Notebook: Hoosiers show fight, but turnovers prove costly

  • 11/16/2017 8:12 am in

In their first road battle of the 2017-18 campaign, the Hoosiers wilted late after a strong first half, falling to No. 22 Seton Hall, 84-68.

Behind a strong opening half from sophomore Devonte Green, Indiana battled back from a 27-18 deficit with 6:57 to play in the first half and trailed by just one at halftime.

“For the first time all season, I thought our locker room (at halftime) felt right, in terms of, we felt good about each other, we felt good about how we were playing and how hard we were playing,” Miller told the media after the game.

But unforced turnovers continued to be a bugaboo for Miller’s squad. After De’Ron Davis made a layup in the opening seconds of the second half to give Indiana a one-point lead, the Pirates (3-0) scored 10 consecutive points. The Hoosiers (1-2) coughed up the ball on three occasions during that run.

“You saw a team in us that really squandered possessions in terms of turning the ball over,” Archie Miller told Don Fischer after the game. “We were just very careless to start the second half and (Seton Hall was) very deliberate in what they wanted to do, which is really to pound the ball inside.”

In particular, Miller mentioned the senior backcourt of Josh Newkirk and Robert Johnson. Although the duo combined for 20 points, they also accounted for seven turnovers, many of them unforced.

“Guys have to understand that taking care of the ball is the most important thing,” Miller said to Fischer. “When you look at your senior backcourt and they had 7 of your 18 (TOs), that’s something that they have to take more pride in. And we have to do a better job as a staff of really making them aware of, at all costs, tuck it under your chin, don’t throw it in the seats.”

Indiana’s bigs struggled to stay out of foul trouble. De’Ron Davis was unable to get much of anything going, fouling out of the game after scoring four points in 15 minutes. Freddie McSwain picked up his third personal as the result of a double technical early in the second half and did not return.

With Morgan and Green not able to play any five-on-five in practice since the Howard game, Miller opted to start freshmen Justin Smith and Al Durham.

“Juwan and Devonte did not do anything up until shootaround today, so when you don’t do anything for two and a half days, you go with the guys that were taking all of the reps,” Miller said at his postgame presser.

The Hoosiers most effective man in the paint was freshman Justin Smith, who followed up his double-double vs. Howard with another impressive performance. Although Angel Delgado prevented Smith from finishing on several close shots inside, the freshman managed to put up 10 points and four rebounds.

Durham, meanwhile, was effective in 29 minutes of action. The Atlanta native seemed to have a solid grasp of the offense, hitting on all three of his field goal attempts, assisting on four baskets, taking a charge and not turning the ball over.

“If you told me that Justin Smith and Al (Durham) would be able to play 31 minutes (for Smith) or 29 minutes (for Durham) and be able to hang tough against (Seton Hall) on the road, that’s a really, really good sign for those two guys,” Miller said to Fischer. “It really is.”

With Indiana now entering a four-game homestand that culminates in a Nov. 29 matchup with No. 1 Duke, expect more adjustments to be made to the rotation.

“We’re going to be tinkering with the rotation and the lineup,” Miller said. “We’re just trying to find groupings out there that can play together well.”

Johnson joins 1,000 point club

Entering the season, Robert Johnson needed just 22 points to become the 51st member of the IU basketball 1,000 points club.

With Johnson’s first bucket of Wednesday night’s game, a layup 12 and a half minutes into the game, the senior finally reached the milestone.

When the night was over, Johnson’s 12 points had brought his collegiate total to 1,011, pushing him past Jared Jeffries (1,008 points) on the Indiana scoring list.

Next up for Johnson to eclipse? Harry “Butch” Joyner, who scored 1,030 points as a Hoosier from 1965-68.

Green’s steal

Devonte Green had his best performance of the regular season, scoring 16 points, grabbing three rebounds and dishing two assists. But it was his one steal that will be remembered most.

That’s because Green was only wearing one shoe. The sophomore’s shoe had slipped off on the other side of the floor, and he was holding it until a dead ball would allow him the time to put him back on.

“What a steal!” Gus Johnson exclaimed on the FS1 broadcast. “With the shoe off! I’ve never seen it before.”

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  • Jethro Jones

    First half looked great. A few careless passes in second half. A few out of control offensive fouls. Not Troy Williams out of control though.

  • Bankshot

    The illogical paradigm that you can unlearn an individual from a mindset that they have never learned in the first place has provided me with infinitesimal laughter!!!!!!

