The Minute After: Michigan State

  • 01/27/2013 4:41 pm in

IUMSUITH0019Thoughts on a 75-70 win against the Spartans:

I. Tom Izzo brought the histrionics; Victor Oladipo played his criminal defense; Gary Harris had his smooth stroke going amidst the student section’s jeers. So this would be a fun one on a Sunday afternoon in late January where the Spartans and Hoosiers would dig deep for a full 40, neither relenting, neither backing down. Indiana led by six at the break because its offense operated at a high-level: Defense into offense (sixteen points off turnovers, 14 fast-break points), 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc (6-of-12) and high-percentage looks from the paint (18 points). But Michigan State found the cracks to keep within striking distance. It exploited the back line of Indiana’s zone for a number of dunks and lobs (16 points in the paint). And Indiana coughed the ball up on 27.2 percent of its first half possessions, which the Spartans turned into 15 points of their own.

On three occasions, the Hoosiers turned the ball over inbounding after a made Michigan State basket. Indiana puts such a premium on immediately grabbing the ball, passing it in and getting up the court — so much so that the inbounder’s momentum is often moving with the ball across the baseline as he looks up to pass — that it can be dangerous if a defense is looking for the steal. Twice the Spartans swiped it. A third time Indiana would turn it over as Christian Watford stepped over the baseline, his momentum carrying him forward on a pass to a covered Yogi Ferrell that he held back on. One wonders if Izzo and the Michigan State staff had this one circled on the scouting report. The Spartans were also hitting their 3-pointers (5-of-10), thanks to some inside-out play against Indiana’s zone.

And Michigan State would continue to connect from distance in the final 20 minutes, hitting six more for 18 of its 32 points after halftime and ending up with its most makes from distance in a game this season (11-of-23). Harris had four of them. He finished with a game-high 21 points in the face of a student section that gave him hell. The Hoosiers’ hot shooting cooled. They hit just 2-of-9 from distance and just 40 percent overall (10-of-25). Their free-throw shooting was also a little suspect (13-of-20, 65 percent) for the game.  So the Spartans, largely without their quarterback in Keith Appling who was saddled with foul trouble all afternoon and fouled out with 5:17 to go, were right where they wanted to be during winning time: within striking distance.

The Spartans trailed by just two (72-70) with 2:13 to go. Then Cody Zeller, who had problems with Michigan State’s physicality up front on both ends of the floor at times this afternoon (nine points, seven boards, three fouls), came up big. He blocked a Derrick Nix shot after Nix had made some nice moves around him for scores earlier in the contest. And with the shot clock winding down on Indiana’s ensuing possession, he drove from the free-throw line to the rim with his left hand and put it in for two. 74-70 Hoosiers. He would then rebound a missed Harris 3-pointer with 1:10 to go and take a charge on Adreian Payne with 14 seconds left. The Spartans never scored again.

Indiana, for this very moment, now stands at the top of the Big Ten standings (6-1), though a Michigan win this afternoon against the Illini means the Hoosiers will be tied for first with the Wolverines less than a week before their College Gameday showdown inside Assembly Hall this coming Saturday.

February promises to bring more challenge than January’s Big Ten slate for the Hoosiers. But, by and large, the tests have been passed and they look to be ready for it.

II. Oladipo was absolutely sensational this afternoon (21 points, seven rebounds, six steals, two blocks) and he continues to cement himself as one of the top wing defenders in the country with a hyper-efficient offensive game to boot (8-of-12). He is always making smart, heady decisions and generally is a player that brings it when it needs to be brought. Oladipo set the tone early with a strip of Branden Dawson followed by a dunk on the first possession of the game. According to Crean, Oladipo had 15 deflections in the first half, the most ever charted for a player of his in one half. His six steals were a career-high.

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  • CreamandCrimson

    When it’s Gary Harris shooting, I agree with you. We can’t leave him any space to get his shot off. However, I am okay with giving Travis Trice 27-footer he hit and I am okay with giving Payne open threes. We have to give up something to them and we chose to give up perimeter looks. Michigan State nearly made us pay dearly for that choice.

  • CreamandCrimson

    When it’s Gary Harris shooting, I agree with you. We can’t leave him any space to get his shot off. However, I am okay with giving Travis Trice 27-footer he hit and I am okay with giving Payne open threes. We have to give up something to them and we chose to give up perimeter looks. Michigan State nearly made us pay dearly for that choice.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Northern Illinois will probably be looking for a new coach after this season….you interested?

