Indiana outlasts St. John’s 83-73

LAHAINA, Hawaii — It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.

Despite 16 turnovers and general sloppiness, Indiana returned from a problematic tournament-opening loss to beat St. John’s 83-73 on Tuesday in its second game at the Maui Invitational.

The Hoosiers never trailed Tuesday and led by as many as 17 points late in the first half. But a maddening level of inconsistency and a lack of ball security allowed the Johnnies to hang around.

After trailing 42-31 at halftime, a strong St. John’s start out of the break got the Johnnies within four points. But that’s as close as Chris Mullins’ team would get, connecting on two field goals over their next eight attempts from the field after cutting it to a two-possession game. Indiana failed to provide itself a comfortable margin of victory, but created just enough separation to outlast St. John’s and secure a matchup with the winner between UNLV and Chaminade on Wednesday at noon.

Yogi Ferrell led all scorers with 22 points.

Indiana did not make the trip to Hawaii with any intention of playing St. John’s, a team that lost an exhibition at home to a Division II school earlier this month.

Maui was supposed to be Indiana’s stage to announce itself as a national contender. Instead, the Hoosiers are paying for the sin of losing Monday’s opener against Wake Forest. As it was made clear throughout Tuesday’s contest, Indiana may not see a single NCAA Tournament team during its stay on the island — another sobering reminder of the consequences to losing to the Demon Deacons.

Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr. were relegated to the bench Tuesday for their poor play against Wake Forest. Blackmon was Indiana’s first sub, coming off the bench at the 14:17 mark of the first half. Williams followed two minutes later and, on his first trip down the floor, hit a 3-pointer that gave the Hoosiers a 19-8 advantage midway through the period.

Blackmon finished with 12 points and Williams added seven.

Indiana got back to feeding the post against St. John’s, and freshman center Thomas Bryant bounced back from a rough game with 15 of his eventual 19 points in the first half.

But Indiana’s hope for a big response was somewhat muted but its turnovers and the 25 points St. Johns scored off of them.

This story will be updated.


  1. If there is such a thing as a bad win, this was it. With Crean “sending a message” by not starting Williams and Blackmon, IU should have beaten a terrible team by 30 points. They did not. Their offense is haphazard and inconsistent, but their lack of defense is mind boggling. I don’t know if is schemes or poor coaching or lack of talent, but it is abysmal. Crean does not recruit athletic/ skilled defensive players, those that make rebounding a priority and it shows. In fact it is embarrassing. Tomorrow, IU will play a quality opponent, and that game should foreshadow how the rest of the season should go.

  2. NBA guy in Maui on Indiana: “They do play hard on defense. Just not well. Not sound on ball, crap rotations, not a single stopper in group.”

    @JeffGoodman Twitter

  3. For what its worth, KenPom has St. Johns at #175 and IU at #18. Bet a major change in numbers coming.

    Remember an IU game couple of years ago with Len Elmore as the TV mouthpiece? Walton may have been worse. Both rated mute button activation.

  4. I don’t know if there is a ” scheme “. It looks like Crean just rolls the ball out there and says ” run with it boys “. On defense it looks like IU expends as little energy as possible so they can get the ball back and run some more.

  5. I spent my money going to Maui to support my school’s team and this is what I got in return? I don’t blame the players….I BLAME THOSE WHO COACH THE PLAYERS! I can’t (won’t) continue to support a program who can’t coach offense and defense. My support ends until Crean is replaced. Actually….until Crean and Glass are replaced.

  6. Time for the President of the University to make an appearance at Glass’s office.Send a message and GIVE a message to Glass.

  7. Wow—-we managed to beat a team by TEN that previously lost to a D-3 team by about a ton and a half….and last night lost to an ACTUAL top-25 team (as in —-NOT Indiana!!!) by almost 40—–whoda thunk THAT could ever happen??!!??
    Another superlative “Creaning”—–good god….how much more of this do we have to put up with????

    What’s next? CTC yammering on for hours about the “great victory” over Chamanide???? Yikes!!!!
    Hey—L.S.U. boosters with LOTS of spare bucks——pllllllease help us poor Hoosiers…throw a few million $$$ our direction, so we can send CTC to his undeserved retirement…living next to Les Miles….and I promise we will help YOU find a FB coach who can do better than 10-3——-wait…we would DIE for 10-3 in Bloomington!!!!
    Talk about perspective!?!?

  8. Dear Crean, you’re welcome… any time you need more coaching advice just hit me up on the Scoop… What was it I said yesterday? less Troy, more Rob and Nick… what happens? he benches that bum and starts the other 2, we get off to a fast start and protect the lead the rest of the way.

