Hoosiers fall 64-49 to No. 24 PSU

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As his free throw fell well short of the rim, bouncing dully on the hardwood, Lamar Stevens slumped his shoulders forward in frustration.

Penn State’s star forward was anything but on, just 2-of-7 from the line at that point. The senior hit just three of his first 11 shots, leaving the door open for his visitors from Indiana to walk in and strike.

But the Hoosiers (15-6, 5-5 Big Ten) weren’t capable of such an assault in a 64-49 loss Wednesday at the Bryce Jordan Center. Their guards missed layups and fumbled the ball. Aside from freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis, who provided 14 points and seven rebounds, there was nothing of consistency to be found from a crimson-colored jersey.

“Offensively, we were bad,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “We talked to the team after the game, there wasn’t a whole lot to talk about other than in the second half, we just played terrible.”

After hitting just 34.5 percent from the field in the first half, IU (15-6, 5-5 Big Ten) connected on just 32.1 percent from the floor in the next 20 minutes. After turning it over six times before the break, the Hoosiers lost the basketball another 12 times before the buzzer sounded.

It was a lackluster performance, reminiscent of near-complete system failures at Maryland and Rutgers. As a follow-up to a one-point home loss to the Terrapins, the Hoosiers will now be tasked with avoiding a prolonged slide Saturday in a rematch with Ohio State.

As they have following their previous lows, the Hoosiers need to regroup, because the fate of the season rests on whether they can.

“We have a one-game schedule, so now that this game is over, we are just going to have to move on to our next game,” Jackson-Davis said. “We can’t get this one back. I wish we could have played harder, but at the same time, we have to move on to the next game.”

Penn State (15-5, 5-4) eventually received 17 points from its star forward Stevens, but it came on 7-of-21 shooting. It was actually the former Hoosier, Curtis Jones, who was the most efficient Lion, scoring 12 points on a 5-of-9 night.

At the half, both teams’ poor offensive play had the game knotted at 28-all. IU’s defense was doing all it could. The Hoosiers just couldn’t get anything going on the other end, especially their backcourt.

Rob Phinisee was 0-of-6, missing layups. Devonte Green was 2-of-10, but he was also careless with the ball at times. Al Durham added a 1-of-7 effort, far from assertive. Armaan Franklin was 0-of-3 for good measure, bringing the backcourt’s total to 3-of-26 on the night.

“Penn State does a really good job with their pressure defense,” Miller said. “I think in a lot of their switches they take away a lot of things that you normally get … but we had some good looks that needed to go down.

“You have to make some shots. You make some shots a couple games ago, it looks a lot better.”

IU also didn’t have its full complement of players. Redshirt freshman Jerome Hunter, who could have been valuable on the wing, especially matching up with Stevens, came down with an illness right before the game. Race Thompson, the scrappy sophomore forward, sat for a second game in a row following a back injury versus Michigan State.

On top of that, Joey Brunk, De’Ron Davis, and Justin Smith were each limited by foul trouble in the first half.

On top of that, IU was just 9-of-10 from the free throw line, which was somewhat perplexing for Miller following the Hoosiers’ 7-of-10 outing versus Maryland.

“We are the No. 1 team in the league in getting to the foul line, we are third in America in free throw rate,” Miller said. “I have no idea why we are not getting to the line.”

In the second half, the Hoosiers caved in.

One big blow came after Green forced a lob to Smith in transition, which ricocheted back in the Lions’ direction and resulted in a Myles Dread 3 to make it 39-32. Smith hit a corner triple to break a Hoosier drought, but that was a mere fleeting moment of offensive competence.

The Nittany Lions went on another 7-0 run to take a 13-point advantage on their scuffling visitors. Another 13-2 run pushed the game to 20 points, 61-41, with 3:01 remaining.

“We have to be smarter, we have to continue to talk, and we have to continue to be tougher defensively,” Miller said. “But when your offense lets you down like it did tonight, it’s tough. It’s going to be hard on the road as it is, but you can’t defend and shut a team out for 40 minutes.

