The Minute After: Ohio State

  • 01/15/2012 7:05 pm in

Thoughts on a 80-63 loss against the Buckeyes:

Few, save for Jared Fogle, predicted a victory against the Buckeyes this late afternoon in Columbus.

They were out for revenge against an Indiana squad that defeated them on New Year’s Eve; they’d lost a tough one in Champaign earlier this week with Brandon Paul hitting everything in sight. As Dana O’Neil tweeted: “Never play the Buckeyes when they’re angry.”

But a first-half performance this putrid inside Value City Arena? Oy. Indiana had problems all over the place to start this one. The Hoosiers couldn’t buy a bucket, only having 14 points at the break, mustering just an eFG% of 29.5. They allowed 11 second-chance points to the Buckeyes, who sported an OR% of  37.5. Indiana also turned the ball over too much (12 turnovers, 37.5 TO%). And then there was Lenzelle Smith Jr. He came into this one averaging 5.2 points per game. At half, he had 18. When the final buzzer sounded, Smith had a career-high 28 on 10-of-12 shooting, including four 3-pointers.

But the second half? Indiana held its own. The shooting recovered (it finished with a 49.1 eFG% ) and the 3-point shot — which had been dormant against Minnesota and in the fist half  of this one — came to life a bit as Indiana hit 7-of-21 (33.3%) on the evening. Not as good as they’ve been hitting. But not as bad as the first half was projecting. Indiana went 2-3 zones for stretches, which helped slow the Buckeyes some. And the turnovers cooled down (17 total, 26.0 TO% for the game). The Hoosiers also outscored the Buckeyes in the second half, 49-45.

So after all is said and done here, Indiana — a team that was a 13-point underdog this morning and was given just a 16% chance of victory by KenPom — lost by 17. Bad? Sure. Season-altering, sky-is-falling bad after Thursday’s loss to Minnesota? I don’t think so.

The truth is this: Indiana probably isn’t as good as its 15-1 record indicated. And they probably aren’t one of the seven-best teams in the country. This does not mean they’re not worthy of a high seed come the tournament. Or that they can’t still challenge for one of the top spots in the conference . Or that they still can’t remain in the Top 25 for the remainder of the season.

But adversity has hit for the first time all year. And how these group of young men respond to it could ultimately tell the tale on this season.

Filed to:

  • InTheMtns

    Yep. We’ve seen this week that we’re not top ten (yet), but we’re back.

  • InTheMtns

    Agree. Losing to a team the caliber of OSU on their court is not the end of the world (or season). I think this team has the moxie to bounce back and win a good portion of the remaining games. At the same time, I have some serious concerns about our defense, especially against more athletic teams and don’t think this will be our last loss. Nebraska played well today against Wisconsin so even that game isn’t going to be easy. As Andrew noted above, it’s now the most important game of the season.

  • InTheMtns

    Agree. Losing to a team the caliber of OSU on their court is not the end of the world (or season). I think this team has the moxie to bounce back and win a good portion of the remaining games. At the same time, I have some serious concerns about our defense, especially against more athletic teams and don’t think this will be our last loss. Nebraska played well today against Wisconsin so even that game isn’t going to be easy. As Andrew noted above, it’s now the most important game of the season.

  • InTheMtns

    “Plus VJ doesn’t like to feed Cody.”  Huh, where’s that come from? VJ is the best of our guards at feeding Cody.

  • InTheMtns

    Swishmac, I just finished reading 80 posts and it seems to me that most of the regulars on ITH have remained pretty upbeat after today’s loss.  Those who’ve been saying we’re back, Crean should be coach of the year, etc. haven’t turned at all.  CTC and certain players have always had critics on  ITH and if they are still critical today, then they haven’t turned either.  Every time we lose there are always folks who jump on here to complain and try to lump all the blame on one or two people’s perceived shortcomings.  Some people always enjoy saying “I told you so,” I guess because it makes them feel smart or something.  A lot of fans are fickle that way, so I get your point.  But by in large, I haven’t seen that be the case with the regulars on this blog.

  • hoosierdaddy3

    I am hoping this isn’t serious… Duke just won a title in Indianapolis living off the 3, and VCR made the Final Four by shooting the 3 last year. The last time the Hoosiers made the Final Four they were a lights out 3 point team. I’m not going go on and on about that, though, because it’s quite ridiculous. One bad performance and you’re out regardless of your style of play, that’s why the tournament is so exciting.

