Hoosiers hang on at home against Ohio State, 72-69

  • 02/26/2008 9:33 pm in

armon-bassett_1.jpgIt certainly wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing 40 minutes of basketball, but the Hoosiers held off a surging Ohio State in the second half and won in Dan Dakich’s home debut, 72-69.

Though Indiana had a poor shooting first half from three-point land — they finished a woeful 5-of-25 for the game — it lead by as much as 13 thanks to defense that limited Ohio State in the early going and Armon Bassett who tallied 13 points by the break. He finished with a game high 23.

But in the second half, IU got sloppy — I’m looking at you Eric Gordon — and freshman Evan Turner and Kosta Koufos took over for the Bucks. Koufos more than held his own against D.J. White — even tallying a few blocks and showing off his three-point range. He finished with 21 points and six boards. Turner has 13 points on the night.

Steve Lavin and Brett Musberger talked all night about the NBA scouts in attendance at Assembly Hall and you wonder if that affected Gordon at all. It’s clear at this point his ball handling needs work. It’s getting increasingly frustrating watching EJ drive to the rim, only to have it flutter away or an opponent draw a charge. He has seven turnovers in IU’s win. EJ shot 25 percent from the floor and finished with 17 points. Without his ability to draw fouls, Gordon might be finding himself with a much lower scoring average on the year.

With the win, IU stays in the hunt for at least a share of the Big Ten title. The Hoosiers are 24-4 on the year and 13-2 in the Big Ten. They return to action Sunday afternoon at Michigan State to take on the Spartans.


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  • HoosierSmitty

    EJ was a walking disaster tonight. He should not have played all 40 minutes…The only reall positive was that he seemed more active on the glass with six rebounds and had some nice passes…but he was just forcing it too much tonight. If he can't handle the pressure of a few NBA scouts, how is he going to play in the league?

    I'm happy we got the win, I was pretty disgusted with the team's play, not just Gordon's. Defensively we gave up easy buckets, did not jump out on the shooter fast enough. Offensively, I thought we ran the ball effectively in the first half and just couldn't hit open shots. In the second half, we lost any sense of offensive rhythm and just waited to win the game.

    An effort like this isn't going to get us a win in East Lansing.

    Nice win, but we can do better Hoosiers!

  • I've really wondered from day one how Gordon's game would translate to the NBA, as many would agree that he's out after this year. He's too small to play the two in the league and he's horribly turnover-ridden. Not to mention the dude's shot selection at times is well beyond suspect. There are times when he's pulling up from McNutt Quad and it's frustrating to watch.

    I think the win is important for team morale, I would have liked to see them put Ohio State away early in the second half and give guys like D.J., Gordon and Armon a breather but that's not the way it works out.

    This team will have to do a better job of taking care of the ball and that includes Gordon and turnover machines Jamarcus Ellis and Jordan Crawford. The three of them are usually good for 12-15 turnovers a night recently and if they're going to beat Michigan State at Breslin, they're going to need to get a hold of that in a hurry.


  • Mark

    I agree. We look like the team that was playing a few weeks ago, not the team we were against OSU the first game, MSU, and PU. This transition has affected us some and I hope Dakich can pull it together and get them playing like they were the few games before Sanctions left. Sunday will be a long day if we don't come up with a better offensive output. One thing that bothered me was the refs seemed to be calling the game as if we were the visiting team and not the home team. Because of that, we did not have the home court advantage.

  • Dak better get after them in film session. This whining to the refs, not getting back on defense stuff is for the birds. We weren't getting back like that at the beginning of the season.

    Get up and down the court, boys.

  • HoosierSmitty

    As disappointed as I was with this game, I thought we came out strong in the first 10 minutes or so…but I guess that made me even more disappointed at the end result…

    A W is a W…but we need to start building momentum…

    But at least this isn't the Mike Davis era where we blow the game in the end…

  • Nick

    I'm beginning to think that this team just has the knack for keeping lesser teams in the game and playing to their competition. I agree with what E said a few blogs ago when he said he could see this team keeping a 13 or 14 seed around too long and failing to put them away!

    It could even happen in the B10 tourney if they don't snap out of it!!!

