Michigan State 72, Indiana 58

Verdell Jones makes a funny face.

They tried. That’s enough.

The Hoosiers (9-16, 3-10 Big Ten) did not have the size or talent to stay within reach of Michigan State (21-6, 11-3). The Spartans had the skill and composure to hit every important shot and make every key stop.

Tom Izzo is here. Funniest joke so far: “I saw Creek after the game and I said to him, ‘How could you do that to my buddy, getting hurt?'”

He said he knew the Hoosiers would come out and play with a sense of urgency, and that required a “workman-like” effort by Michigan State. He ended up using his bench liberally, playing 10 players eight minutes or more. “That’s the difference between a team that has some depth and one that doesn’t,” he said.

The Hoosiers were able to get to the line, and hit free throws. They were 25-of-28, while MSU went only 5-of-10. Check the rest of the stats here.

Izzo says that the one thing he’s learned since being in the Big Ten is that when a program goes through dramatic coaching change, it takes time to rebuild. Losing a player like Maurice Creek in the early goings of that process hurts, especially. His team was “like a fish out of water” without Kalin Lucas for a few games earlier this season, and the Spartans have actual depth.

All of which is a way to say that he still believes in his protege, Tom Crean:

“Look me in the eye: he’ll get it turned, and he’ll get it turned quicker than most,” he said.

[9:40 UPDATE]

Crean’s here.

His take: “Every time we thought we were going to cut it, Kalin hit a big shot. He really is a next-level, all-American guy, all that.”

Twice he was asked about his team’s effort following a series of lifeless performances. He did not take the bait.

“We played hard,” Crean said to the first question.

Then, this: “We played very hard. We competed.”

[11:40 UPDATE]

Here’s some audio for you to listen to:


  1. Assembly Hall was dead tonight…depressing. I really hope we can end this season on a positive note.

  2. I think tonight was indication of how I’ve personally given up on the Hoosiers. I opted to flip between a dog show and women’s Olympic curling, just checking in when both were on commercial to see how far behind they were.

    You know it’s sad when I’m asking ‘when does football season begin?’

  3. The problem with the zone was gone, players moved better on offense (for most of the game), everything worked better for IU than it has in two weeks. Too bad we were up against a team that finished second in the nation last year and is a very deserving first place in the conference. Tonight’s effort would’ve certainly been nice against Iowa, Ohio St., and Wisconsin.

  4. Amazing that Bawa saw no minutes tonight even after IU was continually getting plastered in the paint by Green and Co. Crean what are you saving him for? IU has no chance at a post-season tourney!

  5. The game was all but over before the 4 minute mark.

    Why wasn’t Bawa, Capo or Elston on the floor?

    Did Dumes (who’s gone next year) need playing time?

    Did Rivers & VJ3, both older players with a lot more minutes under their belt need to be on the floor?

    Did Pritch really need more time?

    The only hope for a post season tourney right now is to win the Big Ten Tourney. Um, no chance. In the mean time, it is time to start developing players. None of the 3 above can redshirt this year, why isn’t CTC playing them, getting them more real time game action.

    Is he expecting an exodus of these three and not want to waste time with them?

    Does he believe there is no hope for them, so he is not playing them hoping they will leave after the year?

    Time to play these kids and see if they develop the rest of the year!

  6. No offense, Mike P., but I don’t think that a VJ3, as a SOPHOMORE, qualifies as an “older player” that doesn’t need to be on the floor. He’s one of the few guys that we can count on for offense. I’m not saying that the freshman shouldn’t be playing, but there is no way that it should be at the expense of VJ3–he still has two more seasons!!!!

  7. Coach Izzo is a class act !! I suggest everyone listen to his post game comments.Any one remember last years final four game MSU vs U of L? Who helped coach Izzo with his game plan ? Coach Crean!
    In TC 4 year, if thing don’t get turned around then we should start to complain about coaching.

  8. First of all, Capo got a lot of playing time. In my opinion, too much, because I think he’s one of our least capable players and doesn’t really contribute much on either end of the floor. Secondly, I don’t know why people are calling for Bawa to get so much time, because, when Bawa has been on the floor, he’s looked lost and done absolutely nothing. I do agree about Elston though.

  9. I think Crean is still in the “earning playing time” phase. He shouldn’t be handing out playing time to young players because they are young. He needs to give it to the people that earn it. I don’t really know how Dumes has earned it though. In the first half, he looked like he wanted to be anywhere but assembly hall.

  10. Mike P.,

    On January 15, after our loss to Michigan, I wrote: “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.”

