The Minute After: Wisconsin

FINAL SCORE: 78-46

ALTERNATE TITLE: The night Tom Crean’s frustration finally got the best of him.

Tom Crean had enough.

The turnovers. The poor defensive rotations. The other team carving up his squad like a Thanksgiving turkey. His Hoosiers lacking the effort, fire and resolve he demands.

So after a questionable foul call on Bobby Capobianco midway through the second half, Crean launched into a verbal attack on the ref who called said foul. He took a swig of his drink. The profanities continued to fly out of his mouth. He kept going. And going.

Another T.

Eruption:

As Crean walked off the court to exit, he turned back around the free-throw line to bark some more, and assistant coach Tim Buckley had to restrain him. Just off the court and walking through the entranceway, Crean was maniacal, screaming and yanking his head from side to side. He popped into a room to the side of the corridor under the stands and kicked the door. And that same rage was still bouncing around his soul when the camera finally cut.

Who knows. They might have needed a straight jacket to contain him.

And you know what? I loved it. Loved it because sometimes there’s that rage inside you that you can’t contain. Sometimes, when your frustration level is through the roof, when you’re the leader of a team on its way to its ninth straight loss, all it takes is that one little, teeny, tiny, itsby, bitsy thing to set you off.

It wasn’t about that foul call. It was about so much more.

Tom Crean had Hoosier Nation’s anger, frustration and disappointment swell up inside him tonight. We’re a big group. It was just too much to contain.

He needed to do this. Needed to try something else to light a fire under his team’s feet. Needed to use some other motivation or tactic. For that, I applaud him.

But alas, no amount of kicking and screaming was going to bring his squad back from such a huge deficit. Tonight, the Badgers owned Crean and his Hoosiers inside their own house in this midst of a long losing streak, and it was just too much for him to bear.

THE GAME IN AND OF ITSELF:

Tom Pritchard might have been as frustrated as Crean tonight, what with his technical in the first half, and his cheap shove on Mike Bruesewitz in the second half. But for the first time since I can remember, IU actually was running a nice little pick-and-roll set with Pritch, and he got some nice, easy looks. The Hoosiers got some efficient, high-percentage buckets tonight. I repeat, the Hoosiers got some efficient, high-percentage buckets tonight. Add in this team’s best strength — their offensive rebounding of which they grabbed 14 tonight — along with some takes to the hole, and they actually won the points in the point battle 30-24.

Add in the ten free throws IU hit, and that gets you to 40 of IU’s 46 points. Which means they only made three jumpers all night — two of which came on their first four points of the game. (Which is pretty insane, if you think about it. Seriously. Think about it.)

But yeah: props to IU for showing something inside tonight.

Everything else? Not so great. Because Wisconsin holds the ball so long on offense and waits to get the best shot, they kill a ton of clock. As such, they allow 57.1 points per game — good for first in the Big Ten and fifth in the nation. So a team like IU that has been scoring in the high 50s the past several game to begin with is going to see a dip in scoring. Hench the 46 points in total.

The Hoosiers just had no answers for Wisconsin’s clockwork offense. They allowed them to shoot 54.7 percent and a scary-good 73.7 percent from 3-point land (8-of-11).

And of course, the same things that I talked about yesterday reared their ugly heads tonight. Turnovers? Eighteen of them, which lead to 21 points for the Badgers. Blocked shots? The Badgers had nine — nine! — of them tonight. Poor shooting? They shot 35.3 percent from the field. IU’s other strength besides getting offensive boards is free-throw rate. They got to the line 20 times to Wisconsin’s 15, but only made 10 of them.

Making things that much tougher to swallow? This 32-point loss was the program’s worst ever at home. Never has a team that’s suited up in the cream and crimson lost so bad inside Assembly Hall.

It’s enough, to well, turn a Midwest Man into the Incredible Hulk, ain’t it?