“You just can’t do it.”

42 comments

  1. Archie: “We didn’t play well…and that’s on me.”

    Find that in your Crean archives….

  2. Guards stat line
    3 – 26
    8 assists
    8 TOs
    ……that’s like a 5th grade box score. Purely awful. By far, worst game of the season and I saw the @ MD game. If PSU hit FTs with any respectable % we’d have lost by 25.

    Everyone but TJD & DD didn’t show up.
    Green couldn’t even get a pass to the rim. He was 1-3 getting balls to the backboard on lobs. Not the rim! The backboard! He also had a bounce pass to no one and a lob shot to match.
    Everyone else was just a tad bit less of a mess. Don’t let the Smith & Brunk points fool you….both were really, really bad tonight. Brunk looked like a fumbling freshman. And Smith was just a garbage man.

    Enough on this one, I look forward to reading all other perspectives.

    1. Your nonsense on Smith and Brunk must be challenged! Justin scored 13 with 7 rebounds, Joey scored 6 on 3/4 shooting with 6 rebounds in 14 minutes with only 3 fouls! Trayce scored 14 with 7 boards! IU out rebounded PSU. The four guards (3/26) plus Damezi were terrible!

      1. Did you watch this game? Did you read my comments thoroughly? Shall I recap?
        “Don’t let the Smith & Brunk points fool you….both were really, really bad tonight. Brunk looked like a fumbling freshman. And Smith was just a garbage man.”

        That’s right, Brunk & Smith were both awful. Poor defense, out of position, turnovers, fumbling/bumbling balls out of bounds, running into the PG, etc….. Smith had 7 rebounds purely because PSU couldn’t shoot either. As bad as PSU was, we were 15 pts. worse than that! Simple as that. TJD and DD played ‘better’ than anyone else.

  3. I don’t expect post/inside players to look too strong when guard play is this poor. And Brunk got a couple early fouls which didn’t help….He’s the sort of guy who needs to get going out of the gate. And he foolishly cut his hair….and took away his ‘free spirit’ image. He got bit by the Hoosier choirboy conformity bug….Sad.

    I know these aren’t strong basketball explanations….I see much of basketball as momentum, heart and emotion. I also believe there a lot of opposing forces on this team …or power struggles if you will. Depth can work against you as well …because, at times, it goes against the grain of continuity. I prefer rotations tightened up. But Archie simply doesn’t have that one superstar to help him tighten up the rest of the roster.
    It often seems as if we’re throwing the roster at the wall and seeing what sticks…..Such lack of tightened up rosters kills rhythm and likely accounts for some of the really poor shooting.

    Just a few of my thoughts….

  4. WTF was that!?!?

    I’m a CAM fan, but honest to God, Coach… that’s unacceptable. It was unacceptable to continue to play rotation players after the under-4 timeout. They needed to sit for the end of the game and watch the kids that sit at the end of the bench and support them through thick and thin hit the court and at least show some heart.
    It’s unacceptable to play Green… period. DO NOT PLAY GREEN ANOTHER MINUTE THIS SEASON!
    It’s unacceptable to play Damezi. He’s not ready to play in B1G games. If Hunter is physically able to put on a uniform then he can go out on the court and play 6 minutes, or whatever DA played.
    It unacceptable to allow refs to only call fouls down low on our players. They need to get the message a whole lot sooner that the one-sides BS is not goi to fly. Take the T early when you see that trend starting, not a cheap one late when it doesn’t matter. Izzo doesn’t let refs get away with that crap, nor does K, or any of the greats…

    It’s unacceptable for Trayce to post up so hard and not have guys look his way. To seal a fronting defender and drive him out a step with no weak-side help, just to have a guard not even pay attention and reverse the ball, and waste your fundamental effort.
    It’s unacceptable to be such poor passers on the perimeter. To not see defenders shooting passing lanes. To be completely unaware of where teammates are in transition. It’s unacceptable to run into each other, to consistently make jump passes.
    It’s unacceptable for TJD to catch the ball on the wing and not be a threat. He needs to be allowed to play… to be injected with confidence no matter where he is.