    To fault Crean for only going to the Final Four with Wade and Deiner is just silly. Painter didn’t make it past the Sweet Sixteen with Johnson and Moore, does he suck? Coach K
    hasn’t won a title without an All-American, so he must just be okay… Come on people, this team is still being rebuilt. They lack depth, size, and experience needed to win big conference games on the road. UNC just lost to FSU by about 30 on the road, and they’re more talented and deeper with more experience than our Hoosiers. Roy Williams must be a moron, right?

    My suggestion is to relax and enjoy the season. There will be more duds like this week, but hopefully some games like UK and OSU part 1 along the way.

  • Shime

    A true point gaurd will help with the entry passes. Plus this our first year of needing to feed the post. Who was we going to feed it to.

  • sHIME

    Exactly these posters are to much. REALLY

  • Tje2517

    Where is the pride? Where is the hustle? Where is the defense? Is it there? I don’t know about all of you, but I remember seeing better efforts from myself and other basketball players when I was 12-13 years old. Maybe these kids just aren’t that good, maybe they aren’t getting prepared, focused, something. Something is missing and it has been missing for a while. We haven’t played well since the OSU game in my opinion. 

    Need to come out on Wednesday and give that Nebraska team a thumpin’ if we are to be taken seriously. Too many indecisive wins, lack of defense, just looks like a lack of intensity and fire. 

  • Tje2517

    Where is the pride? Where is the hustle? Where is the defense? Is it there? I don’t know about all of you, but I remember seeing better efforts from myself and other basketball players when I was 12-13 years old. Maybe these kids just aren’t that good, maybe they aren’t getting prepared, focused, something. Something is missing and it has been missing for a while. We haven’t played well since the OSU game in my opinion. 

    Need to come out on Wednesday and give that Nebraska team a thumpin’ if we are to be taken seriously. Too many indecisive wins, lack of defense, just looks like a lack of intensity and fire. 

  • Tom Eke

    Not sure why you included Kendrick Perkins in this list with 3 players who have hall of fame potential…

    Otherwise I agree with your statements, though you devalue Thomas in a pretty harsh manner.

  • Tom Eke

    Cody Zeller STILL has not seen the ball enough whether coaching staff is failing to game plan to get him the ball or entry passes are not being made to him. The kid went 7 for 9 tonight, and could not have touched the ball more than 20 times on offense. Just give him a heat check. The kid is ridiculously talented (as everyone has seen) and needs to be touching the ball literally EVERY time we go down the court. If they begin to double, he has the smarts to pass out, and if they play him one on one, he will make them pay just like everyone else who has this year. 

    Some fans seem frustrated, but I feel like that is more of a byproduct of MN loss the other night rather than today. Lets keep in mind that OSU murdered Duke at home (a team who seems to win and lose in the same way as IU [lots of points and at times poor rebouding]). If you had told me we would go 2-1  against UK/OSU at the start of the year, I would tell you you were joking, and I think most teams in the country would be happy to do so.

  • DagwoodsDave

    “CTC part II, I don’t know how exactly, but we need to put Matt Roth in a situation to shoot 10 times a game. I don’t care if it’s from half court. Put 5 plays in just for Matt.”

    Agreed.  It was very frustrating watching him just set up in the corner and stand there.  
    When they were down as much as they where, they needed a spark. 

    And yes, they need to get the ball to Zeller.  Doesn’t even need to be down low — he made a few moves from the elbow as well. 

    All is not lost.  But this is the key part of the season.  Need to stack a few wins and beat WI on the road.  Get some momentum back.   

  • Kfdchev

    I seen this in the Minn. game and again on Sunday. A player gets beat on the dribble and instead of us busting tail to catch up we would just let them go and someone else try to pick them up. The down side is the help defense either isnt there or they pick up a foul. The same thing is happening on the boards. I see players standing there and watching the other team get the rebounds. Get off you feet and get some boards and play some defense! If we had played these games and gave effort I would be dissapointed in the fact that we got beat but able to deal with it from the standpoint of being a fan but this crap of just showing up and rolling over when the other team punches you in the mouth is getting pretty old. This is three games in a row that our effort hasnt been what I think it should be. These kids have got to pick it up and and they have got to do it NOW! If we get beat @ Nebraska we are in real trouble with this season. We will below .500 in the conference and trips coming in the next three weeks to Wisconsin, Michigan and Purdue. The time for this team to get their issues figured out is right now. There is no tomorrow if they keep up with their current mindset and playing style. Turn it around boys!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Oladipo and Sheehey have A LOT to prove before they are considered professional players.  Victor is point guard sized by NBA standards and he doesn’t have anything close to a reliable jumpshot.  Will is probably a 2-guard in the NBA and will need to get immensely better from behind the arc to be effective in the league.  I get what you are saying but these guys have a long way to go before they are considered professional players.

