Smith, Buckeyes roll over Indiana, 80-63

From the first moments of Sunday’s game, Ohio State established the manner by which they planned to exact revenge for Indiana’s win over them in Bloomington on Dec. 31. They were going to be physical. They were going to pressure Indiana’s guards and force them to initiate the offense far back from the 3-point line. And they were going to score from inside-out.

And by the time Indiana finally responded to that, the Buckeyes had taken their foot off the gas and it was far, far too late to make them pay for it.

The No. 7 Hoosiers fell behind 35-14 after a miserable first half, and never cut the deficit below 16 in the second half even though they outscored Ohio State 49-45 in that period. The No. 5 Buckeyes won 80-63 in front of 18,809 and the Hoosiers lost two straight games for the first time this season.

“The game really came down to our lack of response to the physicality of the game from the beginning,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “You’re not going to beat a team that’s as talented as they are if you don’t respond to that. We are not as good as we need to be defensively. Once they got up, we got a little bit of that deer-in-the-headlight look going especially on the offensive end instead of continuing to create angles for feeds and get the ball reversed and play through the contact and execute our cuts and screens and things of that nature. The better the competition, the harder it gets and we didn’t always respond to that on both ends of the floor.”

Ohio State’s guards pressured Indiana’s ball-handlers and kept them from putting together any offensive coordination in the first half. The Hoosiers shot just 6-for-22 in that frame and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc while committing 12 turnovers, which turned into 14 points for Ohio State. Junior point guard Jordan Hulls was just 1-for-4 in that period and committed four of the turnovers himself while senior guard Verdell Jones had three.

The Hoosiers came into the game leading the Big Ten in scoring, averaging 81.9 points per game. Their previous low for points in a half this season was 26 in the first half against Notre Dame.

“We just wanted to get up in their jockstrap like Coach Matta says,” Ohio State sophomore center Jared Sullinger said. “And just stop them from turning the ball from side to side, stop them from getting into their sets and blowing up their sets.”

Said Crean: “I think they got up into us. It’s sounds simple, but it’s not. They just really got up into us. We weren’t as strong with the ball as we needed to be. Feeding the post is all about angles. It’s positioning, on the inside, but it’s all about angles. We didn’t get to those spots. When it became hard to make cuts, we let them be the aggressor. Sometimes you just gotta plow through.”

Meanwhile, Ohio State had little problem doing what they wanted to do. The Buckeyes noticed from the first game that when the Hoosiers doubled down on Sullinger, the Buckeyes’ All-American center, it was sophomore guard Lenzelle Smith, Jr., who they were leaving open. It was a calculated move, considering that Smith came into the game averaging just 5.2 points per game and was averaging just 3.7 field goal attempts per game. His previous career high was 12 points against the Hoosiers in the first game.

But Sunday, Smith very much made the Hoosier pay for leaving him alone. He hit on 10 of his 12 field goal attempts, including four of his five 3-pointers for 28 points, more than doubling his previous career high.

“Throughout the game I just saw my man leave me,” said Smith, who missed practice most of the week with strep throat. “The first game, I was complaining about that to my team. This game we capitalized off of that and we were able to get some easy buckets.”

Said Ohio State coach Thad Matta: “That’s kind of like a coach’s dream when you see that going in there, because you make them pay for the adjustment that they’re making.”

The Hoosiers left him more in the second half and that allowed Sullinger to operate with more space down low, usually dealing with a one-on-one matchup with Zeller or senior forward Tom Pritchard. He finished with 16 points and nine rebounds on 7-for-14 shooting.

Senior guard William Buford added 12 points and four assists while sophomore forward DeShaun Thomas had 11 points and three assists. Sophomore point guard Aaron Craft had eight points, seven assists and three steals and did not commit a turnover.

Indiana freshman forward Cody Zeller had a solid outing with 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting, but the rest of the Hoosiers struggled offensively. Junior forward Christian Watford had 13 points and Hulls finished with 11 and five assists. However, Watford and Hulls were a combined 8-for-24 from the field and 4-for-14 from beyond the 3-point arc. Guards Victor Oladipo, Verdell Jones and Will Sheehey combined for 17 points and eight turnovers. The Hoosiers committed a total of 17 to fall to 15-3 overall, 3-3 in the Big Ten.

AUDIO: Jared Sullinger, Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith, Jr.

AUDIO: Thad Matta

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls, Cody Zeller, Christian Watford

28 comments

  1. Why do we stick to the weave uptop?
    No fouls on OSU because we did not take it to the basket.
    To move the bsll with extra pass, but to dribble and allow the last defenses we faced to push us away from the bucket. No look to Zeller, he can create his own shot you know. Victor,Sheehey and Watford can get to the bucket and Zeller is great at putbacks. Alot of points to be had with the putbacks or tipins. If that gets Zeller touches make it happen. Remy Remy Remy

  2. We are 15-3 ! November 1 everyone here would have been elated with that record. We are NOT a 30 win team. Nor are we celler dwellers in the conference. We ARE going to make the big dance. We are a team with strengths and we also have weaknesses. We lost @ MSU and @ OSU. There are not 10 teams in the country that would win at both places this year !

