The Minute After: Fort Wayne

  • 12/18/2017 10:36 pm in

Thoughts on a 92-72 loss to Fort Wayne:

The narrative heading into this one?

Indiana had just a one-day turnaround after its emotional victory against Notre Dame. And the Hoosiers would be playing an inferior opponent. A chance for a letdown, or maybe a lack of focus and energy was certainly in the cards. Maybe even expected.

But this was Fort Wayne.

The same Fort Wayne that embarrassed then No. 3 Indiana a season ago. If the Hoosiers had any reason to come out with a little extra incentive, a locked-in mentality, this was it.

“Last year, obviously, it wasn’t a good feeling,” Robert Johnson said after the Notre Dame game. “You never really forget what it feels like to feel like that. So we’ll definitely be prepared.”

But it just didn’t happen.

Indiana was a sloppy mess from the onset of the contest and the Hoosiers never really recovered. The first half was fast-paced and Indiana had trouble finding its footing while the smaller, quicker Mastadons capitalized on the Hoosiers’ miscues time and again. Basic fundamentals alluded Indiana tonight, as entry passes and simply holding onto the dang ball proved difficult. Indiana turned it over 18 times tonight, which was almost a quarter of its possessions (24 percent). The Mastadons scored 29 of their 92 points off those miscues.

This game felt eerily similar to the Indiana State game, as another in-state team came into Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and seemingly couldn’t miss from 3-point range to beat the Hoosiers handily. Indiana did themselves no favors by leaving Mastadons open time and again from beyond the arc. And Fort Wayne really made them pay. For the contest, Fort Wayne hit 17-of-30 (56.7 percent) from 3-point range, which ties the record Indiana State set earlier this season for most 3-point buckets made by an opponent in Assembly Hall history.

Juwan Morgan continues to be a double-double machine (14 points, 12 rebounds), but even he seemed a bit slow and out of synch tonight in this one. Rob Johnson continues to score points (17), but this was his second consecutive game with six turnovers. Indiana continues to be a middling team from the charity stripe (12-of-19, 63.2 percent) and a weak team from distance. Indiana shot just 4-of-24 from 3-point range tonight, which means they were outscored 51-12 from deep. All the turnovers and the poor shooting from beyond the arc led to just .96 points per possession for the Hoosiers for the contest.

This game certainly isn’t indicative of this Indiana as a whole. The Hoosiers are better than this. But it’s troubling they let two in-state teams waltz into Bloomington and kick their butt. And it’s especially troubling after it looked like they were heading in an upward trajectory the last several outings and when the opponent was one in which they were seeking revenge.

Indiana only has two days to right the ship before its matchup against Tennessee Tech on Thursday night. A better performance will be more than necessary to get things headed back in the right direction.

Filed to:

  • INUnivHoosier2

    Welp, glad nobody got hurt, I guess.

  • Hoosierkamp

    That sucked. It’s bad, they made a ton of shots. It happens.

    But in the end, it’s really hard to not have this stuff happen as unreliable as rojo and newkirk are on the offensive end (newkirk on defense too)

    IU needs rojo to figure it out. But newkirk is a disaster. He can’t keep anyone in front of him consistently. No surprise our best defensive effort was ND when he barely played

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83


  • hoosiersfan33

    There was an offensive sequence really late in the game where I think we missed 3 wide open 3s in a row before Mcroberts made the 4th. To me that pretty much sums up IU’s lack of offense. Good defense (which it wasn’t tonight) and good post play can only take you so far. Basketball today is so guard-oriented. Whether its good shooters or good playmakers, all good teams have guards that can do one of those two things, and IU guards do neither. To me that’s what makes this team so inconsistent.

  • Jeff Alson

    That was the worst defense I have ever seen. Fort Wayne would set a simple ball screen and two IU players would go the ball and the screener would get a wide open standing still 3. Over and over and over.

  • Hunter

    Just tuning in, please tell me I’m misreading the score. please, paleez, dear…

  • inCMitrust

    For those comparing Miller to Knight I’ve spotted a difference. With Coach Knight we would have lost by 40 or 50(remember Minnesota game) because all the normal rotation players would have been sitting most of the second half with that performance. Discouraging lose.

  • Ole Man

    I’d almost agree with you but the loss tonight was a real team effort.

  • timamac


  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    There you go. Silver Linings Playbook!
    Uf. I am certain the guys feel pretty awful about tonight’s performance.
    Everyone take a shower and wash this one off.

    And puh-lease figure out Archie’s defense before the season ends. I’m guessing Dayton never gave up 17 3s. At least I hope not. I have a feeling the only way to go after this sort of performance is up. But I don’t want to tempt fate.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    To all of you that are wonderful fans and supporters of IU basketball,,,it will get better. I didn’t see this happening but we do have an incredible coach and staff we have really good players in place. It will get better. Take care everyone.


