Indiana’s late run falls short in 74-72 loss to Michigan State

  • 03/07/2015 7:49 pm in

As the buzzer sounded for the under-4 media timeout in the second half of Saturday’s game against Michigan State, Hoosiers fans became restless. Indiana trailed by 11 points and Yogi Ferrell had just turned the ball over with just 3:50 remaining.

Fans began to boo. Some left Assembly Hall. But the Hoosiers didn’t quit.

Indiana went on a 16-7 run in the final 3:15, but it wasn’t enough. The Hoosiers (19-12, 9-9) on Saturday lost their third straight game in a 74-72 defeat to the Spartans (21-10, 12-6).

“I feel like we came out too slow and we all tried to turn it on too late,” freshman James Blackmon Jr. said. “We turned it on and made that run, but we should have just picked it up from the start.”

After a first half in which both teams were even on the scoreboard, Indiana went on a 4-0 spurt to start the second half — two quick layups back-to-back to bring Indiana’s lead to a 38-34 margin. Michigan State, though, would follow with a 9-0 run of its own, setting the tone for much of the second half.

Two offensive rebounds led to a Marvin Clark 3-pointer. A missed Hanner Mosquera-Perea layup turned into an Alvin Ellis III layup in just four seconds. Another offensive rebound led to a Clark put-back. And then the Spartans tore the Hoosiers’ zone apart off a set-play, ending in a Travis Trice jumper.

“That’s basically how they got their run in the second half,” Yogi Ferrell said. “They got a lot of second-chance opportunities with the offensive rebounds and kick-outs. We’ve just got to fight it better. Got to crack them before they come into the paint because we know that they’re big. We’ve just got to carve out space and try to make the rebound.”

Indiana would come back from that specific run to even take a one-point lead. But the seeds were planted for further Spartans’ success.

In the second half, the Hoosiers allowed six offensive rebounds and eight second-chance points. They allowed another 11 fast-break points — all three aspects they discussed before Saturday’s game as critical factors to the eventual result.

But early in that under-4 media timeout, the boos stopped. Most fans stayed. After a Hoosiers stop and an ensuing Ferrell layup, followed by another stop and an ensuing foul call, Assembly Hall came alive. It would spark the Hoosiers ‘comeback.

“I’m proud of the way they came back, I really am, because that’s not easy,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “I thought the crowd had some real energy and really helped them pop, too, which was really good because they need that, they really need that, the kids need it.”

Slowly but surely, the Hoosiers clawed back. They didn’t allow a Spartans basket in the final 3:50. They forced the Spartans to shoot free throws — and even then they shot just 7-of-14 at the line in that span. And all the while, the Hoosiers made baskets of their own.

After a Nick Zeisloft 3-pointer, two Spartans free throw misses and an another two IU free throws from James Blackmon Jr., the Hoosiers got within one point with just five seconds remaining. The Hoosiers even had a chance to tie it after the Spartans fouled Ferrell with just two seconds left, leading by two.

Ferrell’s first free throw circled the rim and fell in. The second attempt, to tie the game, hit the right side of the rim and bounced out.

A desperation heave from Zeisloft with 0.7 seconds on the clock fell well short as the Spartans held on to win.

But that didn’t stop Crean from praising his team for the fight they had after falling behind by as many as 11 points late in the game. After that last buzzer, most fans applauded the Hoosiers for just that.

“They had the belief they were going to win the game and we got right there, at least to tie it,” Crean said. “It just didn’t happen.”

Davis dresses, participates in warm-ups

For the first time this season, sophomore Devin Davis dressed for a game and warmed up with the Hoosiers.

Davis has been recovering all season from a traumatic head injury suffered in a car accident early in the morning on Nov. 1, and while he has been with the team for most of the season and is redshirting, Saturday was the first game this season in which he ran onto the court in candy-striped pants.

“That was important to him,” Crean said. “He wanted a chance to do that. He’s really gone through a lot and that was something that he wanted to do.”

High-profile recruits in attendance

Indiana had three recruits of at least four-star caliber in attendance on Saturday, including 2015 6-foot-10 McDonald’s All-American Thomas Bryant and brothers Thon and Matur Maker.

All three have previously received scholarship offers from the Hoosiers.

Bryant, a four-star center from Huntington Prep, wore a grey Indiana shirt during the game and received multiple ovations from fans in his second visit to Bloomington since October.

The Maker brothers, meanwhile, made their first visit to Assembly Hall and stayed well after the game — even getting a tour from assistant Chuck Martin. Thon Maker is ranked as a top-10 prospect in the class of 2016, although he has said there is a 70 percent chance he reclassifies into the class of 2015, while his younger brother Matur is ranked as a four-star prospect in the class of 2017.