    Good News !! In the immortal words of Mike Davis… “help is on the way !” (LOL sorry I could not resist.) Seriously though, we are learning to win this year. Next year we add a little more depth and athleticism. The future is bright.

    I hate losing as much as anyone. I hate losing and looking BAD, not being competitive, etc. But a team that is new to winning and having bigger expectations is going to lay an egg a few times during the maturation process.

    Hey, we all know there are things that seem SO OBVIOUS to us as fans, that could be done to improve our enjoyment of the game. But… the reality is, our options are not as plentiful now as they will be down the road. 3 years of bad play and losing do not get flushed out completely in one season. Bad habits and bad decisions are hard to change. We have options now, that we never had before (i.e. Cody in the post).

    We WILL lose more than one game between now and the end of the season. More eggs are coming ! We can say we are back. But we have NOT arrived ! Our destination is still ahead of us. This year is not only about player development (and several guys have shown a lot compared to last year)… it is also about team development too. I think Crean (and staff) have shown the ability to develop some of the players. The ones showing the most improvement are coming back next year too !! Awesome news ! So now let’s hope the team shows the growth some individuals have shown.

    Things are good, not great… yet. Things are better, not worse. 15-3 ! Not bad.

  3. Every time i get on here there’s another excuse for bad play. Learning to win?? What?? How about we forgot to show up. It’s not complex at all! OSU kicked our tails and we smiled. I will agree with the help is on the way point though. I really believe that we have a few players who are just used to losing. We have some that are not. The ones that are im sure everyone knows who they are and the simple truth is until they are gone we will have a couple starters who really don’t mind to lose games. No no lets leave the excuses at home we got rocked all night by a much better team period!!! Oh and can we please put the hulls debate to bed now? Every point I made about him and others made as well was once again validated tonight. CTC is at our very weak gaurds mercy for one more season.

  4. No I don’t think he sucks at all I really think he is just very thin at gaurds. It has to frustrate him to have to play Hulls and Vd3 as much as he does but the fact is it’s the best we got at this point. Now if he gives the nod to Jordy over Yogi next year assuming Yogi’s as good as advertised then yes you have to question him but I don’t see that happening. You have to remember that this is still a rebuilding season for the most part and we are 15-3 for pete sake. One can only think once we get a true pg that everything will run smoother. Less turnovers, more penetration, more foul shots and there’s that little issue of getting the ball to Cody Zeller. Given the fact that Hulls and Jones are as AWFUL as they are (and anyone who denies that is either a straight up homer or an idiot) Im very impressed with CTC as our coach. I honestly believe that once everyone sees Yogi play then all of these Hulls lovers will say ( Oh I remember what a gaurd is meant to do now.)Let’s just beat Nebraska and PSU and this fickle fan base will be singing CTC praises once again!

  5. The rodents have crawled out from under the floorboards as expected.

    Very sad the bashing of some fine kids on our team..Very sad, indeed. MSU lost at Northwestern…Wisconsin lost at Iowa…Purdue got embarrassed at Penn State….OSU lost at Illinois..Oh, that’s right..and OSU did have a shameful loss in the House of Blunderbuss Nincompoop Jones and Homely Homeboy Hulls.

    Three of our six games have been with the two toughest teams in the conference. Our bunch of misfits have served us pretty well to this point. Even teams far deeper in talent have stumbled against inferior teams on the road. This was a poor showing, but it by no means should be used to slander and cut kids to shreds that have already given us some stellar wins and clutch performances never anticipated.

    This team has solid talent and they have ample at all positions on the floor to still give us one hell of a fun and fruitful voyage before all is said and done. Such a young season for such mutiny and vile spit at the decks our own ship and our captain. Such fear put into our ears. Not fit is the waters of the Big 10 for the weak of heart..You ladies wouldn’t last a week in a calm sea.

  6. How can anyone say that Tom Crean sucks and should be fired? He started with a dismal team left over from the worst thing to happen to IU basketball in Kelvin Sampson. In four years, he built a team, starting from a team that had only a handful of minutes and the same number of points from the season prior. Just the fact that we are in the top 25 in both polls and in contention for an NCAA tourney bid is testament to our coach. 2012 was supposed to be the year that IU stormed back into the national spotlight and by all counts, we are a year ahead. Yes, the Minnesota and OSU games were hard to watch, but this team, and this coach has gone way beyond my expectations for the year. Tom Crean is the best thing to happen to this team since Bob Knight. Yeah, I said it. Discuss…

  7. Damn… I was sure we’d beat OSU. Honestly. Craft sure looked two weeks ago in Bloomington as flat as Hulls and Jones (especially Hulls) played yesterday. Take a look at the stats: Craft had 6 TOs in Bloomington and was on the floor a couple of times. Same as Hulls yesterday though Hulls only had 5 TOs…

    Last year people were comparing Crean with Krzyzewski. The comparison still holds. Fourth year at Duke Krzyzewski was 7-7 and made the second round of NCAA. That’s still well within reach for our team. Crean has a bright future here at IU. He’s right on the money. Nobody can deny that.

