The Minute After: Michigan State

  • 12/28/2011 10:36 pm in

Thoughts on Indiana’s 80-65 loss to Michigan State:

Welcome to life on the road in the Big Ten against a strong defense.

What has come so easy for the Hoosiers on offense this season crumbled for long stretches up in East Lansing this evening.

Michigan State’s defense took the Hoosiers out of their comfort zone early. Their length and on-ball defense didn’t allow Indiana any breathing room. The Spartans were blocking mid-range and perimeter shots. The Hoosiers were unable to drive, unable to get the ball inside to Cody Zeller with MSU’s hands stretched high and Adreian Payne fronting and bodying the freshman.

But this was a wild one with violent swings.

Indiana proceeded to go on a 25-2 run on the strength of defense, some transition buckets and 3-pointers. After knocking down a lot of shots in the first half, Michigan State didn’t score its first of the second half — a jumper by Draymond Green — until the 14:49 mark. Indiana, and specifically Christian Watford, was snagging every rebound in sight. With 11:07 to go, Watford hit a 3-pointer, and the Hoosiers were up nine. The Izzone was out of it; Indiana was flying high.

But then it started to slip away. Michigan State’s D turned it up again. And Indiana’s offense went back to struggling to get anything going in the half court. It was passes around the perimeter as the shot clock ticked away. Derek Elston came into the game. He drew only backboard on a shot, committed a foul and turned the ball over. He was promptly yanked.

And then the Spartans started dominating the inside. Derrick Nix was stellar off the bench, scoring 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He had his way with Zeller. Payne got his buckets over the final minutes, too. And combo guard freshman sophomore Keith Appling was sensational on both sides of the ball — he had an incredible block on a Victor Oladipo fast-break lay-up — in what ended on a 35-11 run by the Spartans to close this one out. Peep this line for Appling: 25 points (7-of-12, 2-of-4 from three, 9-of-10 from the line), seven assists and six rebounds.

This one was closer than the 15-point spread it ended up at. Indiana showed much resolve in punching back and going up nine. But alas, it was a 16th straight road loss in the Big Ten for the Hoosiers. They’re now 1-27 on the road in conference play under Tom Crean.

And things don’t get any easier with the Buckeyes coming to Bloomington on Saturday. Big Ten basketball is back. And it’s unforgiving.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

+ Hell of an effort from Watford tonight. You could see the fire in his eyes from the onset and it carried through all game. His work on the boards early in the second half was particularly impressive. For the night he finished with 26 points (9-of-16, 4-of-6 from three, 4-of-6 from the line) and 10 rebounds. He’s often been derided for his lack of effort and focus for a full 40 minutes. (He himself has been part of the chorus there.) But if he can bring an effort like tonight throughout the Big Ten season — and frankly, this team is really going to need him to at times — Indiana will be in good shape the rest of the way.

+ Jordan Hulls is one of the best shooters in the country. Has been for some time now. But when the Hoosiers run up against a team that takes them out of what they’re trying to do in the halfcourt offense, one that has size and length, it’s sometimes difficult for him to be effective. Hulls missed all four 3-pointers he took this evening and was just 2-of-10 from the field. (Though, he did miss a few open looks; so perhaps it was just an off-night in general for the junior.)

+ Don’t think I’m alone in this next statement: This was by far Zeller’s worst game of the season. Michigan State’s bigs outmuscled him all evening. He got in foul trouble. And he generally just didn’t have much, if any, impact on the game (four points on back-to-back buckets early in the second half, three rebounds). He only had four field goal attempts. The freshman has an incredible skillset for his age and a maturity beyond his years. But at only 19 years of age, he’s still growing and getting stronger. And there’s going to be nights like this in the Big Ten, when, for all his talent, his lack of strength is going to be exploited.