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  • SCHoosier

    There are a lot of teams that rely on a good zone defense. Please don’t insult those programs by referring to what IU tried to do as a “zone.” You can call it the IU point give away defense..or the Hoosier Help yourself to points defense..but a basketball zone it was not.

  • EvanstonB

    I’m torn… in one way, almost would feel satisfied to see a loss in our next game at B1G Tournament — in hopes of a disappointing end to another mediocre season resulting in enough pressure to make a coaching change. It has been an extremely frustrating stretch of IU basketball. I can’t help but feel that a “better coach” would have recognized our defensive weaknesses and would have found a way, with the talent we have, to make enough adjustments so that the team could at least play some semblance of average defense. Regardless the ups and downs that this program has gone through since Knight’s exit, we are Indiana and we have a right to expect much more than mediocrity. That is why I feel a change should be strongly considered and, if that means losing out, so be it. However, I’ve been an avid fan since I was 10 years old, rejoicing along with all of Hoosier Nation as Smart hit that shot in the Superdome and it is against every fiber of my fandom to root against my Hoosiers. Maybe we somehow make a run in the conference tourney, bring some positive energy to the program, and get a commitment from Bryant or Maker to significantly brighten the outlook for next year’s squad, provided Yogi and all other key players return. What say other fans?

  • Ms hoosier

    Yea it was just sickening watching all the uncontested shots MSU got. I just hope those recruits saw just how much we need them

  • GERBILSAURUSREX

    Did Devin Davis not redshirt? I mean, i know a redshirt player can practice, but saying he dressed for the game, implies to me that he could have played today.

  • Ole Man

    Root for a win, because there will be no coaching change.

  • InTheMtns

    I’m not torn. I’ll never root against my Hoosiers or hope they lose a game. Easy choice for me – I’m rooting for Indiana in their next game.

  • Hoosier1158

    Doesn’t matter, as long as he doesn’t enter the game.

  • Ms hoosier

    I just can’t hope my Hoosiers lose, but I’m like you I’m tired of all the mediocrity at IU it’s been 28 years since we hung a banner. And the bottom line is that’s the expectations at IU!!!

  • A question for all those folks calling for CTC’s head. Let’s grant for a moment that CTC has been a poor coach for IU, particularly the last two seasons but, as some have argued, even during the previous two seasons as well. If that’s true–that CTC is a poor coach–does that call for all of the rancor and hostility towards the man?

    What has he done–other than perform poorly (we’re arguing), which many people do in many jobs even while working as hard as they can to do well–that deserves this kind of treatment? Why do some of you take it so _personally_? Is your self-identity really tied that closely into how well the Indiana basketball program does? Such bitterness implies very unhappy lives, to be honest, and I think a college basketball program makes for a very sad proxy.

    For the record, I’m not sure myself if CTC is the right coach for Indiana. I’ve seen some things that seriously make me doubt that he is, and I’m an RMK fan going back to 1976 when I moved in with my future adoptive parents, one of whom was and is a rabid IU fan. But no matter how great or poor a coach I think CTC is, I can think of no reason to speak of him as if he’s such a terrible person who has wronged me, personally. And I don’t really understand why some of you seem think of him that way.

  • cooper

    Don’t know him and don’t need to. He and Glass were hired to do a job. They haven’t done it and have failed to show continued progress. In the profession both of those men have chosen those kind of results get you fired

  • I’m not as certain as you are of the chances of a coaching change, but I _am_ fairly certain of one thing. If you’re a true fan, you don’t root for your team to lose. That’s because “your team” always means _this_ team, and _this_ team deserves a fan’s support. Rooting against this team in the hopes that doing so results in some blessed future that can’t really be predicted is not only a losing proposition, I think it’s just downright wrong. What have these kids done to anyone that they deserve such treatment?

    The only exception I can see to this general rule is if a team has cheated (systematically). And I hope that nobody wants to accuse CTC of being dishonest.

  • alwaysiufan

    Curious as to why there are very few substitutions in duke nc game. O wait i guess that’s the way we roll as a Hoosier

  • enickman

    I’ll assume he’s a good person. Some of his post game remarks through the years are suspect in my opinion. But I’ve never been a fan of his coaching ability and nothing I saw this year changed that perception. I simply don’t think he’s the right man for the job if the goal is to hang banners.

  • inLinE6

    I care less about this loss now. Any news on Bryant or Maker?

