Michigan runs away from IU at the end

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Manny Harris scored 17 of his 21 points in the last 11:03 of Thursday’s game, sparking a 21-2 run that turned a relatively close game to a 69-45 Michigan route.

Senior center DeShawn Sims also scored 20 points in the Michigan victory.

“Two of the better players in the country and two of the very best players in this league were too much for us to handle,” Indiana coach Crean said. “… It all came unglued because we couldn’t keep those guys from doing what they do best, which is get to the basket.”

The Hoosiers weren’t good offensively, either, shooting 36.5 percent (19-for-52) for the game, including 1-for-15 from beyond the 3-point arc. They committed 19 turnovers and made just six of 12 free throws.

Indiana was within four points at the 10:34 mark of the second half and five points with 6:32 before things got ugly.

“We kind of came unglued at the end after playing a very, very strong game for so long and never letting ourselves get rattled,” Crean said. “But we did get rattled at the end and it was because of the abilities of Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims.”

AUDIO: John Beilein talks mostly about Manny Harris and defense.

AUDIO: Tom Crean talks about Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims

AUDIO: Christian Watford says something about the defense

44 comments

  1. “Two of the better players in the country and two of the very best players in this league were too much for us to handle,” Indiana coach Crean said. “… It all came unglued because we couldn’t keep those guys from doing what they do best, which is get to the basket.”

    Do you realize who beat us? Let’s see that quote again in slow mo:

    Congrats to Coach Crean for achieving what COach Lynch couldn’t do- for beating an overrated Michigan team without making the injury excuse.

    Michigan is overrated, Tom Crean uses no excuses, Michigan has better players, Michigan has some of the best players in the country… come on, feel for the man, adopt an Indiana basketball player today!

  2. I think Crean’s toughest task has got to be coming up with new and fresh ways to essentially say “we’re just flat-out not as good as most of the teams we’re playing this year” after every loss.

    I feel for the guy.

    It’s really easy (and understandable) to get frustrated after games like this. What I don’t think is reasonable is prematurely judging Crean’s ability as a coach based on that frustration.

    Look ahead to as early as next year, even. Imagine:

    – A healthy, smarter Creek (we’ve already seen how special he is)

    – Stronger, Big Ten-tested versions of Watford, Elston and even Capobianco.

    – The increasingly useless Pritchard losing out on playing time to the three aforementioned players.

    – A faster, more physically prepared Hulls who will continue to hit threes and distribute the ball intelligently.

    – A Rivers who won’t have to try so hard to generate something out of nothing with better players around him, and who will hopefully benefit from better interior play.

    – An ever-improving Verdell Jones who will continue to hit mid-range shots in traffic and chip in valuable minutes.

    – A Devan Dumes who no longer attends IU, fouls for no reason, or shoots NBA range threes with 32 seconds left on the shot clock.

    – Two exciting freshmen in Oladipo and Etherington who will actually be able to develop the way they should instead of being relied upon heavily immediately.

    – A healthy Roth who can play spot minutes and hit some threes.

    – A Muniru who could be a bonus for us at center depending on his ability to develop quickly.

    I like that picture of our team a lot better even than this year’s. Now extrapolate that over the next several seasons and tell me we won’t return to the national spotlight.

  3. I remember last year we were thinking that this year we’d have:

    – a healthy, smarter Dumes
    – stronger, big ten tested versions of Nick Williams, Malik Story
    – an increasingly strong Pritchard
    – Creek (who may have not had to play as much as he did against Bryant if Williams and Story had stayed here)
    – 7 foot freshman Bawa Muniru (oh, is he here?! I see he’s the one with the Minny tie)
    – an ever improving Verdell Jones who will continue to hit mid-range shots in traffic and chip in valuable minutes
    – a top ten recruiting class who wouldn’t have to play as many minutes as the incoming 2008 freshmen
    – a healthy Roth who can play spot minutes and hit some threes
    – a Jobe who could be a bonus for us at center depending on his ability to develop quickly

    You could have said something about Jeremiah hitting his free throws next year — is he that hopeless in your opinion?

