The Minute After: Maryland

  • 02/12/2015 12:11 am in

Thoughts on a 68-66 loss to the Terps:

Tied at 61 with just over 1:30 to go, Robert Johnson pushed the pace. Across the timeline he came. Collin Hartman sprung loose from Jake Layman and called for the ball at the free throw line. Johnson made the pass. Hartman missed the lay-up ahead of the defense.

This was the story of Indiana’s night in College Park.

After running Maryland out of the gym in Bloomington on the strength of a 15-of-22 mark from distance, Xfinity Center’s baskets paid the Hoosiers little favor. Troy Williams missed two dunks. James Blackmon Jr. shot just 2-of-15 and 0-of-5 from distance — including a late corner 3-pointer that would have given Indiana a one-point advantage with 44 seconds to go. Robert Johnson hit two late important baskets, but in front of friends and family, finished just 3-of-13. The Hoosiers made only 35.7 percent of their 2-point attempts.

So many missed opportunities. And despite it all, Indiana never trailed by more than six. It seemed like the game may finally be turning in Maryland’s favor after Layman rebounded a Dez Wells missed free throw attempt which led to a corner 3 for Jared Nickens. Wells drove and scored on the Terps’ next possession to give them that six-point cushion with 5:14 to go. But Indiana hung tough. It’s what this team does. The confidence never wavers. Johnson hit a 3-ball. Ferrell hit another to tie it at 57 with 3:39 to go. Johnson hit a jumper to tie it back up at 59. Williams tipped in a miss to put the Hoosiers in front at 61-59 with 1:47 left.

But Wells scored for Maryland and Layman followed it up with a score over Blackmon on a switch to gain the lead back at 63-61. We all know how it played out from there. Against some made free throws from Maryland, Williams got another bucket and Ferrell hit another dagger 3 to pull Indiana within one at 67-66. Wells splits one of two at the line, 68-66 Terps. On the final possession of the game, Ferrell crossed over Richaud Pack at the top of the key and had a great look for Indiana to take the lead. It missed. Maryland had issues snagging the rebound and the ball fell into Ferrell’s hands. His off balance attempt falling out of the right side of the paint didn’t fall.

Ferrell went to the ground, slapped the floor and hung his head. Tom Crean ran from the other side of the court and gave him a hug. It was a well-deserved embrace. Ferrell played a brilliant game inside a great overall game between these two teams in a battle to keep pace in second place with Ohio State. The Park Tudor product scored a game-high 23 points, hitting 6-of-9 from 3-point range to go along with six assists and zero turnovers in 37 minutes. He had come up just short of taking the lead or forcing overtime and was in emotional pain.

Beyond Ferrell’s tremendous effort and performance, Williams also helped hold down the fort with others struggling on offense. He finished 7-of-13 from the floor (17 points), running some two-man game with Ferrell for alley-oops, getting some tip-ins and simply flying by Maryland for scores around the rim.

Points per possession were close in this one (1.08 for Maryland, 1.05 for Indiana) despite Maryland shooting a 59.2 eFG% against Indiana’s 44.8%. A few reasons for this. The Terps turned the ball over on 20.7 percent of their possessions, leaving them with a host of empty trips. The Hoosiers scored nine points off those turnovers and also 17 second-chance points thanks to rebounding a third (33.3%) of their misses. The Hoosiers were also great with the ball tonight, turning it over on just 9.6 percent of their possessions (six turnovers) to keep things interesting and not give away possessions.

On paper, this was the toughest game remaining on Indiana’s Big Ten schedule. Maryland entered the contest 14-1 at home and ranked No. 19 in the country. The Hoosiers were in it right down to the wire. It all bodes well for the rest of the conference slate, but does little to soften the sting of this crushing defeat.

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  • IUMIKE1

    Oops, didn’t see this comment before I replied to one of your earlier comments with my extended, ” why the hell does he go to his right 95 % of the time “, rant.

  • IUMIKE1

    And our number 2 per game rebounder, if I’m not mistaken.

  • I think you’re right FIU.. If a defender is coming at them, they are worried that he might ge there.. thay are thinking about the defender and not worrying so much about the mechanics of the shot itself… they tend to shoot it more naturally, like they do when they are practicing.. JMO, bt I think a completely open look where the guy is just thinking about the shot.. is a tougher make than one that is contested… as long as the contestant isn’t close enough to disturb the shot by touching it even a little bit. I think most guys aren’t as good with a completely open look.. You could be right about Collin and Nick though.

  • Drew

    I apologize for the long response time. My work schedule is all over the place. Same thing could be said for us. If you guys reduce maybe even 5 of your turnovers, there probably wouldn’t have been any late game drama. Side note: do you think Trimble jumps for the NBA next season?

  • Crabcakes Football

    I think the kid has his head on straight and doesn’t leave early. It helps that no one has him projected as a 1st rounder right now. He’ll play at the next level, I think…but needs to work on his game. I think he stays at least another year.

  • Crabcakes Football

    Thanks. Yeah – I think you guys are good so I hope we don’t see you again! We’ve had a season where our record looks better than our actual performance. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take it.
    In regards to 2002 title game, I’d have to beg to differ there. We were a team of destiny. Duke stole the 2001 title from us, so we were bound to get that one in 2002. If Crean were your coach then, instead of Davis you guys might have won though. He’s a much better coach, IMO.

  • Drew

    staying would be the reasonable thing for him to do, imho. You guys should have a solid core next year with him and Layman returning.

  • I think TW sort of pulled JBJ aside and gave him that chat during the timeout, albeit in a few quick choice (and kind) words. Maybe he could have done it sooner in the game, but still…