The Morning After: Michigan State

  • 03/03/2008 11:02 am in

Drew NeitzelThere are two ways to view yesterday’s debacle at Michigan State, and both depend on interpretation.

The first interpretation relies on the notion that IU has some hand in everything that happens to them on the basketball court. As a rule, this is true, but there are exceptions — a team gets inconceivably hot, for example. Which is what happened Sunday. The second interpretation is that, for at least one day, Michigan State became an unbeatable, impossible foe, caught in a shooting flurry that took off in the first minute and lasted until the 40th. This requires the idea that no matter what IU team showed up yesterday, even one performing at the 99th percentile of the Hoosiers’ ability, Michigan State would have trounced them.

As antithetical as that idea is, it was hard to watch yesterday and think it wasn’t true. Observe:

Both teams took the same number of shots, but look at the outcome: Michigan State made 37 while IU made 27. Michigan State shot a 71.3 effective field goal percentage, which is insane for anyone, let alone for a team that averages 53 percent a game. IU shot 50 percent. On 70 possessions, MSU scored 104 points, a rate of 1.5 points per possession. The Hoosiers scored 1.1. By all offensive measures, IU performed to its season averages. Michigan State performed out of this effing world. What, exactly, can be done about that?

— Better defense would be a good start, of course. Something to consider here is that Dan Dakich has said he’s leaving the offense alone, but plans on tinkering with the defense. No amount of “tinkering” is going to be responsible for giving up 1.5 ppp, but at the same time IU seemed to be peaking defensively a few weeks ago. If the last few games are any indication — especially that shootout with, of all teams, Northwestern — the defense is now regressing.

Even against a really hot shooting team, the defense was exposed yesterday. Transition buckets came way too easily. Dunks were too frequent. Pick and rolls were defended so unsoundly, I was reminded of the team’s first few games this season. Michigan State outran IU, out schemed them, and made the Hoosiers’ defense look as bad as it has all year. Let’s hope the defensive ugliness is an aberration, and not the rule under Dakich. Because 1.5 ppp against is the fastest possible way to get sent home in March.

— Still, it feels like there isn’t much to write about this game, because it was an aberration. It was. It had to be. Think about it: After the end of the first half, Michigan State was on pace for 120 points. 120! In a 40 minute basketball game. To over analyze this, or proclaim this team dead, would be to ignore just how ridiculous yesterday was. If it happens again, fine. Call the season. But in the meantime, the wise approach here is to laugh this game off, suck up the likelihood that the Big Ten crown isn’t headed our way (and really, who cares that much about winning the Big Ten?), and refocus for March. One torrential Michigan State performance, no matter how off the charts, doesn’t automatically spell doom. Not yet, anyway.

Filed to:

  • HoosierSmitty

    Other than the sequence where Crawford let Neitzel get open for a 3, then jacked up a wild three of his own, bricked a dunk, and then watched a Spartan player cruise past him for a layup all in the span of two minutes….we haven't seen Crawford as TUO much lately…he's been a better player. He can hit big shots, has a midrange game, and has some sickening offensive moves. I hope IU continues to have a chance to work with him in the years to come.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Other than the sequence where Crawford let Neitzel get open for a 3, then jacked up a wild three of his own, bricked a dunk, and then watched a Spartan player cruise past him for a layup all in the span of two minutes….we haven't seen Crawford as TUO much lately…he's been a better player. He can hit big shots, has a midrange game, and has some sickening offensive moves. I hope IU continues to have a chance to work with him in the years to come.

  • Joe

    I'm all for that. The serious lack of focus and intensity were killing me. This team really needs a Coverdale. Tom was one of the most intense people I knew, and he could drink a shitload (I really don't know what that means on the court, but anybody who has ever drank with him, damn he could pound a beer). Does anybody remember him and Darby always going at it? This is what this team needs.

  • IndianaJoe

    I'm all for that. The serious lack of focus and intensity were killing me. This team really needs a Coverdale. Tom was one of the most intense people I knew, and he could drink a shitload (I really don't know what that means on the court, but anybody who has ever drank with him, damn he could pound a beer). Does anybody remember him and Darby always going at it? This is what this team needs.