  • CreamandCrimson

    This comment suggests we can’t play defense. I know we are top-10 in the country in defensive efficiency but I wanted to see if our Big Ten opponents have actually “outshot its norms” as you suggest.

    -Iowa’s season average is 43.1%. We held them 33.3% (at Iowa).
    -Penn State’s season average is 38.9%. They shot 31.7% against us.
    -Minnesota shoots 45.9%. They shot 43.9% against us.
    -Wisconsin shoots 43.5% and shot 45.1% against us.
    -Northwestern shoots 41.6%. They were at 40.8% at home against IU.
    -Penn State second time around (38.9% season) was 33.3%.
    -Michigan State shoots 46.4% on the season and shot 45% yesterday.

    A lot of numbers that don’t take tempo or anything into account but by raw shooting numbers, your statement is completely inaccurate. The only team to “outshoot its norm” was Wisconsin. I’m not suggesting we have a top-10 defense (as stats would indicate) but I do think we have a much better defense than we are given credit for.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That would put Jordy Hulls on Raphael Davis.

  • hoosierdaddynow

    Jared Jeffries would like to have a word with you. But, yes, O belongs in that company.

  • SCHoosier

    Amazing..Yogi can get beat on the first step..and by the third step he’s back in front of his man again. Amazing quickness with his feet. UM’s Burke will be the best offensive player Yogi has ever had to guard in terms of total game..now if he can just watch out for Trey’s deadly step back jump shot..and never leave him open for a 3!

  • SCHoosier

    Great scouting by MSU though..to pick up the fact that off rebounds and out of bounds..IU is in so much of a hurry to get running that they don’t bother looking at the floor. Perfect ambush strategy by the Sparts. Gotta believe IU has learned from that experience.

    Speed Kills!

  • SCHoosier

    As long as Yogi and Hulls are instructed that under no circumstances are they to throw a pass to HP. Defense only for that rookie.

  • SCHoosier

    Marcus..do you think Hammond will bring “Babe the Blue Ox with him? His breath will be short the entire game if Zeller plays him right.

  • SCHoosier

    Marcus..do you think Hammond will bring “Babe the Blue Ox with him? His breath will be short the entire game if Zeller plays him right.

  • SCHoosier

    Interesting..thanks for doing the research!

  • SCHoosier

    I’m kind of thinkin’ he takes Tyrone J. Best overall player PU has and likes to go to the hole. (at least until Byrd gets hot) Don’t even know who PU’s fifth starter is after the J-boys, Hammond and Byrd??

  • HoosierTrav

    Somewhere late into his sophmore year or through his junior year, Yogi Ferrell will be a candidate for National Player of the year. Anyone remember tht “podcast on the brink” last year when Yogi was interviewed and he stated who he was most looking forward to playing? Without hesitation he said “Trey Burke!” Well Yogi…… here is your opportunity to put your name on the lips of the national media who think Trey Burke is “Hands Down” the best point guard in the country. Keith Appling and Trey Burke have very similar games. I see Yogi giving Burke the business on Saturday. He’s gonna play with a flair that maybe we haven’t seen yet.

    Oh…. and Zeller needs to impose his will against McGary and the Wolverines. They have no answer for him at all. I suspect he will foul McGary out and embarrass Morgan if that matchup happens.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Their fifth starter is now Raphael Davis.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Watford did a lot better job of inbounding in the second half (I don’t think we had any more turnovers that way). It was pretty obvious from his first couple of attempts after the break that he had been told to look where the defense was.

  • twarrior87

    I agree 100%

  • Let us start w/ I Thomas, then Scotty May, Q Buckner, Stevie Alford, all three hung banners that say NCAA Champion, then next tier; Mike Woodson, K Benson, C Cheaney, D Bailey, S Downing, J Jeffries, except for Woody they all went to the Final Four and even a Championship game Benson won it with the team, Olidipo and Company got be hanging before the love goes to legendary status.

  • Let us start w/ I Thomas, then Scotty May, Q Buckner, Stevie Alford, all three hung banners that say NCAA Champion, then next tier; Mike Woodson, K Benson, C Cheaney, D Bailey, S Downing, J Jeffries, except for Woody they all went to the Final Four and even a Championship game Benson won it with the team, Olidipo and Company got be hanging before the love goes to legendary status.

  • MillaRed

    Was still surprised how much they got inside against the zone. We got the W but I really don’t think the zone changed much of anything. Sure we didn’t give up FTs but they were draining open 3’s with regularity. I would rather see FTs personally when they are shooting like that.

