Notebook: Dissecting the decisive final play

IU@ILLITH0017No. 1 Indiana was outscored 13-2 down the stretch Thursday night, so the game’s final play certainly wasn’t the only reason the Hoosiers fell 74-72 at Illinois. But since it was what ultimately ended the game, let’s take a closer look at the way Illinois scored the deciding two.

Brandon Paul, who had scored 21 points, took the ball out for the Illini with Victor Oladipo guarding him. Sam McLaurin lined up in the corner guarded by Cody Zeller. D.J. Richardson, who shot Illinois back into the game late, came off a high screen from Tyler Griffey and wound up well behind the 3-point line on the right wing. Richardson was initially guarded by Yogi Ferrell and Griffey by Christian Watford, but the Hoosiers switched on the screen. Joseph Bertrand was on the other side of the court, guarded by Will Sheehey.

After the initial screen didn’t produce any results, Richardson continued to move toward the right baseline and the inbounder, Paul. Watford attempted to follow Richardson. McLaurin, meanwhile, set a hard screen on Ferrell, and Griffey cut to the basket. But Zeller, who looked like he was supposed to switch with Ferrell after the McLaurin screen, didn’t follow Griffey.

Layup and ballgame.

“It was a broken play for them,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said afterward. “We were not going to give them a chance to set up and win the game on a lob. They were out of timeouts, we had two, I wouldn’t change that for a second, not calling a timeout there. We just didn’t communicate well. … Pressure of the moment a little bit.”

Added Zeller: “I guess it was just a miscommunication. I haven’t seen it yet.”

Hoosiers can’t put the game away

In the end, the Hoosiers lost on Thursday because of a bad defensive breakdown. But they would never have been in that situation if they had continued to execute offensively down the stretch like they had for much of the game. Indiana was so good offensively at times in the game that ESPN’s Seth Greenberg said the Hoosiers were “putting on an offensive clinic” during the halftime show.

But in the final few minutes, the Hoosiers didn’t have nearly as much success. They scored only seven points over the final six minutes, 46 seconds of the game, including just two points in the final 3:36.

“We didn’t stay with the movement that we wanted to have,” Crean said.

Defensively, it was a similar refrain: overhelping. Crean has preached against it a lot lately, and he said his team was guilty of it again against Illinois. When the Hoosiers overhelped in the second half, it left shooters — usually Richardson — open in the corners.

“When you get a chance to put somebody away, you’ve got to put them away,” Crean said. “We didn’t do it the other night with Michigan. We held on, but we had numerous opportunities in that game to put them away, and we didn’t do it. And we didn’t do it tonight.”

Notes

· Hollowell continues strong play: Despite the loss, freshman forward Jeremy Hollowell had another solid outing against Illinois and continues to play better as the season goes along. He had six points on two huge 3-pointers and two assists.

· Solid offensive numbers: Indiana shot 50 percent (25-of-50) from the field, 53 percent from beyond the arc (9-of-17) and 93 percent (13-of-14) from the foul line.

· Sheehey responds: After scoring only two points in Saturday’s win over then-No. 1 Michigan, sixth man Will Sheehey contributed 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting against the Illini. Most of Sheehey’s baskets came on layups or dunks created by good cuts. He was 0-of-3 from beyond the arc.

  • http://twitter.com/hooosierdaddy01 David Gray

    Sheehey’s T cost us two. We lose by two.

    You’re going to miss shots, defensive assignments, etc. from time to time, but that?No excuse for that. EVER.

    Flat out cost us the game.

  • http://twitter.com/hooosierdaddy01 David Gray

    Also, how do you not have someone defending under the basket on a baseline out of bounds play? That is basic 7th grade basketball and it is a reflection of coaching.

    I’m not a Crean basher –he’s done tons right, obviously, and continues to do so — but he continues to puzzle me with some late game decisions/execution. Sure, Cody/Christian/Yogi missed a switch and are definitely partly to blame, but Zeller shouldn’t have been out at the three point line anyway. You have to keep yourself between the offensive player(s) and the bucket at all times in that situation. No excuses. And that is largely coaching.