  • CreamandCrimson

    It appears not too many people are particularly surprised by today’s result (include me in that camp). 

    -Ohio State came out for blood and we weren’t ready for it.  The one thing I am surprised about is that it was Lenzelle Smith Jr. that was killing us.  Didn’t see that one coming. 
    -Our offense was putrid in the first half.  Really awful.  Too many turnovers.  That includes Hulls!  He had five turnovers and five assists, VJIII had three turnovers and two assists.  No need to compare them and rag on either one of them.  They were both bad. 
    -Cody Zeller was really good again.  He is one of the most efficient players in the country and we have to get him more than 9 shot attempts. 

    We can all agree we were overrated at #7.  Realistically, we are probably a fringe-top 25 team.  We can still get a 4 or 5 seed in the NCAA tourney which is beyond our wildest expectations entering the season.  However, this team has to stick together and get their confidence back.  It’s a long and grinding season, this team has to stay with it!  Look at the next 4 games…at Nebraska, vs. Penn State, at Wisconsin and vs. Iowa.  You need to find a way to go 3-1 in that stretch.   This week is absolutely critical.  Go 1-1 and things start to come apart at the seams.  Go 0-2 and we are officially in a nosedive.  Go 2-0 (like we should) and we are 5-3 in the conference and have some confidence back heading to Madison.  IU isn’t playing particularly well right now and a good start on Wednesday is essential.  The funny thing about confidence is that it can come and go very quickly…hit a few shots early and we can get back on track.

  • CreamandCrimson

    It appears not too many people are particularly surprised by today’s result (include me in that camp). 

    -Ohio State came out for blood and we weren’t ready for it.  The one thing I am surprised about is that it was Lenzelle Smith Jr. that was killing us.  Didn’t see that one coming. 
    -Our offense was putrid in the first half.  Really awful.  Too many turnovers.  That includes Hulls!  He had five turnovers and five assists, VJIII had three turnovers and two assists.  No need to compare them and rag on either one of them.  They were both bad. 
    -Cody Zeller was really good again.  He is one of the most efficient players in the country and we have to get him more than 9 shot attempts. 

    We can all agree we were overrated at #7.  Realistically, we are probably a fringe-top 25 team.  We can still get a 4 or 5 seed in the NCAA tourney which is beyond our wildest expectations entering the season.  However, this team has to stick together and get their confidence back.  It’s a long and grinding season, this team has to stay with it!  Look at the next 4 games…at Nebraska, vs. Penn State, at Wisconsin and vs. Iowa.  You need to find a way to go 3-1 in that stretch.   This week is absolutely critical.  Go 1-1 and things start to come apart at the seams.  Go 0-2 and we are officially in a nosedive.  Go 2-0 (like we should) and we are 5-3 in the conference and have some confidence back heading to Madison.  IU isn’t playing particularly well right now and a good start on Wednesday is essential.  The funny thing about confidence is that it can come and go very quickly…hit a few shots early and we can get back on track.

  • Anonymous

    There was nothing wrong with the offense in the second half; after all, they scored 49 points.  It’s the defense that’s the biggest problem.  What worried me most was the way they got rattled in the first half after they missed some shots and saw the home cooking served by the refs.  You’d think they would know by now that’s always going to happen on the road in this conference.

  • Will The Thrill

    It’s amazing how our collective IQ drops by about 30% after a loss – or is it that the people who normally sit on their typing stumps decide to come out when we stumble?  I’m thinking choice B.  

    I’m not concerned about losses in January.  If getting a 1 or 2 seed was a guarantee to tournament success, I’d be PO’d about the last two games.  All I care about is how they are playing late in the season.  In case you have missed it, the tournament is all about who is hot and improving their game late season – early or mid-season slumps play ZERO in to that equation (pending they don’t take you out of tourney contention of course).  Heck it even holds true in the NFL (goodbye Pack!) and in MLB (St. Louis made it in on the last day of the season).  In sports where there is parity, it’s all about finishing, not racking up a stellar regular season record.

  • Anonymous

    I suspect that there will be a significant learning curve for Yogi trying to make good decisions on his penetrations.  Let’s hope he learns as quickly as Burke has.

  • Anonymous

    Does it matter?  Is Hulls effectively guarding the 1 now?

  • Anonymous

    Yet Cody has consistently been called for twice as many fouls as he has committed in the Big Ten season.  The refs aren’t swallowing their whistles when it comes to him.

