The Minute After: Wisconsin

  • 01/02/2018 9:53 pm in

Thoughts on a 71-61 loss to the Badgers:

Another year, another trip to the Kohl Center, another lackluster performance from Indiana leading to a loss.

New coach, new system and it didn’t matter — Ethan Happ remains an enormous thorn in the Hoosiers side … on both ends of the court. Happ took this seriously depleted Badgers squad — one playing walk-ons in the rotation and that’s already lost three at home by double digits — and put them on his back this evening. He willed them to victory with every post move, post bucket, pass, block, steal and defensive denial. His line for the evening: 28 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two blocks and four steals.

Whenever the junior had the ball, good things happened. Stay one on one with him? He’d use his superior footwork and maneuvering to blow past the likes of De’Ron Davis and Freddie McSwain. They had no chance.

Shuffle down on a double team? Happ often found the open man on the same side of the court who’d ring in the 3-pointer. Indiana has been poor for most of the season recovering out to the perimeter on shooters and tonight was no different. Wisconsin hit 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from beyond the arc this evening.

Indiana’s post entry work this year has been solid and it’s allowed Juwan Morgan to shine on the block. The Hoosiers have been best on offense with an inside-out approach as its shooting has struggled. But Wisconsin — and particularly Happ — made it difficult for Indiana’s big men to get established, though Morgan got it going later in the game to finish with 17. Davis had just two points. McSwain had none in 12 minutes of action.

It wasn’t all bad, as the Hoosiers looked like they might be able to get out of town with a victory after leading 33-30 at the break despite Morgan and Davis being in foul trouble. But Indiana’s performance in the second half was awful. It all came down to effort. Happ and the Walk Ons brought it. The Hoosiers didn’t. At all. Their effort and energy was low and they didn’t even seem to care as the game slipped way. There was no pride and little communication.

And so despite having much more talent on the court, Indiana was outworked by Wisconsin, as it gave up 1.28 points per possession in the second half and was outscored 15-4 in second chance points for the contest.

Collin Hartman pumped in a career-high 18 points for the Hoosiers. The fifth-year senior hit four 3-pointers. The other nine Indiana shot? None dropped, leading to a 3-point percentage of just 26.7 percent. With each passing game the Hoosiers shoot poorly from distance, it gets harder to envision a scenario in which they ever recover. They’re one of the worst teams in the country (now 315th) in 3-point shooting.

With Wisconsin’s thin roster, the Hoosiers had a golden opportunity to pick up their first win at the Kohl Center in nearly 20 years.

But a team with more experience and talent was bested by Wisconsin, a troubling sight to see.

Filed to:

  • David Macer

    Absolutely zero effort by all of Indiana. This is not a typical IU team. No heart at all. Just going thru the motions.

    Can’t think of any other invectives right now.

  • Fifty-fifty ball

    SIMPLY FRUSTRATING!!!

  • cbags05

    Blown opportunity. We let one guy dominate us. And choked every time he was on the bench.

  • yaman22

    The lack of emotion or passion, whatever you want to call is remarkable.
    You don’t see excitement when they do something good, or anger when the screw up. They don’t encourage each other, or get on each other to raise the level of play.
    They really look like they would rather be anywhere else than on the basketball court, which I don’t understand, after all the work they have to put in, the games should be the fun part. No pride in themselves or in playing for Indiana, meh

  • JethroTroll

    Think this loss was bad? Just wait ’til Minnesota gets ahold of us on Saturday. We all might want to start drinking early that day.

  • Dave Carnes

    No heart or will to play,Shoot Wisky Sucks too but atleast they tried to win.Get Robert Johson off the floor he sucks I am sorry but after four years you can’t take that game over YOU SUCK

  • calbert40

    In their defense, that “one guy” is pretty darn good.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I already am.

  • eville87

    Look it is what it is. Let’s play Green, Morgan, Smith, Moore and Hartman. Durham first off the bench. We have to accept the fact it’s a process and it’s going to take 1.5 years for us to improve. The senior guards need some pine time. If we lose who cares the underclassmen will be ready next year. Can’t give up on Miller this is the hand he was dealt this year. Once again no leadership from 2 senior guards.

  • JethroTroll

    I cant believe that were seeing posts in January of Archie’s first year at IU stating that we need to give him more time.

  • eville87

    We are not that good this year collectively as a team. I’m paper we have some pieces but it is what it is. I have faith that this time next year we will see a drastic improvement.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Agreed that it is time to move on from the current starting lineup because “And so despite having much more talent on the court, Indiana was outworked by Wisconsin”
    I’d say Green is too inconsistent and makes too many silly turnovers to start though. I’d go with:
    Durham, McRoberts, Smith, Morgan & Hartman, with Johnson, Green & Moore first off the bench.
    Watching the repeated lack of defensive effort from DD, JN…. well…. it’s troubling and I don’t feel should be rewarded with playing time.

