Five takeaways from Indiana’s win at Michigan State

IUNDSITH0012EAST LANSING, Mich. — Indiana moved to 6-1 in Big Ten road games with Tuesday night’s 72-68 win over Michigan State at the Breslin Center, the first win for the program in East Lansing since 1991. The Hoosiers have won four straight overall and now sit a game ahead of the Spartans in the Big Ten standings.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s second win over Michigan State this season:

· Control was established early: Indiana didn’t lead from wire-to-wire, but the fact that the Hoosiers built a lead early and sustained it throughout the first half was pivotal. Playing from behind on the road is never easy and in the atmosphere the Breslin Center provided, digging a hole could have spelled doom for IU. But the Hoosiers took their strong road performance in Columbus and built on it further in East Lansing. That was evident in the closing minutes when Michigan State mounted its final run. The Spartans opened up a four-point cushion with 1:37 remaining, but the Hoosiers answered immediately with veteran plays from Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo to close out the win.

· 85 percent of Oladipo is more than enough: Questions about Oladipo’s health dominated headlines going into the game after he sprained his left ankle in IU’s win over Purdue, but nothing was going to keep the IU junior out of this game. After finishing with a line of 19 points, nine rebounds, five steals and a block, Oladipo admitted that he was only 85 percent healthy. But as we’ve witnessed all season, Oladipo makes key plays down the stretch and Tuesday was no different. He scored six points in the game’s final 43 seconds and his heady tip-in of a Yogi Ferrell missed layup gave Indiana the lead for good at 68-67. “The play that was the killer was the tip-in,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “What happened is he’s got incredible heart and he just did what he does. I can give you our scouting report right now — cut him out, cut him out, cut him out — and he went and got it.”

· Indiana’s offense was once again balanced: Besides the 19 points from Oladipo, the Hoosiers also had three other scorers in double figures. Cody Zeller, who played arguably his worst game last season at Michigan State, scored 17 points on Tuesday in a variety of ways. Zeller faced up and knocked down mid-range shots, scored at the basket and was seemingly unaffected by the physical play of Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne. Christian Watford didn’t have his best night offensively, but three of his 12 points came when IU was faced with its largest deficit with under two minutes to play. Watford took the ball from the left wing, drove into the lane into contact from Payne and finished a tough runner for a 3-point play. And Jordan Hulls, who also had 12 points, hit a crucial 3-pointer midway through the second half that pushed IU’s cushion to five.

· Turnovers weren’t much of an issue for IU: Indiana came into Tuesday with the second-worst turnover percentage (19.7) in conference play. In a 74-72 loss at Illinois earlier this month, the Hoosiers coughed the ball up on 22.1 percent of their possessions and those mistakes were a big reason a sizable second half lead melted away. But in yet another sign that this team continues to grow and learn from its losses, IU turned the ball over on just 15.1 percent of its possessions at Ohio State and just 15.2 percent of its possessions in the win over Michigan State. Yogi Ferrell in particular deserves mention as he finished with five assists and just two turnovers against one of the country’s best defensive backcourts in Keith Appling, Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine.

· Keith Appling once again came up empty for Michigan State: After missing a majority of the first meeting in Bloomington with foul trouble, Michigan State figured it would get much better production from junior point guard Keith Appling. Fouls weren’t an issue for Appling this time around, but his lack of production in a team-high 36 minutes really hurt the Spartans. He finished with just six points on 1-of-8 shooting, missed three free throws and had four turnovers. Further limiting his effectiveness was the fact that Appling let his struggles on offense carry over to his defense, which is typically a strong suit of his game. “I really don’t know why [he struggled] to be honest with you, I felt bad for him,” Izzo said. “He just wasn’t himself. I think you get to the point where he is a very good defender and he kind of let his offense dictate his defense and that was the biggest problem early.”

  • MikeC

    Wow…. You know that is the best interpretation of the state of IU Basketball I have heard…. They knew who we were we knew how hard they were going to play us. But at the end of the day the more determined team won. Make no mistake MSU is a tough team so it says a lot about IU

  • MikeC

    Wow…. You know that is the best interpretation of the state of IU Basketball I have heard…. They knew who we were we knew how hard they were going to play us. But at the end of the day the more determined team won. Make no mistake MSU is a tough team so it says a lot about IU

  • Mr. I.U.

    A one legged VO is better than a Brandon Dawson any day!

  • CB

    What a great great game. Now I don’t want to see MSU agin till next year.

  • calbert40

    I understand the review process, but I didn’t understand why he was given a Technical. That is what confused me.

  • Earl Scheib

    What’s most encouraging is how this team has developed since the season began. Yogi has fewer turnovers and drives to the basket well, just needs a softer touch — a few of those layups banged back too hard. Watford is consistent now. Zeller is getting his jumper perfected. Jordy is back with the threes and solid ball handling and much better D. And Vic has gone off the charts, into the stratosphere. Throw in Sheehey’s shut down D and ‘score 20 at any time’ factor, Remy, Jeremy, Mo, and Elston, and we’ve got a squad that just keeps getting better and better. No one has blown us out and we’ve given two games away on a silver platter. If Crean can keep the fires lit under these guys we will be THE TEAM to beat in the tournament. GO HOOSIERS! Banner 6!!

  • Kevin Tolliver

    That is ridiculous. He wouldn’t pull his hand in like that, ya Cody had him rapped up but Nix was trying to get loose so he bag tagged him to get Zeller off.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    I don’t think it looks like Zeller pulled his hand into himself. I do think there a little doubt whether the hand really hit him in the “speedo area” or perhaps a bit above.