  • Kelin Blab

    valpo….I agree with you 100%, I think you read me wrong or the wrong post. I was responding to the why can't we get those 5 star kids. I don't people understand we don't have what they are looking for right now other than an abundance of playing time. I personally think Crean should go the Painter route and LOCK down Indiana and see what he can do to compliment the Indiana kids he brings in. Bo Ryan has 6 kids from Wisconsin, 5 from Minny, and some from Iowa then a few other kids from across the country. Lock down Indiana with all the talent that is coming up and IU will build a consistent winner…..

  • silkyslim

    I think you are reading way too much drama into this. We just have a young team that has 'hit the wal' and are limping down the home stretch. It happens to nba rookies and especially college freshman.

  • silkyslim

    Well said, our boys are ridden with the disease called 'youth' and they are gathering some seasoning, but the fact is they have 'hit the wall' as many young players find out and so struggle like a punched out boxer throwing punches that lack any zip or pop and waiting for the final bell.

  • silkyslim

    I second that! Well stated, I hope more read your post.

  • vslice

    Look I'm reply in very next morning after the Hoosier just got ripped by Wisconsin. My emotions are still running high so please dont get on here the day after and critique my every comment. Im sure you can find it in your heart.

  • vslice

    As a matter of fact why don't you give us some insight on your vantage point inside of going down through everyone's comments and disagreeing or calling people out. Calling people idiots on here every time you don't agree with what they say is flakey. So dont be a flake, if you've got some secrets then why don't you tell me something otherwise this is a light hearted forum where rumors and opinions are abound. Take it easy Valpo and quit acting like your the end all.

  • GFDave

    Winning solves these issues. I hope they all understand that.

  • MillaRed

    Slice, we are on the same page buddy. Well said.

  • Wish

    25 minutes is a very, very long time for a 'point guard' to go without an assist no matter what the shooting statistics say. This isn't the first times it has happened with Hulls. On top of that, he's just not quick enough or strong enough to be a point guard on an elite team. Assists can lead to a better FG% if the shooters are set up properly or if the PG can drive and dump to a big man.

    CW didn't come to IU to play the 4 spot just like Nick Williams didn't last season. If I'm a wing player I'm thinking twice about coming to IU for this very reason. Moving to the 4 doesn't help CW in the short or long term.

  • marsh21

    You sound like the Sports Guy on ESPN. Ok, I get it and like it. But you're still stuck with a bunch of kids who have no leadership and very little talent playing agaist top 20 teams all because of a bunch of educated elite know it all administrators trying to put their stamp on sports.

    I hope this never happens again in our program but if it does the same results will apply no matter how many people get sick of the same old excuses.

  • http://insidethehall.com Ben_M

    So your saying that a starting roll for almost 2 full seasons isn't giving him a chance? What do you consider giving someone a chance? “The guy that is so passionate and frustrated about all that is going around him that he shoves people around?” – If Tom is frustrated he should focus less on “what is going on around him” and try to focus on his game. I never said he had to play “like Dwight Howard”……please don't take my comments out of focus….but a starting center at Indiana University should contribute more than 2 ppg and 3rpg. I really thought Tom would make progress after seeing him this season…..but I have lost faith. It could be the style of play also. I'm sure Tom wasn't recruited to run and gun. I think he was going to be more like an Odle. A guy who would come off the bench and contribe and get a little better every season.

  • valpohistory

    Calm down dude. That's why I wait till the next day to comment, so I don't rant on random things. I'm not being sarcastic either. I'm just saying not to wear your emotions on your sleeve. Believe it or not, your words are powerful on this board. When people see things in writing, they immediately believe it to be true. I'm not just critiquing on “your” comments because I think you're a fool, or because I disagree with every single thing that you say(which is not the case), I only comment on things that I feel I can contribute to a discussion. It's a message board, I can disagree with your posts, just like you can rant after games. If you want it one way, then accept it the other. I'm not attacking you, I'm just posting….

