Indiana University was coming off their first big win of the Archie Miller era on Saturday, and I’m sure they were feeling pretty good about themselves.
But maybe they were feeling a little too good, huh? Because they walked into Branch McCracken Court and got their behinds handed to them by Fort Wayne.
Seriously, even though this game was close throughout the first half, the Mastodons were the team that was in control. After beating Indiana last year up in Fort Wayne, they came into this game knowing they could win and they not only did that, they did it in very convincing fashion too.
The Mastodons were able to speed the Hoosiers up, space the floor, and knock down WIDE open shots from 3-Point range. Much to the dismay of Hoosier fans, and of Coach Miller, this Hoosier team looked very much like a Tom Crean coached Hoosier team.
Which when you get down to it, it is. Old habits are hard to break and sometimes even when you think you’ve got them under control, they rear their ugly heads and a game like this is exactly what you end up with.
It was embarrassing to see them struggle so mightily, especially after seeing them be able to buckle down and fight through adversity against much better teams. That’s not meant to discredit Fort Wayne at all, because they are a very sound ball-club. But they have no business beating IU. And they damned sure don’t have any business doing it at Indiana.
I’m no a huge stat guy, but sometimes they truly do tell the story, so let me throw some numbers at you. Indiana won the rebounding battle 46-31, with 20 of those being offensive rebounds. It’s not very often that a team has 20 OFF. REBS. and gets beat by 20. But that was the one and only statistical category that IU won.
Fort Wayne was 17-30 from 3-Point range. That is 56.7 percent and that is hard to beat anytime. But when you counter that with 4-24, or 16.7 percent from 3-Point range, you’re damned sure not going to beat it. Of course, as open as some of those shots were, I’m a little surprised that they missed 13 of them.
Indiana also had 18 turnovers, many of which were of their own doing. And once again, to Fort Wayne’s credit, they make you pay for turnovers. Time and time again, IU, either through a sloppy pass, or a drive into the teeth of the defense when it was blatantly obvious nothing was there, turned the ball over.
Such is the life of a new coach with a new team, with someone else’s players. I’ve seen it work both ways too, so you can never really tell what’s going to happen until it does actually happen.
That’s not an excuse, that’s a fact. And history will tell you that with just a little bit of research. Most assistant coaches promoted to the head coaching position at the same university had success earlier than coaches that were brought in from the outside. But, they weren’t able to sustain that success it over a long period of time. Whereas most of the coaches that were brought in from the outside took a little longer to have some success, but they were in fact able to sustain it much longer.
There are obviously situations where these two things didn’t follow the norm, but for the most part they hold true. So even with all of the excitement that surrounds a new coach being hired, tempering that excitement and being patient for a few years is the best approach…in both cases.