Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Michigan State

  • 01/06/2015 8:26 am in

Indiana fell to 1-1 in the Big Ten and 11-4 overall with a 70-50 loss at Michigan State on Monday at the Breslin Center. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Spartans:

· The Hoosiers never found their footing: After handling the road atmosphere at Nebraska so well last Wednesday, the Hoosiers struggled from the get-go in East Lansing on Monday. From the time junior big man Hanner Mosquera-Perea left the game just 1:24 in due to foul trouble, the Hoosiers were never really able to find their rhythm against the Spartans.

They were unable to establish their inside-out game and found themselves dribbling instead of passing, ultimately starting the game just 2-for-16 from the field. By then, the Spartans were ahead 19-4 and were well on their way to a blowout of the Hoosiers.

Indiana finished just 17-of-60 from the field and with 0.82 points per possession — its worst marks of the season — and 20 points below its previous lowest points output this season. Not a great follow-up performance after Wednesday’s win in Lincoln.

“I was concerned about how we were going to score in this game and how we were going to stop them,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said after the game. “Because when you don’t attack them with screens and move the ball at a pace, we just didn’t do any of that. So we have got to get better in a hurry. This league is obviously very unforgiving.”

· Indiana did little to defend the paint: With Mosquera-Perea’s foul trouble and nearly nonexistent games from Troy Williams (zero points, one rebound in 17 minutes) and Emmitt Holt (four points, two rebounds in 22 minutes), the Hoosiers offered little resistance to the Spartans in the paint.

Unsurprisingly, the opportunistic Spartans capitalized on the size advantage and rebounded 50 percent of their misses en route to 17 second-chance points and 30 points in the paint. And the advantage in the paint translated to the Spartans’ defense, as well. With Indiana’s offense floundering, the Spartans produced seven blocks, rebounded 75 percent of the Hoosiers’ misses and forced them into a 33.3 percent 2-point shooting rate.

But with this result, it’s becoming apparent that a pattern is starting to emerge: When Indiana allows its opponents to rebound more than 40 percent of its misses this season, the Hoosiers are just 1-3. And they will see plenty more caliber rebounding teams this season.

· Perea’s starting job might be in danger: After Mosquera-Perea left early due to foul trouble, the 6-foot-9 forward would see only eight more minutes of game time on the evening. He finished with no points, one rebound, one block and two fouls.

The 6-foot-7 freshman Holt was his replacement, and though he was by no means successful against the Spartans, Holt came up with positive numbers on the stat sheet.

Following the game, Crean blasted Mosquera-Perea, as well, noting his starting job is now in danger.

“He was certainly not ready to play tonight and now he will be in for a dogfight at that position because Emmitt Holt was,” Crean said. “He didn’t play well but he was a little more ready to play.”

· Michigan State had a bigger sense of urgency: Before Monday’s game, Tom Izzo said he told his team that energy and effort are going to be the two things that would win this game for the Spartans.

After a league-opening loss to Maryland and several missed opportunities during the non-conference season, the Spartans opened the matchup against the Hoosiers with “probably one of the best halves of basketball that we’ve played,” Izzo said. It was a 36-17 game by halftime.

Crean, meanwhile, felt like the Hoosiers’ leadership was “left somewhere back in Bloomington,” and noted his disappointment in how his team never gave the Spartans much trouble, especially on the defensive end of things.

The result: Michigan State left with a win, “one we really needed,” Izzo said, while the Hoosiers now face internal questions.

“We just have to get our urgency revisited, quickly,” Crean said.

· Blackmon’s offensive slump continues: Freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. struggled once again on Monday, finishing the game just 1-for-14 from the field and 0-for-5 from behind the arc.

After starting the season’s first eight games 26-of-48 (54.2 percent) on 3-pointers, Blackmon Jr. has gone 11-of-41 (26.8 percent) since then. And on 2s, Blackmon Jr. is shooting more than 27 percentage points worse in his past six games than he did in his first nine.

(Photo credit: MSU Athletic Communications)

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  • oldiugymnast

    I honestly think that he is still adjusting to the brand new gear the last few games have shown him. He looks as if the game is going very fast for him and as a result he is unable to judge how fast a big, fast guy can close out on him. I could be wrong – but even though he doesn’t seem very emotional, he had a deer in the headlights look to him quite a bit last night.

