Hoosiers fall to No. 17 Maryland, 77-76

After the final shot attempt from Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis was swatted away from the rim by Jalen Smith, the stands in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall were filled with disbelief.

Whether it was a clinging to hope for basket interference, or just some irrational wish to erase No. 17 Maryland’s game-ending 7-0 run to cap Sunday’s 77-76 loss, the final moments were just difficult to process, hard to consume.

Then the shocked faces in the crowd locked onto Smith, the Terrapins’ 6-foot-10 sophomore, who was staring them down as he walked out to midcourt and slapped the very southwestern end of the state’s silhouette with his palm.

Boos rang out. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon ran onto the floor to get between Smith and the Hoosier fanbase, passionately scolding him for the taunt. It was a memorable scene, for all the wrong reasons.

It’s a day the Hoosiers won’t soon forget.

“Tonight’s one of those ones, you’re going to think back on,” IU coach Archie Miller said, “and, obviously, it’s going to really, really sting.”

Following a midweek win over No. 11 Michigan State, the Hoosiers seemed on course for another thrilling home win before the rollercoaster hit its peak.

Anthony Cowan Jr. hit a 3 to cut the lead to 74-70 with 2:22 left. After a layup by IU’s Devonte Green, the Terrapins’ 7-0 run commenced, starting and ending with paint buckets by Smith. A dagger 3-pointer by Aaron Wiggins, which got Maryland within one, was the result of a bad pass by redshirt freshman Jerome Hunter versus the press.

Hunter, in particular, had just registered one of the best performances of his young college career, hitting a trio of 3s on his way to a Big Ten career-high 12 points. Along with Green’s 16 points, he helped provide a 37-12 advantage in bench production.

But then there was that pass.

“Yeah, it’s just a lot to learn, being a freshman,” Hunter said, visibly disappointed. “Just a lot to learn. Just one of them games. Tough game.”

In the one-point result, there were positives worth clinging to. IU (15-5, 5-4 Big Ten) weathered an early storm after Maryland (16-4, 6-3) hit five of its first six shots from 3, growing a lead as large at 14 in the first half.

Smith was the largest thorn, hitting 4-of-6 from deep in a 29-point, 11-rebound effort. He hit all three of his attempts from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, proving impossible for the Hoosiers to effectively mark.

IU was able to battle back, cutting the halftime deficit to nine. The Hoosiers went on to lead by as many as eight points in the second half, but Smith found another way to bury them.

On the final possession, he rolled to the basket for an easy lay-in.

“At the end of the game, on his last ball screen, you’re relying on communication all game long on ball screens, and on the last one, we’re indecisive on what we’re doing,” Miller said. “He rolls through the basket uncontested. So that’s on us.”

Miller resisted the temptation to single out one player over any other, though. That included Hunter’s pass that set up Wiggins’ pivotal 3.

He just lumped together the final 3:32, after the final media timeout, contrasting it with what the Hoosiers were able to do to beat the Spartans three days earlier.

IU needed to be more tough-minded, like they were Thursday. They needed to execute better, keeping time and score in mind. They needed to communicate better.

“If you ever want to know as a player why the coach is always screaming about talking and communicating and you’ve got to do that, it’s because it really matters when it means the most,” Miller said. “This one stings. The other one on the night felt great. The week is what it is. We’re on to the next one.”

There was abundant perspective available to the Hoosiers, both uplifting and horrible. However unbelievable the loss to Maryland felt, IU’s players learned of NBA icon Kobe Bryant’s death during the postgame press conference.

Sophomore Rob Phinisee, who had just lamented his inability to lead his teammates late, called the Bryant news “obviously heartbreaking.” Green just shook his head, adding “It’s sad.”

The loss was tough, but Green especially, who has been through plenty of ups and downs in his career, was able to find something constructive from what just transpired on the court.

“A lesson, just like every other loss,” Green said. “We were down. We came back. We fought our way back, got the lead, and then lost it. It just goes to show that the game could turn at any point.”

25 comments

  1. That was a tough one that we clearly let slip away.

    Key plays that stick with me here…
    -Durham & Green both took 3’s too early in the shot clock late
    -Phinisee’s missed FT on the 1 & 1
    -Hunter missed FT
    -Hunter TO with a min to go
    -Davis fouling Smith on the 3

    Tough games against really good teams allow no margin for these kinds of errors.

