Good, Bad and Ugly: Penn State

  • 01/17/2009 8:34 pm in

FINAL SCORE:

Penn State: 65  Indiana: 55

THE GOOD:

After a couple of woeful games, IU returned home Saturday night and played Penn State well enough to keep it interesting and fight for a win. There was no doom and gloom like we experienced throughout the Ohio State and Illinois games. Tonight’s team competed, and competed well. Sure, you may say it was just Penn State, but this is not the Penn State of old. This Nittany Lions incarnation has talent at many positions. They’ve beaten Purdue, and played very close against Wisconsin and Michigan State.

First thing to point out: Free throws. IU was a remarkable 12-of-14 for 85.7 percent. I think that’s the best they’ve shot all season. Too bad it wasn’t close enough at the end for this to make a difference.

IU also continues to out-rebound their Big Ten opponents. They snatched 32 to Penn State’s 25 tonight. I don’t know how much this has really helped the Hoosiers in Big Ten season so far, but it’s encouraging nonetheless. IU’s defense was also rather strong tonight. Though Penn State was hot, hot, hot for a stretch in the first half, things weren’t as quick and easy as they’ve been for our opponents the last two games.

Lastly, even when we went down 10 and this game looked like it was done and over, IU fought hard, hitting two threes late to try and keep it close. Credit the guys for not giving up, and the coaching staff for continuing to keep this team’s effort level high. Penn State scored 34 points in the second half. IU had 32.

It’s games like tonight’s when you realize if IU can keep this kind of intensity and hard work up once more talent arrives next year, the Hoosiers should be just fine.

THE BAD AND UGLY:

Argh, that first half. Twenty-nine percent shooting from the floor is not good. And those seven offensive rebounds are a little deceptive, as IU missed a lot of shots in close to the rim, got a rebound and then missed again.

It’s not just missing shots, it’s missing those bunnies, those lay-ups, those gimme-gimmies that IU should be making. If a couple of those fall, who knows how this one turns out?

These Hoosiers continually shoot themselves in the foot early on in games, by getting off to such slow starts, and then having to battle back if they want any chance at victory. Five to 10 minutes into some of these games, IU is barely on pace for 25 points. And yeah: 55 points tonight. It’s hard to win many games scoring that many points.

We’re now at eight straight loses, as we haven’t won since Dec. 10 against TCU. Sigh.

Filed to:

  • elling2008

    I think that the most important thing to remember is that IU started off so, so slow and still managed to stay in the game. We've all accepted that we're playing to not finish last in the BT I think. I saw some great effort at times, and lacking effort in other times. If we can just get those little runs that we make, and sustain them over a longer period of time we'll be fine.

  • Kelin Blab

    I do like the improvement of F/T's and I like how I am beginning to see how our pieces fit together….

    Roth will be the mad bomber and dagger 3 we need for 4 years
    Pritchard will be the constant double double guy in the paint
    VJ will the kid who can settle this team and help us at either guard….

    My point is, they are getting better, and that is all I have to hang onto now….

    I saw our future in Penn State. A bunch of solid sophs playing hard and making better decisions, with a couple of vets….i.e. Dumes and Rivers….

  • dale11

    “I saw our future in Penn State.”

    That sentence isn't too promising…

  • Taskmaster75

    Remember when we all said that rebounding would be a huge challenge for Indiana? Well, I found an interesting stat:

    In every single Big ten conference game, they have out-rebounded their opponent.

    I was amazed to see this. I see this as evidence that our team plays incredibly hard to get that rebound. I think that the reason we get off to a slow start is that the other team blows us away with their massive advantage in talent, and we just cant answer. The fact that we stay in some of these games is just amazing. Keep the faith, fellow Hoosier fans, the future is bright.

  • JerryCT

    My caution about optimism for next year is that the “help” may be talented but not so spectacular ( maybe Watford ) that we can expect to rise above mid B10 next year. At least we will be fun and more competitive. I forecast Crean yr 3 is the one for some serious W's.

    I recall another team in the 60's at IU that went from last to first in teh B10 w Vernon Payne from Mich City leading the team

  • because it's Indiana

    At this point I think we'd all take worst to 5th.

  • BTOWN40

    On another note: I was hearing that Myles Brand has Cancer of the Pancreas and the outlook is bleak.. I can’t stand the guy for what he did to Knight and the IU program, but wish him a full recovery. Just thought I would throw this out there I don’t know any further details on it, and can’t remember where I heard it from so if anyone can verify this please share it

  • silkyslim

    A little more cohension, some more seasoning, & a little less silly mistakes and our Hoosiers will win these close games.

    I enjoy seeing the progress each week.

    If we can get some point production from Roth as he sheds his timid freshman skin for some more minutes that will be a huge lift. He may have turned the corner in this game for his stroke looked confident to me for the first time.

    Can Taber hit a three? He seemed to be open alot on the ball rotation.

  • HoosierSmitty

    IU either starts slow, finishes slow, or goes cold somewhere in between. I don't think it's really about “starting slow.” It's about the fact that this team can't put together a long enough stretch of good basketball to win a game.

