Posted January 14, 2014

Indiana bolsters its résumé, exposes Wisconsin’s weaknesses in 75-72 win

Big Ten, Indiana Hoosiers, Wisconsin Badgers
Noah Vonleh (1) and Stanford Robinson (22) had plenty of reason to celebrate after Indiana's win over No. 3 Wisconsin. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Noah Vonleh (1) and Stanford Robinson (22) had lots to celebrate after Indiana’s upset victory. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Critics panned Indiana for its non-conference schedule, and with good reason. The Hoosiers played four games against teams in the inside the top 100 in RPI before starting Big Ten play. It played nearly double that against teams ranked 200th or worse. Luckily for the Hooisers, the conference affords them plenty of opportunity to pick up the type of wins that impress the selection committee. They got their first chance for one of those wins against unbeaten No. 3 Wisconsin on Tuesday. All of a sudden, that creampuff non-conference slate doesn’t seem to matter all that much.

Indiana got the first of a handful of resume-building wins it will need to make the NCAA tournament, beating Wisconsin 75-72 at Assembly Hall on Tuesday night. What had been a close game for the first 25 minutes of action looked to be slipping away from the Hoosiers before Tom Crean briefly benched star guard Yogi Ferrell. When the sophomore returned, he helped expose a potential weakness in the Badgers.

Sam Dekker had just made a three to get Wisconsin a 10-point lead over Indiana with 13:20 remaining, forcing Crean to call a timeout. In the first six minutes and 40 seconds of the second half, Ferrell missed three shots from behind the arc and attempted exactly zero shots from the paint. This after scoring six points in the first half on layups and free throws, and easily getting to the rack, but failing to convert, an additional five times. Crean sat Ferrell for three minutes. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers started to chip away at the lead by getting into the lane. After an Evan Gordon jumper, Will Sheehey and Stanford Robinson made back-to-back layups to cut the Indiana deficit to four.

At this point, Ferrell returned to the floor. He promptly hit a short jumper from just inside the free throw line and drew a foul on Traevon Jackson. He missed the free throw, but Noah Vonleh cleaned up the miss and put it back to tie the game. Within two minutes, Indiana had a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the game.

All told, Indiana had 52 points in the paint, outrebounded Wisconsin 33-28 and grabbed 11 offensive boards. It got three layups on three straight possessions, two of which broke ties with less than five minutes left in the game. For all the talk about this being the best offensive team Bo Ryan has had in his tenure at Wisconsin, it will struggle against teams with size or guards that can get into the paint with regularity.

Only three Badgers who get at least 15 minutes per game are 6-foot-7 or taller, and one of those, Sam Dekker, isn’t known as a rim protector. The Badgers own wins over Iowa, Virginia and Florida this year, but they posted significant rebounding deficits against the Hawkeyes and Cavaliers, and the Gators were missing Dorian Finney-Smith when they lost in Madison. That the Badgers shot 53.6-percent from the floor on Tuesday night didn’t matter when they couldn’t secure a handful of crucial would-be defensive rebounds in the second half.

Wisconsin has never advanced beyond the Elite Eight under Ryan, having reached that high watermark once, back in 2005. This team has designs on a greater postseason result, but it will need to shore up its interior defense if it is to avoid the fate of so many Badger teams that came before it.

17 comments
Listening
Listening

It's hard...  if not impossible to win them all.

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

Nothing to see here, both teams are avg. Indiana might have staved off the NIT with this win though and you know WI is due for their annual 1st round exit in the big dance.

BlairELConquistadorMcKee
BlairELConquistadorMcKee

That was a terrific win! A real testimony to home court advantage too! The IU fans know how to be rough on the refs and the opposing bench. (Although the yahoo who threw something on the court deserves a dip in the Fountain.) 

This team has Ferrell for the ball handling and Will Sheehey for the heart and oh, so much size and talent in their Freshmen! If they put both ends of the court together in the same game, they can beat anybody.

StamMyles
StamMyles

Tom outcoached Bo by 20-30 pts in this contest.  Badgers could not defend the hi screen and roll by the quicker Indiana guards.  What did the Badgers do?    NOTHING!!!!   Ever think of playing a zone for a few possessions and see if this would slow down the HOOSIERS, who are a poor outside shooting team?    I no longer know  what is a foul and neither does Bo.  That being said neither do the referees, they all interpret it differently.   How are we to expect our athletes to understand what they can and cannot do?   Badgers would be 17-0 if their coach had a clue in this contest.     comments to sm5050sam@aol.com

metalhead65
metalhead65

sure it was a weak non conference schedule but it is not like they were a top 20 team. they are in full rebuild mode and needed those "easy" games to get all the new players some time to get adjusted to college ball and their teammates before the BIG 10 season started. they play in a pretty tough conference so there was no need to throw them in the fire before they had to.

BlairELConquistadorMcKee
BlairELConquistadorMcKee

@StamMyles I would have never believed it, but you are right. And the one coaching / substitution mistake Crean made (subbing out Vonleh for Etherington for defense) lasted ONE PLAY before he realized the error and went back to the far more athletic player. The Badgers looked like legit title contenders on the offensive end, but were really vulnerable defensively. That was surprising to me.

Crapahoola
Crapahoola

@StamMylesyou said Tom Crean outcoached Bo Ryan . . . . then I dropped my coffee all over myself  <thanks for that>  Hoosiers were the recipients of some generous calls, but that goes for about every home team.  They won't get those calls in Madison.  Hoosiers are the worst passing team in the B1G.  Many open looks with cutters, and Yogi standing out at the circle dribbling.  Crean called a TO with 10 sec left in the 1st half, to run a clear out for Yogi.  Up to that point, Farrell had run that exact same offense 10 times, and he was 2 for 10.  


