Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Illinois

  • 02/08/2013 9:26 am in

IU@ILLITH0002CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — After leading by 14 points on two separate occasions, Indiana couldn’t hold on Thursday night at Assembly Hall and the No. 1 Hoosiers dropped their second conference game 74-72 to Illinois. The loss moved IU into a three-way tie with Michigan and Michigan State for the Big Ten lead.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s loss to the Fighting Illini:

· About that final play: Tyler Griffey’s game-winning, wide-open layup will get all of the headlines, but Indiana’s inability to put Illinois away when it had the chance is the real story of this loss. One particular sequence that stood out: The Hoosiers led 55-41 with 12:55 remaining following a Will Sheehey dunk. Hanner Mosquera-Perea was subbed in for Cody Zeller at the 12:45 mark and gave up a layup and then a 3-point play. The Hoosiers would extend the lead back to double digits on a couple more occasions, but when there’s blood in the water on the road, allowing an opponent to quickly regain momentum can prove costly. “We didn’t put them away when we had the opportunity,” Tom Crean said postgame. “That’s really the bottom line.”

· Sheehey’s technical was unnecessary and costly: It may have seemed harmless at the time because Indiana was beginning to open things up on Illinois late in the first half, but the technical foul on Sheehey ended up being a crucial mistake. Debating whether the technical was deserved is futile, but it’s fair to wonder if Sheehey’s antics on the bench and also in the win at Purdue have given him a reputation with officials. Playing with an edge is one thing, but when it leads to picking up an unnecessary technical foul, it may be time to dial it back and just play.

· Cody Zeller didn’t get enough field goal attempts: Illinois had no one on its roster capable of guarding Cody Zeller and IU failed to take advantage of the foul trouble that plagued Nnanna Egwu all night. Zeller finished the night with just six field goal attempts. Christian Watford, Victor Oladipo, Yogi Ferrell and Sheehey all had more looks. Does Indiana need to do a better job of finding Zeller? Does Zeller need to do a better job of establishing position and calling for the ball? Probably a little bit of both, but when there’s a clear mismatch, Indiana needs to exploit it. Zeller still finished with a team-high 14 points because he got to the foul line six times (all in the first half), but getting the ball inside as the lead was evaporating may have changed the outcome.

· Indiana shot better, rebounded better, had a better free throw rate and still lost: The Hoosiers came out on top of this game in effective field goal percentage, offensive rebounding percentage and free throw rate and still managed to come up short. The reason? Turnovers. The Hoosiers coughed up the ball 14 times in all, including eight in the second half. Six of the turnovers came from Watford, his highest total since his freshman season. In Big Ten play, Indiana is turning the ball over on 20.4 percent of its possessions, which is the second worst mark in the league. As effective and potent as Indiana is on offense, it simply can’t afford to give opponents extra possessions and expect to get away with it.

· This loss changes the Big Ten race: Indiana was up just one game in the loss column, but the Hoosiers are now tied with Michigan and Michigan State. Those are two teams Indiana still has to play on the road and one glance at the remaining road slate shows that things won’t get any easier from here. Trips to Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota and Michigan are on the horizon, which is the downside to IU’s backloaded road schedule. Michigan’s remaining road games: Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State and Purdue. Michigan State’s remaining road games: Purdue, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan. It’s likely that 14-4 will at least earn a share of the conference crown, but for IU to get there, the Hoosiers would need to hold serve and split the remaining road games.

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  • Sherronhasaheadache

    turnovers killed us

  • gdfost

    Victor should not have had the ball in that situation! Yogi is the best ball handler and can create his own shot way more effectively than Victor.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    i said it couple weeks ago that HMP was the most overrated recruit since charlie miller. light years away from playing in the BIG

