Izzo evaluates IU following 73-56 MSU win

  • 01/04/2014 9:01 pm in

When Michigan State played in Assembly Hall last season, the Spartans couldn’t overcome Indiana’s playmaking and experience en route to a 75-70 loss.

One year later, certainly under changed circumstances, now No. 5 Michigan State (13-1, 2-0) came into Assembly Hall on Saturday afternoon and left with a 16-point victory, a 73-56 drubbing of the Hoosiers (10-5, 0-2) on their own home court.

After the game, Spartans head coach Tom Izzo shared his thoughts on where Indiana is at, at the moment, and why the Hoosiers have potentially lacked success against the elite teams of the country thus far.

“This is where (senior Will) Sheehey and (sophomore) Yogi (Ferrell) have got to be men,” Izzo said. “They’ve got to stand up. Tom (Crean) has been through it. He’s rebuilt programs. He’s done it. He know’s what it’s like. He’ll be fine.

“But with those young freshmen, that’s where your upperclassmen really have to stand up and explain how it is and understand how it is.”

In the early goings of the 2013-2014 season, Ferrell has upped his individual performance, but the Hoosiers overall have struggled with turnovers and playing in the big moments of games. Against Indiana on Saturday, Izzo had his players switch on defense often, guarded Ferrell with three or four different guys and packed his defense in. He would live with freshman forward Noah Vonleh shooting 3-pointers.

Do what the game plan is and make adjustments, accordingly, Izzo said.

After a late first half run put the Spartans up, 33-24, heading into halftime, Michigan State dominated the second half even more, holding Ferrell and Vonleh to a combined three shots. Ferrell took all three. At one point, the Spartans actually had a 19-point lead.

“I think Yogi’s having a hell of a year,” Izzo said. “We did a decent job on Yogi, ’cause he’s been dynamite. And Vonleh is going to learn a little bit that conference play is a little bit¬†different than non-conference play, too.”

As many struggles as the Hoosiers had, though, Izzo thinks many of their issues, especially with such a young team that featured three freshmen (Vonleh, Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson) playing at least 25 minutes on Saturday, can get resolved. He thinks Indiana still has the potential to improve this season. In fact, Izzo expects it.

“You know, you’ve got two key people in there in Williams and Vonleh that they’ll need a little adjustment, but I think by the end of the year, this is going to be a very good basketball team,” he said. “I really do. Especially if Yogi keeps playing like he is.”

Hoosiers struggle in second half

For a defense that allowed opponents to only shoot a 42.6 effective field goal percentage coming into Saturday’s game, Indiana particularly struggled in the second half against Michigan State on Saturday.

Up nine points heading into the second half, the Spartans pulled away after shooting a 67.3 eFG% in the final 20 minutes, led by senior Keith Appling’s 6-for-9 mark from the field and nine points off Hoosier turnovers.

“They had too many open looks off their break,” Sheehey said. “We did a good job stopping the initial break, but their secondary break, we didn’t challenge enough shots.”

And for as much as Indiana’s defense struggled in the second half, the Hoosiers’ offense struggled, too. The offense shot only 43.5 percent from the field (38.9 percent on 2-point attempts) and hit only three 3-pointers.

And for a team that prides itself on getting points in the paint, Indiana had only 10 in Saturday’s final 20 minutes. And Vonleh, the Hoosiers’ 6-foot-10 facilitator, was held to zero points and two rebounds in the half.

“They do a great job with help-side defense, I feel like,” Ferrell said. “They especially packed the lane a lot.”

“(Vonleh)’s got a find a way to get more touches, easier touches,” Sheehey added. “He’s got to work harder to get open, and we’ve got to work harder to get him open.”

Filed to:

  • 3AM Burrito

    Yes I want Vonleh away from basket some too. He got it once at top of key yesterday and made a nice crossover and drew a foul. With his jumper and ball skills he could do some damage.
    I did not see him open much yesterday, if he was I think defender was baiting a pass. What i did see and have seen is the wing not even really let him try to get position before swinging the ball, i dont quite get that. He also struggled to finish and with turnovers when he did get it down low yesterday.

  • Ole Man

    Somehow, IU has.

  • Ole Man

    IU’s offense is not conducive to using big men.
    I think Vonleh is working as hard as he can to get open; it’s tiring to hear the blame being placed on an 18-year old. Blame the other players and the coach, but really? A barely 18 year old is somehow responsible for the debacle that IU has with big men.
    How many years (two) did we hear, Cody needs more touches; Cody needs to demand the ball more.
    It’s the offense people. It’s great for dribbling and driving; not so much for screening, passing. Way to easy to defend IU; and it’s been that way for years.

