Hoosier Scoop Sage Take of the Day, Nov. 14, 2012

After a couple of long days at work, I spent some of the past two evenings getting in touch with my inner Hoosier via watching some prime college hoops.
Monday, I watched Jeremy Hollowell deliver 14 points and a slew of heady plays on both ends in helping Indiana cruise past North Dakota State. Fellow IU freshman Yogi Ferrell wasn’t as sharp as he was in the opening win over Bryant, but if Ferrell is sometimes a tad inconsistent with his decision-making and shooting, he’s a guy who is going to have a lot more great games than mediocre ones.
Then I got back from Assembly Hall in time to see Glenn Robinson III hit all six shots he took from the field while scoring 16 first-half points for Michigan in its win over IUPUI. Robinson finished with 21.
Upon getting home from the office Tuesday night, I fired up the dvr and watched Michigan State nip Kansas in a terrific early-season matchup, with Gary Harris shining while supplying 18 points and combining with backcourt partner Keith Appling in keying the Spartan success after halftime.
And it struck me that 2012 Indiana Mr. Basketball Harris, Ferrell, Hollowell and Robinson were all playing together last June as Indiana High School All-Star teammates in posting yet another sweep over Kentucky.
That absolutely loaded All-Star squad also featured other future Big Ten players in Ronnie Johnson (Purdue) and Patrick Ingram (Iowa) in addition to standouts heading elsewhere such as Kellen Dunham (Butler), Austin Burgett (Notre Dame), D.J. Ballentine (Evansville), DeJuan Marerro (DePaul), Nick Osborne (Loyola) and R.J. Hunter (playing for his dad now at Georgia Southern). Not to mention erstwhile IU recruit Ron Patterson, now committed to Syracuse.
So deep was the graduating class of 2012 that Indiana All-Star game director Gary Hall opined that he probably could have named a whole other 13-man honor squad and have still been competitive with Kentucky. And that doesn’t even count former Hoosier players who went to non-IHSAA-member prep schools and therefore were ineligible for selection: Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Indiana), Mitch McGary (Michigan), D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Georgetown), A.J. Hammons (Purdue), etc.
Even by lofty Hoosier historical standards, that was a great class.
And that was just part of a longer, waxing in-state talent cycle over the past few years. DeShaun Thomas, the 2010 Mr. Basketball, is Ohio State’s leader and a potential All-American and National Player of the Year candidate. So is Cody Zeller, the 2011 Mr. Basketball. Branden Dawson, who contested Zeller in the 2010 Class 3A state title game, was part of a superb 2011 All-Star team (and joined with Harris to provide Michigan State a combined 30 points against Kansas.) And so on and so forth.
What blessed Hoosiers are we to be alive in such times.


  1. Agree, Gary Harris was most more aggressive last nite vs Kansas and did not defer like he had in Germany. I am looking forward to the continued development of Jeremy and a bounceback of Yogi.

  2. Marques Teague(NBA), Justin Spencer(Xavier), Jeremiah Davis(Cinci) are part of this era too… And if Michael Chandler ever gets his act together…

  3. My first game analysis of the season:

    IU’s Defensive Effort Thus Far…

    After reading a couple people’s concerns about IU’s defense and still not seeing the ability to get stops (or prevent entry passes or 3’s), I decided to focus my attention on each defensive possession of the Hoosiers in the ND State game.

    Before I go into that game, I’ll breifly touch on the Bryant game. IU was dominant defensively in that game. They held them to 51 points on 31% FG, 14% 3-pt FG, and collected 35 defensive rebounds. Bryant was absolutely smothered… so if you walked away from that game thinking “boy I really don’t know if IU will be able to get it done on the defensive end this year” then I don’t know what to say. Of course, they also weren’t a great test… so no one should come away thinking the problems have all been solved either.

    ND State is a little better test however. They won 17 games and went to the CBI last year, where they lost by 3 points to a 21-win Wyoming team. They also beat Fresno State last year, and lost to Arizona State and Minnesota by 4 and 3 points respectively… NDST returns it’s top 5 scorers from that team. The vegas line on the game was 20 points (not 40). This was actually a game to pay attention to – so I did.

    I count possessions slightly different than Pomeroy… I consider an offensive rebound that isn’t immediately put back up a new possession. I recorded the activity of 70 defensive possessions for IU, and broke it up into 10 minute segments.

    1st 10:
    IU held NDST scoreless throught the first 8 possessions. During that span, which was over 4 minutes, IU had only 1 poor defensive effort – giving up a wide open 3 on poor communication in transition on the 3rd possession, but it was missed. During the first 10 minutes they only had 3 poor defensive possessions out of 18 total, and gave up 11 points. NDST made 5 shots, only one of which was an open look. Another was a put back, 2 were contested, and 1 was a heavily contested 3-pointer. Defensively IU directly created 3 turnovers, an airball, and 2 bad shots with their pressure.

