Hoosiers fall flat at Ohio State, 71-56

COLUMBUS, Ohio — They looked tired and flat, a team emotionally spent from its latest tight turnaround.

Although Indiana coach Archie Miller refused to use the Big Ten’s condensed schedule as a crutch or an excuse, make no mistake: these Hoosiers were dragging throughout a 71-56 loss at Ohio State on Tuesday night.

Although Indiana’s grueling stretch of seven games in 18 days is almost over, the Hoosiers look predictably worse for it. One-day turnarounds leading into last week’s game at Illinois and Tuesday’s contest against Ohio State have left an already flawed team little time to rest, practice and correct its shortcomings.

The Hoosiers (12-11, 5-6 Big Ten), who will also see a one-day turnaround between Saturday’s home game against Michigan State and Monday’s trip to Rutgers, have now lost three in a row with the final two games of the current seven-game stretch on the horizon.

“We’re all going through our different rhythms in the league,” Miller said. “This is just one of ours. We have to be able to get through it. You may be low energy at times, but you have to find a way. Good teams find a way to surge back.”

Indiana couldn’t locate that path back to contention after an early Ohio State run knocked it out of the game.

After Zach McRoberts supplied five quick points, lifting IU to a very early 5-4 lead, the Buckeyes (19-5, 10-1) swung back with a 10-0 run leading into the first media timeout. Altogether, it was part of a 20-5 Ohio State spurt that put the game out of reach by the second media timeout.

“You gotta come out and fight,” junior forward Juwan Morgan said. “Everybody’s playing the same amount of games as we are. You can’t go out and play fatigued in the first eight minutes. They had 24 points or something in the first eight minutes. Those are just things we can’t allow if we want to stay in games.”

Indiana, which entered play in the wake of a draining defeat against in-state rival Purdue on Sunday afternoon, struggled inside, outside and both ends of the floor. Minus the contributions of Morgan, who finished with 15 points, the Hoosiers shot merely 32 percent from the field.

They missed 13 of their 19 3-pointers, and half of their 20 layup attempts. On the other side, the Buckeyes got the looks they wanted. The Big Ten’s best two-point shooting team, Ohio State shot 68 percent inside the arc, while making 15 of its 19 layups.

The Buckeyes, who led by as many as 20 points, didn’t let the Hoosiers get any closer than 12 points after their initial run.

Indiana’s seniors were non-factors. Robert Johnson, who finished with two points, scored his only basket on a layup with 7:56 remaining in regulation. Josh Newkirk went scoreless in 15 minutes, and although Freddie McSwain managed nine points, he missed a handful of shots around the paint.

“Rob, I think there’s an emphasis on (guarding) him,” Miller said. “Obviously, on outside looks, the ones that he got were decent but rushed. Anything in the paint was very hard tonight. The drives and the crowded floor made things very difficult. I also think their length in and around the basket and the size bothers teams.

“We’re gonna need to make shots. We’re gonna need to finish around the basket much better. We probably missed five to six point-blank layups.”

Devonte Green, who started the second half in place of Newkirk, scored a game-high 20 points.

Collin Hartman, who missed his second straight game with a “lower leg” injury, dressed but did not participate in warmups. Miller said he’s hopeful Hartman, who wore a brace on his left knee, could return either Saturday against Michigan State or Monday vs. Rutgers.

Those two contests represent the next hurdles a tired Indiana team needs to cross.

Creating and sustaining the energy to do so is the challenge now.

“We just gotta get back and get off our feet, have a couple days of practice, because we weren’t able to really get a whole lot of work in after the Purdue game,” Miller said. “Hopefully, we can get back on the floor and clean some things up and get ready for a very, very difficult game against Michigan State.”

39 comments

  1. We’re a backcourt & a big man away from being a pretty good team. Which means we pretty much stink.

    As the two site moderators pointed out about a week ago in the postgame wrap-up, the backcourt is a group of yo-yo’s. And that’s a really good description. Green does nothing vs. Purdue & puts up 20. Johnson scores 21 vs. Purdue & basically nothing tonight. Newkirk is pretty much always a net negative. I’d like to see that dude’s career plus-minus at IU so I could laugh.

    But who didn’t see this coming?!?! We were a tired rabbit walking into a hungry snake tonight. To reference a post by IU South on the Live Ticker, remember the old days when every team played Thr/Sat & sometimes Sun? That was fair & teams always travelled and stayed for game 2 of the set. And travel made sense. Teams going to MI went to MSU, Illini & NW, WI & MN, etc….. now we have a totally random, screwed up schedule with no rhyme or reason to it. And stacking these games in to have the tournament in NYC is completely ridiculous. Wait & see who shows up for that. There’ll be more empty seats than fans.

