IU falls to Northern Iowa

LAS VEGAS — Indiana hasn’t lost at Assembly Hall yet, but it hasn’t won away from there either.

The Hoosiers fell 67-61 to Northern Iowa on Wednesday night at the Las Vegas Classic. They rallied back from a 13-point deficit to tie the game, but allowed Northern Iowa to get back-to-back scores to take the lead for good.

Northern Iowa led 42-33 at halftime thanks to eight first-half 3-pointers. Senior guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe hit two of those and finished with a game-high 24 points to lead the Panthers. Junior guard Johnny Moran hit four 3’s and scored 15 points while sophomore foward Jake Koch hit three 3’s in the game and scored 11 points. The Panthers went cold in the second half, hitting just one of seven 3’s, but scored just enough to hold off IU’s comeback.

The Hoosiers got the best combined production they’ve had all season from their forwards. Sophomore Christian Watford led the squad with 23 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore Derek Elston scored a season-high 19 points on 8-for-9 shooting. However, IU’s guards had a brutal day. Maurice Creek, Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls shot a combined 2-for-18 from the field and totaled 11 points. The Hoosiers got just eight points from their bench and shot just 30.4 percent in the second half.


  1. How was Northern Iowa’s big men able to hedge on the screens and our bigs were too lazy to do it on defense? Verdell Jones should be voted Northern Iowa’s MVP. Every time I.U. tried to come back Crean made sure it didn’t happen by putting the rally buster Jones in the game. Is this another moral victory to build off of? Another long BIG TEN season.

  2. This marks the moment I have given up on Crean. I have defended and supported him in many ways, including with season tickets. He can’t coach. The players don’t know where to be on defense, our offense does not create open shots, and we can’t manage the clock. We got beat twice for layups in the last 2 minutes of the game, we got no shots off even after time outs, and we passed up fouling a 60% free throw shooter in favor of an 83% free throw shooter. We actually let the game get away from us in the first half, during which we left one shooter after another open on the perimeter. We were tentative and out of position from start to finish, and lost to a smaller-than-mid-major program a year after it lost four starters. It is shocking and upsetting. I don’t care what talent we have coming in, we will not be competitive with this kind of coaching.

  3. This was an ugly one. They shot lights out and sometimes you can’t respond. I too was having a fit watching jones play. Nearly everytime he drives, bad things happen. Elston and Watford were the only ones that showed up.

  4. My patience is gone. Jones 1/1 and sucked. Defense sucked. Coaching sucked. What happened to the team play we had Sunday? All went out the window tonight. We can’t beat a team from the MVC? Sorry, I don’t even have hope when all the savior recruits come in because it is obvious Crean cannot or will not pull a guy off the court when he is single handedly losing the game for us (Jones). No adjustments made on our part. Everybody and their brother knew we were going to Watford at the end and he loses the ball. Hulls bringing the ball up slowly with 20 some seconds left. What the heck? We will not ever win a national championship with Crean as the coach. Ever. He will have some good wins, but he will never, ever take us to the championship. Ever. He can’t do it.

  5. Ok I am here in Vegas …this GAY Hoosier fan has officially given up after over 35 years …. These girls are who we thought they were ….oh sure, can beat the little South Carolina Western State and the mighty Savannah State of eastern Georgia and yuck it up …at home …but take them on the road against the mighty Northern Iowa lights ….I want to throw up in my pink towel ….this was a HOME game with Indiana fans 10 to 1 over the mighty UNI ….Verdell Jones = now I know why his peers rated him MOST OVERRATED in the Big Ten ….this group is WORSE than the lousy Hoosier football team ….we THOUGHT they might beat somebody ….nope …wrong …only Savannah and Southern Illinois @ …drum roll …Edwardsville …this is a joke of epic proportions …. we drove 5 hours from Flagstaff and ALL 8 of us gave our tickets away after this joke ….another 8 fans lost ….we have HAD it ….only can take so much year after year ….to think Crean was PAID $ 200,000 for this crap tonight …WE ARE DONE !! Go New Mexico !!

  6. Oh by the way …the tickets cost us $ 190 each …we all basically threw them on the floor ….Fred …are u listening ?? There was not even a fat cahnce that UNI was even close to the talent Indiana had …every UNI fan we spoke with was shocked…they have virtually no talent ” their words” and couldn’t believe how CONFUSED Indiana seemed in the final 2 minutes ….its amazing how far Indiana has fallen …yet pays their coach MILLIONS …:is biggest win = Northwestern ….are u frickin’ kidding me ??????

