chair during timeouts and such) and for recognizing OG’s emergence. Perhaps the exigencies of last season forced CTC to do some things differently, I don’t know. But I can tell you one thing: whatever CTC did last year, he didn’t do this year or the year before last season or the year before that. The two years prior to that, he had Zeller and Vic, and even then couldn’t beat the Syracuse zone — one of those things, playing against a zone or any decent half-court defense, that CTC-coached teams continue to struggle with.

    Maybe you have a different opinion on how we did so much better last season, but this season — in the final game — still had players over-helping on defense and leaving hot shooters wide open, keeping their hands down on defense and letting opponents shoot over them, weaving around aimlessly for 25 seconds in a possession before heaving up a prayer, and all of the other things CTC-coached players seem to do far more often than not.

  • IURich

    IU, used to mean something in the basketball world, it still does to all of us who wait each year to watch IU compete for Championships, BIG 10 and Nationally. So is Tom Crean the guy who can lead IU back to prominence? In my opinion, No-
    based on how he coaches defense, and the offense was lost as well, going fast when the players are not able to make good decisions with the basketball is not good offense. Coaches are hired to do their job “coach” I did not see the kind of coaching this team needed. Just disappointing, we all want better, can we get better with Coach Crean? I am not sure.

  • Piker

    Bunch of conjecture….all of the coaching staff like 4 or 5 D1 guys would not teach fundementals. BS

  • AndyCapp

    You are the only one offering pity to this barely average coach. And doing one step better as a #5 seed is your validation that he has exceeded expectations? Well, congrats on that! *sarcasm*

    Can we agree then that this was offset by the even more substantial underperformance in the 2012-13 NCAA tourney? And don’t say we were close because, by your seeding definition, we *should* have been in the FF.

    He and the team’s he has coached are responsible for the “lousy stuff that has happened”. You are the worst kind of apologist, one who invents success in the face of overwhelming mediocrity.

  • AndyCapp

    I would almost argue the opposite, the longer he is silent the more positive for CTC. IMO if he is silent there may not be many other options in place.

  • ChitwoodIN

    5 takeaways from reading the forum.

    1. @$$……meet hole in the ground.
    2. It’s not Crean’s fault.
    3. Since Mizzou hires someone…..blah, blah, blah
    4. Guess TC stays…..if we don’t make such and such bracket “next year”……blah,blah……

    5. He sucks. Refer to 1st takeaway for further details. For $%#@’s sake….haven’t you seen enough takeaways this season????
    Should’ve seen enough in one half of any game you watched all season.
    Take that away and put it on your apologist Binky.

  • AndyCapp

    I agree with everything you said except for the “clappy” comment. It’s degrading to the man and he doesn’t deserve that.

  • AndyCapp

    And Lore… and Idaho… and Calbert… and…

  • ChitwoodIN

    I think clapping constantly is degrading to oneself.

  • AndyCapp

    With Shock and Denial being the very first step 😉

  • ITH didn’t exist when RMK went 14 years without a banner (albeit with a Final Four and an Elite Eight and a number of B1G championships in the meantime). I’m sure if ITH had existed then, you’d hear some of the same sort of clamoring.

    Agreed that kids coming out of high school don’t know Indiana as a dominant program. That’s a crying shame, and it’s something I’d love to see changed. I don’t think it’s “living in the past” to hope for a better future.

    As far as a “winning coach,” have you been paying attention at all? Have you watched any games this year, including last night’s? And here’s a scoop for you: lots of winning programs are also clean programs. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

  • Missing Moye

    Absolutely. I don’t think anyone looking at this rationally is complaining about Crean off the court. I think we’d all agree as well that we don’t want to sacrifice the integrity of the program for the sake of getting the results we want. I’m just confused why so many think it’s impossible for Indiana to get results AND a clean program from a coach. It’s as though Sampson created some great fear among a portion of the fan base and they are simply satisfied being mediocre for fear of being worse.

    It seems rather illogical to me when we have 3 other examples within the state that run clean, successful programs and don’t have the history or resources that we do. If they can do it….

  • AndyCapp

    Especially when there’s a segment of your fan base that maintains a sense of denial until the problem is almost too big to ignore.. like you Calbert, Lore, Idaho and others.

    Context is important, but no more than a growing body of evidence showing the emergence of demonstrable patterns. In CTC’s case there are demonstrable patterns of: 1) less B1G regular season wins, 2) less B1G Tourney wins, 3) less NCAA Tourney wins, and 4) diminishing recruiting class rankings.

    This is in the past three years over the previous three years so, yeah, you could call this a trend. Pretty objective huh?

    If there is apathy it is not against Crean, it is more toward an administration that the plurality believes is failing in its duties. It is for the reasons above that there is a growing fan base becoming more open about their discontent. It’s not that we don’t like Crean as a person, we just deserve better as our coach.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Did you even read what I wrote? I just said I thought it was time to move on. I don’t like to block posters…but you’re getting close.

  • AndyCapp

    See comments below but to summate:

    In the past three years (*over the previous three years*) Crean has: 1) less B1G regular season wins, 2) less B1G Tourney wins, 3) less NCAA Tourney wins, and 4) diminishing recruiting class rankings.

    This year is not an outlier, it is part of a larger trend.

