Disappointment aside, Hoosiers look ahead to Sunday

  • 03/10/2012 4:51 pm in

The facial expressions were long in the Indiana locker room following the Hoosiers’ 79-71 loss to Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament.

IU expected to beat the Badgers for the first time since 2007 after winning their previous five games by an average of 16.2 points.

Disappointment was the natural way to react.

But buried underneath the emotion of the loss they’d experienced just minutes earlier were words of optimism from a team that’s a lock to be selected for the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s why we all came here. It’s why we all fought through the ups and downs,” Indiana guard Matt Roth said. “A lot of good things happened to us this year. We were able to face the adversity that came about and we really handled it well.”

The adversity Roth speaks of pops up over the course of the season in programs across the country. The difference in this turnaround season for Indiana is that the Hoosiers, as Roth said, have met the adversity each time and improved on the other side of it.

After losing five of seven games from Jan. 12 to Feb. 1, Indiana rattled off eight wins in its final ten games.

In the previous three seasons, losses snowballed in February and the Hoosiers met the finish line of their season in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament.

“Obviously three years of being in this locker room and the season’s over, it’s a different change,” Indiana forward Tom Pritchard said. “We’ve just gotta keep building on what we’re doing right, correct the mistakes and get ready for the NCAA Tournament.”

The fact that we’re even talking about Indiana as a lock to make the tournament is a sign the program is ahead of schedule in its road back to national prominence.

This team didn’t peak when it beat No. 1 Kentucky in early December or No. 2 Ohio State in late December. It continued to improve down the stretch and rather than wilting after dropping five of seven, the Hoosiers saved their best basketball for last.

Friday’s loss to Wisconsin, while disappointing, is just another moment of adversity for this group to overcome.

“It’s to the point now where we can’t really hang our heads,” Indiana forward Derek Elston said. “We know that we’re still playing basketball. We’ll see what happens Sunday and get right back in the gym.”

Victor Oladipo, who had one of his toughest games of the season with a 2-of-12 shooting performance, echoed the words of Elston with a brief, but spot on comment.

“It’s not over with. We’ve got something to look forward to now,” he said. “We haven’t had that in the past.”

What the Hoosiers have to look forward to is Sunday’s NCAA Tournament selection show, which will mean something in Bloomington for the first time since 2008. That’s exciting for Tom Crean, who delivered one of the best coaching jobs in the country after some questioned the program’s progress over his first three seasons.

“They’ve earned their way in,” Crean said. “There’s nobody that’s handed them anything. They weren’t anointed, the group, to go back to the NCAA Tournament. They really, really had to work.”

(Photo credit: AP)

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  • Hoosierfan60

    I hope the team gets its focus sharpened and stays hungry. Please do not be satisified with just being in the NCAA Tournament or winning one game. Play to win. Take no prisoners. Best of luck and Go Hoosiers!

  • IU_Alum96

    Along with other Hoosier fans, I, too, cannot wait to see IU’s name flash across the screen during Selection Sunday’s broadcast.  It doesn’t matter where they’re seeded, they’re in.  For this Hoosier, that’s all that matters.  GO HOOSIERS!!

  • Those who wanted Crean fired  should now have the courage and integrity to identify themselves , so we will know who not to take seriously in the future.  Nothing fancy just a little ** next to your name will do.

    ** dumbass 

  • Those who wanted Crean fired  should now have the courage and integrity to identify themselves , so we will know who not to take seriously in the future.  Nothing fancy just a little ** next to your name will do.

    ** dumbass 

  • Dandy Don

    I guess that is what makes basketball interesting – You just never know – 30 pts. against IU 6 pts. against MSU – wonder what KY thinks of CW’s shot?  You just never know!  At least they had the smarts to get the ball to the hot hand!  I really don’t like Wisconsin and MSU is not high on my list either – come to think of it I don’t like Ohio State Either – lol!!!  I will admit it I am IU prejudice – lol!