    Here’s your next tip… still less Troy… Don’t just feed TB for a half… mandate touches every time we end up in the half court offense. Don’t sit him for the 6 consecutive minutes in close games down the stretch. You’re welcome.

  9. too much play as individuals, personal goals ahead of team sucess. Do you think any of these players with their it’s for me attitude could be on a Coach Knight coached team?

  10. totally disagree ‘I u south’, at least as it pertains to yesterdays game… 19 assists on 30 FGs and the most consistent and effective effort to get the ball into the post I’ve ever seen from a Crean coached team.

  11. Geoff, are you old enough to have seen in person, at Assembly Hall I U team coached by Coach Knight play? As to yesterday, what was the level of the Competition . Go to Yahoo Sports and see Troy Williams mother’s comments, on Troy being benched.

  12. yes, I’m 40. The problem isn’t the players, it’s the coach number 1, and the way AAU has changed the game number 2… Everyone except Troy, who has a basketball IQ of 16 could play for Knight.

    I will go immediately and look for those comments. I can’t wait…

  13. That’s pretty funny…. wouldn’t hurt my feelings if he left. It’s totally understandable that she thinks her son is amazing and gets upset when he gets benched, but what is unforgivable is that Walton, who supposedly “knows” basketball, gets transfixed by him and is bewildered by his benching. How anyone can watch Troy and not cringe or close their eyes everytime he attempts to dribble or pass is beyond me.

  14. You don’t get a “next game” to fix it in March. And that’s always been the elephant in the room with Tom Crean. The next game contains the fixes that should have been employed during the last debacle.
    But the next opponent is always a different animal…and preparation happens in practice.
    But what occurs for Crean when those things practiced don’t present themselves in the nejxt game and adjustments and strategy changes need to be made in the moment? Can he call Geoff on the spot?

    The tough thing about any coach at IU is that they will always be compared against the gold standard. I think most of us understood that Knight just didn’t pre-plan and post-plan. You always had a sense you were watching a coach that saw things where others see a blur. His substitutions and adjustments were based on those experiments instantly processed in his mind. He conveyed the mastery and his players believed in the blueprints as a guide to victory. Confidence does not emanate from a Crean-coached team…There’s just blank stares when things go wrong. There’s no accountability and no chance for leadership because there is an absence in true conviction moving instantaneously from eyes of the coach to hearts of the players. Basically, his players learn a horrible and hard lesson. The longer they stay at IU, the less their ass-busting meets belief.

    Even if Goeff could text the in-game messages to Crean, it simply wouldn’t matter. The kids know…

    During the NCAA tournament last year, there was a blogger on Scoop that made a simple observation that gets to the root of belief. Paraphrasing, this Scoop regular said that “the Hoosiers just don’t look like they want to be there….They just don’t look like they’re having any fun.” Translated: They are beyond tight. Why are they tight? If you’ve put in the work and you believe in your coaches designs(including the many adjustments and observations during a game), then why on earth should all the weight of the world be on your shoulders in, seemingly, every possession of every game? It’s almost as if there is the dark and buried secret that they all must endure. What is that secret? There’s a great sense of pride in knowing you are being taught things that will increase your chances of team goals. That pride enters into a team long before the ball is presented at tip-off. I sometimes get this sense that learning Chapter 17 before they’ve even covered Chapter 3. They are in a 300 level class of basketball and they never were taught the prerequisite material in the level 100 courses that needed to be the foundation of confidence, pride, and belief. If you don’t have that proper foundation, you begin to see your opponent as the student that can see through your secret. You skipped some prerequisites and we’ve got your number.

    Are kids are plenty intelligent. They work plenty hard. But they are handcuffed because what is expected out of their talent never followed in the heart of belief. Fun is not found on the court in the clapping of your coach. The fun roots inside the quiet backbone and the confidence that those candy stripes represent everything that college sports is lacking. Belief in more than your own talent is where the fun begins.

  15. Wow Harv, bottle it buddy… I think you found some elixir in your coffee this morning that you need to hold on to… looking forward to the next post (!?)

  16. Geoff, I am 72 years old and I saw the Knight’s teams of the 1970’s and they were special and Assembly Hall may have to wait many years for that level of basketball to return. I wouldn’t single out Troy, there ‘s more, that wouldn’t fit KNIGHT’S SYSTEM OF TEAM PLAY. Their mental awareness of the game is where they would fail . Look at Monday’s game, no thought of managing the clock, the clock is your friend when you are ahead and have possession of the ball. Shooting, ill timed three point shoots early in the shot clock, if course no player ever shoots the ball thinking he will miss. Also, as the coach having to call two timeouts for an last second play, shows me a coach in a panic mode and doesn’t know what to do. Its a combination for both players and the coach to figure out. None of us on this blog is being paid a huge salary, with a team of assistants, video, and excellent facilities to practice to make the decisions on I U basketball . We all are a bunch of I U Fans wanting for the return of the real I U Basketball.