    It's not a mind-blowing observation…but it's what I see.

    No team goes out and plays 40 minutes of flawless basketball, but IU can't seem to piece together enough good stretches of basketball.

    Lately it's been a slow start…but let's not forget the slow and painful down slide that was Michigan.

    I think there's enough talent on this team to win, but it just isn't all coming together at the same time in a game.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Also,

    What was up with Story? He's one of the best athletes on this team, but yet he logged only 3 minutes?

    Did I miss something? Did he get or hurt or find himself in the doghouse?

  • msdiu81

    Have we really seen progression with this team? I'm not convinced they have progressed all that much, especially over the past 3 games.

  • Ricky

    Remember how good IU looked in the 2nd half against TCU? Those were the days

  • Kelin Blab

    IU will win 3 Big Ten games …..TOPS….
    I also think PU is overrated and IU will be within 10pts of them….PU has a weak inside game, a frosh point guard……….they are not that good…(hope matt painter is reading this)

  • BFowler

    First, let's be honest, looking at the schedule at the beginning of the year, has this team lost a game we expected them to win (Lipscomb and Northeastern, I know) in B10 play? Those two games against Iowa and Michigan gave us hope and that is the devastating thing. I thought they would struggle with PSU because Battle and Cornley are good players with experience. We all knew this team would struggle to score. There are no surprises here. Our expectations, and just the fact that we are spoiled by wins and miracles, (1989 B10 Championship team) makes this very, very frustrating. I know there will be retractors saying all the things about how Indiana is irrelavent, and to expect this from here on, but remember Kansas had not won a championship since 1988 before last year, Memphis has never won a title, Georgetown has not won since 1984, IU won three titles between UCLA's 10th and 11th titles, and there was 25 years between North Carolina's 1st (1957) and 2nd (1982) NCAA championship wins. Even Duke missed the tournament as recently as 1997(?). All programs go through bad times, and this program had to endure Hurrican Kelvin. So, chin up Hoosier fans keep on rooting for these guys and make them our version of Richie Farmer, Darrin Feldhaus, and John Pelphrey.

  • cooper

    I agree with the comment its not about starting or the end, its that IU can't play consistent for a whole game. Just aren't good enough to put together long stretches of good play. I'm shocked we out rebound teams as watching games it looks like we are constantly outrebounded and out jumped. On a positive note I like Lewis playing, he seems tough and athletic. Please stop playing Taber, its pointless he does nothing to help the team win, and it only hurts the future by him playing. I'd love to hear an explanation of why he spent most offensive possessions at the 3pt line….To say we will be within 10 of PU I don't see it. Maybe they are overrated or not that good, but we are worse, much worse.

  • hoosier53

    This has always been a thorn in my side since the days of RMN. Rebounding is less about physical size and skill as much as it is about basic fundamentals. When I see a team of our talent level competing consistently for rebounds that is all about quality coaching. If there is one thing that keeps me hopeful about the future it is that these guys are being taught how to beat better talent by being a better team. That is what is going to really make a difference when we are able to add the talent to the teaching.

  • BFowler

    First, let's be honest, looking at the schedule at the beginning of the year, has this team lost a game we expected them to win (Lipscomb and Northeastern, I know) in B10 play? Those two games against Iowa and Michigan gave us hope and that is the devastating thing. I thought they would struggle with PSU because Battle and Cornley are good players with experience. We all knew this team would struggle to score. There are no surprises here. Our expectations, and just the fact that we are spoiled by wins and miracles, (1989 B10 Championship team) makes this very, very frustrating. I know there will be retractors saying all the things about how Indiana is irrelavent, and to expect this from here on, but remember Kansas had not won a championship since 1988 before last year, Memphis has never won a title, Georgetown has not won since 1984, IU won three titles between UCLA's 10th and 11th titles, and there was 25 years between North Carolina's 1st (1957) and 2nd (1982) NCAA championship wins. Even Duke missed the tournament as recently as 1997(?). All programs go through bad times, and this program had to endure Hurrican Kelvin. So, chin up Hoosier fans keep on rooting for these guys and make them our version of Richie Farmer, Darrin Feldhaus, and John Pelphrey.

  • cooper

    I agree with the comment its not about starting or the end, its that IU can't play consistent for a whole game. Just aren't good enough to put together long stretches of good play. I'm shocked we out rebound teams as watching games it looks like we are constantly outrebounded and out jumped. On a positive note I like Lewis playing, he seems tough and athletic. Please stop playing Taber, its pointless he does nothing to help the team win, and it only hurts the future by him playing. I'd love to hear an explanation of why he spent most offensive possessions at the 3pt line….To say we will be within 10 of PU I don't see it. Maybe they are overrated or not that good, but we are worse, much worse.

  • hoosier53

    This has always been a thorn in my side since the days of RMN. Rebounding is less about physical size and skill as much as it is about basic fundamentals. When I see a team of our talent level competing consistently for rebounds that is all about quality coaching. If there is one thing that keeps me hopeful about the future it is that these guys are being taught how to beat better talent by being a better team. That is what is going to really make a difference when we are able to add the talent to the teaching.