Dan Dakich summed up Indiana’s effort Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center on the Big Ten Network’s GMC Postgame Show with a concise, direct message.
“Indiana didn’t show up,” Dakich told Dave Revsine immediately following IU’s 83-55 loss. “It was the third straight game. This time they lose by 28. Two previous games by 17. Without much energy, without much pride.”
The humiliating loss, IU’s sixth straight, dropped the Hoosiers to 9-15 overall and 3-9 in the Big Ten. And while the outcome was not unexpected, the lack of resistance Indiana showed from the opening tip was discouraging.
There was no fight. There was no determination. And perhaps most disturbing, the effort on defense was non-existent.
Indiana looked more content to lay down and take a loss than engage in a battle with Wisconsin. And the final score, the worst loss of the season, was indicative of that.
“We’re having a major confidence issue in the sense of playing through anything that is even remotely tough to us right now,” Indiana head coach Tom Crean told Don Fisher on the postgame radio show. “We’ve got to get that mojo back of that toughness that we had.”
The outcome was never in doubt as the Badgers (19-6, 9-4) led by 20 before the second television timeout and shot 53 percent in the first half.
In all, Indiana surrended 10 3-pointers to Wisconsin, led by seven from Jason Bohannon, who scored a career-high 30 points.
“We’re not keeping the dribble in front of us right now,” Crean said. “That’s why we’re trying to play some different things defensively. We’re just not really helping with a purpose. We never got off to a great start with our defense, they got a ton of confidence and we just gave up far too many open shots.”
Indiana also reverted back to early season form in the turnover department, coughing it up 21 times. Wisconsin won the battle on the glass, 33-26, and had 18 assists to just 10 turnovers. Trevon Hughes — 16 points — and Jordan Taylor — 11 points — joined Bohannon in double figures.
Christian Watford scored 15 points to lead Indiana, but shot just 4 of 12. Verdell Jones, battling flu-like symptoms, added 11 points in 33 minutes.
Tom Crean talked about Saturday’s matchup with Wisconsin with the media earlier today. At the opening of his comments, Crean revealed that senior guard Devan Dumes will miss the trip to Madison due to the flu. Here’s the video, courtesy of Crean’s Twitter account:
It’s been nearly two full years since we last said goodbye to the mess begotten of Kelvin Sampson’s late-night departure in 2008. The faces have nearly faded, so much so that it’s almost easy to forget that at least some of them are still out there, trying to put an orange ball in a round iron hoop for someone’s enjoyment.
Enter Paul Daugherty of SI.com, who brings us this brief piece about Jordan Crawford finally settling in at Xavier. Crawford, you’ll recall, was essentially the last of Sampson’s one-time recruits to leave Indiana, heading east to play for Sean Miller.
Then Sean Miller left for Arizona.
Just like Kelvin Sampson had, albeit under different circumstances.
The article talks about the post-Sampson period briefly before delving into Crawford’s transition to Xavier. Both Crawford and his mother Sylvia (who is a publicist for the city of Detroit? Yeesh.) talk with Daugherty, making both good points:
“I wish all the grown people with the power would realize the situations they leave these young people in,” (Sylvia Crawford) said. “You trust they’re on top of things. You put a lot of trust in the university. It challenges my faith in them. Why is the kid the one punished?”
Crawford said he knew it was time to leave when he saw one of the last Hoosiers holdovers, Brandon McGee, running stadium steps in the rain, as punishment for being late to study hall.”He was two or three minutes late,” Crawford said. “It was after the first day of summer classes. No homework. I was thinking, if they’re going to do him like that, they’re going to do me like that, too.”
Ladies and gentlemen, reasons for optimism on Saturday are not plentiful after a quick glance at the chart below:
Of course, these numbers are not the only determining factors once the ball is tossed up, but they certainly point to Wisconsin being heavily favored.
A couple of things really stand out for the Badgers: First, their turnover percentage is a ridiculous 15.5 percent, good for fourth in the country. The Hoosiers, by comparison, turn it over at a clip of 21.7 percent.
Second, Wisconsin’s defensive rebounding percentage is third nationally. Translation: Good luck getting to the offensive glass. Indiana is doing a respectable job on the offensive boards, but they’re going to need an extraordinary effort in that category to keep this competitive. That means Jeremiah Rivers and Verdell Jones really need to crash the boards.
Pomeroy is calling this a 71-53 win for Wisconsin and puts the chances of an IU win at three percent. Given Bo Ryan’s success at the Kohl Center and the fact that Wisconsin is coming off its first home loss of the season to Illinois, this prediction does not seem far fetched.
Playing on ESPNU is already out of his mind. Will Sheehey’s focus is squarely set on Friday.
Sheehey’s Sagemont School met Monteverde Academy Feb. 5 in an ESPNU-televised match-up that featured fellow top recruits Rod Days and Fabricio Melo, Sheehey’s Syracuse-bound teammate. Sagemont came up just short, losing 57-52, but Sheehey’s focus is already focused on this Friday, when district playoffs begin.
“It’s going great,” Sheehey said of his season thus far in an interview with Inside the Hall. “Our team has been playing really well.”
Sagemont finished its regular season 20-7, and should it make district finals, the Weston, Fla., school will book its place in the state tournament. Sheehey missed the early part of this season with an ankle injury, but he said when he returned, “everybody started to gel,” giving the 6-foot-5 guard confidence that Sagemont’s state tournament run could be a prolonged one.
“I think that we’re playing our best basketball right now,” he told Inside The Hall.
Since signing his letter of intent to play at IU in November, Sheehey says he’s stayed in regular contact with the coaching staff in Bloomington, Tim Buckley and Tom Crean in particular. He said he tries to meet up whenever recruiting brings Crean or another of the Hoosiers’ coaches to the Sunshine State.