Hoosiers bounce back with 92-59 win over Morehead State

Three days after one of the worst defensive performances in recent memory, Indiana appeared to be a team mindful of its one fatal flaw.

In a 92-59 win over Morehead State on Saturday at Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers turned in the most encouraging defensive showing of the young season. Indiana scored 27 points off 23 Eagles turnovers, applied sustained ball pressure through its man-to-man defense and forced a pair of shot clock violations on the way to a sizable first-half run.

Indiana will need to bring a similar level of defensive aggression against higher caliber opponents throughout the season, but for one night, it was a step in the right direction.

Five Hoosiers (6-3) scored in double figures, led by 16 points by Troy Williams. The Hoosiers shot 57 percent, held Morehead State to a .314 field goal percentage and limited the Eagles’ dribble-drive offense to only 22 points in the paint.

Although IU started slow, an 18-0 run gave the Hoosiers a 30-16 lead at the under-8 timeout. Indiana stretched that advantage to 50-26 at halftime and led by as many as 41 points midway through the second half.

Max Bielfeldt was terrific off the bench, scoring 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting, while adding four rebounds and three blocks.

Robert Johnson started and scored only eight points, but brought the kind of defensive presence the Hoosiers can collectively build from. As Johnson walked off the floor for the final time Saturday, IU coach Tom Crean walked over to the sophomore guard and delivered a big hug.

Morehead State, which was coming off a win at Saint Louis earlier in the week, finished the game by hitting only one of its final 12 field goal attempts.

Indiana hosts IPFW on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

This story will be updated.

36 comments

  1. 12,000 to 13,000 we left at the ten minute mark and there quite a few fans leaving. Playing weak teams is taking the toll on the fans

  2. Did Thomas Bryant have an issue with Yogi again…? I thought I caught a glimpse of what Yogi quickly quelled as the beginnings of another spat while they were heading to the halftime locker room.

    Very unusual for a freshman to get so irritated with what should be the floor general/leader of our team.

    Maybe it was nothing. Maybe it’s everything. Maybe it’s a freshman that won’t accept a team built on prima donna indifference that often plays into kids that are using Indiana as a rental hop-and-stop to the ultimate dreams of Ruth’s Chris press conferences in front of anxious cuts of interested filet mignon.

    Or, maybe Bryant has some self-control issues and Yogi is attempting to cover for Crean.

    For what little I’ve seen of the team, it seems that these glimpses of discontent are odd.

    That’s the problem with only selling a so-called coach within his gifts as having an eye for “dark horse” talent that could, in a matter of 2-3 years, be NBA lottery picks. You want to be “that guy” that the stargazer found. I’m just not sure how any of that plays into being, first and foremost, a team. Are you constantly doing things for a chance to be on ESPN’s Top-10….I can’t remember the last time an ESPN Top-10 involved simply attempting to stop your assignment from scoring.

    I’ve also seen some really pretty passes from Bryant. From what I’ve seen thus far, he may be the guy on the roster that doesn’t care about being the “filet”….He wants the total dinner experience. Possibly that experience includes a drive to win and drive to please the fans of Assembly more than NBA execs and SportsCenter. I hope it’s not corrupted into the same “me world” indifference that is infects upon lazy defense and lack of communication.

    These cupcake games are a total bore..But there is much to see when watching the body language the dynamics that can either build a team into a synergistic unit or pulls it in opposite directions ..The favorable results on the scoreboard and the “acting” out of clapping the encouraging signs provided by Crean are always functioning outside the undertones of what will be a refusal to accept anything but brotherhood or giving up on that idea by your sophomore year at Indiana. Are you playing for the candy stripes and the rest of your brothers on the floor and bench…or are you just doing it for the “beauty pageant” judge and a lifetime of filets at Ruth’s Chris?

    The blowout against a team on the wrong side a talent discrepancy can be very dull, but play the detective in these instances and search for any clues what holds teams back or allows them to blossom..Search for the genuineness and search for eruptions and personality disruptions….Search for the dynamics and for those that may be pushing for change because they actually respect the audience above their own reflection..