    From here on out the only players that should see the floor are…

    Backcourt: Phin, Al, Franklin
    Wings: Smith, Hunter
    Bigs: Brunk, TJD, Davis, Race

    That’s it! Not one else. That means if guys get hurt or are in foul trouble then the options become more restricted. NINE PLAYERS ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR A ROTATION.

    I refuse to watch that effing schite again.

    1. ^^^ I believe I agree with nearly every word of that…..especially concerning the shortening of the rotations (the players who should see the floor). Finding chemistry or continuity has not worked “by committee.”

      Miss your assessments, Geoff (even though you are very ticked off tonight).

      1. My wife had to yell at me last night to shut up and calm down… I was apoplectic, but I was only showing the tip of the iceberg of my emotions…. Grayson didn’t wake up and the dog didn’t run downstairs scared.
        I must have uttered some version of the comment, “why are you so dumb”, and “how do you have a scholarship” 50 times… in a hard whisper with my fists clenched, face red, and head shaking like it was going to pop off. 50 is conservative. I’m shocked that I feel physically normal today after what my blood was doing inside my body only 13 hours ago…

  5. You can take ANY HOF coach and place them at head of THIS “team” and they are so bad it would drive them out of coaching and into selling encyclopedias door to door!!! They say “you can put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig”; there isn’t enough lipstick in the ENTIRE world to put on this PIG of a team!!

  6. I really enjoy ALL the comments! I look forward to them after every game.

    As you know, I was totally pumped for this one and truly thought we would win big.

    But it turned out the only prediction The ROCK made that wasn’t wRong was about their crowd (size and cognition). When Penn State made their big run it seemed as though the “noise” crowd was making was in asking each other “what does THIS mean? Are we ahead in the score now?” rather than the roar you’d hear if that happened at Assembly Hall.

    Still, I took my wife out on a Date for this one and we watched it in a bar. At half-time she turned to me and asked, “Do we have to watch the 2nd half?” and we went home and listened to it on the radio.

    This morning, she said to me, after I attempted to convey my pride in taking her on a date at our advanced years, “That’s right, and it wasn’t a good game at all, and IU lost.”

    At halftime, Don Fisher also made this comment (that it was not a very good game).

    It wasn’t, but I have not watched the YouTube 2nd half yet……

  7. Wow. I did not recall the game being that lop-sided last night, but that’s probably because I fell asleep around the 9:27 mark (I think the Hoosiers were down 7 at the time).

    Not close. The announcer stated it was the “worst that Indiana has looked offensively in a half all season.”

    Green did get us over the 39 plateau……..

  8. I read that Archie should bench those that aren’t performing at end of bench and play thos thatwant to play. I suggest taking their F***ing smart phones away since it seems AND they play like they are spending more time on PHONES than IN THE GYM

  9. Weeellll,
    I guess it is time for me to talk everyone back off the ledge. I took a little time to “thinkaboutit” unlike a great number of the posts I have seen here and elsewhere. As a general rule knee jerk reactions are usually about as accurate as flying paper plane in a windstorm. Pretty sums up the comments from a great number out there.

    First thing we have to realize once the crimson colored glasses are off is how we got to this train wreck and how long it going to take to get past it. The last 50 years we have gone from a HOF coach past his prime to an assistant riding on his coattails, to a cheater (sorry H4H, just because others have done worse, it was still against the rules), and finally to a circus clown (that’s for you H4H, sorry Po). In comes CAM to try and clean up an overwhelming mess a very long time coming. Expectations are ridiculously high for a program which has not been a serious contender for nearly a generation.

    What we have is a combination of a very talented B1G conference combined with a rebuilding IU program. Contrary to the opinion in certain circles, CAM came in to a very empty cupboard, and the 4 upperclassmen left to him from his predecessor is proof positive of that statement. When you look at CAM’s recruiting on his own, it has been very good with the exception of one dud (JF), and maybe another (DA). Although personally I hope that DA can turn it around, like the kid and his work ethic, you would hope it would payoff at some point.

