Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Michigan State

  • 01/20/2018 9:08 am in

Indiana’s three-game winning streak was snapped on Friday night as Michigan State crushed the Hoosiers, 85-57, at the Breslin Center. The loss dropped Indiana to 11-8 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Spartans:

· Michigan State played like the national championship contender that it is: Friday night was much more about Michigan State playing well than it was Indiana playing poorly.

The Hoosiers have played well as of late, but Michigan State is the class of the Big Ten right now in terms of talent. And it showed at the Breslin Center.

After a solid start, Michigan State’s 18-0 run put the game away less than 10 minutes into the contest. There aren’t many teams in the country that can put an opponent away that quickly, but Michigan State is one of them. And with five days to prepare after a loss to Michigan, the Spartans were ready to pounce.

“We’ve had teams where we came out to a great start and they were able to come back, like the Rutgers game,” Michigan State’s Miles Bridges said. “We just wanted to be able to step on their necks, and we showed a sign of maturity today. When they went on a run, we went on our run.”

· Robert Johnson’s strong play continues: After struggling frequently early in the season, Robert Johnson appears to be hitting his stride.

The senior guard from Richmond (Va.) scored a team-high 21 points in the loss and hit four of his six attempts from beyond the 3-point line. Johnson’s 3-point shooting percentage for the season is up to 34, which is still well below his career average.

With the status of Juwan Morgan uncertain moving forward, Indiana may need even more from Johnson offensively.

“He was just being very aggressive,” Archie Miller said of Johnson. “I think he knew he was going to have to step up and make some plays and he did. He played hard the whole way through.”

· No update on Juwan Morgan: The biggest storyline coming out of the loss, from an IU perspective, is the status of Juwan Morgan.

Morgan injured his left foot late in the first half and didn’t return. In fact, Morgan didn’t even return to the bench for the second half and reportedly left the arena on crutches.

Miller said Morgan would be reevaluated once the team returned to Bloomington, but provided no further update on the injury. With an already depleted frontcourt, Indiana simply doesn’t have the depth to play against the Big Ten’s upper echelon without Morgan.

· Indiana struggles on the defensive glass: The Hoosiers have been one of the Big Ten’s top defensive rebounding teams, but had major problems keeping Michigan State off the offensive glass.

The Spartans finished with an offensive rebounding percentage of 38.7, the third highest percentage allowed by Indiana this season. Michigan State turned 12 offensive rebounds into 17 second chance points.

“A lot of 50-50 plays, a lot of hustle rebounds, a lot of physical things that they came up with, you know, really resulted in a lot of second-chance points,” Miller explained. “So, give them credit, for us we got to get back to working the next couple of days.”

· One game down in brutal seven-game stretch: Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany wanted the league’s conference tournament in Madison Square Garden so badly that he condensed this season’s schedule to make it happen.

Indiana’s schedule in early January was manageable in terms of turnarounds, but this seven-game stretch in 17 days is brutal. Both of Indiana’s upcoming road games are on a one-day turnaround.

The Hoosiers won’t have more than a two-day prep in any of their next four games.

(Photo credit: Michigan State Athletics)

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  • inCMitrust

    The only takeaway that matters is Morgan’s health. The kid has had such bad luck with injuries. Let’s hope it is just a minor twisted ankle.

  • Lynn

    Obviously MSU has a huge advantage playing at home with a full roster of players. IU’s only big man is out for the season. When will some accountability be focused on the poor officating? Especially when this can lead to an injury like it did from a kid who has been busting his tail all season… I hope TI slept well last night.

  • JethroTroll

    Ugh. More ‘officiating’ nonsense.

  • JethroTroll

    One can only hope. IU sure has been bit hard by the injury bug the last few years. If this injury is serious, this will be a very long second half of the season.

  • Richard D Sirois

    The poor officiating lead to Morgan’s injury ??? CMON !!!!!