  • valpohistory

    OHHHHHH I get what you were saying now. My bad. Absolutely. I re-read it and you were right. Apologies

  • BaseballBuc

    I agree with some people that youth is not our problem. Yes we are one of the worst experienced teams in the NCAA but that doesn't mean you can't play hard and all out every time you step on the court. I just don't see it, there is absolutley ZERO defense these last 9 games. I can't believe I am saying this, but look at Purdue 2 years ago. They basically started 3 or 4 freshman all season and finished 3rd in the conference. I just think at indiana its just a situation where our young guys just aren't buying into the program. It seems to me that IU NEEDS to recruit more players like Jordan Hulls or Derek Elston. Players that are very familiar to Indiana's tradition and history. Because those are the players that are going to give you 110% all the time.

  • valpohistory

    Fully and whole-heartedly agree.

  • valpohistory

    If you're truly upset and feel that I'm calling you out, I'll stop posting on your comments and tell you I'm sorry if I pissed you off. I was trying to provide a different aspect to all of the things you say. Simply agreeing to disagree on the topics. If it can be viewed one way, it can also be viewed in the opposite.

  • vslice

    Good enough, you win.

  • vslice

    I agree, but then again I was told that I was reading way too far into it. I think there is a problem child or two in the locker room. Maybe its just as simple when you lose it causes frustration which leads to some unhappy campers. Maybe that's it, maybe it isn't anything more than that, but it does seem there has been some resignation among the troops.

    As far as transferring goes, I've heard talk about (through blogs on this site as well as plenty others) Watford, Jones, and Elston probably more than any other player.
    1.) Jones is going nowhere. Crean and Jones have a great relationship, particularly off the court. If you followed this team during the summer you would have notices Jones and Crean seemed attached at the hip. Seemed like most reported meetings were accompanied by Jones, so I dont think he is going anywhere.

    2.) Elston on the other hand is a very interesting situation. Something is definitely going on with him and Crean. I do agree that Elston has struggled especially on the defensive side of the ball, but from my perspective every player at some point during the year has struggled and some more so than others yet you never saw them getting pulled in favor of the pine. Elston seems to get pulled every game for petty little things when others have the liberty of playing through their mistakes or troubles. Elston seems that he has been overwhelmed just a bit. Tipton is a very small school and I dont think he was even close to realizing the kind of competition he was going to be facing. So if he can quit playing so scared and grow a sack it will help when he takes it to the rack. LOL, that was nice…..

    3.) Watford — I dont want Watford to go anywhere, I think he will be a great Big Ten ball player, even next year will be a huge difference in his playing style and strength. With that being said, if he want to truly leave — see ya!!! He is getting all kinds of playing time and is one of those players who is lucky enough to be able to play through his troubles without being pulled. He knew what he was getting into and he knew that this year in particular was going to be very tough. With Roth and Creek going down (which no one could have foreseen) he should of also known, at that point, that things were going to be even harder than what previously thought. I like Watford, I really like Watford, but you learn about people a lot when times are tough. I hope he understands this and continues to improve and ultimately rides it out. If not, well you cant dwell on it, just have to wish him luck and move on. I don't want anyone hear if they don't want to be hear, but if its just frustration hopefully they fight through it with help from the coaches, other players, and most importantly their families.

  • Bryan

    Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm on board till whenever the ship turns around. I'm just having a hard time saying anything new about the team at this point in the season, and wanted to be lighthearted for a change. We all want better results, but it's a slow, slow process, and it doesn't always trend upward.

