Hoosiers miss 13 free throws — and lose by 13

  • 02/15/2009 3:59 pm in

To call free throw shooting a problem for the 2008-2009 version of the Indiana Hoosiers would be an understatement. The foul line has been more of a major catastrophe.

Indiana (6-18, 1-11 Big Ten) hit just 11 of 24 free throws and fell 65-52 to Illinois on Sunday afternoon in front of the first sellout crowd this season at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers are shooting just 65 percent from the foul line this season, including 66 percent in Big Ten play.

After trailing 36-15 late in the first half, Indiana closed to within six at 54-48 with 6:27 remaining on a coast to coast layup by Malik Story. But the Illini (21-5, 9-4) immediately answered with a 3-pointer by Chester Frazier and Indiana never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

“We gave ourselves some chances at the end, but really, the way we played in the first half didn’t give us enough,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “Give them credit. They made enough plays and they went up to the free throw line and made the free throws.”

The loss set a school record for losses in a season (18) and tied a school record for Big Ten losses (11), a mark IU will almost certainly eclipse with six conference games remaining.

Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale scored 16 points apiece for Illinois, which won its third straight and remained in position to challenge Michigan State for the Big Ten title. The Illini are two games back and have a chance to make up one of those games in a March 1 meeting in Champaign with the Spartans.

Matt Roth was the only Hoosier in double figures with 13 points on 4 of 7 shooting. Verdell Jones III and Malik Story added nine points each and Nick Williams chipped in eight. Indiana was out-rebounded 37-27 and shot just 27 percent in the first half.

Up next: IU will host Wisconsin Thursday night at 9PM EST. The game will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2.

Dumes still suspended; status unclear going forward: Devan Dumes served the second game of his indefinite suspension for his actions in the Michigan State game on February 7. No timetable for his return has been announced. “As far as Dumes’ situation, this is still very much a basketball issue. It’s nothing other than that. And so please don’t read into it that it is. This is a multiple incident type of thing over a couple of different games. I’ve been in consultation with the commissioner (Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney), I’ve been in consultation certainly with AD Fred Glass and pretty much that’s it,” Crean said. And then added: “Every day is a different day, but I’m fully ready for him to be back with us and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Crean not happy with free throw question: An unidentified student reporter, presumably from Illinois, asked Crean about the team’s free throw shooting and didn’t get the response he was looking for. The question was, “Coach, under 50 percent for free throws, do you emphasize that?” Crean’s response: “No, I don’t emphasize it. What kind of question is that? Come on now, seriously. I don’t mean to be a jerk here, but come on now. You think we don’t shoot free throws? Nobody’s up there trying to miss a free throw. Yes we emphasize it, we have to get better at it.”

No love for Bruce: Chants of “Shut up Weber” could be heard throughout the day in Assembly Hall as Indiana fans voiced their displeasure towards the Illinois coach over his behavior following Eric Gordon’s commitment to IU.

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  • Dale

    “Shut up Weber”, not “Shut up Bruce”

  • You know we aren't getting blown out in a lot of our losses. Actually if we had one greatly talented play I'd bet we would of won 6 more games this year. The future is bright.

  • Atwater

    It killed me every time that Verdell got stripped from behind when he was bringing it up the floor. I thought for sure it was going to happen again to Story, but then he took it coast to coast.

  • Ryan_T

    i'm hopeful in that if we would've had Dumes out there tonight we might've pulled out a W.

  • Noted, Dale.

  • Ben_M

    greatly talented player that is….

  • HoosierSmitty

    I don't think Dumes would have made the different today. He's not a game changer…despite the fact that he's a solid player.

  • MB

    If we had a true point guard this year, we definitely would have won some of those close games….our point play was extremely sloppy today.

  • Ryan_T

    Absolutely. When you look at the kids coming in next year, you gotta admit that we would've won this game against the group of Illinois players we faced today given the team we'll have in the '09-'10 season.

    Next season can't come soon enough 🙂

  • silkyslim

    Atwater, I agree, it kills me to see the freshman dribble up the middle of the floor and forget that D1 teams will easily steal that from behind. As fighter pilots say, “Check your six.” I hope he learns from this game, we must reduce our TOs.

    I loved the run in the second half & nice D move by Crean with the box & 2.

    props to Illinois- very unselfish & excellent passing. No props to Weber for whining. :o)

  • JerryCT

    Of course we all see repetitive things we donot like so I will stress the positive:

    1. A shot fake and a right handed hook from TP…….missed, but its the future
    2. Mid range shots from Roth and TP……..again, the future
    3. Story's off the foot pass to TP……….now I know why we are so fond of dribbling off our feet
    4. Moore “blocking out” Tisdale on a rebound………..nearly killed him, could have been lost for the season

  • HoosierSmitty


    I agree, especially with Roth….when he did the dribble, drive, and pop…I was like “YES! If you can do that…they'll respect you and you can get open”…he needs to continue to work his ass off to get open looks

  • ted stryker

    I witnessed my first game in AH in about 8 years yesterday. It’s always good to be back.
    The line between winning and losing is very thin (and that line may be 15 feet away from the basket, but that’s another post). The kids played hard and the crowd supportive of a nice effort, but what you see is something I’m used to from the other program I’m close to: Northwestern. They can play with teams for about 35 minutes, but it’s those 5 minutes–sometimes it’s 5 trips up and down the floor that make or break a team. As noted, one player can make a difference on those 5 trips, whether it’s Dumas or someone else.

    The other thing you see is that the league is weak. With all due respect to the kids’ effort, IU is not a good team, neither is Iowa. But Illinois, supposedly a top 25 team, struggled mightily against both and is near the top of the league. MSU loses games at home to NU. It’s not good. Some see balance, I see early round losses in the tournament for the conference (again).

    I have to say that the only negative about what I saw was the Hey [you s*ck] song/chant. Other schools (e.g., Maryland) forbid the band from playing it. The students start it themselves (complete with signs that say “nah nah nah, nah nah, nah” to get it started), so no infringement on free speech! but it doesn’t carry the university’s endorsement.

  • BFowler

    The kids showed heart after going down so much, I am very proud of their effort. Now, hit some free throws.

  • RobertSchell

    How about Chet Francis (correct me, if wrong), the only surviving member of the 1940 Championship team being honored before the game?

  • bob

    The free throws question was from an IUSTV reporter btw

  • huh?

    It's called a triangle and 2. No such thing as a box and two, as it would require 6 defenders.

  • huh?

    It's called a triangle and 2. No such thing as a box and two, as it would require 6 defenders.