    To make up for it we need to go win a couple of road games & hold serve at home, which I think we can do.

  2. A very, very tough loss. Not sure about having Hunter in a dribble, pass situation at a critical time. That turnover was a killer. Hate to see IU give away a game at the end. They played a solid game but made some poor plays down the stretch. Archie has to be kicking himself.

  3. No plan, composure,execution. Like a frantic dog that strangles itself on its own leash. Other than that, pathetic final 2 minutes.

  4. Jon or Jeremy, what was going on with the Maryland player at the end of the game? Looked like he was going after someone in the crowd? I think it was Smith.

  5. Brad ,,the execution or composure could be somewhat attributed to Maryland’s defense as well. Im proud of this team and how they have progressed in a short time. Having Race available would have made things different. I hope they understand the importance of free throws…they wouldn’t have to be fighting at the rim at the end of the game if they had made 2 more free throws.

    1. TJ: That’s fine. But don’t criticize me for pointing out the obvious. I have said for years if a DIV I player can’t consistantly hit .700 from the foul line in practice, his time on the court would be limited and definately not on the floor at the end of a close game. To me, bad foul shooting is inexcuseable. It’s like a race driver that has everything down except that ‘he hasn’t figured how to make a left turn’.
      Secondly, you are correct. Turgeron’s defensive coaching and player execution was the difference. The problem was pretty obvious. AM and IU looked clueless! Isn’t that what hours of preparation are for? You just made my point. Losing a 7 point lead at HOME, WITH possession, is unthinkable and unacceptable.

  6. The biggest thing we need to take away from this game is the continuing emergence of Jerome Hunter as an outside threat. No, he should not have been forced to handle the ball that late in the game under duress, but neither should someone with a hot hand from outside have been a 2nd option. I saw more than one shot taken late in the game with a wide open Hunter available should the ball have been reversed his way. I would have rather given him a chance than to have entrusted the game to streaky shooters who may or may not make the shot. He was 3 of 6 from 3 point land, that’s pretty good shooting.

  7. Maryland shot and made more 3-point shots. Maryland made more free throws. End of story.

    IU’s shooting was relatively good today, turnovers were light, rebounding was good, but we still lost the game. Progress is not linear.

  8. The 1st half shooting % of M is rare and certainly not the norm. I still think IU is improving strongly even in this loss. Hunter is the intangible in IUBB 2020 success. For the 1st time since the initiation of the BTT I feel very good about IU playing in it. Chemistry is building. Did anyone pay attention to team Davis and Davis.

  9. Hunter: MSU 8:00+ minutes
    Md. 26:00+ minutes and
    Justin Smith played 35+ min.
    I wonder how much not having Race made those #’s happen? Crunch time for Franklin. Does he hit the Freshman wall or bust through. Miller, steady in his ear makes the difference. He holds considerable control over Green’s prospective minutes forward.

  10. Smith was the best player on the floor yesterday, and IU could not prevent him from having a “career day.” I think he hit his first four 3-point attempts and then just kept going.

    It really came down to IU not being able to handle Maryland’s pressure in the last minute. We turned the ball over and they immediately made a three point shot. IU played really hard and showed signs of improvement, but Maryland is clearly the better team this season.

    Green played well yesterday and deserves some credit. Some of his decisions drive most of us crazy, but we should give credit where credit is due. Yesterday, his positives far outweighed his negatives.

  11. We are at the official halfway point of the BigTen season.

    Archie, have you checked your “contemporaries” lately?

    Overlooked stat: Maryland was coming off a brutal game against the Northwestern Cellar Dwellers almost a week prior to coming to Bloomington.
    The Hoosier were coming off a BarcaLounger nap against lowly MSU just 48 hours prior to the tip-off against Maryland.

    Did Archie use any of that as an excuse? No. Maryland is not “clearly the better team.” They mopped us at their place…The road has been brutal for everyone. The got us at a very opportune time in Bloomington.

    I could tell our bigs (especially Brunk) were gassed 5 minutes in. Brunk’s failure to finish on a couple early shots at the rim were evidence of the heavy feet. Maryland’s team was very fresh.

    We were without Race Thompson …Until his hard hit to the floor late in the MSU game, Race was offering a ton of energy and solid play coming off the bench.