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    If I remember a couple of people that have said stuff like that, can I add them to the list?  Or do they have to self report to begin the reprimand process?  It’s the only path back to credibility. 

  • hoosierbred

    Not asking them to add anything next to their name; but yes, they certainly need to step up and ‘eat some crow”! Alot of the Crean naysayers were pretty harsh and nasty in their criticism.

  • Eastwood88_2

    I want a 4 seed in kentuckys bracket. For them to hav only two loses and by the hands of hoosiers sounds good to me. Also would like a prime time game please!

  • HoosierPat

    Although I’m disappointed that we couldn’t prevail against Wisconsin, we’re going dancing.  This team will respond, and perhaps make some noise in the tourney.  
    Also, congrats to the Lamar Cardinals on making the tourney, Pat Knight is doing a good job down there.

  • Pinehurst

    His post game conference a week or so ago was a classic, sounds more like his dad everyday.

  • Kelin Blab

    Looking forward to tomorrow and the last time I have watched selection sunday with this much anticipation has been too long ago. I don’t care where IU is sent just as long as their name is called.  It would not surprise me if they make a run given the make up of the team

  • IUGRADUATE

    We may not have enough “talent” to win NCAA this year, but it often turns out that talent is not everything. This is a link for our game against Duke in 2002. See how many Duke’s players are currently playing in the NBA or in the past. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5F_YIblAvw

    We won the game, and our “Hoosier spirit” beat Duke’s talent. Hope that the same thing happens again over UK or whoever it would be.  Go Hoosier!!!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I really think IU is built well for NCAA tournament play.  Whether they make a run depends on a lot of things but I think their style of play and plethora of weapons lends itself well to the NCCA’s. 

    On the other hand, I think IU wasn’t the best team to be playing in the B1G.  They will play tough, but they are more of an ACC style school.  They shoot the ball well, like to run, and play with some finesse.  That isn’t exactly the B1G’s style. 

    I think MSU, OSU, and IU will all perform well in the tournament.  I’m not sure about MICH?  They have good guard play but not much size.  UW and PUke will bow out early because they are pure B1G teams, rough, foul A LOT, and don’t shoot that well as a team.  That can make for good B1G teams but those teams generally fizzle quick in the NCAA tournament. 

    I’m very much looking forward to Selection Sunday and even more so to the tournament itself because I think IU is going to make a good run!

    Hope I’m right!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I really think IU is built well for NCAA tournament play.  Whether they make a run depends on a lot of things but I think their style of play and plethora of weapons lends itself well to the NCCA’s. 

    On the other hand, I think IU wasn’t the best team to be playing in the B1G.  They will play tough, but they are more of an ACC style school.  They shoot the ball well, like to run, and play with some finesse.  That isn’t exactly the B1G’s style. 

    I think MSU, OSU, and IU will all perform well in the tournament.  I’m not sure about MICH?  They have good guard play but not much size.  UW and PUke will bow out early because they are pure B1G teams, rough, foul A LOT, and don’t shoot that well as a team.  That can make for good B1G teams but those teams generally fizzle quick in the NCAA tournament. 

    I’m very much looking forward to Selection Sunday and even more so to the tournament itself because I think IU is going to make a good run!

    Hope I’m right!

  • IUGRADUATE

    (Off the topic) I just posted comments, but it said, “A moderator needs to approve this comment before it will be published.” Is this because I added a Youtube link?

  • vgBMG

    This is a moderated site.  No trolls or uncivil fans allowed.  Go to DISQUS and register.  It is straightfoward and easy to do.  Once you have established a posting track record with your DISQUS signature, your posts will be published right away.  Getting a DISQUS signature is well worth the effort; because, without it all your posts will need to be approved first.

    For your info:  If you like IU BB, this site is heaven.

     

  • Zackanderson001

    Bought Verdel a drink tonight!, and told him thanks for the 4 years from Hoosier Nation!

  • Zackanderson001

    Bought Verdel a drink tonight!, and told him thanks for the 4 years from Hoosier Nation!