    Both Crean and Wilson seem to put forth the same philosophy: they believe in a system. They’d sacrifice anything to get their system going. Same happened with Krzyzewski at Duke. Patience and persistence paid off in the long run.

    This may or may not work out with Crean or Wilson but we have years of them in front of us before anyone considers firing either one of them. And you can count on me coming on here and making fun of them until they win regularly. And even after that… Today was an exception.

  8. Harvard Hillbilly and Justis I appreciate the forecasting and the calm sea don’t jump ship approach.
    But do you use a puke bag to be proper or just hurl off the side of the boat. All is not lost I believe in all things good and bad about the Indiana Basketball Program.
    Player development well ask Remy. I enjoy the comments made by posts who keep up with the future recruits and how the current condition is nothing but great compared to the past. WE block out 2 hours to be entertained and armchair the decesions and reactions to the game.

    Player development was 2nd half reaction to the Buckeyes more productive for players and more enjoyable for fans. (Down by 20 pts I know) closed to 10pts lets say. Players were turned loose to match the intensity.
    49 pt production
    Player development 1st half weave top of the key and beyond The only time the guards saw Cody is when he popped out beyond the arch and got in the way of dribbling to the other side of the court.

    I am happy getting to the NCAA’S this year and we will 1 year before IU was on the radar. So whatever happens in the remaining Big season and Big Ten Tournament Not looking to win the conference or Big Ten Tournament.

    Next year Can Yogi can shake the stronger guards in Big Ten and create down the lane? If we can’t get the ball to Cody down low how are we going to LOB pass to Hannner for a dunk? All other future components???

  9. FireCrean 2012 – Remember – I was the original! I do not understand how you cannot anticipate the intensity that Ohio State was going to bring. As a coach you have to do something to shake them up during a timeout. I did not see any game time coaching going on. Oh yeah, after it is over spend an hour with the team before meeting with the press, but it is a little late. Don’t give up on the game at hand…

  10. I’m gonna put some D-Con out next time we lose.

    Tom Crean has shown he sucks, just as Izzo has, Coach K, and, my goodness, Roy Williams sucks most of all. UNC was embarrassing. Matta sucked a week ago but now he doesn’t. They all suck except Brad Stevens and Steve Alford because, while I haven’t actually checked I am certain that Butler and New Mexico are undefeated.

    Of course, Jordy sucks, except when he is lighting someone up for 27.

    CWat naturally sucks, except when people start talking about whether of not he jump to the NBA.

    Vic and Sheely definitely sucked when we recruited them because they didn’t have enough stars. They don’t suck now because, in complete absence of coaching, they miraculously turned into non sucky players.

    Rico…you’re scaring me.

  11. A couple of comments: the weave that we continually run is very predictable and they are not attacking the basket with it, likewise it is not hard to defend. Feeding the post: does anyone else think that Cody is not doing a very good job sealing the post? This coupled with the fact that the other guys are not setting up good angles to feed the post is why we rarely feed it. The third issue is they are not sealing the opponents off when the shot goes up.

    Yes this is still a rebuilding year, but these guys have shown that they can play with the big boys. The issue is they should be improving game after game, but in the last couple of games they have taken a few steps back. This behavior needs to be corrected for them to continue to move forward. Their weaknesses have been exploited the last couple of games and believe me, the other Big Ten teams will take notice. The rest of the year will not get any easier. I want to see these guys succeed, as I know that it has been hard on them the last three years.

    Go IU

  12. FIRECREAN2011 I agree I would not fire Crean but I agree with “In the moment coaching”. This goes along with
    looking past MINN to OSU. I don’t think we looked past MINN
    we just did not give the players the ok to step into creative mode. After the weave We don’t look to Zeller, we don’t run a two man play, we don’t run the triangle with good angles for entry passes.

    The next option is who are my creators of offense? Victor Let Victor start the offense once in awhile.

    Take care of home court the rest of the season

  13. Rico…???

    Hoosier Plu – I wish I could understand your posts. I think you have some good stuff to add, but it’s so choppy it’s barely decipherable.

    HoosierAlum2009 – I fell into the trap about 3 months ago. Just let it go. There are like 3 trolls on here who just say it after every loss to piss us off. Even if they do actually believe what they write they never engage in a discussion or give any reasons to back up their “Crean Sucks” mantra.