  • Anonymous

    Yet Cody has consistently been called for twice as many fouls as he has committed in the Big Ten season.  The refs aren’t swallowing their whistles when it comes to him.

  • NervousWreck

    Defense.  It’s ALL about Defense.  What got IU to the 15-1 record (and the big wins over the big teams) was a strong defensive effort which in turn fueled the offense.  If they can find a way to get back on track – we’ll be in good shape.  The good shooting will ALWAYS be available, but this team thrives on getting a turnover a quick score.  The half-court offense can work for this team when they play inferior talent, but it’s best when they’re up tempo and high energy.

    Sure IU can win without it – but you won’t beat good teams on the road – or at home.  You’ll just be able to win games like we did against Penn State.  

  • Anonymous

    +1.  Nebraska on the road is not going to be an easy game and the results will be telling.  A loss will not bode well for the rest of the season.

  • cooper

    I expected a blowout. IU is a top 20 team right now, not top 10. I don’t take much from holding our own in the second half though. OSU was hardly putting forth the same effort.

    Losing streak needs to stop here, can’t let it snowball.

  • Anonymous

    After these last two games, i’ve decide our 2-3 zone is pretty poor and would like crean to run the offense around cody,  the ball should at least touch his hands in almost every offensive possession.  I was upset last night, but in reality we are 15 and 3 that is much better than i anticipated for this season.  We need to bounce back and start playing with a since of urgency again!!

  • Kelin Blab

    Keep in mind I said they are professional players….didn’t say NBA. As I friend of mine did, he had a great career playing in Spain til he was 40 with same skill set as VO and Will. My point is, OSU guys are not that superior than IU when it comes being pro’s or athletes.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s just agree that he tries..often with the ball heading the other way after the pass.

    ditto Hulls

  • Anonymous

    agree on this one..but if Jones doesn’t pick it up..Crean has to do something..u can live with his TO’s if he’s getting points..he’s not doing that lately either.

  • Anonymous

    anybody else notice how fumbled fingers the Hoosiers have become. It’s as though the last 3 games somebody sprayed butter on the ball every possession..I mean just a lot of balls off the hands and fingers..for passes rebounds etc. We’re causing ourselves more dflections than we are getting from the opponet. Strange..or just maybe the way the ball is going to bounce for IU for a while.

  • Anonymous

    The guy who posted  he didn’t want 5-10 guards isn’t gonna be very happy with Yogi. Sure he’s quick..but is gonna be taken to the hole and posted. Better D for sure..but still have issues until we have a big 2 guard who can defend and score. Yogi is gonna be much better with  the ball and defending it..not sure where Hulls fits in next year..they will still like his offense and Crean never disrespcts a senior. Let’s just get this group back on track..get into the NCAA and let the staff worry about the little details later:)

  • Brklynhoosier

    Have to agree w/ this.  Look:  that’s a really, really good team that’ll beat us 9 times out of 10.  I don’t think we won in B-ton because we’re great.  I think we won because Thomas and Sullinger had to play soft w/ fouls and Craft kept throwing the ball away.  To me, the biggest problem for us now is we don’t sneak up on teams anymore — they’re ready for us.  Up to us now — time to improve and adjust.

  • Brklynhoosier

    ’01-’02

  • Anonymous

    Sick of the “x’s and o’s” comment. It’s unoriginal and baseless. 

  • Anonymous

    There won’t be any teams win at OSU this year so I’m not too worried about the loss but the effort is somewhat a concern.  I’m still happy to see our boys battle the second half.  I think we will be okay.  Before the B1G season started I told one of my Illini friends if we finish .500 in the conference I will be happy and he said the the same thing for the Illini.  B1G is ridiculous this year.  There are still 2 months left in the season.  I trust CTC will make sure these guys stay focused over the next few weeks and finish strong.

    Has anybody mentioned……Give Zeller the freaking ball!!!!!!

    Also……start Will Sheehey!!!

  • Brklynhoosier

    Feed the Z and play better D!

  • Brklynhoosier

    Feed the Z and play better D!

  • Anonymous

    I think that’s a little unfair.  They certainly didn’t work that hard last night.  But surely, part of defense is athleticism, particularly on the perimeter. 

    Take Jordan Hulls.  He’s just too slow to guard good big ten point guards.  He works his tail off, but he’s just not quick enough to defend in the big ten.  

    I love the kid, but he is a defensive liability.     

  • CreamandCrimson

    Point taken.  You are correct.  They will be professional players somewhere if they want to be.  