  • sloan screen #45

    Have you watched this team the last two years? Its common knowledge that when Watford plays well this team goes from good to great. Even CTC will tell you that. WHY? Thats my question. Thats too much of an influence on this team from a guy who has for 3.5 years failed to bring a consistent respectable effort night in and night out. Dont give me the everybody has a bad game crap, either. Thats CWats MO. Great game against Michigan. Terrible game last night. Thats CWat. 6 TOs last night by our supposed senior leader? And he is not even a ballhandler. No, Jeremy is not gonna carry this team. Plenty of other guys to do that. Jeremy is extremely talented. I am just saying when CWat decides not to show up like last night, give Jeremy some of those minutes. He cant be much worse than CWat was last night. Now when CWat shows up, like v Michigan, go ahead and let him play over Jeremy. Or play them at the same time.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That’s a really good point and one I have to had to continually remind myself of over the last 12 hours. If we follow the thinking of “we have no chance because of this loss” and look at just this season, how many teams do have a chance? Kansas doesn’t (lost to OK. State and TCU), Florida doesn’t (lost at Arkansas and were down by almost 30), Ohio State doesn’t (lost to Illinois). Duke (got blown out by Miami and lost to NC State), Arizona (lost to UCLA at home)…everyone gets the point.

    Damaging loss? Yes. Concerning meltdown? Yes. A loss that prevents us from winning from the National Title or B1G title, no. Everyone knows that, it’s just difficult to think about those things when the last thing you saw this team do was meltdown and get court-stormed. I admittedly like to be happy so I think of the week before when we beat MSU, drilled Purdue in Mackey and beat Michigan.

  • sloan screen #45

    No, you are not. Read my post above.

  • Hoosier1981

    To me starting Remy is not the answer. The guy makes horrible decisions, turns the ball over, and picks up silly fouls.

  • Hoosiers1981

    I agree. Brandon Paul gets breathed on and they were all over the whistle. Meanwhile Watford and Zeller get hammered all night and no call? Moving screens to open up Richardson’s three pointers? I try to never blame the officiating, and to be sure IU should have never been in that position, but the refs helped Illinois during their final run…

  • wesmont

    I agree completely.It’s the players job to play hard,it’s the coaches job to replace them when they are tired.Watford was gassed out,he blew 5 possessions in the end,and wasn’t any better on the defensive side.Crean should have replaced him,at least for two or three minutes.You can blame watford,he played terrible,but I blame Crean.anyone could see watford was tired.

  • IULaw79

    And if that happened, and Yogi turned it over, i have a feeling you’d be saying “Why does a freshman have the ball for the final play instead of our most explosive player Oladipo?”. I don’t have the stats in front of me, I saw it the other day on another site, but when we have the ball in Vic’s hands in an isolation play, we score over 80% of the time.

  • Guest

    Sheehy can take a lesson from Aaron Craft — you can be tough without acting like a jerk. The 2 point tech was the difference at the end.

  • Will Sheehy can take a lesson from Aaron Craft — you can be tough without acting like a jerk. 2 point tech, 2 point loss.

  • wesmont

    Yes turnovers were the main reason for the loss,but what does that mean exactly?Watford makes 6 turnovers,often dribbling into trouble.He almost Never gets assists.Yogi makes turnovers,almost always because he is trying to make a great pass.He virtually never gets the ball stolen from him.He seldom charges.Watford coughed it up last night,and I still say it was largely because he was tired,which puts some of the blame on the coach.

  • CreanFaithful

    Which of those players gets to the rim and finishes 70% plus of his attempts? Which player gets to the line more effectively? I wouldn’t mind if Yogi were to have taken the final shot, but let’s not pretend the Vic iso play out top hasn’t had a large amount of success in the past…

  • CreanFaithful

    The old “just go down and shoot play”… LOL! Curious analysis.

  • wesmont

    Yes watford has experience and can play end game under pressure,but he was tired.He needed a short blow,he couldn’t stay with his man,he couldn’t elevate on the key dunk at the end.and on and on.Better to have fresh (even inexperienced legs) in the game.We need Watford,he played 3 good games before this one.And when he plays well,our team is almost unbeatable.But we’ve seen it before,he gets tired and he was tired last night,the last 10 minutes of the game.

  • wesmont

    Yes watford has experience and can play end game under pressure,but he was tired.He needed a short blow,he couldn’t stay with his man,he couldn’t elevate on the key dunk at the end.and on and on.Better to have fresh (even inexperienced legs) in the game.We need Watford,he played 3 good games before this one.And when he plays well,our team is almost unbeatable.But we’ve seen it before,he gets tired and he was tired last night,the last 10 minutes of the game.

