Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Michigan State

  • 03/08/2015 9:45 am in

Indiana suffered its third straight loss on Saturday afternoon in Assembly Hall as Michigan State controlled the second half and held off a late rally for a 74-72 win. The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 19-12 overall.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Spartans:

· Indiana has another early, costly second half lull: A pair of layups, one by Hanner Mosquera-Perea and another by Yogi Ferrell, pushed Indiana to a 38-34 lead at the 18:56 mark of the second half. The crowd in Assembly Hall was engaged.

The next two and a half minutes, however, would set the tone for most of the second half. On Michigan State’s next possession, the Spartans missed a pair of 3-pointers, but grabbed offensive rebounds on both before Travis Trice set up Marvin Clark for a 3-pointer. By the 16:13 mark, Michigan State was in the midst of a 9-0 run and even though IU would again take the lead briefly in the subsequent minutes, the inability to sustain energy early in the second half proved costly.

“They got a lot of second-chance opportunities with the offensive rebound kick outs,” Yogi Ferrell said. “We’ve just got to fight them better. Got to crack them before they come into the paint because we know that they are big.”

· Michigan State dominated the glass – without its best rebounder: The absence of senior forward Branden Dawson, who ranks in the top four of the conference in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, didn’t stop Michigan State from having a field day on the offensive glass in Assembly Hall.

The Spartans rebounded 34.9 percent of their missed shots and finished with 18 second-chance points. When Indiana was winning games early in the conference season, keeping opponents off the offensive boards was a crucial component to the success. But in IU’s last three home losses, the Hoosiers have allowed offensive rebounding percentages of 50, 33.3 and 34.9.

Particularly alarming in yesterday’s game was just how poorly Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Troy Williams hit the defensive boards. The duo combined for four defensive rebounds in 38 minutes. And Williams, who had 27 rebounds in his previous two games, had just three total rebounds.

· A tough ending for Ferrell: If that was Yogi Ferrell’s last Big Ten game in Assembly Hall, it was a tough way to go out. Indiana’s late run, chronicled here by Jordan Littman, put the Hoosiers in position to tie the game in the closing seconds.

And with Ferrell, the team’s second best free throw shooter in conference play, at the line, the game appeared destined for overtime. But after Ferrell got a bounce on the first free throw to cut the Michigan State lead to one, his second free throw missed and he pulled his jersey over his head in disbelief.

Ferrell has been fantastic all season for Indiana and has no reason to hang his head, but that’s a free throw he’ll likely remember for a long time, especially if the Hoosiers fail to reach the NCAA tournament.

“I guess the basketball Gods were good for me for that first free throw and then the second one just rolled out,” he said postgame. “Pretty disappointing missing that second one, but it happens.”

· Indiana’s inability to defend is the storyline of the season: Many wondered if Indiana’s 5-1 start in the Big Ten was built too much on an offense that would be hard pressed to sustain itself throughout the conference season.

The defensive issues for this group have been well-documented all season and as it turns out, IU’s defense simply was not good enough to carry the Hoosiers past the league’s best teams. Looking at the final 9-9 Big Ten record, the Hoosiers went 7-1 against the teams below them in the standings (that includes Illinois, which also finished 9-9) and 2-8 against the teams above them with the two wins coming at home over Ohio State and Maryland.

Indiana raised expectations for the season with some good non-conference wins and a solid start to the league schedule, but ultimately, this team ended up finishing right in the middle of the pack because of its poor defense.

· Nick Zeisloft’s shooting keeps Indiana in the game: The addition of Zeisloft last offseason was met with plenty of questions from Indiana fans, but with the conference season now complete, it’s clear that he was a valuable addition.

Zeisloft again shined from the perimeter on Saturday, knocking in five of his eight 3-point attempts. He added a layup to finish with 17 points. The redshirt junior ended the conference season 36 of 70 from distance (51.4 percent), which led the league.

And as he’s done all season, Zeisloft gave his teammates all of the credit for his success.

“My teammates are doing a great job of finding me when I’m open,” he explained. “Whenever we move the ball and move bodies and are cutting hard, any of us can go off of that.”

Filed to:

  • KmanCRK

    No the first three years he got a pass. Now for the reasons why he doesn’t get a pass anymore, see above.

  • Ms hoosier

    With the way IU plays D we have to just out score teams and I think Nick is the best shooter IU has that’s why he needs more minutes. IU would have lost by at least 15 points yesterday without Nick

  • Hoosier1158

    I made a comment about a large number of players and their commitment. IU has had a big problem since 9/10/2000.

  • Hoosier1158

    You’re not getting my point.

  • b_side

    Which is…?

