The Minute After: Ohio State

Notes on an 85-67 loss to The Ohio State University:

Peeking at the numbers, it sounds a little silly to say Indiana brought it this evening. After all, the Hoosiers allowed Ohio State to shoot a blistering 60.5 percent from the floor (23-of-38) and 68.4 percent from three (13-of-19). They lost by 18.

But this Ohio State team is so strong, so lengthy, so crisp, so, well, good. Undefeated through 14. Ranked No. 2 in the nation. Selfless and experienced — with a freshman phenom in Jared Sullinger to boot.

No one will be surprised if the Buckeyes find themselves in the Final Four this spring. They are that good. They can outclass a team like Indiana with relative ease.

So with all this in mind, we can say that tonight’s Hoosiers were not the incarnation we’ve seen during the previous three losses. There was more effort and confidence. More heart and hustle. More aggressiveness on both sides of the ball. Better shooting and offensive flow. A belief that they were never out of this, even when they were pretty much out of this.

It was reminiscent of their play against Kentucky. Clearly outclassed in talent, but not cowering in the corner because of it.

Had they brought this sort of effort against Penn State, they’d be sitting at .500 on the Big Ten season instead of 0-2.

But bring it enough times the rest of the way, and there are wins ahead for these Hoosiers.

Other thoughts:

+ After a weak showing against Penn State and a quiet five points in the first half, Christian Watford returned to offensive form after halftime, punching in 12 to finish with 17 (5-of-10 from the field, 3-of-5 from three, 4-of-4 from the line). This is the Watford the Hoosiers need if they’re to make a serious go of the Big Ten season.

+ And speaking of offense, this team looked more competent in that department after three rough shooting games in a row. They went 50 percent from the floor (25-of-50), though the 3-point shooting (9-of-24 for 37.5 percent) and free-throw shooting (8-of-14 for 57.1 percent) left a little to be desired. There were some bailout shots at the end of the shot clock that fell as well. But Indiana, against a team with superior length and athleticism, never really had a long scoring drought like they are sometimes prone to go through. The Buckeyes hit and hit and hit, and the Hoosier answered enough times to keep this one interesting well into the second half. To go along with Watford’s 17, Jordan Hulls dropped 12 (5-of-9 from the field, 2-of-6 from three), Victor Oladipo had 14 (6-of-10 from the field, 1-of-3 from three, only 1-of-5 from the line) and Verdell Jones chipped in nine (3-of-6 form the field, 1-of-3 from three, 2-of-3 from the line).

They also tallied 14 turnovers on the night, which, for them, ain’t so bad.

+ Thank to the likes of Sullinger and company, Indiana was held in check on the boards. They only snagged four offensive rebounds all game, which led to only five second-chance points. By my math, the Hoosiers’ offensive rebounding percentage was just 10 percent, well under their season average of 35.5 percent.

OK, that’s all I got for ya. Have a safe and happy New Year’s. Better days are ahead for these Hoosiers in 2011.

  • CutterInChicago

    Agree with this article, esp better days ahead. Happy New Year and Go Hoosiers!

  • http://thegreenlight.tumblr.com/ thegreenlight

    A few things stick out to me from looking at the box score:

    +Re: the scoring droughts, it’s especially impressive to me that our longest scoring droughts were both roughly two minutes – compare that to OSU’s drought in the fourth of about 3:30. I see this as an improvement, given the caliber of the Buckeyes this year, in terms of mental lapses and awareness as a team.
    +Oladipo and Hulls both had nice lines. They’re two nice, young players that seem to work well together.
    +FTs. Yeah, our team % was low. But you look at how many we shot (14) compared to OSU (38) and you realize that with that few of FTs, one player can really hurt the overall percentage. As much of a fan that I am, that player tonight was VO (1-5). Everyone else was 50% or better, including Watford (who continues to impress from the line).

    -The slow start. We’ve got to use the home court to our advantage and not let these teams take out the crowd early on.
    -Obviously, we really don’t have a big. It’s killing us and it’s going to continue to kill us. You look at the box score and see the minutes for our Fs: Elston (7), Campbianco (8), and Pritch (9) and it’s apparent that there’s no easy answer. There were also only two boards and two points between those three guys. A big body just to clog up things down low would be nice for B10 play (Free Guy).

