Purdue 72, Indiana 61

Once again, the Hoosiers were not mentally strong enough during the second half. Once again, the opposing team went to the free-throw line too many times. Once again, the Hoosiers lost.

This one hurts more, if only because it was Purdue in Assembly Hall. As the Boilermakers left the court, sophomore D.J. Byrd pointed up at a small scoreboard that read: Purdue 72, Indiana 61.

JaJuan Johnson scored 20 points and E’Twaun Moore scored 17. Both did what they had to do and what was expected of them, two seniors that are contenders for All-American honors.

But it was the role players that also hurt Indiana: D.J. Byrd scored 11 points, and Terone Johnson had 9. But each made 3 3-pointers, often wide open, taking advantage of a lackluster Indiana defensive effort.

Indiana never led but did get the game close during the second half. Much like the game in Mackey Arena, the Hoosiers could not get over the hump.

Christian Watford had 18 points to lead the Hoosiers, but had two critical turnovers as he dribbled the ball out-of-bounds on consecutive possessions. Jordan Hulls, who was 1-of-6 in the first half, ended up 5-of-12 for 15 points.

The Hoosiers have now lost five in a row and at 12-16 with three regular-season games remaining are guaranteed a sub-.500 regular season for the third season in a row.


  1. We have the lowest cumulative basketball IQ in the nation. We just don’t understand the game. Some of that is the players and some of it is coaching.

  2. Watford with two crucial turnovers back to back late in the second half to kill any momentum IU had and then one bad foul after another. This team’s defense is so poor it’s scary. Watford and Jones absolutely cannot play defense. And the one guy that can play defense, Rivers, can’t shoot to save his life. I’m ready for a complete overhaul of playeres and if that means some have to go, so be it.

  3. It was at least a somewhat decent effort by the Hoosiers, they are just less talented than Purdue and with a lesser coach.

  4. Yes! Fire the coach and get rid of all the players! That’s a sure fire way to get us back to the top of the game in no time!

  5. IU is a better team without Watford. One on one…. or one on five at crucial parts of a game seam to be a pattern!!!! I am sick of it!! Look over the past 3 games with Watford playing. When the game is on the line… he only thinks of himself.

  6. It’s actually pretty simple…at a point when both programs needed to make a major coaching change, they chose THE most polar opposite paths possible. Purdue (in the vernacular) “chose wisely”…letting Gene stay a year or two and mentor a PURDUE guy….who picked up the ball and has never let the program slip a single notch. IU, of course, thanks to what may go down as THE dumbest adminsistration is college history, chose waaaaay NOT wisely—not once, but twice [[and maybe three times…THAT jury is still out]]. Best on-TV stat of the night: Purdue–11 out of 14 kids on their roster are from Indiana—-they have absolutely SMOKED IU for years in terms of getting the best Indiana kids…and then, of course, Painter actually turns them into legit players…which so far, we haven’t seen the New World Order at IU do. I reallllly hope it happens…but so far, I see no reason to be buying any NCAA tix for any season in the foreseeable future…

  7. at this point IU is to basketball what Notre Dame is to football; the product isn’t worth the price but since theres nothing better to do in Indiana the ‘tradition’ keeps making the fans come out and they are willing to watch anything as long as they can talk about something that happened 25-40 years ago…

  8. I would like to say that Pritch had a good game. He is doing well and I hope he hears it. One observation from watching this team, we lack “swag” “it” or whatever you want to call it. Where do we get that swag from?

  9. We need swag. No dunks again by IU. Please Coach Crean continue to recruit athletes for next yr so Verdell, Watford, Roth, Elston, Pritchard can come off the bench.

  10. Hugh and Dustin, this season has just been so bizarre. I feel like I’ve seen three to four different versions of this IU team. Mentally I feel that they are just spent.

    Going back to your discussion in the last Scoop talk, there really is a lack of clearly defined leadership. It just feels like this great big mass of tension has accumulated these past few weeks. And it’s not like the players are fighting amongst themselves verbally (atleast we can’t see that during games and in public). It’s just hard to put a finger on it.

    We’ve said this before a few games this year (Penn State, Illinois), but for the sake of morale hey need some light at the end of the tunnel. A win against another ranked team would atleast provide some positive momentum.

    It is very interesting that our wins against ranked teams have come with lineups that don’t contain what we believe to be our best players. What can be said about that going forward to next year?