  • vicbert caladipo

    1. RJ is the only player on the team talented enough to play with MSU.
    2. So glad to see MSU break out the new unis with the muscle T ‘s so we all could admire their awesome tattoos
    3. Do we really need A ROID comments? He has a firm grasp of the obvious
    4. Fans complained about the officiating but did not hear Archie blaming it on the refs. He said they were bigger stronger faster and deeper and I agree.
    5. Many here put down Dan D and Vitale but Gus Johnson BY FAR is the most annoying broadcaster in ALL of sports. He can’t even talk like a normal human being…just shouts clichés going into his “voices”. Vitale does this once in awhile…Johnson does it the whole time. Disagree…compare J. Jackson talking to him. JJ talks…..the other clown just puts on a show. I wanted to climb thru the screen and shove my fist down his throat

    ok I feel better now……glad to see this team fight to the end. Prayers for Juwan. Poor kid has gone thru so much and didn’t need to be cheap shotted.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    We all knew this was gonna be ugly but credit our kids for playing hard. i hope coach gives JS and CM a ton of minutes the rest of the season as it will only benefit the team in the long run

  • TomEke

    I hope I never see 5-17 listed next to Josh Newkirk’s name ever again. He needs to try to figure out a way to get other guys involved when he clearly doesn’t have it.

  • Lynn

    Yea, if you watch him getting pushed in the back while trying to make a move. Cmon, focus on the game..

  • Ole Man

    Except in this case, Ward did push Morgan on the play where JM was injured and nothing was called.

  • Quite a few of those were shots at the very end of the clock when the offense had been completely unable to generate anything else. You can’t blame him for that, and really he had a decent game overall.

  • Couple points of mild disagreement. First, more of a question: did you keep JM out of point #1 because he was injured early? Second, regarding #4, I think the complaint is that the refs let things get way too physical inside, with lots of action that would have normally been called a foul. That played to MSU’s strengths and might very well have contributed to JM’s injury (he hurt himself after getting shoved in the back by an MSU player, I believe). Now, I agree: MSU was going to win this game regardless. But the refs sure didn’t do IU any favors.

  • I agree with you here. The refs let things get really, really physical inside and yes, JM was shoved in the back which resulted in his injury. Things had been called (or, rather, not called) the entire game to that point, which likely gave MSU more reason to keep playing so physically. Call a few of those shoves earlier, maybe the one that knocked JM out doesn’t happen.

  • I’m concerned, because JM has experience with such things and the look on his face seemed like, “Here we go again.”

  • JethroTroll

    Unfortunately, IU doesnt have many other or better options right now. Without Morgan, IU basically has no inside game.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I know the swallowing the whistle favors MSU, but most fans if being neutral would rather watch a physical game than one with ticky tack whistles blown(ala the Nigel Hayes Fest in Kohl). Fact is they are just better. If playing physical is your game, exploit it, as they did. Can’t punish a team just cuz they are more physical than you. Unfortunately CTC and so far Archie recruit smallish athletes. MSU and PU always recruit the brusiers. There is a reason they are the best teams in the bigten. Kinda ironic cuz they go about it in very different ways. Peeyo, lucky to land one top 100 recruit a year, while MSU is the Duke of the Midwest last year landing 4 recruits in the top 50. Two different styles as well although the common denominator is they are big, physical, and the bigtens two best. The Juwan foul was over the top, but most of the other physicality was just hard play. I’m sure you agree, we would have lost if the game was called tight?

    My first take was “talent”. We have no one with the talent of MSUs top 7 except for Rob. Not saying Juwan is not a worthy player but that his talent is not like States. They have 2 lottery pics and maybe a couple more drafted players. By next year You can add Tillman and maybe others to that list. We don’t have an NBA player on our roster. Rob is talented but not NBA talented. Juwan was on his way but not there YET. So not saying better player but better talent.

    Additional point…I don’t believe you have to have the most talent to win. Peeyoo is kicking major but right now. Villanova as well. We can win with Archies system and less talent, but until we start recruiting 7-2 300 pound bruisers(peeyoo has 2) or 6-9, 6-8, 6-7, 6-11 guys thicker than most football players(msu) we will always get man handled by team with more talent AND size. Now the rest of the bigten we can handle if Juwan comes back healthy.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I agree. When JM went down so did the offense. He didn’t do much from a stat point, but MSU had to be aware of him and his all around game. The burden was left to Rob and Josh. Josh did his best….was just overmatched and no one else was stepping up. Would have been a good time for a few Collin 3’s to go down, but that didn’t happen. Josh is a piece of the puzzle….not the man. I don’t fault him or anyone. They played hard but were just overmatched. I really hope Archie starts looking at bigger guys. I state time to time the importance of Max B. the year we won the bigten. You can win with one of the 2 (size and talent) but no way you win the conference without at least one. MSU has both.