  • Arch Puddington

    Every great coach — all of them — had fantastic, obvious success from their first year. It has never take even one great coach more than a few games to elevate his program in such obvious ways that even rabid fans were satisfied. It’s time we call in the big-money donors, pony up for the buy-out, and show Archie the door.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    It is mind boggling. And part of the problem is that the bench doesn’t show it better! Goodness, you’d think they would in order to get playing time. You can look at ZM and see him getting playing time as a reward for effort. It should not take a rocket scientist on the team to see that if they bring consistent effort, they’d get rewarded.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Love the sarcasim!

  • I can believe it. I mean, I can’t believe it — but I can believe it.

  • Bill Graham

    How long before we stop blaming it on Creans guys? At what point do we start to look at Arch and ask questions?? Tonight wasn’t a personnel problem. We were way more talented than Wisconsins walk ons

  • Bill Graham

    I get your point. But this wasn’t a loss due to talent. You can’t blame this one on Creans guys.

  • Bill Graham

    Dave Fleming even said it was a poor effort

  • JethroTroll

    I know that’s the narrative, but Im not convinced that IU is all that more talented than Wisky. And let’s not forget that IU hasn’t won in Kohl since 1998. So, in reality, expecting anything less than what happened tonight is pretty unrealistic. Especially given the limitations of this team.

  • Arch Puddington

    Little known fact: by midway through the first season of their signature jobs, Bob Knight, Tom Izzo, and Brad Stevens had all won national championships.

    Archie has had enough time. We know enough to know.

  • JethroTroll

    You’re forgetting about Coach K too!!!

  • Mack

    I’m sick of people wondering how the Hoosiers keep losing when they have more talent than the other team. Obviously we don’t have more talent. Newkirk and Johnson are one of the worst guard combinations to watch in the nation. Johnson looks like he constantly forgets what’s he is supposed to be doing both offensively and defensively, whereas newkirk looks like he never knew what to do in the first place. The plus minus when newkirk is on the floor has to be miserable with one of the best team performances coming against Notre dame when newkirks foul trouble had him on the bench for almost the entirety of the game. If Archie is still looking for senior leadership, it’s time to accept it doesn’t exist. Its time to start some underclassmen guards. They’re gonna make some stupid turnovers, but they could bring some much needed energy to this team’s offense. Not to mention, who cares about turnovers when Johnson and newkirk have made the turnover an art form that they have both mastered.

  • Arch Puddington

    This game was ENTIRELY due to talent. We don’t have any. They had the overwhelmingly best player on the floor; the other 9 players were variying degrees of mediocrity. And before someone wants to carry on about high school rankings and all that, I’ll just say what has been said many times before: this is the same team that lost in the first round of the NIT last year, but without its two best players. We don’t have a B1G caliber PG, SF, or C. We do have B1G caliber players in RJ and JM, but both in a 2nd-3rd team kind of way. Neither can consistently carry a team, and behind them we have a mixture of unranked recruits, walk-ons, JC transfers, and freshmen. It is the last talented team since the year before Cody arrived. They can’t shoot, they can’t defend, and they have no dog in them at all. John Wooden couldn’t win consistently with these guys, and the losses to ISU, Fort Wayne, and Wisconsin just emphasize the point. Go look up DD’s game log on ESPN. A perfect microcosm of a lousy team.

  • Mark Bando

    We have many weaknesses but our shooting is our biggest. Its hard to win in todays game ranking 315 in the country in 3 point shooting. Then when you consider our two best scorers score either in the post (JM) or going to the hoop (RJ), you realize our outside shooting is really bad. It would be interesting to see what our shooting percentage from more than 5 feet from the bucket is. I’m guessing about 28%.

  • Arch Puddington

    I will stop blaming Crean’s guys when they no longer dominate the team and Archie has had time t recruit and train his own guys. In the meantime, this is the same bunch that went 4-10 down the stretch last year, but with AD in place of JBJ and DD in place of TB. Why anyone would be surprised that the same players who couldn’t win with multiple NBA players on the roster can’t win without them is beyond me.

  • Kyl470

    I just made this my Facebook post. It’s very true.

  • Kyl470

    Yeah I don’t get the more talent thing either. Coming into this year only 4 players on this team were considered top 100 recruits in their recruiting class. RJ, Davis, Cujo, and Smith. Cujo transferred, Smith hardly plays, Davis is a no show half the time and RJ forgot how to shoot. Also none of them were top 40 players they all feel in the 45-100 range.

    If we are talking NBA talent Morgan is the only one with a shot at the NBA unless Smith or Moore have a major jump between their freshman and sophomore year.

  • Kyl470

    Also I’m going to keep preaching this, but no size and no outside shooting is a bad combo. Asking McSwain the guard people 5 to 6 inches taller than him isn’t going to work out very well.

  • Arch Puddington

    TB couldn’t guard him, but we are surprised when FM can’t? The issue here is the gap between our understandably hopeful expectations and the reality of our team. They are who they are.