    Anyway, I haven’t chimed in at length on here in a while, mainly because I haven’t seen any familiar folks. Keep up the good work and here’s to a few more surprises for the better.


  11. So, is this team better without CWat and VJIII? Results would say so. When will we see this 11th ranked recruiting class shine?

  12. Time Out folks. This team is inconsistent defensively and turnover prone. They are also immature. They were playing the 8th ranked team in the country, the same team that is in the hunt for a Big Ten title. Despite all our problems this team was within striking distance in the 2nd half. We missed at least 10 point blank wide open shots in both halves. In an 11 point loss those 20 lost points are a KILLER! That ain’t coaching….its all on the players. The offense, as bad as it looks at times, as stagnant as it looks at times, got at least 10 wide open looks that we missed. The inbreds from up north get the same looks and they convert. It’s on the players and only them.

  13. From where IU came from it would take most anyone 4 years to get back to being competative. At the end of last year I thought they were on track, at the end of this year I think they are behind. Besides Hulls and Pritchard, who is playing better this year than last? The lack of development of Elston and Watford is very dissapointing, Jones is a turnover machine and would never being playing at IU except in this situation, same for Rivers. So I am confused as ever, look at the players we have on the floor and I think that Crean must be one hell of a coach to be in the games like we are, then I think about the lack of development and wonder what the heck is going on.

    I still have faith we will be back, just disappointed right now.

  14. RKK46033 is dead on. I’m sick of hearing about Crean. I don’t watch games to see Crean set picks or knock down open three pointers. The Coaches job is to get the team in a position to win. To eventually give the team back to itself. This takes leadership among the players, which we have been lacking for some time now.

    However, some how, against the 8th ranked team in the nation, with our best player, Watford, playing with 1.5 hands, No All-American candidates, walk-on Daniel Moore coming off the bench, with Rivers basically giving us a 4 on 5 situation on offense, we were in the fight. We went cold in the 2nd half, made too many mistakes on defense, and turnovers are a constant with these guys.

    We don’t have the athletes. However, the team is trying, and I do see improvement. Look at Hulls, Pritchard, and Watford is trying despite injury. We’re devoping Sheehey and Oladipo.

    Yes, we’re all sick of losing to “Purcrap” and Nortwestern. However, I believe it is that frustation that will eventually get IU back to where it needs to be. It will help the new generation of IU players play with a chip on their shoulders.

    Just don’t ask me when.

    Go IU!!

  15. When you play with inferior talent, you lose games. Purdue has 2 All-Americans on their team that make the game so much easier for the other guys on the team. IU does not have that player. It’s evident at the end of every close game they play, when they cannot score any points. The offense is lost at end of games, because the other team locks down on Hulls, which leaves the ball-handling up to VJ3 or Rivers, which is not a good option.
    Also, why even play Daniel Moore? He cannot score and is completely oversized. I’m not gonna rip the guy, but he cannot play at D1 Big Ten level.

  16. I agree with the above poster tschroering. Behind all the whining and doom-and-gloom about “coaching this” and “coaching that,” there is a fairly simple way to rebuild a program: stockpile 5-star talent, and wait for your lesser talent to become upper classmen. This is what happened at Kansas State with Michael Beasley; it’s also how Calipari wins year after year.

    According to all tangible signs, IU is in the middle-to-later phase of this exact type of rebuilding. When we have mostly juniors and seniors plus a Zeller, Perea, and Ferrel competing for minutes, all our collective fretting will be long behind us.

    Thank god Glass loves Crean. I can’t imagine the toll another program makeover would take at present.