    10 missed layups….jeez!

    1. The B1G is compacting its schedule so that the one team Big East can get the prime weekend at MSG.

      What has become of the basketball world?

  2. Have essentially not commented this year to this point. I came in with low expectations. I have mostly watched and observed. Haven’t wanted to say a lot as it’s a transitional time. My take thus far is Miller has done a pretty good job given the roster. What is anyone else thinking?

  3. Thoughts:
    Anyone else notice Archie has a twisting of his hair habit…..?

    Does Holtmann get Coach of the Year?

    Who do we honor at Assembly next weekend as a distraction for expected beatdown? Yogi, OG, Cody…? Any heroes nearby this Saturday?

    Lastly….Dakich doing the IU game in the 7:00 pm slot….Crean doing the follow-up game for ESPN2. Should we change our name to the Hurryin’ Broadcasters?

  4. Schedule talk is nonsense. NCAA MARCH MADNESS TOURNAMENT TIME teams have to play one good team after another after short turn around time. (after first weekend). Of course irrelevant regarding IU men’s bb.

  5. Collectively, their legs were mush tonight.

    RJ was his normal disappearing act. People used to give Verdell Jones so much crap, but RJ is far worse. He looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but in this game. Newkirk is still in cadaver mode. I used to give him credit earlier in the Big Ten season for playing hard. Now he’s just dead weight. Would rather see a manager play than him. He just doesn’t care. No effort.

    Morgan showed his exhaustion, having to guard Haas on Sunday. He got abused tonight, mostly on the defensive end.

    Holymann is legit. Ohio State plays ball. When Archie gets some talent, we’re going to have some epic battles against each other.

  6. *Holtmann

    Green looked really good. But most importantly, ZERO turnovers. He really clicked when none of his teammates really cared. Their minds were already on the bus by halftime.

  7. Is anyone else of the opinion that it is time for Archie to start sitting the seniors and start seeing what the underclassman, the future, can do? Johnson and Newkirk need to be coming off of the bench and giving fill in minutes. Archie needs to see how these young guys handle a full game load and what he will need to do in the off season to improve them and how they will fit with the really good freshman class coming in. Sit the seniors and see what the future could be.

  8. Prolonged program dysfunctionality has a price and we are witnessing it. You can’t have a program basically wandering for better than 20 years and expect anything different. The only good thing about this season is we are seeing the beginnings a program with direction. That’s assuming everyone has the patience to see it through. The full correction won’t happen overnight, it’s been messed up for a long time.

    You have a roster of ill fitting and missing parts. The staff and team have done the best they can with a less than best hand to have been dealt. With the end of season departures and next season’s new arrivals reshuffling the deck, maybe improvement will be realized. The most important thing being laid down this year is the blueprint for where Archie intends to take the program in the future. This is the silver lining in the cloud, Archie is on the right track all he needs is the accompanying talent to prove it.

  9. Right now the roster is too thin to sit anyone, you have 4 guards, including the starters (McRoberts is a wing) 3 front court players (including Hartman) for back ups. Moore isn’t ready to play, so the coach’s option for a lineup change is very limited. Coach has to play the hand he was given, not going to rake in the chips this season.

  10. If an athlete is playing on a team with other athletes that he admires and feels that special feeling of “team”, then a pathetic lie down like last night does not happen.

    This group of individuals masquerading as a ‘team’ simply does not exhibit any group pride.

    Individually they can do pretty good!

    But this is no team, and that’s been evident since the beginning of this season.

    Last year there was a melt-down as players quit playing, the only drama remaining this season is seeing just how bad this will end.

  11. I think you’re using exaggeration to your advantage, Rock. This was a brutal stretch of schedule and we caught a couple of these teams on the road(never easy no matter the competition) and at inopportune times(a back-to-the-wall Illinois team pressured to get first conference home win..and an OSU team coming off a heartbreaking loss at home). Add in two of the best teams in the nation in Purdue and MSU.
    Season is far from over. We could still upset MSU and get the ship out of the storm. Now we are the team mad as hell and crawling off the canvas …The Spartans are the hunted.
    Outside of a difficult road game at Nebraska, the rest of the schedule sets up for some positive momentum possibilities. An upset against MSU could be a nice beginning for a better back half of the conference season.