  • ChitwoodIN

    Might be missing something from your obscure or maybe just a profound reply (maybe just short of attention and obscure myself), but believe we’re on the same side.
    Nowadays…I don’t give much thought about people of Indiana giving thought to basketball.

    Sorry on any case.

  • AndyCapp

    So block me, you’re just not that important. I called you and others out for your incessant denial but I acknowledge that you NOW think it’s time to move on.

    And if you’ve EVER followed my postings you would know that I am NOT a Crean hater. I have acknowledged, even today, the good things he did for our program. There’s just not enough “context”, imo, to warrant keeping the man. But if Glass does then I will still support my Hoosiers… just not CTC until he gives me consistent results to do otherwise.

  • AndyCapp

    Prolly not and no worries. Been a LONG season and after last night’s debacle, and without any news about the future of the program, most of us are on edge, or just obscure, lol.

    As Ron Burgundy said, “Keep it classy” 😉

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    I haven’t ever claimed to be important. I don’t have any issue with you disagreeing with me. I just feel like you don’t discuss the issues with me as much as badger me instead. That makes me want to badger you back…and I don’t really want to get into a pi$$ing contest with you 10 times per thread…and I’m sure you feel similarly.

    I dig your passion, Andy, and while I don’t see things the same way you do, I can respect that you aren’t giving up on players and the program (unlike many others). You’re a good guy. We are on the same side. Let’s just get off the Merry-go-round…cool?

  • Piker

    Yep team was very disfunctional but I am not one to put that on all the coaches and claim this coaching staff is terrible and will take us no where. 4 NCAA visits, 2 outright Big titles, 3 sweet 16, Big coach of the year in the last 6 years. Bad coaching does not do that in this league. You giving all the credit to players saving CTC in the good years I will not agree with. CTC along with the other coaches coached those kids too. You cannot go one way on the credit. Bad play by a couple junior guards neither who stepped up to take Yogis spot was my biggest disapointed this year. Their lack of leadership on the floor was glaring. When freshmen guards have better plus minus stats then juniors maybe it’s the juniors.

  • AndyCapp

    It’s cool Cbert, I’m *really* not stalking you, lol. We both love the program but usually, or at least recently, come at it from two completely polar positions. Even then I have a lot of respect for you as a poster. I really *wish* I could be more supportive of Coach but that train left the station awhile ago. Anyway, as I said, we’re cool.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    This conversation reminds me of the scene in Pulp Fiction where Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) has the conversation with the people robbing the diner, and he keeps telling the people to “Be cool.” haha!

    I like Crean. Always have. He’s not without his blemishes, but there is no one who wants to win and succeed here more than him…not even the fans. He runs a clean program, and since having some issues with a couple classes a few years ago, he doesn’t put up with anyone’s garbage…sometimes to the detriment of the product on the floor (Emmitt Holt currently has a double-double for Providence in the tourney).

    It just isn’t working right now. I think there is a segment of the fan base that won’t tune back in until he’s fired. While I disagree with those people, Glass can’t suffer that problem. We can’t have an apathetic fan base. Even back when we won 6 games his first year, we were selling out The Hall. Now, we aren’t. I just think it might be best for all parties to start over.

  • I think if Glass’s intention was unequivocally to keep CTC on board, then we’d have already heard something. I can think of no good reason to delay announcing that he’ll be back next season, and lots of reasons _not_ to delay.

    So, to me, that leaves a number of other possibilities. 1. There’s a coach who’s accepted but whose season hasn’t ended yet. 2. There are ongoing discussions with a candidate and they’re not yet wrapped up. 3. Glass has approached a number of candidates and not all of them have said “no” yet. 4. CTC is in discussions with another program, and his leaving is contingent on that offer.

    I’m tired, and so I doubt I’ve covered all of the permutations. However, going back to the original point, if all parties had decided that CTC will be back next year, then I think Glass would have said _something_ to confirm it. Even if it were just, “We’re looking forward to CTC working hard next season to win the B1G and make it back into the NCAA tournament” or the like.

  • henryhansen

    Why would that mean that? You don’t fire someone whether they have a job lined up or not.

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  • henryhansen

    There is NO way Crean would be on the hot seat if he won in 2013. No. Freaking. Way. (see Kevin Ollie, UConn, who went to NIT after 2014 and was 16-17 this year…no one calling for him to be fired) And no, the rationale with Davis is not correct, in my opinion. Davis had a crazy run, I was in Atlanta for that Final Four. But he didn’t win it all. Fans don’t care when they’re still basking in the glow of championships. Read Bill Simmons on the matter…if you can find an archive of his old espn Page 2 columns…

  • AndyCapp

    My proposition is if CTC *really* cared about the program he would recognize what a toxic environment it is here now and resign. But why would he without somewhere else to land? I doubt that there’s a contract clause stipulating that if he were to walk away voluntarily that he would get something/anything. Barring that I think we are either stuck waiting until July 1 for a reduced settlement (not ideal moving forward) or giving him another year to see if he can figure things out. Either way it’s not ideal and Glass needs to go public with an announcement NOW!

  • KelvinSampson87

    Haha. Let me rephrase. There is really one take away from this game. IU’s lack of leadership led to an under-performing team that did not understand their roles or play with pride.