  • RD

    DeAndre needs to never, ever, see the court again. When DJ needs to go out, put in Taber. For God's sake Taber can actually get a fucking rebound and not mess up every time he touches the ball. Taber, Stemler, Ellis, EJ/Crawford, Bassett/Crawford is fine when the Big Ten POY needs a break. DeAndre is just too shaky right now and hurts the team on both offense and defense. Plus he looks like that fat-ass singer on that Puff Daddys making the band show-not good. Once EJ quits turning the ball over, we should start blowing teams out

  • T

    I'm a season ticket holder and to me this was about as sloppy as they have looked all year. (Maybe the UConn game…) In that regard, i'm actually happy with the win, that they were able to win without bringing their A game.

    On the other hand, they looke pretty poor on both ends of the floor and (I hate to say it) Kofus outplayed D.J. tonight, (Although White looked kind of gimpy at the end, I hope he's ok.)

    One other thing I noticed is Matta totally worked the refs over to getting the favorable calls. Calhoun did the same thing when UConn came here to play. Good coaches make the refs see things their way…Phil Jackson is one of the masters at that, and watching Dakich it was pretty clear he knows how to get the refs in his favor.

  • Dirk

    I'm tired of hearing how great EJ is. He's talented but he's not a winner at the collegiate level. No matter how hard he tries, he can't play his way onto the bench. He's obviously not ready for the NBA, but he's certainly ready for he NBA draft. Two drawbacks with EJ: he's killing us this year and he won't win big games for us in the future.

  • Not a winner?

    24-4. 13-2 in the Big Ten. 12th in the country.

  • Raymond

    I sat courtside for tonight's game and I could not be more frustrated with Gordon's game right now. If this kid could develop some semblance of a mid range jumper it adds such a vital dimension to his game and a new threat when he drives the lane. His ability to draw the foul helps but he needs to go up STRONG. At least 2 or 3 times in the first half when he gets fouled and FLOPS rather than trying to go strong and make the basket.

    And I could have KILLED Jordan Crawford when he was arguing with a ref about a travelling call and starts running down court to get on offense while osu still had the ball! The Refs were terrible tonight, but when you're playing defense you need to play DEFENSE not trying to help the ref with his job. And I hope Dakich gets a platter of cheeseburgers for Deandre and glues his ass to the bench.

  • Dirk

    EJ is the 3rd best player on the team when it comes to winning. Would you rather have EJ or Bassett do any of the following with the game on the line: shoot a free throw, take an open three-point shot, drive the lane and shoot a layup, drive the lane and dish to DJ, drive the lane and kick it to the perimeter? I'll take Armon every time. He'll win big games at the college level because he makes good decisions with the ball. Mr. Turnover won't. Anyone can average over 20 points if they take enough shots.

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    That was as close to watching a bad YMCA game as you will ever see in college basketball. I mean how many missed 3's in the first half was there? I'd say almost 30. Its no wonder the Big 10 cant recruit great players consistently (I said consistently, there are always acceptions) all an ACC coach has to do is to pop in a tape of a bad Big 10 game like that and say “why would you go there”?

  • Micheal Hermon

    northwestern won

  • Jay

    Does EJ remind anyone else of Shawn Respert? As a senior at Michigan State, the 195-pound guard averaged 25.6 points per game, and was a 1st team All American. His pro career fizzled after being the 8th pick in the draft. (PS: I hope EJ is an NBA all star – he's a great kid, and I'm very glad he's on our team.)

  • DC Hoosier

    I agree that Crawford shouldn't be arguing with the ref, but it sounded on TV like a whistle might have blown some on the play. Even the OSU guy stopped in the middle of the lane and stood there for a second before he passed the ball off. Did anyone else hear that, or am I just losing my mind?

  • I love the way this team hits their FTs, especially down the stretch. They were 9-10 tonight in the final minute and have been hitting the clutch FTs all year.

    It's impressive to win a game where EJ was horrendous, DJ was mediocre, and the team without Basset was 1-17 from the arc. They will definitely need to play better in East Lansing if they want to get out of there with a win.

  • Dirk

    I can't speak for your sanity-just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you-but I thought I heard a whistle too.

  • kelin

    OK I have sat on this for hours now…here I go….
    * Deandre serves ZERO purpose on the court at this time. (sincerely Brandon McGhee)

    * Dak is in a tough position now of keeping these guys together yet COACHING them….tonite, THEY needed there asses chewed ESPECIALLY EJ. He needs to be coached and ripped a new with all these bad turnovers and overdriving…HOW MANY times does it take….

