The Minute After: Ohio State

Thoughts on a 80-63 loss against the Buckeyes:

Few, save for Jared Fogle, predicted a victory against the Buckeyes this late afternoon in Columbus.

They were out for revenge against an Indiana squad that defeated them on New Year’s Eve; they’d lost a tough one in Champaign earlier this week with Brandon Paul hitting everything in sight. As Dana O’Neil tweeted: “Never play the Buckeyes when they’re angry.”

But a first-half performance this putrid inside Value City Arena? Oy. Indiana had problems all over the place to start this one. The Hoosiers couldn’t buy a bucket, only having 14 points at the break, mustering just an eFG% of 29.5. They allowed 11 second-chance points to the Buckeyes, who sported an OR% of  37.5. Indiana also turned the ball over too much (12 turnovers, 37.5 TO%). And then there was Lenzelle Smith Jr. He came into this one averaging 5.2 points per game. At half, he had 18. When the final buzzer sounded, Smith had a career-high 28 on 10-of-12 shooting, including four 3-pointers.

But the second half? Indiana held its own. The shooting recovered (it finished with a 49.1 eFG% ) and the 3-point shot — which had been dormant against Minnesota and in the fist half  of this one — came to life a bit as Indiana hit 7-of-21 (33.3%) on the evening. Not as good as they’ve been hitting. But not as bad as the first half was projecting. Indiana went 2-3 zones for stretches, which helped slow the Buckeyes some. And the turnovers cooled down (17 total, 26.0 TO% for the game). The Hoosiers also outscored the Buckeyes in the second half, 49-45.

So after all is said and done here, Indiana — a team that was a 13-point underdog this morning and was given just a 16% chance of victory by KenPom — lost by 17. Bad? Sure. Season-altering, sky-is-falling bad after Thursday’s loss to Minnesota? I don’t think so.

The truth is this: Indiana probably isn’t as good as its 15-1 record indicated. And they probably aren’t one of the seven-best teams in the country. This does not mean they’re not worthy of a high seed come the tournament. Or that they can’t still challenge for one of the top spots in the conference . Or that they still can’t remain in the Top 25 for the remainder of the season.

But adversity has hit for the first time all year. And how these group of young men respond to it could ultimately tell the tale on this season.

  • Anonymous

    we need a catylist of the offense that can penetrate and kick to these shooters. Then maybe we wont score 14 points in a half on the road. I love Jordy, but he cant do it

  • Anonymous

    buford has been talked about going to the nba for 3 years. VO and Will are great energy guys, great athleticism, but they are not as skilled as the OSU players.

  • millzy32

    Agree and would even throw in Abell to spell at the PG position.  He attacks the basket and stays active.

  • Kfdchev

    When you have had three seasons in a row like the last three we have had, these last three games we have played are reason for concern in my opinion. You are right in your statement that what matters is how a team is playing in late season. But from watching this team the last three years and remembering what they went through in those campaigns is making me a little uneasy about the remainder of this season. The way we have played the last three games is how we have played much of the Big Ten schedule the last three years and that will lead to another sub-par performance if we dont right the ship NOW! We have got to get the defense straightened out now and start playing on the offensive end with a little energy or we will be WATCHING post season play again.

  • Kfdchev

    When you have had three seasons in a row like the last three we have had, these last three games we have played are reason for concern in my opinion. You are right in your statement that what matters is how a team is playing in late season. But from watching this team the last three years and remembering what they went through in those campaigns is making me a little uneasy about the remainder of this season. The way we have played the last three games is how we have played much of the Big Ten schedule the last three years and that will lead to another sub-par performance if we dont right the ship NOW! We have got to get the defense straightened out now and start playing on the offensive end with a little energy or we will be WATCHING post season play again.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Not so sure about the X’s and O’s. It seemed like the team was confused on O at times. At one point, it seemed like they were arguing about what play was being run and where to set up.

  • INUnivHoosier

    You’re crazy, man. I like you, but you’re crazy.

