The Minute After: Michigan State

  • 02/19/2013 11:42 pm in

dipodunk

Thoughts on a 72-68 win against the Spartans:

Somewhere between the non-calls, the joke calls, the clock not running on two separate occasions and all the official reviews — which set a strange tone, especially in the second half — Indiana found a way to steel itself inside the Breslin Center when it seemed to be slipping away and emerge victorious in East Lansing for the first time in a long 22 years, a long 17 games.

Indiana maintained control in the belly of this game. Save for a one-point lead the Spartans held for less than a minute around the 13:00 mark of the second half, Indiana led from the 14:42 mark of the first half until the 6:30 mark of the second half — about 28.5 minutes of advantage. But the lead never reached double digits, never stretched over eight points, and as the clock pushed into winning time, the Spartans and Hoosiers would trade leads. It would continue to bounce back and forth until Derrick Nix, who had run his mouth about his team not getting enough respect, about some of these Hoosiers not being as great as they have been billed to be, hit a layup with just over three minutes to go and then another at 2:37 to put the Spartans up three. A Gary Harris split at the line made for a 67-63 Spartan advantage with only 1:37 left, and the Hoosiers would have to dig deep, get stops and put the ball in the basket if they were to make it out of the Izzone’s wrath with the W.

That they did.

Christian Watford, the so-called x-factor, who struggled at times in this one (an airballed 3-pointer, missing the front two of three at the line, that shiver to the face of Adreian Payne, whether intentional or not, that resulted in two fouls on him), hit a shot as he came across the lane and drew contact from Payne, resulting in a foul call. It was not the most glamorous shot. Not the most pretty. But it went in. And for a team that has ended up on the wrong side of big baskets in the final moments of games this season, it was time for the scales to tip and for them to get one of their own. This time, he would hit his free throw.

And the Hoosiers would go to work on D. Cody Zeller, after needlessly fouling Keith Appling on a hedge, which resulted in a missed front end of a 1-and-1 by the point guard in another game he failed to show (1-of-8, six points), would thwart an attempt by Nix to make a move on him and get anywhere near the lane on the next possession. And as Watford came over to double Nix, and he couldn’t find the open man for a bit, all the Spartans could do was call for timeout. Zeller got switched onto Harris on the ensuing inbounds, and as he drove to the rim, there was — who else? — Victor Oladipo coming over on help D to meet him and make sure the ball would not go through the rim.

And of course it was Oladipo, who continues to draw comparisons to stars like Michael Jordan and Dwyane Wade, making plays on the other end of the court for Indiana in the final minute: A tip-in of a Yogi Ferrell miss to give the Hoosiers back the lead (68-67), a sneaky escape on an inbounds for a breakaway dunk to put Indiana up three, and two free throws at the end to seal it. Six points in 43 seconds and another feather in a cap that’s growing fuller of them by the game. Oladipo finished this one with 19 points (7-of-11), nine rebounds and five steals, and what can’t this man do on the basketball court?

Indiana did not pump in its best offensive effort of the season (1.03 points per possession, 43.3 percent from the floor), and it would attempt eight fewer free throws than the Spartans (23 to 15). But it held onto the ball better than usual in Big Ten play (14.3 turnover percentage) and held the Spartans to just fewer points on a per possession basis (1.00), and it would be enough for the victory. The Hoosiers showed an unmistakable maturity and poise in this one, and it will serve them well as March nears.

First place outright in the Big Ten. No. 1 in the nation. These are your Indiana Hoosiers.

Filed to:

  • IUMIKE1

    Coach may have to demand that CZ wear a cup if we play them again in the B1G tourney. Have to keep that gene pool viable for 18 or so years down the road.

  • Could be wrong, but I don’t think B1G does tiebreakers for regular season champs; it does co-champs. The tiebreakers apply to conf. tourney seeding, though.

  • I know Indiana doesn’t “retire” jersey numbers but this senior class Hulls, Watford, Creek, and Elston should be remembered kind of as i hate to say it Kentucky’s unforgettable s. A national title would be a great storybook ending for these guys for all they have been through and done for this university. they started this “hey it’s Indiana” revival and need to be remembered for those generations years and years from now by hanging their jerseys next to banner # 6 we should be putting up!

  • I know Indiana doesn’t “retire” jersey numbers but this senior class Hulls, Watford, Creek, and Elston should be remembered kind of as i hate to say it Kentucky’s unforgettable s. A national title would be a great storybook ending for these guys for all they have been through and done for this university. they started this “hey it’s Indiana” revival and need to be remembered for those generations years and years from now by hanging their jerseys next to banner # 6 we should be putting up!

  • MSU1978

    Nice to hear we have the same feelings for the Skunkbears. We may meet up once, or twice, more.

  • MikeIU

    Hahaha…. the Michigan State fan sitting next to us was incredulous after Elston popped that three…. “Has he ever even shot a three before?” It was priceless.

