Indiana falls on Senior Night, 67-58

WHAT HAPPENED: No. 2 Indiana picked an inopportune time to have what was arguably its worst game of the season. The Hoosiers scored a season-low 58 points, shot 39.6 percent from the field and committed 12 very costly turnovers to fall 67-58 to No. 14 Ohio State in front of 17,472 at Assembly Hall.

The Hoosiers trailed 28-25 at halftime, but stormed back early in the second half by scoring on nine of their first 10 possessions. However, that was only enough for Indiana to take a five-point lead. Ohio State rallied back with a 14-4 run to go up 48-43 and force Indiana to have to fight back from behind the rest of the way.

The Hoosiers had cut the deficit to two points with 6:09 to go, but Ohio State went on a 9-0 run to take a 61-50 lead on a dunk by junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. A 3-pointer by Deshaun Thomas that pushed the lead from six to nine points was effectively the dagger. The Hoosiers would cut the deficit to six points thanks to 3-pointers by Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls, but Hulls misssed a 3 that could have cut the deficit to 3-points with 30 seconds left and Thomas hit two free throws that essentially clinched it.

After the game, senior guard Jordan Hulls brought the house down with a tearful senior speech and forwards Derek Elston and Christian Watford were both a mixture of emotional and comical. And following that, the Hoosiers, who had already clinched a share of the Big Ten title but failed to clinch it outright on Tuesday night, were presented with the trophy and hats, and they cut down both nets at Assembly Hall.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: As per usual, Ohio State relied heavily on junior power forward and Fort Wayne native Deshaun Thomas and junior point guard Aaron Craft. Thomas was 6-for-17 from the field, which wasn’t exactly efficient, but he still scored 18 points. Craft, meanwhile, was stellar with 15 points, four assists and four steals and shot 7-for-10 from the field, scoring at the rim and with jumpers in and out of the lane, making a number of tough shots.

Those were the only two scorers in double figures, but the Buckeyes got contributions from a number of different other players. Sophomore forward Sam Thompson was 4-for-5 from the field with nine points, five rebounds and two blocks. Sophomore point guard Shannon Scott had eight points, three assists and four steals. Forward Evan Ravenel had eight points and six rebounds.

Sophomore center Cody Zeller had 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, but also had three turnovers. Senior forward Christian Watford had 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting. Hulls had eight points and hit a pair of 3-pointers, but no one other than Watford and Zeller scored in double figures.

Junior guard Victor Oladipo only played seven minutes in the first half because of two early fouls. He didn’t commit another after that, but never really seemed to have his rhythm again. He finished with seven points and four turnovers in what could also very well be his last game at Assembly Hall.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: Ohio State was much more active on defense than it was in the teams’ first meeting in Columbus and was determined not to allow the Hoosiers to score easy points in the post. Indiana’s 24 points in the paint were just four short of what they had in the first game, but that didn’t tell the story entirely. Indiana dictated practically everything in that game and most importantly, went to the free throw line 28 times. This time, the Hoosiers were 10-for-13 from the free throw line.

Evan Ravenel was a big part of that. Ravenel provided much more resistance on Zeller than he dealt with in the first game, and also had three offensive rebounds that led to putbacks on the other end.

Indiana only committed 12 turnovers, but Ohio State made those hurt. Craft and Scott had four steals each and that allowed the Buckeyes to get out in transition and score. Ohio State had 16 points off turnovers and 14 points off fastbreaks.

And generally, the Hoosiers couldn’t get any kind of offensive rhythm. They shot 21-for-53 (39.6 percent) from the field, including 6-for-15 at the 3-point arc. Ohio State wasn’t lights out in terms of shooting, but the Buckeyes did shoot 45.8 percent from the field.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: This loss suddenly puts the Hoosiers at a crossroads again. They still have a one-game lead in the Big Ten, but there are four teams right behind them — Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin — with five losses, but losing to Michigan would put Indiana at the mercy of the Big Ten tiebreakers for the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

And then of course, there’s the matter of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi already said on Tuesday night that the Hoosiers wouldn’t be the Midwest No. 1 seed — which would give them the advantage of playing in Indianapolis for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight — but instead would be shipped East to the Washington D.C. regional. The Hoosiers still have the opportunity to rectify that, of course, but that probably means either beating Michigan or winning the Big Ten Tournament (or at least reaching the finals.)