  • MillaRed

    Sure but I’ve played enough to know that works both ways. You aren’t exactly working harder on O against a zone either. Typically eats up the shot clock and a lot of standing around on the weak side.

  • HoosierKen73

    I’ve seen all of those mentioned play in person..and watched almost every game they played in… But I do not recall any of them having the ‘all over the court’ relentless pressure Oladipo displays throughout a game. Yes, they were all good, very talented players…and they were all skilled shooters, and I loved everyone of them. But the court presence and continual pressure he brings.. I just don’t recall, that any of them displayed that as well as he does.
    It’s like the commentators were saying yesterday, “He’s like a one man wrecking crew”…. Correct me if I’m wrong, but he is unique and truly special, especially in that aspect of his game. He is so much fun to watch… I don’t know of anyone in the game currently, that can match that intensity..

  • HoosierKen73

    I liked what Hanner brought yesterday… It will take him some time to get more comfortable, but you can begin to see his potential. Gosh too bad he had to sit out those games… When he get’s some seasoning under him, he is going to be a very special player. he is very gifted athletically…can’t wait to see a alley oop from Yogi and a high flying sky dunk from him… I just hope he develops fast..we’ll be making good use of him come March…

  • HoosierKen73

    I am not a fan of the zone either.. But tell me…is it the fault of the zone, when they consistentlt were getting those bunnies and alley oops underneath? I thought it was just poor play defensively… was it because of the zone they were able to do that?

  • HoosierKen73

    I am not a fan of the zone either.. But tell me…is it the fault of the zone, when they consistentlt were getting those bunnies and alley oops underneath? I thought it was just poor play defensively… was it because of the zone they were able to do that?

  • CreanFaithful

    While you could argue that Cody was pretty ineffective in this game, keeping him from picking up fouls is huge for this team. Perea is our only option off the bench…

  • HoosierKen73

    And James Blackmon Jr.

  • IUMIKE1

    HMP is still a diamond in the rough you can tell that he’s a little more polished every time you see him. Think he will eventually be a player who maybe never does have a high scoring average but will have at least modest scoring almost every game and some big nights once in a while. Also think he will be the guy that gives you that night in & night out ALONG with a way above average number of rebounds, blocked shots & shots altered & some lockdown defense. We stood a good chance of getting the kind of March that we would like had it not been for the ncaa putting the screws to him & PJ. Believe that we’ll have to wait till next season to see a really sizable jump in his game. Just how much polish can CTC get put on that rough diamond in the next month or so ?

  • IUMIKE1

    I had often wondered about this exact type of comparison and yes was too ornry to do the work to find the numbers, thank you, very interesting. I’ve wondered what this kind of comparison looks like when team 3pt % & team FT % is used. It often, seems like anyway, that most other teams shoot better than their “norm” from 3 when they play us & I don’t remember exactly what Wisky’s FT % was before they played us but I do remember that they shot way over it against us. Not hinting for you to do the legwork on that as well but was rather thinking out loud.

  • IUMIKE1

    As late as last year at this time I still winced & cocked my head a little when VO launched a 3. Now I catch myself saying that I wish he would find more shots from 3. He is the true definition of a hard worker. I think VO would be dedicated enough to work hard every day but working out with DWade & him telling you he’ll be back in a few days or weeks to check on your progress can help a person get & stay motivated.

  • karen

    MSU only had 6 free throws the whole game – NONE in the second half!
    That won’t happen at away games.

  • karen

    I hated that the crowd harrassed Harris and think Crean should have stopped it.
    Don’t want IU crowd known as nasty. He’s a nice kid who just wanted to go
    to MSU. The “left – right” chants are funny. That wasn’t – it was mean.

  • marcusgresham

    Hey, I didn’t say it would be a shut-down zone, I just said you’d see a lot of it!

  • marcusgresham

    I bet there are no heroin addicts on that team. They can’t shoot at all.

  • Geoff_85

    They did the same thing at Iowa, and the Hawkeyes flat out shot themselves out of a chance to win. I thought it was brilliant. If they aren’t hitting/can’t hit, let em shoot.

  • Geoff_85

    They did the same thing at Iowa, and the Hawkeyes flat out shot themselves out of a chance to win. I thought it was brilliant. If they aren’t hitting/can’t hit, let em shoot.

  • Geoff_85

    I’ve already hit this dude with numbers. It’s his opinion that they don’t matter.