The Minute After: Illinois

  • 03/13/2014 2:07 pm in

INDIANAPOLIS — Thoughts on a 64-54 loss to the Illini:

Less than four minutes into Indiana’s opening round meeting with Illinois on Thursday afternoon in the Big Ten tournament, it appeared as though the Hoosiers would offer up little resistance to a Fighting Illini club that had come in with wins in four of its last five games.

Just before Illinois took a 9-0 lead with 16:23 to play in the first half, Tom Crean turned to his bench and uttered one sentence that said it all: “There’s no attack to the game right now.”

Crean was right.

Illinois was the aggressor out of the gate and how Indiana would respond over the next 16 minutes would tell us plenty about how the afternoon would transpire.

The Hoosiers answered out of the timeout with an 8-0 run, thanks to five points from Will Sheehey, who finished the opening 20 minutes with 11 points. Yogi Ferrell, ever the reliable contributor all season for these Hoosiers, would step up as well, pouring in 10 points before intermission.

When halftime hit, the Hoosiers would enter the locker room trailing by just two at 30-28, thanks in large part to a 6-of-10 performance from behind the 3-point arc and despite a turnover percentage of 30.4.

The opening of the second half was a different story as the Hoosiers reversed a trend of starting slow after intermission. IU scored ten of the first 13 points after halftime to grab a 38-33 lead.

It was a major change from the game’s opening minutes as IU got into the lane, racked up fouls on the Illini and got to the free throw line. As the Hoosiers mounted their advantage, the question would quickly shift to whether they could sustain it.

The answer, which has pretty much defined IU’s season, was no.

After Illinois roared back with an 11-0 run, the Hoosiers would never regain the lead the rest of the way. That Illini run, which included 4:14 of scoreless play by IU, was the ultimate difference as the Hoosiers were the first team bounced from the Big Ten tournament.

Indiana would pull within one at 53-52 with just under three minutes to play, but Tracy Abrams, who finished with a season-high 25 points, answered with a huge 3-pointer to give Illinois a four-point cushion and seal the victory for the Illini.

The Hoosiers failed to hit a 3-pointer in the second half, turned it over on 25 percent of their possessions and a season after winning the Big Ten outright and claiming a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, will await word on their NIT fate come Sunday night.

Filed to:

  • calbert40

    Yes. I had a post featured one time. I’m sure it was a mistake, because I’d never get that many up votes!! 🙂

  • calbert40

    I actually agree, Milla. I like this new Blake character. I like the discussion, even if we are on different sides. Keep it coming!

    (don’t listen to people about me. I’m a lot nicer than they’d care to admit….so is Milla. 🙂

  • 3AM Burrito

    You do know he benched Hollowell from being a starter to riding the bench right? And Vonleh, Ferrell, Sheehey, Gordon, Robinson, Williams, Perea, Etherington – all were benched at some point in the season. Someone has to play. Like the game yeterday, EVERYONE was turning the ball over. You really would be ok if he brought out Marlin, Howard and Jurkin and Hartman in that game?

  • calbert40

    I agree. I’m not sure it helps to make arbitrary goals before the season starts, but I’ve been guilty of doing the same thing too.

    I just want to see us back on the competition level of UM, MSU, UW and OSU instead of in the same level as PSU, NW, and Purdue. If we can do that, I’ll be pleased. Then we can talk specifics.

  • Ole Man

    LOL, Will. Good one.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I can agree with that. It is definitely unfortunate for the team and fans. Some players just have that emotional attachment to the game and that’s a good thing. Last year’s team had it, the 2002 team (Coverdale, Moye, Fife) had it and I think Will Sheehey has it. It was just disappointing to see us go out like that last season. It fell short of everyone’s expectations. Not just ours, heck, the team and the entire nation expected Indiana to make more noise than that. Probably at least 60% of the brackets last year had Indiana and Louisville matched up in the title game. Realistically, no one would have been so upset if we’d have lost to say, Michigan in the Final Four after already beating them 3 times last year. There are expectations that come with the head coaching job at an elite program and I don’t think that is unreasonable.

  • dwdkc

    Yes, that hurts. Would have really been nice if Mo had stayed and could have had a really good year at IU after all he went through. Happy for him, but IU really needed him the way it turned out.

  • dwdkc

    For our sake, I wish your son was right and you were wrong. But no

  • IUBizmark

    Actually I said, I believe. I wasn’t trying to convince anyone, least of all the guy who has an image of Crean on an IU horse as his pic. In my opinion it’s naive to believe Crean didn’t tell Creek and Abel that they could stay but would get zero playing time. Thus, when the media asks them, they say they left on their own accord. You’ve got your opinion and I’ve got mine. We’ll agree to disagree.

  • hoosier1158

    Why concede and let Cal get what he wants, exposure in Indy? IU doesn’t need to play UK. Sign up to play U of L in basketball and football.

  • hoosier1158

    Right, CTC likes small guard oriented teams. That won’t work in the B1G.