Crean is not exactly John Wooden.


If Wisconsin makes just one of the 5 jumpers in the last 1:30, I think this game would have had a different outcome.  Hoosiers were quicker off the dribble and was able to spread it out and the Badgers didn't have any protection at the rim. 

j7apple
j7apple

@metalhead65  I'm sorry, but this is Creans 6th year. They should not be in a "rebuilding" year.  If that is what it is, he is not developing players as he should be. 

IUBB5Titles
IUBB5Titles

@Crapahoola @StamMyles 


I agree with you regarding Ryan being a better coach- see my in depth post at the end of this thread...That said, there were horrible calls on both sides last night. Wisconsin would probably beat IU most nights, even in Bloomington, due to superior coaching. IU does have superior talent, however, and they finally played a game without turning the ball over- no thanks to their coach, a motion offense, screening, or even a help defense. Wisconsin had an off night, IU got somewhat lucky, and it makes me sad knowing we are doomed to purgatory with Crean relying solely on his recruiting talents and hoping his players will play exceptional against good teams. Spread the word, we need a new coach!!

paulcj000
paulcj000

@Crapahoola@StamMylesI am a die hard Hoosiers fan and I can't even get to that delirious level of saying Crean out coached anyone.  In fact, I'll say Crean is one of the worst tacticians out there on the wood floors.  His substitution of VonLeh with Etherington was just atrocious to say the least and it cost them points and a foul immediately.  I want my Hoosiers to win, but I honestly have many doubts about Crean's decision making in big time games and in the tourney.  All I can do is hope like hell. Both teams will be fine going forward and I do hope this is a good catalyst for the Hoosiers to grow up in a hurry because they need to.

LarryGwaltney
LarryGwaltney

@j7apple @metalhead65 IU had two early departures to the NBA from last year's team, plus two unexpected transfers. That's the nature of college basketball these days, and it's silly to say Tom Crean is "not developing players as he should be." Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo say "hello."

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

@IUBB5Titles@j7apple@LarryGwaltney@metalhead65 

As a lifetime Hoosier fan, I agree.

You have to love that Crean seems to get good players to Bloomington but, they seem to not learn as much from him as they might under other coaches.  

I'm not convinced Crean is the guy long-term and I wonder if he goes a couple years without landing an NBA-level prospect if his struggles will cost him the job.  

 

IUBB5Titles
IUBB5Titles

@j7apple @LarryGwaltney @metalhead65  


You're ALL correct. I've been an IU fan for over 30 years. Tom Crean is the best recruiter and the worst coach, even worse than Dakich, we've had in those 30 years. When Zeller and Oladipo arrived, I was ecstatic at the sudden wins over good teams. However, Crean was finally exposed somewhat last year by the non-development of IU over the course of the season. We were essentially the same team at the end as we were at the beginning. His substitution patterns, inability to teach a motion offense, screen and react to opposing screens, or how to help on weak-side defense are going to eventually be his demise. I spoke to a devout Marquette fan who said he exhibited the same lack of coaching ability at Marquette. The only times he has ever made the Seet Sixteen/ Final Four were when he recruited first round picks like D. Wade, Zeller, and Oladipo who had immense skill and basketball IQ. Last year we were helped tremendously by the 3-point shooting and tenacity of Jordan Hulls. Crean is a great salesperson and recruiter, but a HORRIBLE coach. He relies solely on the talent of his players without showing them how to pass, defend as a team, or develop as a team. Once ALL IU fans and recruits start to realize all of this, Crean will be gone. I miss Bob Knight. Crotchety, poor-tempered old man he was, but you could count on a great TEAM effort game in and game out on both ends of the floor and a clean program. Bo Ryan is similar to Knight in that regard. IMHO, the best coach in college basketball with the best character is Tom Izzo. What a remarkable job he does with what he has. Bo Ryan is a better coach than Crean, also. Just my two cents.

j7apple
j7apple

@LarryGwaltney @j7apple @metalhead65  lol   for what its worth, don't follow a lot of BB and in all honesty? Could care less who won last night. I was just making a point to the original post of Indiana being in a "full rebuild mode"  


You are correct about Crean, and he  has done well,  hated to see him leave Marquette. Point is after 6 years, you really have to be running a machine, a built system not putting all your chips on one season. 


A College coach need to have that JEDI training  lol


"Mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the moment"  


Cheers.

Crapahoola
Crapahoola

@j7apple Hello?  Ryan develops player's because he hasn't had anybody leave early.  You recruit, and you develop, and when kids decide to leave early, you're screwed . . . because the kids that were on the bench last year are now the starters this year.  You can develop players over 4 years, but it's "win now" if they're only around one or two.


How's Kentucky doing right now?  How's Duke and NC doing right now?   I think those teams are actually "missing a beat" this year because those are now two year programs.



LarryGwaltney
LarryGwaltney

@j7apple @LarryGwaltney @metalhead65 You lost last night. I can understand you not being happy about it, but attacking Crean isn't going to make you feel better. Indiana went from one of the worst teams in Div I to one of the best in 4 years under Crean. You can't do that without developing Oladipo, Zeller, Watford, Hulls, Yogi, etc.

j7apple
j7apple

@LarryGwaltney @j7apple @metalhead65  Are you serious? Your going to play that card that players have gone on to the NBA?  It is the nature of College basketball?   Its recruiting and developing. Teams lose players in this era of one and done many more times than Crean, and don't miss a beat.


Enough of this rebuilding crap when your a coach 6 years. You recruit, develop and prepare for loss of players to your team, via transfer, NBA or injury.


Ever heard of ANY of these players on the Badgers team? Ryan year in year out has a ranked team by developing players.


Hello........