The Minute After: Wisconsin

  • 03/10/2017 9:08 pm in

Thoughts on a 70-60 loss to the Badgers:

After back-to-back 3-pointers by Zak Showalter and D’Mitrik Trice put the Badgers up 15 with 8:14 to go, this one looked just about done.

The Hoosiers had scored 90-plus points in their last two outings in wins against Ohio State and Iowa thanks to hot shooting, but Wisconsin’s defense locked them up tonight and made them look like mere offensive mortals after their recent super human shot making. Indiana often had trouble getting any sort of rhythm or flow in its halfcourt offense, and the seconds ticked aways towards :00 on the shot clock with the Hoosiers having to hoist something less than ideal, or worse yet, getting up no shot at all. Indiana mustered just .99 points per possession this evening.

But the Hoosiers, despite their disappointing record this season, did what they’ve done all year: They didn’t give up. From that 8:14 mark to the 1:21 mark, the Hoosiers went on a 18-7 run to pull it within four at 64-60. Indiana got 3-pointers from Juwan Morgan, James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson during that stretch and its full-court pressure caused a Wisconsin turnover.

But Bronson Koenig, Mr. Clutch himself, drove to the hoop and scored to put the Badgers up 66-60 and that started the end of Indiana’s shot at a victory.

“That last play Koenig made at the rim, that was just an absolute dagger,” Tom Crean said of the bucket after the game.

The Hoosiers are now a disastrous 2-16 against Wisconsin in the Crean era and are likely headed to the NIT. Indiana will miss the NCAA Tournament for the second time in four seasons and have a record of 40-38 against conference opponents in that same stretch.

Blackmon Jr. had another impressive offensive performance this evening, going for 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including a 3-of-6 mark from distance. He added eight boards, an assist and no turnovers across 34 minutes of action. Morgan continues to play with more spring and spirit now that he’s healthy and posted 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. The sophomore added seven boards and two blocks.

But Indiana’s centers had a rough go of it. Thomas Bryant didn’t score until the 12:54 mark of the second half on a free throw. He didn’t hit a bucket all game (0-of-4). The sophomore had more fouls (four) and turnovers (three) than points (two). De’Ron Davis was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field last night against the Hawkeyes, but struggled in this one, going just 1-of-6 on the night for two points.

Indiana turned the ball over on less than 20 percent of its possessions (19.8%), so the points off turnovers didn’t really kill the Hoosiers tonight, as they lost that battle just 13-10. Things were pretty even in the free throw department too, as Wisconsin hit 6-of-11 and the Hoosiers made 5-of-9.

So in the end, Wisconsin’s defense, particularly its 2-point defense (41.1%), was just a little too much for the Hoosiers to overcome. Wisconsin Wisconsin’d Indiana once again and the Hoosiers’ shot at the NCAA Tournament is gone with it.

Filed to:

  • Zach Martin

    That Wisconsin team ran the floor pretty well when they wanted to.

  • Steve S

    The problem with this team is that I’m not sure there are any that will ever start for an NBA team. Honestly I think the team is full of guys that can be very good college players if they were coached to be, but I’m curious about how many of them are going to do what TW did and bolt for the D league. You can’t convince me that Wisconsin has more talent, but we seen the results of playing them 3 more times this year. CTC just doesn’t seem to be giving them the tools they need to compete and win consistently against the teams that are either more talented or play better fundamental college basketball. There was just way too many empty possessions due to turnovers and bad shots.

  • Steve S

    Aw, he got Gelon and McRoberts! LOL guess JBJ is from Indiana too, but you sure don’t see many of the best players in the State excited to play at IU.

  • MadMaxfor3

    Wow!! I’d honestly not seen that quote until now. That’s actually kind of funny that Ainge straight up said that. Thanks for sharing. I just don’t see Donovan as likely either. 6M just to match his current? I don’t think IU is ponying up that kind of cash. I just feel like this is the make or break hire for IUBB. The program either comes roaring back or fades into a past powerhouse.

  • kennygeorge

    i’d like billy Donovan.

  • Fifer39

    Count me in….wouldn’t want to miss a trip on the coaching carousel!

  • Bud Jenkins

    IMHO Crean does not fundamentally understand the flow of a game. That is the real problem. If you are on the court and you feel the game going one way, and the coach says another thing, as an 18-21 year old kid, you either lose respect for the coach or yourself, neither is good.

