Northwestern turns away Indiana, 72-65 #iubb

EVANSTON, Ill. — Indiana waited until the penultimate week of the regular season to post its worst loss of the season.

What could have been a chance to keep pace for an optimal spot in both the conference and NCAA tournaments was hijacked by an empty second half and missed shots from the field and the free throw line in a 72-65 loss to Northwestern on Wednesday at Welsh-Ryan.

Not even a pro-IU crowd — nor a fine start against the Wildcats’ zone — could will the Hoosiers to victory against a Northwestern team that has now won four in a row for the first time in 48 years, but owns a No. 125 ranking in the RPI.

Troy Williams scored 21 points and added 14 rebounds for Indiana, which returns to action on Tuesday at home against Iowa.

After heading into the locker room tied at 40-40, Indiana scored only eight points in the first 16 minutes of the second half. Northwestern led by as many as 14 points with five minutes left to play, holding an advantage that was built by nine consecutive points by Tre Demps, who scored a game-high 23 points for the Wildcats.

The Hoosiers went 10 minutes without a point, an ominous stretch that was bookended by baskets from Williams.

And yet Northwestern’s 2-3 zone held few answers for stifling Indiana’s shooting through the first 20 minutes. The Hoosiers shifted and passed through the zone with patience and ease, finishing the first half with nine. Indiana shot 64 percent from beyond the arc in the opening half, but hit only three 3s in the final half. Zeisloft finished with four of those over the span of his first 12 minutes on the floor.

Sophomore forward Collin Hartman did not dress, missing his first game of the season with a bruised lower left leg.

This story will be updated.

37 comments

  1. Well, aside from going scoreless for 10 minutes…and only scoring 8 points over the previous 8 minutes going back to the horrible close out of the first half… I thought that went pretty well. For 22 minutes of the game we played exceptionally not awful.

  2. Outplayed and out coached , resulting in a terrible loss to an extremely mediocre team. For those of you thinking Perea is the answer and that Crean is the answer, please think again. You simply cannot lose to a bad Northwestern team this late in the season. When Blackmon and Johnson have bad shooting games, IU fails. With inside play, they would have other options, however this team does not. Of course they allowed another team to shoot 50% from the field against them which seems to happen every game. Once again, no deterrent in the middle. Frustrating for IU fans, as they know each game is a challenge, totally dependent on making 3’s for a win. A very challenging way to play consistent basketball.

  3. Miller nailed it. This “effort” eclipses anything this team has done. Gutless. Weak-willed. Panicked. Scared. Call it what you will, but this was incredibly bad and stunningly inept. NW played and coached circles around IU. The sooner we fans are put out of our misery for yet another year, the better.

  4. Bad outcome due to a bad 2nd half effort. I still don’t see “any” offense against a zone except one that a middle school team would run (pass around the perimeter…pass inside…pass outside…shoot). However, at least against Northwestern’s talent, IU’s pressure defense when they needed it was impressive. NW couldn’t do much to get the ball in, up the floor, or run it’s offense when IU was serious about playing defense. NW isn’t MSU so maybe if IU does that against a ‘good’ team they get ‘burned’ but they gave NW “Hell” in that last 4 minutes. Of course, NW made its Free Throws and broke that “Hell” a couple of times so that was the end of the story. IU has better talent in every area and still lost.

  5. Punjab, well, we looked fine offensively in the first half, but defensively, we were pretty bad. NW shot 52% in the 1st half and beat us up on the glass 19 – 14. Only 6 of our boards were on the defensive end vs 11 of their’s.

    The 188th ranked FG% team should not converting over 50% of their shots against you.

  6. Well folks, Tommy still hasn’t figured out the zone. Like Punjab said, if we can’t hit threes, we’re done. Speaking of done, I don’t believe we will win our remaining home games. We choked today and I suspect we’ll choke against Iowa and Michigan State. I would prefer we lose our first game in the big ten tourniment and not make the big dance. We will just embarrass ourselves and be bounced the first game. We may be better plaing in the NIT where we might win a game. With Tommy coaching, that’s about all we can hope for. This team hasn’t gotten any better on defense all season, there’s no reason to think we could beat another NCAA tourniment team when we can’t beat a team from the bottom of the big ten.

  7. 16 Big Ten road wins in seven years (including the 7 from the 12-13 team), just doesn’t cut it any way you look at it. Throw out the outliers (first year and 12-13) and it is 9 Big Ten road wins in 7 years!

