Wichita State ends Indiana’s season, 81-76

OMAHA, Neb. — Indiana stretched its season into the middle of March, but the Hoosiers lasted only one game in their return to the NCAA Tournament.

There was foul trouble, a second-half slowdown and an unfulfilling finish in IU’s 81-76 season-ending loss to Wichita State in the second round of the tournament at CenturyLink Center.

The Hoosiers were called for 26 personal fouls and watched Wichita State shoot 29-for-34 at the free throw line, stumbling to the end after a spirited and advantageous opening half. In matchup of two of the national’s top two point guards, Fred VanVleet led Wichita State with 27 points, while Yogi Ferrell led IU with 24 points.

The showdown between Ferrell and VanVleet did not disappoint, though they both traded in their roles as facilitators in exchange for looks at the basket. By halftime, the two point guards combined for 34 points and zero assists.

In a physical matchup between two teams constructed in similar fashions, fouls were an early issue on both sides. The Shockers were in the bonus nine minutes into the game, and reached it again six minutes into the second half. Collin Hartman and Emmitt Holt each fell into trouble of their own, but that physicality turned into a boon for IU, which moved well defensively, held its ground and stymied the Shockers’ attempts to penetrate and find uncontested jump shots.

Indiana led 39-36 at halftime.

With the Indiana frontcourt battling foul problems, Stan Robinson settled in over the middle portion of the game, providing a defensive presence inside and out that kept things close. But the defensive breakdowns that have sprouted so often this season reappeared midway through the second half, when the Shockers used a 15-3 run to retake the lead and build an eight-point advantage.

The Hoosiers charged back, getting as close as one point away from tying the game with two minutes left.

But the Hoosiers couldn’t even their deficit, walking off with the floor for the final time this season.

This story will be updated.

44 comments

  1. Stymied the Shockers attempt to penetrate??? Are you kidding me? How many layups did they have? How many points in the paint?

  2. Correct post #1.

    but that physicality turned into a boon for IU, which moved well defensively, held its ground and stymied the Shockers’ attempts to penetrate and find uncontested jump shots.

    This is easily the worst most incorrect statement ever written by a writer here.

    What game where you NOT watching. WSU drove to the basket at will and either made a layup of went to the free throw line. Ever 3 point attempt by WSU was wide open – they simply missed. You have no idea what stymied means.

    Absolutely ridiculous summarization of what actually occurred in the game.

  3. It was all good two years ago when we hung a big ten banner and celebrated with sweet 16 rings. That day we accepted mediocrity as a fan base.

  4. Wonder if the basketball team is ready to release those “2015 Field of 68” t-shirts at the IU Bookstore?

    The Sweet 16 shirts can now be sent to Africa.

  5. #1 & #2

    The Shockers were 11 – 28 in the first half from the field. Parker was 2 – 9. Other than when Crean, for some reason, put in HMP, Colin, Stan, Yogi and Troy in the last minute, I think MM accurately described what was the best defensive half we’d played in a while.

  6. DD- they scored 36 in the first half and VanVleet had16. All layups and FTs. This was our best half of the year?!

  7. FW, by our team that was ranked 220th in the nation in defense, yes that was one of our better halves. We give up between 45 – 55% FG% throughout Big Ten play. WSU at the half was only 39%. They were only 1-8 from behind the arc. I’d take that with this team any day.

  8. DD – you may be right and that’s sad to say. We gave up 44 points in the paint and they MADE 29 FTs 🙁

  9. Please don’t make me read someone claiming TW is more talented than Victor Oladipo until Troy learns to dribble the ball.

  10. Troy is to busy trying to make the highlight reel on sports center and mopping up the floor with his uniform. His basketball IQ is nowhere near Victor’s.

  11. The bad news is the season is over. The good news that until next November, I won’t have to see an IU player dribble around for 10 seconds, start a drive, then jump — and have no idea what he’s gonna do with the ball, so he throws it away.