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Ms hoosier…Yogi is a horrible defensive player…and has been throughout his IU career. To see examples, go to my comments at the ITH film review for the recent Iowa vs IU game. Or watch the ITH film review for IU at Purdue. You can watch two Purdue players run past yogi get to their offensive rim after a turnover. Yogi started near half court while both of them started near the free throw line. This is standard operating procedure for yogi.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    I beg to differ. Yogi rarely blows by a player. Rarely. He does get a step, an advantage, but usually defenders keep up with him and then one of those college level touch fouls is called. At the NBA level, with more contact allowed, Yogi would not likely be effective driving to the rim.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    they play serious defense in the nba.

  • Mike Maynard

    Zeisloft wouldn’t be on even the Badgers’ JV team.

  • marcusgresham

    IU was on a decline before they fired Knight, and his ambivalence in recruiting was a major part of it. His teams hadn’t accomplished much in over 5 years.

  • marcusgresham

    Who have you seen smaller than IU be successful on defense, because no one is coming to my mind?
    I also kind of understand the playing fast idea last year—no one could shoot so they were trying to get down the floor and get easy shots.
    I’m with you on the press though. I’ve been screaming for it for about 3 or 4 years.

  • eville87

    So he missed a couple of clutch shots this year and he does get burned on d more than we like to admit. Jogging back drives me crazy. (Yogi trying to continually guard a big on the back end of the zone or on a switch is ridiculous and not really fair to judge him on). You can’t fault this kid he wants to win does just about everything he can. I doubt we win 4 b1g games without him. Unfortunately I think he is gone after this year. Can you blame him?

  • b_side

    Okafor, Towns, Mudiay

  • b_side

    So it’s 2 trips in the past 3 years. If we don’t get invited next Sunday, it’s 2 in 4. Far cry from the 2 in 7 years that the original poster discussed.

  • IUPatrick

    I point to exactly what GA Hoosier said above. All coaches in the big ten stated Yogi was the hardest player to defend in the league. That first step you mention IS getting by a person. No one is saying he is going to be a great NBA player. He’s a role player at best. But his quickness, jumper and intelligence are his best attributes.

  • IUPatrick

    Okafur I mentioned. There are many like Towns in the NBA and is he any better … not sure. And the verdict is still out on Mudiay. Scouting reports are murky on him. He plays in a league where there are wonky regulations and refs are rather bias. He’s an uknown like so many other oversea prospect have been and haven’t panned out in the past.

  • beer30

    I’m of the opinion that nobody goes to the NBA after this yr. Who knows, though. And, no, I’ve never blamed a kid for leaving early if he’s expected to be drafted @ a decent position. Unfortunately, significant injuries can occur way too fast.

  • KmanCRK

    I meant smaller in general terms. Not necessarily in relation to IU. Heck our team 4 yrs ago was much better on D, and I wouldn’t consider them to be much bigger. That was with Pritch playing the 5. Something is just plain wrong with the way these guys play D.

  • KmanCRK

    I agree, but in his defense he was responding to someone saying IU fans were spoiled. And his comments weren’t inaccurate. It has been twice in 7 years.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I’m right there with you man. I’ll go as far to say JBJ might have cost us this game. I was there and even though he scored 17 points he made a ton of errors. Had his shot blocked several times, threw the ball away on several occasions, had a million defensive lapses… I hate to single a guy out usually but it was atrocious. I would have benched him for several minutes and let him collect himself before putting him back in.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I thought Nick Z deserved the 2nd half start against MSU for sure.

  • Michael

    I’m not sure why you consider it a weak draft if guys don’t play right away. It’s not that hard to see the NBA is pretty stacked with talent from a variety of places.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Let’s not pretend that Yogi needs shooting tips from any of us.

  • IUPatrick

    It’s a weak draft because experts have said it is a weak draft. Look at the draft boards as compared to previous year’s. It’s a top heavy draft and not deep. And the top heavy side is not that talented. Okafur will definitely play but most even admit that he isn’t a game-changing first overall pick. Will there be some pleasant surprises? Of course there will be as in any draft but the overall talent versus previous years is lacking.


    Why did HMP and Troy only play 19 mins? According to ESPN box score HMP only had 1 foul. They give him credit for 1 block, I thought he had more than that, but he also drew 3 charges. No reason 2 of your starters are playing 19 minutes in such a big game.

  • Michael

    Have you even watched Jerian Grant or Kris Dunn? What about tyus jones (if he leaves)? Kaleb T. ? Rob Baker? I rather watch then let someone else make a decision for me. Especially not some sports broadcaster…

    “Top heavy side is not that talented”. lol I’m done, good day to you.

    Yes Towns, Kaminsky’s, Russell’s, etc come along every day…. my bad

  • Michael

    lol you literally have zero memory.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Hurts to say that though, don’t it?