    Lest anyone forget, both JH and RT were out last night, and both were sorely needed. As for the future trading the outgoing Senior class for the incoming Freshmen will probably be a significant increase in the talent of the team. Let’s remember something else, the B1G is seriously being talked about as having a record number of teams in the tournament. The number of road wins even for the best teams is much less than normal.

    Does CAM have his work cut out for him, does he need to produce better results, and does he need to polish up his PR skills? Answer to that is obvious. Simply fact of the matter is the B1G in basketball this year is as brutal as the SEC is in football. It is not going to be pretty.

    PS I said all that without even beginning to talk about the, shall we say, questionable officiating and game conditions at PSU.

    1. How naive to think that those of us who reacted don’t see those obvious things you mention. You didn’t bring up a single point that reduces my frustration with last night’s performance.
      I’m actually probably more aggravated today now that it’s setting in that the season is wasted.
      I was so positive about the CAM hire, and I haven’t lost all hope, but I am starting to lose some faith.
      I thought we would be sooo much tougher. I thought he would recruit and reward toughness – both physical and mental.
      He seems to be lost right now. I’m not sure he’s figured out how to handle the pressure of coaching at a Blue Blood program… I think he’s a good coach, he proved it to me at Dayton, but here maybe he has to make certain promises to get certain kids, and maybe he feels he can’t bench an upper-classman with an NBA brother to make a point because it will hurt his reputation on the AAU circuit? Maybe he can’t coach some of these entitled kids too hard because he’s afraid they’ll transfer and he’ll be left with a bare cupboard and no extension.

      I want Archie to take a ZERO BS approach with the players, fans, administration, and alumni, and then let the chips fall where they may…

      Right now I’m seeing bewildered players and a coach who allows it.

      1. but here maybe he has to make certain promises to get certain kids, and maybe he feels he can’t bench an upper-classman with an NBA brother to make a point because it will hurt his reputation on the AAU circuit? Maybe he can’t coach some of these entitled kids too hard because he’s afraid they’ll transfer and he’ll be left with a bare cupboard and no extension.

        I want Archie to take a ZERO BS approach with the players, fans, administration, and alumni, and then let the chips fall where they may…

        Right now I’m seeing bewildered players and a coach who allows it.

        Well, that’s not beating around the bush….and it may be very accurate.
        I thought we would also get a ZERO BS approach, but when I saw smirking and giggling from our bench at the end of last year’s NIT embarrassment on McCracken, I was discouraged as well.

      2. Naive???
        Is it naive to call out the inability to step back and look at the situation logically?
        Is it naive to recognize what has happened to bring us to this point?
        Is it naive to call out those who wantonly attack those trying to rectify the situation?
        Is it naive to shine a light on those chronically afflicted with westlaffyitis?
        Is it naive to throw a dose of reality on those who still believe this to be a blue blood program?
        Is it naive to call out those who underestimate the difficulty of restoring the program?

        Well maybe it is naive to think that one could actually help others to avoid the tiring unthinking knee-jerk reactions we so often see. In that respect, maybe I am naive Geoff.

        1. Not sure if it’s naive to think all those things… but it’s certainly naive to think that others haven’t considered those before commenting… Indiana is a blue blood program, regardless of its recent results. It has 5 banners hanging, it has the “Carnegie Hall of College Basketball”, it has a fan base with massive expectations, and every single one of its games are on TV in Maine, where I live…. I cannot watch every Arkansas game, or DePaul game, or Seton Hall game, or Texas game, or even UMaine game of TV… it’s a program still held in high regard and esteem by people who care and know about college basketball – the announcers, coaches, and historians… blue bloods don’t come and go. There’s a certain group that earned there way into the club and IU is in the club. Deal with it.

  10. The Dayton Flyers are ranked #7. IU may not (and probably shouldn’t) make the field. I look at these guys on the floor, and generally speaking, they look totally intimidated and unsure, resulting in games like at PSU. I don’t care who the coach is, this guy or somebody else, but whoever it is they need to do a better job across the board.