    Just frustrating to watch the highs and lows of this team. Similar to 11-12 when they had a rough Big Ten season. One can only hope they swing back to the other side for these last two home games and into post season play (fingers crossed for NCAA tourney a little bit more now).

    PB

  8. Get use to it. CTC’s teams in the past 3 years have done nothing BUT wilt down the stretch. What starts out with excitement and hope by the midseason changes to hopelessness and confusion. While other teams and programs advance and grow during the season; Crean’s teams the past 3 years shrink and wilt demonstrating they haven’t learned a thing thru the season. Defense has done an Elvis(left the building). On offense (since the other coaches and teams are learning and growing) IU’s offense shows more and more confusion and chaotic play as the end of season grows near. Just think…the same next year since CTC cant recruit a quality big man.

  9. I believe IU has lost 8 out of 12 to Northwestern under Crean. Think about what IU playing NW used to be before he got here and then wrap that around you head for a bit….

  10. When we’re trying to play catch-up ball, can we please stop with the rolling the ball halfway down the court after the opposition makes a bucket …? Note: This is not clock conservation. Why? Because it makes no sense to have Yogi go as long as possible in hopes to prevent those precious extra seconds from rolling off the game clock….and then watch absolute no sense of urgency once we get into the halfcourt….I see this stupid routine only to get even more frustrated as we blow a full shot clock while watching the hot potato passed around to finally find the hands of least resistance….Pick up the damn ball…run it down the damn court and throw up a god-awful shot….It’s far better than playing Jack and Jill rolled down the hill…I don’t know what the hell we’re fetchin'(it sure ain’t points in a hurry) to save those precious seconds that we spend in threefold doing the weave of stagnancy… Maybe take up bowling…? At least rolling the ball down that maple may result in winning half the “X’s'” and “O’s” battle….

  11. Bad loose to a big ten bottom feeder!! Sad game to watch really they (Hoosiers) couldn’t hit a bull in the rear with a base fiddle!! Crean needs to go After the season hope glass passes on Stevens to he can’t win with the C’s won’t win in B-town either he’s out classed in the NBA

  12. This team has many deficiencies — which have been more than adequately addressed above. And Crean has had many coaching failures — again, more than adequately addressed. But what totally perplexes me is that after all those years as a head coach, his teams seem to fail down the stretch. He still hasn’t figured out how to get a team to peak at the right time. Even two years ago, when we lost seven times — four came in the final nine games. And we came darn close to losing to a mediocre Temple team in the NCAAs. Is he pushing them too hard too early? Not letting off the gas enough in practice during the “dog days” of February and March? When we had that magnificent team two years ago, I’d pull out my hair (what little is left) as we’d beat teams by 30 and 35 points and Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, Hulls, etc,., wouldn’t come out till the final 2-3 minutes.

  13. Wasn’t the schedule supposed to be front loaded? Wasn’t this supposed to be the easy year end? Games against bottom feeders and at home? What happened?

  14. We are 4-9 vs. NW, who hasn’t made the tournament, in the last 7 yrs. (Plz correct me if I’m wrong, but at most, I’m 1 tourney appearance off for NW.)

    Is THIS acceptable to ANY of you??? If so, Plz start the excuses. Stats don’t lie, especially long-term stats. 4-9 vs. NW. And in the same tenure, 1-13 vs. Wisc.

    The decision is clear.

  15. Bowling? How about Curling? A well coached team will expose IU deficiencies (IU does not have big ten starting players or even big ten caliber players on any big ten team for inside game except for Troy). This creates a team of players playing out of their position which equals a lot of helter skelter. As season wears on deficiencies are more exposed. Troy Williams needs inside help (4.8 star or higher at 2 positions; forward and center). If coaching was not over their head at this level of play in terms of current team and future recruiting they are now as it just continues to go down hill unless you are satisfied with middle of pack big ten program for years to come. No help insigh..

  16. It’s not often that you can lead the team in both rebounding and scoring and yet still be the worst player on the court for your team… you pulled it off last night though Troy. Well done.

