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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Today, I finally got a chance to see IU as they fell 81-76 in the second round of the NCAA tuurnament to Wichita State..

The first half was all about a battle between Yogi Ferrell of IU an Fred VanVleet of Wichita State.  The Hoosier built up a big lead of 19-12 early on Collin Hartman was unleashing threes and they built up a 33-25 lead.  However, the Hoosiers never could pull away as they missed a lot of shots.  Also Troy Williams played out of control in the first half.

Wichita State climbed in before the half with the penetration of VanVleet.  He had a three point play and Yogi came back with a bucket as the Hoosiers held a 39-36 half-time lead.

IU busted out to a 45-40 lead in the second half.  However, Hartman picked up his third foul on a bogus tickey tack foul.  Then Darius Carter erupted on the inside for the Shockers with some big buckets.

From there VanVleet was destroying IU off the dribble and Hartman picked up his fourth foul with 10:24 left.  James Blackmon got called for a cheap foul as well on a hand off.

Eventually a critical out of bounds play hurt the Hoosiers as Zach Brown scored to put Wichita ahead 59-54.  The lead increased to 63-57 as VanVleet continued to do his thing.

Despite all the adversity, IU would still hang around.  Williams hit a three and a Hartman 3 made the score 72-68 Wichita.  I don’t know what the Shockers did to slow down Yogi but Yogi managed to get IU within 72-71 with about 2:18 to play.

However, the Hoosiers fell as Ron Baker was fouled on a drive and he made two three throws.  Then Tekele Cotton sealed the win with a late bucket.

The critical points for me were as follows:

1. Once again, the Hoosiers could not stop dribble penetration.  VanVleet was unstoppable.

2. The play of Darius Carter in the second half gave the Shockers a huge boost.

3.  It was not the complete reason for the loss but the officiating was inconsistent.  They let Hartman bang in the final four minutes.

What lies ahead?

1.  There are so many questions with IU, Will Tom Crean be kept?  Will Tom Crean be bought out? Will Tom Crean be fired?  I am going on record as saying I want him back because I feel a new coach will set us back a year or two.

2.  Who is leaving?  Will Yogi go pro?  Will Troy Williams go pro?  We have oversigned by two players.  Today, Jeff Rabjohns reported that Stanford Robinson will be transferring.  I have no clue who will replace Yogi at point guard if he leaves.

3. Next year, I want Troy Williams to come off of curls inside the lane and use his quickness that way.  I am tired of his wild shots coming up the court and dribbling wildly on the wing.

4. There has to be a priority on defense for next year.  The Hoosiers defense was unacceptable.  A big man will help with rebounds.  But IU’s help side defense is horrific.  Many times this year there was no help on defense.  Their transition defense  was horrible.   IU has to get back to playing man to man with a “want to”.  This has to be built over the summer because the Hoosiers can no longer play like this.  If this is not fixed.  you can go right to Tom Crean.

5.  IU has to get rid of their offensive shruggedness.  A full roster should help.

6.  This summer is critical for IU.  They have to develop a togetherness and a toughness that will carry into next winter.

7.   I am still loyal to IU basketball and will still root for them.  However if the defense is not corrected, I will be one unhappy camper.  The future is now for IU basketball and they have to come though and get better.   One more mediocre year on defense will be unacceptable to me.  Fan are already upset  so this next year is critical.

Sunday was a happy day for me.  A week and a half of stress worrying about the future of Tom Crean and the future of the Hoosiers ran the gauntlet on me.  I was so happy because I did not think the Hoosiers would get in.  This was by far the most stressful tournament announcement   I have waited for in my Hoosier fandom.  The great news came as IU got a gift with a 10 seed against No. 7 Wichita State.  I thought for sure IU would have to have a play in game if they made the tournament so I was very happy.

