Second Half Struggles Nothing New for IU Under Crean … But it’s Worse This Year (Here’s the Data)


In the notes section of our latest subscriber-only analysis on the Wisconsin game that we sent out this morning (get it immediately here), I referenced a couple tweets lamenting IU’s second half struggles in recent games.

The most notable among these came from Evan Hoopfer, who pointed out that IU was leading at halftime in eight of its last nine games. Unfortunately, the Hoosiers have emerged victorious from just three of those contests.

With that in mind, I wanted to look at the last few seasons to see what trends might exist. I know I’ve often questioned Coach Crean’s ability to make halftime adjustments, but I had never looked at the data to try to back that up.

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IU-Penn State Postgame: Hoosiers Play ‘Afraid to Win’ … So They Don’t

The Indiana Hoosiers blew a 54-41 second half lead tonight.

At home.

To Penn State.

Actually, it’s worse than that. Indiana was up 61-51 at the under-4:00 timeout. Yet they lost, 66-65. And for the last three minutes of the game tonight, Indiana looked afraid to win.

Which is why they didn’t.

Andy, Ryan, and I do our best to break it all down on this episode of The Assembly Call. Read below for Zach’s synopsis.


And here’s the video:

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DocLibby’s Crossover: My Son Yogi’s Hard Work Paid Off in Big Win Over Michigan

[Editor's note: On Wednesday, February 5th, @DocLibby sent out this tweet. Two days later, I am extremely excited to introduce her as our newest columnist here at The Assembly Call. You may be familiar with her son ... he's the one who drained seven 3-pointers on Super Bowl Sunday to lead Indiana to a victory over Michigan. 

In her first post, Dr. Ferrell describes what it was like to be there in Assembly Hall watching her son play the best game of his young career.]


yogi-ferrell-and-mom“So Tom, what’s the plan for the game on Sunday?”

This is the question I casually asked Coach Tom Crean, referring to the Michigan versus IU game. He let out a slight laugh and leaned in.

“Do you promise not to tweet it?” he asked.

His plan worked to perfection. [Read more...]

Special Edition: Interview with Alex Bozich of Inside The Hall

alex-bozichEarlier today I interviewed Inside The Hall founder and editor Alex Bozich about a number of topics, including:

  • Indiana’s current bubble status and what the Hoosiers need to do from here on out to make the NCAA Tournament.
  • Yogi Ferrell’s emergence as one of the Big Ten’s best players — is he better or worse than Alex thought he’d be at this point in his IU career?
  • The overall job Tom Crean has done during this up and down season — and was it okay for IU fans to boo during the Michigan game?
  • The future of Noah Vonleh, both for the next month as a scoring option and as an NBA draft prospect (including an interesting comment that would seem to support Ryan’s belief that Noah will stay two years)
  • How Stan Robinson, Troy Williams, and Will Sheehey will impact IU’s success the rest of this season.
  • And much, much more.


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IU-Nebraska Postgame: “I’ve never felt worse about a 13-point halftime lead”

All of Indiana’s Big Ten games down the stretch are huge. That was the case Thursday night in Lincoln, where Indiana took on a resurgent Cornhuskers ball club that has been great at home this year.

For a half, it looked like Indiana might be able to get the road win. Even though the Hoosiers had not played particularly well — leading Jerod to tweet that he had “never felt worse about a 13-point halftime lead” — a good team should be able to protect a double-digit halftime lead, even on the road.

But the 2nd half started and, almost immediately, the bottom fell out. The end result was a 60-55 loss for the Hoosiers.

Jerod, Andy, and Ryan broke down this disappointing Indiana loss on the latest episode of The Assembly Call.


And here’s the video:

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IU-Michigan State Postgame: A Valiant Effort Falls Short

This was one heck of an effort from your Indiana Hoosiers.

After dropping a game in embarrassing fashion to Northwestern over the weekend, IU looked to right the ship on Tuesday in East Lansing. But playing on the road against the Spartans, currently ranked third in the nation, is about as tough a task as a team can come across. [Read more...]

Interview: Former Student Manager Tyler Devitte Provides a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Last Year’s Big Ten Champion Hoosiers

Our newest feature here at The Assembly Call is our IU Interview Series.

In it, we are interviewing some of the behind-the-scenes folks who make, and who have made, Indiana basketball the proud and successful program it is and always will be.

This installment is an interview I conducted with Tyler Devitte, a current IU junior who was a student manager for last year’s Big Ten Champion Indiana Hoosiers. He had quite the behind-the-scenes look at one of the most talented and exciting teams in IU history.

Below, Tyler provides behind-the-scenes insight on a number of topics, including:

  • Tom Crean’s crazy work ethic … and what he’s like behind closed doors
  • How the upperclassmen dealt with underclassmen who didn’t bring their “A” effort to practice
  • How the media affected last year’s team (or, how Tom Crean used the media to affect last year’s team)
  • The activity that Victor Oladipo always seemed to be doing
  • And the time Cody Zeller got into a practice scuffle with Santa …

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IU-Wisconsin Postgame: Streak Broken, Signature Win Attained

We all needed this.

After struggling under the brightest spotlights so far this season, your Indiana Hoosiers finally picked up a marquee win as Tom Crean took down Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers for the first time during his time as head coach of IU. [Read more...]

What Does the Emerging Chemistry Between Stan Robinson and Troy Williams Mean for Indiana?

One of the biggest differences between this year’s Indiana Hoosiers and the teams of the last two seasons is chemistry.

How could it not be?

Stan Robinson and Troy Williams, two freshmen connected on the court and off. (Image credit: Mike Fender, The Star)
Stan Robinson and Troy Williams, two freshmen who are connected on the court and off. (Image credit: Mike Fender, The Star)

Last year’s team featured seniors who had been through every up and down imaginable, a two-man junior class renowned for its leadership by example, and a sophomore heralded as a savior who just wanted to play team basketball from Day One.

That core group got to know each other during the 2011-12 season, eventually gelling quicker than anyone expected, and then overcame the burden of tremendous expectations together last season to win Indiana’s first outright Big Ten title since 1993.

It was a special, special group. You could see it. You could feel it watching them. Their chemistry was real, and it was earned.

But this is a new season in Bloomington, as we know. A new era.

New players are in new places. Old players are in new roles.

And at the helm is a coach who sometimes seems to be struggling right along with the rest of us to figure out what the heck to do with this athletic but immature and unfamiliar group of Hoosiers.

It’s a group that lacks chemistry, which is not an indictment of the team or the coach … just a reality of reloading at the highest level of college basketball.

Perhaps that’s why the flash of chemical compatibility we saw between Stan Robinson and Troy Williams on Saturday was so exciting. [Read more...]

IU v. North Florida Recap and Postgame Show

After a tough loss to Syracuse earlier in the week, IU bounced back against a far less capable opponent Saturday night, defeating North Florida with ease, 89-68.

Yogi Ferrell hoisting up and draining a three-pointer to start off the game’s scoring. (Photo by Zach Gropper, Assembly Call)
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