The Minute After: Ohio State

  • 02/10/2010 9:09 pm in

Men and boys tonight, kids.

I know the Hoosiers haven’t played the Badgers or Spartans yet this season, but there’s been no other team that’s outclassed them like the Buckeyes this year.

OSU is just a well-oiled, highly-efficient machine. Tonight’s win was its eighth-straight conference victory; in their previous seven wins, the Buckeyes were shooting an insane 58 percent on 2’s. Their effective field-goal percentage is 56.7 percent — good for third in the nation.

Watching them tonight, it’s easy to see why their offense is so efficient: they take a ton of high-percentage shots around the rim, and just about everybody outside of Jon Diebler, Dallas Lauderdale and Kyle Madsen can penetrate to the bucket for an easy two. They scored 40 of their 69 points in the paint tonight. The Buckeyes just have so much length and athleticism; it’s difficult to matchup against them because of it.

And that size and athleticism also helps them create easy buckets: steal and blocks — they had a healthy nine swats tonight — lead to fast breaks, which leads to easy 2’s. It certainly helped their cause that IU turned the ball over 14 times, which lead to 18 points.

What’s a little maddening on IU’s end is that they executed the gameplan in the first half: the Buckeyes don’t go that deep, so Tom Crean wanted to get into their bench. And when Evan Turner and P.J. Hill left with foul trouble, Ohio State went deeper into its bench than usual. Problem was, that bench outclassed the Hoosiers, too. By the end of the night, the Buckeyes posted 15 bench points, to the Hoosiers’ paltry three. And Madsen, off the bench, ended up with a career-high 11 points.

Yet, the Buckeyes weren’t really firing on all cylinders in that first half; they only shot 42.4 percent from the floor. Obviously, that’s still pretty good, but not quite up to their standards.

Credit IU for bouncing back after falling down 9-0, and getting it back to 18-17. But once there, the wheels came off for good, and they weren’t able to stick with the Buckeyes, who closed out the half on a 16-3 run the last 7:45 of the half, as IU didn’t score the last 6:09 of the frame. Against a team that’s as offensively-dominant as the Buckeyes, you just can’t go on such a scoring drought and expect to remain in the game.

And once the Buckeyes starting scoring better in the second half — 56.5 percent from the floor — the lights had officially gone out.

In these last two losses, IU has looked particularly lost in the half-court. Thier spacing is wrong at times; there’s a lot of hanging out around the perimeter until the last seconds of the shot clock start to tick. Watching how OSU worked in the half-court, it stuck out even more this evening.

With games looming against Wisconsin and Michigan State next, the Hoosiers better figure it out, or it’s only going to get worse.

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  • aceman07

    Hey, you know what? I was actually a bit encouraged after last night. Here's why:

    1) I saw Elston a couple times actually look like he knew where he was supposed to be in the set and that's improvement because he's got the talent to be a good 4 man in the Big 10.

    2) I saw Hulls pick it up a bit and score on a night where VJ3 struggled (and Watford as well).

    3) Here is the big one – BAWA!!! We finally got a chance to see him for a few minutes in a row at the end of the game and I was pleasantly surprised. It's obvious why he doesn't play much but he picked up a couple rebounds, played pretty good defense (except one play where he got lost but he made up the ground, gave up the foul and stopped Lauderdale from scoring, then immediately owned up to his mistake) and altered a couple shots. He plays tall which means once he actually starts to develop in the offense and defense he's going to be a positive impact as a big man! He could score 2-4 points per game but if he can average 2.5 blocks and 6-7 rebounds next year he totally changes the team!!!

    4) They didn't stop playing at the end of the game when they could've packed it in.

    Sure, we were outclassed, out-coached (and that's not a bash! CTC was just over matched against OSU's lineup and Matta), and totally dominated but I content that we will play better against Purdue, WISC, and MSU because we do not match up with OSU at all! I'm actually a bit more optimistic after watching the game last night!

  • aceman07

    Absolutely hilarious!!! Great analogy!

  • aceman07

    I still think Pritchard has a future. Hopefully this is a sophomore slump and he can develop into that 8/8 type of guy I thought he would be! I think he may be trying to do too much as a 5 man. If Bawa can develop into a plug up the middle 5 then I think Pritchard could make a good 4 and Watford could move to 3 where I think he would be most effective!