    Keep up with Cassius Winston for 40 minutes, turnaround in 48 hours to chase Anthony Cowen? I’m thinking Green should have started the game…He probably had the freshest legs. I have Durham in at the end of the game…No way is Green in for the last three minutes.

    Archie showed a bit of coaching weakness yesterday….He gave into the pecking order and allowed the senior his attempt to act like the senior. Personally, despite some good plays on the part of his senior, I think the plan failed. Green was dribbling out too many possessions. Offense was going into a mode to “not lose the game” rather than continue to run plays and stay aggressive. I couldn’t understand the long stretch at the end with Durham on the bench. He’s our premier backcourt defender.

    Summation: Very short turnaround for us (barely 48 hours) after playing the best team in the conference. Our bigs had heavy legs. Justin Smith and Brunk were sluggish. Also remember that Trayce has been getting in a bit of foul trouble(getting two fouls fairly early in first halves of last two games) of late and has been benched for some long stretches. It hurts our offensive output…It does also explain why he looked a little less gassed against Maryland.
    Long five day rest for Maryland. Not too long for rust…but optimum to catch us on our happy and tired heels.
    No Race Thompson to offer energy and maybe help close out and better contest some of those perimeter shots dropping.
    Archie sort of went to sleep at the end of the game ….It’s my humble opinion that Durham and Phinisee give us the better odds to keep things steady and focused in clutch moments. Franklin may be in that mix soon…
    But I don’t ride my fortunes in a tight game with the senior…He’ll never make decisions like a typical seasoned senior. It’s not fixable….though Archie must feel some sort of obligation to fix it in attempts to instill a real sense of confidence. I can only say it’s hard to balance a hot dog on a string. It’s hard to balance a hot dog anywhere. They roll off the grill..They roll off a plate. Best thing to do is get them into a safe place secured and sitting confidently on a bun …

    1. Agree with your points about using Green vs. Durham at the end. I think Durham got benched for taking that quick 3 up 7 with 2-something to go. But Green threw up at least 2 others the exact same way. We weren’t working for good shots, we were trying “not to lose” while Md. took it at us down the stretch. I also think Franklin had a very solid game for the minutes he played & I probably would’ve had him vs. Hunter in the game to combat that press. But what’s done is done. Coulda, shoulda, woulda isn’t going to get this game back in the W column.

      If you’d have given me 22 assists, 9 3’s, and only 6 TO’s at the start of this game I’d have taken all of it & run. But Jalen Smith was THE man among the boys. Hats off to the kid, he won the game for them. Hopefully TJD is taking note of what another year can do for you. With a kid that big popping out to make 5 or 6 3’s, we don’t have an answer for that. Archie pointed out that 7 of their 12 3’s came from their “bigs”.

      One more key point was the final score by Smith off the high ball screen. Green made an idiotic defensive play there. He was in la-la-land & even broke late toward Cowan vs. handle the switch & try to deny Smith the ball or at a minimum create a little traffic. TJD was clearly committed to Cowan and nearly got a finger on the pass to Smith. Green had no business staying to double-team Cowan. Just an example of his poor IQ on the defensive end.

      MD. is the class of the league. They have a lot of great tools in the shed. Big man who can block shots & shoot. Best PG in the league with Cowan. Two really good wing players. I like what they run out there & think they’re going to come away with the #1 seed in the Big Ten tournament. Maybe we’ll get another crack at ’em.

      1. Smith made four threes….4-4 in the first half (which he’ll never do again in his life)…and 0-2 in the second half.

        I counted six made triples from their bigs…Smith (4-6), Lindo (1-1) and Scott (1-5). Maybe I’m missing someone. Smith’s 0-2 in the second half combined with the other two bigs going 2-6 is really nothing to write home about. It was Smith’s first half going 4-4 when he was unconscious.

        I think our bigs were flat coming off a very tough game just 48 hours earlier…It’s not an excuse, but Maryland was far more rested.

        I think the management of the last 3 minutes lost the game. The triples from Smith were impressive, but it’s not why we lost the game. It was the choice of guards on the floor at the end….(along with giving Hunter duties for a touch against a press).

        Water under the bridge…Move on. But I still believe MSU will be the top seed when the dust has settled. I also believe MSU will go deeper than Maryland in the Big Dance.