  • IndianaJoe

    I'm all for that. The serious lack of focus and intensity were killing me. This team really needs a Coverdale. Tom was one of the most intense people I knew, and he could drink a shitload (I really don't know what that means on the court, but anybody who has ever drank with him, damn he could pound a beer). Does anybody remember him and Darby always going at it? This is what this team needs.

  • IndianaJoe

    I'm all for that. The serious lack of focus and intensity were killing me. This team really needs a Coverdale. Tom was one of the most intense people I knew, and he could drink a shitload (I really don't know what that means on the court, but anybody who has ever drank with him, damn he could pound a beer). Does anybody remember him and Darby always going at it? This is what this team needs.

  • I'll agree with you on this.

    But what worries me is that he didn't seem to care that we were getting trounced, and didn't want to be any part of making it better. I might need to take a shoe off to count the number of times he was lackluster on defense yesterday.

    I like players who take things personally. TUO doesn't seem to be one of these guys. Love his potential, love his skill, love him when he's on. But I also love guys with heart.

  • I'll agree with you on this.

    But what worries me is that he didn't seem to care that we were getting trounced, and didn't want to be any part of making it better. I might need to take a shoe off to count the number of times he was lackluster on defense yesterday.

    I like players who take things personally. TUO doesn't seem to be one of these guys. Love his potential, love his skill, love him when he's on. But I also love guys with heart.

  • I'll agree with you on this.

    But what worries me is that he didn't seem to care that we were getting trounced, and didn't want to be any part of making it better. I might need to take a shoe off to count the number of times he was lackluster on defense yesterday.

    I like players who take things personally. TUO doesn't seem to be one of these guys. Love his potential, love his skill, love him when he's on. But I also love guys with heart.

  • I'll agree with you on this.

    But what worries me is that he didn't seem to care that we were getting trounced, and didn't want to be any part of making it better. I might need to take a shoe off to count the number of times he was lackluster on defense yesterday.

    I like players who take things personally. TUO doesn't seem to be one of these guys. Love his potential, love his skill, love him when he's on. But I also love guys with heart.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I cannot believe how many people are chalking it up to MSU just having a good game. We are too talented to lose by 29 points at this stage in the season.

    We did not defend well…look at how many times MSU set a screen and opened up a 3 point shot or an easy layup. It was grade school stuff that was never corrected. NO TEAM sets screens that well for 40 minutes…but again and again IU was getting beat by screens…whether they were off the ball or on the ball screens.

    Dakich's fix was to play zone apparently. That worked out well. MSU still “screened” the zone and our players were too slow to jump out shooters, leaving them wide open again and again.

    Offensively, I could not believe how many times we had the ball stripped from us. Out of bounds plays are just sad. They aren't even plays…

    It was a chaotic scene and IU looked lost. Our play was uninspired and flat out lazy.

    I love this team, and I hope the Hoosiers get it on track, but with a Big Ten title basically in the trash can, time is running short for a successful season. Let's hope having the Big Ten tourney in Indy is the Hoosiers' saving grace.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I cannot believe how many people are chalking it up to MSU just having a good game. We are too talented to lose by 29 points at this stage in the season.

    We did not defend well…look at how many times MSU set a screen and opened up a 3 point shot or an easy layup. It was grade school stuff that was never corrected. NO TEAM sets screens that well for 40 minutes…but again and again IU was getting beat by screens…whether they were off the ball or on the ball screens.

    Dakich's fix was to play zone apparently. That worked out well. MSU still “screened” the zone and our players were too slow to jump out shooters, leaving them wide open again and again.

    Offensively, I could not believe how many times we had the ball stripped from us. Out of bounds plays are just sad. They aren't even plays…

    It was a chaotic scene and IU looked lost. Our play was uninspired and flat out lazy.

    I love this team, and I hope the Hoosiers get it on track, but with a Big Ten title basically in the trash can, time is running short for a successful season. Let's hope having the Big Ten tourney in Indy is the Hoosiers' saving grace.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I cannot believe how many people are chalking it up to MSU just having a good game. We are too talented to lose by 29 points at this stage in the season.

