Film Session: Indiana’s late-game execution

  • 02/21/2013 2:22 pm in

Indiana found itself down four points with under two minutes to play, but escaped East Lansing with its first victory since 1991 because it out-executed the Spartans down the stretch.

A detailed look at how it went down in the latest edition of Film Session:


Jordan Hulls comes up to the top of the key and receives a pass from Yogi Ferrell after he brought the ball down the court. We see Christian Watford moving over to the left wing:


But it’s Watford that slides all the way down into to corner as he and Victor Oladipo cross. Oladipo receives the ball from Hulls:


Victor makes a nice behind the back move on Denzel Valentine and actually drops him to the floor. But Victor is looking at Watford as it happens, perhaps because this play was set for him all along:


Oladipo hands off to Watford as he gives a brush to Adreian Payne:


Watford isn’t the best penetrator, but with the taller, less agile Payne on him, he goes to work. It’s a fake left and a drive right:


He draws contact, scores and hits the free throw to pull the game within a point:


As MSU assistant Dane Fife told us on yesterday’s Podcast on the Brink, you can’t allow Watford to drive right –something he likes to do — which Payne did here.


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  • IUHoosiers23

    Love these! Thanks, Ryan!

  • IUHoosiers23

    Love these! Thanks, Ryan!

  • Great break down Ryan. I do believe both Nix and Valentine traveled on the play that Izzo called time out with 21 seconds remaining.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m not sure Valentine’s came before the TO call, but Nix sure did! He changed pivot feet very deliberately it’s hard to imagine even this group of officials missed it!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m not sure Valentine’s came before the TO call, but Nix sure did! He changed pivot feet very deliberately it’s hard to imagine even this group of officials missed it!

  • smart offensive execution with quick recovery help defense….sounds like a formula

  • Hoosiers_20_11

    Actually I would argue that the Hoosiers were a little fortunate defensively out of the timeout. After the switch, when Harris drives on Zeller there’s tons of overhelping going on. Pause the video at the 7 second mark. Zeller is beaten but not completely out of the play and trails Harris’ drive. Watford stays home on Nix to prevent a dump pass / block out, not necessarily a bad choice. The initial help comes from Ferrell, who comes off of Payne. Oladipo decides he’s going to help too, leaving Appling. I’m not too sure what Sheehey doing, it’s possible that he expected Watford to slide over off of Nix to cut off Harris’ drive, leaving him to “help the helper” and take Nix. But because Watford does not help, Sheehey is neither helping nor guarding his own guy, Valentine. If Harris had the composure/playmaking ability to be under control & jump-stop at the end of his drive he has Valentine, Appling, and Payne all standing alone. The Spartans’ offensive spacing on the drive is pretty poor as well (You’d like Valentine to slide to the corner on a baseline drive/ Payne to step off the lane line (closer to MSU’s bench) / and Appling to be more available on the diagonal instead of being almost directly behind Payne) and ultimately Harris decides that his 1 on 3 layup is the best option (bad decision). When 3 (or 4 if you count Sheehey) players all decide to help on a drive, usually it ends in drive and kicks for open jumpers. Good, solid defensive teams know who the primary help defender is on different drives (baseline, middle) and are sound in their rotations to shooters when that primary defender goes to help. They do not help when they don’t need to, and they are rarely caught in “no man’s land” where they’re neither helping a teammate nor guarding their own guy. I’m ecstatic that Harris was unable to take advantage of some poor defensive decision-making by Hoosier defenders, but I’m sure Coach Crean and Co. watched this play and saw something they need to work on and didn’t consider it a “strong defensive stand” just because of the result of the play.

  • Nate S.

    Love seeing Yogi call to Watford to double – great defensive awareness. Love that Watford did it, too, and didn’t mind the freshman helping him with his defensive assignment.

  • InTheMtns

    I’m with you in thinking this will be something that the coaching staff will show the team and teach from.

    I’m also guessing that the reason the three stayed with the driving Gary Harris is because they know the personalities and tendencies on MSU and were betting Harris was the go-to-guy at this point in the game. It was a gamble but based on what they know, they were fairly certain Harris would attempt the shot instead of passing it off. Of course there isn’t any such thing as “certain,” but sometimes going for broke based on what you’ve learned works out. It did in this case. Your points about over-helping and not making the right rotations are spot on, though.

    While all this was happening with Harris trying to make the go-a-head-basket and the clocks not running, Dickie V, of course, is telling us about Louisville. I’m so glad Harris didn’t make that basket with the clock not running because I can’t begin to guess how these officials would have ruled on that.

  • When I first looked at the breakdown, the over help stood out to me as well, but I think after reading your comment, I’m more with you. The reality is that Harris led all MSU scorers in both games against the Hoosiers. There comes a point, especially in the final possession, where you decide that the guy that has been burning you all day is NOT going to be the one to beat you, and you overplay him. I think that’s what Oladipo was thinking as he come all the way across leaving his man.

    It does look like Sheehey was expecting the typical rotation: Watford over, Sheehey drops down, Oladipo guards two defenders on the perimeter. So it’s hard to really blame him that in the final seconds he didn’t pick up on the adjustments the others were making.

  • I swear Vic got a little piece of it, or completely messed up the shot, no one has said that, yet, as far as I know. He got it done on a bold instinctive play, and we want Vic doing that, more often than not, especially with late game tendencies to drive and take the shot. Just like Yogi did, when Vic tipped in with 45 seconds left. Vic won the game with his instincts and athleticism. We want him to do that all the way to Atlanta