  17. …but a ‘magic bullet’ would be such a simpler answer. You know, coach the hell out of lesser players and beat ranked teams. Oh wait, we actually did beat ranked teams with lesser talent. We are what we are. IU has a few scrappy players. Jordy is way better than we could have hoped for. VO and Sheehey apparently are the real deal and will end up being worth their scholarships. Every once and awhile someone else pulls a rabbit out of their hat. We do not have the horses…yet.
    Want it done fast? There’s the Calipari route. How about that? I give UK two years max before the next, inevitable, NCAA probe. UK and Calipari, talk about a perfect marriage of slime. I remember people calling for Bruce Pearl to be the next coach. Still want him? I bet we can have him. I just read about him in the paper this morning. UT is gonna be on probation FOREVER. His whole operation is dirty. Players, coaches, philosophy. At least he has Lane Kiffin to draw fire, as the football team is also gonna be on probation. While I don’t know of any precedent for a team being in as bad a situation as CTC walked into, pretty much every ‘quick turnaround’ I’ve witnessed in many years of observation has resulted in penalties being imposed down the road for cheating. Anybody think any cheating is going on in Bloomington? Anybody think we are dirty to the bone like Bruce Pearl’s operation? Or Southern Cal? Or Kentucky?
    The realists around here recognize this. We’d love to have seen those close losses turn into tight wins. A little more good fortune (or good shooting) and we’d have a few more wins and everything looks different. But would the team really be better? The difference between 12-15 and 15-12 is a matter of a few missed shots at crunch time. Some of them wide open. Would CTC be a different coach if those shots had been made? Even the harshest critics would have to be pleased if we were 15-12 and looking at the NIT right now. The team wouldn’t be much different. They would simply have hit the open shots they missed at the end.
    The sky isn’t falling, it’s just still overcast. The reason Assembly Hall is packed with adoring fans is because most people are realistic. We will have very good teams again. I’ve been a Hoosier fan long enough to know we haven’t always been at the top, even in the ‘good’ eras. I remember Lou Watson and Jerry Oliver. I remember RMK being king and I remember RMK being the worst tourney coach in the country.
    Next year will be better. The year after will be better than that. There are no quick fixes.

  18. Chet-

    I am copying your post and pasting it into a word doc at present. It ranks with some of the best ever. I will use it (with copywrite permission) at future junctures.

    We are a culture of blame; one which thinks that it always comes down to one person’s fault.

    It was all Bush’s fault. Before that, it was all Clinton’s fault. Now it’s all Obama’s fault. In sports, it’s all Crean’s fault, it’s all Jim Caldwell’s fault, it’s Rick Carlisle’s fault, and it’s all Bill Lynch’s fault. We put a superhuman value on leadership. We try to trace nearly every human defect, in sports or in reality, to the minute negligence of a leader.

    If Rivers turns the ball over, it’s because Crean didn’t whip him enough in practice. If VJ misses a free throw, it’s because Crean didn’t make him eat the right cereal. If the team loses a close game, it is because Crean decided to clap too much and didn’t take the sage advice of “people who understand the game” like Hoagland, 4guards, and (sometimes) TERRY.

  19. everyone who thinks crean should be fired is very mistaken at the beginnging of this season with a healthy creek and watford and with guy marc michel many of us were saying that 15 or 16 wins would be a good season well guess what we dont have a healthy watford and creek and we dont have that 280 pound 7’1 center in the middle of the lane and we still have won 12 games and our avg margin of defeat in big ten is 8.4 pts with only one game did we get beat by over 15 thats a hell of a lot better than last year in my opinion and the people who say crean needs fired are just fair weather fans not true iu fans and might want to learn a little more about basketball… crean has done an excellent job given these circumstances he had more walk ons than recruits in his first year and his second year people are saying he had a top 10 recruiting class but do you guys really think bawa capo elston jordy watford and mo are a top ten caliber class because i sure dont… IN THIS TIME OF RECONSTRUCTING THE TRUE FANS WILL RALLY AROUND AND CONTINUE SUPPORTING OUR COACH AND PLAYERS WHILE ALL OF THE FAIR WEATHER FANS WILL CRITICIZE AND TRASH TALK OUR INDIANA HOOSIERS COACH AND TEAM ….. THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT

  20. Broken hand or not Watford has had a problem finishing down low since he got here.He just does not seem to realize that to score at the basket in the Big Ten he has to jump higher than he did in high school. How many times does he have to get a shot blocked to figure it out? I want to support this team but at some point they have to “GET IT”. COME ON!

  21. I think some people need a reality check. Purdue, though we hate to admit it, is a terrific team that knows how to play and brings it every night. 90% of all D-1 teams couldn’t play them as competitively as IU has in both games this year.

    We just don’t have the overall talent or depth to beat teams like Purdue, OSU and Wisconsin; but we have played competitively against them, which I think is all we can realistically expect at this point.