I am going to have to DVR Friday’s game and Sunday if the Hoosiers are fortunate to win.  I am fighting for my Hoosiers as I have picked them to go to the Sweet 16.  It is a tall order to beat Wichita State and most likely Kansas.   I don’t know anything about Wichita State.   From past experience in the NCAAs, I know they have been very good under Gregg Marshall.  I also have heard a lot about Fred VanFleet and I also know Ron Baker is a good player.  It is going to be a tough task for the Hoosiers but they can do it.

I just want everyone on the team to be loose and free along with uping their defense a little bit.  I am not asking for a miracle but I just want to see an increase in the defensive productivity.  I’m just glad the Hoosiers are in because that is the standard I set and expect from IU.  But I want this team to fight and get themselves a victory.  It’s been a long and difficult season.

The Maryland quarterfinal in the Big Ten Tournament

I was not too upset as I watched the Hoosiers fall 75-69 in last Friday’s game tonight.  IU was in it the whole way and they just came up short because of missed shots and Maryland’s defense per Bill Raftery

IU started playing the game really fast as did Maryland.   Yogi Ferrell was hot early as was Robert Johnson.  IU had a 13-10 lead with 15:03 left in the first half.  Maryland would take advantage of their quickness with Melo Trimble and Dez Wells.  But Troy Williams got hot to tie the at game 32-32 and Maryland went into the half with a 42-40 lead.

To start the second half, Wells blocked a Ferrell shot and Trimble went off the on Hoosiers to take a 47-43 lead.  They eventually went up 52-47 on a three pointer from Jared Nickens per ESPN.com and Nickens hit another three to make it 62-55.

Despite all of this, IU battled back as they pulled within 62-60 with under 3:33 left.  IU would pull within 68-66 with 39 seconds left per ESPN.com   Then free throws from Evan Smotryz and Wells sealed the victory for Maryland.

Overall, I thought the quickness of Trimble and Wells was too much for IU.   Wells also posted up the Hoosiers.  On the Hoosiers side, Troy Williams had a nice game.  I could not figure out why James Blackmon struggled.  Then lastly, Emmitt Holt has really improved as a player.  Any boost on the inside will be great for the Hoosiers as we enter the Madness.

It’s been a world wind couple of weeks with the Hoosiers as they struggle to secure an NCAA bid and Tom Crean’s job security  has been heavily scrutinized as well.  Tonight, I made the mistake of watching the Hoosiers a second time in their 74-72 loss to Michigan State.  The first time looked better but the second time around, all the bad came out.  Today, I will go over the good and bad from the Michigan State game, and what I want to see in the Northwestern game.

THE GOOD

1.  Hanner Perea’s monster dunk in the first half.  That was awesome.

2.  Nick Zeisloft – He is on fire from the three point line.  Everything he puts up is almost an automatic.

3.  James Blackmon – He was able to drive the lane  successfully.  It was good because we need him.

4. The return of Colin Hartman -He was great in my first look of the game, he was setting the screens and the offense seemed to be moving well.

5. IU did not have to deal with Branden Dawson.  Things could have been much worse.  Dawson is the Spartan’s leading rebounder with 9.3 points a game.

6.  The Hoosier come back as they were down 67-56 left with 3:43 left.  I don’t know what they did to come back but just the fact that they had a chance to tie the game at the end of regulation was tremendous.

7.  Emmit Holt had a good sequence of box outs to start the second half.

8.  The Hoosier offense was decent to start the half.  Perea was good in the post early.

Before I go into the bad, I feel bad for Yogi on his missed free throw that could have tied it.  Yogi is a warrior and always will be in my eyes.  I am going to point out a bad play by him because I have to present both sides.

THE BAD

1. Michigan State started out the first half hot from the outside and Matt Costello played well in the post.  Costello was a force on the boards as well.

2. IU had some empty possessions on offense in the early part of the game.

3. IU’s transition defense was horrible.

4.  The offense did not look as good as I thought watching this game the second time around even with Hartman back.

5. Marvin Clark of MSU was big on the boards as well.   He was able to hit a big three pointer after two rebounds by Michigan State.

6.  The bottom line is IU did not box out at all.  i’m going to break my Todd Jadlow rule of not rippinig into players once again.  Troy Williams did not box out on Clark at one point in the first half and in the second half,  Williams’ half stab at a box out which lead to a Michgan State basket.