  • bo

    your probably right

  • bo

    we don’t play 40 mins any game,they said mindset,it’s effort man,a lot of our guys don’t have it

  • Kyl470

    I think we all thought Archie was so much better of a coach than Crean that he could work magic with the same players. The reality is Crean’s roster construction is what ultimately did him in. I’m going to take some time and write a longer post on the 5 takeaways section, but after recruiting Yogi, Crean only recruited two players that were considered to be a PG. Josh Newkirk and Al Durham.

  • bo

    they say that every time they lose

  • bo

    be proud of the uniform you wear,they don’t give it,bench them,like knight did, they listend

  • dwdkc

    Usually we can blame it on the limitations of the roster, which are significant–if you can’t make a 3 point shot, the college game is very hard. Tonight we really can’t; we were clearly better in the first half and then once they made a little run in the 2nd we had nothing. These guys just don’t have the fire. I doubt the coach can get them to find it.

  • dwdkc

    I have to disagree with you partly on this. De’Ron should be better, a “Big 10 center”. He needs to be more aggressive. You saw what he did to lottery picks in the Duke game. Happ is a more mature defender, OK, but to disappear tonight and in so many other games is a problem between his ears. Otherwise the lack of shooting is killing us. But tonight, Wiscy had no business winning that game if we brought the kind of intensity and fire on defense that we played with in other games. Wiscy was awful outside of Happ.

  • dennis powell

    Thankfully Hoosier nation is waking up to what kind of players we have. I posted a comment critical of a few players a few weeks ago and I was skewered. Dakich may have given us insight into our problems. His assessment of our effort in practice and in games makes absolute sense when measured against how guys are so up and down. RJ shows what he can be but as I said he only shows up for about 10 games a year. I had such high hopes for DD but his inability to finish moves with buckets is maddening. Now that I know it’s possibly because he is just going through the motions I am extremely bummed. I love DG but I will say last night was the worse effort I have ever seen from him. I was not a Tom Crean fan so blaming this on his recruits is easy for me. However for a coach to keep playing guys that give half effort makes no sense. As an Indiana basketball fan for 45+ years I would rather lose with the effort of 5 McRoberts then watching a bunch of lazy players disrespect the uniform by giving half effort.

  • cbags05

    No doubt. But when he’s on the bench we should flourish.

  • IU_theoracle

    Well said, I completely agree. This is not Archie’s fault by any means and I will give him a pass considering the limited amount of talent on this team. But I will not give him a pass on playing these guys who show no effort or heart. Just play the freshman and don’t worry about the mistakes. I do not understand the limited minutes for both Justin Smith and Clifton Moore, they are not redshirting so why not give them 20+ minutes per game for the experience to lead into next season?

  • Sandra Wilson

    When you want to win, as all fans do, it’s hard not to blame the coach for all the problems. I, at times, wonder what coach Miller is doing too. Why doesn’t he bench certain players? Why does the defense appear to be totally disorganized? Why didn’t we double up Happ the whole game and why didn’t we actually double him up instead of making fakes at him or playing it half way. With no “in your face” pressure, it’s no wonder he made all the correct passes. All that being said, think about coach Krzyzewski’s first three years. He was 17-13, 10-17 and 11-17. After that, he won more than 20 or 30 games every season and is probably considered one of the 2 greatest coaches of all time. I guess we just need to yell at the TV, be embarrassed, and give him time. Duke did, and that worked out pretty well for them.

  • IU_theoracle

    Spot on. This team has little talent and definitely do not have the talent to win conference games without giving a full effort. I’d rather see Archie bench the upperclassmen for the underclassmen and just plan for next season.

  • IU_theoracle

    I’ll stop blaming it on Crean’s guys when Crean’s entire team is no longer the IU team. Archie doesn’t have a single player of his own on this roster so how can you blame this on him? The problem is 100% the personnel. These guys have little talent and little heart or desire.

  • Jim Krotzman

    Wisconsin seldom has top 100 recruits, and look what they do year after year.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Careful Sandra….criticizing Coach Miller may make people think you don’t like the hire. The Bob Knight comparisons need to stop. He is no Bob Knight.

  • SCHoosier

    If IU couldn’t beat that Badger team..they likely will never get another win at Kohl. Happ embarrassed the entire IU program by doing what he wanted..when he wanted. He alone had more energy than the entire IU team i including coaches.

  • SCHoosier

    Knight would have had the walk-ons starting by now just to make a point.

  • SCHoosier

    MN’s front line will abuse DD and JM…if we get the same foul calls we got (expectedly) at Kohl in the first half. Those “shirts touched” fouls make the game suck.

  • dennis powell

    I’ve looked throughout the comments and I’m trying to figure out where Sandra mentioned Knight.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I blame the loss on the weather. I blame everything on the weather. Our team was out to lunch thinking about the beautiful sandy beaches of florida they will be visiting on spring break.