  • Bud Jenkins

    And the ball movement ! a thing of beauty ! #jealous

  • Ole Man

    Right back at ya!

  • Ole Man

    Guess you didn’t watch the game before; or the games the last month of the season.
    First, you can’t go off one game.
    Second, he is known for his quick and good footwork.
    Third, he has potential which has not nor will not be developed under Tom Crean at IU.
    Lastly, when he tests for the NBA they will see that potential and rawness and want to develop it.
    He’s gone!

  • Ole Man

    You’re right. And it’s because he never played.

  • pcantidote

    I have a feeling that the next couple months are going to be almost as interesting as the season itself. Don’t go too far away…

  • Ole Man

    If that made you think of pancakes, you’re old! LOL!
    (Actually got a good chuckle out of it!)

  • Ole Man

    I don’t think Archie Miller has a whole lot to prove.

  • Ole Man

    He will get good feedback, based upon wingspan, footwork, and other “gifts” which can be developed by the right coach and right program.

  • Ole Man

    I think that he clearly demonstrated how badly he has been coached; nothing more.
    Last month of the season, he carried the team. Last two games before this, he was great.
    So, somehow, one game plays him out of the draft?
    Comeon; you’re smarter than that.

  • pcantidote

    I don’t buy it. Stevens grew up in a simple middle class life. He probably already has a net worth well north of $10M. He’s set for life. If IU really were his dream job he’d jump on it. It’s not like he has to come here as a volunteer. He is still going to make millions. It all comes down to what is in his heart. Is it really that big of a stretch for a kid that grew up loving IU like we all do to make the move? I don’t think so.

  • Ole Man

    Nobody could guard Happ.
    TB didn’t have primary responsibility on Happ. He did on Hayes and got him in foul trouble.
    TB played bad tonight, but at least get the story straight.

  • Ole Man

    Quit whining; man up; or find a new team to follow! Ha!

  • pcantidote

    I get it, you were doing your best IULore impression 😉

  • Ole Man

    Actually, two years ago, Wisc. was in the top ten in offense and pace of play.

  • Fifty-fifty ball

    I love this comment because I’ve been thinking it for a long time. I want talented basketball kids with great basketball IQ’s that are used to winning basketball games It seems like IU overlooks the IQ and fundamentals for more athleticism and potential NBA. Not that superior athleticism is a singular problem but that it needs to be accompanied with ball IQ. This is the problem I’ve seen through the last 10 years from the AAU circuit with my son. Kids basketball IQ’s are very low and only athleticism and shooting are developed and that’s what selling. But you will find a scrappy well coached team play against a run and gun athletic and offensively minded team they start to get mad and frustrated, because they just can’t go out and athletically beat a good basketball team in a basketball game. Not every time but I’ve seen it enough that it happens more time than not. Many people have already said this on ITH but UW and has previously set the standard on this. They’ve got a great mix of athletes but everyone on the team are basketball players first. All I want are basketball players on my IU basketball team coached by a fundamentally sound basketball coach with a primarily defensive mind set…. I know we all do that’s why I don’t want to change just for sake of changing. We need a dedicated search effort. I have one request of either our new coach or CTC and It starts by recruiting in state kids who could make a difference IN COLLEGE and expanding slowly from the Midwest outward. We’re giving college scholarships not passes to NBA. Good coaching and a dedicated personal work ethic, to always be better than the day before, can get one a look by NBA scouts and more importantly while in college it makes you and the home team more successful.

  • Missing Moye

    PC, another quote, to your point:

    “Stevens, who was only halfway through his original six-year, $22
    million contract, did suggest that it wasn’t important to him to be
    among the highest-paid coaches in the league.

    “For me, personally, I’ve gotten paid more to coach than I ever dreamed I would be,” Stevens said after an afternoon news conference at the team’s practice facility. “I certainly don’t take for granted anything and I’ve got a heck of a deal. And that’s good enough. I’m very thankful for that. No, it’s not important to be up in the top whatever. That doesn’t cross my mind.”

    So in that you are correct. For Stevens, it would likely not be just about the money. I’ve heard others say that Stevens has said that the Boston Celtics is his “dream job” but I’ve never seen that actual quote.

    You certainly put in that call and see if there is any interest, but I think it would be very, very unlikely.