    My logic there was that Crean probably realized from the onset that the chances for a post-season tourney were slim, and he’d rather balance competing with preparing for the future of the program and how we’re going to play. He’d like to show recruits the kind of style they’ll be playing.

    Your response to this statement was: “If Crean is sacrificing wins, then he is a worse coach than I am already thinking!”

    Fastforward to now — you want Crean to begin sitting older players in favor of using game situations to develop younger players.

    Your logic now is very similar to that which I used only a few weeks ago: since we’re not going to make any sort of tournament, we might as well stop worrying about playing the best players or winning a few meaningless games at the end of the year, and instead start worrying about playing the younger players in order to ensure the future of our program.

    While I don’t disagree with you, I guess I’m wondering why it would be wrong for Crean to sacrifice victories in order to implement a system for the sake of drawing better recruits to Bloomington, but NOT wrong for him to potentially sacrifice victories to sit players who will graduate soon in favor of less developed players who aren’t yet ready to be in big game situations.

  11. Without an average/fair post player our need for outside shooting sure is magnified. The defenses do not have to worry much about consistent outside shooting or respect for the 5 position. Sure doesn’t leave much room for someone passing or driving inside which then exposes our young folks lack of strength to finish. Losing Roth and Creek’s outside shooting threat leaves our offense limited to accomplish only what the defenses allow. I still think the best for now and the future is playing Hulls at point cause Rivers is a defender/rebounder only. We take no more lumps at point with Hulls than we do with Rivers and if it comes down to the shot clock Hulls is a better option. Positive results from extra foul shot practice is adding offense. In another year their recognition skills will move their feet faster on defense with added strength to fight through screens. Their physical health and energy level are paramount for the remainder of the schedule.

  12. Casey,

    At that time, there was still the possibility of getting to a .500 season and making at least the NIT. It would have been hard but the possibility was there.

    There is not even that chance now. Plus I’m not suggesting he starts these guys, but at the 4:41 mark, down 18 against a team that is clearly more athletic and deep than us, why not play these guys then? He isn’t sacrificing a win, the loss was already wrapped up.

    Sacrificing wins to implement a system to draw a player is just not an option. I don’t know any top talent player who want to go play in a system he likes if that system is LOSING & losing bad. I know a lot of these kids have inflated egos, but the majority of ones that do can’t believe they are going to make a team 20-30 points better as a frosh.


    VJ3 is a second year starter, he is playing over 30 minutes a game now, he played 35 last night. Right now he is our most consistent and best scoring threat, down 18 with less than 5 minutes on the clock, is that extra 4:30 of playing time going to benefit him or one of the frosh getting less than 15 minutes per game of real time experience?

  13. I think Capo makes some really solid contributions at times. Hitting a 3 and immediately drawing a charge is a potential 5-point swing done just by himself. While he doesn’t dominate by any means, I think there were at least a few times when he played solid defense in the post without fouling.

    I really don’t know anything about all of these transfer rumors. I know it’s a part of today’s college basketball for most teams, but just since things started going very badly, all of thus speculation comes that everyone is jumping ship. I certainly hope not.

    Rivers and Dumes frustrate me at times, but hence out lack of depth. Jones has to play, he’s developed incredibly in his two years and is probably the only person who can create his own shot.

    I was calling for Bawa a few weeks ago too, but then saw how lost he was when he played. However, I am frustrated by Tijan playing instead of him. He may be the nicest guy in the world and a great teammate, but he’s not a basketball player and now has just a few games left in his career. What I will question Crean on is- why put him in? I know depth is an issue, but he came in when we were still very much in the game. I think we were down 5, and Tijan got called for a moving screen, then they went down and scored (a 3 I think). That’s a big turnover, cutting it to 3 or being down 7 or 8. Similarly, Moore helps himself by being scrappy but he’s usualy good for a turnover or two and can’t guard anyone. Granted, the rest of out guards turn it over too, but I don’t see why those two guys get PT when were still in games. I guess to reward them for their hard work in practice, but this isn’t middle school, wait until we’re out of it and then let ’em have at it. I support Crean and I think there were some positives
    last night, especially after the last three games, but I don’t get those guys getting PT at crucial times.

  14. I don’t know why I’m wasting my time responding to you or acknowledging your existence, but gimme a break. The year of our player exodus, there were well over 250 players transferring. If you don’t think player transfers are a part of college basketball, you really are stuck in 1987. But, wait, didn’t Ricky Calloway transfer that year? I love Coach Knight as much as anyone and more than most, but he had plenty of transfers in his time too. Other teams who had players transfer the same year we lost 6- Duke, Purdue, UK, U of L, Texas Tech and New Mexico.