  • vgBMG

    By the way, thanks for the video.  I had forgotten about the ebb and flow of the game and exactly how we had won it.  It brought back memories and BIG goosebumps.

  • InTheMtns

    All messages that include an internet address or link have to be approved by a moderator.  Thanks for the video – that was some game, wasn’t it?

  • Plankton

    What ever happened to etecnifibre? Sure did enjoy his videos he put together.

  • kenny george

    yeah sometimes eating crow silently is as good a dose of castor oil as anything. there were lots on this site griping about ctc, but ctc doesn’t care. he only cares about the kids and the fans. that’s why he’s a class act versus those who bellyache whenever we lose.  lol…

  • kenny george

    yeah sometimes eating crow silently is as good a dose of castor oil as anything. there were lots on this site griping about ctc, but ctc doesn’t care. he only cares about the kids and the fans. that’s why he’s a class act versus those who bellyache whenever we lose.  lol…

  • Kennydescombes

    I am glad that I watched the video you linked.  It took me back and even gave me fresh perspective on that game and both teams.  I remember thinking back at the time that Duke was over rated and wasn’t very good (previous to the tip of the game).  One of my friends that came over to watch the game was wearing a Duke hat because he liked the way it looked and his wife had just bought it for him, even though he was a hoosier fan (I will never understand that).  When Duke came out and got up big early, I went into the kitchen and grabbed some lighter fluid and a match and told him that the hat was cursed and needed to be set on fire, assuring him that I would refund the price of the hat later as I swiped it off his head and stepped out of the house to make my offering to the Gods.  As it turned out, I feel like a huge part of one of the all-time best Hoosier comebacks that i can remember.  I only wish that I had a friend dumb enough to wear a Maryland hat the night of the Championship game!

  • Dandy Don

    For some reason, I don’t think that NON APPROVED site would probably best be described as “Heaven” – knowing fans (I am one) many comments would be more like the other place not “Heaven”!  I have been known to be unreasonable with my comments but I try to keep them civil!  THIS is a GREAT SITE and I appreciate being able to vent and appreciate the censorship to keep us reasonable!

  • JerryCT

    I will be surprised and happy if we get out of the first week. After week 1 I think we can do real damage as the crowds increase ………….. and we play better I think when the fans are loud.

    Our biggest liability , as always , is our consistent inability to change the way we defend hot scorers ……… both our individuals and our team:

    + continue to give them daylight by going under screens  ………….. would you defend Hulls this way ?

    + continue to play way off the man in a normal HELP D when you should be in ball denial on the hot player ……….. would you play Hulls this way ?

    + the defender of the screener not impeding the screener from setting up ……….. would you allow TP to set screens for VO all night ?

    Yes Wilson was hot ……………. which is why it made no sense for VO, WS and others defending him to even think about going under screens or playing help D

    We will face hot players in the NCAA, I hope we have some answers.

  • 888

    Hope we get a good draw. Only team that scares me is UK but only because were theyre only loss this year. If were a 4 seed look for the commitee to set it up for the sweet 16. Were capable of big things just need some luck to have a run. If this team gets rolling look out. Personally Id like to be paired with Duke because I think they are overrated big time. UNCs  length would give us fits as well. Go HOOSIERS make a run. Do it for yourselves.

  • 888

    Hope we get a good draw. Only team that scares me is UK but only because were theyre only loss this year. If were a 4 seed look for the commitee to set it up for the sweet 16. Were capable of big things just need some luck to have a run. If this team gets rolling look out. Personally Id like to be paired with Duke because I think they are overrated big time. UNCs  length would give us fits as well. Go HOOSIERS make a run. Do it for yourselves.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    wouldnt it be some thing to draw Lamar?! going against pat? won’t happen though as they will be a 16 seed. Hoosiers look to be on the 4-5 line. have a feeling we are going east in syracuse’s bracket. boehiem has KNIGHTMARES about us to this day…..can we torch that zone? hello MATT ROTH. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    wouldnt it be some thing to draw Lamar?! going against pat? won’t happen though as they will be a 16 seed. Hoosiers look to be on the 4-5 line. have a feeling we are going east in syracuse’s bracket. boehiem has KNIGHTMARES about us to this day…..can we torch that zone? hello MATT ROTH. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • Kenneth234