+ A few parting numbers: Indiana got crushed at the foul line. The Hoosiers only took nine and made just five. The Spartans got to the line 22 times and made 17 of them. At one point in the second half, Indiana was dominating the boards, sporting a 40.o OR% and a 78.3 DR%. But by the time the dust settled on Michigan State’s final run — one in which they started rebounding better — the final tallies were pretty close. Indiana finished with a 31.0 OR%; Michigan State ended the game with a 28.6 OR%. The Hoosiers closed out the game with a 71.4 DR%; the Spartans weren’t far behind at 69.0 percent.

Filed to:

  • Kelin Blab

    We are a dribble drive team Stonaroni the same offense that beat UK, NC St. etc. There will be no Alford off ball screens run for Roth, Hulls, or anyone …..

  • Gnrnabk1

    Agree he is not as bad as MD, but he still is not a great in game adjustment coach!

  • HoosierSmitty

    I hear you on Watford. He’s Sleepy from Snow White and has limitations, but the young man sure knows how to rise to the occasion. 

    I think it was after the 3 that put us up 9, the camera showed his face and it was still that sleepy look…but at the same time there was this hint of a smile or glimmer of a look that said “yeah, that’s right…I’m good…bring it MSU” He’s a gamer. 

  • HoosierSmitty

    I hear you on Watford. He’s Sleepy from Snow White and has limitations, but the young man sure knows how to rise to the occasion. 

    I think it was after the 3 that put us up 9, the camera showed his face and it was still that sleepy look…but at the same time there was this hint of a smile or glimmer of a look that said “yeah, that’s right…I’m good…bring it MSU” He’s a gamer. 

  • cooper

    Not sure how you can miss mentioning how awful Hulls played on both ends. Horrible decision making, horrible passing, and horrible defense. Besides Watford and to a lesser extent VJ this was not a pretty performance

    Zeller has to do more to demand the ball. He needs to take charge an go get the ball if he has too. I thought Pritch outplayed him on both ends which is a joke.

  • cooper

    VJ and Wat were by far the best players on the court for IU

  • Anonymous

    Yet oddly enough it was the same crappy play calling that got us to 12-0.  It’s not like our offense changed against Evansville, Butler, NC State, Kentucky or ND.  Oh that’s right we won those games, so the offensive sets didn’t matter then.

    Coaches coach, but there’s equal blame on the players to execute. 

  • cooper

    Refs were fine and definitely were not a factor in the decision

  • CreanFaithful

    Staroni.  You so crazy. 
    You’d think that it has been pure luck that has enabled CTC to pull this
    program out of the basement.  I mean, the
    cemented over hole in the basement floor. 
    The 10 points you spoke of may not have been in the initial game plan
    but they were adjustments made by CTC (something you have been claiming
    throughout your posts that CTC hasn’t done).

     

    It was an excellent idea
    to bring in Roth and stretch the floor.  That
    doesn’t mean we need to run sets through him, just use him to create space – which
    he did.  Keying on the passing lanes was
    another mid-first half adjustment.  CTC
    recognized where MSU wanted to move the ball and told his guys to jump that
    pass.  This created a slew of turnovers
    in a short period of time – not coincidence. 

     

    No coach is without
    imperfections.  I thought CTC should’ve used
    a timeout around the 8 min mark in the second half.  However, I don’t pretend that this is
    something he didn’t recognize/consider.  Instead,
    he tried to let his guys’ weather the storm, possibly thinking it would be a
    game that came down to a few possessions. 
    By keeping his timeouts, he would have the ability to draw up a few
    strategic set plays. 

     

    I love the way Crean
    stays fiery on the sideline.  Although
    this is one of his most noticeable attributes from a fan’s perspective, I
    understand that there is more to his coaching abilities than “rah-rah’s and pom
    poms.”  That is simply ridiculous. ‘Nuff
    said. 

  • HoosierSmitty

    I agree. And with the way IU has played to start the 2nd half of games this year, you know CTC can coach and adjust. He’s done it after timeouts before as well, but I do agree…sometimes you almost wonder if things just don’t occur to him and his staff quickly enough to get the TO called and adjust. 