  17. The question of the day is ,what does Coach Collins know that CTC does not ? The answer is EVERYTHING ! How much longer does The Hoosier Nation have to be put through this ? This performance was the worst of the year by far ! CTC had no clue what was going on. The plan at half time was good, just keep subbing and hope for a miracle, keep Nick on the bench for six minutes and keep running back and forth and clap like your simple. As in all the teams since CTC has been here we are getting worse when everyone else is getting better. There is a unbelieveable lack of coaching from the whole staff . We need a guy like Collins . I can’t blame the players they have to look to the coaches to teach them and help them. not in this case ! They all have the deer in headlight look . We are a joke ,all the other teams out coach us ,and know we are not a threat as long as he is here. The dumb ass can’t even get a technical to support his team. I do not expect a win in the last two home games ,Big ten tournament will be one and done, Hello NIT ! How can Glass not address these issues ? We need to fix this now! CLAPPY THE CLOWN has to go !

  18. we really missed Colin last night. Glaring…

    Some of the worst fundamental mistakes I’ve ever seen a D1 team make on the defensive end. Mindboggling…

  19. Ouch! With an abundance of respect for Northwestern, their talent level isn’t even close to IU. For us to lose to them is a travesty. We will probably make the tournament, get bounced out early and maybe that’s a good thing because we need to take a hard look at where this program is in terms of development and what we need to do to restore IU to BB prominence. I think CTC deserves a lot of credit for rebuilding the program following the Sampson debacle but I’m not convinced that he will be able to take us to the next level with any consistency. I’m normally not a proponent of changing coaches at the drop of a hat, but I don’t see a future here.

  20. Great call Geoff . This guy is a one man wrecking crew totally out of control and CTC just lets it happen because he doesn’t get it either. He belongs with the Globetrotters a great place for the out of control 360 circus!

  21. i don’t claim to be an expert, however can’t but think things would have been different if we has started the second half with the defensive pressure we used the last 2 minutes.
    What was up with that???

  22. geoff,

    for starters, you must be referring to players having no vision on the ball on defense. has “ball-you-man” gone out of style in the modern, no-fundamentals game being taught now? sure you noticed troy, who was under the basket while the ball was being driven to said basket. what did troy do to help? he ran away chasing his man to the opposite 3 pt line because he had no idea where the ball was. not the only glaring error on defense, just a microcosm.

  23. How about Holt chasing a guy to the upper corner late in the 1H and leaving Olah, his man, all alone under the basket???!!!

    Or Troy allowing that pass to come to the post on the block, without the ball-you-man denial position, and an easy 2.

    Note that Burton comes off the bench with 14min to go, along with the first sight of Z, our hottest shooter, at the same time. Then note, we did not score again for 10 straight minutes. Coincidence?!?! I think not.

    There are no ramifications for the poor play & defensive lapses, by anyone. The guards just continue to let guys drive around them and go in for layups. If I had the tape, I think I would watch this again and keep track of the defensive simple mistakes.

    This team was not ready. And there’s no plan except run in and around the 3 pt line all night. There was no urgency, at all, down 6, then 8, then 10, then 14 from the 10 to 3 min to go marks. None.

  24. If they could play D hard every possession the offense would take care of itself. When it is a cold night shooting the D must dominate.

  25. This season and last has come down to the head coach. There are no more excuses for not playing zone/double teaming Hammons and now losing to a bad Northwestern team. Coach Crean’s run-n-gun, no defense strategy will not work in the Big Ten. We have 1 1/2 post players and one of them is a 6-6 shooting guard/small forward. Emmit Holt and Perea are the only post players on the roster that can play and they do not get off the bench. The composition of this roster will not be a success in the Big Ten. April and Priller should not even be on the team if they cannot play. Playing one post and 4 guards is a strategy for failure in the Big Ten. Either recruit some post players and run a real offense and defense or get a new coach so we can begin to succeed. It is difficult to even watch this team anymore. A ten point lead will surely evaporate every time after a rushed 3 point shot and the inevitable bad pass. This Coach and team are painful to watch.

  26. Let’s play a game, shall we?

    FG % by our opponents in Big Ten Play :

    NEB: .390
    MSU: .467
    OSU: .343
    PSU: .470
    ILL: .473
    MAR: .509
    OSU: .623
    PUR: .587
    RUT: .444
    WIS: .604
    MICH: .500
    MAR: .490
    MINN: .491
    PUR: .462
    RUT: .370
    NW: .510

    Of course, this doesn’t tell the whole story and it is kind of stating the obvious. But it is amazing how consistently awful IU has been at playing defense; just a single stat can not just back it up, but show the depths of our horrendousness. In only three games this year did we hold a team to less than 40% from the field. Two of those games were in the first 3 games. In two games, a team shot better than 60%. I bet WISC and OSU made less shots in warm-ups.

