The Minute After: Michigan State

  • 03/07/2015 3:25 pm in

Thoughts on a 74-72 loss to the Spartans:

After a Yogi Ferrell turnover with 3:42 to play, the Hoosiers looked sunk as they entered the under-4 media timeout. Their zone allowed too many good, open looks — both in the paint and from distance — over the first 16 minutes of the second half. Michigan State, as it did in the first half, continued to rip down offensive rebounds for second-chance opportunities.

Down 11, this had the feelings of the Iowa game from earlier in the week. Indiana seemed destined for another double-digit loss, its third straight on its home floor. Assembly Hall reigned down some boos and some fans headed for the exits.

But Indiana looked inside itself and failed to lose without a fight. The defensive intensity ramped up a notch and the Hoosiers kept chipping away at the lead as the crowd — the majority of which stayed — kept right with them. A James Blackmon Jr. and-1 in transition brought the Hoosiers within five with 1:47 to go. Playing the foul game to stop the clock, Indiana stuck with it and pulled within three points (72-69) thanks to a Nick Zeisloft 3-pointer (5-of-8 from distance) with 27 seconds to go. After a Michigan State timeout, the Spartans inbounded the ball to Matt Costello and he was fouled with 24 seconds left. He’d miss the first free throw. And the second.

Suddenly, Indiana had the ball with a chance to tie. After a shaky possession, Blackmon Jr. appeared to be fouled as he went up for a 3-point attempt. The refs called it on the floor. Blackmon made the first free throw. And the second. One point game at 72-71. Travis Trice would make his first free throw on the subsequent IU foul and miss his second. 73-71 Michigan State. As Yogi Ferrell streaked down the floor, Denzel Valentine made a crucial error and fouled him near halfcourt to send Ferrell to the line with a chance to tie the game on a double bonus with just two second left. Valentine knew it. He put his hands in his face and bent over at the top of the key.

Indiana needed a miracle to crawl back into this one, and it looked like it had just gotten it.

Ferrell’s first free throw bounced all over the place and just rolled in. Drama. One point game. His second missed.

“I guess the basketball gods felt good for me on the first free throw, but the second one just rolled out,” Ferrell said.

Collin Hartman fouled Trice on the rebound with .7 to go. He made the first. Missed the second. Zeisloft’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer didn’t fall. 74-72 Michigan State.

There are gripes here. Ferrell was clearly tripped on a 3-point attempt to end the first half, but the refs went with a no call. Had the correct call been made, that’s another three points for the Hoosiers to pick up and it could have been the difference.

Michigan State only went 7-of-28 from distance, 11-of-20 from the line, finishing with a pedestrian 49.2 eFG%. But Indiana’s failure to lock up the boards — Michigan State rebounded 34.9 percent of its misses for 18 second-chance points — was killer. As was its defense for most of the second half until it turned it up late.

“I’m proud of our fight,” Tom Crean said in his post-game remarks.

Indiana better bring the fight of the last few minutes for its Thursday game to start the Big Ten Tournament. Because if the Hoosiers don’t go on a run and win a couple games, their tournament fate hangs in the balance of the committee — and they might be on the outside looking in for the second season in a row.

Filed to:

  • SCHoosier

    Can she play the post?

  • cbags05

    Go away. We won 1 of last 4. Lunardi still has us in.

  • MarylandHoosier1986

    Exactly!

  • mark

    Maybe they can see that all IU really needs is a big. But maybe they’ll also see they need a coach.

  • mark

    Just seems like Crean’s teams always either underachieve or achieve about baseline … but never overachieve. this year looked like they would, then this downturn.

  • mark

    that 2nd paragraph is how Fred Glass thinks, it seems. You can bet the ADs at other B10 schools don’t think that way.

  • mark

    11/12 on free throws, that’s great. can’t fault him

  • mark

    which anti-depressant are you on?

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    We will beat NU and make the tourney. Crean still needs to go.

  • Speed

    Amen!

  • IUBizmark

    Hahahaha

  • IUBizmark

    She looks like she’d mop the floor with HMP.

  • IUBizmark

    Yea, the benefit of crapping the bed late in the season is you get easy first round match ups.

  • IUBizmark

    Yea, the guy won an OUTRIGHT Big Ten title. But he’s a nobody.

  • who’syourhoosier

    To add to that, what have we been doing in practice this year? Stylistically we look the same. It doesn’t appear that we worked on our three point shooting, not our free throw shooting and clearly not our defense. We don’t turn the ball over the way we used to and that is a positive, but other than TW and to some extent HMP, how have we improved at all? We allowed our weaknesses to be our weakness. It seems that since we started out better than expected we simply moved forward, but didn’t improve. Excluding the time when HMP was out and I think we played some of our best ball during that time. Not HMP’s fault, I’m just saying.