  12. I don’t think anyone really thought IU would win this game. Most fans were surprised they even made the tournament with their dismal performance ending the regular season. So where does that leave things for next year? Williams needs to really improve his ball handling skills. He is a turnover just waiting to happen. Blackmon needs to improve defensively and Johnson needs to develop more consistency. Every other player is in need of vast improvement or replacement. The two incoming forwards should immediately get playing time. That leaves the big man. IU must get Bryant or Maker. Either of those players elevates IU to a top 15 ranking. I am thinking Yogi does not come back next year and plays professionally. If IU does not get those big men I see a slightly above average Big 10 team and Crean should lose his job. There are too many good coaches out there that could do a better job at IU. No need to accept mediocrity.

  13. Who really cares who leaves? These players don’t do anything anyway. Wow they come back and finish 5th in the big 10 and advance to the 2nd round…wow…don’t want to miss out on that…

  14. In the midst of, IMHO, the two most exciting days of college basketball I couldn’t help but notice, as I watched game after game, the absence of emotion among our Hoosiers. At least in comparison to most of the teams I watched. Every player on every team wore their emotions on their respective sleeves. The Hoosiers, not so much.

    It just seemed that way to me. Maybe it was my imagination.

  15. Hoosier Hopeful…Yogi isn’t going anywhere. Too many good guards going pro. I do agree that Crean needs to land a big man or his tenure is going to come to an end next year.

  16. Assuming no major defections/dismissals (major, as in key starters) and reasonable health, and regardless of landing a true Center, IU will be a better team next year. I’ll predict 25 wins next season, improved finish in the Big Ten and a 4 seed in next year’s NCAA. If not, I will join the chorus calling for Crean to go. But this was a very young team, often with three freshman on the floor and no senior leaders. They’ve got to get bigger (muscle) stronger and better at handling the ball and playing defense. Especially playing defense. But there is too much talent in the nucleus of this team for Crean to be fired now. It would be too expensive for the Athletic Department and it would set IU Basketball back three years. And if IU were to hire the kind of coach that so many “experts” on the Scoop are calling for, you would see several key players transfer immediately. Our best hope for the immediate future is that this team grows up over the summer and performs at a significantly higher level next season.

  17. I follow this blog practically every day, but do not comment very often. However, I just had to say this. CTC should have benched James Blackmon, Jr… because he was the difference in losing this game! He does not know how to play defense, period. And he does not know how to get position. And he would make some stupid foul. Nor does he know how to dribble. I cringed every time he got the ball, because it would surely be a turnover… he would lose the ball, or make a ridiculously bad pass, or something. His supposed value is a shooter? He shot 4-11 from the field, with 2-5 threes and I think he missed at least three foul shots (even though the stats say 4-6), If he made his foul shots, that alone could have been the difference in the game, let alone if made one or more of his threes. I cringed every time he came in the game (which totaled 26 min) and I cringed every time he got the ball. I was screaming at Crean to bench him, get him out of the game, because I think JBJ has been more of a liability than an asset all season… and especially in this game. Regardless of the stats, if you watch him closely, he does little things, or does nothing, which just adds up to the fact several losses, and especially this one, are his fault. And Crean’s fault for his bad coaching… his inability to see that and get JBJ out of the game. Almost anyone else would have contributed more than JBJ, for example Nick handles the ball much better and can shoot threes. Does anyone else see this??

  18. In the midst of, IMHO, the two most exciting days of college basketball I couldn’t help but notice, as I watched game after game, the absence of emotion among our Hoosiers. At least in comparison to most of the teams I watched. Every player on every team wore their emotions on their respective sleeves. The Hoosiers, not so much.

    It just seemed that way to me. Maybe it was my imagination.

    It’s not your imagination, Chet…..I think we’ve all gotten so used to zombie-like emotions that a rare witnessing of teams actually having “fun” in the moment gives a glimpse at how it should be valued as such a great opportunity and privilege to be in the tournament.. I think our Hoosier are forever drowning in the quicksands of a flawless image that must be constantly digested and expected….How can anyone just have a moment of down time or relaxation under this man’s thick, heavy, and exhausting rituals of “must see” piety? It’s simply not possible …Which also likely explains why they act like they’re on a prison break when not under his watch in Bloomington..