    1. Well Brad,
      Before I posted I took a look at Dayton’s schedule thus far. How much you want to bet if IU was in the A10 and Dayton was in the B1G, the numbers would be reversed? To this point Dayton has played one team in the top 25 and lost to them. IU has played 6 teams in the top 25, won 3 and lost 3. 2 of the 3 losses were on the road. Dayton may well make a run in the tournament because some of the mid-majors get on a role and strange things can happen. However, if they played a B1G schedule, I seriously doubt they would be #7.

      1. Well, let’s put it this way, if IU played Dayton tomorrow on a neutral court Vegas would have them about -7.
        My essential points were these: Why are they flourishing 3 years since he left? (and yes, I’m sure some of those kids were his). Why is IU so inept 3 years after arriving? Then there’s the part you aren’t addressing, facilities difference and recruiting budget and prestige of Big 10 vs A10. All we know is this, after voters do all of their data processing bla bla, they are who they are and IU is what it has continued to be for decades. Has IU won a Big 10 tournament game yet? While I’m at it, the ‘rasslin’ team is by far the worst in the conference..,so far they are Oh-fer’ on the season. Haven’t won a meet all year and were just blanked in their last meet.

        1. Flourishing since he left?????

          Did you bother to look at CAM’s record while he was there and the program was still solid when he left winning over 20 games a year???

      2. thinkaboutit; You’re beginning to sound like Adam Schiff. I looked it up. Overtime loss to KANSAS (#2 at the time) and another OT loss to Colorado.

        1. My mistake, missed the Colorado game (which coincidentally lost again last night to an unranked team), so they have lost both their top 25 games.

          However, both of Dayton’s top 25 games were played on neutral sites which can lead to unusual results. Let’s not forget 2 of IU’s 3 top 25 losses have come on the other team’s home court. Not saying Dayton wouldn’t beat IU now, but would Dayton beat the top 25 teams IU has lost to in similar circumstances, or the top 25 teams IU has beaten? Other side of the equation is how many of the Dayton wins would IU also win?

          At this point Dayton does not have a single win against a top 25 team, while IU has 3 wins. Granted, IU’s wins came at AH, but at this point Dayton has no other top 25 games which can be played on their own home court to find out. Reason why? It is because Dayton is the ONLY top 25 team in the A10!!!

          1. Haven’t watched a lot of Dayton, but I do believe they have what most would consider a “superstar.” Toppin? Superstars with seasoned players around them are the sorts of teams that can make noise in the NCAA tournament…Pretty sure Dayton’s guards are also very, very good.

            At the high school level, these were also the sort of rural small town teams that could make noise in state tournaments during our once storied high school, all-inclusive, basketball tournament.

            I wouldn’t discount Dayton from being a team that could make a Final Four run….See Scott Skiles. See Mitch McGary…See any game-changing superstar who takes a tournament by storm, feeds off the moment and includes a solid supporting cast.

            It’s those sorts of teams that make me love watching March Madness…It’s the sort of team I wish we could be….but I believe we are still a bit immature (supporting cast and evolution of a superstar). TJD has the potential to be a superstar of sorts on the inside. He needs a bit more confidence with the jumper but he does a ton of things like an All-American.

  11. Geoff, my reaction to watching last night’s game was identical to what you described, only I was using far worse language and none of it was whispered. My wife banished me from our TV room because I was so upset less than half way through the first half. The difference was, when IU plays that bad, I can’t continue watching the game. It’s a matter of self preservation. I think I would stroke out if I was forced to watch an entire game involving such a terrible performance.

    The more we see performances like last night, the faster the support for Archie will erode. If these horrific performances continue, more and more IU fans will direct their frustration/anger at Archie. Right now Archie’s getting a pass because some of his players were Crean recruits. But that excuse/explanation/hypothesis is getting harder and harder to defend after performances like last night. Aside from which players were recruited by Archie, he’s still in control, and hence responsible how the players on this team perform. He controls who plays and how much they play. If the Crean-recruited players are so bad, and they certainly can be, why are they playing? If Crean-recruited players do not have the skills necessary to compete in the Big Ten, why, half way his third season as head coach, have they not improved those skills?