  • valpohistory

    You're 100% right here. I've heard through various sources that one of DE and CW will transfer. I'm with you in that I hope that if they don't want to be here they leave. We need to have players that want to bring our glorious program back. I hope they both stay because they rebound the ball well. Good points

  • valpohistory

    I think part of it, was that Purdue also had really good experienced players playing in front of them, like Landry and Teague that when you screwed up or needed leadership, they would get in someones face and let them know what they are doing ain't working. Only problem is that we don't have the experienced players ahead of them, to yank them by the jersey and get their attention when they mess up. Rivers is the only one with the credentials, and that's not his game as we've all seen. Dumes and Tijan are seniors but they are both Juco transfers without any large amount of experience in the big ten, that they could pull something like that. That's the gaping whole we have with this team. Yeah,you are definitely right that there is no excuse for effort, but I think at this point, they need to try to pull out another win, play with some effort, and get to the big ten tournament. We won't get deep, but maybe we can possibly give another team a run for their money, and look competitive. I agree a thousand times on getting players in here that are familiar with IU's history. Players that respect it, will bring this program back.

  • http://www.prinsportsblog.com BGleas

    Normally I'd agree, but with where the program is at right now, I could care less if they want to be here or not, we need both Elston and Watford to stay. There doesn't seem to be a chance to replace either with a similarly talented player. I think it would be a big/another step back if either of these guys transferred and were replaced next year by some low-ranked recruit, no matter how badly that low ranked recruit wanted to be here.

    Under normal circumstances I would agree though, but right now, above all else, IU needs all the talent it can get/keep.

  • NewYorkHoosier

    Bracey Wright (5 stars)? James Hardy (4 stars)? AJ Ratliff (4 stars)? Josh Smith?! and all the ones IUNUT mentioned?

    I would say he is one hell of a recruiter

    Where is UAB now? oh yeaa 20-4. Glad we got rid of Davis…

  • NewYorkHoosier

    Are you kidding? Hummel committed to IU when Davis was here!

  • aceman07

    I disagree. When Creek went down, the next few games was played with the same scouting report that was used when he was on the floor. He made every one else on the team a little better because of what he could do! Now, the word is out on VJ3 and Watford and what needs to be done to slow them down and they just aren't the type of players that make the guys around them better because of their explosive offensive skills and range! With Creek out we're a two trick pony competing against teams with many more options and teams have figured that out. The loss of Creek took a few games to show in more ways than one. He also made us deeper!

  • vslice

    I respectfully disagree, I've made my point several times and don't really feel like doing it again.

  • BaseballBuc

    I see what you are saying, but Landry and Teague were not on that team. They both graduated in 2006-2007. I don't believe there was one senior on the 07-08 Purdue team. They started Grant, Moore, Hummel, Kramer, and Johnson.

  • http://www.cannotfalter.com LTTelamon

    Fantastic summary, and dead on. There is no comparison in the resources and situation of the two coaches. People seem almost to be in denial about literally how dire Indiana's situation was and is. In addition, there seems to be a general misunderstanding that it takes a good deal of time to build the foundation of an elite basketball program, and there was literally nothing of substance left for Crean to build from. The 10 year contract was a signal that the administration might understand this, but the average fan has no clue. If we are not over .500 and getting good recruits after 4 years, it may be time then to begin discussing whether an issue exists. Some folks should go look up the difficulty of starting a new Division 1 basketball team and the first years of some schools that started D1 teams. That's more akin to Crean's situation than anything that happened to Calipari.

  • valpohistory

    I just looked at it, you're definitely right. Though, they did have one senior, Terrance Crump I believe. However, you're still right

  • MillaRed

    I'm going to copy this post and put it back on ITH this very date in 2011. For you see, this will be the same team. From what i am seeing, we will be at 13-14 wins tops.

    The more we give this oh for the love of God young team this long juvenile leash to fall back on, the more we will give ourselves an excuse to be fine with mediocrity.

    This will be my last response to any youth excuses i see in this blog. It's a total cop out. Losing by 20-30 points on a regular basis? If anyone on here is cool with that and want to talk about the 4 year olds we are starting at power forward etc, perhaps i need to find another outlet to vanquish my crimson woes.

    There is a reality in Hoosierland folks, let's chat about it this time next year. My common sense is telling me you are dead wrong.