  • Jersey Hoosier

    Crean keeps saying in his post-game pressers that opponents are getting opportunities for threes because of excessive helping out. Well, whose fault is that? He’s making $3.16 million/yr. to ensure that excessive helping out does not happen.

  • wesmont

    Thanks,can I come off the ledge now?You’re right,there is a great deal to feel good about this team.The 3 games prior to be specific.

  • I.U. FAN

    I feel they have to start WS and bring Hulls off the bench. Hull will score 10 or 12 but will give up 20 or more so go figure! I would bench Watford until he gets it in his head to play every game and rebound every game. Reminds me of VJ last year, lumber up the court like look at me, I’m here!!! The way the players are being rotated is a joke, come on TC!

  • TorontoHoosierFan

    Could not agree more with this post. There’s still a glimmer of hope to win it all, but need to get very lucky. I can’t remember a player of the year candidate with as little FG attempts than Zeller. Only good things happen when he gets a touch. Why the hell can’t they figure this out??

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    If Sheehey starts acting like Craft, I will have lost all respect for him.

  • SCHoosier

    Your son was right..Hulls didn’t even take a shot until 14 min had lapsed in the first half. Of course this offense doesn’t HELP him get many shots. Take those shots or be benched,

  • SCHoosier

    With .09 sec left..I can see where Crean thought the ILL would be disorganized with such little time to get the ball in and get the shot off. And they were..3 ILL players ran together in a knot..unfortuately so were the three defenders and Griffy had the sense to go toward the hoop. So Crean was right..the situation caused confusion…but it was among his defenders..

  • SCHoosier

    Any time Wat has the ball in his hands on the perimeter (and is not taking the shot)..the ball is in peril. He had a very tough night..but we don’t reach our goals this year without him in the line up and playing well.

  • SCHoosier

    Agree..but how do you account for the fact that for the first 14 min of the game this offense got Cody one shot and Hulls none..I mean come on.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Hilarious tirade. You fold like a lawn chair at the first sign of trouble when we are 20-3 and 8-2 in conference. Why stop at 27-9? If we lose all of the games from here on out we will be 20-12 or 20-13 (depending on if we make the tournament). I’m curious, after we go 4-4 in the last 8 games of the regular season, do we win two games in the conference tournament or the NCAA tournament? This was a tough loss to swallow. But to think we haven’t made any improvement over last year is just laughable.

    And I was making fun of a Purdue fan for calling into Dakich and saying, “can we get Crean off the court?” Which program are you a friend of anyways?

  • sloan screen #45

    You are right. He was in the line up last night, played very poorly, and our goal of a B1G championship just became a heck of alot harder.

  • sloan screen #45

    You are right. He was in the line up last night, played very poorly, and our goal of a B1G championship just became a heck of alot harder.

  • EweGenieTerror

    This loss will surely cost us the Big Ten title and the chance to play in Indianapolis come March. I cannot be more depressed today. Will someone please explain to CTC that timeouts do not offer any value after the game is over.

  • EweGenieTerror

    The last play was on Watford, not Zeller. He switched off and didn’t say a word.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Surely? Get a grip dude. I still give us a pretty good chance of winning ANY of the remaining regular season games, including at Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota and Michigan.

    I’m sick of all the sky falling confidence today. I’ll give you my prediction. We win all of our homes games. We lose at Michigan State. We win at Michigan. And we win at Ohio State or Minnesota (and maybe both). I’m going on record. We are 14-4 in the Big Ten or 15-3 and we get at least a share by beating Michigan.

  • calbert40

    I can see how Jordy might struggle to get a shot or two up, because you know he is on the top of the scouting report with bold letters: DON’T LET HIM SHOOT!! I’ve noticed a lot recently that he doesn’t do his scoring early. Probably due to scouting reports, IMO.

    So far as Cody, that’s a head scratcher for me too. He should touch the ball on nearly every possession. I’d like to see a stat on what percentage of our possession we score when Cody simply touches the ball. It has to be very high.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Watford was terrible yesterday. He needs to move the ball. Zero assts to six turnovers is a bad game. When he plays well, we are unbeatable.