  • who’syourhoosier

    I agree, I simply question, if you were a big and a top rated one at that, would IU seem like a good move. I used to think so and now I am not sure. If we had a big that would surely help, but it wouldn’t solve our problems. I feel that is the main concern.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    First, before I say anything, let me say that I feel horrible for Yogi! Is this kid ever going to get a break and see one of these game tying/winning shots drop?

    Anyway:

    1) Once again, where is the defense for 37 minutes? Why does it take 35+ minutes to switch out the most pathetic zone I’ve seen in 30 years? Yes, a good zone offense gets it to the middle, but not below the B1G logo! Too soft and too many times this team and these players lose guys on the backside of the zone. I think five of us old IU fans could get open shots against that zone!

    2) What in the flying **** was the officiating crew watching when Yogi was tackled at the end of the first half? He could’ve torn an ACL on a play like that and it’s not even a foul! Unbelievable and would only happen in the B1G! Worst officiating in the country hands down!

    3) Tom Crean pulled Hanner Perea twice after defensive lapses and NEITHER WERE HIS FAULT!!! He is supposed to come up from the middle and cover the middle man if it gets to that place against their zone and no one else is there. It’s the weak side baseline defender who is supposed to drop down and cover someone running the baseline. I’m pretty sure I saw this twice but I know at least once (after HMP had just made two good, aggressive plays) and that time was JBJ’s fault and he remained on the floor. Every time IU went small MSU killed them on the glass. If CTC is watching the same game then someone explain to me why JBJ was left on the floor while Hanner sat for it? Nice coaching Tom!

    There’s a lot more, but I hope the Hoosiers show up Thursday and Friday in the B1G tournament or it’ll be time to root for the Cubs already and we all know how long that lasts!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Someone please explain to me why CTC doesn’t use IU’s athleticism to his advantage on defense and press balls out from the get go? It always seems to get them back in games in the last 3 minutes but it’s never used until then!?!?

  • Show-Me-State HOOSIER

    Agree completely. IU should NEVER PLAY in the NIT. Thanks ….but no-thanks.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree with everything everybody’s saying in this little section except I’m sick and tired of having to listen to Jock-Itch every time IU is ESPN and Tardo every time they’re on the B1G Network!

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    does anyone know what time IU plays thursday?

  • Show-Me-State HOOSIER

    The guy is NOT A TOP TIER COACH. Period. Every dog finds a bone sometimes.

  • ForeverIU

    5:30 p.m. on ESPN2 against Northwestern I think.

  • Dooteetime

    Yogi is not ready for the nba. His defense is not good and needs lots of improvement. Plus I think he needs to stop dribbling around so much. It makes the offense go stale.

  • brntn

    For what it’s worth, Bracketmatrix now has IU as an 11-seed. I wouldn’t worry about the NIT.

  • Jeff Johnston

    Joe Lunardi has IU as one of the last four in. Not sure I agree with him. I certainly hope we make it in. I thought we’re playing Minnesota on Thursday? I see people saying Northwestern.

  • inLinE6

    I’m sure they like the coach first before checking out a school. They shouldn’t have any doubt in coach.

  • alwaysiufan

    Hopefully Bryant and maker believe they need to come to iu

  • Hoosier in Tx

    Crean needs to go
    I agree he has no idea on what adjustments to make in the game. How do you know have your 2 tallest and quickest player lined up for Yogi’s last FT just in case he misses. Holt and HMP have gotten several rebounds from missed FTs this year. There was no way Hartman (who I really like) was going to be able to get the rebound. He was just back after missing 3 games, that left leg can’t be 100% not to mention his right one probably still is not 100%, and he had to be out of gas by that time….. This was a coaching decision on who would be on the floor…. I also wonder where are the assistant coaches, they are suppose to help the head coach think. Are they afraid to speak up??
    Basketball is also a game of rhythm, Crean played 10 different players in the first 10 minutes of the game. He constantly all season long has played 10 to sometimes 12 players in games. How does your team every get into the rhythm of the game… There is no way.
    I agree with everyone who says Crean’s Defense scheme sucks. Problem is it is not only his scheme but he has not taught Defense since he has been at IU. Even when they were #1 a couple of years ago their defense was not what it should have been. Defense is one constant no matter what how your shooting. My suggestion CREAN THERE IS A HIGH SCHOOL TEAM IN INDIANIA THAT HAS THE LOSEST AVERAGE IN THE STATE…. JUST OVER 32 POINTS A GAME. PICK UP THE PHONE ASK THE COACH HIS SECRETS GET TAPES OF THEM SHE HOW THEY GET DOWN IN THE RIGHT POSITION. Sorry about the caps.
    My last thought is Brad will not leave Boston. I want to get a Izzo/Knight taught defensive expert, heart of a lion, take no BS coach named Danny Fife.