  • John

    Tom Izzo is a great coach and a good man. I greatly respect him for his coaching ability and his character. A true class act.

  • Southport65

    Let’s see this weekend North Carolina #19 lost, Oklahoma St. #6 lost, Kansas #16 lost, Iowa #22 lost,Oregon #10 lost,Duke #7 lost and UConn. #17 lost. So all of these teams must have bad Coaches? RIGHT!!??
    This is how IU fans are when we don’t win it’s always the Coach at IU that is not good enough when in fact if you truly know how to look at game film and players in practice and games you will find out that we have a very,very young team with no proven shooters but Yogi. We are losing because we are not very good yet. You can blame the coaching all you want but if you don’t have players that can shoot you will lose to quality teams like Michigan St.
    This is not rocket science. These players need time to get better and we need those shooter coming next year.
    We lost 80% of our starting lineup and 90% of all the scoring. We all should have know this was going to be like this! Most of you predicted it. KY. just had the same thing happen to them last year when they lost 6 players to the NBA. They did not make the NCAA tourney and lost their 1st game in the NIT.
    Ease up guys and enjoy the team this year and know they will get better. Quit nit picking every minute of every game and move on. Do you think anyone at IU wants to lose? You are acting like it and these young players read this crap. The game before Fischer had 10 points and 3 blocks he got ripped on this site for not being able to play post defense. If your looking for a reasons he left go back and look at what you said. IMHO Fans drove this kid off. This is a rebuilding year please learn that and move on.

  • steve

    Olidipo had incredible drive and did most of the work for himself. Not all players are like him and usually they are pretty rare. Those that think lots of these players are going to be victor are living in a fantasy world. He is a once an every ten year player.

  • steve

    The best thing for Hanner would be a redshirt year but it seems crean does not redshirt people. Jurkin will never see the floor.

  • Cody’s lack of outside shooting was largely his own doing. Cody passed up a lot of outside shots.. especially it was seen in the Syra game. he would pass on a ten to fifteen foot jump shot, and drive into the paint, only to get tied up or lose the ball. To an extent Vonleh does as well. I like Vonleh a lot. But he seems to drive into the paint, turn right into the guy guarding him and attempt to bring the ball up and shoot. Nearly every time this ends up getting tied up, or the ball knocked away, with out getting a clean shot off. What happened to that little jump hook, he shot several times earlier this year? Haven’t seen that in a while. I am amazed also at how many times we’ll drive the lane for a layup, and the ball just doesn’t drop. You’d think we’d start making some of those, sometime pretty soon. I think we’ll get better, but I do think there’s some fundamental things we need to improve on.. as well as cutting down on turnovers. Believe me, I hope we can win at PSU this weekend, but it is not going to be a walk in the park so to speak.

  • I agree with you Southport. The guys that get on here and make all those knee jerk, caustic remarks, also have an effect on the players. There could have been some of that in Luke’s decision to leave. I mean here’s a young kid, away from home for the first time, struggling with injury, trying his best.. needing some support. So what does he get, he gets ripped on here for no post moves and lack of post defense. Then those same guys rip Crean for being the reason he left. I haven’t been commenting in here much anymore. I get too upset about so many posters just blasting players and coaches and really don’t know what they’re talking about anyway. They’re just lashing out in frustration and really doing no good for anyone or anything. IMHO, True IU fans aren’t ones that would do that. So those that do… Aren’t what I would like to think IU fandom is all about.

  • millzy32

    Well he lost last year to Syracuse with Great Players so how do you explain that one? It wasn’t just a loss either it was a complete disaster. IU never in the game from the tip to the final buzzer. No half time adjustments, no in game adjustments. It’s like he said well I know this offense doesn’t work against a good zone but thank goodness most teams don’t have a good zone. Too bad they just happened to be playing the team with the good zone. They couldn’t handle that same zone again this year with less talented players. Looked like the same game on repeat.

  • 3AM Burrito

    Exactly, because he can’t coach right. But if they would have won, it would be because his players are great.
    But humor me and go watch first few possessions of that game. Ball gets to middle, to Oladipo on baseline and he gets 4 free throws in 2 possessions, only makes one free throw though. Throughout game Zeller repeatedly got ball in high post and either refused to shoot jumper or went up soft looking for a foul. Yogi was a disaster in that game and no real backup so that could be poor coaching/recruiting I guess but those players needed to make plays when they had a chance and didn’t

  • RonB

    And how many games have you coached on any level or do you sit in your recliner and pretend to be a college Coach. Last time I checked fans are fans because they can’t Coach. Maybe you should apply for a job at IU since you know so much about coaching College basketball Freshman on a team that lost 80% of their starting lineup and 90% of their scoring.
    Do you remember the season after Bob Knight had won the NCAA Tourney in 1976 and all his players left but Benson? They were bad that year because he had all young players and no shooters(record 16-11). This team is very similar or how about when Mike Davis lost his player and went 14-15 and 15-14. These kids need time to get better. Most of them will be at IU 3-4 years in their careers and so far they have played just 15 games. I am sorry you feel so miserable about this team and this Coach but every comment you make is negative. Are you having a bad year? I just don’t remember you being so negative about everything from scoop to nuts in the past.