    We did not defend well…look at how many times MSU set a screen and opened up a 3 point shot or an easy layup. It was grade school stuff that was never corrected. NO TEAM sets screens that well for 40 minutes…but again and again IU was getting beat by screens…whether they were off the ball or on the ball screens.

    Dakich's fix was to play zone apparently. That worked out well. MSU still “screened” the zone and our players were too slow to jump out shooters, leaving them wide open again and again.

    Offensively, I could not believe how many times we had the ball stripped from us. Out of bounds plays are just sad. They aren't even plays…

    It was a chaotic scene and IU looked lost. Our play was uninspired and flat out lazy.

    I love this team, and I hope the Hoosiers get it on track, but with a Big Ten title basically in the trash can, time is running short for a successful season. Let's hope having the Big Ten tourney in Indy is the Hoosiers' saving grace.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I cannot believe how many people are chalking it up to MSU just having a good game. We are too talented to lose by 29 points at this stage in the season.

    We did not defend well…look at how many times MSU set a screen and opened up a 3 point shot or an easy layup. It was grade school stuff that was never corrected. NO TEAM sets screens that well for 40 minutes…but again and again IU was getting beat by screens…whether they were off the ball or on the ball screens.

    Dakich's fix was to play zone apparently. That worked out well. MSU still “screened” the zone and our players were too slow to jump out shooters, leaving them wide open again and again.

    Offensively, I could not believe how many times we had the ball stripped from us. Out of bounds plays are just sad. They aren't even plays…

    It was a chaotic scene and IU looked lost. Our play was uninspired and flat out lazy.

    I love this team, and I hope the Hoosiers get it on track, but with a Big Ten title basically in the trash can, time is running short for a successful season. Let's hope having the Big Ten tourney in Indy is the Hoosiers' saving grace.

  • Raymond

    AGREED. DD is so concerned with trying to unite these guys and not overwhelm them since they're already SOOOO emotional that he is being way too tentative with them. This team needs a week like what Pat Knight gave tech after that loss to A&M by 40+ where they were out flipping, and running with, tractor tires. Someone needs to be the ass kicker here and get them in line.

  • Raymond

    AGREED. DD is so concerned with trying to unite these guys and not overwhelm them since they're already SOOOO emotional that he is being way too tentative with them. This team needs a week like what Pat Knight gave tech after that loss to A&M by 40+ where they were out flipping, and running with, tractor tires. Someone needs to be the ass kicker here and get them in line.

  • Raymond

    AGREED. DD is so concerned with trying to unite these guys and not overwhelm them since they're already SOOOO emotional that he is being way too tentative with them. This team needs a week like what Pat Knight gave tech after that loss to A&M by 40+ where they were out flipping, and running with, tractor tires. Someone needs to be the ass kicker here and get them in line.

  • Raymond

    AGREED. DD is so concerned with trying to unite these guys and not overwhelm them since they're already SOOOO emotional that he is being way too tentative with them. This team needs a week like what Pat Knight gave tech after that loss to A&M by 40+ where they were out flipping, and running with, tractor tires. Someone needs to be the ass kicker here and get them in line.

  • Fozan

    While I agree with most of the arguments on this post, I truely believe that to fix the problem is not going to happen on the BB court. The coaching staff need to demonstrate strong leadership and get into the heads of the players. Anyone watching the game could tell the way the game was heading from the player's body language. Either they want to play ball, or they don't. If not, then DD might as well get the bench on to the court. And by the way, I never liked Ellis / DT from the begining, as for JC, I think it's a matter of discipline. Again, back to the lack of leadership.

  • Fozan

    While I agree with most of the arguments on this post, I truely believe that to fix the problem is not going to happen on the BB court. The coaching staff need to demonstrate strong leadership and get into the heads of the players. Anyone watching the game could tell the way the game was heading from the player's body language. Either they want to play ball, or they don't. If not, then DD might as well get the bench on to the court. And by the way, I never liked Ellis / DT from the begining, as for JC, I think it's a matter of discipline. Again, back to the lack of leadership.