    * Lets just say it together beginning next home game for EJ “One more year, One more year” I love this kid since H.S. but his game is flawed and by NBA standards EJ best attribute scoring would be nulified by his ball handling, lack of mid range game, and turnovers…..Wade, Kobe, Battier, and other guards would eat his lunch…..”One more year”

    * Was Jamarcus at the game tonite?

    * The whining…would not have happened to the extent it did if KS was on the sidelines. There is some respect these guys don't have fully in Dak yet and it is understandable. NUMEROUS of times, they stopped playing to whine….I wished ONCE Dak would have called a timeout and lit EJ and Jordan up for doing it …WHILE a play was going on.

    * I hope Kellen Sampsons hardwork and allegiance pays off. For that young man to stay there and do his job given all of this mess his dad produces, is to be commended greatly……….GREATLY.

    * finally….Kevin Stallings is on my list. Forget the non cool guy look he DOESN't have, he will NEVER get blamed for being out coached. If he got hired I would be happy. Dont expect the Bruce Pearl type of rah rah or the KS chest bumps….expect a prepared team every night!

  • T

    Dirk: Gordon no doubt had a bad game tonight…and I agree Basset may have the better shot.

    BUT, i'd rather have Gordon shooting free throws down the stretch, he's the best on the team at free throws.

    Also, even in the games Gordon plays terrible, (like today) teams still need to prepare for him like he's the best player. I think indirectly he makes guys like Basset and Ellis better because everyone is so focused on stopping Gordon…(Like on the fast break where Crawford dished to Basset for a three…Gordon was on the other side of the court and two OSU guys trailed him leaving Basset open.)

    Again, Gordon had a poor game…but c'mon let's not be too tough on the leading scorer in the Big Ten as a true freshman. I think people just expected Kevin Durant when he got here and he's just not that guy.

  • kelin

    I think tonite, IU would have won by more with EJ on the bench………I would go as far to saying at this point in the season Jordan Crawford has improved more….key word improved……

  • Raymond

    I will agree with you on this. Gordon is fine with me at the line late in the game and him simply being on the court may make some other guys better.

    However, this kid needs to have his ass put on the bench every now and then and needs to get an ass chewing when he screws up. You're going to get fouled when you drive the lane and you may not make every shot, BUT when someone bumps you and you flop and just give up the shot and don't go up strong…you need a little talking to. 1-7 from 3point range in the first half…quit pulling up from 3, and I blame that just as much on the coach as the kid.

  • Dirk

    You proved my point: EJ makes his team better when he doesn't have the ball; Bassett makes the team better when he has the ball. At the end of a close game, I want the ball in the hands of the guy who won't turn into Bracey Wright. Yes EJ has talent- not anyone can lead the Big Ten in scoring even if his coach lets him play 40 minutes while giving away 15 offensive possessions per game (turnovers + ill-advised missed shots+offensive fouls). But talent alone does not yield victories. I expected a freshman when he got here, and that's what he is. It's too bad he'll be gone before he refines his game, buys into the team concept, etc.

  • jdhoosier

    I was calling for EJ to go to the bench when all of the sudden he comes flying in for that put-back dunk late in the game. As bad as he was tonight, you just don't know when the next great play is going to come from him. That said, no reason to play 40 minutes tonight.

  • Kevin

    DJ looked out of it all night. He was slow to get back on defense sometimes and looked lost sometimes. He seemed dead by the end of the game, you have to wonder if he's still feeling any flu like symptoms.

  • Tim

    I heard it too, making the non-call and subsequent BS call on DJ that much more puzzling.

  • PB

    When does EJ's wrist guard/tape come off? maybe that thing is hindering his shot.

    His recklessness, however, is mental. He needs to stay calm and play his game. I don't like the way EJ complains after fouls going against him, but man, it looked like he was getting fouled when penetrating. The refs weren't great tonight.

    Go Hoosiers. Beat Spartans.

  • anIUmom

    Imagine my surprise when I came upon this article on FoxSports.com, “Dakich wins home debut as Buckeyes Coach”. I must have fallen asleep and missed that hire!

  • anIUmom

    “Dan Dakich re-hired at Indiana!!!” Looks like someone from editing is on the scene tonight. GO BIG RED!

  • Ryan_Btown

    I'll be honest…I have defended DD and questioned why there was no permanent hire talk. Tonight, I was EXTREMELY disappointed that he didn't get a T just to fire the team up. The officiating wasn't all that awful, but there were certainly times where a technical could have ignited this team and created some calls or no calls.