    2nd 10:
    IU gives up 18 points on 16 possessions. Part of this is because fouls start to add up a bit and NDST ends up in the bonus. I only counted 1 poor defensive effort in this stretch, which resulted in a miss. 2 buckets were a direct result of late rotations in the full court press. Of the 5 made shots 1 was a highly contested 3-ptr, and 2 were fade-away 19 footers with a hand in the face, including the one at the half time buzzer. During this stretch IU created 2 turnovers, forced 2 terrible shots, and forced 1 timeout with their pressure. Their aggression also led to 7 FT attempts.

    3rd 10:
    It took IU a couple minutes to get its energy back and had 3 bad defensive possessions of the first 5, resulting in 6 quick points off 2 lay-ups and an open jumper. They also dodged a bullet when a loose ball scramble ended with a wide open 3 pointer that was missed. Then they caught their stride a little. IU gave up 16 points in this 10 minute stretch – and only one made shot was contested, another ridiculous 3-ptr with a hand right in his face. IU did however create 5 more TO’s with pressure, including 2 steals and 2 blocked shots that ended in transition points. This was their most inconsistent quarter by far.

    4th 10:
    IU again gives up 16 points, but only had 3 poor defensive efforts. They also transitioned into a 2-3 zone for a couple possessions in the middle of this period with mixed results. Overall NDST made 6 shots, and for the most part they came on average or poor efforts by IU. One 3-ptr was a 25 footer made by a non-shooter, and another was off a loose ball scramble in transition, so those you can live with. IU did create 6 TO’s, including 3 steals and a block that was recovered. They also forced 3 really bad shots, 2 of which were airballs.

    The game stats will tell you that NDST shot 41%, turned it over 16 times, and only got 7 offensive rebounds. Those are all numbers in IU’s favor, but they don’t tell the whole story. From my (obviously subjective) viewpoint, the Hoosiers had only 13 bad defensive possessions… out of 70… that’s 18%. They pressed roughly 75% of the game, but only gave up 7 points as a direct result. My notes show that NDST had only 3 transition opportunities, which means IU was doing a great job getting back when they missed shots or turned it over. And another subjective stat… I marked down IU as having 27 defensive possessions where they were above-average – meaning their pressure directly created a turnover, or a terrible shot, or a time-out, or they had multiple deflections that obviously disrupted the offense, or in some instances a highly contested shot that was made. That means they had 13 bad possessions (18%), 30 average possessions (43%), and 27 above-average possessions (39%)… obviously we could give or take a couple there in each, but the trend shows a very solid defensive effort. One other stat I kept track of was contested shots… IU contested 28 of the Bison’s 56 shots – exactly half, which I consider to be very good. Two things which I wish I would have kept track of, but certainly noticed throughout the game, were
    1) # of times we ran a 3 point shooter off his shot
    2) # of times we closed off a driving lane with early help
    It was very obvious that the Hoosiers were doing a good job in both areas – there were clear failures on a few occasions, but overall they did those two things very well.

    OK… time for the haters and detractors to rip me apart and call me a nerdy accountant. Have at it.

    My conclusion is, after watching each defensive possession very carefully, that IU has been an above-average defensive team to this point. This is a different roster than last year, and it will only improve defensively with the additions of Perea, Jurkin, and Elston down the line.

  4. Just let me say it first. Jordan Hulls has been much better on defense in these 2 games.
    He had several stops and he played help defense when Cody was one on one down low.
    His offense has done well also with less turnovers. He has 9 assists and just 1 TO. While
    Yogi has 10 assists but 6 TO’s. Part of his turnovers are because guys are not ready to catch the great passes. He is going to be great and he has played great defense also. Hulls was bad mouthed greatly last year and some rightfully so but when he does good we should say so. It goes both ways. VO has 6 TO also but 7 steals to
    make up for it. His ball handling and 3 pt shooting still need work.

  5. Goeff, first, I think Elton is, and Perea and Jurkin have the potential to be, defensive stoppers. I’m thinking Jurkin may never be an offensive threat but, at the high end of potential, could be a frighteningly effective shot blocker.

    Second, I think NDST is a good team. They are easily dismissed because of the geographical implications but they are gonna win a lot of games this year.

    Next, the eyeball test. I was surprised at how low their 3-pt shooting percentage was. I was thinking, “These guys are killing from 3 pt land.” But it was just because that was the only place they could score from.

    For me, it’s just a changing perspective. I watched that game thinking that the Hoosiers should be able to stop them on every possession, and they almost could. That’s a good thing. A very good thing.

    I’ve always been a fan of Rick Pitino’s total havoc full court press. I’ve never seen a CTC team try it but he has never had the personnel to give it a go. He does now, especially with a fleet footed big man. Maybe with a lesser caliber team?

    Nice analysis, Geoff. There’s really nothing to argue with. You’re just presenting data.

    I appreciate it and look forward to the upcoming season and your analysis.

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