  15. Just a few names:
    They all left IU while Knight was in charge. There were more but that’s enough.

  16. Yes , Everybody has transfers at times and yes it is a part of college basketball now, but the tanned one has many more transfers than most.

  17. Put your money where your mouth is, prove it using names. Just becuase you say it’s so does not prove anything.
    Still waiting on a response to May and Wilkerson.

  18. 4, blah blah blah. Ignore the facts when they totally discredit you. Tranfers are part of the business and it happens to everyone, especially when rebuilding a program.

  19. Those of you who follow TC blindly need to be given a little vision.

    1. I think this version of the Hoosiers have for the most part played hard. They are undersized and that will eventually have to be addressed.

    2. Rivers and Dumes are awful, but his options on the bench aren’t any better. Creek going down killed the rotation. They both would have limited roles if not for his injury. And with Roth coming back and his recruits, Rivers will have a limited role next year.

    3. He is trying to win games. He fears that not winning will cost him his job. And eventually it will. However, Hoosier fans are smart enough that they will get it if he plays more Elston and Bawa and less Rivers and Dumes. I realize they are at different positions, but he change the rotation if he chooses. Hulls and Jones need all the minutes they can get.

    4. The 2011 big man class is IMPORTANT for TC. If he doesn’t get a legit big man he will be in trouble.

    5. Hoosier fans like a coach who coaches. Crean the clapper is wearing on fans. He needs to coach the kids(he doesn’t have to yell), but he needs to correct them. The bench is wonderful motivator.

  20. I have no idea if Tom Crean had an abnormally large number of transfers while he was at Marquette. Maybe our friendly reporters know or could look into it when they have time?

    My guess is that he probably had some, but I doubt that it was anything out of line with what many others experience. But, I really don’t know.

    Even though I wouldn’t trust the source, maybe the great 4 can back up his assertions with some evidence. I’m curious.

  21. to the knight transfer list you can add mike giomi, luke recker, and jason collier, just off the top of my head. iu’m sure there’s a lot more.

    i agree with mike about playing time for capo, elston, and bawa. capo and elston will end up being much better than pritchard , who really needs to develop a 12-15 foot shot if he’s to survive in the big 10. bawa, yikes. where do you start? you hope he can contribute by the time he’s a junior, but the game is just to fast for him (like jobe). with no big help on the horizon, when the remaining games are out of hand, those 3 must play. none of our “bigs” has any post moves. no power hooks, not even a shot fake for crying out loud. in fact, why does crean disdain the shot fake so much. guards never use them either. as an infamous coach used to say… “i don’t know of a single skill in the game of basketball as effective for creating open looks at the basket, as the shot fake”.

    also. in regards to the post about women’s curling in the olympics. i like it. it’s just nice to see a broom in a woman’s hands again.

  22. Just trying to educated the uneducated–like yourself Clarion. The only jaundiced opinion is yours.

    Vocabulary lesson:

    Janudiced means prejudiced.

    Prejudiced in this case means lacking knowledge.

    Your welcome Clarion,again.

  23. So did 4 just blow his cover? He claims he never posts under any other name, but clearly is 4guards and YouWillNeverKnow here. Shocking, I know. Just when you thought his credibility couldn’t be worse.

  24. Wisco,

    I believe this the fourth time he has taken the bait in about as many weeks. You should give it a try because he can’t turn down the cheese.

  25. Ha, not surprised. I try to stay out of it most of the time, but every now and then good judgment alludes me.

  26. Youwillneverknow is a completely different poster than myself. I am not sure why that is so hard to understand. I do tend to agree with a lot of what he says though.
    He doesn’t appear to be a Tan Cream apologist like some.

  27. YouWillNeverKnow at 2:05 sure seems to be attacking Clarion at 1:17 for his comment in reference to 4guards. The comment at 2:05 also seems to be in the first person.

    But, frankly, I don’t give a damn. This story either has one imbecile or two. Pretty irrelevant; I’m out.

  28. I dont think their dialogue had anything to do with me, but I don’t really care.
    Have you guys looked up Crean’s transfer past yet? I would love to read a Korman story on this.

  29. I’ve tried, but couldn’t find it. You’re the one who brought it up and said it was so bad, shouldn’t you have the information?

    While it will make little to no difference in my opinion, I’m legitimately interested, maybe the H-T guys can find out for us.

  30. 4guards,
    The responsibility belongs to the accuser. You are the individual making claims concerning Crean’s transfers. Is this similar to May/Wilkerson, so you will never respond?
    Don’t worry about people accusing of being YouWillNeverKnow. Rest assured, you are the most single minded, self-serving and uninformed person posting here.

  31. I know that the transfer numbers were off the charts, but I dont have exact statistics. We are talking in the ballpark of near half his recruits.