    The thing that bothers me the most about Archie’s coaching right now is the collective play of IU’s guards. It is substandard and inconsistent, and does not appear to be improving at all. And two of those guards are Archie’s recruits! Given his playing experience, one would think that would be the strength of any team coached by Archie Miller. But it is clearly this team’s greatest weakness.

    As IU produces more such debacles this season, the more pressure Archie will be under next season. Last night’s performance was simply unacceptable.

  12. think, do you think any of Dayton’s performances this season were as bad as IU’s performance last night? I think if IU played Dayton at Dayton right now, we’d lose by 20 points.

    1. Dayton’s performances against WHO Po????

      Go look at their schedule thus far and then reconsider your statement. Not happy with IU’s performance thus far, but to compare a B1G schedule this season to Dayton’s A10 schedule is not comparing apples to apples.

      1. The guard play has been far from stellar. It’s also anchored by holdovers….Sadly, out of our four primary guards, I’m only a true believer in Franklin. Phinisee lacks any real explosiveness. A probing guard works to a degree, but speed is a component that seems to be a constant in all great point guards. Durham is a slasher and works his butt off…but suffers in consistency and does his own share of disappearing acts….He should be far more seasoned by now. He should be far more a leader by now.
        Green is one giant Icy Hot patch….of discombobulation. Sometimes I wonder if the ball will just experience spontaneously combustion from extreme temperature changes gong from hot swag to cold drag.

        Is what it is, gang. No superstar in the backcourt almost always means no significant NCAA tournament success. You don’t win big games by committee in your backcourt. I’ll give Archie another year to land some stronger guards while the holdovers ride into the sunset…..

        I’ll also continue to dream of just how much stronger this team would have been with a returning Romeo. Maybe he still wouldn’t have found his jump shot as well…but I gotta believe his talent would have made a massive difference.

        1. Death by holdovers….and “hero ball.”
          Death by athleticism over refinement of skills before entering college…
          Death by injuries…
          Death by muddied rotations..Here today, injured tomorrow.
          Death by having a backcourt by committee…
          Death by no leadership because of a backcourt by committee.
          Death by no superstar…
          Death by departure last season’s one-and-done…Adios Rome-ios.
          Death by much stronger conference top to bottom…
          Death by death to our storied high school single class tournament…creating death to truly measured grit and clutch performers…
          Death by being kidnapped by a clown for almost a decade….
          Death to patience with Archie….because a head on a stick is our only trick.

  13. think, the competition is one thing, but things that a team can control, like fundamentals, effort, focus and execution were absent last night and the reason IU lost. PSU had very little to do with it. In fact, PSU wasn’t performing well themselves and yet they beat us by 15 points.

    IU didn’t get to the line for free throws, our 3-point shooting was the worst of the season so far, we committed 18 turnovers, Brunk got in foul trouble early and PSU caught IU’s defense napping countless times. I good High School team would have beaten IU last night.

    1. Po,
      Of course “fundamentals, effort, focus and execution” are essential to a team’s success. No one would argue that statement. However, “controlling” such is easier said than done. The level of competition has an enormous effect on how well a team can control such things. The idea of exerting your will upon an opponent is dependent upon how well your team can do this, but it is not simply a matter of discipline. It is also a matter of the talent level on the floor in any given circumstance.

      Dayton has a fine team, but are they playing the same level of talent in the A10 as they would be in the B1G? No one is speaking of 10 or more teams going to the tournament from A10, but it certainly being discussed about the B1G. That is an enormous variance in the level and talent of a given conference. I know there are many other variables, but the whole idea of competition is to break down the other opponent’s control of fundamentals, effort, focus and execution. That’s goes a long way to determining who wins or loses, and the level of competition has a great deal of influence over how that turns out.