  • HoosierSmitty

    I agree. And with the way IU has played to start the 2nd half of games this year, you know CTC can coach and adjust. He’s done it after timeouts before as well, but I do agree…sometimes you almost wonder if things just don’t occur to him and his staff quickly enough to get the TO called and adjust. 

  • HoosierSmitty

    Liked especially for the Draymond Green comment. But now I can’t stop picturing him in pig tails rolling around the ground crying like a baby…man I’m too hungover to laugh right now…

  • Kelin Blab

    Some on here are writing the script for Dan Dakich show today…
    + IU lost a game, the 76 undefeated team can rest ez now.
    + IU lost a game, we hate Crean as a coach, his offense is aweful …(Same one he ran against KY)
    + IU lost a game, Hulls should transfer, he hurts the team, he can’t shoot.
    + We need to run the motion offense, run Roth and Hulls off screens like Alford

    Did I miss any other over reactions? Just want to make sure I cover them all. IMO IU lost because MSU is a good team, a good team at home, with a great coach. IU didn’t get to the F/T line enough, and gave up some ez baskets late with some defensive lapses. Finally, we missed shots we normally make. BALLGAME!

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t watching that close but I thought he was more upset with himself for a dumb foul than complaining. Kinda like VJ3’s little scene after his foul late in the game, think he was upset with his play on offense and not the foul call.

  • defendtherock

    Question: How many times this year have we started a game ‘so-so’, and then at around the the second tv timeout we start taking over the game?
    Answer: Almost every game this year.  There have been a few exceptions, but for the most part we have taken over the game at that point.

    There are two reasons for this.  1. Will coming off the bench to spark us.  2. Coach making in game adjustments. 

    You cannot give all of the credit to Will.  We really missed him last night.  In fact, I think we win with him.  They wouldn’t have gone on such big runs on us with his energy off of our bench. 

    I actually thought that coach mixed in the zone at good times last night.  I just don’t know why Cody looked so clueless in the zone.  He was bad on defense during their second half run. 

    We picked a bad night for Jordy, Cody, and Elston to all have a terrible game.  AND we still were up 9 with 11 minutes to go.  At that point we had to sub, and we lost all momentum. 

  • Kelin Blab

    This is easily the comment and poster of the year. Great stats!

  • sully10

    cody has to want the ball!!!! i didnt see him work his butt off to get open all night.

  • sully10

    cody has to want the ball!!!! i didnt see him work his butt off to get open all night.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Victor Oladipo is becoming a man right before our eyes… 

    How awesome is it to see VO under some semblance of control this year… 

    I was just thinking back to last year with him trying to dunk everything or make crazy reverse layups that made me slap my forehand and wonder if this guy was just going to be good for the dunk contest during Midnight Madness. 

    But now he’s balanced, he slashes to the hoop with purpose AND control AND finishes. His jumper is improved. He demonstrated all of that last night. 

    The kid is a real steal in the 2010 recruiting class. 

  • Kelin Blab

    No need for me to take you off the ledge, you did so yourself. Life does go on and IU beats OSU at home there will be vastly different reactions

  • Anonymous

    Good post.  It’s true that with Pritchard’s severe offensive and rebounding limitations, and with Elston’s continued ineffectiveness, the bench is thin even with Sheehey able to play.  And I thought that our guys got somewhat tired in the last ten minutes as a result, causing the reduced defensive intensity and the loss.  Which is why I keep hoping for the rapid development of Abell and Etherington.  This team would be readier for the Big Ten wars if those two could give us the sort of production Sheehey and Oladipo gave us last year..

  • defendtherock

    It is crazy how people expect us to be a .500 team before the season, then after we get off to a good start, expect us to go undefeated.  People need to relax! It was one ROAD game, and two of our starters played the worst game of their careers (Zeller, Hulls).  We will overcome.  It is a process.