  32. to 4guards (and/or youwillneverknow),

    i am pretty sure there’s about to be a WHAT? girl fight!! you see, real testicled men do not give a hoot about someone who has olive skin. and you clearly care a whole bunch. i’m thinkin you are a girl! am i right?

  33. Transfers off the charts? If you don’t have exact statistics, perhaps you should not make your claims.
    May/Wilkerson? Are you serious? You have said that Wade landed in Crean’s lap because he was not eligible as a freshman, no one else wanted Wade. It was pointed out to you that May/Wilkerson were both “non-predictors” at IU but you have chosen to ignore that fact.
    My guess is, you do not read what other people have to say to respond to your posts. Sadly, your are not worth anyone’s time.

  34. If I am not worth your time, why ask me so many questions? If Bob Knight only had one good year in his career (with May), than maybe you would have a valid point. But as it stands, your comparison is not really much of a comparison at all.

  35. hey 4/idiot, youve been busted multiple times. why wont korman just out him with his IP? i dont get this crap. 4 is a pos that sits at his moms basement and makes attacks on crean without even looking up facts. people like you are trash. congrats.

  36. lala land,
    busted how you idiot? I would welcome Korman to comment on if I am using multiple names or not. The only other name I have used before is stevealford. How stupid do you have to be not to understand that for the 10th time?
    I don’t need to look up the exact amount of transfers he has to know it is a god awful amount. Anybody who follows college basketball will know that.

  37. 4guards, go back to your room. You’ve had enough computer time for today an you know how mama is gonna whoop you if you keep makin up lies. We can’t handle another libel lawsuit ya hurd?????

  38. lala,

    Not sure what you’re talking about with 4guards. He’s only used two names: stevealford and 4guards, which he changed to after people complained.

    He’s pretty, umm, stubborn in his beliefs. But he’s not changing names frequently or engaging in debates with himself via multiple accounts, which I have tried to limit somewhat.

    Crean has had his fair share of transfers. We’ve broken down his past classes to look at that (though I don’t have the file right in front of me; should have it for tomorrow). The problem is, to my knowledge there’s been no national study of the transfer phenomenon. It’d be hard to put player movement in context without statistical info compiled throughout the years. We can certainly try, but that’s a big project. Perhaps we can suggest it to Jeff Goodman or Eamonn Brennan or one of those fellas.

  39. Hey, I know we weren’t a blue-blood basketball school, but I had us in the top 3 of the league in 5 of my 13 years, went to the tournament 9 times where we went 13-9 with an Elite Eight and two Sweet 16s. We were ranked #1 early in my career and ranked fairly high on a regular basis in the years after that. We only had a losing record in the league twice. Hell, I never even lost a NCAA First Round game in 9 tries.

    Steve took over and only won a single tournament game. Partly because they only made it three times, but geez. I guess that early tournament exit is another thing he picked up from Coach Knight! Anyway, Steve had a losing record in the league 5 times. Out of 8! If I did that, they would’ve forced me out earlier. Good thing he put those two nice weekends together in Big Ten Tourney time or they probably would have. I made the damn tournament my last year and they still got rid of me because they thought Steve could do better. I don’t know if they planned on letting him dress or what.

    He’s a nice guy, glad things are goin’ well for him out…where is he again? Well, wherever he is, glad to see he’s doin’ well. But, I really don’t know if he’s the guy to take over at Indiana, especially with all the work to be done. I left Iowa in fairly decent shape and it’s not nearly the pressure of Indiana, and well, glad he’s doin’ well out West.

  40. It’s true. If Coach Knight didn’t piss me off so much, Steve woulda been screwed. I still have back problems from all of the carrying I did at Iowa.

  41. Thank you for clearing that up Korman. I am sure I won’t receive many apologies because the crean apologists refuse to admit when they are wrong , which is most of the time.

  42. I admit I thought it was you in both post, but I wasn’t sure and didn’t feel the need to call you out on it.

  43. I’m shocked, actually. Not that I was wrong, I’m wrong all the time. But shocked this time. Sorry.

    You can still go take a long walk on a short pier.

  44. Korman,

    You got me thinking about his transfers too. So in my spare time, I used statsheet.com to come up with a quick list of transfers under the Crean reign at Marquette. Transfers in my mind are kids that went to another Division 1 school to play out the rest of their careers. I didn’t include walk-ons that left the program.

    FYI For those looking at statsheet.com they give Juco transfers the label of Freshman regardless of their elgibility. That was another headache weeding through those types of players.

