What did you think was going to happen?
Indiana got waxed 78-59 today in Columbus by a top five Ohio State team. That’s the way it goes in the Big 10. The better team, and the Buckeyes were obviously the better team, won today. If Indiana and Ohio State played in Columbus 10 times, Ohio State would win 10 times.
It’s true that Indiana caused itself a great deal of distress with so many of the same issue that have corrupted its ability to take a meaningful step forward in Archie Miller‘s fourth season, but even if they hit every free throw and cut turnovers to single digits, they likely lose by five or six.
A game after Indiana got off to a weak 21-7 start at Northwestern, they limped to a 21-6 deficit during the first nine-plus minutes of this game. Unfortunately, Ohio State is just a tad better than Northwestern, and Indiana would make only a cosmetic run at the lead as the game plowed forward toward its inevitably negative conclusion.
With 14:15 remaining, a Trayce Jackson-Davis dunk cut the Ohio State lead to five at 45-40. The Buckeyes subsequent 22-4 run ended all doubt as to who the victor would be this afternoon. That stretch was representative of Indiana’s play with four turnovers leading to eight points, three Ohio State Offensive rebounds that lead to six points, and a technical by Jerome Hunter that led to one point.
Self-inflicted wounds for the Hoosiers included:
- 15 turnovers
- 12 offensive rebounds allowed
- 10 free throws (out of 22) missed
Toward the end of ESPN’s broadcast, analyst Jay Bilas began hedging his bets as to IU’s potential as an NCAA Tournament team, but who wouldn’t after watching the Hoosiers sleepwalk at 80% effort for the majority of the game. Several times in the first half, Bilas said, “Indiana IS a tournament team.” Late in the game, that wild optimism evolved into a safer, “I think Indiana is a tournament team.”
Discussions continue about why Indiana exists in this state of perpetual mediocrity, but today’s result was appropriate given the Buckeyes effort and execution, and IU’s lack thereof.
Indiana remains bubble-ridden with Minnesota and Michigan State visiting Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. If they win both, Indiana’s record jumps to a respectable 13-9. A loss to either would mean the Hoosiers would likely need a victory against Michigan or Purdue to validate Bilas’s confidence.
In the meantime, IU fans hope the switch goes on for a group that appears content to play a game rather than compete in a quest for excellence.
Same old ! ! ! Unforced turnovers ,Horrific shooting ,Soft defense, Unfocused at the start of game . Durham ,Franklin ,Phinnese MIA . OSU is a great team and they play together and are well coached . They could easily win the Big 10 . It will take a miracle for I.U. to make the tournament at this point considering their schedule and their unpredictable play .
Kent, believe it or not, I can’t really come up with counterpoint to your article. IU was “out gunned”, period.
However, this result was not unexpected. I think that “The” OSU is a top 5 team, and IU is not anywhere close to that level of play. That is about all that can be said.
Now, comes the search for the guilty and Archie seems to be seated on top of the list. The puzzling thing to me is the fact that I believe that IU is not seen as “THE” place to play basketball in the NCAA. During Knight’s tenure, he was able to represent a recruiting force within the “tri-state” area. All of his recruits were not necessarily 5-star McDonald’s All-Americans. They were solid, over-achieving players who could play within his system. Over the last 20 years or so, we have lost that recruiting prowess despite millions of dollars spent by the IU Athletic Department to revitalized Assembly Hall and the basketball facilities.
The “blame” does not solely lie with Archie. These issues began years ago, even before the firing of Coach Knight. Think about the real history of IU basketball dating back to around 1996 or so. That will lead you to the real guilty parties spanning Knight, Miles Brand, Davis, Sampson, Dakich, Crean. Looking at this sordid history, if you were a very highly-rated high school player considering a college career, would you really want to “roll the dice” and select IU? There are certainly exceptions, but the cream of the crop are going to the likes of Duke, Kentucky, and Villanova. Even Purdue is out recruiting IU.
If the IU Nation “Blamers” are looking to Miller as the answer, stop and look at IU’s history, the real blame lies there.