Good, Bad and Ugly: Michigan State

  • 03/03/2009 10:27 pm in

I have put little emotional investment into this Big Ten season. As the losses piled up, it was hard to. With so many turnovers and so much frustration, there came a point where you had to cut your losses and just ride this season out. Even when IU was able to get a win against Iowa, I wasn’t really that charged about it.

It’s not that I didn’t still watch, or didn’t still hope IU would win, it’s just that I didn’t find myself cursing out the TV every game, didn’t find myself hooting and hollering like I’d done so many times before.

Tonight was different. Tonight I cursed. Tonight I slapped my hands together and clapped. Tonight my heart skipped a few beats. This is what it’s supposed to be like; I had almost forgotten.

After Tom Izzo picked up that technical foul and MSU went on that ridiculous scoring drought, I believed. Believed IU had a legitimate shot at winning this game. We’ve been close countless times this season and I’ve thought the opposite. IU is bound to lose, IU will blow this, the Hoosiers are doing the same thing they always do: play hard and then watch it come crumbling down late in the game.

I’m not sure why I thought different tonight. Perhaps it was the dulcet tones of Steve Lavin and Brent Musburger. Perhaps it’s because I’m mentally to next season already, and an effort like this made me think the Hoosiers were already there.

Whatever it was, I was hooked, enraptured for the last ten minutes of this ballgame. It felt good, felt right. But as soon as Raymar Morgan did this with 27 seconds to go, that was just about it:

Sure, IU still had a legit shot to win, as the Hoosiers were only down four points. It was far from insurmountable. But this year’s feelings starting to creep in again. If they’d only shot better than 64 percent from the free-throw line, they’d be right in this still, or winning. If they only didn’t turn the ball over 22 times, they might be winning. If they only didn’t blow all those chances when MSU was missing shots and turning the ball over the last few minutes, they would certainly be winning this game.

But, as always with the 2008-09 incarnation of the Indiana Hoosiers, all the hustle, scrap and effort in the world can’t win you a basketball game if other components aren’t working in conjunction with all that.

But that will come next year. And I’ll be cursing at my TV right along with it. I can’t wait.

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  • Kelin Blab

    Pritchard is starting at center…..I see elston at PF

  • aerialM

    missed the game but was thrilled to see the recap & read all about it. lots of heart, seemed like assembly hall was rocking. now let's hope we don't get buried by wisconsin on sunday by 20 and lose all this steam. will we play minnesota in the b-10 tourney? if so, that seems like one of the better possible match-ups for us as far as pulling out an upset. as far as next year's rotation goes, it is going to be a good problem to have…there are whispers hulls might redshirt but that's perplexing to me. (especially if he wins, or comes close to winning, mr. basketball) I think roth might take the redshirt, build up some strength, add an element or two to his game that is missing so when he comes back he's not so one-dimensional. VJ has looked great lately and might not play at the point, but can play the 2 with Creek and Williams…Watford starts (SF), so does Pritch(PF/C) and I think Elston (PF) will too. Rivers will be PG I'd think…and maybe it is just me, and maybe I'm way out of line for thinking this, but is there any chance, ANY, that Dumes isn't back next year? we can all assume Tijan will sadly be gone, but what about Devan? He hasn't exactly been a leader on this year's team and with Rivers coming along next year, we have to wonder how Devan will react to going from the primary scoring option to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th option…

  • aerialM

    also, a few games back Crean made a comment about how some of these guys would be redshirting had they gone to a “normal” situation and I was really surprised by that. Then I looked around at some of the potential/possible IU recruits from this year and I started to see what he was saying. Ebanks @ WVU: 9ppg, Negedu @ TN: 2ppg, Holloway @ XU: 5ppg…then I thought about Story being on G'town, he'd redshirt. Or Williams on senior-laden Marquetee, he'd barely play. Or VJ at MN or KY, he'd redshirt. Or Pritch at PSU, he'd play half of what he does now…anyway, made me realize what Crean was saying. Also made me appreciate how far this young team has been pushed beyond reasonable expectations for the types of players they are and what would have been expected of them had the situation not been so…Kelvin-ized.

  • msdiu81

    Personally, I didn't miss Dumes at all during the game. With him turning the ball over and jacking up ill advised 3's or getting into the lane with nowhere to go, we probably wouldn't have been in the game at the end. I vote for Dumes to lose his scholarship to make room for the incoming recruits. Yeah, Dumes can hit a wide open 3 once in awhile, but when we need something, he tries too hard and usually fails. These guys showed they can play without him and add the new guys next year, I wouldn't miss him one bit.

  • Sallad

    We may play Minnesota, but the middle of the Big Ten is so muddled right now that we'll really have to wait until this weekend shakes out to find out who the 6th seed is–could be Minnesota, could be Michigan, could be Penn State, could be Ohio State. I really feel good about stealing a win in the first round of the tournament.

  • bedub

    I just wanted to applaud our guys for never giving up and for playing as hard as they can for the name on the jersey . These kids have grown tremendously and will be outstanding role players in the future . I believe they have learned more than any other team as individuals on and off the court . Crean has done a great job , and this years trials will put one of the grittiest teams on the court next season . Job well done .