The Minute After: Penn State

  • 02/06/2016 11:04 pm in

Thoughts on a 68-63 loss to the Nittany Lions:

No 25-0 runs in this one. No dominating road win.

Just a bad loss in Happy Valley.

It started poorly. Turnovers. Overdribbling. Lack of energy. But we’ve been here before. The Hoosiers have had rough starts, overcome them, found their stride and cruised to victory. But they simply never recovered tonight. The offense, such a constant source of strength all Big Ten season, fell off a cliff at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Indiana shot just 36 percent from the field. Its effective field goal percentage of 45.6 was a season-low. Yogi Ferrell finished 1-of-6 from deep and only 3-of-12 overall. Worse yet, he had five turnovers. Ferrell has been brilliant for weeks on end now. But this was a terrible performance from Indiana’s senior leader and no one was around to pick up the slack.

Thomas Bryant, saddled with foul trouble, didn’t really ever get involved until Indiana needed buckets late. He had just four shot attempts for the game. With so many of Indiana’s shots not falling, the offense would have been better served to feed the big man, but it just didn’t happen. Troy Williams tried too much one-on-one stuff and it meant less ball movement and other guys standing around. OG Anunoby, another rock of consistency the last several weeks, didn’t score. Collin Hartman also didn’t make a shot in 23 minutes of action.

Couple a poor shooting night with Indiana’s penchant for the turnover (22.7 TO%) and it led to a night the Hoosiers failed to muster over a point per possession (.96).

Outside of Nick Zeisloft (4-of-7 from deep) and Indiana’s ability to get to the line (20-of-26), there wasn’t much to write home about. It was an ugly offensive performance.

On the other end, Indiana allowed 1.05 points per possession, its second highest of the Big Ten season (1.09 at Wisconsin). Brandon Taylor terrorized the Hoosiers all night on his way to a game-high 24 points (10-of-20). He was a tough cover in the paint and Anunoby had trouble with him. Taylor also made it happen for Penn State late. He got open in the left corner out of Indiana’s zone and hit a couple backbreaking 3-pointers.

The Nittany Lions made shots tonight. The Hoosiers didn’t.

For whatever reason, Indiana has had trouble against Penn State the last couple times out and it resulted in a loss this evening. The Hoosiers were supposed to head into the Iowa matchup on Thursday with a chance of snatching first place in the conference all by themselves. Now they’ll need a win to keep pace or risk falling two games back in the loss column.

It’s not easy to go an entire Big Ten season and win every game you’re supposed to — especially on the road. Still, this is the kind of game that may very well come back to haunt the Hoosiers both in terms of their finish in the Big Ten and possible NCAA tournament seeding.

It was a bad loss and a disastrous performance against a team that Indiana is clearly better than. But there’s no time to hang heads. Thursday’s game is a big one and the Hoosiers need to put this loss behind them.

(Photo credit: Matthew O’Haren/USA Today Sports Images)

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  • HoosierStuckInACCCountry

    I’m not saying prison and a loss are equivalent, i’m speaking to the responsibility of the person in charge. I’m so tired of fans pointing to a good record and saying “See, he’s good” and then giving him a pass on bad losses. His record against good teams is terrible, coupled with bad losses due to ineffective coaching. This is another typical no adjustment loss. I started this by saying this loss isn’t all on him, but the obvious lack of in game coaching is extremely frustrating.

  • Bballpop

    A couple of days before the game MB was interviewed and all he mentioned was the big teams coming up. Not one reference to Penn State. I really felt they were overlooking PSU and I figured this to be a close game or even a loss. It happens. Like you said, lesson learned, hopefully.

  • Bill Graham

    It was on the team (which includes Crean and the staff). We didn’t lose to Penn State we lost to Brandon Taylor. We have to be able to make adjustments or we will continue to lose games to guys like Brandon Taylor and Nigel Hayes.

  • Chappy Dan

    Same thing happened at the end of the Wisconsin game…Yogi moving his feet to stay in front of the dribbler (Koenig), dribbler extends arm and pushes Yogi to the floor. Block called.

  • Bill Graham

    I told my girl before this game, “Penn State has been the same for the past couple of years: they have one good player and that is it. Last year it was Newbill and the year before it was Frazier. I’m sick and tired of watching us get destroyed by one player. Hayes killed us, Brandon Ingram killed us, Bryant Crawford killed us, Joey King killed us. Well this time Brandon Taylor killed us. We are never going to be a good tournament team until we learn to shut down the other teams superstar. And the saddest part about this whole deal is that Brandon Taylor is not even close to being as elite as what we have coming. If Taylor put up 24 on us, Valentine, Uthoff, Layman, Stone, Trimble, Hammons, will all put up 40!