  17. I guess that’s why I cherish those candy stripes. I guess that’s why I had a problem with them being slapped on our football helmets like morning toothpaste. Our candy stripes used to be able to see through Bill Walton’s gibberish. Now be buy into his nonsense in the same denial a day at the carnival replaces the decades of work and teaching that glowed from those crimson and cream stripes. And somehow I always believed that glow was special, not just because of Bob Knight, but because of something collectively flowing through our Hoosier blood. Belief in more than your own talent is where the fun begins…..

    And Mr. Walton, you would have had very little fun in college without that fabulous Indiana teacher that instilled conviction in your heart. And now you simply slobber at talent like the rest of the fools because you want those truly special moments that built brotherhood and fun kept locked up for a Bruin.

  18. And when someone comes into our house and says, “Because it’s Indiana,”….GOD BLESS IT, they better sure as hell have more in their repertoire than merely knowing our history and our love for the game to enter the classroom of McCracken. How dare you defecate on those stripes and yell of 19 F’s …and bamboozle us. Tell us how beautiful we are while hijacking the glow that made the place so unique.

  19. And to conclude…..Talent is always unequal…The equalizer that builds a truly special team/classroom is somehow channeling and digging a way through all those many discrepancies and various gifts and making them meaningless in the moment of what is achieved together.. That’s where you’ll rediscover the candy stripes. And you’ll know it when you see it. The belief will nearly make the yelling of a tyrant, somehow, internally satisfying and fun.
    You’ll possess the secret while the rest watch with envy the shedding of your individual greatness to find a basketball utopia where five become one. .

  20. I U South.. I’m 65 y/o and I also remember Knight-coached teams. Yogi would have a difficult time playing for Knight. I saw him ( on that Crawford drive) reach and wave an arm at him as he went past. IF Knight had been coaching he would have YANKED yogi off the court. I observe that when the TEAM stands around…Yogi STANDS at top of key waiting for the ball to come back; he never cuts thru the lane. Even if it isn’t to receive a pass at least to get others to move as well off their stationary podiums. 3 seasons ago the turnover rate was the topic of concern ….here we are with average 14 T.O.’s a game, with a Sr. PG; 2 Soph guards being groomed to replace him, 2 Jr wingmen( Hartman and Williams ) and 2 5yr transfers that have enough BBall experience to NOT be counted as inexperienced. The turnovers have never dropped . Last Year it was defense and in a year’s time with all the returning players the Defense is no better NOW than at start of LAST year!!! What the CREAN did you Teach or work on Over the summer because by evidence it wasn’t Defense which was SUPPOSEDLY a priority. H4H and IU South: both of you make excellent points. One final note: It just came to me Ive never heard talk change so fast than I did from ESPN Analysts Jay Williams and Seth Green from BEFORE the IU/WAKE game then After . What they INTERPRETED on Paper is and was not translating to the court. They Both (from paper) counted IU as potential final four team. After they were shocked by the TERRIBLE defense and hunted for KIND words to say about “effort”…Take Note Crean ..Even the sports people are starting to feel you’re on the HOT SEAT

  21. why do you guys take those habits as player-related? The fact that Yogi reaches instead of sliding his feet and taking a charge, or that Rob doesn’t fight over a weak ball screen to prevent the previous drive are coaching-related issues.

    Granted all these guys, witht he possible exceptions of Bryant and Hartman, would struggle playing for Knight if you dropped them onto one of his teams today, but if these guys started with Knight from day one it would be a whole different story. You honestly don’t think Yogi would excel under Knight? I think that’s ridiculous… He’s quick, has the potential to defend, was a winner in HS and AAU… It’s just a whole different story if he has Knight, or Stevens, or K, or Izzo, or Bennett from the first day he sets foot on a college campus.

    Rob Johnson understands how to play basketball. Nick understands how to play basketball. Max understands how to play basketball. Colin understands how to play ball… I get the feeling that Bryant loves to be coached and would eat up playing for a guy like Knight. The only 2 that I feel don’t quite get it are JBJ and (definitely) Williams.

    The issue isn’t the players, for the most part, it’s Crean.

  22. Geoff, I don’t know if any of the current players could handle the strict demands of Coach Knight and his tough love he had for his players. Go, ask Landon Turner what he thinks about the question, if the current players could handle being coached by Coach Knight.

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