  • pcantidote

    I don’t want to argue with you on this because I want you to be right. I just personally don’t see it. But like I said above, I don’t watch the NBA, so what do I know.

  • pcantidote

    Yeah, I am totally projecting here, but I grew up middle class in Indiana too and grew up an IU fanatic. If I were set for life and the IU job was calling, well, duh. I suspect the Celtics job was more of a dream because of its prestige and history, not because of a personal passion for Stevens. Also, if he ever said it was a dream job, did he say it before or after he got that job? If I recall correctly he wore 31 in high school, which tells me he wasn’t even a Celtics fan.

  • Missing Moye

    I agree. As expected, Stevens had the Celtics rolling and in great position. I imagine it wouldn’t be an easy job to leave at this point. Hopefully our administration is at least smart enough to make the call to find out for certain.

  • cbags05

    But is that good feedback at this point? I wouldn’t think so. Unless that raw potential is still enough to get drafted….

  • Bud Jenkins

    amen

  • Ohio Hoosier

    TB was guarding Hayes at the beginning of the game and was targeted
    for 3 or 4 straight possessions as he couldn’t stop him. Wisconsin
    continued to attack whenever he was in the game by isolating him
    in the lane against Happ or Hayes with very good results. They knew he
    couldn’t stop either one inside (too slow).

  • pcantidote

    Well, I’m rationalizing, but there is always the LeBron factor. Stevens has to know that he is never going to get to the Finals as long as LeBron is in the East, and the IU job doesn’t come open every year. Ultimately you are right, we just have to ask him. If we don’t then Glass should be fired too.

  • SeeingRed

    Sadly, my actual first thought was, “how late is the IHOP open??”

  • Not really. I was just making a play on the idea that CTC doesn’t _play_ defense, he _coaches_ defense. Ha ha. Me so funny.

  • TB certainly hasn’t lost respect for CTC. Quite the opposite — he has nothing but the strongest words of support for him as a coach and a person. So by your logic, TB must have lost respect for himself — but I don’t see that either.

    Not disagreeing with you about CTC, I think you’re probably correct. But I don’t know that any of the players, or at least TB, see it the way we do.

  • mharv2631

    I average 217 but I’m ready for golf. Bowling season is too long.

  • Logical Lurker

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. That would explain why the best players on the rest of the Big 10 teams seem to be from Indiana …

  • John Prichard

    First, go off all his games, Second, he is not known for his quick and good footwork. Third, he will not go 1st round. Lastly, I hope he does go somewhere, any where.

  • Ole Man

    I hope you go somewhere else as well. What a trolly thing to say!

  • Bud Jenkins

    It is called media training, they are all told to say the same thing. Why do you think no matter what player it is, they always say the same thing (just watch any presser). There is the rare occasion (like DD after Wisconsin, where a little truth slips out, but you can see immediately after the truth slips, he goes back into the, talking points.

  • I hear you, but I do think TB has a genuine respect and even love for CTC. I’ll never forget the image from after the UNC game last season of CTC comforting an obviously disappointed TB. That’s not just media training.

    Incidentally, didn’t see anything that DD said. Can you summarize?

  • Yeah, I remember being surprised by that when I first learned it. How does someone become a coach without playing the game? Seems like you would always lack a certain connection to it, a basic understanding of how to play the game, when you’ve never played it yourself.

  • AZMBNZ

    IU connection? Dan Dakich? Thats supposed to get IU to elite status?
    Elite days?The last 10 years of Bobby Knight yielded ~65% win percentage. I wouldn’t call that elite.

  • AZMBNZ

    Keith Smart?

  • Steve S

    Yes I watched the games, and outside of the Ohio St game, I did not see very good play from him over the past month. He played well the 1st game against Purdue, but that is just 1 game also. He was far from a dominant inside player at this level. 3 games against Wisconsin, 6 pts 3 rebounds in January, 11 pts 6 rebounds 2/5, and 2 pts 3 boards in the last game. And I do understand that the numbers are never going to be great against Wisconsin, and he was playing better a month ago. Perhaps the frustration of a difficult season got the best of him. The NBA will look at potential, which is why I believe he tried to develop a perimeter game this season. I wish him the best. I think he could use another year in college. I would hate to see him not be selected like TW in the last draft.

  • Ole Man

    I go along with hoping for the best for him.
    Would hate for him not to get drafted as well.