  • Anonymous

    Dribbling has been an issue for all of the Indiana teams in the Crean era.  This was really the first time they showed too much dribbling.  That is why I like the motion offense more than the dribble drive.  In motion offense, if things break down, you move (the ball, cut, screen).  In the dribble drive however, if things break down you have the tendency to dribble and dribble and dribble.  I know Crean won’t change his offense, but he needs to work something out to do when things break down.

  • Anonymous

    I’m becoming more comfortable with Abell as the backup point guard in the next couple years, but agree that Hanner’s development is absolutely critical.  Let’s hope we get a good big for 2013, and/or for Jurkin to surprise big time.

  • Anonymous

    I’m becoming more comfortable with Abell as the backup point guard in the next couple years, but agree that Hanner’s development is absolutely critical.  Let’s hope we get a good big for 2013, and/or for Jurkin to surprise big time.

  • PistolPat411

    Maybe it was just me, but I felt our defense was killing our offense… At the beginning of the ga,e we couldn’t get running because we didn’t fight through ball screens on D, wood would nail the shot and then they got set on D and we were screwed. Once we started fighting and extending defenders on those high screens we got more steals and forced bad shots leading to quick baskets in transition. After our big run we started playing lazy D again and forced mismatches on ourselves. Example was when we switched CWat on to Appling and he drove right by him, also why in the world did we try to play zone, we never play zone??? Lots of stuff to work on if we want to win 11 or 12 in the B1G

  • hoosiergirl

    Zeller can’t score if you don’t pass it to him. 5 shots, the only touches he had. 

  • hoosiergirl

    Also, you aren’t going to win by passing it back and forth to each other 30 feet from the basket for the first 30 seconds of your possession. 

  • Jdewitt82

    Coaching has nothing to do with loss hulls had an off night. We wore down in the end. We missed sheeheey.

  • WeWant6

    Can somebody please be hard on Cody!  Everyone is saying that this is Zeller’s worst outing and yes that is true, but has anybody watched him in games before?  During the Notre Dame game (which I was at along with every one before that) everybody said Cody was amazing!  What I saw was Cody getting rebounds and put backs.  What everyone doesn’t see is what Cody does without the ball.  He stands with his shoulder on the defender’s shoulder.  He does not post up hard at all.  Has anyone thought of that being the reason he doesn’t get the ball in the post?  He gets fronted by everyone and never establishes position.  When he does establish position he is 6 feet off the block and can’t do anything with the ball.  He is a 7 footer that plays like he is 6’7.  I have never seen such a big man play so small.  I’m not saying he is a bad player because I do believe he will be top 2 in Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and he will be a future All-American.  All I am saying is that he needs work.  He needs somebody to teach him how to hold people off while posting up like Tyler does at UNC.  He has great footwork and is a hell of a player, but he needs more work than people think. Yes, he is a freshman, but if people don’t hold him accountable and say it’s alright for him to make mistakes then he can’t get better.  He needs to be criticized, and somebody needs to work with him constantly to make him better.

  • Michael Jay

    You must have been out getting a beer when that continuation call was made early in the MSU run.

  • Michael Jay

    You must have been out getting a beer when that continuation call was made early in the MSU run.

  • IUSTL

    I disagree with the CTC at fault. The fact is IU is not ready, player wise, for a team the level of MSU. MSU is likely the best team we will play all year and they exposed why IU is not quite there yet. CTC did what he had to do to try and pull off what would have been a big upset. it did not work, if it had you would be hailing him as hero.

    Bottom line is you still need the players to win.

    1) JH for all the positives, can’t defend quick, athletic point guards. No one on the IU team can. We have to wait for Yogi before we see a cure. Opposing guards driving to the basket for points will be common this year.
    2) Lack of quality bench- We only have six players that are true Big Ten players and can play the style CTC desires. Players 7-13 on the bench will often be a liability in Big Ten games because they are not fast enough, strong enough or good enough. With WS out we were down to 5 players.
    3) Inside strengh. enough said. We really need Jukin to be a man- mountian in the middle.