    If this was the first time we’d been beat on an out-of-bounds play under the basket, fine. Then it was just an aberration and nothing more. But this has happened a number of times this season (and over the past few seasons). Make them beat you on a lower-percentage jump shot by packing it in if you must, but there’s just no excuse for a wide-open layup on an under-the-basket out-of-bounds play.

    Also, Watford has played better games [<Understatement]. That is all. [/rant]

  • sloan screen #45

    No way this game should have come down to a last play. I have said it before this team lacks leadership on the court. Somebody to smack guys in the back of the head with 4 to go and say lets finish this. Or to get in WS face and tell him to shut up. Or take the big shot and make it. Our seniors are not getting it done in this area and if they cant lead this team when it counts on the road in a hostile environment it time to give this responsibility to someone who can. We all know who this guy is on this team. YOGI needs to take control of this team. He is a freshmen I know, and will continue to make a mistake here and there. But he is more than capable. Take over YOGI, PLEASE !!

  • BBB

    Any one of the 14 turnovers could’ve cost them the game. Sheehey’s overall play is a big part of why they were able to have a comfortable lead most of the way. It’s never about one play or one player or one call, especially when a team controls the game before collapsing in the last 5 minutes.

  • Backseat Coach

    Coaching memo 101: you cannot put a team away on the road, if you do not have your best lineup in at the time you have your foot on their neck. This is not CTC’s first time he has been a momentum buster, giving minutes to those who just are not ready for them. If you want to play made scientist, do it with a player that usually makes up for his mistakes after he makes one, and/or has experience, but not with a player that has consistently made them without any positive response, nor made one basket this year. This loss was all on Crean, you can’t put a team away on the road when you are ahead with your biggest lead of the night and put in a player that has the most negative +/- when he is on the floor and in his first three plays gives up 4 points, one missed rebound put back and one foul. It is not the player’s fault, he hasn’t played in weeks (and deservedly so, he’s not ready). Additionally, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it- you have the best man-to-man defensive players in the country- you have your foot near their neck in the first half, go to a zone, give up back-to-back 3′s, yet stay in a zone just to prove a point… Not sure what the point is, but again, while we are suggesting class “learn how to step on necks,” it may help if the head coach took it first. I am just hopeful that CTC is so brilliant, that these are planned lessons he wants his kids to learn before the Dance, but losses like these do not lose games, they lose seedings and there is a world of difference between being a #1 seed and being a #4 seed… CTC is taking a page out of the wrong Harbaugh coaching guidelines manual.

  • Benhyoung14

    As much as I hate to say it, and as much as I support CTC the last 2 plays are on him. Why was an isolation play called for VO? That is not our game. Why don’t we have somebody towards the bottom of the key? Don’t allow a 5ft basket. Even with that said we didn’t have it in the last 5 minutes. We seemed to think we wrapped it up at the 5 minute mark. The Michigan game was emotional and this game was likely a victim of the next game last game principal. Now we have to try and keep from losing 2 in a row.

  • chiv86

    Last night’s game was lost at the 3 minute mark.

    3:20 Christian Watford missed Three Point Jumper. 70-62
    3:20 Cody Zeller Offensive Rebound. 70-62
    3:12 Jordan Hulls missed Jumper. 70-62
    3:12 Christian Watford Offensive Rebound. 70-62
    3:07 Christian Watford Turnover. 70-62
    3:07 70-62 Joseph Bertrand Steal.
    2:55 Illinois Full Timeout.
    2:53 70-65 D.J. Richardson made Three Point Jumper. Assisted by Brandon Paul.

    Cody gets an offensive rebound and a new shot clock…what do we do? Chuck up a jumper within 8 seconds of that rebound instead of running the clock down and setting up another play when we are up 8. Hulls shoots, Watford gets a rebound and turns the ball over. That sequence from the 3:20 mark, if we ran the clock down could have gotten the clock down to about 2:55 before attacking the basket and maybe get a score to go up 10 with 2:45 left. Different ball game than down 8 with 3:07 left with a steal.