  7. I agree with the assessment of Jones. He is more about his own stats than about winning. When he drives his head is always down, then he acts surprised when he gets called for charging. How many times last night did he pass the ball at a teammates feet? After each lousy pass he is allowed to remain in the game…WHY? He definitely was UNI’s MVP! The coaches seemed to light a fire under Watford at halftime because he was great the 2nd half. But why not light a fire under Jones too? Maybe our coaching staff is capable of doing so one player at a time. He MUST realize IU doesn’t play Brownie Pack 3029 every game, (although I hear some of those 10 year old girls have game).

  8. It’s not the end of the world guys. But I was also going nuts at the lackadaisical pace at the end if the game. Nevertheless our shots weren’t falling and you won’t win any game with such poor guard play.

  9. Everything will be fine, quit panicking. Crean will prove he is a great coach when the new recruits arrive.

  10. EVERY team loses games in a season that they aren’t supposed to lose. EVERY coach has a bad night. Coach K, Coach Knight, Duke, Michigan St., you name it. It happens. And people are completely giving up after this one? Geeeze….

  11. I would like to agree with Teflon Don, but when IU’s guys screw up they need to be told. These are teachable/coachable moments. You cannot expect to win on talent alone. The current IU players do things on the court that should not be done…VJIII driving with his head down, TP constantly sliding on picks, DE not coming up on the defensive side on screens, poor passing, etc. These are things that are correctable and should NOT be tolerated! Once IU gets that message across the talent will come out and wins will become more common. I am not panicking, I just want to see reduction of turn overs and better play.

  12. You people are finally beginning to see that this is just a ragtag team who can’t beat anyone but the high school level teams that we play. This teams lack of defending the middle only proves that Crean can’t coach or coach the defense of big men. Note to Cody Zeller, there is still time to change your mind.

  13. Finally, people see what the real problems are : coaching and game preparation. Still no idea of help side defense, valuing the ball, or any semblance of an offense. Against good teams IU is at the other teams mercy because we have no real way to control tempo. Northern Iowa scored 39 points against Iowa and lost 3 starters from last year. The excuses for Crean and his half assed offense and overlooking turnovers and Jones individual play is coming to the forefront.

    Let McClain coach the team with Buckley and let Crean recruit and do P.R. Every Big 10 team except Penn State is better than IU right now even Michigan with new players and Iowa with a new coach and players. Sampson cannot be blamed much longer.

  14. Our Hoosiers have scheduled too teams they thought could easily handle. You know, to pad the win column and help build our confidence. Not working out as we had hoped. From what I’ve seen so far this season, we are showing everybody how to beat us and they are. Our inability to win on the road coupled with our lack of defense during crucial moments of the game and our turnovers will ultimately do us in for sure.

  15. Calm down kids. Mistakes will be made by first and second year players. Jones is still making the same mistakes he made two years ago.NO EXCUSE. SIT HIM DOWN NOW! Now lets win the next one and move on.

  16. I agree that kids should be taken out after mental lapses, i don’t like that Cream does not do that. To come on here and vent like a couple have it just stupid! To say Crean cannot win a Nat Chanp with the talent coming in is stupid! You people that vented this crap on here slay me. That team shot the ball lights out, pulled stuff right out of their buttts… If you watch the game of bball enough, you know this and then to vent like this and give up on the team. To spend 190 on tix and give them away…crazy! I am looking forward to the game tonight!

  17. Crean is a hellova recruiter and salesman. But his actual basketball coaching leaves a lot to be desired. I’m not sure that his style of play can be a winner at IU. Too much dribbling. Not enough movement. And for this team to be so damn clueless at defending screens in his 3rd season is inexcusable.

    I want to guy to succeed. But IU’s problems are bigger than just a lack of talented players.

  18. JPat, I’m normally in agreement with you, but not this time. I couldn’t believe how IU just stood there and watched 3 pointers being rained down on them the first half. It’s not like UNI had anything inside that we’d need to pack the defense in to counteract. We were just poorly-prepared, slow to react defensively,and offensively, as usual, we played faster than necessary. We just think we have to try to do things in a hurry. Remember John Wooden’s maxim ‘Be quick but not in a hurry’? Well we’re the antithesis of that; we’re always in a hurry and waste several possessions every game trying to needlessly hurry.

    Having Cody Zeller last night would have done us little good. We beat them on inside points and second-chance points, where he’d help. But our perimeter defense was just completely confused the entire game, and Zeller, Perea and Jurkin combined wouldn’t remedy that.