  • summit city guy

    Sometimes it looks like a couple of our guys seem to play like there still in the nike league . And I don’t mean the the freshmen , both ally oops and they were oops, uncalled for just to name two plays . Yes the upperclassmen guards at times should have been benched

  • #4 shorts

    You know infinitesimal means extremely small, right?

  • Hoosierkamp

    There were several good passes and/or ideas on a lot of the turnovers. Honestly, the execution was just poor a lot of the times as well. Freddie dropped 2 dimes that would be have easy layups and some of the lobs in transition were fairly open, just poor passing

    This team took great strides. They need to get healthier and get Hartman in the lineup. But I am encouraged. Seton Hall is very good

  • Hoosieriniowa

    Down 1 at the half. Down 16 with 13 minutes left in the game. At the buzzer down 16. Seton Hall’s starters were playing as late as a minute left in the game. I was satisfied with a total of 33 minutes of matched play (at least on the scoreboard) for this team at this time of the year.

  • Hoosierkamp

    well put

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Great article. Thanks Josh.

  • Bankshot

    it was a joke? I also know that arch has the program headed in the right direction. When Naismith was hangin the basket, I was eatin peaches.

  • Koko

    Good showing….we will be looking good in Dec, better in Jan and kicking butt in Feb…..then on to the NIT. Would love to see CM get a lot of time on the court in the next three games. Love our freshmen.

  • Sandra Wilson

    Are you sure you’re not thinking of Iowa basketball ? To be happy because the Hoosiers played 33 minutes in a game equal to Seton Hall is surprising. Seton Hall is not exactly a b-ball powerhouse, and their starting lineup includes one top 100 4-star recruit, Delgado. We have Johnson, Davis and Morgan. Now, if we play Duke equal for 33 minutes, I might agree, but not Seton Hall. That game was winnable.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    they have to work so hard to make baskets, to get open looks. and then when they miss those open looks, makes it that much tougher. like i’ve said before, it’s a team full of complementary players. and with the exception of DG, nobody seems to want to step into the lead offensive role. i see a lot of guys shooting with very little confidence. it’s gonna be a rough season to watch, but if nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see how much AM can improve this team. i think he’s go to make serious improvements if he wants to have a chance at romeo.

  • Jay Skibbe


  • Sandra Wilson

    Actually, we have 4. I forgot Justin Smith.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0


  • Brian Goodman

    Unnecessary dig at our 2nd best player on the 2016 big ten champions

  • Jimmernoe

    Devonte Green is now IU’s all time leader in one shoed steals, pretty awesome accomplishment for just a sophomore. Congrats to the young man!

  • sarge

    Those are individual stats, which don’t mean much. Seton Hall right now is the better TEAM, so it is encouraging that at this point in the season (3 games) we were able to hang with a top 25 opponent. Did you watch the game? Playing with Duke is good for any team in D1. For our team who played terrible without any intensity for 2 games, last night was inspiring.

  • MK

    I truly believe Robert Johnson needs to see a sports psychologist. His confidence is completely gone.

  • sarge

    Leave Troy Williams alone man. He had heart and came to play every single game.

  • sarge

    RoJo looked better last night, give him a few more games.

  • Mark Bando

    6, you forgot jones

  • Mark Bando

    Your comment supports the idea that we have the talent to win now if the players continue to improve on defense and if they can quit turning the ball over.

  • Dunkin’ Depot

    I think the NBA scouts must have told him to become less aggressive, stop looking for your shot and don’t worry so much about ball control…

  • Dunkin’ Depot

    ? He’s a senior! Sorry, I respectfully disagree. Seniors should be the models of consistency. I guess the problem is that we all know he can do better…lots better.

  • Jimmy Arata

    I thought ROJO played quite well. He had tough defensive matchups, and played hard. Lesser players would have been trampled, really admired his fight.

    Once again, a fun team to watch, and most likely to keep improving before Big 10 season “really” begins in January. Enjoyed the effort by Al Durham also. He gets himself involved in the action at both ends of the floor, certainly no shrinking violet, to say the least.

  • TomJameson

    If Robert didn’t have those turnovers, he would have been considered to have a good night. One aw-shucks wipes out a dozen atta-boys.

  • TomJameson

    If Robert didn’t have those turnovers, he would have been considered to have a good night. One aw-shucks wipes out a dozen atta-boys.

