The Minute After: Wisconsin

  • 03/04/2011 12:03 am in

Thoughts on a 77-67 loss to the Badgers:

Hats off to the Hoosiers.

On senior night, they played with the maturity of a team with more than just one in the lineup.

In fact, it was a similar style to their opponent: A low-turnover (just five), efficient performance.

And, if you can believe it, they calmed their incessant fouling (19 fouls) enough that Wisconsin committed more (22) and shot less free throws (20-of-22) than Indiana (21-of-26). Finally, a net positive in that department.

When you don’t turn the ball over, get to the line more than your opponent and shoot well enough (46.8 percent) — you give yourself a chance against good teams, as Indiana did tonight. This version of Indiana  — had they shown up for more than just this evening — would be flirting with .500, or maybe even on the right side of it.

But there was one man who would not be denied. Jordan Taylor dropped a career-high 39 points. And it was a HARD 39. Taylor hit a dizzying amount of bailout buckets as the shot clocked danced near zero. He sunk three after three with a palm in his nostrils. He hit all 10 of his free throws.

It was just a little too much.

After senior Jon Leuer went out with his fourth foul at 11:37 in the second half, Taylor scored 17 straight points for Wisconsin. What was once a one-point deficit for IU ballooned to 13 by the 6:19 mark.

And then Wisconsin went all Wisconsin on the Hoosiers: working the shot clock, maximizing its possessions and hitting its free throws. It was just too strong a wall to break through.

Indiana shoot just 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) from beyond the arc.

A few more triples — say seven, the Wisconsin-record-tying amount Taylor hit tonight —  and maybe things turn out with Assembly Hall’s faithful storming the court.

A final thought:

We’ll get to this more in our end-of-the-season player profiles.

But wanted to make sure to mention Jeremiah Rivers on senior night. Hats off to him as well.

He came from a Final Four appearance to a program in ruins, and though it was rocky at times, I will remember him as a young man who decided to swallow his pride and accept his role as an elite perimeter defender this season — and these players are so IMPORTANT — and performed admirably in it. He leaves Assembly Hall with his head held high, the crowd chanting his name and his father looking on with pride.

All senior nights at Indiana should end like this.

That’s all for me. Gettin’ late.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    “Tell me why? Please?” Cmon Milla you still desperately trying to get answers to some of these questions? They are only going to put more stress on you. I’ve learned recently to let some of these questions just fade away — I feel much more relaxed. Crean isn’t answering them and don’t think he ever will.

  • Anonymous

    If we lose to Illinois and the 1st rd. of B10 tournament, which I think we can all agree is likely, then it will be 1st season since 1910 that IU did not win a road or neutral sight game in a season. We’re not just bad, we’re historically bad. Sorry to be pessimistic here but after 3 historically bad IU seasons, I fear we are heading right into number 4. Someone want to try and convince me otherwise?

  • Anonymous

    I agree, Jones actually looked pretty good last night. Not great, but good.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, Jones actually looked pretty good last night. Not great, but good.

  • Anonymous

    Do you mean “left” as in left Assembly Hall…?

    If so, I don’t know if I’m more surprised to hear that a Hoosier left a bball game early or more surprised that he admits it afterwards. Are you also by chance a Los Angeles Dodgers fan?

  • Anonymous

    Do you mean “left” as in left Assembly Hall…?

    If so, I don’t know if I’m more surprised to hear that a Hoosier left a bball game early or more surprised that he admits it afterwards. Are you also by chance a Los Angeles Dodgers fan?

  • Anonymous

    I thought Jones played his best game last night — for the first time I didn’t really have much reason to focus in on him and it turned out great for me (and he played almost the entire game).

  • millzy32

    I thought that Jerry CT was Crean using an alias on ITH

  • millzy32

    I thought that Jerry CT was Crean using an alias on ITH

  • Diesel

    Nuts!

  • millzy32

    Just do what Charlie Sheen does and become a winner and start having epic parties. The stress will just magically go away. You’ll find yourself not caring if we won or lost or even if we are recruiting well. Duh.

  • millzy32

    Maybe we’ll schedule one of those sister or the poor schools away next year. Then you can get your road win.