    Let’s all talk about how bad the players are and then praise the coach as being one of the best in college basketball. That really is therapeutic. And so hopeful.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83


  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    AZ, Do you think the future is going to be brighter for this program?

  • david r

    Why can’t we defend the three? Is it a weakness of Archie’s system, or just execution. Every defensive system gives up something. Disappointment is an understatement. I’m pissed. I was ready for a slow start, a steep learning curve, and a few stumbles. Not utter embarrassment. Learning a new system is hard, but gimme a break. It’s still basketball, not like building the space shuttle!

  • Banned on the Run


  • PBzeer

    One of the reasons both ISU and IPFW hit the 3 so well was our turnovers letting them get out in transition and get in rhythm, while keeping our D in a constant scramble. Basically, it’s our offensive mistakes that are leading to the 3’s, not our defense. Turning defense into offense is what generates runs.

  • RonG

    I didn’t want to post negatively on Newkirk’s play after Notre Dame game but you’re observation is one the coaching staff hopefully has picked up on. There’s a reason Jami Dixon benched him that Crean apparently thought he could correct. Too me he tries hard, but seems not to get it.

  • dssnyder

    The Scott twins from ISU and IPFW didn’t even get a sniff from IU as possible recruits yet torch the Hoosiers as opponents. #ironic

  • Bankshot

    These are clappy’s recruits! No heart! No guts! No brains! Just like you!

  • Jeremy

    Well it looks like Fort Wayne needs to strengthen their schedule and stop beating up on IU. Embarrassing.

  • HoosierOne

    It’s tough to watch. Archie is doing the best he can with what he was given. I’m doing my best to be patient but this may be a long and frustrating rebuilding season until he can get some of his guys in the system. Some bright spots like JM being healthy and playing well.

    For years now this group of players has show up against big teams we should lose to and stayed home for teams we should beat. it makes no sense. More than anything I want consistency.

  • pdn Michael

    Might want to re-think that “inferior opponent” in the first paragraph.

  • pdn Michael

    I don’t think the horrid decisions on offense are because Newkirk, Johnson and Green don’t get his system. The guards, especially, but the bigs on several outlet passes, just made some real high school JV passing and dribbling decisions. I mean, Bryson Scott outquicks two of our guards and gets to the rim, and then outquicks them on the other end for a steal. What, do Green and Newkirk decide that, “oh, I get it, having the ball makes you faster?” I can think of three times that the guards simply dribbled into double teams and lost the ball; once it was Johnson who is a senior for crying out loud. Worse, the literally “built” double teams for FW in transition. Again, I find it difficult to blame any system, it’s just poor play that most eighth graders understand. And on defense, several of the FW threes came because it appeared there was no clarity about when we’re switching and when we’re not switching. Again, just call out “switch,” a simple term anyone who played in 7th grade understands.

  • sarge

    I really enjoyed your comments. Tough game, got to move on.

  • N71

    To avoid kicking my dog I started looking to next year which is still concerning to be honest. We’ll be awash in new talent but they will all be Freshman and that typically means turnovers and stupid fouls. Al will be stronger and he’s good with the ball for his age so that’s promising. Devonte is both brilliant and reckless so its hard to forecast how he will evolve. We’ll be deep elsewhere but our backcourt has me a little concerned come next year. If we don’t land Romeo a JC point guard wouldn’t be a terrible addition. Otherwise, Robert Phinisee is going to have a ton of responsibility. This retooling is going to take a few years.

  • Sandra Wilson

    Good observation. I hate it when people say we made Junior High mistakes. The coaches I knew from Jr. High would have benched you, and yes, yelled at you, if you’d played like we did last night. How uncomfortable do our players feel when they make the same stupid passes time after time or make the same defensive mistakes over and over. Maybe it’s time for some bench warming and some chewing out. I know many of the younger people on here are against that, but how did you enjoy that game last night ? One final thought. Take a look a the facial expression on the picture above. That could be any of our players, at any time, of any game.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I love Rob Johnson but man he has to be close to the all-time IU turnover record. He’s definitely had enough minutes to have a chance at the record.

  • Q46

    This was rough. We don’t have a go to guard who can be trusted with the ball, our big men can’t keep up on defense, and Fort Wayne couldn’t miss. Their offense was brilliant and took full advantage of the corner 3 that CAM’s defense tends to give up. They ran the same play at least 5 times, have DD’s man set a screen then roll to the corner when he hedges for an open 3. DD isn’t quick enough to get back.

    I think it’s going to be hit or miss with our guards all year. JN pushes too hard and dribbles into trouble far too often, DG doesn’t value the ball (or shoe strings), and RJ just makes lazy plays and has mental lapses. AD is still a freshman and while he’s been surprisingly impressive his numbers have started to drop as the competition has picked up.