  3. I’ll always remember a game when Maurice Creek(he was on crutches) took time after a game to meet with some kids that were still straggling around McCracken long after game had ended and most fans had departed. i was actually on my way out..I was gazing at the beauty of Assembly when its quiet…I was taking it in and watching Don Fischer finish up his evening of calling the game. Just when I was about to exit, I spotted Maurice…This was a chance to see the unscripted version without the cameras and lights.
    I watched him smile and interact with those young kids(a tiny grouping that included both boys and girls) while I thought to myself about all his dreams that revolved around the game of basketball…He was so gracious…He didn’t rush through the moment. He didn’t know he was keeping something alive in those kids that I had lost to cynicism. He was just being Maurice.

    He knew the most important audience and he shined like a true star.

  4. If we don’t have to play the Big Ten season I think we can finish the season with only 4 losses.Going to be a long conference season. 8-10 and that’s being nice.

  5. I didn’t watch the game,I had more important things to do. Someone call me when Indiana can beat teams like Duke, Wake Forrest and UNLV. I’m tired of watching this coach get all giddy in his post game press conferences after beating the likes of Alcorn State and Morehead State. Give me a break.

  6. Great game if you like unorganized street ball by both teams. Quit watching at half time. I’ve been a fan for 62 years and now I would rather watch Purdue, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

  7. Come on guys…. THAT WAS AWESOME!!!! We just smoked Morehead St!

    I can’t believe no one on here cares… Didn’t you hear the BTN announcers? We solved our defensive problems.

    Harv, just to clarify the Bryant/Yogi thang… Bryant had an issue with Hartman, who said something to him after the guard for Morehead scored that lay-up at the buzzer with Bryant contesting. I think Bryant’s response was appropriate actually because he was the only one who even tried to defend… Then Yogi stepped in and basically said to take it to the locker room. Understandable by Bryant, and actually good leadership by Yogi.

  8. I would say right now is that our biggest saving grace in the Big Ten is the fact that we only have to play Purdue, MSU and Maryland once. That might be to our advantage. Win just one of those and we could have a pretty good regular season.

  9. Since no one is commenting here I went over to ITH to see if anyone cares… They actually wrote and article exclaiming ‘Defensive Effort Sparks Win’… The opening sentence was, “It’s almost like we were seeing a whole new team on Saturday at Assembly Hall.” Uh, yeah… It was Morehead St. That’s a whole new team from Duke.
    Maybe the worst blog entry ever written. Dude actually lauded the team for outrebounding “MSU” 35-31… Pretty impressive boys. Nevermind, author was spot on.

  10. 1992… what’s the point? If this team is only good enough to beat quality teams 1/3 of the time then that’s not a “pretty good regular season”…

    They will only have my respect if they can win at minimum 2 of those games and come in the top 3 in the conference. Really should be top 2. They have that kind of talent. Anything else is a massive underachievement.

  11. Don’t mistake athletic ability for b-ball talent. Physical mistakes are not as bad as mental mistakes.

  12. We have always played weak teams over the holidays. But I hate our schedule anymore. Cant stand everyone acting like we are world beaters against the likes of Alcorn St and Morehead St. these or teams we should beat with our bench players they should get a lot of minutes in these games. I want to get back to when we played teams like Duke, NC, KY, Louisville UCLA. Teams that we could really tell if we were getting better,
    All these weak sister games do is help you win 18 to 20 games to get in the ncaa tournament. I want the other games to help us win the tournament!!!

  13. Geoff is an NBA apologist.

    If Crean had 1/2 an ounce of perspective in what it takes to be a teacher, he’d know it was its overreaching arms of greed and influence that “wrecks” before anything else. The future gazillionaires just can’t relate to mingling on the basketball court with those essential ‘commoners’ that take up floor space.
    And it’s Crean’s only way to market himself that constructs a delusional purpose and fails in identifying the real “wreckers” that steal at all the wonderful lessons in life; lessons to be learned from a once storied Indiana high school tournament without separated “classes” and a college game that appreciated the guys in the trenches as much the lottery pick.

    And maybe that’s why the UK system can work. Yes, talent is at another level, but they are all “diamonds” without as much separation…Under an adequate teacher, they grow more into the game and somewhat rediscover team basketball. The game moves as salient to the individual because the “superiority” complex dilutes within more superiority… No longer is it just the miracle guy that Crean found to “ball” among the Indiana Blackmons…and Coverdales…and Howards…and Hartmans and Hulls ..All the other Hoosier homies getting in the way of “their'(as in the fat diamond in the NBA rough Crean can’t stop staring at on his resume finger) game..or what they believe to be a “next level” game living to cheat this level.