  12. We could easily go 6-1….or 5-2 down the stretch. This would put us at 11-7…or 10-8 and on the bubble for NCAA invitation. It’s a monumental task, but it’s not out of the realm. We can get our revenge against OSU in the final home date of the season…which could guarantee an NCAA bid(pending we beat bottom-feeders on the road and secure home court).

    Never give up on a team…especially one with a high quality coach.

    1. If they go ll-7..or 10-8 they very well could be. Many positives happened against OSU. Green gained a lot of confidence. McSwain was much more active ….He had some bad breaks on some bunnies not dropping, but he’s giving a ton of effort.

      The final seven games were assembled for a strong finish. Call it a final gift from Delany for you know who….MSU at home this Saturday is the only real obstacle. There is no Michigan. There is no Purdue on the road. OSU, Minnesota, and Illinois at home. Road games against Nebraska(the most formidable), Rutgers, and Iowa.

      And I love the BIG tournament being in NYC. Hoping for flat crowds and the feel of total neutrality. Few PU, MSU, Illinois fans….But Maryland will have a somewhat strong contingent which could give them a boost…If Maryland pulls an upset or two in the BIG tournament, it could open the door for a mid-pack team to run deeper into the tournament. We could be that team.

      Double Down is correct. A lot of negative talk… These guys don’t hate each other like most are acting. They are not disjointed. They were huddling and putting arms around each other during stoppages in play. They are coming together via what is happening in practice and gritty defensive effort. Good things will happen during this last stretch of seven. Nothing better than being counted out when you’re not out. This is when you punch the remaining boys in the ring smack in the nose.

      1. Maybe 6-1 with a win over Michigan State gets IU on the bubble but probably not. Right now the best win is Notre Dame or Maryland. And with bad losses to Indiana State and Fort Wayne, not to mention struggling Illinois and Wisconsin, Hoosiers probably need to go 5-2 just to feel good about the NIT.

        1. You’re probably right, Jeremy…But IPFW and ISU could probably give a lot of mid seeds all they can handle.
          Just saying it’s not out of the question…with the teams remaining on our schedule. And selection will also depend on how the rest of the standings play out. We need a big win on our resume. This Saturday could erase some bad losses. There are winnable road games ahead. An OSU victory in the final game sets a final impression. I’m sure that game will be nationally televised.

          It’s probably not going to happen. Take one at a time and continue to put forth the great effort on defense. Nobody thought Buster Douglas had a shot.

  13. JM looked like he had to bang on a Redwood Tree for 35 minutes 2 days prior. They just looked tired. Even guys that normally bring it every night looked lethargic. No motion in the offense at all.

    I know this season hasn’t been fun. But I’m not ready to throw these guys into the volcano. Granted, I will rejoice quite a few of these guys graduating at the end of the year. 🙂

  14. It’s been a blast.
    What’s not fun is watching #1 teams squander chances by not playing strong team defense.
    What’s not fun is twenty turnovers per game which nearly completely negates having great shooters.
    What’s not fun is watching teams fade in March because they’re resting on their laurels.
    What’s not fun is witnessing nine other Midwestern teams go to 23 collective Elite Eights (and beyond) while we top out at Sweet Sixteens with Richard Simmons as a coach.

  15. The good news is that next year’s team is most certainly going to be better. Probably not a lot better, but perhaps it will be capable of winning 18 or 19 games next year.

  16. If I am a team like Purdue or MSU, is that you could be peaking at the right time run through the Big Ten tourney and win it. Then, BAM!, you have to put on the breaks and do nothing for a week and a half. Heck, you can even game plan for a team because you won’t know who you are playing for almost 13 days. That is the biggest problem I have with the Big schedule this year.

  17. This is a weird year. Perhaps we get to NYC and grab and automatic berth? Archie’s teams at Dayton were all about the tournament.

    Catching a compacted Big Ten schedule could throw some serious screws into conventional knowledge. Indiana University has lots of Hoosiers in NYC. We always show up there. Unlike or current student body, they’ll show up to support our team, regardless of schedule.

    I’d love another shot at Purdue. I love playing them and they’re phenomenal. Our undermanned, undertalented, undersized team didn’t shrink and want intimidated. And this Purdue team is one of the best I’ve seen from them.

    Let’s practice or free throws every single day now, ok?

  18. Without our homer refs as Assembly Call it is a 20 point blow-out vs. Purdue, DD.

    I, too, would love to see us re-match against the Boilers!!!