7.  IU gave up too many open looks on three point shots.  They have been poor on helping and recovering.

8.  The Yogi play.  It was funny at the time, but the more I thought about it. It hurt IU big time.  Yogi went on a dribbling expedition and fumbled the ball away which led to a Travis Trice lay-up and a possession later, Trice hit a three point shot to to put MSU ahead  48-44 at one point.

WHAT LIES AHEAD

1.  The good news in all of this IU still has a shot at making the NCAAS as the latest Joe Lunardi bracket as them as a 12th seed in the play-in game.  My eye ball test says they have to win the Big Ten Tourney.  Either way,  I am fighting for the Hoosiers to get in because that is the standard I have for my Hoosiers.

2.  In the Nortwestern game, we need absolutely no stagnancy on offense, we need to play loose and free, and we have to clean up the boards.  Tom Crean said in his postgame press conference  via Peegs.com, the rebounding would be addressed.  I am going to hold him to that.  And finally  we need a win, without it, we will be looking at the NIT and that is unacceptable in my world.

Today I was jacked up for Indiana but in the end, they fell 77-63 Tuesday to Iowa.  I have a lot to say or maybe not.  The important thing is here I am not out to fire Coach Tom Crean.  I am not blaming him for the loss of Luke Fischer or for the lack of a big man.  They made every effort they could to patch the hole or maybe I am in denial.  This team is out of whack without a consistent big man and Crean has tried everything he can with what he has.  It’s very frustrating.  My bottom line is if IU does not make the NCAAS this year and if they don’t make it next year, Crean has to go.  Another off the court incident, Crean will have to go.  I do not want him fired.  I don’t see what that will do.

Here are my thoughts from tonight, I will go over the first half and then the second half.   I bummed right now, most fans are going to go after Crean, but you do have to look at the roster and see it is out of whack.

1.  The game started in IU’s pace but it quickly changed as Iowa employed a zone.  Mike Tirico said IU went four minutes without a field goal at one point and they finished with one field goal in the last six minutes per Tirico.

2.  Yogi Ferrell spent a lot of this game guarding 6-9 Aaron White.  A huge mismatch.   Iowa took control of the game pounding the ball into White, Adam Woodbury, Jarrod Uthoff,  Garbiel Olaseni.

3.  Utoff hit a big three to make it 28-24 and Robert Johnson hit a big shot at the half to pull IU within 32-28.

4.  The second half saw me get irritated that IU did not have good ball movement.  There was hardly any movement on offense and it was a struggle for IU to score.  In the mean time, White got hot for Iowa.

5.  Olaseni made a dunk to put Iowa ahead at 48-43.

6.  Crean called a time out and they seemed to play with some better energy.  But silly plays and bad shots hindered the Hoosiers.  Nothing was in synch offensively.   Iowa seemed a step ahead the whole night.

7.  Iowa blitzed open the game with with a three from Peter Jok.  The frustration continued as IU gave up an offensive rebound which led to a Jok three which gave Iowa a 59-48 lead.

8.  I will say this about the Hoosiers,  Yogi Ferrell played his tail  off.   Nick Zeisloft was the only one who gave IU a boost offensively as he hit his three balls consistently.

9.  Another bad play came when an Iowa player dribbled right around James Blackmon for a bucket.

10.  Besides the lack of movement in the 2nd half, I am still irritated with Troy Williams.  He is great athletically but tonight I saw him dribbling wildly and taking wild shots.  It drives me crazy.

10.  Collin Hartman would have helped a little tonight but we need him back for the Michigan State game.

11. All in all this was just an irritating loss and I can’t stand losing to Fran McCaffery.

At this point of the season, I am going to keep rooting for the Hoosiers because that’s what I do.  Tonight I consider their NCAA hopes almost vanquished   They are going to have to beat Michigan State Saturday and make it to the Big Ten Semi-finals to show the committee they deserve to be in.