Some thoughts from IU-MSU DVR watching

Finally got around to watching the DVR of Saturday’s IU-MSU game. (Yeah, I know, but there was a wedding Saturday night and then there was playoff football on Sunday and then there was Wisconsin-Iowa, but I digress.) Not a great big thematic angle, but just some things to add to what has already been discussed.

— Noah Vonleh did not touch the ball on the offensive end of the floor in the last 11 minutes of the floor. In fairness, Indiana only had 18 possessions in that period and Vonleh was only in the game for 13 of them because he subbed out between the 8:18 and 6:21 mark and for the last 1:39 of the game. The Hoosiers scored on seven of the possessions he was in on. They turned the ball over on four others, including twice when other Indiana players were attempting passes to Vonleh. Johnny Marlin’s entry pass didn’t get past his defender and Vonleh couldn’t grab an ally-oop attempt from Yogi Ferrell off a pick-and-roll. Still it underscores the Hoosiers’ failure to get him the ball in the second half. He got just four touches on offense in the entire second frame.

Whose fault is this? Pretty much everybody’s. There were several occasions during the last stretch when Vonleh got at least decent post position. There were times when the Hoosiers could have gotten him the ball, times when they couldn’t, and also times when they simply had better shots. Vonleh was perhaps most active on a possession with 8:54 left in which Will Sheehey knocked down an open 3-pointer. Still, there were several possessions in the first half in which he seemed passive and others in which he simply didn’t demand the ball.

Also, Vonleh had five field goal attempts, not four. One of his misses was credited to Yogi Ferrell in the official stats. So he was really 2-for-5.

— Will Sheehey was as good on Adreian Payne as IU coach Tom Crean said. Payne scored two buckets and they were both jumpers. One was against a 2-3 zone and on another there was a miscommunication on a switch and no one got out in time to contest Payne’s shot. Sheehey had some defensive breakdowns when defending players on the perimeter, but he battled Payne on every possession on the block and also made it difficult for Payne to get anything accomplished on the boards. He didn’t have Payne every possession he was in the game, but he did for most of them and that kept at least one of Michigan State’s big guns from burning the Hoosiers.

— When Gary Harris hit threes, it wasn’t because the Hoosiers weren’t defending him. Three of his five 3-pointers were contested and one of the ones that wasn’t, IU’s Yogi Ferrell fell down when trying to get to him. And of course, all three of his  two-pointers came layups and dunks in transition thanks to his steals. The Hoosiers did, however, lose Keith Appling twice and Travis Trice once. Appling was left alone on a switch once and got an open look another time when Stanford Robinson ran right into a screen. Trice got an open look in a 2-3 zone.

— Stan Robinson was once again Indiana’s best defensive option on Gary Harris, despite the 3-pointer that turned into a five-point play thanks to Robinson’s foul and technical. The foul itself was a bit phantom, the technical was a bit weak, and the 3-pointer wasn’t so much defensible because Harris made an outstanding step-back move.

–Sure seemed like Sheehey sped up a little when he could tell there was an official between him and the ball, didn’t it? And it wasn’t a half-bad form tackle either.


  1. Geez it’s about time you watched the game. In regards to Noah not getting the ball in the post, there are two issues. 1 – with no outside shooters, there is no spacing and defenses clog the passing lanes and collapse on him. 2 – these guys are too young and don’t know how to make proper entry passes into the post (watching Troy try to under hand bounce pass into the post like he’s at the playground is maddening).

    Two solutions: 1 – like in the Illinois game, Noah needs to step out and knock down some outside shots. 2 – if you watch the game again, Gordon had open looks on the outside when he caught passes but didn’t put himself in a position to shoot and instead tried to drive. He needs to be able to catch and shoot.

    I don’t think there is anything profoundly off with this team. Just need more experience against good competition and growing into defined roles.

  2. Anyone that’s ever followed this blog knows that Sheehey is your boy. He is pretty handsome.

    “Sheehey had some defensive breakdowns when defending players on the perimeter”

    That’s about as kind as a supposed objective journalist could put it. The defense was shameful for a player of his experience. The effort was shameful. You really have trouble hiding your favorites, Dusty.

  3. – Noah Vonleh did not touch the ball on the offensive end of the floor in the last 11 minutes of the floor.

    One too many “of the floors”.

  4. Aruss, I love it! When I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about the problems this terribly weak pre-conference schedule was going to be, people jumped all over me on this site! Now basically, you are saying the same thing by declaring “the need of more experience against good competition”. I guess that means a tougher pre-conference schedule would have been highly beneficial!! As I said before, playing better teams makes you better! You can go on and on about schedules being set up years in advance, this is not always true! Teams are added a year at a time quite frequently.

    The IU schedule is traditionally weak in the pre-season from year to year. Now I know they had no idea that they were going to lose the Kentucky game but, that is simply one game. There is NO reason that you couldn’t play a home and home against stronger competition such as for example; Marquette, Kansas St., Tennessee or any number of SEC teams. Kennesaw St., North Florida and some of these other cupcakes are a waste of time and do not prepare us for conference play. Teams that are as young as IU need to learn to play against tough competition in order to prepare for conference play.

    So Aruss, you are correct, more experience against better competition!!

  5. Harvard,
    1. Sheehey despises me and anyone else who owns a tape recorder. I don’t know that he’s a favorite of mine.
    2. Go back and watch the game, watch him against Payne, to whom he’s giving up four inches and 45 pounds.

  6. Mikec – don’t lump me in with Dustin & Hoosier Clarion. They’re the ones that said this team needed to build up their confidence against cup cakes because they’re too young.

    I was more concerned about the women’s non conference schedule being too weak and not being able to get a gauge of how truly good they are.

  7. Aruss, don’t worry about the women’s team, they have a coaching staff that absolutely knows what they are doing! Curt Miller and his staff recruits on the same level as coach Crean. The difference after that is quite dramatic when comparing the two teams. Coach Miller and his staff does a great job of developing players and coach Miller knows how to substitute, which benefits his team greatly! One other thing about the women’s schedule, I have seen every game this year and what may at first appears to be a weak schedule has really prepared these girls for the conference. IUPUI was a terrifically athletic team comparable to any team in the conference as was Xavier and Indiana St. All 3 of those games were on the road in tough atmospheres! The best team IU had played this year up to Iowa was Virginia Tech in the big 10/ACC challenge. Tech was very comparable athletically to any team we will see in the conference.
    As far as the men, I still contend you get better by playing better teams!

  8. I got this really cool crystal ball for Christmas. It says that IU will only lose 3 at home MSU, WI and OSU = 6-3; IU will win 4 on the road PSU, NE, MN, and NW = 4-5; for a 10-8 B1G record. It also said that there were 3 additional possible wins- @Purdue, OSU at home, and @ MI. The lineup and rotation pattern for this 10-6 run after an 0-2 start will be Noah and Devin as Bigs; Will; and Yogi and Stan as guards; with Jeremy and Hanner as the Big Subs; Troy for Will; and Evan at guard. These will be intentional, calculated subs, not the random pattern so far this year. Noah will come out after 2 fouls in the first half, but then just play until he gets his 5th whenever to get more touches and a rhythm. Devin will not come out for fouls, he will learn or be DQ by fouls. Troy will come out the second he does not put out great effort on D or when he decides to go 1 on 5 without his teammates on O. Evan must be ready to shoot! Hanner gets 15 min plus/game, give him a real chance, but no dribbling, just turn and shoot. Jeremy needs to want to become great not just good, that means tough, strong, high-motor, all the time. If none of this happens just remember that it was only a $4.99 stocking stuffer and it made me feel good for about 15 minutes!

Comments are closed.