    Perhaps I am mistaken in my belief that this dysfunctional group has thrown in the towel……

    1. ROCK, completely disagree. I’ve never in my life watched a basketball game where the refs can create a 20 pt swing under any circumstances. Even Tim Donaghy couldn’t pull that off.

      This isn’t a great basketball team. They don’t have much talent. But it is amazing to see what Archie is doing with them. It’s incredible to see the emergence of JM. It’s amazing to watch guards who only knew how to pass around the perimeter in the weave to nowhere make entry passes in the paint to a 6-8 fwd who is usually guarded by someone 3 – 5 inches taller than him. For the first time in 9 years, I see defenders who get around screens instead of bailing out and switching constantly.

      No one was projecting this team to make the tournament this year. Most predictions were that Indiana would finish somewhere between 9 – 12th in the conference. Right now, they are tied for 6th. I can’t help you to enjoy the small things. It’s up to you to enjoy things however you want. But from my vantage point, this team isn’t dysfunctional. AM has them playing better than anyone could. They just aren’t very talented.

  19. Every home team in the BIG gets “homer” calls…Playing in West Lafayette is no different. Purdue gets plenty of their own homer calls at Hackme Arena.

    Thrown in the towel? I’m not seeing it. I saw guys playing very hard at OSU. Where would this team be if Anunoby, Bryant, and Blackmon hadn’t thrown in the college towel? You know where we would be? We would be completely fortified in the paint. We would have two bigs who could run the floor. We would have a deadly outside shooter…complemented by a super-versatile wing who could take his game inside and outside. We would be undefeated and #1 in the nation. We would be banner material. When you enter the NBA prematurely, you throw in the towel. Who on earth would want to play the brand of defense Archie is preaching in practices all week? Towel-tossers jumping to the NBA…while crying over losing Daddy Tommy sure wouldn’t.
    Purdue has a very senior/upper class team. They start four seniors. We could have had the same.

    We’ve seen far too much in positive results in protecting the ball and team defense to ever accuse anyone on our roster as being soft or throwing in a towel. Those improvements come via very heavy demands in practice. Those who left knew those demands were on the horizon….Those who left are the Hoosiers who abandoned their brothers. Maybe we can plan some more celebration nights in Assembly in their honor…Instead of raising a banner, we can raise some giant bath towels.

  20. H4H ..I agree with your view. I don’t see a Towel being thrown in. Archie wouldn’t allow that. What I see is a TEAM committing to each other to be the best in the face of Smallish lineup and injuries.I DONT see the “disconnect” we witnessed the past few years of Crean’s team and CTC being on the same page or even CARING to be on same page. I HOPE JW stays for his final year..and I can give 4 reasons: Troy Williams -G League; James Blackmon -G League; Thomas Bryant -G League (Just recalled to LA but not expected to stay) and Yogi Farrell NBA after 4 yrs WITH Degree . It appears that the NBA has discovered what we ALL knew about CTC…his ability to teach what the NBA Needs wasn’t there NBA likes offense but they expect SOME defense other than Matador.

    1. Agree, TJ…I see the “towel being thrown in” garbage as a backdoor criticism of Archie Miller….or maybe it’s just highfalutin extremism to get attention.
      I’m with you….Archie wouldn’t allow his team to turn to pudding. These Hoosiers are not the towel-tossers. They are enduring the demands of a coach who makes players accountable for their efforts (or lack thereof). It’s been a difficult lesson and a new lesson….but they’ll be better for it…and far less narcissistic imprints on the game.

  21. OG should have left last year. After tearing up his knee and seeing his draft projections, it made sense. The rest of these guys made a mistake. Bryant got recalled, but in all about 3 games since Jan 1st he’s been DNP-Coach’s Decision. He got a whopping 7 mins of PT in a blowout loss to Orlando.

    Blackmon got his degree, TJ. I personally would have like to see him return. Would be a totally different team. But that’s for selfish reasons. He’s had two ACL surgeries. I get why another year playing for free is a big risk to him. I don’t blame him. But I also think he could have drastically upped his game by playing for AM for a year. All the aspects of his game that he was weak on, is where I’ve seen every player on this roster improve this year.

    In the grand scheme of things, we have to admit that we’re being selfish in wanting to players stay in college. Do players sometimes overestimate their worth? For sure. But ultimately, us saying, “These kids are selfish and don’t care about their team,” is just us being selfish because we want to have a better team. Going into the NBA is always going to be a part of college basketball. How about we just deal with it? Every other program has to deal with it. But most of them, unlike us, see it as a product of their success. We just watch kids going early while sitting at home in the 1st or 2nd weekend of the NCAA tournament.