    But you are correct….There is a constant heaviness upon the hearts and shoulders of this team that has nothing to do with failure to consume the teachings(and the joy) that should be part of the “game” of basketball. I’m not even sure if they know just how heavy the load that sabotages being young and free in the moment.

  19. To say we’ll be better next year if everybody stays (since there are no Seniors but this presupposes that Yogi stays) is probably obvious. However, it ignores the obvious. Most teams in the Big Ten are not going to maintain the ‘status quo’ and thus, they are going to be better too (and with better ‘in-coming’ talent if the ratings from “all” of the Recruiting Services are correct). IU could be better with worse results.

  20. After five months of nauseating drama the season has mercifully come to an end. With no help in sight, we IU fans will approach this October with our expectations just about as low as they were several years ago, and that realization should be unacceptable to everyone who cares about the Hoosiers. The only redeeming thing I can think of is that – barring a miracle – 2015/16 must and will be the end of the Crean era, and along with it this miserable excuse for college basketball.

  21. A few thoughts and some support for near half the posts above. Yes, the Shockers killed IU in the paint 44-22, a god-awful disparity. The Shockers weren’t a hell of a lot bigger but they could execute, some tournament tested players made that happen. I agree with Chet’s statement about IU showing no emotion or excitement. We all have harangued the subject of no real post presence but Denver Dave brought out the most glaring issue and that is Jr. is the weakest link of the 8 man rotation. He of all the players has progressed the least from the HS game to the college game demands. Even weaker than Stan because Stan can play D when it interests him. My disappointment in Blackmon is bigger than my disappointment with the team. He will not transfer nor is he ready for the next level. Hell his Dad is a coach and he sees much clearer his deficiencies than we do. Even though with Crean at the helm I, like Po, predict a big uptick in performance next year for this team. As the youngest team in this tournament(averaging 1.73 yr. experience)their potential can be dynamic.

  22. The end of the world has arrived…lol…we lost to a better team but not one comment here gave props to WS! WS was a tough, smart, experienced team and they know how to win. But it was our defense breaking down or our stagnant offense, or of course CTC. The Indiana bubble effect is what I call it, the effects of basketball crazed state thinking that winning is determined by what WE do in the game. WS played a great game and deserved to win.

    Our players are the only one not having fun because of the rituals of “must see” piety or do they read blogs like this where we pile on with mean spirited comments about their family. The family I speak of is their team and they love their team just like a family. So when they read all the crap out there concerning the team and the coach it has to make basketball not as fun. I think IU fans make basketball not as fun for these guys.
    I fully expect the faithful to keep piling on, wringing their hands, speculating on this coach or that player because we are IU fans.

  23. Sure Bart, let’s talk about WSU.

    Yesterday we were beat in the paint 44 to 22 by a team with a starting lineup that didn’t have a single player taller than 6-7 (Darius Carter). The had 6-3 (Tekele Cotton), 6-4 (Ron Baker), 6-4 (Evan Wessel) and 6-0 (Fred VanVleet). 6-11 Wamukota had a whopping 2 min of playing time off the bench, with no other player coming in that was bigger than 6-7.

    All season long, the constant apology and excuse for our pathetic defense has been that we are undersized. Yesterday, we saw a WSU team that absolutely out muscled us in the paint, especially in the 2nd half. For once this season, size wasn’t an excuse.

    We still managed to give up 81 pts after holding them to just 2 3-pointers.

    I hope yesterday goes to dispel the myth that it was our lack of size that caused us to play poor defense. It was our lack of fundamentals, toughness and flat out nonsensical, confusing scheme, which seemed like they were drawn up by Timothy Leary.

  24. Here’s my 1 and shining example why Tom Crean has to go. There’s a young man named T.J.Leaf from California. 91st ranked player in class of 2016. Insidethehall did an interview with him in 2013,he said “It would be hard to say NO to IU”. His dad raised in Indianapolis area, attended Evansville on basketball scholarship, and came back to Indiana every year to visit family and in fact was visiting his grandmother when they did interview. He committed to Arizona in Nov 2014. What appeared to be a shoo-in for Crean has become a laundry list of failures of not recruiting “in state” players. This kid is about as close as you could call “in state” all the while living out of state. The AAU Circuit, the “twitterverse” and the grapevine killing IU because of Creans program lacking development, progress or growth. IU has lost 2015 recruiting( no one is interested in coming to fill the holes) and having looked at the 2016 class IU isn’t in good standing there either. Change now while we have lost 2015 or run risk of not only losing 2015 but 2016 and beyond.