  • bbb

    It wasn’t an isolation play, it was a pick and roll play between two All-American candidates (Zeller and Oladipo). I’ll take my chances with those two any day. Illinois played pretty good D and Victor just mishandled the ball, then redeemed himself with the game-saving block. On the final play, it looked like they were switching screens, and Zeller just didn’t switch on the last one. Like you hinted, they should’ve never been in that position.

  • Benhyoung14

    I didn’t pay attention to the lineups in the 2nd half. I’ve noticed CTC has a tendency to put his subs in the first half, and I noticed that with Elston, HMP, and Hollowell. I was impressed with Hollowell, just not the others. A head coach should be able to get you out of a play or two.

  • twarrior87

    That T was BS. He didn’t even do anything, but grunt or scream or whatever, he didn’t flex his muscles or anything just excitement. That was the worst T i’ve ever seen called.

  • twarrior87

    The only shot we didn’t want to give them we gave them. An uncontested lay up. How do we let a guy get that open right underneath the basket. We should have had Cody planted under the basket to take away any drive to the bucket. Plain and simple.

  • twarrior87

    I knew everyone would be bashing CTC this morning b/c that’s what people do when we lose. Its all CTC’s fault, not the players on the floor that aren’t executing. In the first half the score should have been 15-3, but we turned the ball over what seemed like 6 possessions in a row and the score was still 3-3. Could have put this game away in the first half and been up by 20+ at the half. Players didn’t execute in the last few minutes and gave up the lead. Vic dribbles the ball off his foot in the final seconds. Then we let them have an uncontested layup for the win. You can’t blame this entire win on CTC.

  • sloan screen #45

    Not trying to be a wise guy here, but you dont think not having Cody under the basket is on CTC?

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    “We were not going to give them a chance to set up and win the game on a lob” – CTC
    Are you kidding me? Then… WHY WAS NO ONE GUARDING THE BASKET?!?

  • Ole Man

    45 points to that team in the second half.
    So much for our improved defense.

  • MillaRed

    It was not his best coaching performance.

  • MillaRed

    This game was very winnable with help from our staff and they botched it. If we didn’t eat two timeouts I would be more understanding. But those TOs could have saved the game if used wisely.

  • Jeff Shireman

    Does the clock not start when the bounce pass hits the floor? What’s the rule?

  • Jeff Shireman

    I guess it has to touch the player first, like how they try to roll the ball to halfcourt.

  • Jeff Shireman

    I guess it has to touch the player first, like how they try to roll the ball to halfcourt.

  • Benhyoung14

    Complete BS T. I thought the rule of hanging on the rim was 3 seconds. I guess not in Champaign.

  • BBB

    I didn’t get a good look at a replay, but I would tend to agree. If Will had turned slightly, it wouldn’t have been called. But since he was facing a player when he… did whatever he did… it was perceived as “taunting”. At least that’s my best guess.

  • BBB

    Should be when a player touches it. It looks like he easily got it off in time. It also looks like they stopped the clock pretty well after Victor’s block. There’s nothing I see that Indiana fans can really complain about as far as the clock goes in the final seconds.

  • sloan screen #45

    Yea, last time I checked you throw a lob by the basket.

  • 5_Banners

    He got the T for “yelling at the crowd/player” so taunting. It was ridiculous. Zeller did the exact same thing in the second half after his dunk. I felt like the whole second half, IU couldn’t get calls going to the basket. Frustrating.

  • 5_Banners

    Good post. I’m going to watch the last 10 minutes again and see what happened late in the game. But I remember that sequence, was that when Hulls passed the wide open 3 for the odd runner/floater in the lane?

  • 5_Banners

    Good post. I’m going to watch the last 10 minutes again and see what happened late in the game. But I remember that sequence, was that when Hulls passed the wide open 3 for the odd runner/floater in the lane?

  • Benhyoung14

    I was thinking the same thing, but what are refs for in the Big Ten? To make sure as many B1G teams as possible get into the NCAA tournament.