    I think we all know that if the verbal recruits that we have weren’t coming to IU then there would be a hot seat in B-Town. With Cody and the other verbals the administration is willing to give as long as it takes within reason. Hopefully the turnaround starts next season. If it doesn’t then I wonder if it ever will.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Was it a good game plan by WISC causing the switches or was it our strategy to switch those screens cause I kept asking Rivers to fight through it and stay on Taylor but it seemed like that wasn’t how we prepared?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, I can’t figure out why we double down when TP is in the post because he doesn’t pick up the majority of his fouls guarding his man 1-on-1 in the post. He picks up most of his fouls helping off on other men when they beat CWat or one of the guards. He seems to hold his ground well (just like he did against Johnson) when he’s isolated on the post.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    We fouled less, shot more FT’s, and the officials still screwed us!

    1) The ball thrown out of bounds across court, ruled off IU, that led to a 3-point play for JT – his first basket in his 17 pt. run. (IU was down 1)
    2) The travel in the backcourt on JT. (IU down 4)
    3) The mugging VJ3 took going to the bucket about 8 min left. (I think IU was down 6)
    4) The fact that we couldn’t breath on JT without a foul being called. Including the one play where he forced the shot and got blocked from the front and back yet still got the foul call.

    There’s almost no sense in complaining about the officiating anymore until CTC takes his rear off the menu by sticking his foot up a refs butt! Until he starts to demand some respect he’s not going to get it. Nice guys often finish last in sports, just ask JoePa!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Good thing I don’t play at IU because Taylor would have finished that game with limp, a fat lip, or with one less tooth cause I would’ve put him in the stands on one of those drives. I was a bit of a temperamental player though. I’ve mellowed with age.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I was thinking the exact same thing last night. I actually had nothing but compliments for VJ3 last night. His lone blunder was a missed bunny late in the game but that happens to everyone. He really played well and didn’t really slow the game down. He also played determined like he wanted to send the lone senior out with a win.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    How nice would it be to beat Illinoying at their mockery of an assembly hall and knock them off the bubble once and for all? I WOULD WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN AND GET READY FOR NEXT YEAR IF THEY COULD PULL THAT OFF!!!

  • MillaRed

    This is just one of the easy ones though. We are down 4 for 3/4 of the game and then bam. We’re down 11 and we get a TO. Come on man! Stop the bleeding. Did we eat two TOs again? If not it was well over by the time we used them. Frustrating.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m gonna try – let me preface this by saying that I don’t think we’ve improved a ton this year either. Yes, the games are closer, but we are still losing and will actually finish with a worse B10 record most likely, but . . .

    1) Post defense will be better with the addition of Zeller – TP is a solid post defender when he doesn’t have to pick up every man on help D after they’ve beat our guards. Next year CZ will be able to pick up the slack on help D because he gets up better and quicker and understands post D.
    2) Post offensive production should be better for two reasons. a) Zeller is a good post scorer. b) TP and CW should get more clean up baskets on the weak side boards if CZ is doubled or dump downs for easy baskets.
    3) More open three point shooters – again this is because CZ should draw some more attention than the bigs we have now which should free up Hulls, etc. for more shots.
    4) Will and Vic will be a year stronger and quicker and hopefully understand D more. That alone should help improve our team defense.
    5) CW has another year to possibly finally become strong enough to compete in the Big Ten – this is a stretch but I’m still hoping.
    6) Hopefully Hulls improves as much from soph to junior year as he did from year 1 to year 2.
    7) Maybe we can pull in another athlete?
    8) Austin Etherington is a DIRTY player and we need that if he does it in a good way.
    9) A key is if VJ3 starts to play more like he did last night – less selfish and more uptempo!

    BTW, got to see the the Peru/HH game and that foul on Alex E was a dirty, cheap, uncalled for play and that kid should have been suspended for the rest of the year!

  • Anonymous

    This was a good spirited game against a top 10 opponent with the Big Ten MVP showing just how good he is! I want IU to have somone this good in candy stripes. Much better substitution pattern, great game plan on Leur, but Jordan Taylor was just too good tonight. Keep playing this way and good things will happen. Tom and Derek, we have to play you, so just work on defense and rebounding with no TO’s and 100% effort. And yes, every foul called on you tonight was a legitimate FOUL. Move your feet, grab both arms so there is no shot or get out of the way! No one is buying the charge call with you two.