    I’d prefer not to have to play Kentucky again.  So to me, any bracket but that one.  I think that Syracuse is upset prone in the tourney and the stats this season say that they are not a strong rebounding team (so there is a vulnerability there).  North  Carolna can be suspect from beyond the arc and at the FT line (but kill people on the glass and on the break), and I have confidence in Indiana being able to beat both Michigan St and Ohio State  who is likely to be that 4th number 1.  I do have a level of respect for the 2 seeds, but I do think that they all are vulnerable as well.  So if it does all boil down, I would rather wait until the final 4 or Championship game to have that rematch with Kentucky, and hope someone beats them on their way.  They can have their chance at revenge next year with a new cast of freshman and against a very experienced aswell as extremely deep IU sqaud at Rupp next year. 

  • Carlgoiu

    They are going to have to play better defense than they did against WI.  They were not focused and hungry in that game.  They need to get over VJ III being out and get on without him.  They need to play for VJ III and win their first round game big.  I have been hearing that maybe IU slips to a 5 seed due to the injury to VJ III.  The committee does consider injuries to key players when seeding.  I dread the 5-12 matchup.  The 5 seed is traditionally the upset special of the tournament.  Let’s hope CTC has the boys fired up and ready to play.  Go Hoosiers!!!

  • Aubreyhouse

    AMEN! 

  • SCHoosier

    I think you saw what MSU defense did to WIS..vs. what IU could do. I hope the following things have happened since the Badgers blitzed the Hoosiers:

    1) Crean sat down with Oladipo..and explained the difference between aggressively attacking the basket..and recklessley going to the hoop. Also hope he and the staff can teach this kid a jump shot in the off season. He is scary (bad) handling the ball.
    2) I hope somebody sat down with Hulls (who was outstanding in the tournament) and showed him all the times he penetrated the paint..only to pick up the ball and find himself in no mans land.
    3) I hope somebody explained to the team that for the first 12 minutes or so of the second half…they didn’t try to include Zeller in their offense…Crean wears that “fault”
    4) and finally..I hope Crean re-looks at the few touches Zeller did get and realize that having him face the basket..drive and/or shoot the short jumper is one way to get him the ball where he can score. Cody has been a godsend..but the SI article where an opposing coach was quoted as saying “his moves are pretty predictable” was right on target. He badly needs a face the basket shot..and a jump hook with either hand. Those little turnaround layups work against Towson..not so well against talented big men.

    Hoosiers showed guts coming back against WIS..but if the D isn’t there. all the time.nothing good is going to happen.

    PS: To all the former Jones haters..if you don’t think we need him as a second ball handler..u are nuts. Teams should now attack Jordy to get him in foul trouble..cause IU doesn’t have a reliable #2 ball handler..and PALLLEEESSEE don’t say it can be VO. IU goes as Hulls goes for the reminder of this season.

  • SCHoosier

    If Hulls can handle the ball..I t hink u are right..if it falls to VO or anybody else..we are in deep trouble.

  • SCHoosier

    Why can everybody set an effective shooter 3pt screen and IU can’t? Other than the high post screen (which is easily defended) IU shows me nothing in terms of set plays to get a great shooter a look. Transition yes..which is why we need to run whenever we can. Of course WIS doesn’t let you do that.

  • Geoff_85

    Nothing like winning at pUKe when there are enough Hoosiers fan in attendance for it to be considered a home game. I know it wasn’t actually against pUKe, but if I had to pick another team outside of our obvious rivals, it would probably be between duke and kansas.

  • Geoff_85

    Nothing like winning at pUKe when there are enough Hoosiers fan in attendance for it to be considered a home game. I know it wasn’t actually against pUKe, but if I had to pick another team outside of our obvious rivals, it would probably be between duke and kansas.