Which of course, brings up the other problem. The Hoosiers have now played below championship caliber for three straight games, including Saturday’s hideous win over Iowa and the loss to Minnesota in Minneapolis. The team that beat Michigan State in East Lansing was certainly at that level, and the Hoosiers had played like the nation’s No. 1 team for most of the previous month, but these past three games have shown them to be particularly vulnerable. Just as problematic as the loss itself is that the Hoosiers did not play like the Big Ten champions they already are.

WHO SAID WHAT:

Tom Crean

“My initial reactions of this game are obviously we didn’t shoot it well, but we had costly turnover.s We did not protect the ball the way we needed to. They were leading the league in steals on the road. From the way we looked at it, they had those steals tonight. A lot of them were live ball turnovers that turned into buckets for them. They played well. Both teams played extremely hard, but they played smarter, and that caught us. We didn’t do a great job of playing out possessions. That’s one thing that this team is good at is playing the length of the possession whatever it was. We didn’t do a great job of that.”

“This is the epitome of bittersweet tonight as far as I can tell. We’re trying to celebrate what these guys have earned and at the same time, we didn’t earn it tonight. We didn’t earn it tonight. So we just keep moving forward in a hurry. We’ll be right back at it tomorrow and get ourselves ready for a great Michigan team. The good news is all of our stuff is correctable. The bottom line is we have to do that.”

On cutting down the nets after the loss

“Oh yeah, there was no question we were going to do that. These guys have earned that. I have a responsibility to them. We’re going to hang our own banner up there. Eventually, we’re going to individualize those banners that are up there now. These guys have worked to a point where they have earned it. They came in here and they looked at those banners every day and no they’re going to get a chance to hang one. That was a given once Sunday night game. That was a given. They’ve earned it. Whether it’s shared, whether it’s not shared, they’ve earned that. You play the way you play in this league, you deserve to cut the nets down. Obviously everybody wished this would have been a win, but it wasn’t. But we are still going to do it. We did it and there are going to be new nets up there tomorrow.”

Jordan Hulls

“We just didn’t execute offensively. We allowed way too many transition buckets, turned the ball over too much, which led to them getting easy buckets. There were some stretches there that we would play really good ‘D’ for the whole shot clock and they would get a bucket right at the end. (Aaron) Craft hit one off the backboard, a pull-up jumper, you know, whatever. We just didn’t do a good job of coming out with that edge that we needed to have to win the ball game.

On cutting down the nets after a loss

“Well, we earned that right. Obviously, we didn’t like the lose, but we did earn the right to cut down the nets. We’re happy with that, but we definitely would have liked to have won.”

Derek Elston

“They definitely came out with that edge. I know in the second half we came out and got them to turn the ball over. We defintely had the game going the way we wanted in the start of the second half. Then somewhere in between the start of the second-half and the 12-minute mark, it just kind of felt like too many mental mistakes were stacking on top of each other. Anytime you dwell on one of those, you’re just not playing your game anymore, and I think that’s what happened tonight.

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, Derek Elston

AUDIO: Derek Elston’s senior speech

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls senior speech

AUDIO: Christian Watford

31 comments

  1. This is really stupid and possibly illogical but what bothered me the most in last night’s game was the post game coach handshake. Thad was trying to say something to CT and CT did not want to hear it. Just did not seem to illustrate sportsmanship.

    Well, maybe a couple of other things ** 30 + substitutions. Maybe let the guys play till they get tired? ***Too many drives by the short guys into the redwoods standing in the paint. Somehow Vic gets away with it but otherwise…

    On to the next game. Hate seeing this season end.

  2. Ron, I noticed the handshake too. It doesn’t bother me, but I noticed it. My thought at the time was that he was not only pissed about losing, but pissed that Matta clearly told his players to physically beat the sh_t out of IU. I think Crean took offense to it. I think Crean took offense to his own team not answering the bell. I think Crean took offense to the refs allowing it (once again, just like Minnesota, I can’t recall a single rebounding foul called on our defensive boards despite our guys being tossed to the floor on numerous occasions). I think he didn’t feel like sharing niceties with a guy who he felt resorted to winning by turning it into something besides basketball. Just my take.

    You are so right about our little guys over-penetrating last night. We made some really bad decisions about when we penetrated and what we did when we got in there. It almost felt like conceding the possession a couple times.

  3. I actually thought Crean lingered a bit longer at the handshake than he had in the past following losses and in particular with Matta. I do not think there is any love lost between those two due to the alleged negative recruiting Matta and his staff did against IU when we were down. It wasn’t the same kind of blow-by that Crean gave Bo Ryan after we lost to Wisky, that’s for sure!

  4. Zeller is simply too one dimensional on offense, again, he has nothing from 5+ away from the basket. Sure, he put up big numbers vs Iowa, a team with lackluster inside talent. But, a team with some inside talent and a simple defense plan simply is too much for Zeller. Other than the 1st OSU game in which he was 6-8 from 5+ ft from the basket he is approximately 7-30.

    And while I have posted once about the officiating at MSU, I still do not have a complete conspiracy theory as refs favoring teams. With that said, I have now got a problem with one particular ref after the MSU game & last night, that being Ted Valentine. Let’s look at what history I do know. He was the referee in which hammered Bob Knight with 2 T’s in a game longt ago (can’t remember the team vs IU). Ted walked to the opposite end of the floor in hopes to avoid Knight leaving the arena floor except Knight chose to take the long way and bypass Valentine, sort of brushing up against the ref who had turned his back. Valentine was also the referee who inadvertantly blew the whistle at MSU game this year after IU was on a 6-0 run, had an 8 pt lead, HAD POSSESSION OF THE BALL and a chance to go up 10. So ironically it was under the 4 min mark which automatically meant a tv time out, clearly favoring MSU since IU was on a run and had a chance to go up dbl digits on their lead.

    Fast forward to last night, late in the game and IU needing a foul, Hulls had raped, pillaged, thumped, hammered, swatted an OSU player right in front of Valentine who refused to call the foul until Hulls apparently got the gun out and placed it to the head of the OSU player. (sarcasm) 5+ seconds ran off the clock from the time the pillaging began, Hulls it appeared to complain to Valentine, like, what do I have to do to get your attention on this brutal beat down of a foul???

    While this one play certainly didn’t cause the loss, I am convinced there might be something going on between Valentine & his officiating IU games.

  5. You are so right about our little guys over-penetrating last night. We made some really bad decisions about when we penetrated and what we did when we got in there. It almost felt like conceding the possession a couple times.

    Geoff explains why he is now bound to a life of servitude and demeaning weekend trips to Babies ‘R’ Us.

  6. I thought it was VO’s worst game of the season. First half foul trouble (second game in a row) and then being stripped of the ball several times in the second half. I also thought Yogi got schooled by a veteran point guard last night. But regardless of those individual issues, I don’t believe this team has learned to deal with or respond to the physical play that a team like OSU, WI and MN can deliver. I mean, look at the teams that have defeated IU this year. None of them can match the talent IU has on the court. But they all play very physical and they dare the refs to call the fouls. Not just physical, but smart physical, knowing how to play rough without getting the fouls called against them. Cody is still young, and he’s still not big enough (weight) to effectively bang in the paint with some of the larger and more mature Big Ten centers. And let’s be honest, Cody is not really a traditional center and won’t play center in the NBA.

    But what I watched last night was a team that seemed tired. They seem to have tired legs. That’s reflected in the poor outside shooting, the missed free throws, and being out rebounded (again). They’ll either get their second wind and push through the fatigue or they will get to rest a little sooner than they’d prefer.

    As for Crean’s post game handshakes, who cares. If Crean has disdain for another coach, that’s his business. As long as he does not do anything overt or outrageous that would embarrass IU, he can be as brief in the post game handshake as he wants. Crean has had to eat some fecal material, served up by his predecessor and competitors, for four years. If other coaches reverted to negative recruiting to gain an advantage, then I support Crean’s disdain for them. In fact, if that is the case with Matta, then I say, good for Crean. I don’t want IU’s coach to be a pin cushion and accept those tactics lying down. I mean, Michigan, OSU and MSU have been raiding the state of Indiana for talent for the last ten years. I want IU’s head coach to be offended and pissed off by that, and I want him determined to put a stop to it.

  7. Po – you have been so spot on recently. A lot of times when I get on people here I am just playing devils advocate because lots of points beg-the-question. But I have a hard time even doing that with any of your comments lately.

    Harvard – if I am reading that last post correctly, that is some pretty funny …

  8. Hello from the great Northwest

    I watched the whole game last night and thought the refs were quite inconsistent towards both teams………..IU interior defense seemed weak………..their guards got their pockets picked….typical BIG 10 rough and tumble

    Hopefully you’ll get to play Gonzaga and shut up these delusional fans out here who think Gonzaga plays a difficult schedule!!!!!!!!!

    IU still #1 seed based on season body of work

  9. There is no doubt in my mind Valentine has had an issue with IU BB for decades. It possesses him, it is more of the same every IU game he officiated. He is a virus in B1G officiating.

  10. To highlight a prior post I made on the “Live Discussion” link, OSU had 6 more RB, 5 more possessions based upon TO margin and took 6 more shots than we did. They also hit 6 more FG with those 6 more shots.

    This type of ball game amplifies the importance of possessions. Where possessions are at a premium to win you must shoot well. We didn’t. You also must take better shots to shoot well. We didn’t. Too many bad shots at bad times…both Sheehey’s, Creek’s and Hollowell’s 3s come to mind early in the shot clock. These aren’t as visible when the game is up and down and 60+ shots are possible. This game was a Knight throwback to the 70s and 80s, three passes w/o a shot mentality, except “Ohio State” was on the front of the jersey. (think back to 1987, IU vs. UNLV final four, with the roles reversed…we are the UNLV of that era now. Except in that game Knight’s strategy was “take the first good shot” because he knew UNLVs pressure would lead to too many TOs)

    OSU plan, executed nearly perfectly, was to slow down the game on both ends and limit possessions. How many near shot clock violations did they have? And when they did get close to one, the seemed to bury the shot (Craft, Thomas, Ross, etc..). Call those “lucky shots” or whatever else, but most were close enough to be banked in short range jumpers by Craft. On the D side of the ball, they pushed ‘the weave’ out about 8 more feet than usual. They did a great job of stopping the ball and defending the peak all night. So a 3 attempt was too long when an opening arose or it was much tougher to feed the cutter to the hole, which we don’t do well anyway.

    All summed up to a well coached, well executed beating. In the meantime we panicked. The team panicked and was completely disjointed in the final 5 min., while the game was still within reach. The coach panicked throughout, I thought, evidenced by playing a goofy lineup all night, not just when Dipo and Z went out in the 1H. The strange sub patterns are still a mystery to me.

    And we certainly got a good advance screening of IU 2013-2014 w/o Dipo and Z. Hope it doesn’t happen, but I think we know what we are looking at next year.

  11. AZ, I thought the panic set in when Craft hit the first or second of his shot-clock beaters around the 4-5 minute mark. Reminded me of the Wisconsin game where we seemed to lose hope the minute we’d play 33 seconds of great defense, and Bozowitz swishes a ridiculous 3 or Kid-n-Play hits that ridiculous turn around. We were deflated. It’s as if our guys just conceded at that point that it wasn’t our night. I don’t know if that’s being soft, but it’s certainly not refusing to lose. Hope we can get that corrected.

  12. Punjab… Precisely.

    AW – I agree with a lot of what you said. Couple things… 1) I didn’t mind Creek’s 3 because he had just hit one the previous possession and it was an open look. I was hoping it was going to be one of those “moments” that are special and memorable… But then it didn’t happen. 2) it’s almost impossible to speed up a deliberate team that has good ball-handlers and is your equal athletically. Basically the only way to do it is to give up lay-ups. I’d much rather force a team to hit “lucky” shots with the shot clock looming. 3) you’re dead on about their defense of our weave. I’m not sure what the solution is though. They have 2 elite perimeter on-ball defenders, who are also great off the ball. I’m not sure anyone else has that. 4) I’m not sure we can equate what we’ll see next year with what we saw last night. We lose a TON, especially if Cody leaves (I’m 100% sure Dipo is going), but we have some real impact players coming in. Will, Yogi, and Hollowell will all make much bigger contributions. We’ll be more athletic with guys like Abell, Robinson, Williams, and Vonleh replacing the minutes of Hulls, Watford, and Elston. Doesn’t mean we’ll be better, but we’ll be more athletic. I think there’ll be a drop off, but not too dramatic.

    Just a note on our weave… I see it much like a magic trick. Our weave is the illusion that we want the audience to pay attention to while we do something sneaky out of sight. We don’t ever really try to score or attack much out of it. It’s just something to keep the perimeter defenders moving and the eyes of the post defenders occupied… And then after a couple hand-offs our weak-side guys and/or post players create something with a screen that gets a player into a scoring position. It tends to work, but not with the efficiency of the #1 seed magicians.

  13. Harvard, I too find Geoff’s commentary perplexing and typical of apologist yara-yara, not good for someone who sees and markets himself as an expert basketball man, a top level Div. 1 former player, an astute strategist/tactical planner, etc…but, I do not see the merit of the ridicule and criticism thrown at him for being “…bound to a life of servitude and demeaning weekend trips to Babies ‘R’ Us.”

    What is wrong with that. You yourself write of your father’s devotion and how much you miss your mother. I find his preparation and assumption of his coming role and responsibilities laudable and meriting of respect. Leave it alone, the man is becoming a father and basketball will only be a by-product of a ‘real’ place in life.

    I know a couple of times you’ve mentioned your own son (I think ‘son’), share more about him and your own family (wife, etc).

  14. That is a great post by Podunker. His first graph about a 9.97/10, the entire post about a 9.7. I agree with the statement that IU’s coach needs to be strong about keeping our natural resources within Indiana- that is indeed something we need to pressure our high school players to respect. It is shameful and shows a lack of appreciation to be crossing the river to play for garbage schools, or leaving to a neighboring state- be it Ohio or Michigan- which can’t produce enough division 1 players for a pick-up game of 3v3. So Crean has it right to the extent that he marks the borders and there’s not a whole lot to discuss with the carpetbager who made his career at Butler. Way to go for posting it Podunker.

    You are also quite right (I had very much thought this after Iowa) that they looked (then)like a team that had gotten blown up against the wall and was dead on its legs and butts. But,last night, it was much, much worse. They looked like a team that had just found out it can lose and be dominated and has no idea nor will as to how to put a stop to it. They sort of look like refugees in a war zone or coming out of a camp, you see the fear in their faces and the body language of ‘giving in’ to their destiny. There’s nothing you can do to change their circumstances, just offer your protection and hand them a clean rag.

  15. I guess I’m a bit of an apologist. I think my M.O. is basically I criticize after wins and defend after losses. I’m probably a bit soft, however, I think this method keeps a pretty even keel. Never too high or too low. There tends to be a lot of over-reaction and hyperbole on here and I try to combat that.

    I hope I’m half the father my fathers were to me. The only thing I can say to this point thats in my favor is that I’ve had excellent role models.

  16. Harvard – if I am reading that last post correctly, that is some pretty funny …

    Geoff-

    You understood perfectly..Fortunately, and predictably, it sailed right over the right field wall and out to Sheffield for some.

  17. It almost felt like conceding the possession a couple times.

    No doubt there was far too much time spent probing the seams and dribbling around the perimeter while ignoring the looming shot clock. Gotta learn to finish at the rack.

  18. I have absolutely nothing to base this on, and I am not making any accusations here, but does anyone know if Crean gives the team days off this time of year? The reason I ask is that if not, then the team may be experiencing physical and mental fatigue. Some times, you just need time off to let body and mind get some rest.

    I remember watching a college coach being interviewed a few years ago. He was asked by the TV analyst, “are your players tired?” His response was, “They’re college kids. 20 year-old college kids don’t get tired.” I thought, “bull $h!t, everyone gets tired, and everyone needs rest from time to time.” A day or two later, the same TV analyst was interviewing some orthopedic surgeon about some new revolutionary surgical procedure. In the middle of the discussion, the doctor said something to the effect of, “By the way, I was watching your interview with coach so and so the other day. Coach so and so made the comment that college aged athletes don’t get tired. Well, I hate to disagree, but that is not true. They certainly do get tired and they need rest, lots of rest. If for no other reason than to help them avoid soft tissue injuries. It might be a good idea for coach so and so to give his team a couple days off and forbid them from practicing on their own.”

    Sometimes, type A workaholic coaches get so focused on getting better, they work so hard themselves and put in so many long hours, they fail to realize that their players need a break. I’m not saying Crean is that type of coach, but it appears that his players need a rest before the tournament begins.

  19. geoff,

    you mentioned that you didn’t have a problem with creek shooting 3’s last night but you should. creek making one last night was more luck than skill. creek’s problem is his incredibly low release point on his 3’s. like a 7th grader, he shoots from his chin and sights the rim above the ball instead of between his forearms. as a result, he rushes his shot every time to keep it from being blocked. have you not noticed how bad his accuracy is? they are not even close to going in.

    the other teams’ scouting report on creek certainly notes his low release and opposing players come after him knowing they can force creek to rush his release. this has nothing to do with his injuries as he had this fundamental flaw as a freshman. crean should have corrected this when creek came in. teaching proper fundamentals has always been crean’s weak point and now he has rendered creek virtually meaningless to our roster. a sad development.

  20. Coachv, I didn’t have a problem… Last night… With the second shot…

    I had more of a problem with the first shot… The one that went in…

    After that I was hoping for one of those unexplainable moments. But other than that, you’re right.

  21. I would much rather be criticized for allowing my personal beliefs to spill a bit too much into my duties as a coach than to be under the attack of suggestions I don’t know how to develop talent and improve a kid’s skill sets at the game I’ve spent my life teaching.

    Creek has 50% the lower body function(power to elevate, plant, balance, withstand pace, stop on dime, explode off the toes, etc, etc)than anything he had as a freshman. Elston is going through the same thing though not having nearly the road to endure that Creek had to gut himself back from.

    I don’t think criticism of a coach or player is warranted here. Creek will never be the basketball player he had the gifts to become. It’s a tragedy that has absolutely nothing to do with tinkering his shot fundamentals.

    Did Tom Crean not help develop Oladipo? There were no fundamentals he identified as lacking and needing improvement? And is the drive to help a player believe in himself not one of the most important ‘fundamental’ aspects of turning potential into pure thoroughbred talent?

    All the improvement we’ve witnessed in Oladipo is it all Victor? But when it’s a kid that’s blown out both knees is never going to see the full toe to finger strength it takes to be a great jump shooter, it’s all on Crean? Y

    And how many believed that short and slow white kid from Bloomington that keeps surprising the pundits a development wall they’d thought he’d hit long ago ..? When a ball leaves Jordy’s hands it sure ain’t pretty. But he’s got his legs, snaps the fuse in hurry, and somehow it finds the nets. Repetition. Dedication. These guys aren’t robots built in the cloning laboratories of Virgil Sweet.

    Change Hulls? Nah. I’d rather just marvel at the Hulls jumper in slow motion….

  22. Po,I’ve been wondering much the same thing. I see many people say on here and in other forums that we got out-hustled, had no effort, etc, etc. I didn’t see it that way. We came out strong to start both halves, and the effort seemed there the whole time. OSU was just able to execute better for more of the game, and, curiously, looked like the faster team.

    It’s the faster OSU that puzzles me. I don’t think they’re more athletic, as we pretty well dominated them in that department in the first game. I think we’re a faster team overall, but not last night. And since it didn’t appear to me that it was lack of effort or athleticism, the only explanation I can come up with is a lack of legs. Maybe we were just tired. Maybe Crean has been working them too hard, or they’ve been working themselves too hard. Maybe it’s just the grind getting to them. Whatever the reason, I sure hope we get our legs back soon. Time is running out on our ability to absorb another loss.

  23. Random thought as I was catching up on the phenomenal feats of our swimming Hoosiers (football and basketball get all the press, but we should be no less proud of these student-athletes!) As any athlete who participated in less team-oriented sports can attest, tapering to get to peak physical performance is paramount.

    I was never much of a basketball player– baseball was my bread-and-butter. At a slow 6″3 and without a great shooting stroke, I might have been a token starting forward on an average high school team, but mine was really good and i had little chance us seeing much court time. I opted for swimming during the winter months instead. My favorite week of the season was always the last one before sectionals. It was when all the grueling workouts stopped, and we began to taper our practices so that our bodies were at the perfect balance of rest and conditioning when it mattered most.

    I can only wonder if this is part of Crean’s master plan. I know it’s a reach, but is it possible that Coach has been working our guys harder than usual just before he tapers the physical regiment of our practices? Is it possible that he banked on emotion and execution to get us through the OSU game, and that’s why we looked so tired to so many? Is it possible that he planned all along to take the foot off the gas pedal of wind-sprints just in time to concentrate on fine tuning us for when it matters most– at tourney time?

    Probably not, but it’s nice to think about. Just some food for thought. Feel free to clown my apologist optimism as you wish.

  24. Punjab,

    As a (very mediocre) high school and college cross country/track runner, this is exactly what my coaches did as well. We would train hard through all of the early meets, building up our mileage base and pushing through grueling workouts. Come race time during September, October, and early November, our legs would be tired for races, and we would finish lower in the standings than people would expect. Come conference, regionals, and nationals (twice) though, our coach tapered us to the point where we would run 2, maybe 3 miles the day before the big race. We won 2 conference championships in my time there, won one regional, and advanced to nationals twice, finishing 5th at nationals my junior year. If (huge if) Crean is doing this, the Hoosiers are not peaking too early; rather, quite the opposite. They will start peaking come NCAA tournament time.

  25. I kind of sense from a lot ,of your blogs that some of you are finally agreeing with what I have said for a long time we have no offense we just dribble,drive and loose the ball far too many times. Our ring around the rosie just doesn,t work very well

  26. Ah, yup, you are right Elmo and that is why we’re #1 in the B1g and #2 in the country. Just a terrible offense.

  27. If we beat Michigan we win the big 10 if we lose we get one fourth of it. You don,t really believe we are no 2 in the country,I hope we win them all but I,m a little more realalistic watching them , they are wore out and if he doesn,t let up on them they are done. I would like some of you pros to explain Crean.s offense for me maybe i,m missing something. Zeller is a great kid but he has gone backwards and Farrell thinks he,s still in high school and can dominate the big ten guards ain,t gonna happen at this time Geoff,Hoosier and Podunker let me hear from you.

  28. Please explain why the Offense is not working for the 2nd team in the country and 1st in the B1G.

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