  • smartybucket

    There was definitely a little shot, but there was also some acting by Cody. He’s a smart kid. Watch it again and Watch Cody instead of Nix. Because of the acting it was impossible to tell if there was actual contact. Also the angle didn’t show actual contact. You could see Cody turn right away to the official after he doubled over, but was obviously in no pain (had a slighlty guilty look on his face as well), like I’m going to draw this call. I think this is why it wasn’t called. Not clear if acting or a real contact was made. To me that call (or non-call I should say) wasn’t that bad. There plenty of other awful calls – Victors steal (phantom foul called), Cody’s steal on the hedge (phantom foul called), Will’s phantom foul at the end, and Nix travel (changed pivot foot) under 30 seconds to go – right before a MSU timeout. Those are the ones that stick out in my mind, but there were more. Also, if you pay attention it wasn’t Ted Valentine or the other ref that went to the monitor with Ted that made the worst calls – it was the little official (looked hispanic) – he was constantly out of position to see any foul and therefore called things where there was no foul. MSU did get some bad calls too, but we got more, as is expected on the road. Great win to overcome all that!

  • smartybucket

    There was definitely a little shot, but there was also some acting by Cody. He’s a smart kid. Watch it again and Watch Cody instead of Nix. Because of the acting it was impossible to tell if there was actual contact. Also the angle didn’t show actual contact. You could see Cody turn right away to the official after he doubled over, but was obviously in no pain (had a slighlty guilty look on his face as well), like I’m going to draw this call. I think this is why it wasn’t called. Not clear if acting or a real contact was made. To me that call (or non-call I should say) wasn’t that bad. There plenty of other awful calls – Victors steal (phantom foul called), Cody’s steal on the hedge (phantom foul called), Will’s phantom foul at the end, and Nix travel (changed pivot foot) under 30 seconds to go – right before a MSU timeout. Those are the ones that stick out in my mind, but there were more. Also, if you pay attention it wasn’t Ted Valentine or the other ref that went to the monitor with Ted that made the worst calls – it was the little official (looked hispanic) – he was constantly out of position to see any foul and therefore called things where there was no foul. MSU did get some bad calls too, but we got more, as is expected on the road. Great win to overcome all that!

  • smartybucket

    Yeah Ted was better than that little guy. He is horrible, even Ted V was wondering what he was calling, and that’s saying something!

  • notfargj

    yes, i agree, zeller rarely complains about a call. something significant must have happened for him to bring attention to whatever happened.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    yeah, heard ctc’s already recruiting his dna.

  • SS8941

    I say no. No matter what, no one is above tradition. And if any senior class deserves anything in terms of remembrance it was last years class.

  • Tom S

    A “horrible job”? You say Victor had already “had enough rest” – how do you know that?
    I’m guessing Crean – who was actually in the building, knows his players, spent the three days since the ankle with Victor, etc. – had a lot better idea of how much rest an 85% Oladipo needed to be ready for the end of the game than any of us did.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Coming from the guiy who said we would lose by 12.

  • chicohoosier

    We benefited from some bad calls as well, like the 3 point play from Zeller where he clearly took 2 steps after the foul. All around worst officiated game I’ve seen this year in the country.

  • chicohoosier

    Crean and VO both have said he was nowhere near 100%, it’s very possible the rest he got near the end gave him the energy to take over in the last minute and essentially win us the game. Not to mention, the announcers and others doubted Crean keeping Watford in after Nix hit a couple layups, but the game was slipping out of reach until Watford came through with his 3 point play.

  • Banner six will go up this year. I said before last nights win that if they can win there they can win anywhere against anyone. Last years class was unforgettable for the reason that they were the first, but this years seniors were the first real rejuvenation to the program . They were the first decent recruiting class and started the revival. They have set the tone for all the underclassman and have given IU a new attitude. The Team The Team The Team

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Neither was the offensive foul in the first half, or his next foul 10 seconds later on the defensive end.

  • Jack

    “The Hoosiers showed an unmistakable maturity and poise in this one, and it will serve them well as March nears.”

    And how! Winning that type of game, on the road, in that atmosphere?

    Gotta love it.

  • Jack

    “What are you yelling about?” I heard that about 10 times last night.

    The great joy was having my daughter sitting across from me on the couch yelling just as loud!

  • InTheMtns

    Absolutely!

  • IUMIKE1

    That first one, the offensive one, was such a BS call. I don’t have a problem with it being called a foul if they are going to call it a foul both ways and for the rest of the game, but I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. That kind of ” foul ” can be called about, oh I don’t know, maybe 20 to 30 times a game. One person watching the game where I did doesn’t know that much about bball at all and when that call was made even she could see it was wrong, she asked why it was a foul and when I told what the ref said WS done that was a foul she asked me why they didn’t call it any of the other times when all the other players done it. I rest my case.