  • JethroTroll

    Again, Ugh.

  • Hoosier4life67

    When I hear people complaining about the refs letting the game play out so physical it makes me think of one saying. “Suck it up! buttercup” Try calling the refs complaint hotline. “1-800- Wha- aaaa”

  • vicbert caladipo

    Love me some Tyra Buss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JethroTroll

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • Arch Puddington

    There was a ref on the grassy knoll. 9/11 was an inside job — by refs. There is a symbol of a secret referee society on the back of the dollar bill. They are everywhere — and nowhere.

  • JethroTroll


  • JethroTroll

    Gus Johnson is awful. He couldn’t get a player’s name right to save his life last night.

  • Arch Puddington

    “The refs are against us” is a point of nearly theological fervor for some. There were people on ITH complaining about the refs BEFORE the game (see “What to expect”). Humans are deeply tribal creatures, and nearly hardwired for “us vs them” thinking. “They” — the media who predicted a low finish in the conference this year, conference officials who want MSU to do well, the NCAA, the refs, everyone — are out to get “us”. Nothing will shake some people from such beliefs, not even obvious realities like MSU’s huge advantages in size and athleticism. Everything boils down to bias, and it is always against us. Maybe for fun I’ll start a running total of how many times someone on ITH argues that the media, the refs, the people who make up our schedule, or anyone else is actually based FOR us. I can just hear it now: “wow, the refs really gave us some breaks today!” I don’t expect that total to get very high.

  • JethroTroll

    Keeping a running total on the topics you mentioned would be full time job on here, unfortunately.

  • Arch Puddington

    Ditto for those who complain about Izzo keeping his starters in late. This is big-time sports, not Victorian croquet. I might question the wisdom of keeping starters in long after the outcome is clear — I mean, one sprained ankle could derail a run to the Final Four — but not the sportsmanship. He’s trying to win a national championship, and if he thinks his team has something to gain by keeping the starters in, he is not just allowed to do so, he is *obligated* to do so. It’s what he is paid for, and he owes it to his players and the fans of his program. All he owes us or any other opponent is clean play on the court and a handshake after the game.

  • Ben thorne

    Hey Arch – Not trying to pick a fight, but if you think the sportsmanship doesn’t really matter (your comment on the starters ) why mention the handshake at the end of your comment?

  • vicbert caladipo

    How many times did he call newkirk mcswain? 2 3 4? He’s too busy garnering attention acting like a clown. If I was JJ I’d have elbowed him in the mouth. In his own mind he thinks he’s cute but he makes vitale look like a mime

  • vicbert caladipo

    I agree totally. There were 8-10 back to back complaining. I posted on what to expect that I thought they would be biased but for the most part they were fair…..there was a play where JM was off balance and backed into Ward that wasn’t called against… If anything I go the other route and think the refs were letting it go cuz we are so thin….Archie stressed heavily about keeping JM out of foul trouble….I think the refs wanted the main players to stay on the floor from BOTH teams……I only blame the refs when it decides the outcome, This game’s outcome was decided by the bigger, stronger, faster, more talented, and MUCH deeper team

  • Arch Puddington

    Oh, I think sportsmanship matters a lot. I believe in playing by the rules, helping your opponent up at the end of a play, and parting as friends. But when it comes to the game itself, I don’t think it is bad sportsmanship at all to keep starters in until the end of a blowout. In little league, or even high school, I would feel differently. But at the D1 level, which is professional sports in all but name, I have no problem with a coach doing what he thinks is best for his team. There is no bad blood between Izzo and Archie, or between IU and MSU, and no reason at all to think Izzo was doing it to embarrass us. Remember, they have taken a couple of rough losses lately, along with their loss earlier to Duke. For a team with championship aspirations, they haven’t exactly lit it up, so Izzo has good reason to keep coaching his team up, even in a blowout. It has nothing to do with us, and I’m not offended in the least by it.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Dan D said today that Calbert Cheaney was one of 3 of the toughest hardest working kids he’d ever seen in the bigten. I agree. I have been waiting for the next Calbert for over 20 years. Victor was a close second. Long live the bigten alltime scoring title belonging to KING CALBERT!!!