    But as for the Crean transfer list I came up with:

    Odartey Blankson to UNLV
    Ron Howard to Valpo
    Karon Bradley to Wichita State
    Brandon Bell to Detroit Mercy
    Dameon Mason to LSU
    Ryan Amoroso to San Diego State

    That’s 6 transfers in 9 years at Marquette.

    4guards, you are now fired from sports.

    Anyway if you guys want the file I put together in Excel to run this list, let me know and I’ll ssend it your way.


  45. Looks like 4 of the 6 transfered “down” too and depending on when the transfer to UNLV was that may very well have been a “transfer down” too. Something tells me that with those 5 transfers being such as they are that the LSU transfer was for being home sick, knows some of the other players on that team, my dad knows somebody with pull there etc, etc. Guess this pretty much blows 4guards claim out of the water……unless he can provide info that says this isn’t the way it is. What say you now oh great Alford worshipper ?

  46. Nobody owes you an apology, especially when all you do is post lies about Crean, and attack his character with groundless statements. You dont even know his transfer history, yet you blast him on a public forum. Real smart.

  47. Steve Alford moves to 24-3 with another convincing win. Two teams in Alford’s conference are ranked in the top 15. Alord grabs his 300th victory. Congratulations Coach.

  48. Well, he couldn’t do it in the Big Ten. Glad he’s gettin’ it done in the Mountain West, a basketball hotbed for sure.

  49. I enjoyed reading through this. 4guards has finally been exposed for commenting on things he has no idea about.

  50. It’s true, man. I love Coach Alford, but he just had a hard time gettin’ players. If he didn’t steal Recker and Haluska, things coulda been worse. I love Iowa and all, but I’m still kickin myself for goin’ out there….I coulda gone to Butler!

  51. 4guards,

    I do stand corrected. There were a few more transfers in the Crean reign that I did not mention.

    Add at least these four to the list:

    James Matthews
    Carlton Christian
    Matt Mortensen
    Anthony Green – academically did not qualify.

    In fact after Christian transfered a Milwaukee-Journal sports journalist thought enough of it to write an article about the # of Crean transfers.

    Here’s an exerpt:

    Expert from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Todd Rosiak June 12, 2004.

    Christian through with MU

    Christian’s transfer is the third since last November and the seventh since Crean took over at MU. He’s also the sixth Crean recruit to leave the program, a number that Crean believes can be traced in some part to players’ demands for instant gratification. “I think it’s unfortunately a part of where things are today in college athletics,” he said. “They are all different examples, isolated incidents. But it really does come down to the fact that there are standards and procedures that make up successful programs and really, you’re not going to deviate from those if you’ve got the best interest of the players and university in mind.”

    Now I have no comparison point for Crean’s transfer rate with other programs. But even though crudely constructed, your point is valid.

    Perhaps the Scoop crew can investigate this further. Found it interesting in my research that many of Crean’s recruits were announced academically elgible right in the nick of time before the season started. It seemed like that happened with one recruit per each class. Just found that interesting.


  52. right here….and i still wouldn’t call it a large amount of transfers…especially if they are transferring down.

  53. Some Hawkeyes say the great Steve ran a lot of people off too. Of course, he made up for it a little with all of the people he poached from other programs, but still.

    Here’s an excerpt from Iowa fans’ petition to fire Alford circa 2004-2005: “Of the 20 scholarship athletes recruited to Iowa by Alford, four have completed their athletic eligibility, three are scheduled to complete their eligibility this year and seven either quit the team or transferred to another school. Six can return next year.”

  54. PB- I don’t believe Mortensen transferred (by his own choice, at least). I was looking into this last night as well. Mortensen was dismissed from the team by the AD for non-academic reasons- Crean was quoted as saying he had to agree with the AD’s decision, making it sound like it wasn’t Crean’s choice either, though he may have gone the same direction had it been his decision.

    I guess it all comes down to the same thing- players leaving the program- but had Mortensen not messed up, its possible he would not have left… Anyway, it’s still only one player and there certainly does seem to be a pattern, though I would definitely like to see some sort of comparison between Crean’s programs and the rest of the nation.

  55. HoosEyes.

    Yeah, I almost took Mortensen out my list too. He was dimissed from the team.

    4guards, glad you enjoyed the fruits of my labor but in the future it would be great when you argue a point to do your own research. Either that or send me a case of Ro*Tel as payment.


  56. PB- Thanks for putting that list together, though. Definitely think it’s an interesting topic that warrants further examination… Also interesting to think about 4guards posting with a little credibility 🙂 (i kid, i kid…)

  57. PB, RoTel is too precious. In all seriousness I appreciate the work you put in and more importantly the fact that you reposted when you realised your mistake. Most on here would not have done so.

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