  • Anonymous

    Is it playing tight, or is it a combination of playing tight, playing better competition, and losing the ability to “sneak up” on people?

    The bonus is that (theoretically,) the two toughest games (at MSU and OSU,) on the schedule are out of the way.

  • Anonymous

    One game’s not a disaster.  I remember seeing a Bob Knight-coached IU team that was pretty loaded go to Minnesota and get beaten by 50.

  • Anonymous

    One game’s not a disaster.  I remember seeing a Bob Knight-coached IU team that was pretty loaded go to Minnesota and get beaten by 50.

  • Anonymous

    I was screaming this the last couple of games and could not agree more.  I love Jordan Hulls.  He has the ability to take over games with his shooting and his leadership on the floor is much needed.  But, he is absolutely a defensive liability in the Big 10.  His man, any man, can take him off the dribble and we are forced to play 4 on 5, giving up easy layups.  If Remy could develop a consistent shot, he would eat up way more of Jordan’s minutes. 

    Yogi to the rescue next year. 

  • Guest

    I think you’re right.  Kentucky probably will too.  I just never really wanted to be in that category, don’t know about the rest of the Hoosier faithful.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve thought the same thing about Zeller’s shooting, but part of the reason he’s shooting 65% is because he generally only takes really good shots and doesn’t try to force things.While they do miss him at times, by and large he doesn’t get the ball as much as we’d all like because he isn’t open due to other teams packing in against him.  If they start throwing it down there when it’s not really available either a turnover occurs or Cody doesn’t really have a shot.

  • Dschwind

    First post ever. 

    Start Will Sheehey, bench Verdell.

    This is not an earth-shatteringly original thought.  This improves the starting lineup, however this may also improve Verdell’s play.  He wants to be the man, let him be the man off the bench with second unit.  Tell him, “Verdell, we need someone to provide quick offense off the bench”.  Maybe this jump starts him.  Boom, now starting lineup is better and all of a sudden Verdell starts scoring again and re-gains confidence.  Could work.

  • Dschwind

    First post ever. 

    Start Will Sheehey, bench Verdell.

    This is not an earth-shatteringly original thought.  This improves the starting lineup, however this may also improve Verdell’s play.  He wants to be the man, let him be the man off the bench with second unit.  Tell him, “Verdell, we need someone to provide quick offense off the bench”.  Maybe this jump starts him.  Boom, now starting lineup is better and all of a sudden Verdell starts scoring again and re-gains confidence.  Could work.

  • Guest

    I agree with most of what you say here.  The fanbase got a little caught up in the early success and got a little ahead of themselves, but I think so did the country as a whole.  #7 was really a stretch for our team.  It has been a fun season with lots of improvement over results of the last few seasons.  I also agree that talking now about next years lineup is unnecessaary.  I’d like it more if we talked about this years lineup.  You are spot on, our players went into Columbus and played like they knew we were losing this one.  We did get beat by a superior team in a game that I don’t mind losing (there).  I’m just waiting for the ‘you can’t play half a$$’ and expect to have CTC let you continue to do so portion of the schedule.  This loss doesn’t bother me.  The Minnesota loss does, the PSU game and the way we finished it does, some of what I saw in the Michigan game does.  What I’ve said for a long time though, and continue to say (at 12-0, 15-1, and now 15-3) is that Crean has got to lose the ‘we can prepare them, but we can’t force them to perform’ mantra and start penalizing some of the bad play we’re getting from our all-to-comfortable starters, or the remainder of the season is likely to undermine some of the progress made in the early stages.

  • Guest

    I agree with most of what you say here.  The fanbase got a little caught up in the early success and got a little ahead of themselves, but I think so did the country as a whole.  #7 was really a stretch for our team.  It has been a fun season with lots of improvement over results of the last few seasons.  I also agree that talking now about next years lineup is unnecessaary.  I’d like it more if we talked about this years lineup.  You are spot on, our players went into Columbus and played like they knew we were losing this one.  We did get beat by a superior team in a game that I don’t mind losing (there).  I’m just waiting for the ‘you can’t play half a$$’ and expect to have CTC let you continue to do so portion of the schedule.  This loss doesn’t bother me.  The Minnesota loss does, the PSU game and the way we finished it does, some of what I saw in the Michigan game does.  What I’ve said for a long time though, and continue to say (at 12-0, 15-1, and now 15-3) is that Crean has got to lose the ‘we can prepare them, but we can’t force them to perform’ mantra and start penalizing some of the bad play we’re getting from our all-to-comfortable starters, or the remainder of the season is likely to undermine some of the progress made in the early stages.