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Analysis of the Hoosiers in Canada

Who played the most minutes and who was most efficient in those minutes? It is not often you get a preview of this data in the middle of August.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers have completed their Canadian trip after going 4-1 in the course of six days. Overall, I think it was a very successful week for the Hoosiers. Not many people expected them to go 5-0 on this trip given how tough Ottawa and Carleton typically are. Some people even thought 3-2 would be a success. One thing this trip did for the media and fans is give a sample of early data to analyze and attempt to figure out what type of team the Hoosiers are going to be this season. Granted, likely starter Hanner Mosquera-Perea was not able to be with the team on this trip due to a visa issue, so we are not getting a complete view of the makeup of the team just yet.

Coach Crean really rotated the starters around besides your main pieces in Kevin Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams, and James Blackmon Jr - so it is hard to judge what he is thinking this early on as far as a starting lineup is concerned. To be honest - I don't think he has any idea yet who will be the starting five come November. Who did he play the most minutes though during this trip (200 possible minutes)? Let's take a quick look:

Player

Total Minutes

Yogi Ferrell

147

Troy Williams

139

James Blackmon Jr

132

Robert Johnson

120

Nick Zeisloft / Devin Davis

107

The first three on this list are no-brainers. Ferrell, Williams, and Blackmon Jr are going to be on the court as much as possible this upcoming season. It is after those three that things get interesting, especially with Hanner Perea included. Much has been made of that third guard spot which could include Johnson, Zeisloft, or Stanford Robinson. Robinson only played 85 minutes on this trip, but was injured in one game causing him to miss some valuable minutes. Even though Johnson played more minutes on this trip, I think Zeisloft may have earned that spot for now. Clearly, there are a couple more months for the spot to be determined and a lot can change - but Zeisloft had a really successful trip as you will see below.

Minutes are one thing - but how efficient were the seven main rotation players in their minutes?

Player

Points Per Min

Rebounds Per Min

Turnovers per Min

Yogi Ferrell

.52

.13

.07

Troy Williams

.66

.23

.11

James Blackmon Jr

.71

.14

.08

Robert Johnson

.41

.19

.07

Nick Zeisloft

.41

.13

.03

Devin Davis

.37

.36

.07

Stanford Robinson

.71

.15

.08

There are a lot of interesting tidbits hidden in these numbers. Of the four players I would consider the main scorers at this point (Ferrell, Williams, Blackmon Jr, and Robinson) - Yogi actually was the least efficient player from a scoring perspective. And I think most fans would actually be fine that. Given that he shot 57% from the field and 44% from three (both great percentages), it means he is getting other players involved and not making the game the Yogi Ferrell show which occurred so many times last season by default. Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson were very efficient at .66 and .71 points per minute respectively. The new kid on the block - Blackmon Jr - tied with Robinson for most efficient scorer on the team, and that is likely going to be the story from him all season long. He is in Bloomington to score the ball, and he'll get plenty of opportunities to do that this season.

The one weakness that everyone assumes the Hoosiers have, given their lack of size, is rebounding - and it was hard to get a grasp of how right or wrong we are in that assumption on this trip. Devin Davis had a couple huge games leading to his .36 boards per minute which lead the team by far. Troy Williams was also very consistent and ended at .23 boards per minute. The surprise on this list is Robert Johnson at .19. I don't think many people expected him to come in and board with the same efficiency as the uber athletic and taller Troy Williams - but that is exactly what he did from an efficiency standpoint. The elephant in the room here though is the loss of Hanner Perea on this trip - who is expected to be the team's leading rebounder. It is really hard to judge this team from a boards perspective without their top rebounder, so we will have to wait until November to figure this one out.

Turnovers were the death of last season and most Hoosier fans know that has to improve if Indiana is going to have a successful season this year. Overall, the turnovers were held in check pretty well on this trip. There was a little more sloppiness to the last couple of games, but I think that is mainly due to the draining schedule of playing 5 games in 6 days. There are two outliers above - one good and one bad. Nick Zeisloft, who had a fantastic trip, really didn't turn the ball over much at all (3 the entire trip). Coach Crean brought him on for leadership, shooting, and basketball IQ - and he is demonstrating all of those things already. On the flip side - Troy Williams appears to still be struggling in the turnover department. There were times last year where his mind appeared to be moving much faster than his body and you have to wonder when he is going to grow out of that.

Points per minute can be a little misleading as I alluded to above given that a player could just take more shots per minute than everyone else. So to continue to look at the scoring efficiency of the main rotation players, we also need to look at the shooting percentages:

Player

Field Goal %

3 Point %

Yogi Ferrell

57%

44%

Troy Williams

66%

0%

James Blackmon Jr

58%

35%

Robert Johnson

37%

44%

Nick Zeisloft

52%

55%

Devin Davis

78%

N/A

Stanford Robinson

58%

50%

Team

55%

42%

Overall, these are tremendous shooting percentages for the Hoosiers. It is a certainty these percentages will not hold up against good competition, but it does appear Indiana will be a better shooting team than last year which has to occur, especially with the lack of a complete big man. The player that most fans couldn't wait to see was Blackmon Jr, and he didn't disappoint shooting 58% from the field and a respectable 35% from three. Keep in mind, the three point line was one foot further away for all 5 of these games. That makes what Zeisloft did look that much more impressive. He shot 55% and did so on 20 attempts (the second highest on the team behind Blackmon's 26). In fact, along with Robert Johnson - he shot better from three than he did from two.

Yogi's percentages were also very good as mentioned above and Troy Williams put on a show when it came to getting to the rim and finishing which led to his high percentage. More good news for Hoosiers fans was only one three point attempt from Williams who was just dismal from downtown last season. He appears to have figured out he needs to be attacking the basket instead.

Here is a quick overview of the final scores of each game in case you have been asleep for the past week:

Game 1

W 110-70 over Laval

Game 2

L 101-109 to Ottawa

Game 3

W 95-85 over Carleton

Game 4

W 96-69 over McGill

Game 5

W 109-77 over University of Quebec

While it would have been nice to win all five games - that likely wouldn't happen if you repeated this series 10 different times. A loss was going to occur to either Ottawa or Carleton or potentially both. It happened to Wisconsin last year as well - and look where they ended up. From a fan's perspective the trip has to viewed as a success as well. The Hoosiers proved they are going to shoot the ball better and play smarter with the ball. The one open ended question is how the lack of height will hurt Indiana, and that could not be judged at all in this series and probably wouldn't have been judged well even if Hanner Perea was playing. In fact, it may only be a factor a couple of times before Big Ten season - so we might be waiting awhile for a final verdict there.

Stay tuned to BTPowerhouse tomorrow evening as we will look at the winners and losers of this trip for Indiana.