The Minute After: Wisconsin

  • 01/03/2017 9:59 pm in

Thoughts on a 75-68 loss to the Badgers:

Another loss, Indiana’s third straight for this first time since March 2015, and the sky grows darker over Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Does Indiana still possess talent? Yes. Were there some positives in this game? Sure. Is the season over? No. It’s just Jan. 3. The Hoosiers were in worse shape last season and turned things around.

Still, with so much mediocre play from the Hoosiers of late, it’s hard to see the way out of this right now. Indiana continues to do itself no favors. It continues to make things harder than they need to be. Tonight’s start was another clunker, the team’s worst of the season. Indiana turned it over four times in the first three minutes of the contest, and Wisconsin took advantage in a big way as it raced out to a 16-2 advantage at the 16:09 mark thanks to the Hoosiers over-helping and leaving shooters open.

“We didn’t start on time for some reason,” Tom Crean told ESPN’s Allison Williams at halftime.

Despite a horrific start, Indiana cleaned things up and made a game of it, trailing by just one (38-37) at the break. And when Indiana found an advantage on offense by continually feeding freshman De’Ron Davis in the post, things were looking up. The Hoosiers clinged to a couple leads early in the second half and were up one (57-56) with 7:06 remaining in the contest. But with Davis on the bench and a lineup that featured Freddie McSwain and Josh McRoberts — two players with little to no threat to score — the Hoosiers coughed up the lead. McSwain had one foul and one turnover in eight minutes of action. McRoberts had one assist and one rebound in 13 minutes. He was 0-of-2 from the floor, but did play some solid defense at times on Koenig.

A one-point lead extended out to seven in two and half minutes of game time. It was a curious management of personnel by Crean with the game hanging in the balance. Yes, he eventually called timeout to get Juwan Morgan, Josh Newkirk and Davis back in the game, but the damage had already been done. Indiana got it to within three with 2:47 to go, but it was as close as the Hoosiers would get.

They got a few stops to start the final stretch of the game, but Wisconsin, a veteran team with clearly defined roles and personnel, executed better down the stretch to hang on for the victory. Ethan Happ lead all scorers with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting despite four fouls. Happ’s footwork, ball skills and speed are impressive for a player his size and he was too much for the Hoosiers to handle.

“We knew what he wanted to do, and he did it,” Morgan said after the game.

Bronson Koenig got himself in a bit of foul trouble as well, but was red hot from 3-point distance (5-of-5) and ended the game with 17 points. Nigel Hayes had a bit of an off night compared to his last couple outings and what he’s done to IU in the past, but still managed 10 points (4-of-10) and had a couple of key buckets.

Indiana’s turnover percentage (21.4 percent) and defense (1.23 points per possession) were bad again tonight. The Hoosiers’ battle will continue to be waged uphill this season if these two trends continue.

The Illini come to Bloomington on Saturday for what would have seemed like an easy victory just one week ago. But with three straight losses, it’s anyone’s guess at this point what the final outcome will be.

Filed to:

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Thanks, kenny. I literally thought I was going to puke when Davis hit that HR off of Chapman in the 8th!! All’s well that ends well! The Sox have had a good offseason. They needed to start a rebuilding process. Yoan Moncada is going to be a star.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Sure, there is a pipeline. Alford is a mediocre coach at best. Stevens isn’t leaving his NBA gig unless we offer him an insane contract (think 5/40). Honestly, if we sever ties with Crean, I’d rather hire the best coach we can find as opposed to hiring an “Indiana” guy. I just don’t think we’ve been mediocre of late. We’ve been good. Maybe even really good.

  • kennygeorge

    I sure hope so about the sox. I remember as a kid growing up in Gary and playing baseball imagining I was Nellie Fox, Louis Aparicio or Ernie Banks(My child hood heroes). Those were my simple days. Ah well, time marches on and hope springs eternal. Best wishes for a great New Year for you and your loved ones.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Well, I’m not being “intentionally” dense. I actually believe what I’m writing 🙂 Here’s the rub for me. Statistically speaking, there is a lot of “randomness” in a small sample size (such as the NCAA tourney). Any team can beat any other team on any given night. We lost to IPFW for goodness sakes!! If we played them 100 times, we likely win 95 of those games. They got us on the right night: we shot poorly, they shot great, etc. In a larger sample size, you get more predictable results. In a smaller sample size, you get less predictable results.

    If IU and Syracuse play 100 times that year, we are going to beat them a fair amount of times…maybe even more than half. But when two good teams play one another, anything can happen.