  • MillaRed

    I have a buddy that had a co-worker that was losing his mind. Just hated the job etc and was always dumping on him. My buddy finally says, “Man you either need to quit or get professional help. You are bringing me down and I can’t listen to it any more.” Tail between his legs, the guy walks away and disappears for a week.

    He sees him in the lunch room a week later and the guy is all smiles and prancing around like an elf in Santa’s workshop. He sees the same behavior all week and finally the curiosity gets the best of him. So he approaches the guy and says, “Hey man, you feeling better?”
    “Absolutely! I feel great!”
    “Really. May I ask what has changed?”
    “Yes. I took your advice and saw a psychiatrist. Now I am medicated and I don’t worry any more?”
    My friend ponders this for a moment, “What do you mean?”
    “I take pills now and ever since I started them I don’t worry!”
    Walking away, my buddy thinks to himself, “No worries. Hell, that sounds pretty nice. I might have to get me some of that stuff.” (kiddingly, sort of)

    He talks to me about this and we laugh about it. So no worry? So I can rob a bank today, because I won’t have to worry! Hell, let’s go steal a car. Tell the boss to take a hike. We aren’t worrying!

    The moral of the story is, Charlie Sheen may not think he has a lot to worry about, but he is a train wreck. To inject a little IU hoops into this story, there are no pills for us to swallow that will keep us from being concerned. All of our questions are valid. The off-season is coming soon. Man I hope it’s a good one! So I won’t have to worry (without the meds).

    PS. the medicated guy was fired 3 days later. Too happy I am guessing. Should have stayed depressed.

  • deedubbadoo

    That coupled with the fact that the atheletic department is not going to eat Crean’s contract this early!

    My question is this, why don’t we pick up the full-court press earlier in the game? It seems it is reserved for the last few minutes of the second half and it did seem to mess with Wiscy’s tempo.

    Finally, I don’t care if Stephen Bardo loses his job…that is all.

  • Anonymous

    Since Christian Watford is by far the #1 player on the IU team, no one is playing ahead of him. How can you even mention Pritchard and Elston in the same breath? If a kid can NOT beat out Pritchard and/or Elston, and is 6’9, then Indiana should not offer him!

  • MillaRed

    Well we play at Evansville and if we don’t win that one in November I think your concerns are valid. I’ll be at the game and will text you a “sky is falling” message if it isn’t looking good.

  • Anonymous

    Will Sheehey does foul, especially when he is guarding Leur and Taylor. Wow what an assignment. But the only reason that he fouled out is because he was told to be the guy fouling, two times, intentionally at the end of the game.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Could someone please teach DE how to set a screen??? I know he doesn’t appear to be real bright out there but surely we can teach him the concept of setting the screen and then rolling instead of rolling while he’s setting the screen!!!

  • JerryCT

    Ha Ha ! A self flagellating CTC at that. Criticizing myself to throw yu off

    Actually about 13 games into the season I began to go X & O theory because I could not make sense of what we are supposed to be doing ………….. after doing research papers on DD offense, Man defense, Wisky Swing, Princeton etc ………….. I still don’t know what we are supposed to be doing on the floor.

    One thing I did learn is that are 7 ways to try to defend a ball screen and 5 of them are bad ideas and none of them worked last night.

  • JerryCT

    Your old email does not work

  • JerryCT

    Ace: I was thinking the same thing during the game ie John Chaney’s ” Send in the GOONS ” ! Where is Dumes when you need him.

  • SB_Hoosier

    I agree about the ball pressure, both on the initial post feed and also once the ball is in the post. Our double teams don’t get there quick enough and frequently aren’t aggressive enough to get the post player rattled. Bottom line, unless the double is coming from the strong side, post players are taught to turn and look opposite. Opponents are easily doing that, and quickly, and we simply can’t rotate quick enough. Personally, I think it’s a combination of the staff choosing to double from the same spot all the time, and the players not being able to rotate properly. It’s easy to gameplan against a double team when you know where it’s coming from and opponents are able to quickly get the ball out and beat us because we simply can’t rotate fast enough.

