Hoosiers make tourney but end it with 81-76 loss to Wichita State and look at future of Hoosiers

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.


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