  • TomJameson

    It’s probably a little harder on the seniors because they have real habits from the previous year that have to be overcome, as well as the new system to learn. Also it’s pretty clear, at least it’s my opinion, that Robert doesn’t want to be the leader. Similar situation as Sheehey. Just let him play the 2-guard and do his thing, there are plenty of others who can lead the team. Leader doesn’t have to be a Senior.

  • TomJameson

    I agree partially. I do think there is a lot of talent on that team, just a bigger (steeper?) learning curve than I first thought. I mean really, If Robert and Josh (just to name 2) were shooting like they were at the end of last season, this team could very easily have a better record, and folks would be happier.

    I think we’re already seeing improvements, especially with the defense. Remember that the defense got 75% of the attention, so yeah, the offense is lacking. As these guys start learning the system enough to actually play, and not have to think about it first, They’ll be lots better. I think I’m going to give them until the Duke game before I start worrying too very much.

    You’re probably right about a rough season to watch though. lol

  • TomJameson

    I think Justin is going to continue to get 25 or more minutes. Would like to see CM get some minutes, but not sure who’d I’d like to see him replace in the rotation. Certainly not Collin, Juwan, nor Justin either.

  • TomJameson

    If Robert didn’t have those turnovers, he would have been considered to have a good night. One aw-shucks wipes out a dozen atta-boys.

  • TomJameson

    Only down 10 at 6 minutes remaining.

  • TomJameson

    I know the rankings are early, but SH was ranked at #22. They are NOT chopped liver. 🙂

  • TomJameson

    I must say, some of Devonte’s passes were off by a country mile. I think he was forcing it a little bit. I know Freddie has better hands than he showed against SH, was a little surprised at that as well. As far as De’Ron is concerned, can’t throw a pass to him below his knees …. just don’t.


    I think his play has declined since Yogi left…. maybe he is thinking way to much about being the leader that he isn’t. I know his sophomore season he didn’t miss many open looks. Since then i wonder what goes through his head when he’s about to take a shot?

  • TomJameson

    Sheehey-Syndrome is what I’ll call it. As far as what’s going through his head when he’s about to take a shot …. shouldn’t be anything about the actual shot. He should be shooting naturally, and not thinking about it al all.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Makes me wonder what feedback he got from pro scouts, and if that has affected him somehow? You would think after getting some tips and feedback he’d be excited to work harder, take it to the next level. Hard to explain why his shot has regressed so much.

  • Ms hoosier

    SH could beat UK and KU.

  • IU4me

    Now that’s funny! Hopefully Colin coming back into the mix will help ease some of the pressure rojo seems to carry on his shoulders. It’s a long year and think he’ll figure it out eventually.

  • IU4me

    He’s a spot up shooter and the team two years ago did such a good job spreading the floor. Rojo thrived in that system especially with an elite PG. We are still missing Yogi out there.

  • VOXAC30

    Much as I love RoJo your right senior leadership is what’s expected. It’s his and Colin’s team he needs to own it. Dumb passes with no chance of connecting only take momentum away.

    I say that knowing if they would have connected I would have praised him for a great pass. I will just shut up and watch the games.

  • It’s clear to me from look on their faces, no one on the team, from coaches on down, are having fun. Should basketball be fun or all business?

  • Bankshot

    You must have an engineering background. I learned the word infinitesimal from a calculus teacher in the 70’s. Like the peak of a parabola coming infinitesimally close to a plane but not quite coming into contact. Like an angstrom close! In two years the hoosiers are going to be a force to be reckoned with. Hear me now, Believe me later!!!!

  • TomJameson

    It needs to be both. But we all know, it’s much more fun when we’re winning, and best when we’re winning big.

  • Outoftheloop

    Winning is fun. Making good team offensive runs is fun. Having good stretches of defensive “stops” is fun. IU is not there yet!

  • Elwood Hoosier

    On a positive note Justin Smith is going to be a great player. He’s in the middle of a lot of loose balls and contested rebounds. The moment never seems too big for this young kid. I know it’s early but he seems like a star in the making. Thoughts?

  • Koko

    I know what you mean. Maybe sub for the three you mentioned for them to have a blow. Could add up to 5-10 minutes a game. With more experience we could have used his size against Seton Hall.

  • TomJameson

    Absolutely. I think by the end of the season, we’ll be seeing more of Justin.

  • Jrod

    Honestly I liked seeing them try a couple oops. They are still trying to get a feel for CAM style of play. On a side note neither player got yanked out of the game for those.