Notebook: Deja Vu as Hoosiers lose another close one at home

  • 02/04/2018 8:29 am in

For the third time this season, Indiana had a golden opportunity to pull out a win over a top-5 team at home. This time, No. 5 Michigan State was the opponent that the Hoosiers let get away.

Indiana outworked a Spartan team full of some of the most talented players in the Big Ten for much of the night, but just couldn’t muster enough to topple one of the conference’s elite squads.

Trailing the vast majority of the game, Indiana managed to keep it within striking distance despite shooting just 28 percent from the field by holding a 25-to-3 advantage in offensive rebounding.

“Very seldom has our team got outworked, outhustled the way Indiana did it,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said after the game. “The 25-to-3 offensive rebound (edge) is an insult to me, my players and anybody who ever played here. I was disappointed in that.”

The frontcourt tandem of senior Freddie McSwain and junior Juwan Morgan overcame significant height disadvantages t0 dominate on the glass. Morgan finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds (four offensive) and a block, while McSwain, who started for just the second time in his career, collected eight points, grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds (nine offensive) and recorded an assist, a block and a steal.

“Part of starting Freddie tonight was, one, he’s playing better and he’s giving us some production. He’s giving rebounding effort, he’s giving us another physical guy out there that can play in the post a little bit from a defensive perspective,” Archie Miller said. “We wanted to avoid Juwan maybe picking up a quick one early one on (Michigan State’s) Nick Ward. That’s why we did it. Moving forward I don’t know if we’ll change back or not.”

McSwain’s career-night nearly lifted the Hoosiers to victory, but once again, failures at the foul line did Indiana in. Indiana wasn’t horrendous from the charity stripe, connecting on 72 percent of their attempts (18-of-25), but the misses came at inopportune times.  On two occasions, Indiana missed the front end of a one-and-one, and with chances to take the lead in the final 2:30, McSwain and Morgan combined to hit just one-of-four free throws.

When hosting college basketball’s elite this season, Indiana has more than held their own, but once again, miscues sunk the Hoosiers’ shot at a victory.

Devonte gets the green light

Four days after Devonte Green had what Miller described as his best game of the season against Ohio State, the sophomore was given more minutes against the Spartans.

Green played 31 minutes, the most time he’s seen in a game since the overtime win over Notre Dame on Dec. 16, and was Indiana’s best option in the backcourt. Although Green scored just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting, he grabbed three boards, dished six assists, recorded a steal and didn’t turn the ball over while putting in a solid performance on the defensive end.

“Devonte’s playing a really good floor game for us,” Miller said. “He’s the one guy right now that can deliver the ball from an assist standpoint. He’s the guy that when he wants to distribute, he’s the best guy on our team at that.”

Indiana shows “class”

Michigan State came into the game facing a myriad of off-court controversies, and Indiana University did what they could to ensure that the scene at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall didn’t turn ugly.

Every student situated behind the basket and in lower level general admission had a card placed on their seat, warning them to not “reference (the situations) in a negative way.” In addition, season ticket holders were sent emails imploring fans not to heckle Michigan State for their role in the Larry Nassar situation or the Outside The Lines story.

Izzo began his postgame presser by thanking Indiana University for how they handled the situation.

“I want to thank their President, (Athletic Director), coaches, players, fans and students,” Izzo said. “Whatever they sent out was very classy and well done, and very much appreciated, handling themselves without some of the things that needed to be said. I take my hat off to them.”

Near the end of his presser, Izzo was once again asked when he would answer questions about the investigations, declining to give a firm date.

“I don’t have a date… but the day will come sometime, I promise,” Izzo said.

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  • Colt

    Great effort by IU last night. Poor shooting and some crucial missed free throws did them in again. Just have to keep battling.

  • sd chuck

    The game gets so much more difficult when you can’t shoot! Archie and staff have effected as much of this team as they can, they are better at TO’s, defense, and rebounding. And they are much better at all today, then they was at the start of the season. Unfortunately you can’t flip a switch and have them shoot better. They get open shots, they just don’t make them. This is probably more frustrating for Archie than it is for us. I don’t see them going to shoot better this year, Love the effort of this team and coaching staff.

  • ImYourHuckleberry

    bball, sorry if you felt attacked last night. I think your post after the PU game factored into it. At least for me anyways.

    The overall identity has changed for this team. Under Crean we were a fast paced scoring and turnover machine that didn’t know what defense was. Archie from the get go has been implementing his system which is defense first, pass first, smart, hard-nosed basketball. You are right this is a totally different system for these kids. However, to question the integrity of Archie’s coaching based of this poor shooting team is absurd. We are near last in 3 point shooting and free throws in the country! We clank and air ball our free throws and miss wide open threes time and time again. We a handful of more games if we shot the ball better but that’s who this team is. This system with flourish with guys who can shoot the ball. It’s the only thing we are missing.

  • vicbert caladipo

    My guess if the tables were reversed MSU would not have warned their fans to be civil to us. We continue to be the class act of the NCAAs

  • Colt

    Go pound sand clown.

  • vicbert caladipo

    That’s all they can do Colt. Battling may get them an NIT bid and I for one love seeing extra games. I think this year we should win a couple with the gauntlet these players have incurred

  • vicbert caladipo

    I already apologized last night but it wasn’t accepted. I’ll keep battling though.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Josh is awesome. The ITH crew is awesome. There are so many articles to comment on…my head is spinning. Workaholics and damn good writers

  • vicbert caladipo

    No one is classier than an IU grad……an IU fan….an IU coach… IU player. IU is the best and I will not debate that or compromise. I am forever IU in support of the university that has brought me so much in life.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Crazy Joe Devolla?

  • vicbert caladipo

    Wrong again. They are ALWAYS awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • vicbert caladipo

    I didn’t like Nick Ward last year before the RUSH song from the moving pictures album you are eluding to. He did impress me last night though. He didn’t injure any of our players with the splinters in his behind. I like Winston. He got accepted to Harvard!! A few others including Lou Rawls frequently quote the bible.

  • Bud Jenkins

    how much do you think it is exhaustion from playing tough defense that these guys aren’t used to doing is contributing to poor shooting ? hard defense is freaking exhausting !

  • Missing Moye

    You have used “witch hunt” multiple times now – would you mind explaining how you mean it in this context?

  • vicbert caladipo

    I think he’s been listening to the RUSH-Moving pictures CD because “Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand and hand”

    Cue Alex’s guitar solo

    Seriously MM. You are one of my faves. I just think breakfast at bruces is a bit paranoid. He ripped me up a bit too and I was actually supporting him. B A B quote….”I don’t need your support”

  • Gerry Scott

    same old same old Coach Miller has done nothing for the program. losses ISU, FW, WISC,OSU, LOUISVILLE Crean could have done that cause he would have same bad players. do something loke playing 6 10 freshman

  • BlakeD1223

    I have defended Crean until I was blue in the face but to say that Miller hasn’t done anything for the program is ridiculous. Give the guy a chance. This is not a good team. Newkirk wouldn’t start for most big ten teams. We are a very poor shooting team which is proven in our free throw and field goal percentages. Give the man some time before you crucify him. We have played some tough teams very well. Look at the stats. We had plenty of chances to win that game. We missed 47 shots. MSU took 47 shots. We just can’t shoot. Next year will be a much different story.

    It’s a rebuilding year. Sit back, enjoy the process. We will be alright.