  25. Glad I had to get on the road immediately following the game. I was pretty heated. But I’ve had some time to digest. Here are some aspects of the game i don’t think have gotten enough mention. (Haven’t read all the reactions from all threads, so if i missed something please forgive me):

    — You can look at it as losing a close game to a #7 seed, or losing a close game the #13/14 ranked team in the country. WSU’s been in or near the top ten all year. It’s a good team, period.

    — WSUs experience shined in the closing minutes. We had turnovers and missed FTs (although we shot well from the stripe as a whole) down the stretch; they made plays and hit FTs.

    — Speaking of FTs… fouls and foul shots had a HUGE impact on this game. I didn’t see a whole lot of blatantly missed/blown calls, but it looked in real time like WSU benefitted from a few more “could’ve gone either way” calls than we did. (Didnt see instant replay on many of them, so my suspicions may very well be empty, biased complaining.) Regardless, WSU shot ~20% higher than their season FT average. So even if you assume all fouls were called correctly and they legitimately earned 14 more FTs than we did, their clutch shooting proved to be the difference. Seemed a lot like the 2012 tourney game vs UK where they hit, what, 34 of 37? If WSU hits their average, we’re looking at a completely different outcome. But they didnt, and we couldn’t overcome. Which brings us to…

    — What the hell was that 15 seconds of not fouling? (Loved the “rolling” post, Harv.) That’s 1-2 extra possessions we completely farted away. I dont know if Crean just forgot to remind them that we’re in full-time foul mode, but anybody who knows anything about basketball knows you can’t let the clock run like that. Especially with the way Baker and Van Fleet were draining them. And then taking our sweet time getting up a shot down five with 9 seconds to go? Inexcusable.

    — Turnovers weren’t an epidemic, and some were just great defensive plays by WSU, but how untimely were they at critical junctures? Again.

    Oh well. At least it’s over. Now the off-season circus begins. Should be entertaining.

  26. Stop in Lexington Friday at 1pm. My room not ready. Told the guy, no problem as long as I’m in the room by 2:30, had a game to watch. Guy said I had the wrong day, the game is Saturday @ 2:30. No, I say, IU . Guy laughs and said are they still playing?

  27. Groundhog Day. I saw this game 20+ times this year. Stupid team with no discipline or grasp of fundamentals we all learned before we were 10. No screens, bad shots, standing around, missed FTs at key times, poor defense, throwing the ball away, and on and on and on.

    Stupid coach. Repeatedly calls bad timeouts to set up “plays” that aren’t. Clueless.

    The only passion for IU is on this blog and in the stands. It’s sure nonexistent on the bench.

  28. You know, we were lucky to get into the tournament. We played well. Crean was yelling at the kids to foul near the end of the game, but for some reason no one did until precious ran off the clock. Oh well.

    I don’t see any pro prospects on this club, so we should be stronger next year. Now onto baseball.

  29. Oddly, I don’t feel that lucky about the Hoosiers performance (personally I’m stupid lucky).

    Now…Remy Abell? That’s a lucky basketball dude.

  30. So we buy out CTC, 2 or 3 players leave which is the average when a coach leaves a program and we hire a mid major coach with promise, because no established coach would touch this place. He brings in a couple of juco players and we finish 10th in the big 10. He struggles to recruit against the likes of puke, PU, ND and MSU and we flounder for several years struggling to make the tournament. We are still affected by the debacle of Sampson and those ramifications might last for years to come. Is CTC the answer, probably not but look at the alternatives. I’m not one of the guys here that will tell you what the answers are but I do know what the problems are and they will not be fixed buy firing CTC or Glass. The constant pressure from the fan base is helping kill recruiting. If we think that other coaches don’t read these blogs and recite them to recruits then you live in a bubble. We all need to calm down and relax.