      Dayton may do well in the tournament, might get to the sweet 16 or more, but can they bring home a championship? Until Dayton and other A10 teams can prove it on the court against outside competition, all we can do is look at the A10 level of competition and question how legitimate the Dayton ranking may be. No one questions the level of competition in the Big East as they have proven it on the court more than once. The question is, “Can the B1G prove it on the court too come tournament time this year?” If it can, then there is your answer about the IU basketball program’s current state.

  14. H4H I want to take ONE of your statements and highlight it, because I truly think IT is a contributor to IU’s problem and it wouldn’t matter WHO was the coach. “Death by death to our storied high school single class tournament…creating death to truly measured grit and clutch performers…” the Motivation for the players to improve is gone because (and maybe rightfully so) Who is gonna look at a kid from a Class 1A school for a scholarship. To improve your skills is what motivated the small schools to compete in the state tournament. How much credibility would Larry Bird have received playing for French Lick and Class 1 A ?? they would say “What do you expect hes playing against small school with limited number of kids for participation” and that’s what is being said and demonstrated now. no more Connersville knocking off Crispus Attucks led by Oscar Robertson. The TRUE talent pool in Indiana high school basketball has been diluted by the lack of motivational competition …. instead of small school kids working to improve ; they ask “Why?” and trudge off to their smart phones.

  15. Completely agree, TJ in Texas. And that’s why I wonder if we may make too much out of inside-outside recruiting? Maybe our assumptions are partly to blame as Archie works to please much of the fan base by selecting and looking to Indiana kids first?

    Don’t get me wrong…I’ve always held the assumptions of Indiana home grown basketball talent bringing the grit to go along with the talent. Sadly, I didn’t see the grit with many of the “Movement” players which came alongside Cody Zeller. And, sadly, again I haven’t seen it with Romeo and most the Indiana talent Archie has brought in. Maybe “grit” is not the right word….There’s something about the proving ground that our old singular high school tournament taught and instilled….Something has been “diluted,” indeed. There isn’t the old edge and chip on the shoulder. Too many blue ribbons for all…Too many with games too big for honest britches.
    thinkaboutit argued how Dayton might not fare too well against many of the Big Ten teams….And isn’t that the same thing now happening in our diluted high school tournament? 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A…? Aren’t these high school divisions now sort of like different college conferences where a mid-major is difficult to evaluate in terms of going against a power conference they’ll rarely meet?
    I could elaborate more, but I’m tired…I’ll only say that the change to multi-class did something to the soul of Indiana high school basketball and much of that “drive” and “motivation” you speak of, TJ in Texas.

  16. H4H is right about the guards. I’ve been criticized for saying Phinisee is not the answer as lead point guard. He lacks the quickness to be a premier player. The kid is fundamentally sound, but his lack of explosiveness creates too many other issues. Durham plays hard but is way too inconsistent. Green is athletic but has no idea how to play team ball. Franklin is not a point guard. He is not even a good ball handler but could develop into a two guard. So, the bottom line is that IU is lacking the guards to be a very good team.

  17. I do think tightening up the guard rotations would help some….Franklin is inconsistent but I believe much of that is growing pains (he needs more minutes).
    Do I expect the guard rotations will tighten up? Not really hopeful.

    I would play Durham all the minutes I could use him. Phinisee & Franklin would get the majority of the remainder.

    Bottom Line: We are short a superstar (wing or guard…but I prefer the superstar at point guard). Our very deep and high quality front line begs for better guard play….and it’s simply been absent (shooting, steadiness, explosiveness and leadership).
    Hunter has helped with turning around the abysmal long-range shooting but it still doesn’t have the same impact as leadership from the point guard position.

  18. Hopeful, you’ll get no argument from me on that point. One guard in each of Archie’s last two recruiting classes, and neither of them have the skills necessary to make IU a good team. Do you see any of the three recruits in next year’s class being the answer to “the point guard problem?”