    So much of the focus is on Indiana not making their shots when they lose, but the English language fails to provide a term that can describe how atrocious we are at stopping the other team from scoring. And opposing teams sans Rutgers seem to be getting better at making us look stupid. This is a recipe for tournament disaster, IF we even get there.

  27. IU does not have a big ten post player. IU has a Mid America conference post player and Mid America conference forwards trying to play at big ten level. This is why IU is doing things that end up looking silly and incompetent. They probably have a MId America conference coach plus staff who is making a big ten salary equals a bunch of silliness for IU standards or the middle of pack in big ten is the IU standard.

  28. To expand or summarize DD #29 post.

    The NCAA considers 345 teams as D1.

    IU defensive rankings nationally are:

    Scoring defense = IU ranked 297
    Defensive FG% = IU ranked 294
    Steals per game = IU ranked 306
    Blocks per game = IU ranked 218

    If you voided out the non-conference cupcakes that are rolled into these overall stats – how bad would these numbers get? Well – I guess mathematically they could not drop much.

  29. Crimson – you can’t void out the non-con cupcakes because every team plays them and you’d have to do the same for every other team to get a true ranking. But that being said… I think their inclusion makes the number look even worse. They play a bunch of cupcakes in the non-con and still have absolutely terrible defensive numbers.

  30. With about nine minutes to go and a ten point lead Northwestern fouls and puts IU in a bonus situation. Instead of putting the ball on the floor and driving to the hoop three Indiana players come down court and jack up threes and miss. I know free throw shooting was bad last night but you still have to try to get to the line with that much time left. I have tried to be fair the last couple of seasons but at this point there is NO EXCUSE for a team that is not fundamentally sound and can’t play defense. Don’t tell me this is an “Elite” program because at this point IT IS NOT.

  31. Double Down-

    I think those shooting percentages of our opponents also have a lot to do with just how little resistance we have against guards going to the rim…Our guards and wings may also get overly consumed with helping inside and on the boards, thus leaving too much distance on roaming shooters from the perimeter….And finally, it’s just poor one-on-one defense….(but exhaustion at attempting to do all the inside help likely plays into those lapses in one-on-one effort).. The quality of guards in the BIG is simply too high to have such little resistance and savvy on the blocks…..When you’re asked to do too much, you’re going to get burned. Band-aids…upon band-aids. Help defense where there shouldn’t always be need for help if your inside game plays fundamentally sound and is aware.. Our guards don’t have the same luxuries as the guards they play against…Our guards are forced to defend anyone and everyone….We see switches where Johnson and Yogi are trying to guard 6-9 post guys….They fight their butts off in attempts to deny the entry pass…But once it gets threaded inside, it’s like taking candy from a baby…High percentage shots against guards simply outmatched and asked to do more than just guard D’Angelo Roberts, Valentine, etc.

    Maybe some sort of “small ball” could work with the right power forward/forwards in the mix…But it doesn’t work with this roster….It barely works with a healthy Collin Hartman…We have no “man amongst boys” type of player(e.g. a guy like Branden Dawson) that can take some of the defensive stress off our guards and our sole post player still in developmental diapers…We have vulnerabilities and those vulnerabilities result in exposure and higher percentage field goals…

  32. H4H — Branden Dawson a Hoosier? That would make my day. I heard a story on Public Radio today that a link has now been discovered between angry tweets and cardiovascular disease. Are angry blog posts equivalent? Chill out, people — it will be over before you know what hit you. I hope 2 of the last words from my breath are: “Go Hoosiers!”

  33. Just an example……But you can’t play “small ball” in the BIG without some very well-schooled inside presence \at a minimum of one inside position of resistance…. Putting guards on the blocks ain’t cutting it, my cynical friend. It should hardly be a surprise that we get quickly exposed and shooting percentages of our opponents go off the charts…It’s not just about poor individual defense from said/blamed guards….That’s the smallest sector of the blame. Davis would have helped…Fischer would have helped. Dawson would be another rung up the ladder of awareness, boards, and resistance…Maybe some shot-blockers? Maybe some inside guys that can anticipate rather than react late?

    This form of small ball(no matter the nights our fantastic shooters are all hitting on the same note) will have its challenges when our inferior inside presence lacking post education and experience is easily over-matched.

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