    I’m completely disgusted with the state of the team. If, in year 3 of Crean’s tenure, we still can’t on a neutral court beat a Northern Iowa team that lost 2/3 of its scoring from last year, then we’ll never rejoin the upper ranks of the Big Ten and certainly won’t even get within sight of contending for a national championship. Like other posters here, I’ve tried to be patient, but this is just completely demoralizing in the third year.

  19. One more thing. The next time Oladipo tries to make the highlight reel on Sports Center instead of just laying the ball in , He should ride the pines for a very long time. ENOUGH !

  20. Nobody ever said Hoosier fans aren’t mellow dramatic. Yes, it was a very disappointing performance and outcome but it’s a bit early to leap off the train.
    I have to listen to Illini fans whine about Webber and losing to UIC and Mizzou back to back.

  21. Mature teams play good on the road. It will take most of the season for this young team to learn they have to play harder on the road(neutral site or not).

  22. What if HoosierWynn was your co-worker? Or dad? Or mom? Holy panic, whiny cry-baby, babble Batman. IU loses one game and the hysterics are out.

    For anyone who isn’t reading this with tears in their eyes, there were some positives. Elston looks like he’s starting to get comfortable. The guard play will return to form, but our biggest question mark was getting some production from the front courts sans Watford. He stayed out of foul trouble and got into position for some good buckets.

    Wait, I forgot. Crean can’t coach. Must have been an accident.

  23. Hoosier Clarion and J Pat are the only ones on this board with any semblance of reality. Everyone else is living in a fantasy world. Why should we think we should beat teams like UNI on a consistent basis? We have a slow, short point guard in Hulls. We have a 3 star guard in VJIII, who can’t defend, shoot from the perimeter, or make free throws. We have an injured Mo Creek, who is not an impact player like he once was. We have poor interior post defenders. We are not an overly experienced team. How many of these flaws can CTC hide when we play good teams? The future will improve as our talent base gets better, but we are a very average team now, and anyione who thinks otherwise is drinking the red kool-aid. Oh, wait, it is the holidays, maybe the red egg nog.

  24. IU shot 15% from 3, 64% from the charity stripe. You can’t do that against most any team and win. Period.

    If there is anyone out there who still thinks VJ3 should be the PG over Hulls, you’re kidding yourself! VJ3 is a liability to this team at this point.

  25. Very disappointing loss..This is the type of game they’re going to have to win if they are going to get out of the bottom half of the big 10.
    In defense, they prepared for a team that leads the country in minimum posessions a game on both sides of the ball…not one jacking up 3’s from midcourt- and hitting them!
    This one reminded me of Knight’s last couple of yrs….lay an egg against a team that is clearly less talented.
    Progress is being made, but painfully slow.
    Could be another long yr (short).

  26. eric, thanks for the nice post. I dvr’d the game and got on my wifes nerves rewinding. We had a hand in the face and good d on most all shots last night. The help side d is just awful. What does surprise me about your post is how early in the season you are frustrated. Trust me, if IU loses the rest of their bigger games and Big 10 games…I am right there with you. I might even be there with you after tonight but for people to react like this after last night, I don’t get it! IF and I know what they say about if’s but if Hulls would have been aggressive and Creek acted like he knew what he was doing and Verdel would have kept his head up and arm off…in other words after as well as Wat and Elston played if one guard would have stepped up, we would not even have been talking about this. The positive I took was that was the worst shooting IU has had all season by their guards, worst play by their guards and best games by 2 big guys…when they put it together, watch out!!!

  27. eric, I respectfully disagree…if we had Perea and Zeller last night would have been a picnic because of inside outside play and defense. Add Yogi and Jurkin, wow! Hang in there!!!

  28. I was one of the many people who couldn’t get the game last night, (Someone tell me again the value of the B10 channel)but does anyone know why Sheehey didn’t play last night?

  29. Typical sky is falling Hoosier sports comments on here. Seriously? A team isn’t allowed to have a bad day? I guess none of you has ever had one of those days on the court or at the office, right? Good grief…

  30. “mellow dramatic” from stlbam. that’s priceless. that’s evem better than the sports journalist last week referring to a quarterback’s calm demeanor as meloncholy. not as good as the athlete last year saying he was an “escapegoat” for his team’s loss.

  31. Many people are blind to the fact of what Indiana went through. If you think anything other than the NIT is a realistic goal…you are just kidding yourself. We need a big man….he is on the way. Our time is 2012….so wait and jump on the band wagon then.