    Still, it seems like it’s well within the realm of acceptable gamesmanship either way. Gotta make sure TV Ted saw it…

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Officiating was terrible both ways but that doesn’t mean it makes it fair. Bad calls change the game and outcomes. IU was in control almost the entire game but erratic calls make the game a toss up because players can’t get into rythem. Instant replay needs to go away! If three guys can’t get it right the first time play on. And besides the Colo/ Arizona game earlier in year proves they still might not get call right after review.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Oh but forgot most important thing… way to go Hoosiers you didnt let the noise, hype, or officiating get you down and you played great basketball.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    16-2 BIG TEN CHAMPS

  • John Cole

    I muted Vitale and listened to Don Fischer do play by play on the radio. Don does an awesome broadcasting job. He couldn’t believe they called a foul on Will. He said that Gary Harris jumped into Will.

  • John Cole

    I muted Vitale and listened to Don Fischer do play by play on the radio. Don does an awesome broadcasting job. He couldn’t believe they called a foul on Will. He said that Gary Harris jumped into Will.

  • http://twitter.com/hoosiersmitty HoosierSmitty

    Along the lines of “we took nobody by surprise,” I think that applies to us as fans, too. I fully expected IU to be in this game until the end and was very confident that the Hoosiers would win this game. I had a moment of crisis when we went down by 4 points at the end of the game, but it’s nice to have the feeling to expect to win every game again.

  • BKLock

    Aceman, I do not have BTN so you may have watched a few more games than I have. However, the games I have been able to watch we definitely are looking through different lenses, mine being less critical. My meaning there is I try less to critique the coaching and I now enjoy watching the games more because of it. My giving up on being an arm chair coach years ago has reduced my stress. :) I still stand up and scream at the TV but I no longer have ulcers.

    I may have misunderstood you but IMHO, I feel that many of the IU fan base have been overly critical of TC’s play calling, in game adjustments etc. Your point number 6 just caught my eye as being to general a statement. When you say that “all of a sudden” these things have changed. My point is the same could easily be said that “all of a sudden” the players have started executing those plays better. Sometimes It doesn’t matter how brilliant a play is when it is drawn up if the players do not properly execute it. The only argument I will offer at this time is this 27-9 last year and currently 23-3 this year. Until one of us can produce statistical evidence for said plays our opinions are really more subjective than objective.

    Question…Do they keep statistics for points scored off inbound plays? Does Ken Pomeroy keep that statistical category? If someone does keep it I’m guessing that statistic will be better than we think. An inbound pass/play is successful if it leads to an immediate basket, like Oladipo’s breakaway dunk and if it leads to points scored within the time remaining on the shot clock! I would even go as far to say that if it leads to an open look at the basket it was a good play call, because sometimes kids just miss the shot. I wish I could remember which game it was this year that an ESPN announcer (it may have been Dan D) addressed that IU’s points scored after timeouts/inbound was good.

    I do enjoy reading your comments. It is just this one point in which we have differing opinions. You have a great day.

  • Kenneth234

    Because he may contact with his elbow above the shoulder. That is all it takes for a flagrant 1.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Illinois loss changed everything. Had a very hard time sleeping from a win. Third and final boy due march 20th. Want to name him oladipo. Maybe banner. Wonderful wife has agreed to let me go to Atlanta. Boom!

  • Eastwood88_2

    One final note. Elston hitting the three make anyone else think we were going to win?

  • IUMIKE1

    LOL

  • marcusgresham

    OK, Appling’s sucked twice for sure, but what the hell is it about IU that turns Adreian Payne into Larry Friggin’ Bird?

  • marcusgresham

    Sic Devan Dumes on him!

  • marcusgresham

    If he shoots a 3 next year it’s going to have to be from 23.

  • marcusgresham

    If he shoots a 3 next year it’s going to have to be from 23.

  • marcusgresham

    “We are who they thought we are!” My apologies to Dennis Green.

  • marcusgresham

    The first two you list there will average double figures next year.

  • marcusgresham

    Sorry, but you probably will in Chicago.

  • marcusgresham

    Refs don’t run the clock. They drop the hand to indicate to the timer when to start it, but the refs don’t physically have control of it.

  • marcusgresham

    I’ve always found frat boys to be fairly useless, but they could redeem themselves in my eyes if one of the houses would get a palanquin like the Egyptians used to carry around Cleopatra and man it with four of their guys so Vic doesn’t even have to walk to class this week.

  • marcusgresham

    He’s just getting his shot back from the injury.

  • marcusgresham

    He’s just getting his shot back from the injury.

  • marcusgresham

    …and he is correct.

  • HoosierPat

    That would probably be impermissible benefits and Oladipo would be suspended 9 games and have to donate money to a charity.

  • HoosierPat

    Another takeaway: Dick Vitale is the most annoying person in the world. Every time a shot went in or someone made a good pass he started yelling, “That was a Magic move, baby!!!!” You have to give it up to Magic for not telling him to shut up.

  • SoCal Hoosier

    Payne repaid Watford with 6 mins to go with a little pop to his face on a drive. Just as unintentional. Only difference was CWat didn’t flop on the floor and roll around like he’d been shot.

  • Eastwood88_2

    And 8 hours later find myself in the hospital. She is blaming the refs

  • SCHoosier

    Yes Yogi will get several double-doubles..and Hanner will average double digit minutes..that’s all I’m prepared for forecast. Yogi works o n the 3 ball..he’s the best guard in the b-10 next year.

  • SCHoosier

    Yogi size hurt him going to the rim..big guys in the paint he had to launch those layups..too far to the side of the rim..going right at the bucket would have been suicide. The paint was no place for ..err..welll..u know what I mean.

  • marcusgresham

    I feel pretty confident that Hollowell is going to score next season.

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