Notebook: Hoosiers fall back into old ways in loss to Wisconsin

  • 03/10/2017 11:45 pm in

WASHINGTON – Indiana fell back into several of its old habits on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament and the result was a 70-60 loss to Wisconsin.

The Badgers (24-8) slowed Indiana’s offensive machine to a halt. The Hoosiers (18-15) only managed 61 possessions the day after accumulating 76 against Iowa.

“Yesterday we were getting up and down and having fun,” James Blackmon Jr. said after the game. “Today they kind of slowed us down.”

It was Indiana’s third loss of the season to the Badgers, who have perplexed the Hoosiers since Crean’s arrival in Bloomington. Wisconsin has now won 16 of 18 matchups against Indiana during Crean’s nine years in Bloomington.

On Friday, each Badger possession was methodical, passes were precise, and nearly every cut was with a purpose.

Whenever Indiana missed a defensive rotation, Wisconsin took advantage, knocking down open 3s on several occasions.

“We could have rotated to shooters better and recognized personnel,” Josh Newkirk said after the game.

As a team, Wisconsin finished the night 10-for-22 from long range with Bronson Koenig leading the way (4-for-7).

“(Koenig) is a tremendous player,” Crean told reporters after the game. “As I said to him, it’s been an honor to coach against him. He’s gotten nothing but better and is going to be a long-time pro.”

Inside the arc, Ethan Happ once again shredded the Hoosiers’ interior defense, scoring 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Over the three meetings with Indiana this season, Happ shot 23-for-30 from the floor (77 percent).

Happ befuddled the Indiana frontcourt, especially Thomas Bryant. The sophomore picked up two personal fouls early in the first half and didn’t make a single field goal on the night.

“I could have played better, just helping my teammates out, especially in the first half,” Bryant said after the game. “I got two early (fouls). That’s on me right there on the defensive end. Offense will take care of itself, but I’ve gotta be locked in on the defensive end.”

Even with the struggles inside, the Hoosiers were in the game until the final minutes. A 15-point Wisconsin lead with 8:14 remaining was trimmed to four with 1:21 to play after Blackmon nailed a three.

But the Badgers would score the next six points of the night, putting the contest out of reach and sending Indiana packing.

Crean heckled by fan following loss

On his way into the tunnel following Friday’s defeat, Tom Crean was confronted by a heckler in a Maryland shirt.

The confrontation comes amid rumors and speculation surrounding Crean. Crean has denied interest in the Missouri opening.

In the locker room following the game, Bryant defended his coach.

“Coach Crean is my guy,” Bryant said. “I’ll stick by him each day throughout anything. We know he won’t give up on us and he knows we won’t give up on him. All that coach Crean stuff, I’m not answering it. You guys already know my answer.”

NIT awaits

In the locker room, nearly every player was asked their thoughts on how they would feel about playing in the National Invitation Tournament.

“I love playing with these guys,” Morgan said, echoing his teammates. “They’re my brothers. I’ll play with them as long as I can no matter what tournament it is.”

Current NIT projections place Indiana as a 3 seed, which would mean they could host a game this upcoming Tuesday or Wednesday.

Indiana will learn their NIT fate at 8:30 p.m. Sunday when ESPNU airs the NIT Selection Special.

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  • BC

    He never said he wouldn’t come out of retirement. You never know, maybe he needed a little time away. Isn’t Coach K close to 70? The guy can coach. Ion pretty sure he “retired” due to a public extramarital affair. Either way I would be very comfortable leading our program for 3-5 years.

  • BC

    I agree, but it’s his business and he’s never to my recollection had any type of program misconduct

  • BC

    Bring him in, maybe try to convince a Michael Lewis or Dane Fife to come in as a high profile assistant?

  • BC

    Coach K is a Year older, according to wiki

  • BC

    I never said recruiting had to be exclusively from Indiana. I would rather have Indiana as my base over any other base in the country. Indiana high school basketball players are the most skilled, gritty, intellectual, and instinctive around.

  • BC

    Getting the top players in the state is key, but I would like to to have some developmental 2nd tier Ind all stars as well e.g.- Desmond Bane led the state in scoring last year and starts for TCU, Jack Nunge a 6’11 kid from Castle (Evansville?) going to Iowa, just beat New Albany tonight. The NW pg, the list goes on

  • Outoftheloop

    No Banners at Butler!

  • Outoftheloop

    You are an idiot. Butler is a good team. It is NOT Indiana’s team!

  • Outoftheloop

    Enough Larry! You are just repeating yourself, ad nausium!

  • Outoftheloop

    What player with ambition would sit out 1 year to play at Mizzo, a team with zero NCAA hopes for at least 2 more years?

  • pcantidote

    We get it Larry, you are Butler’s biggest fan boy.

  • Getting rid of Crean is worth it no matter what. The program would lose too much support.

  • My top candidates
    Billy Donovan
    Tony Bennett
    Monty Williams
    Steve Alford
    Jay Williams
    Jay Bilas
    Archie Miller

  • vicbert caladipo

    Ask him what the difference is in being caught with a fake ID and a DUI. I never got an answer…just a smug my cooment was bad.

  • Wannamaker

    Is there a news blackout around here…? Ryan’s long-term extramarital affair led to his resignation and then to a lawsuit against UW which was well-reported on. So much for your alternafacts…

    But again – We love Bo Ryan. Unreservedly.

  • Guyton25

    The Hoosier Faithful don’t give up on IU. Never have, never will. Losing support has never been an issue and it will never be. The only discussion is can Crean do any different next year if we keep him.

  • It is an issue when Assembly is missing thousands in the stands.

  • Wannamaker

    “I had no idea” they state. Which didn’t preclude them from making uninformed pronouncements. “…because I don’t care..” so staying uninformed insures their right to rigid beliefs. “Only in America..” a geopolitical right to an open marriage arrangement sounds fine to us, as long as both parties are in full agreement. Only then would adultery become an “honorable” tradition. (Oh, yes. And we know the French and numerous other cultures) are already tout suite on that concept.)

  • Lawless

    I’m not sure why so many people think Brad Stevens or Billy Donovan are leaving their good situations in the NBA to take a chance at IU…doesn’t make sense career-wise. Alford isn’t leaving UCLA either…I think Mike Woodson is the best and most realistic candidate. A great defensive coach who is from IU…understands the culture and will be able to recruit the state…just my opinion.