  • INUnivHoosier

    1) Don’t expect a lot of calls on the road. It generally just doesn’t happen.
    2) They were so tentative on attacking off the dribble that they didn’t deserve foul calls, particularly in the first half. When they actually started attacking a bit in the second half, they got more calls.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I would like to see some overlap in their substitutions, but I would also like to see 1 of the 2 on the court for basically every minute of the game.

    I do like Petefaggen’s idea that putting the two in may help ignite something. I would like to see an early sub-in of Will for Verdell against Nebraska to get something going with Sheehey and Vic. They do seem to feed off one another, and the team feeds off that energy.

    Hopefully Sheehey’s conditioning after his injury is getting back to pre-injury.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Like the points – particularly about Hulls TOs and Cody working Sullinger. Even though Sully had a good game, I didn’t really notice him much.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Like the points – particularly about Hulls TOs and Cody working Sullinger. Even though Sully had a good game, I didn’t really notice him much.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I think Remy could have handled first half minutes as well as our other PGs did in the last one.

  • FanaticHoosier

    I’m wondering if Crean has been trying to implement more into the play book as of late.  It almost looks like they have been working on different sets on both sides of the floor and have forgotten how to run the basics.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you. Since the B1G started Indiana has had one poor loss (MN at home). Let’s quit talking and win some games. Defense, boxing out for rebounds, making the easy pass, taking only shots you can (and will) hit at 50%, and overall toughness is what IU needs. Nothing new here!

  • CreamandCrimson

    24 wouldn’t have been that bad.  14…that was awful.

  • Anonymous

    fixed the typo

  • Anonymous

    good point

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/6d23AK8nlfQhXB9.TiLAzaVhfzuQMFMf9EasPBSqtGzumA--#eee30 DeeLyle

    Totally agree.  Need to stay level headed.  There are many games left and we are a good team.  Just get back to the basics and we’re fine.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/6d23AK8nlfQhXB9.TiLAzaVhfzuQMFMf9EasPBSqtGzumA--#eee30 DeeLyle

    Kelin, which team are you referring to?

  • Anonymous

    I wish it would happen soo bad, sheehey has proven himself enough in my eyes  and verdell has done the opposite  he is a senior and i know he’s trying his best but when you’re hurting us more than helping its time for a change

  • Southbostonjohn

    I have not seen anything about (Zone defense).  They played zone D for most of the game and could not defend the drive or offensive rebounds.  If they do not play better defense its going to be a long season.

  • Anonymous

    yea the osu and minnesota games displayed a pretty poor 2-3

  • IUJeff

    The glass half-empty negative nancy people come out by the droves when the team is losing.

    The pollsters agree w/ you that these last 2 games mean nothing. 

    Time to start playing like a team again IU on both ends of the court.

    And please hurry up and turn it around so all these dumb arses can shut up again.  

  • IUJeff

    Where were your posts when the team was doing well?

    The fair weathered friends need to stay home.

  • IUJeff

    Where were your posts when the team was doing well?

    The fair weathered friends need to stay home.

  • Andrew

    Keep in mind there are about a thousand professional leagues out there, so you might as well include Hulls, Jones and and anyone else on scholarship who seriously wants to pursue a career far from the states.  You responded to a post about O$U’s NBA talent, so obviously it sounded like you were saying those four IU guys are future NBA’ers.  If you really believe your last sentence you don’t know much about basketball.  The Buckeyes are far superior in talent, athleticism and future “pros.”  They have 3 McDonald’s AAs who rarely play.  We still play Daniel Moore from time to time.

  • Walt

    I really like VJ111. Of course his shortcomings have been pointed out probably way too much, but must go along w/IUzeller 40, I want VJ to do like the Lenzell Smith Jr. did last night; come out firing on all cylinders and make something happen in the game.  If not offensively, then defensively. Make something happen. “steal the ball’, he is not hustling the way he should. Do not want him to be “cool” need him to be effective.