  • Fozan

    While I agree with most of the arguments on this post, I truely believe that to fix the problem is not going to happen on the BB court. The coaching staff need to demonstrate strong leadership and get into the heads of the players. Anyone watching the game could tell the way the game was heading from the player's body language. Either they want to play ball, or they don't. If not, then DD might as well get the bench on to the court. And by the way, I never liked Ellis / DT from the begining, as for JC, I think it's a matter of discipline. Again, back to the lack of leadership.

  • Fozan

    While I agree with most of the arguments on this post, I truely believe that to fix the problem is not going to happen on the BB court. The coaching staff need to demonstrate strong leadership and get into the heads of the players. Anyone watching the game could tell the way the game was heading from the player's body language. Either they want to play ball, or they don't. If not, then DD might as well get the bench on to the court. And by the way, I never liked Ellis / DT from the begining, as for JC, I think it's a matter of discipline. Again, back to the lack of leadership.

  • Raymond

    My roommates and I were discussing our bench situation during this game yesterday and we were curious if anyone else wondered about benching some of our starters for there lackluster defense and giving some guys like Eli Holman and Brandon McGee a chance to play and show what they can do?
    It seems like it not only serves as a wake up call to the entrenched starters but could maybe help us deepen our rotation to a little more than the 7 or 8 players we have now.

  • Raymond

    My roommates and I were discussing our bench situation during this game yesterday and we were curious if anyone else wondered about benching some of our starters for there lackluster defense and giving some guys like Eli Holman and Brandon McGee a chance to play and show what they can do?
    It seems like it not only serves as a wake up call to the entrenched starters but could maybe help us deepen our rotation to a little more than the 7 or 8 players we have now.

  • Raymond

    My roommates and I were discussing our bench situation during this game yesterday and we were curious if anyone else wondered about benching some of our starters for there lackluster defense and giving some guys like Eli Holman and Brandon McGee a chance to play and show what they can do?
    It seems like it not only serves as a wake up call to the entrenched starters but could maybe help us deepen our rotation to a little more than the 7 or 8 players we have now.

  • Raymond

    My roommates and I were discussing our bench situation during this game yesterday and we were curious if anyone else wondered about benching some of our starters for there lackluster defense and giving some guys like Eli Holman and Brandon McGee a chance to play and show what they can do?
    It seems like it not only serves as a wake up call to the entrenched starters but could maybe help us deepen our rotation to a little more than the 7 or 8 players we have now.

  • Jerry

    I listened to the Fox Sports channel on XM this afternoon when they had an interview liive w Alford. Of course they asked him about IU coaching job. He said he is very happy where he is and they are spending $60m on renovations of facilties, plus they have 15k seat fieldhouse.

    He endorsed DD for the next coach because ” he knows how to win at IU”.

    Winning is the same everywhere. This BS is why we need to get away from this IU connection crap and get the best coach we can

  • Jerry

    I listened to the Fox Sports channel on XM this afternoon when they had an interview liive w Alford. Of course they asked him about IU coaching job. He said he is very happy where he is and they are spending $60m on renovations of facilties, plus they have 15k seat fieldhouse.

    He endorsed DD for the next coach because ” he knows how to win at IU”.

    Winning is the same everywhere. This BS is why we need to get away from this IU connection crap and get the best coach we can

  • Jerry

    I listened to the Fox Sports channel on XM this afternoon when they had an interview liive w Alford. Of course they asked him about IU coaching job. He said he is very happy where he is and they are spending $60m on renovations of facilties, plus they have 15k seat fieldhouse.

    He endorsed DD for the next coach because ” he knows how to win at IU”.

    Winning is the same everywhere. This BS is why we need to get away from this IU connection crap and get the best coach we can

  • Jerry

    I listened to the Fox Sports channel on XM this afternoon when they had an interview liive w Alford. Of course they asked him about IU coaching job. He said he is very happy where he is and they are spending $60m on renovations of facilties, plus they have 15k seat fieldhouse.

    He endorsed DD for the next coach because ” he knows how to win at IU”.

