Here is an analysis of Wednesday’s 83-67 Indiana loss at Purdue. IU suffered its second loss in four days and is now 5-3 in Big Ten play. This analysis is a regular part of our AllHoosiers.com coverage of Indiana basketball this season.
WHAT LOOKED GOOD:IU did a good job in the second half of getting to the rim and creating offense off the dribble. The Hoosiers had just 12 points in the paint in the first half but finished with 38 which means that Yogi Ferrell and company accounted for 26 points in the paint in the second half. … Robert Johnson had a gutty effort, scoring nine points in 26 minutes on a tender knee that he injured Sunday at Ohio State. … Indiana held a 34-31 rebounding edge despite a significant size disadvantage. Most impressive on the rebounding side was that the Hoosiers had 19 offensive rebounds and seven players had at least one offensive board. IU ha 17 second chance points.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:Defense, defense and more defense. Indiana knew it was going to have troubling containing Purdue’s bigs but it was the guards that constantly drove the ball to the basket, especially in transitional situations that really hurt the Hoosiers Wednesday night. In the first half, Purdue had 38 points and 32 of them were in the paint. The Boilers finished with 46 points in the paint. In the last two games, IU has surrendered 88 points in the paint. A.J. Hammons blocked eight IU shots. At some point you would think players would make adjustments. But Indiana just continued to drive into the lane and try to challenge Purdue’s big man. It didn’t work. Indiana shot 37.9 percent from the field and 21.1 percent from 3-point range. The Hoosiers were just 4-of-19 from beyond the arc.
FOR STARTERS:For the fifth game in a row, IU went with Troy Williams, Collin Hartman, Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson. IU’s starting five combined to hit 21-of-54 shots from the field. Starters hit 3-of-14 from 3-point range 8-of-12 free throws. The starters had 15 of the team’s 34 rebounds and nine of IU’s 11 turnovers.
INDIVIDUAL OBSERVATIONS: Here’s a look at my own thoughts on a few Indiana players from Wednesday’s loss at Purdue:
1. YOGI FERRELL : Ferrell was IU’s only real consistent offensive threat. Most of his points came off the dribble as he drove and scored at will in the second half. At one point he had scored 10 of IU’s 12 points in a stretch and they were all lay ups. Ferrell led the Hoosiers with 21 points on 9-of-20 shooting. He struggled from beyond the arc, however, hitting just 1-of-6 attempts. He was once again IU’s workhorse and played 39 of the 40 minutes.
2. STAN ROBINSON:: Robinson’s big numbers Wednesday were the fact he didn’t commit a turnover in 15 minutes off the bench and he played as hard as anyone on the defensive end of the floor. In fact, Tom Crean rewarded his efforts by starting Robinson in the second half ahead of James Blackmon Jr. Robinson scored four points and pulled down three rebounds in 15 minutes. He also had two assists and no turnovers.
3. JAMES BLACKMON JR.: Blackmon struggled again with his shot as he was 4-of-13 from the field including a 1-of-5 performance from beyond the arc. He finished with 13 points but a lot of that was late after the game was out of hand. He also missed two free throws, another area where he rarely misses a shot. He had one rebound, one assist and two turnovers.
NEXT UP: Indiana (15-6, 5-3) plays host to Rutgers (10-11, 2-6) on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. ET at Assembly Hall. travels to face Ohio State (15-5, 4-3) Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET in Columbus. Rutgers was scheduled to play Michigan State on Tuesday at home but the game got postponed because of weather. It is now scheduled for tonight (Thursday) so the Scarlet Knights will only have one day to prepare for the Hoosiers after a late battle with the Spartans.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch