IU taking lessons from Illinois to Columbus

The film of the final minutes of No. 1 Indiana’s 74-72 loss showed Tom Crean and the Hoosiers that they need to become a smarter basketball team.

Crean said in his post game press conference on Thursday that the loss came because the Hoosiers didn’t stay committed to the game plan, turned the ball over too much and generally didn’t play as intelligently as they needed to late in the game. He’s had the last two days to try to get that through to his players.

“They saw quickly that we had gotten out of what had been working,” Crean said. “(Assistant coach) Tim Buckley said it best. If you play at Indiana, you get a ton of offensive freedom. A ton of it. At the same time, when it’s time to win the game, winning the game and the time and score situation override any of that. We didn’t always do that. It wasn’t like they were bad shots, but we didn’t play time and score the way that we needed to. My first reaction was, ‘As much time as we spend on that, there’s no excuse for it.’ Then you realize, you get back and home and you realize, ‘you know what, that’s where we’re at. We gotta fix it.’ It’s so much of what the games are about. We went through it on film. We reiterated it numerous times through some of our work, and it’s just getting these guys to be comfortable in those situations.”

Indiana’s 1 p.m. game on Sunday figures to be one of those games that will require the use of those lessons. The No. 10 Buckeyes are 17-5 overall, 7-3 in the Big Ten and 12-1 at home this season. Illinois is the only team Ohio State has lost to that isn’t in the Top 25, and the Buckeyes beat Michigan at home and took them to the wire in Ann Arbor before losing an overtime thriller on Tuesday.

The Buckeyes went through a significant offseason overhaul with the graduation of William Buford and the early NBA entry of center Jared Sullinger, but they’ve come through that pretty well and boast the No. 14 most efficient offense (114.2 points per 100 possessions) and No. 11 most efficient defense (86.5 points per 100 possessions) in the country.

“They’re as physically tough defensively as any team we will have faced to this point, and especially at home,” Crean said. ‘They’re a spurt team. They’re a big run team. They start really fast at home a lot of times. We’ve got to weather those storms. Their crowd is fantastic, they’re right there on top of you. It will be an unbelievable atmosphere, and we’ve just gotta stay truly committed to what’s important. You can’t get caught up in the surroundings as much as you stay true to the game plan inside of it. Excellent on the defensive end, they can score in a lot of different ways.”

Most of those ways tend to involve Deshaun Thomas. The former Fort Wayne Bishop Luers star and 2010 Indiana Mr. Basketball became the focal point of the offense when Buford and Sullinger left, and he’s used that position to become the leading scorer in the Big Ten with 19.9 points per game. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound junior can score inside and outside, shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the 3-point arc with 52 3-pointers.

“He’s a scorer,” Crean said. “He’s got a scorer’s mentality. He’s big. He gets it off extremely quick. He can play at the post. He’s extremely dangerous in the mid-post area. In the pick-and-pop, driving and 3-point shooting game. He’s just an all-around scorer.”

Junior point guard Aaron Craft isn’t as dangerous of a scorer, but he does rank second in the Big Ten in assists with 4.5 per game and is the defending Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. IU junior guard Victor Oladipo is certainly making a play to take it away from him this year, but Craft isn’t making it easy, ranking third in the Big Ten in steals with 2.0 per game.

“He gets into your body,” Crean said. “He’s got quick feet, quick hands. He’s very physical. He’s extremely physical on the ball. He gets up into you. He uses his hands very well. He’s got the respect of the officials. I think that’s certain, but his athleticism is very unique with his foot speed and his hand speed.”

And the Buckeyes have a lot beyond those two. Shooting guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. averages 10.5 points per game. Sophomore Sam Thompson gives the Buckeyes an explosively athletic small forward, and big men Evan Ravenel and Amir Williams have combined to give them a post presence in the wake of Sullinger’s departure. Sophomore Shannon Scott makes sure the point guard play doesn’t fall off when Craft comes off the floor, as he averages 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game as a backup.

For all of those reasons, the Hoosiers are hoping for a much better performance than they had Thursday, and one area that they have focused on with that in mind is getting the ball into the post more. IU sophomore center and preseason All-American Cody Zeller had just six field goal attempts in Thursday’s game, and Crean said that number has to go up.

“There’s no doubt that he needs to get it more,” Crean said, “and not just for the shooting but for how much he gets fouled. I’d say the same with Christian. When you’re shooting from the foul line the way that those guys are, it’s a big part of the game plan. Cody needs to get the ball more in the second half, and he needs to get it where he can not only score but facilitate for others where there’s a lot of pressure on the opponent, and that’s where the fouls come from.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Yogi Ferrell




  1. Well, Crean, maybe they’d be “more comfortable in those situations” if you didn’t play CupCake City before the Big Ten.

    Hard to be humble when I’m right all the time.

    Most of you guys said playing all those cupcakes “didn’t matter” and Crean just admitted I was right.

    The team learns NOTHING by blowing out Sister Mother Mary of the Blind over and over and over.

    Well, you do get ranked # 1 for it until you play a real team that beats you…..

  2. Says the clown who just got done crying about me throwing out personal insults………..

    Just not to cry so much because this “idiot” was right all along……

  3. That’s funny, Laffy.

    I see a Sheehey 3-pointer celebration more like the guy at the center of the dance floor in this clip(0:53 mark).

  4. Laffy, I’m sure most of us would agree that we could’ve used at least one pre-conference true road against a good opponent to prepare us for the rigors of the B1G– especially to avoid early B1G losses– but at this point in the season your cupcake argument doesn’t hold much sway.

    Every team in the country has been tested and lost multiple times by now, and we’d already played four conference road games before Illinois.(Say what you will about the strength of our conference road foes so far, but ask Wiscy or MSU about winning at Iowa, or Minny about winning at NW, or OSU at Illinos.)

    So what does pre-conference scheduling have to do with losing in Champaign? And how did having a stronger SOS and playing fewer pre-conference cupcakes prevent Florida from losing big to an unranked team this week? Or Kansas losing twice?

  5. I was just quoting Crean. He said, “it’s just getting these guys to be comfortable in those situations.”

    So, it’s obvious they needed “more of those situations” since they obviously aren’t comfortable with them yet.

    How many blow-outs against Cupcakes did we have pre-Big Ten?

    And he can’t use the excuse “young team” any more considering most of our team is juniors and seniors.

    Florida and Kansas aren’t as deep/talented as we are so I really don’t care why they’re choking.

    And I agree HH’s clip was pretty good. Glad you got a chuckle out of mine instead of taking it too seriously and going nuts over it.

  6. O.K., here’s my final clip for the night.

    We all have to admit that Sheehey must be quite the heartthrob to the young ladies on campus…The guy has Hollywood looks. I wonder if the studly handsomeness and the Billy Jack, bad-a$$ image, combined with the huge upside his basketball future, is the primary source of much our envy?

    This tune is dedicated to a Hoosier no straitjacket shall ever fit.

    Note: Check out Harvard doing his Sheehey 3-pointer celebration at the 1:02 mark.

  7. “Our” envy?


    Dude, if you think I “envy” Will, you have more screws loose than I thought.

    I actually feel sorry for the guy. He’s so insecure, he feels he needs to be an idiot so people will like him.

    His entire act, including “being surly with the media”, is old and tired.

    No surprise that you envy him since you have to pull similar stupid stunts to get people to like you too.

  8. Will Sheehey = Peter North. Enough said.

    Those of you who know what I’m talkin’ about, will know what I’m talkin’ about.

  9. You’re likely over 40 years old and you still use “Dude” like a ornery teenage punk .

    And talk about an “old and tired act?” There’s not a vomit bucket big enough to hold your daily ejections of hypercritical spew hurled at the ever-increasing names of Hoosiers in your puking line of fire. A whorehouse in Lafayette would give less a free f*** for a Hoosier than your daily grinding for sake of grinding.

    Your act is stuck in the same mud from the same day you crawled out that pool of sludge called SnailPond. Mud, mud, mud, and more slinging of mud.

    Yes, we know…It’s because you care so damn much. What a bunch of crap. Stop caring so we can have some damn careless fun without your pious fake crucifying dose of fresh air your realism mud farts.

    Scoop is merely a new home for your slime because the old “pond” ran out of time and effort the needed filtering mechanisms to clean their house of your vile muck. The Hoosiers now serve as substitute toilet for you to take your dumps backing up in the rivers of Scoop.

    And why basketball? Wasn’t it always hate for the “fairytale” believers on SnailPond? That’s an easy one. Basketball is religion to many Hoosiers..The great pride in the heritage of the game is grown out every corner this state. Basketball grew out of our faith in a game bigger than any individual. No coincidence you picked a place with such unparalleled faith and bond to a simple love for something as humble a game of basketball to bring your black lagoon pool.

    Why do you get off on it? Because you despise faith in any form..You pick it apart. You find flaw in believing when the facts do not align. You hate the hope in a Hoosier heart still endearing and present in the absence of your perfect and predictable world of facts and obsessive over-magnification anything you deem as flaws.

    The hell with chance. The hell with destiny a reason a ball finds the bottom of a net. The hell with stupid love and stupid luck. The hell with innocent hearts incapalbe your immeasurable smarts. The hell with the unforeseen in life and in game forever full of more than just minutes, but mystery. Predestined to your bleak beating drum of facts foretelling your finish line never far enough. And rare anyone ever finish first. And if they do you’ll kill their spirit with petulant desire to tell the world anything outside your sphere of prophecies is just an idiots “fairytale” anyway. Believing in anything beyond the mirror your own flawless perfection is worthless in the gut your dead and bitter soul.

    And it’s your only game in town. You’re the creature from the black lagoon….You’re a cheap monster suit in the cheap role your own cheap movie. You come out of the sludge..you walk back to the sludge…Out of the sludge…back to the sludge. The sludge is your safe home to the sad hideousness a creature never found anything worth admiring this planet ..The sky?..A morning sunrise above the warm mist?…a rolling wave pushing onto the white sands?..a lazy, kick-your-feet-up, day with a beer in your hand on a lounge chair as you bask in the warmth a heavenly day to simply escape in the showering rays of light this paradise tucked in all the vastness a mystery in cold space? Is there anything you can enjoy? Do you a find a July picnic in the shade of a 100-year-old maple tree as purposeless and annoying a Will Sheehey celebration his happy-go-lucky, lucky, three? Can you hum a John Lennon tune at five minutes ’til three a.m.? Can you ever let it be?

