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Minnesota 67, Indiana 63: a closer look.

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I am going to revisit this game because I didn't give it much in my next-day post.  Because I'm too lazy for narrative today, here are some random bullet points:

General:

  • Neither the offense nor the defense stood out in either direction on a points per possession basis.  IU did not shoot well, but 7 three pointers, plus only 7 turnovers, meant that our overall efficiency was not bad. 
  • As noted above, IU turned the ball over 7 times in a 61 possession game for a percentage of 13.1.  Minnesota turned the ball over 12 times, for a percentage of 21.3. 
  • Unsurprisingly, Minnesota dominated on its offensive boards, grabbing 46 percent of its OR opportunities, but IU's 35 wasn't half-bad.
  • I don't want to complain about officiating, because it's always been tough to go on the road in the Big Ten in this regard, perhaps nowhere tougher than Assembly Hall for IU's opponents.  What bothers me is that we seem to get reamed on the road without getting any help at home.
  • There are several candidates, but I think the most devastating stretch of the game came in the first four minutes of the second half.  IU led 38-30, when Al Nolen hit a jumper to pull Minnesota to within 6.  IU then had a fast break opportunity, but Verdell Jones overthrew a pass to a wide open Jordan Hulls.  Hulls slid all the way off that stupid raised floor, and that gave Minnesota a "power play."  Rodney Williams made a layup and was fouled, missed the free throw, and put it back himself.  In the span of fifteen seconds, IU went from what should have been a sure-fire 8 point lead to a 2 point lead.  IU continued to hang in until the very end, but the Hoosiers, who led by 8 at halftime, never had another sizable lead in the game.
  • Individuals:

    • Christian Watford struggled, shooting 2-13 from the field.  Watford is not a natural post player and is playing out of position, but there's not much that can be done at this point.
    • Maurice Creek looked a better.  He's still looks weak physicially, but he shot 4-9 from the field and 3-7 from behind the arc. 
    • Victor Oladipo had a rough night shooting (lots of shots blocked), but managed 13 points on 11 shots thanks to 7-8 from the line. 
    • Verdell Jones III had a solid night scoring, but unfortunately, he accounted for 4 of IU's 7 turnovers.
    • Will Sheehey scored 7 points in 8 minutes of play, and his lack of minutes in the second half has been a major point of contention.  I would be lying if I said I always grasped what Crean is doing with substitutions at all times, but he doesn't have a bunch of great options. 

    Well, there we are.  IU played better, but still is 0-3 in the conference with a tough road game against Northwestern approaching this weekend.