  14. And that’s another reason the greed of the Establishment hated Knight.. Knight tempered the “next level” malarkey. He found the details of a team game to be the only “next” thing you best bring to McCracken….and the McCracken audience.

  15. We’re playing(and have the potential to play) plenty of very good teams. That’s not the issue with Crean.

    We used to have Holiday Classic tournaments that were Knight’s fruitcakes as opposed to Crean’s cupcakes in December. We had the potential to play very strong teams in Hawaii. We played last season’s national champion. We will play an ND team(albeit on reload)in the Crossroads Classic that was within an eyelash of last season’s Final Four.

    We will play plenty of ranked teams during the course of our conference schedule. Cupcakes are not the problem..The problem is a crap coach that sells the “next level’ to a few “diamonds in the rough.”: He uses Indiana to coddle to the chosen few that will put the fat asterisk on a resume reeking of coaching incompetence…He places most his energy on that asterisk because he can’t teach the game at the level of McCracken’s heritage. He forever sells next level talent in a kindergarten basketball classroom.

    Non-conference scheduling is weak with all teams this time of year. It has nothing to do with how Crean’s pitch and ‘X’s and O’s’ performance disgraces the concept of teaching the game and valuing your uniquely gifted teammates(many of which will never be a total NBA package).. Crean’s result’s would be no better with 70% his roster McDonald’s All-Americans.

  16. Indiana’s defense in the paint was much improved, but Morehead is a small team. Not at all sure if Max will be a “blocking machine” against big teams. Most of Morehead’s TO’s were dumb and unforced, just like IU’s. The defense was better, but still not good. ND will be the test.

  17. Gentlemen, what we seem to forget here is that IU basketball has not performed at an elite level for any extended length of time for well over a decade. The decline started towards the end of BK’s reign, and the administration blew multiple chances to stem the bleeding. We underestimate the damage that all of the ugliness caused to the school’s reputation. Now we are more of a pretender than a contender, and Crean is more a symbol of just how far we’ve fallen than he is the root of the problem.

  18. Crean may not be the full “root” of the problem, but he is absent a level of coaching acumen that could ever grow roots. .I don’t buy into the defeatism. With the abundance of “elite” basketball talent in our state, it doesn’t take a big recognizable name to build IU back in a heartbeat It simply takes some personality, respect for the knowledgeable fan base, and a high level of basketball acumen.
    Crean gave three doses of hype for every one dose of coaching competency. We would reboot the name and make the banners bright again by feeding the roots three doses of competency for every dose of hype.

    Brad Stevens would instantly bring those three doses of competency…The hype would feed from natural blossoms from the Indiana branches rather than need false injections into a weak trunk.
    The Stevens thing is a longshot….But no matter the name, it can be accomplished in our basketball rich state. I can be accomplished as quickly as another “everything hinges” moment added to qualified and competent teachers that can extend those roots beyond the hype.

  19. We’re a top-10 team with Holt and Fischer working inside with Bryant. Add a healthy Devin Davis into the mix and we’re likely flirting with a top-5 level team. Even Crean’s spastic coaching might not have been able to derail such a team from a very deep tournament run.

    It is what it is..but we lost a lot of inside play(via transfer, tragedy, and off-the-court shenanigans) that would have made us exceedingly deep and dangerous. Bielfeldt added a bit back to the mix, but it still very shy of the talent that Crean intended to be on the floor

    Not an excuse for miserable coaching…Just pointing out some missing pieces and missing experience. Bryant would have also had many more challenges in practice against the varied skills of Holt, Davis, and Fischer.

  20. Stevens remains a possibility. With Boston he’s never going to get past the Eastern Conference finals if he ever gets there. At Indiana (if there is a reasonable administration) he can become a perennial contender to a national title. Reestablish sound recruiting from within the state. It’s clear that Stevens is a teacher of the game. At least he played it. Why did Crean get a two year extension from Rick before he even coached a game? Why did he get an extension from Fred and how does Fred justifies that now. Last year I think he said:

    I think everybody’s expectations are the same—mine, Tom’s, Hoosier Nation, the players. Hang a sixth banner. I don’t think Indiana is really satisfied, nor should it be satisfied, with anything less. Everything is driven toward that. Even those days when we literally were having a hard time fielding a team to put on the floor, I think it was understood by everybody involved that what we were striving for was a sixth national championship.