  • Joe

    shooting, yes, but not as athletic. Good comparison though.

  • Joe

    Would you rather see Stemler? Stemler is completely worthless if he doesn't hit his first few shots. I not really convinced that he is that big of a hustler. All the diving on the floor when he has no real shot at getting the ball. That spot is just our weak point. Anybody we put there is talent lacking. Me, personally would rather see Taber. He doesn't turn the ball over, and doesn't take bad shots or doesn't take shots, Whatever I'll take it.

  • RW

    We looked pretty awful and what is up with all of the complaining to the refs. I know at home you like to think you may get a call or two but give me a break play till the whistle blows. Another issue that definitely needs to be addressed is not running the floor, not getting back on defense is hurting big time. Also I have no idea what is up with EJ. Maybe he has been hanging out with Jordan Crawford too much they both are a little out of control more often than not. Maybe now Coach Dakich can start to bring in the reigns just a bit. I understand he doesn't want to cause any turmoil but our last efforts are going to get us blown out up a Michigan State. Lucky to pull out a “w” at the HALL.

  • HoosierSmitty

    EJ is never going to quit turning the ball over…if it hasn't happened at this point in the season, it's pretty much a lost cause in that department. Just have to take the good with the bad and hope the good continues to outweigh the bad.

  • RobertSchell

    Frustrating game. Still a W. It's a must for us to bring our A game to MSU if we hope to add another year to our Big 10 championship banners.

    On a side note, how about the state of Indiana having 4 teams in the top 20? Very nice, I like.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I've said all year I trust Armon's shot more than EJ's…last night was just another example of that. Armon is clutch.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Good..maybe they can use that Mo to shock Purspew this weekend.

  • HoosierSmitty


    Good points…minus Stallings…I don't care if he'd lead us to 5 more National Titles…I don't want a Purdue guy. The last thing I want to hear from Purdue fans is that it took a Purdue guy to get IU to an elite status again. I'll shoot myself.

    Also, how many times must I remind you…it's McGee…NO H! If you're going to clamor for the kid, get his name right.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Agreed. Seriously, EJ almost walked AGAIN late in the game trying to avoid the foul. Just let it happen. You've got the ball, go to the line, hit your threes. Don't do something crazy.

  • Ryan_Btown

    I agree…too much wining…I just thought if he complained once, appeared to be on their side, maybe got a T, maybe they'd get over it and move on.

  • You don't think EJ's ability to get to the rack AND shoot opens up opportunites for Armon?

    EJ and DJ have to be the focal point. Bassett, as we're seeing, thrives as the 3rd option.

  • Had to do a little housekeeping on this thread.

    Name calling isn't going to be tolerated. We're usually lenient on letting things go, but there comes a point when it goes too far.

  • i agree, even though i will say taht those refs had a mental lapse from about the 15:00 to 10:00 mark of the 2nd half when they forgot what “traveling” was. the no-call on turner's walk was the biggest blown call that i've seen this year.

  • i'm trying to remember the last time stemler actually made an open look from 3. maybe in 2005 when he was playing juco ball?

  • kelin

    Coveydale….Stemler was coming into IU last year as this highly coveted shooter…..where did that go?

  • td

    I agree Gordon needs a pull-up game, however the reason he shoots a lot of free-throws is that he goes to the basket more than anyone on the team. With his NBA type body, I also think the refs overlook a lot of hits he takes. He doesn't just go down when first hit like a lot of kids would, he trys to finish. Thus, if there is no call, you have a turnover. It's apparent he needs to be more selective at times, but remember he's playing as many minutes as anyone and is probably gassed when making some of the bad decisions. If you've played the game, you understand.

  • Sean

    I hope the housekeeping was done to avoid reference to our players as thugs. I have no problem if you remove my comment but you should have taken off the thug comments by the other poster without me having to call them out on it. Very disappointing and I hope similar comments will be removed on your own accord in the future or you will lose a lot of your visitors.

  • He's shooting 33.3% from 3. Not great, but not bad.

    All you Stemler haters sure were quiet when he hit big shots to help beat GT.

    By the way, he also has 6 games this season when he's been perfect from 3. 6 more games when he's been 50% or better.

  • Indeed it was. Thanks for the note, Sean.

  • BrianK

    Gordon needs to find that pull up shot because it's obvious now the refs are not going to be calling it as much. They know how he plays and what he is doing and are going to be holding some calls back. Without it his style of play has become limited.