    All that said I think IU showed alot of effort, played to some of their strenghs and overall would get a solid “B” for their game at MSU  Their weakness( see above) can’t be expoited by all teams as well as MSU did so a 12-6 Conference record is still in the works. 

  • Whowhowho

    We were in the top10 in scoring because our SOS was 315 out of 345 (per sagarin).  Early schedule did not help prepare us for this road game.  BUT, I still think it was good for us overall to build confidence.

  • CreamandCrimson

    And criticism coming from someone on this site is going to make him better.  If you think he doesn’t ridden hard by the coaching staff you are mistaken. 

    People on this site aren’t saying he has never made a mistake.  You’ve never seen a big man play smaller than his size would suggest?  No hyperbole there.  You make some good points…Zeller has a lot of things to learn and a lot of things to improve upon.  Guess what?  This was his first Big Ten game and improvement is something that will happen.  Look at how much Will and Victor have improved in one season.  Ripping him on this site for a poor game at Michigan State isn’t going to improve him, praising him won’t improve him.  He had a bad game, we know it, he knows it, the coaching staff knows it and what they say to him and what he takes from it is what matters.

  • Brklynhoosier

    And the real crazy part (and I see this in Will, too) is that for as much as they’ve gotten better, you can still see clear room for more growth. Given how much they’ve already improved, I’m really looking forward to watching them the next 2-3 years.

  • JerryCT

    CTC said the game was a chance to learn. Here is what I think we should learn:

    + We need an offense ( UCLA , Rupp’s old KY etc ) where we feed CZ on the high post then cut 2 players off of him very hard , if he cannot feed the cutters ( VO, WS, VJ3, CW ) then CZ himself drives the ball. He will be less muscled as his defender must watch the cutters and he is likely to be fouled on his drive.

    + Low post feeds from the wing are not working becasue they are not in a flow of ball movement and often telegraphed. I think this comes from the ball pressure teams in the B1G have learned to put on Hulls causing delays of the pass to the wing and the feed. Hulls and  VJ3 need to hit the wing or high post as soon as they pass half court and not delay.

    + As I have said many times until we figure a way to compensate for Hulls on defense we are going to have disappointments like tonight , though I never expected a win.  Too bad the zone was so pathetic becasue that might be our best chance to compensate for Hulls. Maybe we should work a little more on it since it could come in handy vs PSU, Minn, PU

  • oregoniu

    Over reaction, that wasn’t what most on here have been posting. I believe it can be said that all of us here are thrilled with this team so far, but most of what you call negative comments have been pointing out what was oberserved by avid fans watching this game. This is a forum and there will be pro and con comments, that’s what it’s about. We all LOVE IU BB!!

  • 1FloridaHoosier

    Exactly! I kept yelling at the screen, ‘Why are we slowing the play down? We stink when we do that!” But, alas, no one listened! We lose big time! When something is working, don’t fix it! Can’t understand the decision to slow the play down when doing what we do best is working so well. Just rambling, but boy was I upset!

  • Anonymous

    Im not pinning this on CTC completely either, but why not tell Roth after he nailed those from our own area code, “Dude, EVERYTIME you get the ball, i want you to at least shot fake to keep them scared of your range.”

    BTW, i think it was Gus who said, “NOBODY guards anyone out that far” after Roth hit his 2nd long distance shot.

    Use what’s working until it doesn’t work, then find the next thing that’s working.

  • Anonymous

    Im not pinning this on CTC completely either, but why not tell Roth after he nailed those from our own area code, “Dude, EVERYTIME you get the ball, i want you to at least shot fake to keep them scared of your range.”

    BTW, i think it was Gus who said, “NOBODY guards anyone out that far” after Roth hit his 2nd long distance shot.