    And instead … what we have is a situation where there are absolutely no criteria in place for evaluating the performance of this semi-likable, soft-spoken, mildly highfalutin, grossly overpaid coach — plus a freewheeling tendency to extrapolate wishful thoughts into a vaporous world of genuine make believe!

    Could that come from watching too much Mr. Rogers? I can almost hear Tom Crean singing: “Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Would you be my … center?”

  4. and we have no help coming in next year. Oladipo is not even in the top 2 at his high school. Crean also has multiple transfers so we will lose some people.

  5. We all would like to know who is transferring since the rest of us missed that press release.

  6. alford get a clue. Oladipos HS is one of the top HS’s in the country year after year. #2 or whatever you want to rate him is better than #1 at the majority of other HS’s

  7. I guess whats the toughest thing to stomach is to see how sucessful uk is with coach cal and his young team.Why not us here at IU.Is coach cal that much of a better coach than TC? TC does have a final 4 under his belt,that wasn’t taken away for cheating. Is it his style of offense that doesn’t attract the 4 or 5 star atheletes.
    Just face the facts we are not even a devision 2 type caliber team..
    If we are going to continue to get beat by 20 – 25 points a game put the reserves in and start penilizing players for the little or no effort shown in a game, regardless of how they perform in practice

  8. 1/13 vs Charlotte Jordan Crawford 18 points
    1/13 vs Akron Armon Bassett 25 points
    1/14 vs Milwaukee Xavier Keeling 20 points
    1/14 vs Milwaukee Eli Holman 15 points

    Some people are made of plastic
    And you know some people are made of wood
    Some people have hearts of stone
    Some people are up to no good.

    What you see is what you get

  9. Crean really stuck to his word of playing Elston more. 10 minutes.
    The alumni base is getting restless.

  10. Some people just don’t realize how important Mr. Creek was to this team.

    He was the focal point of our offense; therfore, Verdell and Watford could roam around and be our other scoring options. Now they are being focused on.

  11. steve, Cali is not a better coach than Crean by far. IU was just killed by the NCAA for actually a far less offense than Cali has been involved with. Rebuilding is taking longer than we thought and negative recruiting is killing us. Cali and UK will get theirs in the end, I feel that in my gut!

  12. Alford, I ask again. We all want to know who is transferring. Please share your infinite knowledge or stop wasting wind.

  13. clarion,
    Anybody who follows college basketball knows Crean has transfers every year. It is pretty common knowlege.
    Hopefully it is Bawa and Capo, but if I had to guess, I would say it would be Elston. He is getting screwed by Crean.

  14. I seem to remember a televised game when Knight kept his top stars on the bench in favor of starting reserves at every position. It really raised some eyebrows…a basic forfeiture of game to let players know they’re all expendable and no single player is being targeted/blamed for poor performance. I would love to see Crean do the same…Play Tijan and the rest of the Hoosiers that never see minutes for an entire first half.

  15. Light a fire,

    You SAY you’d like to see that, but if Crean actually did that I don’t think you’d be able to stomach how ugly of a product we’d be putting on the floor.

  16. The last five minutes of the Michigan game looked pretty damn ugly. I’ll take an Alka Bennie Seltzer.

  17. Comparing what Coach Crean is doing with our team to other teams is almost impossible. I can’t think of another situation that has been similar (maybe Baylor is the closest). He was starting from scratch, having the equivalent of an expansion team last year. I’d much rather have Coach Crean than Calipari. Calipari inherited some real talent to go with his new players, a luxury Crean hasn’t had. And I agree with other comments that, at some point, UK will suffer some NCAA sanction consequences for having Calipari as their coach.

  18. All the pain Indiana is suffering is self inflicted and I guess that is what sucks the most. Poor decisions followed by more poor decisions. We are a long way away and I do not see help on the way anytime soon. Did anyone on the search comittee actually watch tape of this guy coach and then offer a 10 YEAR contract! wow.

  19. BK,

    Who were we honestly going to get? Tony Bennent (hopefully i spelled that right) turned us down. Almost every coach in america was going to turn us down. Crean was a remarkable hire.