  • aceman07

    I don't see TP, Capo, Elston, or Hulls as skinny guys. I think it's a general lack of aged talent compared to other teams. I think we could sum it up by saying we're lacking it size, strength, speed, quickness, agility, leaping ability, and overall in athletic ability compared to the top half of the Big 10.

  • aceman07

    I agree and feel like no one wants to be here right now! I don't even want to watch them be here right now and I've never missed a game in my life! I do know this . . . losing changes guys. I've said it on here before but I played baseball from the time I could pick up a bat through college. The teams I played on won at every level including taking a small high school to back to back semi-state championship games against much bigger schools during the non-class days in Indiana. I went to college and suffered through my first losing season as a freshman and man, did I suffer through some major depression because of it! I thought I was going to jump off a building because I couldn't stand to lose and didn't know how to handle it. Imagine how Hulls, Elston, Capo, Watford, and even injured Mo Creek feel right now! I bet none of them really want to suit up and play so I hope they all stick around because I think attitudes will change and guys will be much happier when they start to see some light at the end of the tunnel!

  • aceman07

    I agree and feel like no one wants to be here right now! I don't even want to watch them be here right now and I've never missed a game in my life! I do know this . . . losing changes guys. I've said it on here before but I played baseball from the time I could pick up a bat through college. The teams I played on won at every level including taking a small high school to back to back semi-state championship games against much bigger schools during the non-class days in Indiana. I went to college and suffered through my first losing season as a freshman and man, did I suffer through some major depression because of it! I thought I was going to jump off a building because I couldn't stand to lose and didn't know how to handle it. Imagine how Hulls, Elston, Capo, Watford, and even injured Mo Creek feel right now! I bet none of them really want to suit up and play so I hope they all stick around because I think attitudes will change and guys will be much happier when they start to see some light at the end of the tunnel!

  • aceman07

    I'm always happy when somebody gives me inside “presents”.

  • aceman07

    I think you need to look at sports with a little more perspective. Any injury to a teams top scorer and best player is going to drastically change the outcome of a season. Let's just see how Purdue does in the tournament without Hummel? They were a final four contender with him. What do you think they'll do without him and he isn't even their leading scorer. What do you think the St. Louis Cardinals would look like if Albert Pujols went out for 2/3 of a season? It's easy to sit here and think of college team after college team and pro team after pro team who lost their best player for a season or half a season and that given season went to crap! I'm guessing you probably have played organized sports of some sort in your life? Think back about your team and how it would have changed if your best player was out! It's easy for fans to sit on the couch and form opinions about how a team is playing and what a given player means to that team, but to actually be on the court or the field without a player of that caliber. I'm sure your right leg doesn't assume you'd get around just as well if your left leg fell off or visa versa, right?

  • aceman07

    I don't see TP, Capo, Elston, or Hulls as skinny guys. I think it's a general lack of aged talent compared to other teams. I think we could sum it up by saying we're lacking it size, strength, speed, quickness, agility, leaping ability, and overall in athletic ability compared to the top half of the Big 10.

  • aceman07

    I agree and feel like no one wants to be here right now! I don't even want to watch them be here right now and I've never missed a game in my life! I do know this . . . losing changes guys. I've said it on here before but I played baseball from the time I could pick up a bat through college. The teams I played on won at every level including taking a small high school to back to back semi-state championship games against much bigger schools during the non-class days in Indiana. I went to college and suffered through my first losing season as a freshman and man, did I suffer through some major depression because of it! I thought I was going to jump off a building because I couldn't stand to lose and didn't know how to handle it. Imagine how Hulls, Elston, Capo, Watford, and even injured Mo Creek feel right now! I bet none of them really want to suit up and play so I hope they all stick around because I think attitudes will change and guys will be much happier when they start to see some light at the end of the tunnel!