  10. WOW!!! Who pissed off Harvard for Hillbillies? Whoever it is will not be on Hillbillies Christmas list.

  11. I can go through life without ever having to read another Laffy quote because HH just summed it all in a nutshell…I think that post should go down in the Scoop Hall of Fame!
    And I know DD got the same chuckle as the rest of the Hoosier nation did while reading HH poetic scribes!

  12. Geoff–

    Ummmmmmmmm, give that lecture to HH.

    He went after me first.

    And just so you know, I didn’t read his manifesto about me.

  13. And as long as you’re giving out advice, here’s some for you:

    How about going back to giving us some real basketball knowledge instead of crying about the refs more than everyone else combined?

    And stop making excuses for Sheehey with “Everyone else does it too” because, as I said, you won’t take that excuse from your kid when he/she grows up.

    Talk about “tired of reading it”……Jesus.

  14. One last thing:

    It’s cute how you whined about me “only being here for myself” while giving your BFF Hillbilly a free pass, like the insults, when he has post after post after post after post of crap that has nothing to do with IU basketball and has made this place his personal blog because he has zero friends in his real life.

    While some of you slobber all over him for it, I bet you it’s driven many people away too.

    Please step to the plate after this game and give us something besides “The refs totally screwed us” 20 different times like you have the past several games.

    And, your buddy HH has taken many shots at me and I let them slide……as did the rest of you.

    So take your ripping me for insulting him back and stick it.

    Like I said, I’ll play nice if you guys do.

  15. Is blaming everything on the refs and crying “All the national media hates us” Victim Act USA good character qualities?


    You guys brag you come here for “intelligent basketball debate” yet about the ONLY thing I read from all of you is:

    1) The refs completely screwed us

    2) The national media knows NOTHING about basketball for saying Cody is soft.


    Wow, so in-depth and “rational.”

  16. Just had another thought.

    You guys always whine, “You complain about our play even if we win.”

    Yeah, and you guys cry about the refs even after we win.

    Hell, one game it was pretty physical and Cody had ZERO fouls and you guys STILL whined how the “refs screwed us.”


    “Smartest fans in the world” my butt.

    And I really don’t care about the other teams like you also keep whining.

    What’s ironic is that even though I’m the biggest Knight-hater on here, I quote him more than the rest of you combined.

    Knight didn’t care about “other teams.” And he wasn’t satisfied with “just winning.”

    He based everything on “Are we living up to our potential?” He preached toughness.

    We fail miserably on both.

    Ok, I’m done until the game.

    Sure hope Will has a new dance move to celebrate his next 3. Or that he has a new insult to direct at their fans so they “hate him to fire him up so the team can get motivated.”

  17. Dustin…Seems as if the Scoop has attracted a virulent bug of some kind. Antibiotic therapy regimen would be the first step to control the vile being spew. Believe you have applied the antibiotic therapy and it may have had a short term effect. The second choice would be isolation. Some Scoop participants have applied the isolation technique which seemed to only increase the volume of vile being expelled. Some would say amputation is the next logical step.

  18. Laffy – post #17 was not me…

    I was painting all day until 4 am this morning. I’m just waking up now. I’ll disregard whatever you said after in response, I’m not even reading it because I don’t want to get into a tiff I didn’t start.

  19. H4H, that was a great piece of work. Sheehey, don’t forget we’ll also need a little “tude” today. I hope the officiating is better today than the last game.

  20. Then I apologize.

    Had to be HH defending himself or one of his groupies.

    Nice to see the “smart fans” already crying about the refs.


    And I love how HH’s groupies slobber all over him for his non-stop personal attacks against me but CCCCRRRRRYYYYYY if I attack him back.

    I guess the Professional Victims Guild needs to stick together.

    They cry about the refs “out to get us” 24/7 and he cries about the media “out to get us ” 24/7.

  21. When 11 of the first 26 posts on a string are from the same person, you know that string has become worthless.

  22. When virtually every post is crying about the refs, you know the fans are whiny idiots.

    What’s hilarious is that I was on the game chat and somebody ripped Kentucky fans for being “whiny idiots who complain about the refs all the time” and then I saw about 5 posts in 5 seconds crying about the refs.

    Just like about 75% of the chat……….like it is EVERY game.

    According to the “smartest fans ever”, no IU player has EVER committed a charge.

    It’s ALWAYS, “Their guy flopped” or “The other player was moving his feet” or just “The refs obviously bet on the other team.”


    Oh…………and half the threads on here are dominated by your buddy HH so you might want to take back that comment or he’ll write a manifesto about you too.

  23. Laffing Stock, you are simply unbelievable. I don’t think you have any real opinions; you simply settle on the position that gets you the most attention. I used to accuse Harvard of doing the same thing – being a contrarian – but you take it to a whole new level.

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