    Leal is a tall shooting guard, so that could improve 3-point shooting, but I don’t think either of the other two recruits will upgrade the point guard position. So either Phinisee, Durham or Franklin are going to have to improve a lot, or many of the problems we’re witnessing right now will continue to haunt IU next season.

  19. think, I guess we just disagree. From my vantage point, IU is not losing because the other Big Ten teams are so good, we’re losing because we’re inept. We’re losing because we are not mentally tough enough to execute in crunch time (Arkansas and Maryland at home) or while playing on the road. We turn the ball over so much because our guards are careless and make stupid passes. We fail to score enough points because we suck at shooting free throws, making 3-point shots and bunnies at the rim. How many layups and bunnies did IU miss against PSU? It was a joke! Shooting 18% from the 3-point line was even worse, and had little to do with PSU. If IU were in the A10, we’d probably be fourth or fifth in the conference, and for IU Basketball, that’s just unacceptable.

    The way IU played the other night would not have produced a win against any of the top six teams in the A10 Conference.

  20. I still hold up hope…because I’ve witnessed a team like Loyola of Chicago recently make it to a Final Four. If Loyola of Chicago, then why not Indiana?

    Is Loyola of Chicago a “blue blood?”
    Did they have a future NBA guard of uncanny ability and explosiveness?
    Did they have the depth of our front line?
    Do they have a better coach than Archie Miller?

    What are we currently lacking (other than softer conference play) that could stop us from having the same fortunes of a Loyola of Chicago? What did we lack during the decade of Crean?

    a) Loyola had extremely tight rotations. The put their fortunes in the hands of six or seven players taking the majority of minutes.
    b) Loyola had very “heady” guard play. There was never…almost never “hero ball” or jacking up of poor shots.
    c) They had shooters in their backcourt and, without even looking at stats, I’m pretty certain they made a much higher percentage of free throws. than our current demonstrations.

    Could we defeat Dayton right now? Could we stay with the Houston Cougars of last season…or this season? Could we fare well on the road against the Loyola of Chicago team from a couple seasons ago?

    I tend to agree with thinkabouit…This isn’t the time to get out on the ledge. We have a very strong foundation of a team. But I do think my aforementioned mid-majors and private school programs could currently give us all we could handle. We may have more talent, but we are not playing like a team….and we are not playing with any collective chip on the shoulder. I share Geoff’s frustration because IU fans know better. We should have known better for what we endured for nine seasons ending in cue cards. Let’s not pretend we didn’t have talent on some of those teams.
    All that being said, I can’t totally blame Archie for all dysfunctions and roster gaps. He needs a bit more time to fully build his own team by his own hand. Every coach misses on certain recruits. We don’t have near the projects often seen under the last regime.
    What we do have is a balancing act meeting a rock in a hard place. Archie wanted to stay committed to kids who stayed committed to Indiana. “Hard love” sounds easy….but this isn’t simply a case of who’s better in the moment. Maybe Green …and DeRon…and Durham deserve a bit of a wider door of patience and bit more loyalty. i don’t like “hero ball” and I don’t like flippant attitudes when we are losing games…..But I do like Archie for giving these young men the opportunity to be better. That’s all he can do. I’m proud of Archie for not forcing anyone off the team when those kids decided to stay through the emotional turmoil they experienced. I’m proud he does the best he can with some kids without making excuses or channeling blame.
    Accountability certainly matters…but so does decency and honoring those who had their college experience disrupted by no choice their own. I don’t pretend to know how at rips at the gut for a coach to make a hard decision in encouraging a kid to transfer who has done everything right to represent Indiana (even though some of the play on the court is beyond frustrating)…Maybe it’s also a bit naive to think such decisions tugging between honoring commitments during coaching/regime changes is as easy as picking your dinner off a restaurant menu…?
    I guess that’s why I could never be a coach.

  21. well this should make HOOSIERNATION happy………..Khristian Lander is a 67% to Michigan and Caleb Furst is a 100% to Michigan State. Those are according to SCOUT. If players transfer, Archie is going to be left with more scholarships IN THE BANK than he will have sitting on the bench

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