Film Session: Michigan State storylines

Victor Oladipo’s steals. Michigan State’s jumping of the outlet pass, its ability to exploit Indiana’s zone on the backline and with inside-out play for 3-pointers. Cody Zeller’s huge drive to seal the victory.

A look at the biggest storylines from Sunday’s win against the Spartans in the latest edition of Film Session:

I. AN OUTLET JUMP, AN MSU INSIDE-OUT 3

Christian Watford rips down an Adreian Payne miss:

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He instinctually turns around and throw an outlet pass to Oladipo. But with everyone else hustling back down the court, Travis Trice is pouncing on the pass:

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He intercepts it with Oladipo helplessly still heading the other way:

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Trice ended up missing a jumper, but the ball went out of bounds on Watford and the Spartans set up in the halfcourt. Here we see a triangle on the strong side with Trice in the corner, Derrick Nix on the right block and Denzel Valentine on the right wing:

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Valentine throws an entry pass into Nix, and both Jordan Hulls and Yogi Ferrell sink down:

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This frees Trice beyond the arc and Nix quickly passes back out:

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The 3-pointer falls and Michigan State ties the game:

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Said Watford after the game: “They were trying to jump it, they were definitely trying to stop us from getting our break going. They knew we like to take the ball out pretty fast. They knew we were kind of throwing it without looking and jumping the pass. So we just had to slow it down and wait for the guard to come back to the ball.”

Video:

II. AN INBOUNDS JUMP, MSU EXPLOITING THE BACKLINE OF INDIANA’S ZONE

Off a Payne made jumper, Watford first looks right for the inbounds, as Branden Dawson is already making a move on Ferrell:

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As Watford turns and sees this unfolding, his momentum is carrying him forward as he holds back on the pass:

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Watford commits a violation as he steps on the endline; Dawson sees it and points it out:

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So it’s MSU’s ball. Watford is down on the right block keeping a body on Payne:

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But as Trice gets a pick from Nix up top, Watford has floated out to cover Dawson on the wing. With Watford gone and Zeller looking at the action up top, Payne calls for an alley-oop, as there’s no one paying attention to him:

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He receives it from Trice:

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As the Hoosiers’ backline can only look up and see it unfolding:

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Said Tom Crean after the game: “They got a couple of lobs in the first half where (Zeller) wasn’t as aware of where his teammates were as he needed to be.”

Video:

III. AN OLADIPO STEAL

Ferrell has Trice marked way out near halfourt as Oladipo is face-guarding Gary Harris down on the baseline:

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As Trice comes left, Harris gets a pick from Nix:

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But Oladipo fights through it, matches Harris stride for stride and gets the one-handed steal:

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It’s a pass to Ferrell on the run:

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And he lays it in for two:

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Said Oladipo after the game: “Transition is a big deal on our team and for me to get those steals and start our beak was huge for us. My guys did a great job of playing defense and running on the break … As the game develops, you just read the passer’s eyes and blast the gaps.”

Video:

IV. ZELLER’S DRIVE

Indiana’s offense resets up top as Crean calls out a play:

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Ferrell hands the ball off to Zeller:

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As he passes it over to Hulls on the left wing, we see a line of IU and MSU players out near the perimeter:

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As Zeller gets it back up top, Indiana has spread out. Here’s where the action really begins. Oladipo darts up:

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And sets a pick on Nix. This gives Zeller a lane to the rim:

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He takes it strong:

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With Nix just not quick enough to recover and get a body in front and Payne not coming hard or quick enough off the wing, either, Zeller is able to get a good look he converts on:

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Said Crean after the game: ” I had no hesitation with that call. We didn’t call it out of the timeout. I had it in the bag and it looked good because he ran it to perfection. The other guys were all in movement as well. He continues to improve.”

Video:

  • IUMIKE1

    Number two could have been a replay to show some of our shortcomings when we play zone. That one look like 3 of our 5 players were to blame for that lob in way or another.

  • Ben Ancelet

    This could have been written seven words: Michigan State storylines: Victor Oladipo. The end.

  • http://twitter.com/Joda_Spellydoo Jordan Spellmeyer

    The Watford stepping on the endline play could have been incorrectly called. You are allowed to step ON the baseline, as that is technically out of bounds. You just can’t cross the line and step onto the court.

    Too close to tell from any angle we would see. Regardless, MSU did a good job jumping.

  • http://twitter.com/Joda_Spellydoo Jordan Spellmeyer

    The Watford stepping on the endline play could have been incorrectly called. You are allowed to step ON the baseline, as that is technically out of bounds. You just can’t cross the line and step onto the court.

    Too close to tell from any angle we would see. Regardless, MSU did a good job jumping.

  • http://twitter.com/RWNemanich Robert Nemanich

    let us stop worshiping, critically looking at the game and mental or good preparation from opponents leads to better informed fan discussion. Oladipo is playing very good and is a difference maker but MSU exposed IU’s inbound and outlet pass deficiency or at least took away a bit of IU’s drive to up tempo. As for Zeller’s late drive, we have seen this now three or four times this year where post defenders are unable to stop him.

  • Ben Ancelet

    I think you missed the point of my post. All I was conveying is that Vic is playing at an insanely high level right now and he absolutely dominated this game in every phase. I didn’t say that IU looks invincible or anything near worshiping level towards anyone but Oladipo. Reading ones comments as they’re stated leads to more accurate and better informed fan discussion as well.

  • PDXHoosier

    That last play was a great call by CTC. Dare we give him some credit for his in game coaching?? And that was a Pritchard-like screen set by Dipo!

  • PDXHoosier

    That last play was a great call by CTC. Dare we give him some credit for his in game coaching?? And that was a Pritchard-like screen set by Dipo!

  • Geoff_85

    Out of a half court set too….imagine that. Then again, Zeller was screened for, which is something that has caused a lot of the complaining, like they’d never see another screen again. This stuff takes time, even with a team that has the talent of this year’s Hoosiers.

  • Geoff_85

    On the alley-oop Zeller needed to stay home rather than help the player who was screened (in this case, Jordan Hulls). I don’t think he realized Watford went out to the corner to cover an open man. That can be easily corrected though.

  • InTheMtns

    It’s that thing they are always mentioning – more communicating. Maybe Cody is supposed to know what’s going on behind him but Christian and Will need to talk. And in watching the replay it looks like the bench wasn’t helping either. Hanner was the only one who wasn’t watching the ball up top, but he only noticed Payne a split second before the pass.

  • jerry-atric

    why is no one talking about IU’s free throw shooting since Big Ten play has started? gonna catch-up with them soon.

  • JerryCT

    Real good selection of video to show. It tells us alot about our defense.

    Why do we double the post …………and with 2 players ?

    Hulls struggling over the screen is what scares Cody into remaining where he is but IMHO once the ball was on its way to the bottom of the video CW should have rotated just as quickly with it …………… still he might not have reached Payne

  • JerryCT

    From the beginning of the year I have been hoping to see us screen for Cody specifically for him to drive. Loved the VO pick

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