    Overall, I think we played at the level that you’d expect. This is a Buckeyes team that is going to be putting these types of margins up on some very good Big Ten opponents.

  • Kelin Oladipo

    + At no point in time did I think IU would come back or even make a run. The difference in talent was obvious from the jump ball.

    + I thought they played well, well enough to win against some other big ten teams, but not OSU

    + Can anyone tell me why IU does not throw it inside at all to Pritch, Elston, or Capo?

    + Watching Victor and Will for the next 3 years is going to be a joy. Victor will be all big ten frosh.

    + I hope Hulls realizes he is the leader of this team and needs to continue to look for his shot.

    + I don’t like how sometimes we make tough shots instead of ez open buckets like OSU.

    + I keep rooting for Mo Creek because I know he is giving it all and next year is his year.

    + The most encouraging thing tonite was this team didn’t quit…ever…and I didn’t see any head hanging despite OSU not missing any shots tonite.

    2011 Happy New Year….lets keep fighting.

  • Jack in Seattle

    I agree. I would also add that, although I think many of the criticisms of CTC on these forums are valid, we do not (yet) have the talent or experience to get the results that I think people hoped for (NIT bid). I don’t think anyone in our starting lineup would start for OSU this year. Fortunately, that will change in the next few years.

    Happy New Year and Go Hoosiers!

  • jgongora86

    I see VO being our future leader. He plays both ends of the court hard and he has the type of personality where our future underclassman will have to listen to what he says.

  • Anonymous

    Our bigs are completely and totally invisible. We played OSU tonight but it has been an issue against every team we play. Between Elston, Capo, and Pritch, they notched 2 rebounds and 12 fouls in 24 minutes. This is our top offseason priority and then some. Even holding onto Bawa would be a lot better than what we’re working with now. And Bawa is not good.

    We’re looking more confident on offense as we move to more set plays and a bit away from some dribble drive principles. This was the first game where we tried to hit Watford on the block several times. We need to keep this up because he’s comfortable there and puts fouls on the defense.

    Hulls was aggressive tonight!

    VO is just a baller. He’s just good. Once he can hit FTs next year, he’ll be a top 3 scorer for us no question.

    If we keep up our energy over the rest of the season we should have some opportunities to win some surprising games in conference. I think Northwestern could be an opportunity for a nice road win if Shurna is still nicked up.

  • Marsh21

    Too much of everything from OSU tonight. I hesitate to break the game down much because of the obvious but our weak side defense in the zone has the reaction time of a sloth. Teams have great shooting nights against us because there’s no one within 10 feet of the shooter. I would rather just take our chances with man to man then watch other teams get free looks all game. Having Watford on top of the zone is rather comical because while he’s long, he’s very slow and allows too many easy shots.

    By the way, Crean should make Capo, Elston and Pritchard run 5 miles every time they set a moving screen 20 feet from the bucket! When is that going to end? I know they work on it in practice but these kids have been doing it for two years. I give credit to Crean because I would have been in a mental institution if I was walking the sidelines.

    However, I was pleased with their effort and desire to keep playing hard. They looked much better than against Penn State. I’m really pulling for Creek because his disappointment tonight was all over his face. He will come back.

    Go Hoosiers and Happy New Year!

  • BaseballBuc

    I mean what can you do when a team shoots like that. Ohio State won’t shoot like that again this year and we may never see a team come into AH and stroke it like that again. That said, I think IU actually brought a ton of effort tonight and for that I applaud them for that. Jordan Hulls continues to impress me, just gotta love what he brings every night. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel really bad for Mo Creek. I mean the guy has never made excuses, he plays hard and tries to be IU’s “guy” but just can’t do it right now. I feel for the kid as what he has had to go through. Victor Oladipo, what can you say; tough, energetic, fun to watch. Although he needs to work on his free throw shooting! This game was a wash for me, OSU is a final 4 team. If we played like this against Penn St. we win by double digits. Happy new year to all, have fun and be safe!

  • Anonymous

    Pritch, Elston, and Capo combined for 2 rebounds in 24 minutes. With that sort of “aggressiveness” I think it’s obvious why Crean wasn’t looking to them tonight.

    Elston doesn’t bring anything to the floor when he isn’t scoring and his teammates aren’t looking for him. I don’t think Pritch and Capo really have the ability, Elston frustrates me.