  • Derek

    I think ctc works very very hard at his job. I mean the guy barely played high school ball and made it to the d1 head coaching ranks. What it boils down to for me is his strategies and in game coaching. I am no expert and i do not know how much blame lands on the players but he is making the big money so he will shoulder most of the blame. His career record speaks for itself take out his first 3 years at iu and look over the whole body of work and it tends to follow the same pattern i know he had a final four with marquette but its pretty easy to think we could have made it to a final four zellers 2 years. Just ran into bad matchups and i will leave it at that. I dont know how coachinf trends go and i dont know if they hit their stride in year 20 of their careers on average but i just really dont think he has the actual coaching chops to take iu consistently where most fans want them to be year in and year out.

    Im not gonna lie it really eats at me when iu loses, especially games when i think they could have won. I mean i put alot of things ahead of iu basketball in my life but i dont feel like i have accomplished anything when iu wins so i dont think i apply to what you stated in the second paragraph. I most certainly do not want creans head on a platter, i just dont see it working out but i have been wrong many times. Could be wrong about this too and i will eat crow for years and smile if he is retained and turns it around and makes me look like a fool. And im just frustrated from all the terrible decisions the iu heads have made dating back to knight being fired, and i think alot of people who are frustrated with the program are too.

  • Outoftheloop

    AD Glass did NOT hire Coach Crean!

  • Outoftheloop

    Devin has not played any so far this year. If that continues through the end of the season, then he will have a 5th year of eligibility.

  • hardly

    Question(because I don’t know the answer, as I haven’t been able to catch as many games as I would like): Are opponents’ open shots coming from guys just not playing heads up defense and keeping their man in front of them (something CTC’s teams the last few years have been very good at) or is it coming from when the ball enters the post and double teams are required because we’re so overmatched in the post, leaving the perimeter open? If the open shots are coming from the latter, that’s forgivable, if it is the former then that’s just lack of effort (because every one of those perimeter guys is athletic enough to keep guys in front of them and recover from help defense on the perimeter.) Take the zone fiascos out of the question – we’re terrible at zone and unless you’re going to spend a year teaching it, you may as well just forget it except in rare circumstances.

  • Khoosier3

    I see a lot of open shots, and a lot of confusion going on.

  • Khoosier3

    I’m with Ole Man. He’s here to stay.

  • Mike Maynard

    Don’t fire Crean. We all like him in Madison since his days at Marquette.

  • KmanCRK

    settle down, he did not say Glass hired Crean.

  • What do you mean by hostility? Stating that he’s isn’t good enough to coach IU and should be replaced by a more competent coach is a statement of fact. I haven’t seen the personal attacks you speak of, then again I haven’t really been looking for them.

    He gets our praises for success and criticism for failure. he gets paid plenty for it. Stop feeling sorry for the guy. It’s part of his job.

  • KmanCRK

    Losing 8 out of 12 in what was supposed to be the easier part of our schedule is nothing more than a complete implosion. Crean can talk until he’s blue in the face about how hard these kids played, but I’m not buying it. Rebounds are about effort. Izzo has always been one of the best in the game at getting the most out of his guys in terms of hustle/effort.

    Are we still practicing too hard as if its October (a perennial Crean mistake)? Are guys just drained?

    MSU was without its leading rebounder. And we still got smoked on the glass. WTF is wrong with this team?

    Many teams have improved in many areas as the season has gone on. What areas have our beloved Hoosiers improved? I can’t think of one.

  • mark

    kept thinking of how much we needed him yesterday on the boards. Amazing to me that even without Dawson, MSU outrebounded IU. All those offensive rebounds cost us the game

  • mark

    He certainly works his butt off. He is a good recruiter. He is good at player development. He’s done very well on the academic side. He always represents the university well, unlike Knight. The only area where he seems to have performed poorly is in his game coaching, his decision-making. That, unfortunately, is the most crucial area in terms of Ws and Ls.

  • mark

    Yes but when they read this site or the newspaper, they will decide they don’t want to come to a school where everyone is calling for the firing of the coach

  • Show-Me-State HOOSIER

    If Crean is such a great recruiter, we should land them both. “Guys, we can’t win without you on the floor….wanna play two years at Indiana? One and done…..we are good with that too!”

  • cooper

    But gave him a raise and extension

  • SCHoosier

    Both? I see where reality is not in your DNA..but I hope u are correct.:)

  • MadMaxfor3

    I really hope this team gets hot really quick but if history repeats itself we flame out first round. Crean has one more year to land a Maker or a Bryant to complete this team and put something together or he should be gone. Mediocre is not acceptable here. Either way GO IU!