    Use what’s working until it doesn’t work, then find the next thing that’s working.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the refs cost us the game, but they didn’t help.  They Kept Cody out of the game.  Mich Sts MO was to beat the heck out of him the whole game and deny him position.  In the B1G, that means hacking the crap out of a guy.  Cody will just have to learn from this.  When you play in the big ten, you have to play by those rules, that is why the road is so much harder in this league.

  • Anonymous

    I have slept since the game and it is now much more clearer.  MSU is great.  We played great.  The team looks great!   Everyone played to their abilities and we will be great. 

     I have been an IU fan since ’75.  I was born in Bloomington, My family has 4 generations that have graduated from IU and I am part of that history.  I have watched games and dreamed of hitting that game winning shot as a kid. The fight song brings a tear to my eye everytime I hear it.  I have raised a daughter to love this University and to bleed red.  I stand behind my previous comments that were deleted cause I spoke the same message that many have written.  I see that this is a place to post only the comments that the moderators want to read.  An email would be nice to describe what was written that led to the post being deleted.

     I have supported our team and I think we have the right coach to take us to the next level.  I love our players and support them by going to games and cheering them from home.   I support this team with the clothing that I wear, the IU plate on my car and the money I spend to go to games.  I also believe when they don’t play to their abilities and do not give the same efforts as past Hoosiers that we as fans have the right to hold them accountable.  There are lots of reasons that have been posted that played a role in the score.  My reasons were not any different or wrong.

    I am a fan and love IU.  I will have a full house for the game against Ohio State and will be cheering on our Hoosiers to another victory. 

  • Anonymous

    Yes, did you watch the game?   We played for 10 minutes and the rest of the game looked like the past 3 years.  I love our team, but I don’t have my crimson glasses.

  • Anonymous

    I stand corrected.

  • 323SGrant

    Why not spread the floor with shooters, e.g., Watford and Roth, let CZ get the ball at the high post with the slower Nix on him and let CZ drive and if he is double teamed kick it out to a shooter. If he is not doubled take the drive all the way on Nix. No way Nix can stay with CZ on the drive. Play to CZ’s strength.

  • CreamandCrimson

    If you made the comments about certain players needing to be “flushed out”…I support the moderators decision to yank your post.  You can criticize a player’s performance but nothing is gained by calling for a player to be forced to leave the program.  If that wasn’t what your post was about, I apologize.  I do know any personal attacks, vulgarity or profanity aren’t allowed and comments containing those things are deleted.  I, and many other readers on here, appreciate that and support Alex and the rest of the moderators to keep those things off this site.  Again, I don’t know what your post said but those could be the reasons.

  • CreamandCrimson

    If you made the comments about certain players needing to be “flushed out”…I support the moderators decision to yank your post.  You can criticize a player’s performance but nothing is gained by calling for a player to be forced to leave the program.  If that wasn’t what your post was about, I apologize.  I do know any personal attacks, vulgarity or profanity aren’t allowed and comments containing those things are deleted.  I, and many other readers on here, appreciate that and support Alex and the rest of the moderators to keep those things off this site.  Again, I don’t know what your post said but those could be the reasons.

  • Anonymous

    I love jordy, he’s great for iu basketball. Last night showed me how bad we need yogi. Jordy was completely outclassed by quicker guards. He cannot guard at all. I see yogi learning alot from jordy but I don’t see how he can be second string to hulls. They swing the ball away from the post just as zeller fights his way into position. It’s very frustrating

  • Anonymous

    I don’t remember all that I wrote.  I was very upset with the effort.  I don’t want anyone to leave.  I don’t believe I used any personal attacks.  My comments were the rantings of a diehard IU fan that saw a win escape without reasons.  We know it is tough to win on the road, but that is what good teams do and don’t make excuses.  We did not play the whole game with a desire to win.  We were not beaten by better talent or a better coach.  We were beaten by a will to win and effort.  I am not sure if this will stay on here.