  • jgongora86

    I would like to add that Coach Crean should start him every game. Make it known to the other players if you want to play this is the standard you have to meet. At this point in time, it’s more important that you lay the foundations so that our sophomore’s and upcoming classes don’t take anything for granted.

  • BaseballBuc

    Victor reminds me so much of Jordan Crawford, although he’s more athletic. Players like him, Ron Patterson, Perea are going to be so fun to watch in the future.

  • jgongora86

    I don’t know if I told this story to anyone but I was on a flight going to bloomington from carolina. I had to change over from baltimore and saw victor entering the plane. I asked if he was victor and he said “yes sir”. I also sat next to him on the bloomington shuttle and he wondered how I knew his name. I told him we were Indiana basketball fans, were crazy like that. I told him all he had to do to be loved in this school is play hard and do good in school. I think he took it to heart, you never know with these kids. Yeah you could tell he was kid, but you could tell that he understood that the only way you do something, is by doing it to the best of your abilities. I can’t wait to see how this kid develops.

  • Andrew

    I like your +’s, but your third one is laughable. Have you ever seen Pritch or Capo? Elston gets some touches down low, as he should, when he doesn’t foul out in 7 minutes. But the other two guys??? Pritch is petrified when he has the ball, b/c he might get fouled, and that might mean he has to shoot free throws. To say he has no confidence is an understatement, his problems go so far beyond that; 1-10 from the stripe on the season doesn’t begin to explain how bad it is. He can’t wait to get rid of the ball the very second he catches it—what an incredible waste of 6’9, 250 he is. And Capo hasn’t made a post move in his year and a half in Bloomington. Neither can pass against anybody any good (Capo did have that dime up 40 against SC St.), and I’m guessing they wouldn’t command a double team, so that in a nutshell is why we never throw it to them down low.

    If CTC would just take the ball out of VJ3’s hands forever, and play him on the wing when he’s in the game, we would immediately improve so much overnight. Really discouraging that everyone seemingly sees it but him.

  • BaseballBuc

    That’s pretty cool JG. Dakich said early in the game that Victor plays harder than anyone else on the IU team and there shouldn’t be a player playing harder than anyone on the team. Everyone should be playing hard. I don’t know him well enough to know if he’s real vocal or not but at the very least he leads by example and hopefully it rubs off onto some other players and inspires the team.

  • Kelin Oladipo

    Andrew….for a good portion of his frosh year, Pritch was a double double machine down low. I remember Crean raving about his lefty jump hook. Can’t understand why he doesn’t get any touches. That could feed and boost his confidence if he had the opportunities down low. Elston had a nice post game in h.s. and showed one vs. UNI… Sullinger had to guard no one tonite because his guy was a screener and passer.

    I think VJ is improving with the ball in his hands and forcing less shots and plays.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah,

    I’m not so negative after this one. It wasn’t that bad when you consider the game was pretty much played 4 on 5 all night. What I mean by that should be obvious to everyone. Our guards had no chance of recovering to three point shooters when they continued to try and drop down to offer assistance to whoever was playing the 5 for us tonight. If they wouldn’t have helped, Sullinger would have went for 40 because it was that easy for him. Since we collapsed on him (and because we’re obviously too slow to recover) they were left with open threes all night. Some were mildly contested but they shot well. You don’t see guys shoot as well as Buford and Diebler did during three point contests in the NBA.

    I would like to see the rule that says that every team IU plays in December has to have their best shooting night of the year or set some sort of record. I would also like to see what rule says we have to have crap officials like Ed Hightower. Man, I hate that guy almost as much as I hate Valentine. It really seems like CTC and IU have not earned the officials respect yet either because we get NO calls during games even at home. I can’t wait to see how bad it is at PUke.

    Anyway, chalk this one up to just not having the talent to match up, OSU shooting like it was a video game, and the officials calling a game that favored the much deeper and stronger Buckeyes.

    Oh, well, at least I can’t really complain about the coaching or lack of effort tonight. I thought CTC used a lot of athletic lineups and I thought the guys never quit putting out maximum effort. They just didn’t have it.

    That being said, I agree with CTC that if they had played like this Monday, they would have never lost to PSU at home!

