Monday, March 3, 2008

Not a Lot to Say

I suppose I could just say that the Michigan State game (HD box) was a good, old fashioned hole-stompin' and leave it at that. However, I don't think that would be quite right.  Instead, I will offer a few thoughts.

  • I mentioned before the Ohio State game that I thought IU was due for a friction loss with all the upheaval, maybe this game was it. Really, it could have saved the Hoosiers another loss, too, since this one was two losses at a time.
  • I didn't think the Hoosiers stood much of a chance before the game, and I didn't even realize it was Senior Day in East Lansing.  Couple that with the Spartans turning the ball over on and excellent (and thus aberrant) 12.5% of their possessions, and this was a perfect storm of ass-kickery for the Hoosiers to encounter in the Breslin Center.
  • When GameDay was in Bloomington for round 1 of MSU-IU this year, Jay Bilas kept saying that he thought Michigan State was the best team in the Big Ten, but they weren't playing that way. They were just turning the ball over too much. I was hollering at the TV in our hotel room, arguing that, at some point, you are what you are, and Michigan State was a very talented team that couldn't take care of the ball. Gasaway pointed to it way back in January, and it was a problem for a similarly made up MSU team last year. I felt vindicated that night, when IU cruised to victory on the strength of Sparty TO's on 27.9% of its possessions.  Yesterday, I'm sure Bilas felt a little vindicated, as that was as impressive performance as I've seen this year.
  • Of course, a 71.3 eFG% is going to win you most games, given that shooting dominates the other four factors.
  • This is the second time in the last three games that Indiana has displayed new levels of futility on the defensive end, both in terms of defensive efficiency and opponent's eFG%. I hope that's indicative of an adjustment process rather than suggestive that Sampson was the key to the team playing acceptable D.
  • Maybe we can just write this off as a day where things didn't go right for the Hoosiers, given that they couldn't hit their free throws. On the season, IU players make freebies at a 76.3% clip, 10th best in the country. Against MSU, they hit only 62% of them. Particularly poor was DJ White's 4 for 10 outing, which is most unusual for a 69.5% shooter.
  • Speaking of FT's, Indiana's x-factor FT defense failed them, too, allowing MSU to hit 80% of their free ones.
  • Finally, I will suggest that, if it doesn't demoralize the team, it doesn't matter a whole lot for IU. It might hurt their potential NCAA seed by a spot, but they have time to resuscitate that in the conference tournament. As far as the conference tournament goes, a win would most likely have led to a 3-way tie for first, which would have given IU the #3 seed due to tie-breakers. If they can right the ship and beat Minnesota at home and Penn State on the road, they'll still be the #3 seed (barring upsets of Purdue and/or Wisconsin).

1 comment:

Don said...

I didn't watch this game, I listened to it, expecting it to be bad. The real reason I didn't watch it is that I can't stand the MS student body jumping up and down and screaming all the time when opponents have the ball. I don't know who started this idiotic behavior, either them or Duke, but it is the most unprofessional, unsportsmanlike conduct in college sports and only reflects a lack of knowledge of the sport by the participants. Is it effective? Yes. Should the administration including the head coach discourage it? Yes! I'm sorry, but it does not reflect well upon the students or the institution. Student fans need a code of conduct!