HOOSIERS FALL TO MSU, NCAA TOURNEY HOPES HANG IN THE BALANCE

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.

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