    It’s frustrating because it seems if we don’t double team, TP picks up fouls at an alarming rate. He’s easily our best post defender, and actually pretty good at it, but he has a reputation in the eyes of the refs and picks up some fouls he shouldn’t. The other problem is once he gets in foul trouble, our options for good post defenders are gone. I personally think the double teaming is a preventive measure to keep TP out of foul trouble. Unfortunately our guards like to give him plenty of makeup opportunities.

  • Anonymous

    Looking at the banners on TV last night, I started thinking (uh, oh)…

    If we don’t win the National Championship this year 🙂 this will be the longest stretch in 70 years that IU has gone without one.

  • InTheMtns

    Diesel – with regard to your thoughts on the hacktastic standard:

    I think you are on to something with this. HoosierFan posted a similar observation to yours on the “One factor stands out for this group of Hoosiers -hacktastic standard” article. HoosierFan also suggested this would at least explain why this seasons number are higher than the last two season’s numbers (we weren’t in as many close games those two seasons and had no need to foul to extend the game).

    I think you both are on to something with this. And it shows why numbers without context often show a incomplete picture. It seems like our numbers are still too high and probably should be of concern, but maybe the downward decline, itself, isn’t an issue.

  • Anonymous

    man – if VJ could find a way to play like that every game, i would enjoy watching IU so much more. And I don’t think he made any huge change; it was something as simple as spending less time with the ball in his hands and decent defense (just stop initiating the cross court help and don’t give your man 5 feet space). Too many times this year I concerned myself too much with what VJ was doing on the court; like I mentioned last night I wasn’t concerned – the game just flowed without singling him out.

  • Anonymous

    There is a point that nobody seemed to consider before this season began. Everyone was optimistic that IU would improve, but people rarely considered or pointed out that the rest of the Big Ten was going to improve as well. I am not sure there was one team in the B10 that got worse from last season to this season, so even though we improved they did too and just as they were better than us a year before they were again better than us this year.

    Next year will not be the case: no more Jordan Taylors or J Johnsons or Moores or Sullingers or Dieblers or …….. list goes on. Next year will be the determining year for sure.

  • Anonymous

    Taylor was white hot, no doubt. But VO did a better job on than anyone else. Moreover, accepting a switch on a simple high-screen that results in a Pritch/Taylor or CW/Taylor match-up is a bad plan.

    VO was the only one working a face-guard, ball denial defense. Frustrating however you slice it.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I don’t expect him to be the savior, but I do expect 1 really good player to make others around him better. That just seems to be the way it works you know? I think his presence is going to force the other bigs to work harder and also give them someone worth his salt to go up against in practice, which is something that has been sorely lacking for quite a while. Just those two things should make for quite an improvement.

  • InTheMtns

    It sounds like, from player interviews, CTC decided to try the switch on the high screen in order to have a taller defender on Taylor. Also, a lot of guards would have tried to drive against a slower big guy and they thought maybe he wouldn’t take a three. Taylor didn’t drive and shot over the big guys as well as he shot over the guards, though. You can say that the Pritch match up was a bad plan, but please note that the only 3 that Taylor missed was one when Pritch was guarding him. Of course, he also made a couple on Pritch as well. The only way anyone was stopping him was if they could have denied him the ball but that seemed impossible most of the night, too.

  • InTheMtns

    Well said, Anrhill. I remember in the pre-season this year, a lot of us were making predictions about how many games the team would win this year. That was when we thought we were going to have a 7 footer with some good defensive skills playing the 5 and a mostly healthy Mo Creek by B1G season. The predictions ranged from 14 wins to 20 wins with many predicting at least a .500 season. Regardless of the number of wins predicted, though, almost everyone said the one thing they wanted most was that we were competitive in every game. The loses have piled up too high and the inability to get over “the hump” (seems eternal by now) is still there, but in my opinion, they have been competitive in almost all the games. And that does give us hope for next year! Allow me to ditto your sentiments — Keep up the hard work guys. IU Nation loves you.