  20. TC may end up being a great coach…when he has superb talent and an offense to run. I don’t question he is a super good guy, energetic, works his butt off with the kids, but this is really frustrating to watch and I am tired of hearing how we rebuilt the program and are starting over. This is Indiana…great basketball tradition built around a winning program.

  21. Casey,

    Agree with your first statement and it’s been interesting Crean’s temperment that last few pressers. As Chris mentioned in the video, he was almost at a loss for words with Fisch.

    There are only so many ways to spin a take on a team that frankly isn’t that good.

    This loss wasn’t that disheartening because we were dealing with two NBA prospects in Sims and Harris. Sims in the first half had a nice rhythm with the pick and roll and hit some NBA range jumpers. Harris simply took over the game during the last few minutes.

    As noted in the past by the Scoop staff, IU needs a team effort to win, especially on the road. They don’t have that “quarterback of the team” as Brent and Steve put it last night.

    Here’s what I am worried about.

    – Tom Pritchard’s lack of confidence.

    – Devan Dumes trying to be our leading scorer while shooting 33% from the field (32% from 3pt land)and having more to’s than assists.

    – Rivers dismal free throw shooting.

    – Elston’s lack of playing time.

    – A key player jumping ship after this year. (I know everyone jumped on stevealford predicting Elston to transfer, but who knows who will go? Nick Williams was a complete surprise last year.)

    PB

  22. ^ Great summary, PB! The Creek excuse can’t be invoked forever, since we know he became eligible at the very last minute. It may have not happened and he would have been healthy and waiting for next year. Roth is an excuse but not a terrible good one since he wasn’t playing Roth that much. Last year he didn’t want to play Tijan almost at all. He does the same with Bawa now and (to some extent) with Bawa. That’s his prerogative and obviously he’s not an idiot. However, like you said, you can’t but be a bit concerned! Pritch and Dumes were a bit better last year. Rivers is sometimes exceptional and sometimes gets terribly lost. It’s very painful because they are all very good kids and I think even Crean is a good guy but he has to find a solution. That’s what a good coach does. Simplify. Divide. And conquer.

  23. “We kind of came unglued at the end after playing a very, very strong game for so long and never letting ourselves get rattled,” Crean said.

    Uh, the only thing I saw strong about this game was the bricks clanging off the rim.

  24. It is getting more and more fun staying away from the Scoop. I think in the last week I’ve posted less than 100 words, and man does it feel great.

    Next year, when we are 12-4 at this point in the season, I am going to come in here with flaming bows and arrows, aiming for alford/Aruss, L’accent, and The Bad Downing.

  25. if we are 12-4 next year, then we will have hired steve alford or pat knight a year sooner than expected

  26. Even if you don’t follow college sports closely it would be common knowledge programs have frequent transfers. But it is only speculation as to who they are and when they occur. Nobody can etch the names in stone before hand.

  27. It is time that Crean institutes an actual offense and runs it! At this point in the season this is what I see are starting lineup should be EVERY game!

    PG – Jeremiah Rivers
    SG – Jordan Hulls
    C – Tom Pritchard (Would prefer Bawa or Tijan, but not sure of their abilities to this point)
    SF – Christian Watford
    PF – Derek Elston

    Institute a standard 3-2 motion or a dribble drive offense to try and create shots but burn clock. Our best defense right now would be burning 33 of the 35 seconds on the shot clock.

    Forget playing guys to counter their offense, change up the defensive stance. Run a 1-3-1 with Rivers responsible for their best scorer, or go old school and run the triangle & 2 defense.

    Mike Davis’ teams didn’t disgust me as much as watching this crap.

    Oh, and the players who are the “leaders” need to have the team put in extra work. NO player leaves the gym until each player has hit 25 consecutive free throws!

  28. Mike P.,

    Pritchard? Really?

    I’ll take 10-15 points from Verdell Jones (combined with the ability to catch a pass and actually move with some sort of agility) over Pritchard’s four fouls per game, lack of energy, and general inability to do anything at a high level.

