(Photo credit: Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports)
Winding down the regular season, Zach Osterman is joined by Ryan Winn of the Indiana Daily Student and LaMond Pope of the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette to chat Penn State, leadership and the creature known as Sheeladipo.
Ryan and LaMond also offer reflection on this season and thoughts on the next one.
(*Inside the Hall assures no gingers were harmed during the taping of this podcast.)
Listen in the embedded media player below:
Here’s a direct link to listen or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is it. The final chance for Indiana basketball to put together some positive momentum heading into next season. If the Hoosiers are unable to knock off Penn State, their record over the season’s final 21 games will be 3-18, including nine straight losses. I’m not sure there’s a way to spin that type of finish or winning less Big Ten games than last season in a positive manner.
The Nittany Lions are fighting to get back onto the NCAA Tournament bubble and need to beat Wisconsin in the quarterfinals to return to the discussion. Indiana is playing for pride at this point. That pride was essentially non-existent in Saturday’s loss at Illinois and the mental makeup of this group seems fragile at best as they limp to the finish line.
The long-time voice of the Hoosiers, Don Fischer, offered this assessment yesterday on The Dan Dakich Show: “I think that this is a basketball team that, at this point in the season Dak, is kinda battered. And I mean that in a sense that I think they are physically beaten up here. They’re also mentally beaten up. They went through that stretch of three weeks where they really played well after they had gone through a six-game losing streak and then they’ve gone back into that negative mode again. And that takes it out of you mentally. I think that’s the biggest issue with this team.”
That said, here are the Pomeroy numbers:
Both Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor (career-high 39 points) and Illinois’ Demetri McCamey (22 points, four assists) scorched the Hoosiers in back-to-back games on Thursday and Saturday, as Indiana was often helpless to stop each on plays where not a whole lot was even going on.
A look a a few such plays in the latest edition of Film Session.
NO. 1) TAYLOR PAST OLADIPO AND THROUGH ELSTON
Out of a sideline inbounds pass stemming from an out-of-bounds deflection, it looks as if Jared Berggren may set a pick for Taylor as the shot clock winds down:
But he instead gets into the paint:
Unlike last season, when Verdell Jones received an All-Big Ten honorable mention nod and Christian Watford an All-Freshman selection, there’s no Indiana flavor on any of this season’s All-Big Ten teams.
Here are the teams, as announced earlier this evening by the conference:
Coaches Selections (unanimous selections in all caps)
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
JAJUAN JOHNSON, Purdue
E’Twaun Moore, Purdue
Jon Leuer, Wisconsin
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
William Buford, Ohio State
David Lighty, Ohio State
Talor Battle, Penn State
THIRD TEAM* (multiple honorees due to tie)
Demetri McCamey, Illinois
Darius Morris, Michigan
Draymond Green, Michigan State
John Shurna, Northwestern
Michael Thompson, Northwestern
Jon Diebler, Ohio State
Most of you have seen this by now, but for those who have not, here is the 2011 Big Ten Tournament bracket.
Indiana gets Penn State on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on The Big Ten Network. All things considered, this is probably not a bad draw for the Hoosiers, depending on which group shows up in Indianapolis. We’ll have more as the week goes along, but for now, feel free to chime in on the rematch with Penn State or the tournament in general.
(Photo credit: Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports)
Throughout the season, Inside the Hall will keep you posted on how 2011 signees Austin Etherington and Cody Zeller, IU’s eight verbal commitments and other notable prospects with interest in the Hoosiers, are performing at their respective schools.
You can send us stats or results for this report at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s our latest update:
+ Austin Etherington (Hamilton Heights): Twenty-seven points in a 77-74 sectional semifinal loss to New Palestine on Mar. 4.
+ Cody Zeller (Washington): Thirteen points, 11 rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot in a 56-36 sectional semifinal win over Vincennes Lincoln on Mar. 4. (HD quality video from the game is available here.) Fifteen points in a 47-36 win over Southridge to win the Southridge sectional on Mar. 5. Up next: Regional against Evansville Bosse on Saturday at Washington.
Two years ago, this might have been acceptable.
Two years ago, when Indiana was talent-deprived and had no idea how to handle most Big Ten road atmospheres, when the Hoosiers were little more than a patchwork squad of freshmen and transfers and walk-ons and hope.
When Illinois came to Bloomington in February, Indiana shut the Illini down offensively thanks to a strong night from Jeremiah Rivers on Demetri McCamey. That night, the Hoosiers held Illinois scoreless for a combined 10 minutes en route to winning 52-49. In the first half of Saturday’s game, a porous defensive effort allowed 46 points — or three less than Illinois scored in twice as much time a month ago.
Put simply, the effort Indiana gave Saturday afternoon wasn’t good enough. The hustle, the focus, the energy, the intensity, none of it was close to where it needed to be Saturday afternoon. Consider the following statistical comparisons:
Final score: 76-45 vs. 72-48.
Shooting percentages: 39.2 from field, 33.3 from 3-point range vs. 31.6 from field, 17.3 from 3-point range.
Rebounding margin: plus-12 vs. minus-13.
Turnovers: 19 vs. 10.
The first set of numbers comes from Indiana’s loss at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill., in 2009, when Verdell Jones, Matt Roth and Tom Pritchard were freshmen. The second, you might have guessed, were totals on Saturday.
This is not (IS NOT) to suggest Indiana has not progressed significantly or significantly enough in the last two years. The problem, really, is that Indiana has progressed, and should be beyond this.