  • Anonymous

    All true. In many cases, Taylor’s points came from a pass. VO did a great job down the stretch denying him the opportunity to get the ball back. That would have been my plan all along. But it’s a veritable Monday, isn’t it?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Damon Bailey was also a 6’2″ – 6’3″ guard with leg problems. Zeller is 6’11” and that’s where we need help. I think that has more to do with it than anything else. His arrival couldn’t come at a better position for IU, unless he could also play a mean PG.

    Also, his brother Tyler is currently averaging 14.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, and 1.2 bpg. He’s also one of the main reasons for UNC’s resurgence this year and by all accounts, Cody is the best and most all-around player of the three brothers!

    So, if he doesn’t help then it’s more of a “bust” situation or failure in coaching rather than an “unrealistic expectations” situation. I myself don’t expect the kid to come in and lead the team in scoring and rebounding and be first team All-Big Ten his freshman year and lead us to the Sweet 16. I do however expect him to come in and maybe average 10/6 or hopefully more like 12/7 and play good post D. That makes Watford better, TP better, the guards better, etc. and hopefully that will translate to a better team and better season.

    At the end of my second year of coaching baseball (high level prep baseball 16-18-yr-olds – all of whom were going to play college ball and several at the D1 level) after playing college ball, I brought in 2 players to add to an already pretty good team. We had finished 27-12 the previous year and won a few tournaments and were bringing a lot of talent back. The two players I added were really, really good players that filled our two weakest positions, 1B and 3B. The difference that those players made couldn’t be measured by just their performances. Our SS had a much, much better season because the 1B took a lot of pressure off of him. He knew he’d bail him out if he made a bad throw and he also knew the 3B next to him had more range and talent. Our fielding percentage sky rocketed and the players in the lineup hit better because they knew those guys had their back and could pick them up if they had a bad at bat. We finished that year at 34-5 and beat the AAU National Champion badly in a wooden bat tournament.

    My point is that one or two players can make a huge difference if they do their job and the players around them know that. It takes pressure off other guys and gives them more confidence. All of the sudden a VJ3 or Jordy Hulls isn’t thinking about getting beat, or worrying about it, because they know they have a talented post defender there to get there back. I’m not saying that’s going to happen but if things work out the way they should then that’s the plan for a top notch recruit. He doesn’t necessarily have to singlehandedly lead you to the promise land, he just has to do his job and that will hopefully make others around him better.

    My concern is whether or not players like VJ and CWat are selfish players who will still stick to their old ways even if CZ comes in and plays his role perfectly?

    Sorry for the length of this post.

  • Anonymous

    Amen brother, I posted a few days ago that Zeller is not going to add 4 or 5 wins to this team. The offense we run doesn’t seem to really be that of an offense that will reward a big on that end. I understand Zeller can be a great player, but it will take a little adjusting for him just like any other big. None of Crean’s teams in Marquette ever had a real good post player, why? Because his system doesn’t cater to that. I’m excited to get him but don’t expect more than 15 or 16 wins again next year. I think that is crap and that we should be contending for NCAA berth but won’t happen.

    I especially liked you concluding sentence. That is what this fan base has primarily seemingly become….an excuse machine. We constantly move the bar of success to make us feel better about the current situation that we have. The question is for all of these fans who continue to move the bar is, WHEN DO YOU SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?

  • Anonymous

    Your thoughts are good Aceman but I pose a couple of follow up questions.

    1) Will Crean treat Zeller’s minutes the same as Oladipo and Sheehey’s this season? If so I fear his impact in the areas you discussed will be limited.

    2) You don’t really think CW gets tougher?

    3) Will VJIII be the primary ball handler? If it’s not Hulls aren’t we doomed based on what we’ve seen in 3 years of VJ in that role?

  • Anonymous

    The poorly timed mistakes that you talk about as well as the ft shooting are as much a coaching issue as player. The same mistakes should not be happening after 3 years of coaching.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t even care about beating a cupcake on the road. An even bigger issue would be that if we don’t get a B10 road win next year then in Crean’s 4 years he would be 1-35 in B10 road games. If this happens I don’t care who is coming it is time for some kind of change. 1-35……and yes that means if we don’t beat Illinois today then at this point we are 1-26.

  • InTheMtns

    Gosh, BornHoosierFan, I, for one, am willing to at least let next season begin before I decalre it a total failure.