  • Ole Man

    Ron, this is IU. It shouldn’t have to rebuild every 3rd or 4th year.
    MSU has made the NCAA 17 straight years. IU probably won’t make it 3.

  • HoosierPat

    It’s not the fact that they are losing that bothers me. It is the way they are losing that bothers me. I expect these players to be more mistake prone because they are so young. But a lot of the mistakes they make are ones they should have already grown out of. I’m sorry you disagree with all my recent comments, but I’m unhappy with the way things are going. I believe, and I think everyone else believes, that Crean could be getting a lot more out of these guys because they are a very very talented team.

  • RonB

    I guess you did not read my post. I know it is IU but it happens to all teams and all coaches as I quoted other IU coaches had similar problems just like KY last year. Izzo is an exception and one of the best Coaches in America right now. Did you really think this IU team was going to have a great year with all the young kids? If you did you are having a big let down right now.

  • RonB

    Pat, Not everyone agrees with your opinions. They are yours but please don’t try and speak for everyone. Maybe some of your buddies here agree with your negative comments but not everyone agrees. Read all the posts. Again what makes you an expert? You did not answer my question. Are you a Coach or have you Coached at the College level? Also next year or later this year when this team starts to play better are you going to give positive feedback or do u just want Coach fired? It’s easy to be negative when they are losing but when they win fans like you usually disappear from message boards. I hope you will not do the same.

  • HoosierPat

    I never said I was an expert. I never said I want Crean fired. And do you really not think they could get more out of this team? I give positive feedback when it is warranted, but really other than Stan Robinson, nothing warranted positive feedback in the MSU game. I will not disappear as I’ve been commenting frequently for the last 3-ish years.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Totally agree. Some of this falls on Vonleh for sure. On the plus side, he doesn’t look like a lottery pick any more.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    I think lots of people criticised Crean’s coaching last year. I certainly did.

    We have no flow in the halfcourt. Didn’t have much last year either. But we had great shooters, which covered it up.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    So last year he had great players, and we looked like grade schoolers against that Syracuse zone. What was it that day?

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Agree. Well, not Jurkin. Always thought he was a stiff.

    Hollowell and Perea are total busts. If those two had panned out even a little this team might be OK.

  • SouthernbornHoosierbred

    You don’t need a phd in basketball to see the lack of discipline and effort this team has shown us all year. We should at least expect those two traits out of every Indiana team and when we don’t see it, we have every right to be pissed off.

  • CB

    Great post. I don’t know who some of these guys think are playing on the court. That is not Michael Jordan out there. It is a bunch of very young raw guys. Sure they are athletic, but I have definitely seen better basketball skills. This team has potential but not this year. This is a rebuilding year.

  • Ole Man

    Actually, I was one of those who wasn’t “high on this team”.
    As to the other part. This is IU. I expect the team to be in the NCAA every year. The same as any other blueblood program fan expects.
    KU, UNC, Syc, UK (you should have heard their fans squeal last year–music to my ears), Duke. Occasionally, as I pointed out, one misses the tourney; but it is rare.
    Why should our fans lower their expectations?

  • RonB

    Pat, Good! Yes they can play better and yes everyone needs to step up. Players and Coaches! I guess the difference is I have not lost hope that they will get better and from your recent posts I sort of thought you had lost all hope. As fans we can only do our part to help. I still believe we can have a good football team and I have been saying that since 1968 when we went to the Rose Bowl. It’s just my nature as a former Coach to stay hopeful.
    Just Like Ole Man thinks they should go to the NCAA tourney every year I want that also but even Blue Bloods that he mentioned don’t always go and you can’t say that Coach has missed it this year yet. He got the team turned around and I know he is recruiting for the future to make it every year. If we miss this year it may be his rare miss in the course of IU basketball history not counting those 1st horrible years it took to fix the program.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I believe that Watford was Hollowell’s mentor/role model for most of last year. CW might have scored 2000+ in his career, but he got comfortable “watching” a lot of action while he was on the court. Any wonder why Hollowell lacks the heart & desire to succeed?
    Perea and Davis can impact games, but it’s hard to grab a board when you’re on the bench.