  • oldiugymnast

    That is an insane outlook. NJIT is hardly MSU. And despite MSU’s early struggles (which you may notice happen every year and every year they are a good team by mid January), they are a very good, very experienced team that was on a mission last night and buried us early.

  • oldiugymnast

    I suppose you think that Brad Stevens who says he won’t come running will come running. And that him coming running will have an immediate change in outcome. I don’t think Cal can coach at all, but he will win a banner this year with his bought and paid for mercenaries. We could do that too – but we are better than that. We lost a piece we thought we had locked up when Fisher left and Noah went to the D-League. How do you suppose coach is supposed to pull that one out and have a complete team? I suppose you also think that the Cuse game was an embarrassment for IU in spite of our best shooting guard suffering a dislocated shoulder a few days prior against a very good zone – in a game when Zeller was getting body blows from 3 guys anytime he got within 12 feet because they were “letting them play.”

  • oldiugymnast

    You know the kids you teach. I am guessing Coach knows his kids. I coached gymnastics at the very highest level – and every now and again, you have a kid that will only respond to outside pressure from teammates or the girl who comes to watch. Generally, I agree – you do your butt chewing in private – but that is NOT always the case.

  • oldiugymnast

    Would you do the same in terms of RMK’s pressers where he simply made fun of the press? And I remember one in particular where he had a number of untoward things to say about one Luke Recker. I think Crean is a good coach who is growing – and I hope at some point he tries some offensive ideas that didn’t come out of the dribble drive handbook – and I for one am not ready to get rid of him because he lost a game with a young team to a good team. This is bound to happen – and my gut tells me we will also win a few that we have no business even being in.

    And just FYI – you are a pretty reasonable fellow so don’t take this as me having a mean tone – I am just offering you more to consider.

  • oldiugymnast

    IU had two very good bigs last year. One transferred mid-year and the other went to the NBA. You know how rare a big guy who won’t break down is? You know how many were available in the spring signing?

    More than 75% of NCAA D1 teams run some variant of the dribble drive – so it is hardly a “system” that won’t work in the BIG. A lot of teams in the BIG exited the tournament by getting handled on O by a dribble drive. We are simply missing a key piece and hopefully that will be remedied next year.

  • oldiugymnast

    Yeah because we didn’t have the death penalty from 2008-2011, and the 11-12, 12-13 seasons didn’t happen. This is just silly.

  • oldiugymnast

    I think you mean 1992-2000 plus one good year followed by more mediocrity. Look – in a world where Cal gets away with paying players and all sorts of other stuff and the “coach who shall not be mentioned by names” gets a 5 year NCAA ban and his school gets the worst sanction in the history of NCAA basketball, I think the expectation that we will somehow be able to get 9 McDs all-americans on one team is stupid and requires a dissociative disorder to believe anyway. I think Crean has done very well, and that absent Hulls getting his shoulder separated followed by a game where Cuse was allowed to foul with impunity because the refs didn’t want to explain a foul disparity – Crean would have a final four already. This team is just missing a piece – and I still think we will get past 20 wins and make the dance.

  • oldiugymnast

    What, exactly, are you basing this absolutely unsupportable position on?

  • Gecko

    Have been watching Luke Fisher of Marquette against geo. He is holding his own against the Geo bigs, also he is 6 for 6 from the field. Of coarse they have a new coach (mijo) who knows how to use a big man. They pass the ball instead of over dribbling and losing the ball driving the lane. Would you think the good coaches know exactly what out players are going to do with the ball every time. Do I hear Buy out ?????

  • oldiugymnast

    So you missed the outright BIG championship and back to back sweet 16 runs in same seven years? And you forget the 4 years with reduced scholarships and probation? We got to the sweet 16 featuring a barely recruited Olidipo, an unrecruited sheehey and a shooting guard that was barely 5’10 and spent his first two years being scared to shoot the ball! And for the record, Kansas has had fewer sweet 16 runs in the same 7 years, as has Duke. Kentucky cheats. Louisville had Tubby not making final fours for how many years? MSU went how long without a sweet 16 before their national championship run? You can’t even see reality from your seat.