  • aceman07

    Man, I hate Myles Brand (I do realize the potential insensitivity of this comment since he has passed but I still hate him). I'm not saying we would have been a national contender again under RMK because he may have passed his prime but WE WOULD NOT BE HERE!!! I've avoided saying this because I didn't want to be chastised by all the “forget the past” dudes but I'm not even one of those nostalgic fans!!! I can just imagine what it would be like to be making the tournament again and hoping we could get to the sweet 16. We might not expect a national title but at least we wouldn't be having these conversations on here and we wouldn't be the doormat of the Big 10!!!

  • vslice

    Yea BGleas your right about losing players at this point, it would be a serious step back for the program. The point being made is this, what if after the season Watford goes home a plead's with his family to understand his decision in wanting to leave Indiana. Do I want him to go?? NO WAY, but if he doesn't want to be here then I dont want him to be here. Thats all I'm trying to say, I dont want any guy here that thinks this isn't the right place for him. Now if its just frustration then thats fine cause time will heal that, but if its a deep down feeling of wanting to be gone then it would not be healthy for him or the team for a guy to be here if he cant stand it. Will it set us back?? Yes of course, because we don't have anyone coming in next year that can replace Watfords size or athleticism. I see exactly what your saying but hopefully your picking up what I'm trying to put down, you DIG????

    Do you think we have a realistic chance of beating Iowa?? Should I even get my hopes up or am I setting myself up to get crushed once again???

  • vslice

    What are you talking about? When did I ever say ever say that we should be playing at the same level when Mo Creek was healthy?? When?? If you have ever read the majority of my posts you would know that I constantly defend these youngsters. The point I've been trying to make have to do with guys breaking down mentally, TC possibly losing the team, guys maybe so upset with the direction that there may be players transferring at the end of the year. I dont think any of these points are anything you haven't already heard a million times. As far as sports go, I have played sports my entire life. I still coach 8 and 9 year old at a local youth center in Kokomo (I'm still involved 35 years later). I wasn't the best in the world, but basketball was by far my favorite and best sport. I played from the time I could walk until I quit playing after my freshman year at Kokomo High School cause I'm an idiot and decided to quit taking school serious. So please dont lecture me about putting sports into perspective. I understand chemistry, I understand team. I realize you were a college basedball player but that doesnt make you the only person who has ever played sports. Once again it has nothing to do with the injuries, it has everything to do with this team falling apart and quitting half way through the big ten season and if you dont see that then we are watching two different basketball teams play. If you want to pretend that its all about injuries, and its all about youth then you keep telling yourself that, but when I see IU get beat by Wisconsin (which is good, but come on) at Assembly Hall by 32 points that makes my think there is a little more going on then something as innocent as youth and injuries like you make it out to be. So keep watching through Cream and Crimison colored glasses cause your missing the point

  • marsh21

    Agreed! Myles Brand was moronic in his handling of coach Knight.

  • q95

    with all due respect, let's be realistic here. looking at what we have coming in next year, will this group of freshmen win a big ten title by the time they are through?…probably not. we are in this thing for the long haul and it will most likely take five plus years for us to be, once again, serious contenders. what we need from the current group are guys willing to set the tone and influence future hopefulls by their tenacity, aggressiveness and competitive play. if anyone is not willing to make the sacrafice to at least get us back to that point, i say move on to a program where you are more comfortable being less challenged.

    first and foremost, we need to re-establish a reputation of hard-nosed, aggressive style basketball, ie…michigan state. once that happens, top recruits will follow.

  • emohiohoosier

    This team was playing some basketball before the Iowa game at the Hall but since then something has happened starting with that game, they can no longer make 3 point shots, they can no longer defend. I have never seen an IU team regress as much as this team. It's like they all forgot how
    to play basketball. I have seen plenty of IU teams with less talent and less physical size beat better
    and bigger teams. NO matter what Crean says he has lost this team. I believe, even though they seem to be hustling, they are just running around and dribbling with no purpose at all.

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