  31. Bart I don’t completely agree with your assumption that “constant pressure from fan base is helping to kill recruiting”. Crean is his own worst public relations department. IU at one point this year was 15 and 4 and had to work like hell to get 20 wins. Other coaches don’t have to “bad mouth” IU…they just present the facts from the past 2 years; win-loss records, this year’s “losing streak” the fact that with ALL the playing time he can give to a center hr cant get a BIG MAN to commit…then after all that you present to the recruit ” Why do you think that is? and immediately doubts grow about CTC. Add to those doubts the “grapevine talk” in the locker rooms of the AAU circuits,”Twittervese” ,and word of mouth between coaches to players.Thomas Bryan is the ONLY recruit that lists IU as an “interest” for next year. No One the year after.If he cant turn around the ” grapevine” chatter going on around him. Then the fallout from inability to recruit will affect 2 years…at the least . Now question to you ..are you willing to wait at LEAST 2 years for Glass to decide what to do?

  32. Fred Glass has it figured out for next season, the increase football attendance(Ohio State & Michigan Fans) will cover the attendance drop off in the men’s basketball for next season.

  33. I know for a fact that we should wait 1 more year just for the sake of the huge buyout, not to to mention seeing Yogi stay for his senior year and letting this group of freshman develop. The recruiting problem is odd because CTC has a rep for developing 3 star players and no rep for winning with 5 star talent. The mob boss at puke has the opposite rep, he takes 5 star talent and wins and could care less about developing a 3 star player because he knows that player would never see the court. If Glass blows this up where are we then? If I know 1 thing about jobs it’s that you don’t fire someone without a plan and a replacement.
    In my heart I believe we might need an Indiana man that gets back to recruiting Indiana talent. Who is that guy? Who can handle the pressure? Who can win like Izzo and graduate players while running a clean program? Who can stand up to the eloquent ramblings of a Harvard? We are an elite fan base with a mediocre program and it’s not going to be fixed just by firing one coach or one AD.

  34. Double Down please read my post again…I said this:

    “we lost to a better team but not one comment here gave props to WS! WS was a tough, smart, experienced team and they know how to win.”

    I didn’t mention size at all. You go on to tell us about how we were “absolutely out muscled in the paint” I think you are agreeing with me are you not?

    Let go one step further and mention that WS had 2 players playing in the 4th NCAA tournament with others playing in their 2nd and 3rd tournament. We had Yogi playing in his 2nd tournament with 2 freshman and 2 sophomores.
    I think it’s safe to say That WS won the game and we didn’t just lose the game. We made them play our game, scored 76 points and had 9 less fouls called on them. Btw they are even with KU right now so let’s give them their props and not link their success to our shortcomings.

  35. Not sure I’d call it a blowout, but WSU just beat Kansas pretty soundly. Two of our last three losses were one possession games in the final minute to Sweet Sixteen teams. Maybe three of three if Maryland advances tonight. Doesn’t change the fact that we lost. But it does give reason for a little optimism if you were inclined to look for it.

  36. Wichita State – 78 and Kansas – 65……..WOW!!!!! isn’t Kansas one of the elite programs….Doesn’t Kansas get the four and five star recruits….then how did they lose to Wichita State and looked a lot worst then Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosier looked at losing to Wichita State….In my opinion all you Tom Crean haters and critics need to give Tom Crean some slack and let him do his JOB….We as fan need to get behind Tom Crean and this program and stop all the criticism and hating….Indiana basketball program is in a good position…..for the level of talent Tom Crean has he is doing an excellent job…..considering we where suppose to finish 11th in the big 10 and we finished tied for seventh…not a major jump, but at least we made the big dance….if Indiana/Tom Crean had any type of presence in the middle they would have been a lot better!! Crean has brought this program back from a major devastation to the brink of being a decent contender every year!!! all you haters need to give the man a break/chance!!!

  37. WSU beat the elite Kansas team worse than they beat IU. In fact, IU’s young team looked a lot better than that elite Kansas team did against WSU. As a result, the chance of Crean getting fired any time soon all but evaporated. Boy, I’ll bet that makes the Crean-haters cranky. It contradicts their anti-Crean narrative and shatters their fantasy. LOL.

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