  • hoosier1158

    How many times does Yogi come up the floor and immediately shoot a 3 without running any offense? Not many coaches would like that.

  • VAHoosier

    Who are “they,” exactly?

  • Jersey Hoosier

    As of 8:00 pm EST, March 14th, JP’s up votes are now up to 95. I would call that a landslide. How about you? Oh, sorry. you, for one (maybe the only one) are happy that Crean is our coach.

  • CreanFaithful

    I’d hardly call Etherington a guard. Point taken though.

  • CreanFaithful

    That’s fine. But Roth, in a similar position the year before, point blank said that IU was not interested in keeping him on. Creek said that the coaches were behind him 100% either way when he approached them about his option. Why the difference? You’ve built a conspiracy theory without the slightest bit of evidence.

  • IUBizmark

    I’ll cede the point that I have zero evidence to back my assertion. It’s not important enough for me to go research and build a case. I believe there are things in this world you’ll never know the full truth about and this is one of them. Additionally, truth or not, it doesn’t matter. Creek is gone, our season went how it went and I still have confidence Crean will take us to a final four next year if Vonleh stays.
    I’d ask, honestly, why you believe Creek would choose to leave.

  • IUMIKE1

    IUMIKE1 raises his hand rather enthusiastically with those in agreement.

  • IUMIKE1

    but I just can’t help myself!…..statisticians anonymous ? LOL just kidding couldn’t resist.

    Gotta find humor anywhere I can to keep my pissedoffness ( I know not really a word) from getting the best of me.

  • IUMIKE1

    When I first read the comment that you responded to with this comment my eyebrows scrunched down and an audible, huh, immediately came out. My first instinct was to type a, “are you sure you are breathing and have a pulse reply”, and then I read the name on the comment and it all suddenly made sense and it also made sense to reply here. He is obviously one of those that reads what he wants to hear. You aren’t kidding or going out on a limb when you said that you put stats out there to back up what you are saying as much as anybody on here does, and if he was breathing and had a pulse that would be painfully obvious to him.

  • IUMIKE1

    To me the last paragraph in this comment of yours is not really just a paragraph, but rather a full chapter, if not a small book condensed, in disguise and not yet completely finished.

  • IUMIKE1

    To kinda support your view, in the first half we shoot 6 out of 10 from behind the arc but are still down by 2 at the half and IMHO that mainly is a direct result of having the turn over problem that we do. I know having only two 2 pt field goals is also part of the reason but shooting 60 % from behind the arc and 80% from the free throw line should give a team at least a small lead at half, especially when the halftime score in 30 to 28.

  • IUMIKE1

    At the risk of sounding like I”m singling out an individual player, which is not my intention, it was the WAY he turned it over this season that has bothered me. IMHO opinion the vast majority of his TO’s were not from somebody doing just enough that it should have been partially their fault as well but not enough that the TO was on them but rather just bad execution on his part.

  • IUMIKE1

    Have to wonder if part of Will’s turn over problem wasn’t as much from the distraction of him feeling like he had to do so many other things as it was just bad decision making. I know YF played a lot last year and should have shouldered more of this duty, but seemed to defer to Will most of the time when it came to that, but that is one of the major things that is expected of Seniors. It’s just unfortunate that we only had one Senior that really played cause that kind of responsibility is usually spread around for more than one to take care of. On top of that there usually isn’t the number of players that require that kind of guidance as there was this year making it even tougher for Will.

  • Ole Man

    Your point is well taken. I’ve wondered about that as well–the distraction and having to do so much.

  • bojak

    Vonleh has not showed that he is a GREAT basketball player. Great basketball players find a way to score.

  • Robert J Morgan

    The dirty looking uniforms fit very well with back alley ball they play!! Very fitting. By the way the ex Ind coaches, steve alford, noodles Neal and Scott Drew are doing quite well this season. Steve and Scott took over floundering programs to. Watch them play, they play organized ball. I also saw where mike Woodson might be looking for a job now that phil jackson is cleaning house.

  • calbert40

    Sadly, Mike, people like us, who used to be in the majority, have become a significant minority. 28 up votes for that drivel? Good thing we can’t see down votes anymore. I’m certain I’d have had a ton of them lately!! 🙂

  • calbert40

    Just trying to offer a little levity, VA. As “they” say, the best humor is that which has a little truth sprinkled in it.

  • IUMIKE1

    Sadly enough, down votes under these circumstances, are pretty much a badge of honor in my world.

  • CreanFaithful

    From what I understand, he has family, a girlfriend and a child back home. George Washington was much closer to home. Whether he would ever fully recover remained to be seen. GW had just as much, if not more opportunity for him to earn minutes. Obviously, I don’t know the specifics/truth behind the matter either. I just didn’t see anything that should lead me to believe there was something amiss about the situation…

  • IUBizmark

    I appreciate the info. Was that posted here or somewhere else and I just missed it? I make a decent effort to be informed so any help is appreciated.
    Here’s to looking forward to next year.