    Harvard – great post #7

    That game was essentially what I expected heading into the season. My expectations changed after all that craziness in 2011, but now with 2012 here and the Mayan calendar upon us, the Hoosiers have about evened out to their statistical norm…
    – They are good enough to beat anyone on any given night.
    – Inconsistent enough to lose to teams they shouldn’t
    – good enough to consistently beat most teams
    – would get beat consistently by about 10 teams in NCAA

    I also think they are good enough to make a run at the Final Four, depending on match-ups, but sorta doubt they’ll make it to the Sweet 16.

  14. Without looking at stats. Remy should play in front of Verdell. The defense is what he can bring. When he and Victor are on the court together you get a sense of toughness.

    If the offensive points and turnovers are the same (Remy compared to Verdell}, I would start playing Remy for defensive stops and turnovers. Could lead to some closing of the oppositions passing lanes.

    Remy needs the muscle memory for next year.
    Verdell has driven himself into double and triple teams
    to often. I would venture to say that the steals from those takeaways on Verdell are point conversions for the other team. Remy has the strength to defend and fight for offensive position. I’m not telling anyone anything new concerning Verdell, but in betterment for the team and fan reaction that roster change should happen. Even if the change is an experiment. Play Remy for a full half or until he fouls out. I can accept the tradeoff of freshman nerves, but can’t accept calling Verdell a leader when he makes the same “seasoned mistakes” that hurt the team. Players have to be rolling their eyes too.

    Time to send guys to the basket. The start of our offense is done. Jordan Hull’s starts the offense by swinging or dribbling to the other side of the court. That no longer shifts the defense. They just wait for the third wave of the weave to come to opposite side court. Every team in the Big Ten will defend the same as MINN and OSU.

  15. “we just did not give the players the ok to step into creative mode”

    HOOSIER PLUS, while I’m not arguing the point I just want to give you something to think about. Which player demonstrates that he has the OK to step into ‘creative mode’ any time he feels like it?

    I give you a hint. It rhymes with ‘Derdell’.

    Are you sure that’s what you want?

  16. Chet In the context Creative was a good portion of the second half of the OSU game. Victor headed to the bucket, Watford did his drive pivot turn to the basket in the lsne
    and scored. Described on the air as his NBA move. Cody much better on the move with ball, instead of trying to post up and not getting the ball. I have read your posts and know you know something about basketball.

    I was not saying a madhouse approach and did not have derdell in mind. When we opened it up and got creative with the basketball the defense turned up as well.
    That’s really all I meant by creative mode.

    All good

  17. I have no respect for Matta…20 point lead and he all his starter’s in until the last 45 second’s.No class at all.Indiana has not won at MSTU since 1992 and you can circle losing there and at OSTU when the season start’s.Indiana has had some awesome team’s over the year’s and we still lose there.Great team’s don’t win very often in the Big Ten.As far as our problem’s now…guard play is awful.Jones and Hull’s are ok as long as we are playing inferior team’s..but in conference play they just get ate alive.Jordan can at least score a few 3’s…Jones gives us nothing.Hope I am wrong…but I just don’t see a smaller yet guard in Yogi coming in next year and doing any better.Front court should be much stronger with Jurkin..Perea..and Hollowell…but just don’t see any hope for the back court.Crean has done an awesome job so far this year and should be COY…but nedd to get the ship righted and start playing better.

  18. A loss at OSU was predictable, but IU has to compete. I know IU is young, but they had to know they would run into a buzz saw at Columbus, I knew that two minutes after IU beat them at home! Team needs to get mentally tough, compete, challenge ’em. I think TP played ok but he has to at least look at the basket when he gets the ball. His defender sagged onto CZ so a pump fake would help his teammates.

  19. Did anyone really expect IU to beat OSU in Columbus? If so, you were drinking the cool aid early and often. I love this team, but I game them no chance to beat OSU twice within a couple weeks. The more disturbing loss to me was the loss to Minn at home. That one really hurt because they had home court advantage. IU was not supposed to beat OSU in Columbus.

    OSU is a superior team this year. Great depth and better overall talent. And they have a pretty good coach, too. The fact that IU upset them earlier was a huge accomplishment, to both the team and the fans that filled Assembly Hall.

    Tom Crean’s young team has surpassed my wildest expectations so far this year. They have restored IU basketball to respectability, they are exciting and entertaining to watch, and they provide great promise for the future. But they have a ways (years) to go before they dominate the Big Ten.

    News flash: Sunday’s loss is not the last loss IU will experience this year. But unless they collapse, they’ll make it into the dance and might win a game or two before it’s all over. Take a second and think about just how far this team has come n one year. Time for some of the posters on this site to regain some perspective.

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