IU’s losing streak reaches six

EVANSTON, Ill. — Indiana fell behind by as many as 24 points after a miserable first half and fell 93-81 to Northwestern, continuing its six-game losing streak and remaining winless in the Big Ten.

Northwestern junior forward John Shurna scored 24 points to lead the Wildcats, and needed just nine field goal attempts to do so. Center Luka Mirkovic had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Michael Thompson had 16 points and eight assists and freshman guard JerShon Cobb added 11 points.

The Wildcats knocked down 10 of 20 3-point attempts and killed the Hoosiers on backdoor cuts in the Princeton offense, shooting 49.1 percent from the field.

The Hoosiers fell behind 40-28 in the first half and didn’t get back within double digits until the final minutes.

“We did not play disciplined at all, especially on the weakside,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “We don’t practice that way. We guard this every day, in the sense of you can’t get so enamored with the personnel that you forget that the system is what beats you. Our issues were that we just weren’t off enough, and we didn’t get enough ball pressure. Then we just started hanging our heads. And we played extremely immature in the first half. Extremely immature. In the second half, we started to come back and we played desperate. We don’t understand that we have got to play that way in the first half.”

IU sophomore forward Christian Watford led the team in scoring with 17 points to go with seven rebounds, but it was a misleading line. He scored eight points in the final 3:11 and was 3-for-10 up until that point including 0-for-6 in the first half.

“He didn’t play hard enough,” Crean said. “He didn’t play hard enough. It’s an energy game.”

Freshman guard Victor Olaipo had 13 points, sophomore guard Jordan Hulls had 12. Junior guard Verdell Jones had 10 points and nine assists, but his line was also misleading. he finished 3-for-13 from the field.

AUDIO: Tom Crean


  1. Just wondering if you guys think anyone may transfer/ask to leave at the rate things are going in conference play? Obv there are guys IU wants to bring in but doesn’t have the room (PG and another quality low post big), does it look like it could happen?

  2. Watford is becoming a liability on the defensive end. I’m glad that Coach Crean saw what everyone else did and called him out. Wat just didn’t have any energy. It was interesting to see his +/- stats from StatSheet.com. They plummet once Big Ten play begins. Of course this is a trend of IU losing most of it’s Big Ten games and I’m sure everyone else’s +/- rating goes down as well.

    That and the offense continues to run through a Verdell Jones dribble drive. Assists per game 3.3, turnovers per game 3.8. Yikes.

    I agree with the Scoop crew on the offensive assessment. Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is going to lead to many more games that end up in the loss column.
    When you have the personnel to run the dribble drive it works. IU doesn’t right now.

    Also it’s frustrating to see things Coach Crean preached as the foundations of IU this past summer not becoming a reality. Defense, Rebounding and Toughness. Our leading rebounder is 22nd in the conference and falling.

    Pomeroy has our record looking like 13-18 overall and 4-14 in the Big Ten. 4 Big Ten wins would be nice.

    End of the gripe session.


  3. Incompetent players playing for an incompetent coach will lose all Big 10 games. Most of our players should not be playing Big 10 ball. Very much a mismatch against all Big 10 teams in talent category. Can’t wait till the next few seasons to see how the incompetent coach screws up with talented players.

  4. was it hugh that asked about changing offenses? coach loved that question. so hugh, gonna draw something up?