    Winning is the same everywhere. This BS is why we need to get away from this IU connection crap and get the best coach we can

  • Don D

    Looking back over the game yesterday one would have to agree MSU played out of their asses. Not many time you going to shoot 77.8% and loose a basketball game. After the first half IU played MSU straight up in the second half. I also believe if we play them again at Conseco IU will win. When a team shots that well you going to loose (remember what Villanova did to Georgetown to win NCAA)? Some type of defense would also help.

  • Don D

    Looking back over the game yesterday one would have to agree MSU played out of their asses. Not many time you going to shoot 77.8% and loose a basketball game. After the first half IU played MSU straight up in the second half. I also believe if we play them again at Conseco IU will win. When a team shots that well you going to loose (remember what Villanova did to Georgetown to win NCAA)? Some type of defense would also help.

  • Don D

    Looking back over the game yesterday one would have to agree MSU played out of their asses. Not many time you going to shoot 77.8% and loose a basketball game. After the first half IU played MSU straight up in the second half. I also believe if we play them again at Conseco IU will win. When a team shots that well you going to loose (remember what Villanova did to Georgetown to win NCAA)? Some type of defense would also help.

  • Don D

    Looking back over the game yesterday one would have to agree MSU played out of their asses. Not many time you going to shoot 77.8% and loose a basketball game. After the first half IU played MSU straight up in the second half. I also believe if we play them again at Conseco IU will win. When a team shots that well you going to loose (remember what Villanova did to Georgetown to win NCAA)? Some type of defense would also help.

  • Don D

    I also agree. Look for the best coach that's available. Who cares what Kitchell or Benson or Alford says. Stay away from Pearl and Calapari. They both have way too much baggage.

  • Don D

    I also agree. Look for the best coach that's available. Who cares what Kitchell or Benson or Alford says. Stay away from Pearl and Calapari. They both have way too much baggage.

  • Don D

    I also agree. Look for the best coach that's available. Who cares what Kitchell or Benson or Alford says. Stay away from Pearl and Calapari. They both have way too much baggage.

  • Don D

    I also agree. Look for the best coach that's available. Who cares what Kitchell or Benson or Alford says. Stay away from Pearl and Calapari. They both have way too much baggage.

  • kelin

    Heard Scott Drew this afternoon on wnde….he said IU is still a big time destination job…what he didn't say was the typical I am just trying to focus on my team…he also said it was flattering to be mentioned…….

    mmmmmmm

  • kelin

    Heard Scott Drew this afternoon on wnde….he said IU is still a big time destination job…what he didn't say was the typical I am just trying to focus on my team…he also said it was flattering to be mentioned…….

    mmmmmmm

  • kelin

    Heard Scott Drew this afternoon on wnde….he said IU is still a big time destination job…what he didn't say was the typical I am just trying to focus on my team…he also said it was flattering to be mentioned…….

    mmmmmmm

  • kelin

    Heard Scott Drew this afternoon on wnde….he said IU is still a big time destination job…what he didn't say was the typical I am just trying to focus on my team…he also said it was flattering to be mentioned…….

    mmmmmmm

  • briank

    Well especially the way Tennessee has played he has just plain been outcoached especially during hte KY game.

  • briank

    Well especially the way Tennessee has played he has just plain been outcoached especially during hte KY game.

  • briank

    Well especially the way Tennessee has played he has just plain been outcoached especially during hte KY game.

  • briank

    Well especially the way Tennessee has played he has just plain been outcoached especially during hte KY game.

  • Dirk

    A guy I know heard from a guy he trusts that Drew's running a dirty program. (The first part is true, I can't vouch for the rest.)

  • Dirk

    A guy I know heard from a guy he trusts that Drew's running a dirty program. (The first part is true, I can't vouch for the rest.)

  • Dirk

    A guy I know heard from a guy he trusts that Drew's running a dirty program. (The first part is true, I can't vouch for the rest.)

  • Dirk

    A guy I know heard from a guy he trusts that Drew's running a dirty program. (The first part is true, I can't vouch for the rest.)