  • dssnyder1

    more than you know, my wife and her family all bleed blue and constantly give me the “who’s your daddy” crap

  • IUPatrick

    You’re done alright Michael. Uh yeah – seen them and most will be benchers for most of their career. And by the way – the difference between my assessment and your’s? My info is not only my own viewpoint but also from actual people who make it their livelihood to study these players… not just a broadcaster (who btw is more informed than you are about Mudiay). Russell? Very talented and done mainly against weak Big Ten adversaries… or are you going to argue that the Big Ten is not weak this year as compared to previous season?? Help you Lord if you do. There are many players in the NBA and out who have much more or similar talents as Russell. He can be a good player but again – he is the cream of a top heavy draft… it’s not deep. I love Kaminsky but you know who most are comparing him to? Brad Miller. Personally I feel he can do much more than Miller but Frank will not dominate at his position in the NBA. Keep staying uninformed Michael.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Oh man, I feel for you bro. I wouldn’t allow that nonsense at my house, lol!

  • cooper

    Ok ask Chris Paul, Conley, Rondo, Smart, Lilliard, Curry, Lowry, Bledsoe, Irving or any of the other PG if they are concerned with him getting by them. That would be a giant No.

    I said pro not big 10. There are countless players who were hard to guard in college and not worth anything in pros.

  • Hoosier1158

    The coaches that have bee hired after Knight, are not even close to his coaching capabilities.

  • Eugene Debs

    Yeah, the end of the season stunk.

  • Banner6

    Agree with you b. Too many people are concerned about UK “cheating.” An “unfair” advantage is the crop of high school talent in the state of Indiana almost every year that Crean can recruit. When the Indiana all stars play the Kentucky all stars each summer there’s NO comparison on talent! NONE!

    All of this UK “cheating” talk has nothing to do with our record over the last 25 years. Kentucky’s not standing in our way to the Final Four this year, nor were they in our way last. They weren’t in our way the Davis or Sampson years. Tired of all of the excuses, whining and statements like, “we were predicted to finish 10th but finished 7th….that’s better than projected.”

  • Michael

    lol nice over reaction. I never said any of those players would dominate.

    It’s sad when that you really think you can place a NBA career expectation on so many guys. I never said the b10 wasnt weak, but if youve watched enough Russell then you would have a lot more respect for his skills.

    I guess this means I don’t need to watch these players anymore, thanks! Maybe I’ll keep watching victor get better and keep proving a lotttt of people wrong.

    I think we have very different definitions of good drafts but let me know when one is full of lebrons, Kds, etc.

  • IUPatrick

    Well Michael – welcome back! And you said you were done… I must have gotten to you a little… maybe just a little. Got to love back peddlers. “Yes Towns, Kaminsky’s, Russell’s, etc come along every day…. my bad” … That sure sounded like these guys were special to a draft as compared to any other draft but now I’m hearing … I didn’t say they would dominate. Which is it Michael? Rare finds you don’t see in drafts every year or just those everyday journeymen? Come on man fess up… you are starting to admit it’s a weak draft… you can say it…. everyone else knows it… the first part of getting clean is admitting you have a problem. You, at least, have admitted the Big 10 is weak. That’s a start… proud of you. And why is that? The main reason is the Big 10 does not have the talent pool as they have had in the past. Take last year alone – look at the talent Michigan and MSU lost to the last year’s draft (not this year’s). Even as bad as IU was last year they still lost a lottery pick … and 2 the year before that. Not seeing any lottery picks for IU in the draft this year.. are we? You’re coming around… proud of you son.

  • IUPatrick

    Hi Gregory – I didn’t realize you responded to one of my posts until 2 days later… lol. I agree – if you are a NBA prospect who is teetering from 1st to 2nd round and you believe you might have a better chance with one more year in college to get into the 1st round then go for it. But that is not Yogi’s case. It is highly doubtful that he will be a 1st rounder. So yes – if all points to him being drafted then why shouldn’t he raise his hand. OK so there is no guaranteed money. He has a chance with a team who picked him for a reason to prove himself and get a contract. If he doesn’t get drafted then he has to go to try-outs or overseas like hundreds of other potentials. Being picked by-passes those other options. Most players want to stay in the states and play in the NBA. It’s a chance of a lifetime for a player like Yogi to get drafted… why in the world would he pass it up? But let’s say he stays at IU. Sure they could have a great season and he has a great year but the draft may be stronger and deeper next year and who is to say he will be a 2nd rounder let alone a 1st rounder. Personally I would love to see him comeback but he has to do what is best for him.

  • marcusgresham

    No argument there, but he wasn’t close to his capabilities either because, by then he’d basically reached a point where he refused to recruit and the players he was working with weren’t up to the level of what he’d had before.

  • marcusgresham

    The thing that hurts the most is the NCAA’s gutless, half-hearted attempt at “punishment” for Syracuse. They’re eligible for the tournament next year.
    Then again, it’s not like they anything as horrible as making too many phone calls.

  • marcusgresham

    Pritch really would have been an effective defender if he wouldn’t have gotten whistled for fouls for taking off his warm-up jacket.