    This is why I am at odds with many around here. I look at the larger samples of data to gauge success and failure. I pay more attention to a season long trend than what we do (good or bad) in one particular game. There’s a lot of randomness in that one game. That’s why B1G titles matter a lot to me. They are indicative of success far more than winning one game in March. Ironically, RMK agreed with my point back in the day. He fought against the B1G tournament saying that what a team does over a season is far more indicative who the best team is than what they do over a weekend.

  • Bankshot

    BULL! He cherry picks creans best years and brings up knights lean years. What else would you call it?

  • HoosierStuckInACCCountry

    Man, I want to copy this and send it to CTC, because maybe no one has told him. That’s the only conclusion I can draw. Any coach worth his salt would call a timeout, chew his center’s rear end, and show him what the bench looks like if he has the idea that he’s a point guard.

  • Bankshot

    I have been a cardinals fan for over 45 years. I know more about the cubs than you and that is without google! The cubs winning the ws is no legacy. A team wins that every year. The cubs legacy is being the ONLY team not to win it for 108 years HAHAHAHA

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    “After next season, it will have been a decade of CTC.” Yes, but I think it is fair to assess judgment only on the past 5+ years (all but his first three). In that time, we are winning 70 percent of our games, have two conference titles and three Sweet 16 berths. Only one of those Sweet 16 bids was with a “favored” seed, and we lost to an eventual Final Four team that year. The other two times, we lost to UK, who won the title and probably had their toughest game against us in the tourney, and UNC, who lost the title on a buzzer beater.

    I just think when we decide to gauge success on the outcome of one game, we are setting ourselves up for failure every year. We aren’t talking 1st round losses in repeated years. Even Coach K loses in 1st round from time to time. We are talking about losing to other elite teams.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Thanks, kenny! Same to you.

  • RB11

    I agree with you on the point of small sample sizes but that randomness argument is a double edged sword. You’d also think that One of Creans good teams top 20 top 10 teams could randomly break through the sweet 16, cuts both ways. Seems less and less random the more he builds his reputation. Also, regarding the ipfw “randomness” – yea, this happen to every top power 5 team, probably once a decade. But ipfw and then Nebraska at home, within a month?? With a top 15 squad talent wise? Those results are becoming a little less random as well.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    It wasn’t a question of accuracy, Alex. It was a question of tone. IMO (which most don’t share around here, evidently), you came across more as a fan than an analyst/reporter. It sounded more like what I read on these boards than what I have come to expect from you over the years.

    I have always appreciated the difficult line you walk between IU fan and professional reporter/analyst. I am sure it is difficult to maintain professionalism while providing program-centric coverage to a rabid fan base constantly seeking red meat. I think you do an excellent job at it, typically. The past couple of loses, though…I have sensed more fan-based frustration than normal. JMO.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    I should have known you were a Cards fan. Always living in the past.

    Try me. I’ve forgotten more about the Cardinals than you ever knew.

  • Brad

    Well said

  • You’re entitled to your opinion. But don’t confuse stating an opinion that has merit behind it with “being a fan.”

    I do the best I can to stay objective and call it like I see it. Which is exactly what I did last night. Things go well, praise is given. Things don’t go well, criticism is justified.

  • Bankshot

    The past. Cards have been in the ws 4 times in the last 12 years winning it all in 04 and 11. I’ve already given you a beat down on I.U. basketball and your google brains. My favorite cub, Lou Brock, hall of famer. who was he traded for GB?

  • Bankshot

    The past? cardinals have been to 4 ws in last 12 years winning in 04 and 11. cards were .500 against the cubs this year. My favorite cub, Lou Brock, hall of famer.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Last I checked, the Cubs won the World Series this year. Everything else is in the past! 🙂

    What’s funny about the Lou Brock trade is that if you read about it from that era, most people thought the Cubs probably got the better of the deal. Then Brock blew UP! Can’t win them all! haha!

    Cubs / Cards is a great rivalry right now. Cards should be better this year, and the Cubs will be good for awhile with their current nucleus of young talent. Can’t wait for Spring Training already!!

  • Bankshot

    kinda like creans b10 last year. I agree whole heartedly about spring training. Schwarber is a beast!

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    I stand by my assertions. Some selections from your feed from last night:

    “Horrible management of the game…”

    “inexcusable lineups…”

    “Bad lineups and horrible play…”

    I don’t mind criticism, but those quotes are exactly what I can get from fans on this site. There is no analyst insight or critique in those statements; they are reactionary and in-the-moment responses that many of us may have yelled from our own armchairs.