  • Walt

    Swishmac, agree with your point here.  Would like to add that I do not think IU posters here are “fairweather fans”, nor are they negative or piling on IU basketball team.  Almost all the posts I have read show that the posters are very concerned, and serious about their team and want them to do well. No one I have heard of is being overly critical, they enjoiy the team doing well, and most post things that might help, I think many of us think someone from the team might read something here and will help. Go IU

  • Kelin Blab

    Pike

  • Kelin Blab

    Harsh? Guys are drafted for a reason. Kevin Love rebounding for example…guys are drafted for versatility….Deshaun Thomas does not have a definable NBA skill set but he probably would get drafted….

  • Kelin Blab

    Harsh? Guys are drafted for a reason. Kevin Love rebounding for example…guys are drafted for versatility….Deshaun Thomas does not have a definable NBA skill set but he probably would get drafted….

  • Kelin Blab

    I believe all of my sentences 100%. If you look at their top 4 players and IU’s not that much of a difference in talent and athleticism…Sullinger/Zeller, Watford/Buford, Thomas/Sheehey, Oladipo/Croft…

    What am I missing here? Where is the superiority?

  • Anonymous

    All of this debate, yes IU basketball back and relevant.  Maybe not top 10 yet but top 20.

  • InTheMtns

    It seemed to be worse in this OSU game. They seemed kind of frantic and seemed to rush everything – sort of starting the next part of their move before actually catching the ball. I thought a couple of the times a player fell down without any contact from the opponent was more of the same thing – just going too fast.

  • InTheMtns

    Agree.

  • Jmcclain101

    OSU superiority is in the matta/crean comparison IMHO

  • Jmcclain101

    i hate to agree here but it’s true – people talk about being able to correct our mistakes but i don’t believe you can correct quickness (in the sense that we are just too slow to stay in front of our man).  this is where i have come to realize that we are still rebuilding - we have more talent coming and we will finally have the kids we need to succeed – i just hope coach can get his X and O’s worked out by then (can we get an assistant who can draw up an in-bounds play in the mean time?)

  • Jmcclain101

    i hate to agree here but it’s true – people talk about being able to correct our mistakes but i don’t believe you can correct quickness (in the sense that we are just too slow to stay in front of our man).  this is where i have come to realize that we are still rebuilding - we have more talent coming and we will finally have the kids we need to succeed – i just hope coach can get his X and O’s worked out by then (can we get an assistant who can draw up an in-bounds play in the mean time?)

  • Jmcclain101

    good points – would like to ask what people think we should do about getting CWat going.  i have seen a few games early where we try to get him going by throwing it to him on the block with his back to the basket and hate to say it but the results are never good.  not much success when he drives to the basket either (some exceptions here but safe to say in his career as a whole – he can’t get to the basket).  it’s weird because he just isn’t a ‘quick’ jumper and his rhythm when dribbling/driving seems pretty easy to adjust to as a defender… which may explain why he always gets his shot blocked.  he is deadly from 3 and it seems to me like he should just play shooting guard – lol (just kidding btw). anyone else notice this or am i crazy?

  • Mister Slippery

    What do people think starting WS over VJ3 is going to do? Yes, this is a very understandable thing to say, especially when it is said ten million times in two days, but I don’t know that Will starting would have led to wins in the last two games. It’s more about minutes.

    I think having a quality sixth man to come in is a great asset to have – and Will is one of the best 6th men in the country. Remy could do this, but WS has been really good in this role for the early part of the season. I don’t think of it as a slight to Will at all. Once fully back, I can’t imagine him not getting huge minutes.

  • heinsohn

    Couldn’t agree more.Our guard play especially on defense is killing us.Saw Minn. spread us out and beat our guards off the dribble.same thing at OSU many offensive rebounds because our bigs had moved to stop guys coming up the middle.Hulls gives his all but is a liability,Jones can’t guard anybody and together they are weak.Hmm Abell perhaps….

  • heinsohn

    Couldn’t agree more.Our guard play especially on defense is killing us.Saw Minn. spread us out and beat our guards off the dribble.same thing at OSU many offensive rebounds because our bigs had moved to stop guys coming up the middle.Hulls gives his all but is a liability,Jones can’t guard anybody and together they are weak.Hmm Abell perhaps….

  • heinsohn

    amen,brother hard for players to adjust…remember the last OSU game nobody could touch anybody.But they are supposed to adjust to the way the game is called.Still…

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