  • Kelin Oladipo

    Hopefully Mo bounces back like another guy who had the same injury…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij4mL_dmXbM

  • BaseballBuc

    I don’t think you can blame coach Crean. Dakich said during the broadcast that they worked on scenarios with Diebler running to the corner and spotting up during the shoot around. IU was just too slow with getting out to the shooters. In the second half, they would throw it down to Sullinger, Mo Creek would come to double team and he would throw it back out to Diebler and he’s wide open. With that team, it was pick your poison. If they didn’t make those threes, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Give credit to OSU. As far as the attendance, the students are home on break and thats definitely part of it.

  • BaseballBuc

    Haha yeah hopefully. He didn’t lose any athletic ability with that injury either. The guy is a freak.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree on Pritch. His confidence may be shot and his free throw ability is rough, but he really put up numbers for part of his freshman year against quality competition. And he did it too often for it to be a fluke. Maybe it won’t ever happen again, but it sure would help.

  • LDIU

    Simply put, our BIGS just aren’t good enough against this level of competition.

    But, then neither are our guards. We were at the game it looked like OSU was shooting fish in a barrel. Our guards did not get out of the OSU guards and they shot “lights out.”

    Elston is by far the best we have, so you had best get used to him. TP and Capo are not nearly good enough. DE is not a center, but has to play there.

    I am so frustrated by VJIII. He has played some 75 college BB games and makes so many fundamental mistakes, I about want to vomit. I guess we have a lot of improving to do. Also, the constant substitutions are driving me nuts.

    Creen needs to let the kids play thru a few mistakes and get into a nice flow. As you can tell, I am quite frustrated by all of this.

  • Andrew

    He had 5 that year in 31 games…not exactly what I’d call a double-double machine (interestingly, the one he had in B10 play was against O$U). I do understand what you’re saying, but what he did two seasons ago has absolutely no bearing on today. I mean, he hasn’t even attempted a shot the last four games. Think about that. He is 10-19 from the field for this entire season, and he’s played in all 15 games. We might as well be having a conversation about why Hulls isn’t doing reverse dunks during games. The ship sailed so long ago, and the fact he had 15 and 11 vs. TCU in December of 2008 only means that a sports psychologist would have a field day studying the mildly curious case of Tom Pritchard.

    He’s a designated screener who gets called for one to two moving screens a game, some deserved, most not. And VJ had 4 of our 14 turnovers tonite, right on his average. I sure hope you’re right about him improving. IU can’t take much more of his carelessness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/srhise Sean Hise

    Iusually a huge happy homer on this blog, but this is pathetic. This we get beat by 18 home and its ok attitude is not ok. At all. I just Loved it when we were launching hope shot 3s in the last minute instead of running (an) our offense. Havent seen the stats but im sure jordy had less than 10 shots, vj3 had more than 30 minutes, and jeremiah was not part of the original gameplan.

    But can I honestly get to the meat. That zone was terrible. We got down 8 so fast and that was deflating. Play these prawns man to man. I dont care what the score was when buford laughed at us I almost pulled my hair out.

    didnt get my new years wish to have roth get meaningful minutes.

    Please stop the talent excuse. If we play man to man like we did in stretchs today we beat anyone. Aslon as crean keeps creek an vo in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/srhise Sean Hise

    Im a little liquored up in puerto rico with my fam where I had them all watch theur first iu game. o excuse my pissed offness.

    yes I married a puerto rican.

  • BaseballBuc

    I respect your opinion, but I have to say I disagree 100%.

  • Anonymous

    I’m fearing that I come across as a Crean apologist at times…not the reputation I’m hoping to cultivate, so I’ll start by saying that VJ3 plays way too much considering the mistakes he makes. But as for the defense tonight, I don’t know what else you want CTC to try. He threw everything he had, it seemed. Three or four different zones, man-to-man, full-court pressure. But OSU just made everything. A lot of times (Diebler, Buford in the 1st half) there were shooters lost, or really slow close-outs. But they hit a lot of ridiculous shots. They’d hit around 80 percent of FG’s up until like 8 minutes to play in the 2nd half. That’s just silly. This is the same basic Matta offense from the last few years (that usually gets them beat in the tournament) where they just let fly from deep. Tonight, they hit a lot of shots. Some nights they won’t. If tonight had been one of those nights, IU could have pulled the upset. I thought the fact that the team never quit despite all the shots going in (nothing more demoralizing than playing fantastic defense for 34 seconds and seeing a circus shot fall, and that happened way too often tonight) and the team stayed up for it, and when the shots stopped falling at such a ridiculous pace, IU was still hanging around. That was impressive. Again, they’ve been competitive in every game. For me, that shows progress.