    I know everyone wants Brad S to be IU’s coach. But I have one

  • alwaysiufan

    We do? Are you sure

  • Fifty-fifty ball

    A total unsubstantiated rumor I heard tonight at the boys Seymour sectional from a boy who’s friend with Burtons roomate says Yogi is looking at graduating early and looking at NBA, Blackmon transferring to UK, and Holt wants out due to lack of playing time. Just a rumor and i hope way off base. Just stiring the pot with info I heard. I wish I could source it out better but I have no friends in high places. Anyone heard this fairytale yet?

  • Jeff Johnston

    If Crean stays, I think Yogi stays. I could see Yogi leaving if Crean goes. Who would want their last year learning a new coach and system? I can’t see Blackmon sitting out a year to play. Let alone go to a place where he’ll be sitting on the bench at least half of every game.

  • Darrell Allen

    It’s not why we lost this game, but now that the regular season is over, I still believe that Stanford Robinson is a huge liability to this team. He has no outside shot, zero threat from 3 pt. range, average to poor free throw shooting percentage and turns the ball over much too often! He may be a super great young man, but I cringe when TC plays him! Perea, Williams, Blackmon, Ferrell, Johnson, Hartman, Zeisloft & Holt produce. That’s the extent of confident players who can produce! Hoetzel shows promise and April has never gotten any credible PT to improve his skills and confidence.

  • alwaysiufan

    Lmao Jock Itch. IMO who is he to question any coach because he definately couldn’t coach

  • Khoosier3

    Geez. Did you see the whooping they put on us in Evanston? I do admire your confidence.

  • alwaysiufan

    Hell give Calbert C a chance to coach iu

  • Khoosier3

    I am interested in hear as well, but I’m not holding my breath…

  • Khoosier3

    I think one thing that I am disgruntled about is the lack of any kind of explanation. It’s always the same thing… Players didn’t execute. There is OBVIOUSLY something going on behind closed doors that no one knows. I mean, I know it’s probably a good thing to keep some things quiet, but throw us a bone for crying out loud. Don’t just sit there and pretend everything is A-OK, when clearly the wood-shed is blazing. And please, stop placing 100% of the blame on the players.

  • The General

    Do you all miss me now? Twenty win seasons and the NCAA tourney every year doesn’t seem to bad now, does it? You’re getting what you deserve for running a legend out. The curse will continue.

  • The General

    It is no respecting fools like you that got me fired. It’s Coach Crean, not just Crean.

  • Gregory Spera

    Hey, what’s up, Knight?

  • The General

    Like I said, it’s Coach Crean. Have some respect. And I would love to know how many of you armchair coaches have actually played competitive basketball…with shot fakes.

  • The General

    I’m tired of reading Hoosier fans terrible grammar, and I’m tired of losing to God Darned Purdue!

  • The General

    Cat is out of the bag! Coach Crean and I will welcome Ivan Renko to play for us at Alabama.

  • The General

    You again?

  • Bk39

    dont get you panties in a bunch unless your that enamored with Crean and if you are keep it private.

  • Let’s be honest with ourselves. Thon’s real concern is the NBA. He can play for any school in the country, including division III and still be the top pick in the draft. It’s all about where he thinks he’ll have the best time while in college. Is it the weather? If so, then San Diego or ucla. Winning a championship? If so then he needs to pick a team with experienced guards who can shoot the 3 and dish the ball to complement his game. IU has that on offense, but our defense isn’t going to win any championships even with Thon.

  • Missing Moye

    I think it’s still to be determined. If Minnesota wins today at home against Penn State, they are clearly the 10 seed and will play IU. If they lose, that drops them into a tie at 6-12 with Northwestern. Northwestern won the only head to head matchup, making them the 10 and dropping Minny to 11. Also worth noting, if Nebraska pulls off an improbable win today against Maryland (and Minnesota loses), that also makes them 6-12. Nebraska beat Northwestern in their only matchup, but lost to Minnesota in their only matchup. I have no idea how that 3-way tie break would be determined for the 10-12 seeds.

  • Missing Moye

    5:30 central / 6:30 eastern. Opponent not determined yet, but likely Minnesota.

  • MikeinNC

    When will the UK freshman “hit the wall”? Or the Duke freshman? Funny how that works, I guess their freshman are just better conditioned.