  • IUMIKE1

    Skunkbears lol

  • Kenneth234

    Not to rain on the Oladipo parade. He is my favorite player for all the 26 years that I have followed Hoosier basketball. However, the one aspect of his game that is not ready for the NBA is his ball handling. If he was to return and continue his progress in this area, as well as master the art of running through screens and hitting turnaround jumpers and mid range jumpers, he would be unstoppable on any level of basketball. Now I don’t think he has to stay to develop those aspects, but I would love to have another year watching him in candy stripes. Outside of him stating that he has always wanted to play in the NBA and the fact that he will earn his degree this spring, the kid seems to be having so much fun playing college basketball, playing with his teammates and in the college basketball atmosphere. Why walk away before you have to, the NBA will be there for him whenever he decides, but you can never return to play in the college level after making that step.

  • Kenneth234

    Yes, I agree that was a gift, but I really cannot recall anything besides that and a travel that could have been called on Hulls. But Nix should have gotten a travel call late in the game before Izzo called the timeout. Can anyone recall any other calls that Indiana benefited from?

  • Kenneth234

    Acting, how many times have you been slapped in the nuts?

  • smartybucket

    if you are really hit in the nuts you don’t shake it off in 10 seconds like Zeller did. It’s more like nix – you are down or out for a minute or more. Just my honest opinion – sort of like these soccer players, a flop (pun intended). Watch Zeller on the tape. If he really got hit in the jewels he made a miraculous recovery. Not excusing it in any way, but something to think about.

  • smartybucket

    if you are really hit in the nuts you don’t shake it off in 10 seconds like Zeller did. It’s more like nix – you are down or out for a minute or more. Just my honest opinion – sort of like these soccer players, a flop (pun intended). Watch Zeller on the tape. If he really got hit in the jewels he made a miraculous recovery. Not excusing it in any way, but something to think about.

  • Kenneth234

    Nix got up and ran down the court moments after the supposed elbow from Zeller. Zeller had the break while the refs reviewed the play and plotted a way to ensure that they did Indiana no favors. It should have been a flagrant 2, Nix ejected, Indiana 2 shots and the ball. Any referee crew outside of the Big Ten would have got that call right.

  • marcusgresham

    I thought Nix executed the Knuckle Puck.

  • CreanFaithful

    See the rolled ankle last game… geez! He’s gone next year, enjoy it while it lasts.

  • CreanFaithful

    See the rolled ankle last game… geez! He’s gone next year, enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Kenneth234

    A twisted ankle? No one is losing money over a twisted ankle.

  • SoCal Hoosier

    Love the passion on this thread, Hoosier Nation is the best!

    Missed in all of the comments on horrible officiating because it got no airtime: Payne’s forearm shiver to CWat’s face on his last drive to the basket late 2H. But instead of rolling around on the floor in agony to make Teddy go look at the monitor, Christian mans up and just takes the ball out of the hoop and inbounds it. Payne’s was no more intentional than Watford’s, but had the exact same effect. Christian is just a MAN!!

    Go Hoosiers!

  • CreanFaithful

    Wow! I’m not even mad, I’m impressed!

  • Geoff_85

    All your questions are my point exactly. How can you criticize him if you don’t know why he is doing what he does? The fact is, you don’t know why he is (or isn’t) making the adjustments. He has knowledge about the team that no one on this board has. That much I promise you. He’s not playing zone for no reason. He’s not playing man for no reason. It’s ok to have an opinion, but to blatantly blame a coach for a loss without knowing why he is making or not making adjustments is indicative of someone who is just looking for a scapegoat.

  • wesmont

    I agree with much of what you said.However my main criticism of CTC was the Illinois game,when he left Watford in at the end and watched him blow 5 or 6 straight possessions when he,Watford was clearly out of gas.Why do you assume that players have off nights ,referees have off nights ,but a coach can’t make a mistake?The same thing happens in the pro game ,but there the coach often has ego driven stars and personalities to deal with.Can you honestly say you think Watford should have been left in at the end of the Illinois game?Was it really the right decision to play mainly zone in Bloomington,AND exclusively man-to-man in Lansing?True we don’t know why CTC did that but we have strong opinions about the wisdom of said decisions.

  • CreanFaithful

    I would question the “wisdom” of sitting the leagues active scoring/rebounding leader with proven clutch tenancies at the end of a game, whether he is winded or not… Agree to disagree!

  • Geoff_85

    I never said the man is without mistakes, did I? No, i didnt. I said I dont blame the outcome of every game on the coach like some fans do. It’s stupid to do that. Regarding Watford at Illinois: 1. he wasn’t the reason IU lost. That game should have never even come down to the last play, or even the last 5 or 6 plays. 2. again, you don’t know the circumstances of why he left Watford in the game. Maybe Watford really wanted to stay in and Crean didn’t want to break his spirit going forward by taking him out of that game. Maybe that game is now the reason that Watford is playing so tough. Maybe that was a game that Coach Crean used to light a fire under Watford’s ass. You know what, blame the loss at Illinois on Coach Crean, but make sure that you also turn around and say, “Coach Crean did a great job of getting these guys here” when they win a Big Ten title and an NCAA Tournament championship.