    Bob Knight talks about preparation being more important than the will to win (“Its not the will to win, everybody has that, it’s the will to PREPARE to win). Tom Crean and the boys were obviously not prepared for Brandon Taylor. Until we can learn to prepare for the Big Boys we are not a tournament ready team.

  • Chappy Dan

    No need to resort to name calling.

  • Bill Graham

    And if I sound like I’m raging with anger, its because we just lost to Penn Freaking State. I don’t care about “Oh well its the BIG and it’s a road game and Pat Chambers and turnovers…” No we just lost to Penn State. That should NEVER happen!

  • Bill Graham

    Mark I always appreciate it when folks see the bigger picture and you usually have great posts. But, I’m just as ticked as everyone else. For god’s sakes we just lost to Penn State and we were tied for 1st in the conference.


    Was pretty surprised by what TC said about OG in his presser. Said he thought OG was the only one that had any success in denying Taylor the ball and that he needed to start OG the second half for defensive purposes, thought it worked well until OG got really tired AND that in hindsight he probably should have played him more than he did. Think Crean is finally starting to see the same things that several of us have noticed when it comes to the, do I play TW or do I play OG debate.


    IMHO it’s not one or the other, but rather a combination of the two.

  • I hear you. I suppose I was just upset enough last night that I reacted poorly to the first “See, I told you they’d meltdown!” and “See, I told you Crean is a terrible coach!” comments that I saw popping up. Yes, that was a terrible loss, but I found it so mystifying precisely because of how well the players had shown themselves capable of playing and CTC of coaching. I really do follow sports teams to get enjoyment in my life, and when I see a thread like the other one that seemed to be going in a particularly negative direction, I tend to avoid it. I suppose I should have just done that without comment.


    Exactly right. I’ve stated on numerous occasions that TB’s complaining/whining when he doesn’t get a call that he thinks he should have irks me to certain degree, but he was pretty much justified in displaying his frustration at that point in the game.

  • BL

    Agree. Also, I disagree blaming TW’s play on TC. Every college coach will tell you – sometimes you can lead them to water over and over again and they just won’t drink. We all see potential in TW because of his athleticism but the fact is, he just doesn’t get it. For me, visually he plays the entire game like someone that’s a little to amped up at the beginning of a game. TC can’t cut him or trade him. In my view, the only reasonable option is to cut his minutes. If he does, must push OG/JM to be more aggressive offensively. They must work through the freshman indecision on the offensive end. They can both score; just need a little confidence.


    Backed it up and watched it several times and it was, not much of one and one that isn’t called all the time, but technically it was, but then again there was several grabs, bumps and shoves that are technically fouls and weren’t called.

  • Yeah, on Troy…I’ve been quiet and patient all season. I just don’t see it working out, going forward. The reason the team had begun to win and play well, in my opinion, had a LOT to do with good chemistry, ball movement, defense, and just overall good team play. Troy doesn’t seem to want to be a part of that for some reason. Or can’t. His passes are always off, and when he touches the ball, its generally a TO, a worthless pass, or a bad shot. Not counting when he rebounds it.

    When my significant other, who doesn’t watch that many games, or basketball in general, gets frustrated with Troy…that’s saying something. He’s either on the team and plays like it, or not. If not, well then…

  • I was just going to say…

  • Ole Man

    Last night, no one slowed down Taylor.

  • Chappy Dan

    So a driving player can take 3 steps and a post player can’t take 2?

  • Ole Man

    TC is responsible for:
    putting him in to many situations where he is asked to dribble.
    Troy finishes strong, often at the rim..silly comment.
    not utilizing him as the talent he is instead of fitting him into his stupid system.

    Oladipo did as much for himself as Crean did for him.
    Troy is often the reason games are blowouts.

    Troy needed to be in that game much more second half.
    It’s silly to argue that the freshmen are ready to contribute that much in a game such as that; and it became obvious when they simply didn’t produce.
    You put in your upper classman, who has been there before, and done it for you before (ND).

  • Ole Man

    Crean keeps attempting to use him as a guard, so how is that his fault.
    No, he didn’t severely hurt the team last night. His line was 9 points, 6 rebounds, one block, one TO.
    If anyone hurt the team last night it was Yogi.
    I notice you saying nothing about his stupid drives into traffic; his throwing up wild shots.
    Why is that?
    Suspend him? Yeah, right. For what?
    Stop making up silly opinion in order to justify the fact that you want to use Troy as a whipping boy.
    He’s not the reason IU lost last night.

  • Ole Man

    Okay. Then he should grow a pair.

  • I did mention his stupid drives into traffic, repeatedly. Those crazy running fade-away runners are rarely effective and are equivalent to turnovers. If you include the stupid drives into traffic as turnovers, his stats look a lot worse. And I don’t know that the coach is trying to use him as a guard, as much as it is Troy just not knowing how to get rid of the ball once it’s in his hands. It’s just not working.