    So according to Fred it’s banner or bust. I feel sorry for Crean. I don’t see a banner in his future. That leaves Crean with the other possibility. He should have left in 2013. Short of a national title this year or the next it’s clear that would have been the best for everybody.

  21. I think it is totally obvious that Crean can’t teach the game. He wants to talk about how young we are on the fro
    nt line. You got to be kidding.
    I think it is because our upperclassmen have’nt gotten any better. They still or the ones who get beat on defense time after time. they are still the ones that turn the ball over at and alarming rate. A lot of times unforced errors.
    He can’t coach. Good at giving out hugs and head rubs while beating a cupcake like Alcorn St and Morehead St. Ran for the nearest closet to hide against Duke.

  22. On the other hand I interpret Fred’s comment to mean: Crean is grounded until he gets us a banner. So until he wins a national championship he can’t go nowhere. That means Crean and IU will be together for a long long time. Boy I am glad I finally figured that one out.

  23. Crean will turn out to be the third coach since BK was canned who couldn’t get the job done. This program demands a proven name take it to the top. I don’t think Glass is up to the challenge, just as I believe that his choice for head football coach will inevitably fall short. The university needs to decide whether or not the commitment will extend beyond facilities alone, yet given the product we see I have my doubts.

  24. Does anyone posting on this site actually understand that Fred Glass has yet to hire a basketball coach as the IU Athletic Director? My understanding is that he can fire Crean at any time after 6/30/16 for a payment of about $1 million. So suck it out for this season, hire Stevens, the AZ Coach’s brother, or whomever, in early March as a “consultant”, then on July 1 fire Crean and hire the consultant, who, by then, should know the players, the recruits, etc. very well. It is pretty simple unless Crean takes this team to a Sweet Sixteen!

  25. BeatPurdue I like your proactive aggression for results but it is also = to a basket of snakes. Strong thinking though.

  26. Question: In a blow out game, at 13 minute mark I U leads by over 40 points , why do play Yogi for 34 minutes? I remember in a meaningless game, prior to the Big Ten schedule seeing Maurice Creek laying on the floor with an injury and was lost for the season, the following season more injuries and never played at full speed for the remaining time he was at IU.

  27. not even sure what “an NBA apologist” means… and I have zero idea how it applies to anything I said, but at least you backed it up with one of your most nonsensical, meandering posts ever.

    h. empty glass – just wondering why you don’t think Stevens will “never make it past the Eastern Conf finals, if he even ever gets there”??? What is that based on – his coaching acumen?
    A) He’s 39 years old, so he’s got 25 years minimum of coaching ahead of him
    B) He’s in the Eastern Conference
    C) Lebron will be 31 in a couple weeks
    D) The Celtics have Ainge at the helm who has proven his ability to make quality trades and picks
    E) They are projected to be $50,000,000 below the salary cap this off-season, meaning they’ll have the room to sign 2 max contracts with guys like Durant, Lebron, Drummond, Beal, and Derozan on the market
    F) They not only have their first round picks the next few years, but also the Nets in ’16 (probably top 3), Dallas’s (top 8 protected), in ’17 they have to option to swap positions with Nets (they will), Dallas’s (top 8 protected), Minnesota’s (lottery protected), in ’18 they again have the Nets, Dallas’s, and Memphis’s… and this continues until 2021!

    There has NEVER in the history of the NBA been a franchise in a better position to improve their team than the Celtics right now. There are 2 ways to build contenders – the most successful recently has been through the draft, believe it or not, generally with lottery picks (see Golden State, San Antonio, OKC, and Cleveland), or through free agency with the ability to sign Max Players. Celtics are in the best position in the league in both areas which is unprecedented.

  28. Thank you Geoff. That is very helpful information.

    I think all this ‘picking the next coach’ activity is a distraction to this fascinating season we have this year.

  29. These games are scrimmages. Nothing gets fixed against below average competition except confidence.

    The fatal flaws remain: no perimeter D, turnovers, poor coach. No matter the sport, those 3 things are a consistent recipe for losses.

    If the current administration, Glass included, thinks Crean is a valid coach at Indiana, what gives anyone confidence that they’ll make a better hire? We DESERVE a perennial top 5 coach.

    Harvard, once again you’re spot on about the NBA prospect salesman that Crean is.

    Let us all remember “no pain, no gain”. Hence when Crean gets bounced eventually & hopefully, there will be player defections & rebuilding. So, I’d say we have 2-3 more years of being basketball depressed, at a minimum.

Comments are closed.