  • vicbert caladipo

    People are starting to realize just how good Rutgers and OSU are. I said it at the beginning of the season. Most thought I was nuts. Sure MSU played poorly but the opponent was no slouch. The UM game is normal when it’s a backyard rivalry. Holtman is an excellent coach and one of my choices over archie…of course that made some think I had something against archie…which I do not…..

  • Tom Simpson

    Tyra’s fantastic – exactly what Indiana basketball is about. Just wish more people on campus took the opportunity to see her play.

  • MrNobody

    Completely agree. With all due respect to Arch was thinking same thing about RJ being in so late. He had good game n didn’t see benefits of keeping him in so late. #1 says it all for me besides that.

  • MrNobody

    Completely agree 1-4… these guys have to bring something different to earn their jobs.. imagine the competition for that job until you make a name for yourself. How many other jobs would pick over announcing the best sporting events in this country or even world.9

  • Kwang

    The game was called evenly for both teams….as in the refs let a lot of physical play happen, that favored MSU.

    There were a couple of no calls not go IU’s way.

  • Kwang

    I listened to Don Fischer and Erik Suhr, they were complaining about several non-calls in the first half.

  • Richard D Sirois

    If the refs had called the foul, would that have prevented the injury?? That’s what you’re implying. Deal with reality !

  • Outoftheloop

    Add Juwan to your talent comment, and Justin Smith. When you go up around the rim at MSU you expect contact. I saw the replays, there was no “cheap shot”. Juwan came down awkwardly on his own ankle.

  • Richard D Sirois

    It’s called Big 10 basketball

  • Outoftheloop

    Ward pushes everyone on every play. Usually they are not dirty plays, just aggressive hard plays.

  • dennis powell

    A lot of us have decided to give our coaching staff a pass on this season and from time to time I have agreed. We had a little stretch where we played really hard and that is encouraging. I’m going to have to start watching Ohio St a little more so I can figure out how their 1st year coach is undefeated through 8 games. Maybe his style is so much like Matta’s that it was an easy transition for their players or maybe the talent level is just so much better then ours. Maybe I will be able to understand our season a little better. Injuries to DD and JM are certainly a part of it although I would argue that DD hadn’t really been that effective. There was no way we were going to beat sparty after they dropped from #1 to #9. They were looking for blood and I would say they got their fill. At some point we have to decide are we going to wait another 5 years to decide that we are just mediocre and greatness is a thing of the past or are we going to hold not only the coaching staff responsible but also the AD. This is what happens when you live through an era of greatness and then you have to settle for mediocre. You become intolerant and angry. We get the same group playing every game. Show us the rest of the team and let’s see what they have. At least that would answer the “we just don’t have enough talent” question.

  • Lynn

    JM was injured late in the 1st half. I am saying if fouls would have been called sooner, the play may not have been so physical which is to MSU’s advantage. Sure, it is the B1G, basketball, not football.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Ward is a thug……but Izzo likes those types and why shouldn’t he…..they win!! Saw where Izzo and Ward were arguing on the bench…you could read their lips…..F bombs a plenty……I like the fact we have good kids…..maybe the best in all of college ball. IU doesn’t really recruit nasty bruisers or thugs. At Wards size…..who is going to fight back? Not even his own coach escapes his wrath

  • StudentHoosier

    Newkirk is terrible.

  • MikeinNC

    1) Juwan Morgan is really important.
    2) Juwan Morgan is really important.
    3) Juwan Morgan is really important.
    4) Juwan Morgan is really important.
    5) Any questions, please refer to points #1 through #4 above.

  • Richard D Sirois

    I’ve watched the replay of JM’s injury a dozen times. It was normal jostling for position for a rebound. He was not pushed in the back. Have no idea what you were looking at.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I’ve had many of the thoughts you just expressed, but I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion just yet that we are going to wade through 5 years of mediocrity. Comparing us to OSU may not be apples to apples either. I would argue OSU has more talent, but obviously the big difference is they have guys achieving above expectations/rankings while IU has guys vastly underachieving. Coaches fault? Not sure I personally buy that. I get your frustration but this roster (over the last few years) has underachieved for awhile now. I’m giving him until year 3-4 to see big improvement before I start complaining. I don’t think the time to “decide if we are going to wait 5 years for mediocrity” is January of year 1. Keep the faith!