    As I said above, I appreciate that it is difficult to “stay objective and call it as [you] see it.” I just thought it was more “red meat” than normal. That’s not what I typically expect from you or others associated with this site. If that is the norm, then I don’t pay close enough attention to Twitter during games, then.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    I got a nice Schwarber jersey for Christmas! He’s my fave not only because he’s a Hoosier, but he also wears my favorite number: 12.

  • You get 140 characters on Twitter. Read five takeaways. All of the points are explained there.

  • Couldn’t agree more. CTC always seems to play 5-6 deep where good coaches, certainly at this point of the season, have narrowed it down to about 3 that will see time. Just look at Wisc, played 3 deep (4th guy did play 3 mintues) and everyone knew their role. CTC played 5 deep, and as the story points out 2 of which played a combined 21 minutes and had zero points, 1 reb, 1 assist and 1 to. Its bad enough that he puts someone out there that doesn’t contribute but it also makes it harder on the other players as Wisc knows these 2 guys are not a threat and can focus on the other players. Why he has those guys out there when we cut the lead to 3 with the time running down is beyond me. He, and every player on the team, should know who is going to play in crunch time and what their role is, without that we’ll continue to drop close games.

  • Bankshot

    imo He gave the cubs the spark that put them over the top! I knew he could rake when he took the hoosiers to the CWS.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Sure do, but that’s not the point.

  • Your point was that you don’t like the tone. My point is, it’s Twitter and I’m entitled to post what I want. I wasn’t disrespectful to anyone. Just stated opinions. My guess is you don’t like that it was negative, but I think those of you have followed the site for a long time know that I’m fair and objective.

  • Piker

    I agree with everything you stated. I was too disapointed to even try and put my thoughts together. Thanks for the effort.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    I do believe you are fair and objective. I just finished reading Five Takeaways, and I feel better about your take now. I still disagree with some of it, but I understand it and can see that point of view.

    I don’t care that it was negative. I was unhappy at that point of the game too. I care that it was unprofessional and, for lack of a better term, “fan boy” stuff that I can read from a poster. I don’t follow posters from ITH. I follow you and Ryan and others from the past. I follow you guys for your analysis not your fan perspective. Your twitter handle is @ insidethehall…not alexbozich. You can post whatever you want, yes, but what I believe has made you so successful here has been your analysis. I found that wanting last night.

    Now, please don’t mistake my displeasure from last night for overall displeasure. Still love the site and respect your input and analysis. Thanks for all the good work that you do.

  • cbags05

    I can certainly imagine a lot of money. But money isn’t everything.

  • BigBoi

    Last night’s loss is on CTC, plain and simple. McSwain, CuJo, and McBob in at critical moments of the game?!?! You have got to be kidding me. Also, JN does realize he’s not Yogi right? Know your role, dude.

    Someone else posted it on here the other day, but they were spot on- DeRon Davis is the only person on the team to exceed his expectations so far this year.

    And JBJ, eeeeesshhh, at this point I’m almost hoping he transfers out, though it will never happen. I hope he’s good at selling insurance though, not a chance he makes it to the NBA.

    I think Glass and CTC are thick as thieves; the way I see it you gotta give them both the boot.

  • BigBoi

    #8……………….LOL!

  • cbags05

    Bob Knight left a job opening with high tensions surrounding it. Despite Mike Davis taking a team to the championship game, he got fired. Kelvin Sampson happened….complete turnover of institution leadership happened….Crean was the only person willing to take on the job….from that perspective i believe you could argue that we are sortof an upstart program. All other teams besides UCLA have made wise coaching transitions and avoided drama.

    Also, somehow IU is the only program who the NCAA punishes for its crimes. How on earth do UNC and UK stay clean? Some of this comes down to conspiracy and coverup unfortunately.

  • Lisa Wiggins Osmon

    There are times I feel that some players are out there just to throw the game. I am baffled by RJ…the beginning of the season, he actually played with the team. But now…he has reverted back to his “freshman-itis” where he thinks he is the star player and MUST take shots…infuriates me! And as much as I love and adore OG, there are times that I think he has watched Blue Chips one too many times. I continue to be impressed with TB, though I do think during the UL game he may have tweaked his wrist, and JM (during his rough landing, I could have swore he dislocated his shoulder). Speaking of JM’s shoulder fall…where was the bench tech for taunting (I read on on Twitter that the Nebraska kid was greeted on the bench by chest bumps and high fives).
    I still think TCT is an asset to IU…maybe the issue is with assistant coaches….or players not following plays (which if that is the case, the player needs to be benched immediately). JMO