  • who’syourhoosier

    Believe it or not, I see what you are saying. I am simply looking at the reality of the situation. We could do really well over the next couple of years, even this year. If we fire TC then we are most likely screwed for at least 1-2 years, maybe more. Unless there is a stud coach out there ready to take the position. But seriously how many are there and how could we really know? I think that we have the talent to be amazing in the next couple of years. Yes that depends heavily on recruiting, and if players go to the NBA, but this is the first season where he has the type of team that he apparently likes to have. I am not defending TC. I’m not a fan of his, but again I am looking at the reality of the situation. I think he has this year and next year. After that if we haven’t made the dance then they should look elsewhere. Coaches typically take longer to show high performance than players. Yes I realize that I am giving him wide berth, but he runs a clean program, has recruited some top talent and looking at what he started with has done pretty well. Do I think he WILL take us back to where we were? Not likely, but right now, under the circumstances, it’s the best shot we have.

  • who’syourhoosier

    I didn’t get that out of your post, my bad. That being said I hope it isn’t life or death for us this year. I feel as fans we are a bit too short sited. Believe me I am frustrated, I simply think that a few more years will truly tell us what TC and this team are capable of. Who knows we may get lucky. I know that’s not what people want to hear, but it’s what we have. If we keep JBJ for another year, which looks to be the case, we will have Yogi as a senior, troy as a junior, plus another year under some players that reallllly need it. Could end up being something special. I really hope that’s the case.

  • who’syourhoosier

    I didn’t articulate at all.(my fault) My point was that they steam rolled us even with the time outs. As you stated he used a couple. Sarcasm was not intended, it simply came out.

  • John Prichard

    JB has an old time motion (1950’s) set shot, easy to block. He is not very good off the dribble to create his own shot. His defense needs work. Does it sound like I am on him, well then yes I am. He will make a very good four year player for I.U. Go Hoosiers

  • whomikewho

    I was living in Madison a year ago and talked with Luke’s girlfriend. He was not homesick..I know the real reasons and it may not have been avoidable. WE NEED BRYANT!

  • John Prichard

    Some days your the windshield , and somedays your the bug.

  • who’syourhoosier

    Does that mean we have him for 2-3 more years? Hopefully so! I think he will come back around and have games where he consistently shoots the lights out.

  • who’syourhoosier

    agree, said it twice.

  • who’syourhoosier

    The second time he was specifically responding to a question about Hanner. Not defending him, but that was what he was asked about.

  • plane1972

    Bingo! Nailed it.

  • b_side

    Good post. Appreciate your perspective.

  • who’syourhoosier

    How can it not be about the loss or the fact that we lost with all pistons down. I watched the presser, TC seemed to be in disbelief, for what it’s worth. I feel he’s been super frustrated with Hanner, remembering the “I’m bored texts” before his other issue. Not professional on TC’s part, but it sounds like he was being honest, not bus tossing or whatever. I had plenty of issues with what he said, more so about his sending messages to Izzo that their D looked amazing. Friends or not, I don’t like that.

  • Guyton25

    It’s like you took the key points from this game right out my head, lol. Just the worst game this squad can play.. everybody on our team was on an off night at the same time while MSU just lost a double OT to Maryland and wasn’t about to lose 2 in a row at home. It spelled disaster from the get-go. This was the worst game of the season (played worse than we did in the EWU loss) but I’m not looking any further into it because I understand why it happened. I feel a win this Saturday against #22 OSU

  • Hoosier1158

    Coach is going to have to recruit in a manner to have multiple high level players at all positions to expect a B1G championship. And keep the kids on campus and not have a large amount of transfers like we have experienced in the last several years.

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    That’s Yogi ball. Dribble away the shot clock and then drive the lane and hope for the best.

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    Yes the team does sputter when Yogi develops dribble-itis

  • SilentBob

    You’re right it has absolutely has nothing to do with Luke having two inches, twenty pounds, and years of growing up around the game on Hanner.

  • SilentBob

    btw Fischer also finished with only 3 rebounds and dang near fouled out

  • Zach

    Embarrassing excuse for a basketball game. But as embarrassing as it was, it still just counts as one loss against a Sparty team that wasn’t going to start B1G 0-2 at home. We’ll see what this team is really made of with how they do or don’t bounce back Saturday.

  • Gecko

    And we cannot forget that a coach who knows how to use a big man.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Vanilla Prilla the Thrilla with the Killa throwdown!!!!!!!