    He’s failing as a team player and is largely responsible for IU’s slow starts over the past month or so.

  • Ole Man

    Again, you assign too much blame to Troy. “largely responsible for IU’s slow starts over the past month or so.”
    Don’t think so. That’s nothing but opinion, Clyde. No way you can back that up with any stats.

  • Of course it’s my opinion. And how does one prove such a thing with stats, exactly?

    Also, like I’ve said elsewhere, Troy is hardly my “whipping boy,” as I’ve been very patient with him all season and haven’t been as critical of him as many others have. He’s out of sync with the rest of the team. Yes, that’s my opinion, and I also don’t know how to prove that statistically. If you have any hypotheses on how to test for this, please share and we’ll begin.

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Too many situations when he is asked to dribble? Maybe he should have played wideout?

  • NC Hoosier

    Completely agree. He is so frustrating. Team basketball is beautiful, and lately we’ve been playing as a team. That seems to end once the ball gets in hands.

  • Hoosier_1158

    Early in the game Collin had his shot blocked, then the guy crashed into him and knocked him down. CTC should have chewed the ref out, yea, get a T. Next play down on the other end TB barely bumped the PS player and got a foul.


    Agree that a lot of the time a player driving to the bucket appears to travel or actually does travel, but that is just kind of the way it has always been called. The way that TB shuffled his feet is going to be called the majority of the time, versus a player taking long fast strides going to the rim, is not going to be called the majority of the time. My problem with that play was that, while TB did technically travel, the main reason that he did was because he was fouled BEFORE the travel, which is the reverse of what the ref said, re: he traveled before the foul. At that point Crean can protest about the call but not to the extent that he could about calls earlier in the game. That’s the reason that I say a coach has to work the refs early and legitimately so that when it’s crunch time his team has a better chance of getting a judgment call go his team’s way.

  • Bill Graham

    I agree people are too extreme and often irrational. I just hope we can bounce back against Iowa.

  • BL

    Our best chance will be holding serve at home.

  • BL

    That jump stop was not traveling. Terrible call.

  • dwdkc

    They anticipated and guessed, instead of closely watching the play. Often a problem with the lousy B10 officiating. I don’t use this as an excuse–IU is so much better than PSU, they should have won by more than the margin of lousy officiating–but the conference really deserves better than they get.

  • BL

    It’s not complicated. We lost because we shot 36% instead of our normal 50%. YF 3-12; TW 3-8; CH 0-4; RJ 2-5; MB 2-6; OG 0-1. Only players that shot well – TB/NZ combined to go 7-11.

  • BL

    Good counsel.

  • Ole Man

    Just think it’s hyperbole. Bad mouthing a player in an undeserved fashion.

  • Missing Moye

    It was like a 4 inch jump stop that resembled a shuffle or travel. Either way, I was not a fan of that call either.

  • Neil

    Good teams win these games even when they are off. Did Iowa lose to PSU when they had an off game in MSG? How about Maryland against PSU earlier in the year? You can make excuses all you want but this loss is on the player and coaches but I place mor eon the coaches because they need to get these kids focused and dialed in. i didn’t see that. Troy Williams is a walkijng turnover and the coaches continue to let him (maybe even encourage him) to go fast. I can’t see any offense being run except pass the ball around and look to penetrate then either score or dish to an open shooter. Or they just get it to TB for a one on one post move. Thats all they run. The players played bad but the coaches aren’t really coaching that I can see. This loss was huge for tournament seeding (or even making the tournament).

  • Koko

    I didn’t see that as a travel at all.

  • Koko

    Didn’t OG start the second half?

  • Koko

    No matter the position I think you just named the top 3.

  • BL

    Respect your opinion but I just don’t see it that way. After the Mich. game we were 19-4 overall and 9-1 in the BIG. How did you feel about the coaching then. PSU was a bad loss and TC certainly should share in the blame but it’s one game. Moreover, most of the blame belongs with the players.

    I posted the following comment in the Five Takeaways conversation: I’m back to where I was a few weeks ago. Nice team but lacks the talent to be one of the favorites when it comes to championships. Could win one but would clearly require overachieving. No true PG or Center depth and legit up front size/length relies too heavily on freshman. Can play with anyone when we shoot well but can also die by that sword. When I keep this in mind I can enjoy it when we play well and accept it when we don’t.

    Bottomline, in my view, most fans, at one time or another, have succumbed to wishful thinking – that this team has late run NCAA type talent. So when they don’t perform accordingly, it’s TC’s fault. With more realistic expectations comes much less angst.

  • Missing Moye

    He did, as did Max if I remember correctly. I believe someone quoted Crean as saying that Bryant didn’t start the 2nd half because of foul (didn’t want him to get his 4th right away). I’m not sure if any reason was given for Troy.