    Perhaps the complainers have forgotten that teams not on probation can have 13 scholarship players, but IU can only have 12 due to Sampsongate probation that ends this year. Michel being suspended takes us to 11; Creek being hurt takes us to 10; and Capobianco and Roth are marginal players, so we really only have 8 players who I’d consider good enough to consistently help a team win at this level. I guarantee all these teams IU is playing tough against, but losing to, have 12 or 13 players capable of making a contribution at the Big Ten level. That, my friends, is NOT a level playing field. In two years, when we have several high-level recruits added to the roster, I’ll look at it differently, but right now, this is a good showing by IU.

  22. Crean will last a couple of years longer — he needs to reach 100 losses first and he’s getting there in record time!… It takes time, people, but keep the faith and I’m pretty sure in two years we’ll be there! Tom Crean. (Motto: “Be sincere even when you don’t mean it!”)

    Tom Crean is building a new culture at IU. It is called: “Losing the right way.”

  23. I don’t agree with being so critical of our players..our team. Watford dribble drives from 40 feet because this is what he was “coached” to do – folks that is a set play in our play book. So please stop talking about how much Watford and Verdell are screwing things up…ask why these players are in a position to make poor plays (its how they are being coached).

  24. Man, I am sure glad people like eric are on this website, or I would stop reading it. Well written, eric. I agree 100%.

  25. anon
    Wednesday, February 23, 2011 – 11:41 PM EST

    we don’t need SWAG. we need an offense!

    Sorry, Indiana has been one of the best shooting teams in the country all year, it’s the defense that is horrible.

  26. IU is the Wisconsin of the 1980’s and vice-versa. Why? Coaching mostly, talent somewhat. When will the IU coaches take the same accountability that they want from the players?

    IU and Minnesota are the only 2 teams in the Big 10 who have gotten worse since the year began. The reason is coaching and injuries.

  27. Great, great post Chet. What bothers me about some of these posts and comparisons are that this team gets compared to other teams that have not been in the same situation whatsoever. Like the poster that compared the transition at Purdue from Keady to Painter & that Purdue had 2 down seasons then their 3rd was very respective. Hard to believe that anyone cannot see the difference in these situations. I looked at Baylor’s catastrophe several years back, UNLV many, many years back. One must compare apples to apples, programs that have been rocked by some sort of scandal that resulted in a firing of a coach, loss of scholarships, recruiting sanctions put on the coach, recruiting sanctions put on the school, the lack of any interest for quality talent wanting to commit to a school under these circumstances, the returning of 2 players that did lack decent skills/experience & had a total of 1 1/2 per game playing time between the both of them, also he had defecting quality players. None of the schools I researched had winning seasons the 1st 3 years, not even the 4th. They became competitive the 4th season & their seasons got increasingly better after that.

    Considering all those recruiting circumstances, I don’t think Crean quite has the players there he would have chosen had there not been limitations & sanctions. Do I think he’s done a great job with some of those players in developing..YES!!

  28. if he would just be quiet and sit down once in a while.and stop the prancing.up and down the sideline and just let the kids play. you should coach during the week in practice and not continously during the game.ithink that is all for show

  29. Reading the comments here reminds me so much of the comments on Green Bay Packers blogs over the past three years.

    Fire the coach. Fire the GM.

    Long explanations of how the moves the GM made were wrong. Long explanations of why the coach wasn’t any good. Even just a few weeks ago, people were posting that the Packers would never even get to a Super Bowl as long as McCarthy was coaching.

    Crean may never win at IU. Or he may win multiple championships. It is simply too soon to say.

  30. elmo
    Thursday, February 24, 2011 – 9:28 PM EST

    if he would just be quiet and sit down once in a while.and stop the prancing.up and down the sideline and just let the kids play. you should coach during the week in practice and not continously during the game.ithink that is all for show

    That’s funny, it seems that all coaches are guilty of this to some extent…coaching during the game when they shouldn’t be….what an idea!!! LOL

  31. Rich-

    Right on! You have perfectly captured the fickle and know-it-all nature of sports fans.

    Another great example would be Mike Holmgren’s tenure with the Seahawks. In his first 4 seasons, despite holding the Coach and GM tag and making absurd money, he was only 31-34. Same story: “Fire the coach,” “I don’t like his sideline manner,” “He’s too fat,” “Horrible GM moves that I could have made better myself,” etc.

    The following year was the first of 5 straight NFC West championships, including a trip to the Super Bowl which they all but won if not for historically bad officiating (the ref has since apologized for his performance).

    If you ask me, people with impressive track records over a long span of time deserve a bit more leeway and patience.

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