  • Hoosier Hall

    See Kansas vs. UK this season for an example of a good team getting embarrassed.

  • Hoosier Hall

    See Notre Dame this season for an example of how the 4 guard uptempo system works. They devoured Mich. St. and have only lost once by 1 point…

  • hardly

    my five takeaways:
    1. this is the first game I can remember since post rebuilding that a team didn’t compete and was basically never in the game. One of the notables about CTC’s teams is that they always play hard and are in the game until close to the end, even when the scoreboard shows a 20 pt loss (Louisville…in the game until the last 10 min or so). I give the guy a pass for 1 game like this in 4-5 years.
    2. JBJ is starting to show his limitations as the competition increases. His go to move is a step in 3pt shot, which is going to be almost impossible to get off versus good defensive talent. He’s not the athlete Yogi is so he can’t blow by people, and he doesn’t come off of screens and shoot spot up jumpers. IMO he’s good but has a lot of work to do – ‘one and done’ hopes should be thrown out the window.
    3. we got what we knew we were going to get from this team before the season started – a solid road win at Nebraska then a regression at MSU. They’re young with minimal inside presence, so this is going to be life for the rest of the season.
    4. NZ is becoming what many expected when he signed – a one dimensional player whose one dimension can easily be neutralized by athletic opponents. Good kid, but very limited on the floor versus b10 opponents.
    5. CTC better be establishing some contacts with JUCO big men/rim protectors for next year. HMP is HMP, Holt will be really good player, but is undersized as a true big man. Hopefully JA will be ready to contribute next year.

  • KmanCRK

    Lot of great programs on here, and almost all are at 6 yrs or less (surprising). If I remember correctly we had a 23 yr streak before Davis blew it.

  • KmanCRK

    I didn’t think Hanner did much in this game that was atrocious. He got a really cheap 2nd foul going for a loose ball in a game where the refs were letting lots of contact at the hoop go. The fact that Crean ripped him the way he did on the sideline and then talking about how little he worked his first two years in B-town really show a glimpse into how frustrated Crean has been with HMP. I think a lot of pent up emotions came out on this one.

  • g_bo

    That’s bad coaching, run a dang play. Its almost as hard as watching us try and inbound the ball under our own basket.

  • KmanCRK

    I heard recently from a player that IU wasn’t a good fit for him because he’s such a quiet kid and bball players at IU are rock stars who can’t walk to class without 30 photo ops. Is that in line with what you heard? Or was it the players on last years team were into the wrong things…and he didn’t jive with that?

  • KmanCRK

    I would substitute effort for youth. being in the wrong spot or playing a pick the wrong way is youth. Showing very little effort is not youth or inexperience in my opinion.

  • bojak

    Even though Yogi didn’t have a great game, he was the only one that was doing anything at all that was positive. Everyone else was just standing around as though they were hoping Yogi could take over and win the game for them.

  • bojak

    I don’t see him playing in the NBA at all.

  • who’syourhoosier

    So share the real reason. If it was truly unavoidable, then why show up to begin with?

  • Hoosier1158

    In my 1st comment I should have said that offense won’t work without inside players which i was referring to for this year. IU seems to focus more on guards that having several inside players which would be more than two. There are 13 scholarships and at least 4 of those should go to the 4 and 5 spots.

  • IUMIKE1

    OK, go ahead and explain further. You can’t put that out there and then not tell us what you heard the real reason was, especially after throwing in the “may not have been avoidable” part. lol

  • PBzeer

    There’s really only one takeaway from this game, they were ready to win and we weren’t.

  • IUMIKE1

    Was saying the exact same thing while watching this one.

  • IUMIKE1

    If only there was an easy way to upvote this one more than once.

  • IUMIKE1

    Agree, while I haven’t coached at the highest levels by any means, I coached plenty long enough to know that your comment is correct.

  • calbert40

    Why? Seriously. I’ve seen successful coaches from collegiate to professional in various sports do exactly what Crean did. Sometimes the player turns the corner and plays much better. Sometimes the player pouts and loses his job. Either way, I think there is very little that can hurt the team. Now, if Crean did this after every loss, I would agree with you, but this is extraordinarily rare, which leads me to believe that the problem is extraordinary with HMP.