    I think the worst part is all the guards have the talent to be good, it’s just the mental things that hold them back.

  • Neil

    I see a lot of blame being placed on the players. Sure that is warranted however Archie should not be immune. It is his job to get the players to play and put them in position to have success. If your system does not work then you need to adjust to the type of players you have until you get youYou must ask these questions. Do you think IPFW had better talent? If the answer is no then how in the heck do you lose by 20 on your home floor with better talent? Coaching! Let’s make sure we don’t lose sight that we did not lose a close one at home, we got absolutely spanked, humiliated and annihilated on our home court by less talent. Not having enough time to get your players in or your system in place are all “lame” excuses. The talent differential between IU and IPFW was so great that you should NEVER lose by 20 at home system or not. That was some of the worst coaching I have ever seen. Crean never lost by 20 at home to IPFW. I know I know we have to be patient with Archie but last night was nothing about patience. No excuse to lose by 20 at home. Good teams will lose to lesser teams but almost never do they get blown out. I think the jury is still out on Archie. Is he a good coach or not? Past success does not give you free passes to future failures. Archie has to prove himself just like everyone else and so far he is getting an F. This is not the same rebuilding job Crean had, these players currently are all scholarship players and some were very highly rated. Stop making excuses for Archie, there are no free passes. Had he lost by a few points then I can see but getting blown out???? NO!

    With all that said we must also give credit to the IPFW team for seizing the moment and John Coffer is a great coach. They did what they had to do. Great win for them and their program.

  • Jethro Jones

    Honestly, i think that’s on Archie.

  • Neil

    Also, I won’t name names but several IU guards are too carless with the ball but Archie kept playing them the whole game. If I were coach I would have played walkons at guard and sat them all. There needs to be accountability for throwing the ball away and making the same mistakes over and over.

  • Chris Jones

    Looks like we have a crean lover

  • Neil

    Nope Crean was one of the worst coaches ever. I only used him because he was better than Archie is now.

  • cyberg8s

    Then you would have lost by 30 and have people like you saying its unacceptable to loss to FW by 30

  • cyberg8s

    Almost exactly what Archie said in postgame presser

  • Hoosier Hall

    Are you serious? Your basketball ignorance is abundant. Players learn to switch screens in the 6th grade. That is on the players, 100%.

  • I hate purdon’t

    I didn’t think I would EVER see I. U. get beat down by ISU and IPFW by 20+ at home in the same year. This has to be an all time low. Coach Crean’s first 2 teams didn’t sink this low.

  • Don Kotouc

    Poor guard play—can’t shoot and can’t handle. It was very obvious which was the better team last night….We had better athletes, but they had better basketball players…

  • IllinoisHoosier

    Agree. IU under crean got away from shooters as a whole and went for athletes. Paying the price now. Used to always have a few pure shooters on the team. Now we have none.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    I agree embarrassing and infuriating but crean only won 6 games his 1st year.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    I don’t think that had better athletes but they had better shooters. We have no pure three point shooter on this team. And when down the three ball can bring you back.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    Agreed. That was knights thing. Screw up and you sit. Too many now players just keep making same mistake and keep playing.

  • Scoop Geoff

    Lol Bankshot! The unfortunate irony is your mother didn’t abort you!

  • Bankshot

    HAHA! My mother is 78 and could whip your but fool!!
    Your outta your league boy!!!

  • RonG

    Jeff, it wasn’t so much the defense as it was the execution of the offense by Fort Wayne. It appear to me that the offense being run by Fort Wayne was called 41. You can look that up by Googling it and you’ll find out that is an offense we’re four players are outside of the 3-point line in the center is usually on the ball side. When one person on the outside moves another person has to replace him that’s why you saw the cutting going on. In addition, if a player approaches the guy with the ball on the outside which happened on numerous occasions screens are set for him to drive to the basket. If he does not drive there’s usually a three-point man open all the time. That’s what I observe last night and that’s what I I think was being run by Fort Wayne. Unfortunately for us they ran it to perfection and made our defense look pretty sick.

  • Don Kotouc

    I agree; I remember when IU guards were synonymous with great shooting….

  • Molon Labe

    I don’t think Crean was better than Archie. These are all Crean’s players. Could you imagine what this year would look like if Crean was coaching them? It would be even worse than it is now. At least they have played some games with low turnovers and good defense. If Crean was still coaching we would probably have 2 or 3 more losses than we do now.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    Yep. Missing out on under the radar recruits that can play. Hope that doesn’t continue.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    I think it’s both players and coach. It’s his system. Sometimes you follow the system or you sit. I think the players were lazy and did not communicate. I think there are too many double teams. If a team knows how to exploit that then last night happens. I would rather have every player guarded than always double teaming and leaving another wide open.