  • Anonymous

    No doubt on Hightower. How bad was the call when VO stuffed Sullinger? Big turning point, potentially. Then VO fouled out the next trip down the floor. Thanks Ed.

  • http://ryancorazza.com Ryan C.

    Blake Griffin is a flat out marvel on the basketball floor.

    Feel like Parea can be a similar hightlight reel in 2012.

  • Anonymous

    That play reminded me of the Moye block on Boozer. It’s a shame that it was not the same outcome–shoulda been.

  • Kelin Oladipo

    Diebler got one three on transition when they lost him. He got another on a kick out by sullinger because we were doubling down. He made some shots with people in his face. We did not have the personnel to cover the guy…any of them. I think the team was well prepared but you can’t prepare for a team that shoots 80%….there is no defense to stop that.

    As far as the attendance….simple…success brings people out. Not to mention it was New Years eve.

  • Kelin Oladipo

    I agree he hasn’t attempted a shot in 4 games, nor has capo….but have you seen passes go down low in the block? Has there been anything run to get them open down low? At 6’9 250 the last place you want to be is at the top of the key screening or just moving the ball. I just think the kid is out of his element where he has been all of his life, in the post banging around, getting put backs and making lay ups. Pritch wasn’t recruited for his ability to set screens…..now what has happened I think is on him and Crean. How effective would Sullinger be if he was just setting screens but got very few touches.

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    christian watford

  • SeattleHoosier

    I think that part of Pritchard’s problem is that he gets into foul trouble so quickly. You can count on him to rack up two or three fouls every 5-7 minutes of playing time. This forces him to play too conservatively.

  • SeattleHoosier

    I, like many of you, hate that we lost at home by 18. But I think Ryan hit the nail on the head with his article. At some point, we need to stop calling this a rebuilding project and get serious about wins, but now is not that time. We played well against a better team – and that is progress.

    Thanks, Ryan! Happy New Year to all!

  • BaseballBuc

    Agree 100%. You just got to give OSU credit. They hit shots.

  • Anonymous

    Well we could fire coach now and then wait until 2020 for a winning season. Ted.

  • Anonymous

    How can you waste a possession by giving the ball to Pritchard for anything but a two-hand dunk? All the opponent has to do is wrap him up and he may hit 2-12 FT’s in 6 possessions, plus the occasional TO and offensive foul.

  • Anonymous

    I think that that is a done deal!

  • Anonymous

    VO definitely has a leg up on Crawford athletically, but the latter is a far better shooter on all fronts (mid-range, from three and of course the FT line) as well as a better ball-handler during his Freshman year.

    Love comparing players too, so I’ll throw out Rod Wilmont. Both bring tons of energy on the court, lead by example and had the ability to bring the crowd to its feet.

    I recall Wilmont really improving on his outside shooting year after year. There’s no reason to think VO can’t do the same.

  • MillaRed

    Well said Andrew.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Correction . . . he doesn’t jump well enough to feel confident in the two-handed dunk. He’s used the one handed dunk more this year!

    HA

  • Anonymous

    if mo bounces back like this i will streak the iu campus again..
    however, i don’t see mo growing 5 inches and gaining 50 pounds. lol

    i will take a junior mo playing with the athletic ability he had pre-injury and the experience of two years. i think another off-season in the weight room along with many many long days in Cook Hall will have him ready for next season.

    get better bro, the whole hoosier nation is behind you. we want to see 31 against that team down south next year!

  • kristheboss

    it also helps when dieblers shooting over Hulls who’s about 4 inches shorter… thats something that also cannot really be prevented.

  • BaseballBuc

    Next time that happens or if you just want to sell your tickets, I may be interested. Email is BaseballBuc91@hotmail.com. ;)

  • Plane1972

    I blame the guards for most of the moving screens. They are not running the screens tightly enough and the screeners are being forced to move to get their body on the defender. It’s lazy and pointless. I give the bigs a bit of a pass on this one.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree that VO should start every game. Glad to see him in early and often. Also, I was glad to see VO get a CLEAN block on Sullinger. Unfortunately, ref anticipated the foul and blew the whistle.

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