  5. to all the people who continue to say “just wait until he gets the players” they need to wake up and realize what they are saying is “Crean isn’t a good basketball coach.” IU is 9-8, 3 of their losses have come to legit teams(Kentucky, OSU, Minny) so we’ll give them a pass on those 3. But the other 5 have come against New Mexico, PSU, NW, BC and Northern Iowa. You do not need to have ‘top level talent’ to beat those 5 schools, just ask Yale, Rhode Island, Harvard, Southern Illinois, Missouri State, Iowa, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Maine, and Michigan. All of those schools beat at least 1 of the above mentioned 5 schools who IU lost to. Should IU be 14-3? No, I’m not that unreasonable. But should IU be 0-5 against the above 5 mentioned teams? Absolutely not. In fact at 9-8 the Hoosiers have literally beaten no one. Wright State is the only even remotely respectable win they’ve had. The other 8 wins are against opponents so comical it’d be embarrassing to type their school names. Crean is not a good coach, there really isn’t anything else to say, in order to fully understand that you have to watch all of his games, he does nothing with adjustments, play sets or subbing patterns to positively affect a game. Even his coaching style of pacing the sidelines clapping clapping clapping has started to rub players the wrong way, the guys who have been with him the longest have started to tune him out completely, he’s just white noise. Anyway with that said it just isn’t there for IU right now, the effort and teamwork from the players they clearly don’t ‘believe’ and it shows. If Crean gets 3-4 top notch guys and they start to win I think IU bball will be ok, but that doesn’t make Crean a great coach, that will just mean he’s a good recruiter. As a fan of the sport of basketball I am a little bummed that the coach I have to try and root for probably wouldn’t even be the best basketball coach in a handful of counties in Indiana High school basketball, let alone among the Big Ten.

  6. WOW! just heard the audio…haha Hugh is THE MAN! That absolutely ranks Hugh as the best and gutsiest guy to ask Crean a question in a long time. Hugh if you follow through with it and send him some plays of motion, pick and roll, pick and pop, or flex style sets you would go down as a legend among Indiana faithful all across the state of Indiana….that made my day Hugh.

  7. Once again… Bobby would have been ejected because of the poor referreing tonight. You can’t just be a cheerleader on the sideline. It is hard to watch, but I still believe. I don’t agree with Creans subbing style. Pick your top 5 and ride them… You should know by now…

  8. Interesting how the themes on the board are becoming very similar to those expressed during football season…

  9. Agree with Fab5. Guts! Toughest question to ask because in Crean’s eyes it’s an automatic insult. Cojones Mr. Kellenberger! You’d almost have to preface the question with two themes. One it would have start with a long apology citing a lack of experience as a head coach and two would have to praise Crean’s coaching knowledge perhaps citing an adjustment in his offense he made at Marquette?

    Regardless, it made for some good audio. Reminded me of Laurence Frank of the Score 670 here in Chicago asking Lovie Smith about doing something different than the Cover 2. Lovie gave him a similar answer. Have a drink on me.


  10. Fab5, Please tell me what the score was and also provide a link of the stat sheet of our loss to New Mexico this year. Thank you in advance.

  11. I’ll briefly emerge from my declared disconnect from this season to say that before the game I thought,’We might have the talent to beat them, but we’ll have no idea what to do with the back-door cut.’ Bingo. Not that I’m a basketball coach, but some things are up there with the sun rising in the East in terms of predictability. There’s no reason why college players with any appreciable experience shouldn’t more readily recognize something so basic.

    I too want to see with upgraded talent levels the next two years, but I agree that you still have to do something with that talent. Actually I’ll just cite Fab5’s lengthy comment above and say ‘I agree without exception.’

  12. Really didn’t think at the beginning of the season that we would look this bad. It’s just another season of watching us run a horrible offense and making nonsense substitutions. The list could go on. I remember how Davis used to say help was on the way. Well help better be on the way for Crean. He’s gonna have a “top 10” class that will be juniors and ZELLER so next year we’re going to the big dance right?

  13. I said it last year and early this year (got banned from PEEGS)–CTC is “all hat and no cattle”. I don’t care who the recruits are, CTC never will be confused with a good game coach. We gave up 53 points to NW and he acts like we improved in the 2nd half. I also posted on PEEGS that he was at the bottom 2 of coaches in the Big 10– I was wrong- he’s the worst. Dakich called him a “fraud” a couple years ago in a comment to a bar patron. Maybe he was spot on.

  14. It was frustrating to watch the team stand around the perimeter on offense in the first half, each player waiting for someone else to make a move. Watch Northwestern on offense–all five players are constantly moving on offense.
    If you looked closely, you saw that just about every time IU brought the ball down the court, the point man looked back at the bench. I would think that they have been playing together long enough that they do not have to look to the bench to call every play.
    It was good to see them come alive a bit in the second half.
    We have some good three-point shooters, but they seemed to be under wraps until late in the game.

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