    The shots created by your proposed dribble drive offense — who would take them? Pritchard refuses to shoot the ball. Watford is streaky. Rivers has no shot. Elston’s shot is only good from close in right now. We can’t have Hulls taking a three on EVERY posession.

    I do agree that we need to run more time off the shot clock, however.

    I think your ideas would be good if we had the personnel to execute. We just really don’t right now. I think Crean may be sacrificing a few victories this year to run the kind of offense he wants to have in the future with more complete teams.

    He knows we could grind out games and probably win a few more by playing slowed down, uglier basketball, but I think he also knows that potential recruits won’t have a desire to be on a team like that.

    It’s just a tough/interesting situation.

  29. Casey,

    I can agree with VJ3 instead of Pritchard. As for the rest, if Crean is sacrificing wins, then he is a worse coach than I am already thinking!

  30. Mike P

    Pritchard ??? You have got to be kidding me. Take one look at the latest box score and tell me you are still serious. I am seriously wondering if he could outrebound my grandma and she lost both arms in a car wreck back in the thirties!!! (just kidding) For him to have the rebounding average that he does is a real headscratcher. Most if not all of our guards that play any amount of minutes have a better average than he does. He has been worse of late than when he was “just not a very good rebounder”.

  31. I concede not having Pritchard out there except for he is a big body that can bang inside, which is obvious by his foul column stats.

    The only problem is that Watford and VJ3 are just to skinny to play anywhere besides a SF slot.

    Besides, Pritchard wouldn’t be in there to score underneath or grab rebounds, that is what I would expect Elston to be doing. On the offensive end, Pritchard’s primary role would be setting screens to get our shooters open for Rivers to feed too.

  32. Watching Pritchard trudge around the court out there anemically like a big dufus, combined with watching Elston throw the ball into the crowd and miss point blank shots, makes me wonder if Crean shouldn’t have just cleaned the whole house of all the Samspsonites and truly start from scratch. As of now, here is what Sampson’s recruits give us:

    1) A cheerleader (Roth)
    2) A talented but tentative and clumsy forward (Elston)
    3) A worse version of Kyle Taber (Pritchard)

    I think I’d rather have three more 3-star guards than three 3 High Fivin’ White Guys

  33. Mike P.

    I posted some time ago that young teams need structure (as you state a set offense to run). It gives them something in common other than being young, inexperienced and on the wrong end of the learning curve. It is damned hard to create a free lance offense against teams who have done it longer against good competition than you have. Using set offenses would allow the line-ups to be adjusted for a match up advantage if possible. A problem I see is they play good enough defense at times to give themselves an offensive advantage, but they exercise very few fast breaks. Youth and with all its energy making mistakes will I hope in two years be called good experience.

  34. Man! I fall for this every single time!?

    You know if you bring up something entirely unreasonable I am immediately ready to do battle with you:

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    I guess I’m kind of stupid that way.

    You like to monkey around, don’t you?

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    You have a sense of humor, that’s for sure!

  35. Nice try, amigo. There are a lot of “entirely unreasonable” perspectives on this blog. You only selectively respond to those which challenge your own skewed opinions. I know which ones these are, thanks to many moons of spirited exchange going way back to the days when the IDS was good.

    Not that I am much better; and knowing that, you’ve made yourself a beat reporter for the Washington Huskies, always ready to rub their shortcomings in my face… But hey, it’s all in the game, right?

  36. It’s a strange aberration, this brainstorm of youth
    Though it’s lost in translation from fancy to truth
    It’s hopelessly human, both inside and out
    A joyous occasion, there’s no reason to doubt

    It’s a strange situation, there’s no cause for alarm
    All these hot licks and rhetoric, surely do you no harm
    They’re hopelessly human, both inside and out
    A joyous occasion, there’s no reason to doubt

    When each word is read, would you know the difference
    If nothing was said?

    All is rythm, all is unity
    I am laughing, as it’s meant to be
    Just amusing, I am using the
    Word was given, making harmony
    Moving slowly, dancing aimlessly
    Endless circle, turning fearlessly
    Resurrected, falling down again
    Introspective, I’m just stating my view
    Now you can choose, what do you feel,
    Is it for real this time?

Comments are closed.