    1. …and it’s always just about sports.

      Nobody ever tells that guy who got his computer science degree in 3 years he shouldn’t take that high paying job with Google because he could spend another year finishing his masters degree and doing some really great research for the university. He’s really letting the department down.

      As you said, it’s silly and just selfishness on the part of the fans…not to mention it would likely be stupid.

      1. Whether it’s Stanford, Indiana or Sacramento St, I’ve never hired someone out of college who knew a lick of fecal matter. MBA’s are even worse, because they’re mostly trained to smoke cigars and become an a-hole, vs the intricacies of working with people, seeing the real world, taking risks and embracing failures. Funny how the more “prestigious” the school, the longer (if ever), it takes for them to pop their ego-filled bubble. The dropouts are the ones who get that it’s all BS.

        1. You can trace rising healthcare costs and decreased hospital staffing directly to the influx of MBAs into the healthcare system. The next MBA I meet who knows ANYTHING about patient care will be the first.

          An MBA working in healthcare is malpractice. They’ll fire 10 nurses just so they can hire one more MBA and raise their own salary.

    2. In the grand scheme of things, we have to admit that we’re being selfish in wanting to players stay in college

      I think it’s far more selfish and childish to beat up on the players who stay…It’s also extremely shortsighted to not give value to great team players who don’t necessarily have the complete set of jaw-dropping athletic skills to join Cirque du Sol-NBA. It is also very selfish as a spoiled rotten fan to claim those who have no choice but to stay are throwing in some sort of towel because they don’t have the current opportunities of someone being projected to blossom at another level.

      Easy to say someone is loafing or is throwing in a towel when someone is so lowly as to be doing amateur sports for “free”….Those bums aren’t worthy. We don’t have to appreciate their skills because the NBA isn’t calling. Back that bus over that bum. But Oladipo, Cody, OG, Blackmon…were also playing for a free ride…But unlike Tim Priller, they weren’t abusing a free system for a degree and we can easily conclude they were not wasted scholarships….because some NBA exec came calling.
      A fully paid degree seems like such a pittance to an NBA contract….Big deal. It was free. Those peasants in the stands should feel grateful to have watched ME. They should fall to their knees because I got my free sports communications degree in jet speed ….all so I could make my “free” coach look even more worth his 10 million per year. Everything is just so damn free.
      Interestingly, there’s nothing free to most of those students sitting in the stands(you know, the one’s who have thrown in the towel and don’t come to sit in the ‘free’ balcony seats anymore?).
      What’s even more astounding is the fact that banners are completely free. They are free of narcissism. They are free of excuses. They are free of everything that trivializes any single name on a roster. They are free of losses in March Madness. They are free of haunting memories of what could have been…if I would have stayed another year in candy stripes. They are free of a quiet and serene Kirkwood when you get off the plane. They are free of an end date. They are free of being taken down though your days on earth are not free of outliving their cloth. Free? What a ridiculous and harmful look at something that takes such risk as to have it last forever.

  22. DD, your post at 1:20 pm was excellent and I agree completely. VO’s example is ideal. He got his degree and made it to the NBA, where he is now making millions of dollars per year. It is a dream-come-true. Who could have made a legitimate argument that VO should have stayed at IU for another year? But unlike so many of these young men, Victor did not have the intense pressure to financially support his family as soon as possible. No one should fault any of these young men for pursuing their dreams and supporting their families. I just hope that all young men faced with such a decision are getting good, honest advice and that they are fully aware of their options and the consequences of their decisions. As fans we simply need to learn to enjoy these exceptionally gifted athletes for as long as they choose to stay on campus. The good old days of college athletics that our fathers used to enjoy is never coming back.

    1. Purdue’s “good old days” formula ain’t working so bad right now…..Four starting seniors. Top shooting 3-pt. team in the nation. Kong playing the post. Defense unlike anything ever witnessed at the glorious “next” level. NBA defense sort of looks like elementary school level to this novice…..but simply because it has a “pro” designation I suppose it’s the next best thing.

      C’mon boys….It’s the UK formula. It’s the Purdue formula. It’s a ton of NBA stars playing at a mini NBA bait and tackle shop vs. Brad Stevens’ Butler…or Matt Painters’ senior class of Boilers. Who you gonna root for? Are you gonna root for the guaranteed 100 million in NBA lottery money in Kentucky blue…or Damon Bailey working at his warehouse job in 2022? Let’s separate out the gray areas…and cut to the chase. Is it college ball …or is it the Narcissism Basketball Association?

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