  32. BC, this was a tournament that only had 1 Big Ten team in it, and the promoter had a TV deal with CBS College Sports.

    I don’t know why you think the BTN can just override that?

  33. IU’s response tonight will certainly be a telling sign of where the team’s head is. A bounce back victory tonight will probably make me happier than had we won the first game and lost in the championship. Obviously winning both would have been fantastic too, but that ship sailed last night.

    I’m just ready to see how this Hoosier team responds in a quick turn around to a disappointing loss. In an 18 game Big Ten season, just about every team is going to suffer some tough defeats and have to regroup quickly. If IU can recover tonight and post a nice W, things will still pretty much be on track for an decent record and possible NIT bid – which is what a realistic fan would know is the peak of expectations for the year.

  34. Disappointing loss for sure.

    But all the self appointed expert coaches need to lighten up. They worked themselves back into the game and then underperformed in key possessions (Hulls shooting a quick three when the score was tied). They don’t seem to understand when a possession is key and what they need to do (last night – get the ball to Watford!).

    The season isn’t over and they are much improved over last year. Go Hoosiers!!

  35. J Pat–I don’t see how having additional inside defenders would help when the opponent didn’t really try to score inside consistently. The problem was perimeter defense.

    Speedway–having a bad day isn’t the issue, you’re right that everyone has those; it’s consistently having bad days anytime we play anyone decent and get beat. Starts to sound like a mental crutch after a while (and it’s been a while).

    Ben M–I went through the schedule and figured out that I thought IU could go 17-14, 7-11 Big Ten, and make the NIT. But if we play like we did last night, we won’t win more than 3 or 4 Big Ten games. If that happens, the season is a disappointment, as it would represent no progress over last year.

    Double Down–MSU lost to Texas and had won 50-some home non-conf games in a row. I think that’s a little different than losing to UNI. Izzo has also been dominant in the tournament. Obviously this is an apples-oranges comparison,and Izzo can coach.

    In the interest of intellectual moderation, I’ll try to remain hopeful. J Pat is and he’s usually on the money. This is just a very frustrating game to lose when it seems to me that if we had just defended the 3-point line, we could easily have won. They had no answer for Watford and Elston inside. But I’ll try be positive.

  36. Not that I’m getting nostalgic for relentless negativity, but I am wondering if anyone has any idea of 4guards’ whereabouts. Is he alive? Incarcerated? Internet disconnected (seems unlikely, he still could go to the library or something)? Posting elsewhere? He’s just totally disappeared the last couple of weeks.

  37. We need a point guard. One that can defend and penetrate.
    We are going to see this type of guard play for the rest of the season and next year as well. Yogi is not a guaranteed success. And honestly his size concerns me. It’s tough to have a guard oriented offense when your guards play like crap. They are still young and the sky is not falling. Colorado’s length will be another problem for IU tonight. Watch how much motion and energy is wasted by our guards. You cant’t play efficient like that. We are what we are. Lets hope IU can find a rhythm and make themselves harder to guard.
    Its like politics folks, If you vote, you can complain. In this case, if you support IU you can complain too, right? GO HOOSIERS. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL! Hope you all get to enjoy some time off.

  38. Mike P, I didn’t know the promoter had a deal with CBS College Sports. Thanks for the info. Though I’m not sure why a promoter would want a deal with a venue that so few people have access to.

    My reference to the B10 channel has to do with their inability to follow through with their sales pitch. When it was first being touted by Delaney we were told that this would allow fans to see any of the B10 events they wanted to see. We were told it would cost a little more, but the access would be so much greater. Well, there has been greater cost, but we have access to fewer IU BB games. When channel 4 was functioning we saw all the games including the exhibition games.

  39. My question about 4guards’ whereabouts has a line above it saying ‘Your comment is awaiting moderation.’ Huh? I didn’t know anything needed moderation. I thought I was being quite moderate myself actually. I’m just wondering why the guy’s totally disappeared from this board.

  40. I’ll let sleeping dogs lie, gladly; I’m just wondering what it means that my comment was awaiting moderation. I guess if He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is banned, the use of his name perhaps sends up some red flags.

  41. eric, maybe this will help. I had the same awaiting moderation thing and I emailed Dustin. sometimes we get flagged as spam. They are trying to fix the problem. It has happened to me several times also. Take care.

  42. yea, it’s happened to me on several occasions. I don’t think I’ve ever written anything that crossed the line, so I assumed it was a software thing.

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