  12. I am a Devonte Green fan. I have not seen him do a dirty play this year, and like his ability to make exciting plays. The Maryland was a thrilling game and our team will get better because of it.

    I echo the thought of whoever said that we might be able to do well in the BIG 10 Tournament this year.

    It’s been an exciting season so far and I don’t think there is any benefit to throw ANY player “under the bus”…I think it’s appropriate to point out dirty plays, but we ALL have the capacity for error and it is how our Team evolves (i.e., the BIG Ten Tournament) that is most important.

    Finally, this year, we have a Team that acts like it enjoys being on the same Team with each other. I’ll take it. Go Big Red.

  13. Here is what staying an extra year can do … Jaylen Smith most likely a lottery pick and probably top 5, Ayo Dosunmu is leading a revitalize Illini team. He came in a a 5 star guard along with Romeo. Hid decision making is much better , much more confident. Romeo with all the Up side and hype is finding difficult to get out of the Boston G league affiliate and his shooting STILL sucks at 2 for 10 last game. Im thinking the kids that stayed the extra year in college may be pushing some of these one and doners off the bench.

    1. I especially agree with your take on Romeo leaving too soon TJT,

      However, I also understand that ever since the Louisville player went down with a career ending injury back in the Cody/Dipo days, there has been a lot of pressure on the guys to jump quickly. You hate to see them turn pro too soon and within a couple years are out of the game all together, but each year they play “amateur” ball they run the risk of losing out on some quick big dollars due to injury. How do you tell a 19 year old kid to stay in college when that kind of money is being waved in his face?

      1. That’s all fine….but don’t hold a press conference at your high school as if you’re the next savior of Indiana Basketball…and then go one-and-done after a rather flat season.

        Arrive quietly. Leave quietly. Make no noise in NCAA tournaments. Make no noise coming or going. Remain quiet as you struggle for minutes in the NBA. Spend your money quietly and don’t expect a locker room lounge at Assembly to be named after you.

        But if you’re going to “sell it,” then back it the hell up for all those little kids who wanted your autograph. It’s fine to be about money. Next time charge for the autograph.

  14. I remember a dirty play….a truly dirty play. I recall it came with no whistle and no penalty. I recall a rather lengthy commentary by a former HT journalist.
    https://www.hoosiersportsreport.com/2011/01/commentary-elstons-trip-demanded-more-punishment/

    I wish every “dirty play” came with a ‘COMMENTARY’ from a professional who must weigh the scales of truth found somewhere between “objective” and “subjective” evaluations of a player’s intent.

    It’s very simple to accuse or measure a man’s dirty intent without any repercussions upon a profession. I do it all the time…I consider myself a bit dirty without truly knowing…But, hey, I make errors too.

    Maybe it’s time for some HT journalists to start being as principled as those on this blog making such assertions/judgments of intent…? If our coach is allowing his players to commit dirty acts (e.g. Durham’s elbow and Brunk’s push to the back of an MSU player running on a fast break) in the pursuit of advantages without any consequences, isn’t it time for those in the press to attempt to weigh the scales of truth…or, at minimum, begin a commentary posture or pose some questions to Archie?

    The Rock of Objectivity is every journalists pursuit. I recall many interjections from Dustin Dopirak concerning such pursuits. Maybe it’s time for some current HT journalists to weigh in on these “dirty” plays committed by “dirty” Hoosier players coming up in frequent discussions here?

  15. Whatever happened to coachv…? Loved his “commentary” concerning the Elston trip….Good stuff.

    coachv says:
    January 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    for 20 years i taught my bigs that when a cutter comes through the lane, you step in his path and give him a forearm shiver. in the mouth, the ribs, whatever. that’s the way it was done in the day. if you couldn’t take it, stay the hell out of the lane. that changed about 5-6 years ago. now you have to let them run amok through the lane unmolested. i prefer the old way.

    and jpat, you’re really pissing me off with all your ass kissing.

  16. H4h, perhaps you did not read my entire post. I ‘cut and paste’ the relevant passage here for your perusal:

    It’s been an exciting season so far and I don’t think there is any benefit to throw ANY player “under the bus”…I think it’s appropriate to point out dirty plays, but we ALL have the capacity for error and it is how our Team evolves (i.e., the BIG Ten Tournament) that is most important.

    However, if you DID read my entire post and STILL decided to go on your binge, well….that’s another topic entirely.

  17. DIRTY PLAYS/ DIRTY COACHES/ DIRTY OFFICIATING/ DIRTY INDIANA:
    I don’t believe Brunk did anything “dirty.” I don’t necessarily know if Green has ever committed anything you consider as dirty because I have not microscopically examined every foul he’s committed in his career. Thus, I don’t think it makes any sense to paint/portray his play as more saintly or clean than anyone else simply because you haven’t pointed anything out…or noticed it.

    To further summarize, we simply disagree on the following aforementioned points. …
    (a) I don’t see anything Brunk did as “dirty.”
    (b) I don’t think we get any calls more favorable from referees at Skjodt than any other team gets at their home court in the BigTen…or Cameron…or any other college within any other conference

    . If you want to hold those opinions, that’s fine. I will continue to disagree with the two points. I will continue to not stay silent in painting Brunk’s disputed push to the back of an MSU player as “dirty.” I don’t even believe it was sneaky. I believe it was nothing and no whistle was blown appropriately.

    I like Brunk’s attitude. I like his tremendous efforts to improve his game. I like the fact I was right that his game would improve and he would be instrumental to our team’s growing improvement. I like his displays of what I interpret as character far from “dirty.” He plays hard. He plays unselfishly. He plays to lift more than himself up.

    I watched nine years of what I considered as dysfunctional dirty basketball before Archie. I saw it “dirty” because I didn’t believe it rooted in teaching expertise. The things not “real basketball” were wrapped neatly and “cleanly” in piousness to excuse its insult…Dysfunctional and individual showboating plays coupled with severely inept coaching was given a pass because it was protected in a “holier-than-thou” presentation of our coach and his players.
    I found much of that segment of our history to be very “dirty’ and not indicative of the character synonymous with “Indiana.” I found witch hunts to be “dirty.” I found chasing down a former Indiana coach at Michigan with the intent to publicly insult him in front of national cameras as a “dirty” basketball play.

    DIRTY ARCHIE MILLER?
    The book is still out on Archie. To this point, I like how he presents Indiana. I like how he doesn’t talk down to the fan base. I like how he doesn’t make mountains out of molehills. I didn’t like Durham’s elbow…but I sort of like the way Archie handled it on his own terms (right or wrong). I like guys who don’t care how they’re perceived or “judged.”
    Archie seems to be a teacher first and foremost.
    He has done a far better job than I could ever do to remain patient with players he didn’t bring to Indiana. I don’t think he deserves quite the level of doubt, snide, or suggestions he’s allowing/promoting “dirty” basketball. I also don’t recall many arguments of referee favoritism during the last regime. I don’t think those arguments are relevant unless the presenter is willing to point out such favoritism happens everywhere.

    BLOGS & ROCKS & TROUT:
    Finally, this is a blog. I don’t think anyone, even in their criticisms, is throwing anyone under a bus. If you get thrown under a bus, you usually die. Everyone here is over the top…whether in pollyannaism or unfair criticisms within concise arguments…or binges.
    We all say things we’d never say to someone’s face. It’s the nature of the blogging beast.
    I threw Crean under the bus for most his tenure. Was I fair. Nope. Don’t care. I would have made that “dirty” play until the bitter end because I believed there were things so removed from basketball being promoted that it was an insult to the game and to the audience.
    Thanks for the debate, Rock. The last thing I want to do is call you a “dirty” rock. If you reside inside a stream, may it be one of the few pristine streams left in this world…May it polish your rock smooth and clean. May you glisten in the sun under the waters…May you enjoy the vibrant trout swimming in whispering currents while joyfully brushing their scales against your surface. May the rock be as appreciated as the human form who seeks to selfishly ignore all the interwoven beauties of this world.

  18. Dirty plays or hard plays? I remember Kent Benson being a very hard player in his last two seasons at IU. You were not going to intimidate Kent Benson and if you wanted to play rough, he would indulge you. He made it an art form, and I don’t remember Benson ever getting thrown out of a game for playing dirty.

    1. Yes, absolutely. In those days I was privileged to see a couple of practices. Even in practice Benson could become mercenary in his goal to dominate. Bobby retorted at 1 point by saying ‘Bennie they got to learn, show em how’. I can see Miller motivational teaching in practice very similar.

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