  • aceman07

    The dunks slowed down a bit when Bawa was plugging the middle and actually the short amount of PT that Elston got was when we made our first half run and he did a pretty good job in the middle as well. I watch him and key in on him and see the mistakes that he normally makes but for the life of me I could not understand why CTC pulled him last night and why he hardly touched the floor after getting a couple key offensive rebounds and a block during that run they made in the first half? That was beyond me. I was a bit pissed at the end of the first half because of it. I also think the 3 big lineup helps tremendously because it allows Watford to play at the 3 which is where he's most complete. I don't understand the 3 guard lineup last night because I just kept watching dunk after dunk and layup after layup and the 3 guards were powerless against OSU's bigs!

  • aceman07

    I think Jones was totally over matched because he was basically playing the 3 position on defense and actually ended up under the basket a lot! He had no chance against the bigger, stronger, more athletic OSU front line. I could not figure out why we never went with three big men to try and stop the constant lobs over the top for dunk after dunk after dunk. How does a 6'5″ guard end up in the middle of a zone so many times???

  • aceman07

    I agree! I can't figure out why his lease is so much shorter than everyone else? Let's just hope it's the old “he has more potential” thing and that CTC is just pushing him! I actually thought he was a key to the first half run. I watched him help twice on defense and stop what would've been wide open dunks or layups (which nobody else did all night) and he pulled down a couple offensive rebounds on one possession and a defensive rebound. Then, poof, he was gone and I never saw him again. This is the only area of concern for me and CTC. I can show grace in other areas because I know what he's dealing with but, man, I cannot understand what is up with Elston and CTC!!!

  • aceman07

    Hold out hope because I think Bawa is going to develop after seeing him play for a short spell last night. Don't give up. I've been a Cubs fan for all my life and in 1998 I had a chance to attend a Cubs home playoff game which is something that most Cubs fans never get a chance to say. If that can happen then IU can get back to it's glory days. Just be patient.

  • aceman07

    Yeah, I'm getting pretty sick of the impatient complaining and irrational opinions that we should be better than we are. I've said it over and over again, but look at what Scott Drew has done at Baylor and how long it took to right that ship after what they went through. I understand the “this is Indiana” crap but seriously, the only way to do better than what Crean has done is to go the Calipari route and I just wouldn't be able to stomach watching Indiana become a cheat first ask questions after he resigns type of program! I think these young IU fans really need to do some IU basketball research and get a grip on reality!

  • Newms

    Do not want to can Crean – but he needs to sit players who keep making mistakes and have them mentored while sitting by himself or an assistant – like all the elite coaches.

    IU is 165 in Sagarin ratings. To answer your surly questions:
    Saint Peter's, that powerhouse SMU, Niagra, oh – do NOT forget Iowa, East TN St, Depaul, WI-Milw, Long Beach St, Hofstra, the potato team – Idaho, Belmont, Indiana State (w/o Larry Bird no less), UCLA, IUPUI, Pacific, Colorado!, SAm Houston State, The hoops mecca team – MONTANA, etc.

    I bow down to the illuminated bloggers who, legends in their own mind, all-knowing and all-powerful believe that only experienced upperclassmen can play hard, well, and win. Some of you guys are lost souls searching for traction in your, wait-til-next-year comments. Explain Tom Pritchard's lack of development to me as one example. Better yet – DON”T.

    Any team can beat any other team in college basketball on any given night, 'cept the Hoosiers! That is 2009-2010 in a nutshell. That is why the NCAA tournament is THE best exhibit of sporting competition on planet earth.

    Livin' the dream, hoping to wake up when IU has hoops character agin.

    Newms the Sage

  • Nice Kelin! As a player I always thought all the yelling and screaming was overrated, just tell me what I did wrong so I can correct it. Not that there's never a time for it though.

    I'm also not sure what was expected? I think OSU is just a horrible matchup for IU this year. OSU isn't the best team in the Big Ten, but they may be the most athletic and longest, things that a team like IU is going to struggle against.

    The reason the offense was really bad last night was because OSU is so athletic at every position, they could switch every ball screeen, that pretty much stopped all of IU's penetration and forced guys into bad shots. IU isn't athletic enough to deal with this right now.

    I do think Crean could have done more to adjust to this though.

  • IUDan

    Sage – are you about 12 or something? I think you should coach this team – clearly you'd get them on the right track.

    The Sage – apparently that's all we need to know.

  • aceman07

    Apparently you just started watching IU like 2 games ago but the statement that any team can beat another team on any given night, except IU is ridiculous. We beat Pitt (who if you haven't noticed is tied for third place in the best conference in the country, ranked, and just coming off a win over a top 5 team) and we played back to back games against ranked opponents to the last second against Illinois and Purdue! Are you “special”?