  • r

    Some very highly questionable calls and no calls in that game. Sheehey gets a t for yelling after a dunk, but Groce can scream in the refs direction throughout a whole timeout..also, there were fouls called on Watford and Zeller that I watched over and over to try and see where the contact was..this ref situation is getting worse every week and we seem to be taking the brunt of it.. They are literally anticipating fouls and calling them before the contact..also,a ref jumping around and delaying the call to play to the crowd? What is that about. We are not watching these games to watch the refs..

  • http://twitter.com/bruce_kinsey bruce kinsey

    U play a zone D under ur own basket! It is so elementary. Picks won’t do anything! 0.9 sec to go? A total coaching joke!

  • http://twitter.com/bruce_kinsey bruce kinsey

    He trashed talked to the kid in front of him. Shut ur yap and play ball!

  • http://twitter.com/bruce_kinsey bruce kinsey

    He trashed talked to the kid in front of him. Shut ur yap and play ball!

  • SCHoosier

    Could not agree more…..our playing too fast end of game continues to haunt us…especially with the quick 3 pters when u are in the bonus.. are insane.

  • SCHoosier

    Because Crean was counting on “confusion”..unfortunately he was right..but the confusion was IU”s.

  • SCHoosier

    Because Crean was counting on “confusion”..unfortunately he was right..but the confusion was IU”s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.collins.54379 Matt Collins

    I believe clock starts whe player touches the the ball inbounds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.collins.54379 Matt Collins

    You certianly can point to a lot of factors in this one. I feel it boils down to a few-
    Lack of maturity by players- yucking it up on sideline during to’s early in 2nd is evidence they became overconfident and and undisciplined
    Poor recognition by players and coach that Zeller should have been focus IN the post esp in 2nd- dont sit him- hit him!
    Bad end game management by Crean- had plenty of chances to better manage game in last 2 mins
    Hope they learned from this, but if bring that to OSU we lose by plenty.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    I agree, why is it when we really need a score we go into a isolation play? How about running some sort of play involving more than one person. Its to easy to guard someone dribbling around. I know Victor or Yogi can break people down but we got we have to be more team oriented.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    I agree but Yogi its not your place or time yet. We all do know who this guy should be and he looked like he might be that guy in the Georgetown and Ga game. SO, step up before its too late. Yogi is our point man but we need senior leadership or we will not be championship material.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    actually cost us 4 didnt it? 2 FT’s and a made basket afterwards.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    That is right on. Turn your head just a little and yell all you want. You cant stare down your opponent.

  • mike

    Crean should bench him for that. No excuse not to.

  • A TRAIN

    in a game decided by a bucket ther r a 100 things that if done different could hav changed the game…we need a player on the court who will get us together and settle us down or kick some butt if need be..whenever i start luving this team they giv another one away…im sick n tired of losing to inferior teams my fragile pysche can handle a loss to msu mich or osu but not to these other teams..this is the best iu team in forever n i dont wanna giv anymore games away.i think we win on sunday cause its a big game..so lets go iu and finish this season strong

  • BKLock

    I’m really tired of all the blame being given to TC for not calling timeouts. That was an in game decision against an opponent that was out of timeouts. How many times in BK’s career did he refuse to call timeouts at the end of the game? We seem to have short memories when these decisions work for a coach and when they don’t. Not using the timeouts prevented Illinois from setting up their defense against our in bounds and final play (which the payers executed poorly) and being able to set up their own in bounds play under the basket. The final play was a lucky break and a defensive breakdown by the players. Last second plays and shots happen and hindsight is always 20/20.

    There were two things (IMHO) that stand out in this game that contributed to the
    loss more than anything else:
    1. Giving up 28 points off 14 turnovers…not protecting the ball was a bigger factor than not using time outs or even WS’s technical. Cut down the turnovers and we win by double digits.
    2. Not doing a better job of defending the 3 in the last five minutes of the game. When a team gets hot like the Illini did in the last few minutes the defense (zone or man to man) needs to extend itself better.

    Hard lessons to learn. Let’s see how the latest #1 team to lose handles adversity. Can they bounce back against OSU on Sunday? No time to hang their heads but time to move on to the next game.

    GO HOOSIERS!

  • BKLock

    BTW, did we just some help from Wisconsin today? Yes we did :)

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