  • calbert40

    Maybe. CWat played 30 minutes last night, and he averages 27. I don’t see why he’d be that tired. If he was tired, he needs to tell the bench. I’m guessing that if he was tired, he didn’t want to come out at the end, so he didn’t say anything.

    I just thought he played poorly last night all around. One of those games. He has so much ability that when he brings his A game, we are nearly unstoppable. I just wish he was more consistent!

  • Eastwood88_2

    Watford was wide open for a 3 to put us up 8. Cody gets the rebound and passes to Hulls. Love the pump fake to get in the lane, but the shot was to not shoot! Run the damn clock. I was screaming at the tv to pull it out. I believe he knew he had screwed up and didn’t know what to do.

  • Eastwood88_2

    The correct move was Elston. HP should play in the fall of 2013. Period.

  • Ole Man

    Crean hasn’t run plays for him in 3 1/2 years. Why would he start now?

  • Ole Man

    Great a grip, Lynn. The play happened in the first half; he really didn’t do anything to deserve it. How did he act like a jerk?

  • Ole Man

    Great a grip, Lynn. The play happened in the first half; he really didn’t do anything to deserve it. How did he act like a jerk?

  • Eastwood88_2

    Lets say you can choose to win 3 of the next 5 road games before yesterday. Losing to Illinois is the best option vs any of the others. You get another L on their column vs yours. If we needed another learning lesson, this was the game. Come out focused on Sunday and win. I will bet it. Michigan will win at Wisconsin this weekend. Lose at MSU. They will be 14-3 on March 10th. The only way we tie for the conference is winning at MU.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Small correction, Northwestern was after the Wisconsin game. Not that great but the start of a 5 game winning streak that was our best bball of the season. I believe the smae will come of this. Great post

  • NYC_Hoosier

    I’ve seen a few others echo this as well, but can anyone explain why Elston is not getting more minutes off the bench? Senior leader, strong contributor to last year’s team, brings the intensity? Haven’t seen anything out of HMP or Hollowell that justify preventing Elston from getting zero playing time. He contributed quality minutes in the Purdue win. Thoughts?

  • b_side

    Are you certain he didn’t say a word? Are you certain Crean doesn’t coach to always switch, especially our bigs? Too many what ifs.

  • Eastwood88_2

    I thought the anti-crean posts were to a minimum last night/today. The time out usage/subbing were an issue with some. The HP playing is my only issue, but watford was bad last night. Instead of bashing him we need to recognize how important he is to this team. Last night was the return of bad CW. He didn’t move the ball as he did in the previous games. Lost his defensive edge. Rebounding was ok. Dakich has said it on his radio show all the time. IU will be as good as Watford. There is no middle ground with him. I expect a full recovery and beast mode in Columbus

  • Eastwood88_2

    I thought the anti-crean posts were to a minimum last night/today. The time out usage/subbing were an issue with some. The HP playing is my only issue, but watford was bad last night. Instead of bashing him we need to recognize how important he is to this team. Last night was the return of bad CW. He didn’t move the ball as he did in the previous games. Lost his defensive edge. Rebounding was ok. Dakich has said it on his radio show all the time. IU will be as good as Watford. There is no middle ground with him. I expect a full recovery and beast mode in Columbus

  • b_side

    The turnovers I get. But blaming it on his lack of assists is hogwash. Look at Watford’s game log over the course of the season. He averages 0.9 apg. There is zero correlation between that and winning.

  • Eastwood88_2

    This is what drive me nuts all the time with some IU fans. Nothing will ever be good enough. Poorly coach in Crunch time yet in several games this year (MSU, MU and Others) we won in the final 3 mins. Guess Belien and Izzo are terrible crunch time coaches also. Hell , anyone who ever lost a close game must be a terrible coach.
    I agree with the post passes not being enough, but Illinois was double teaming the post every time. Cody was more effective on the pick and roll, Great job CTC on ADJUSTING!!!
    Remy has been a turnover machine and not very good defensively. Not sure what you are watching but jody hit some big shots last night.
    This team plays hard but not always smart. your assertion that players take plays off is complete BS. This comment lite a fire for me. Jump already.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Thank You! Why is it always the same guys that make the logical points?

  • How could you watch that a second time?