The Minute After: Ohio State

  • 01/30/2018 9:48 pm in

Thoughts on a 71-56 loss to the Buckeyes:

There’s no rest for this Indiana team.

Tonight marked its fifth contest in 12 days. Just a day sat inbetween an emotional contest against Purdue, the best team in conference, and another on the road against the second best record wise, Ohio State.

So Indiana’s start, a mix of quick jumpers off one pass and little resistance on defense could maybe be explained away as fatigue. If nothing else, there’s at least a case to be made for it.

Whatever the reason for the rough start, Indiana simply dug itself too big a hole with it, trailing by 15 at half. Robert Johnson and Josh Newkirk shot a combined 0-of-6 in the first half and failed to score. Freddie McSwain went 0-of-4, including a couple of misses from point blank range. The Hoosiers managed just .70 points per possession and had an effective field goal percentage of just 37. Yes, the Hoosiers found some life over the final 20 minutes of the contest and played Ohio State even (33-33). But it still all amounted to a double-digit loss.

Juwan Morgan got his shot blocked a couple times tonight. He wasn’t involved nearly enough in the first half, which was another issue for Indiana’s offense. But he continues to be a do-all player for these Hoosiers, scoring some tough buckets in traffic en route to 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Morgan added six rebounds, two assists and a steal. Zach McRoberts scored five points this evening and attempted three 3-pointers, making one. McRoberts is catching and shooting right away with confidence, his days of timid play on offense a thing of the past.

And what to do with Devonte Green? After some strong play against Illinois — though that was tempered with some late mistakes — Green only saw four minutes against Purdue on Sunday. But he started in place of Newkirk in the second half tonight and pumped in 15 of his career-high 20 points after the break. Green got hot from distance and hit 4-of-5. The rest of his teammates shot just 2-of-14 from beyond the arc. Green also hit 4-of-5 from the line, while the rest of his teammates went just 6-of-13. The sophomore arguably took just one bad shot tonight and dished out two assists against no turnovers in 30 minutes of action.

Green’s boom and bust style of play has made it hard for Archie Miller to trust him. But on night’s like tonight where Newkirk isn’t producing much, rolling the dice on Green and having it pay off may be of mutual benefit to the player and the team as a whole over the final weeks of Big Ten play.

With tonight’s game in the books, Indiana’s free throwing shooting (65.3 percent) now sits at 326th in the country. Its 3-point shooting (30.5 percent) is even worse at 333rd.  The Hoosiers are now 12-11 overall and officially under .500 in conference (5-6).

Despite an improved, more committed defense and some signs of Miller’s system beginning to take shape, this team’s poor shooting is going to make staying above .500 with seven regular season games to go no walk in the park.

(Photo credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports)

Filed to:

  • A lot of people wanted Holtmann during the coaching search. We’ll see in a few years if our AD made the right choice with Archie. Right now one team is performing roughly around expectations while another is far exceeding them.

  • IdahoHoosier

    While this team has shown growth and increased toughness over the course of the season (despite losing players to injuries, etc.), the slow start thing isn’t new. I really think excusing these losses away by saying the team is tired is a disservice to the team and Archie. Do we not believe these guys are in great shape? Are the coaches not preparing their guys for these games? All teams in the B1G have too many short turnarounds (1 or 2 days are frequent), and are affected by fatigue. The bottom line is IU still has flaws, despite noticeable improvement. A good game last night, just too slow of a start as we have seen many times this year, to keep up with a better team.

  • Koko

    They played better in the second half but overall they did not play a good game. Unless you mean playing at a 10 to 15 point deficit for three quarters of the game a good game. Sure they are in great shape….a lot of people are in great shape but still hit a point of exhaustion at some point. Your general statement to cover the B1G’s scheduling errors don’t fly….are you on the B1G’s payroll? There is no disservice to the coach or players….some people can actually observe the obvious. Plus as a coach would you rather have four days to prepare as opposed to less than two?

  • IdahoHoosier

    Are you a current or aspiring politician? You do a decent job of deflecting and redirecting conversations. I particularly like using a question at the end of your post that has an obvious answer that no one can refute, yet has nothing to do with what I initially said. The B1G scheduling stinks this year, we all know that and seem to agree on it, so I’m not sure what I said that “doesn’t fly”. My comment on disservice to the coach and players stands. NBA players play and practice an obscene amount, when I was college age I played in multiple leagues, worked out daily, played pick-up between league games, was in school full-time, worked part-time, etc. etc. The coaches prepare their players mentally and physically, the players put a ton of effort and time into being prepared. Excusing away poor execution by “being tired” is a slap in the face to the players and coaches who work so hard. Seems obvious to me. Look at any B1G schedule in the past and there have always been 3 and 4 day turnarounds, with the occasional 2 day turnaround. I didn’t hear as much complaint about that.

    All that being said, I hope the scheduling improves because the game/product can be better with more time between games.

  • Koko

    NBA players don’t have to worry about classes and exams etc. They let their wives take care of the family and agents take care of the daily/monthly money matters….they have nothing to do but sleep play and practice. And your super star comments about yourself sounds great but you really don’t need to toot your own whistle on how great athletes
    are or can be. Bottom line is people at any age get tired. Actually you should look at past B1G schedules and compare them to this season. I learned how to misdirect/deflect attention and conversations from reading your posts. You are a master at it. And that is not a compliment.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Well, you admit you are learning from me which is at least something positive gained from this experience. Again, you make comments about things that can’t be refuted, the sign of not really having an argument. Of course people get tired, and we all acknowledge that the schedule isn’t good and needs to get better. What exactly did you disagree with in my initial post? Everything you’ve said since has been more or less in line with my thoughts. Somehow you’ve turned this into an argument that doesn’t exist. Allow me to paraphrase and recap your initial “disagreements”:

    1. You said: playing with a deficit is bad. I never said anything different
    2. You said: all humans get tired. Never disagreed.
    3. You said: my comments on scheduling errors don’t fly. I said the scheduling is bad and there are too many short turnarounds. You don’t seem to disagree with that…
    4. You said: some people observe the obvious. This seems to be another non-arguable point that serves no purpose.

    If you have an actual argument to make feel free to begin any time.

  • Koko

    I do find it interesting you don’t dispute your superior abilities to deflect and misdirect. As I said before you are a master at it and your last post is a perfect demonstration of it. And once again that is not a compliment.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Already addressed it pal. Deflection and misdirection can only be accomplished in a response. My original comments was my opinion. You added nothing of substance or contradiction to my initial comments and continue the trend. Save your typing fingers in the future. Have a good one.

  • Koko