Let’s not make it 6 and maybe win a game in February. Indiana Hoosiers vs. Maryland pregame thoughts

Alright. Here we go. Fifth times the charm Hoosier Nation! This will be the fifth opportunity the Hoosiers to stop the bleeding and save our season. We need a win here. I feel dumb for having even typed that. No duh!!! Our season is currently a five alarm fire and unless we win today… I’m afraid we are out of the tournament for sure. And I know it’s gotta be bad because I may be the most hopelessly optimistic Hoosier fan there is on Earth.

Just so you have an idea of where we are currently sitting in the eyes of the nation…

The Hoosiers are reaching a point where every game is heartbreaking, but the particular form of heartbreak varies. At Ohio State, a short-handed IU team, missing Rob PhiniseeTrey Galloway and Khristian Lander, rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit and even built a four-point lead. It was an inspired performance from a team that had previously looked fearful. But Indiana was held scoreless over the last 2:47 in regulation and lost 80-69 in overtime. That makes five losses in a row, and the Hoosiers have dropped to “last four in” status.

John Gasaway, ESPN

Unfortunately, looks like any more losses, especially a loss to Maryland at home, would be the final nail in the coffin. We haven’t been able to close out a game all month. It’s pretty mind blowing! The worst possible evidence of this was definitely the end of regulation for that Ohio State game. How are you supposed to win anything when you can’t score a single bucket in the last 3 minutes of the game! 1 bucket, 1 FREE THROW EVEN!!!! Would have secured the Hoosiers an essential win in Columbus against the Buckeyes. But alas, the Hoosiers couldn’t score a single point.

Watching Indiana Hoosier basketball this month has been absolutely gut wrenching. Just watching a game is a stress inducer I haven’t felt since each and every game was the biggest deal ever back when Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo were preseason #1. Which I think means I had such high hopes for this Indiana Hoosiers squad this year. Who wouldn’t have those hopes with the unexpected success we had towards the beginning of the year. Trayce Jackson-Davis staying really set the tone for this team to start the season.

All of this program momentum seems to have been spent and entirely stomped out by this 5 game losing streak. It’s been a true return to form. Unfortunately that form is the same program that falls in February. That being said, I believe that once Mike Woodson gets his guys in there, we will get the program back on track. So I wasn’t expecting anything this year really.

So going into this Maryland game today. I am going to still give Mike Woodson the benefit of the doubt. Its been 3/4 of a season, not time to totally freak out just yet. Once he has the guys he recruited specifically for his system, then we can judge him.

As always… Go IU FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!

Shout out Jeff Howard

Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio State Buckeyes PREVIEW BLOG

Game tips off at 7:00 ET today. Indiana has the all-time advantage on Ohio State 109-87. Their previous matchup this season resulted in a 67-51 Indiana victory fueled by a MONSTER performance from Trayce Jackson-Davs (27 points, 12 rebounds). Indiana’s relentless defense was able to force 15 total turnovers from the Buckeyes.

Ohio State will be hosting their 4th home game in a row. While that is usually a cause for relaxation and a bit of an ease in the schedule, Ohio State will have hosted these 4 games over the course of 8 days. Quite a busy schedule. Whereas Indiana University has had 6 days to prep and rest for the Buckeyes Monday night. Ohio State will be looking to win a game following them being taken to the woodshed in that last game, losing by 16 and being held under 60. Indiana Hoosiers will be coming off a slide of epic proportions looking to salvage anything they can before we just call the season a wrap. Big stakes here.

I’m really hoping that the Buckeyes 30% shooting from the floor (Absolutely pathetic at home) spills over into this one. Both teams really have one player that the offense revolves around. You all know Indiana’s guy!!!

TJD!!!

In order to shut down the Ohio State offense, E.J. Liddell will need to be slowed down. I say slowed down because I don’t believe he can be stopped outright. Currently averaging 19.7 ppg Liddell has been the catalyst for Ohio State’s offense.

Indiana must play through Trayce. The Hoosiers just aren’t scoring from beyond the arc this season, and unless a significant amount of change has taken place in 6 days, I don’t see us scoring much on a defense that is solid on the perimeter. The Hoosiers can not, CAN NOT, miss layups today. Indiana has left points on the table at every possible chance this year it seems. This must be eliminated from our program.

This game looks to be a low scoring bout. I’m always hopelessly optimistic, but after that lost last week I don’t know if I really expect Indiana to win. Ohio State will be a tough matchup across the board. When a game is poised to be so low scoring, we must make free throws and layups. Doing that will easily limit the Hoosiers from beating themselves and fixing the trajectory they are currently on.

PREDICTION:

While the game is currently projected to end in a 72-66 Ohio State victory (kenpom.com), I believe that the Hoosiers will pull this one out. I can’t see Ohio State having enough time to prepare for this one as the Hoosiers did. Their limited turn around time will have them really only having addressed TJD and focus on him. If Indiana’s supporting players want their time to shine and have a memorable performance this is it. I’m looking for TJD to administrate the offense and have a big assist total in a 64-57 Indiana Hoosier victory.

Michigan Head Coach Juwan Howard Has to Be Out At Michigan After Punching Wisconsin’s coach!

Here are his words after this event.

Juwan Howard throwing blows!!! So… Michigan is an absolute clown show. I can’t imagine having witnessed this from my head coach. What an absolute joke Juwan Howard is for this one.

sucker punched by a sucker.

First on the blow itself. You can really tell when a coach is on the hot seat. Especially one that has only really seen tremendous success as a player. How many times do schools need to learn… **Cough MEMPHIS COUGH COUGH** Just because someone found success as a player means they’ll be a good suit to head your program. In fact, I would argue that their conditioned acceptance of success and accolades makes them the last person you want at the helm to fix a losing situation. Juwan Howard has now trumped Penny Hardaway for worst of this category of coach.

What grown man with a family, a comfortable life, and really anything to lose throws a punch? Soooo childish. You can’t be doing that in real life. What could honestly possess someone to do it on national television? I can’t even comprehend his logic here.

Also, I’m not saying he’s an absolute punk for throwing a sucker punch in the middle of a scrum like that, but… HE’S AN ABSOLUTE PUNK FOR THROWING A SUCKER PUNCH IN THE MIDDLE OF A SCRUM LIKE THAT!!! And yes, it was to his face but it was a complete sucker punch. We see scrums like this start to break out in sports everyday. Hot heads competing at the highest levels have to let it out sometimes. The difference is its almost understood ya belly up and bark like a dog then everyone breaks it up. Going to blows is totally bananas.

I thought Juwan Howard was a garbage coach. But this game told me he’s a garbage human. Watch that post game interview and tell me he isn’t. How’s he going to get up there and be such a jackass? Pretty much defending his actions, DEFENDING ASSAULT. Him not understanding how major it is apparent. I would imagine anyone who held that position and did that would immediately have their life flash before their eyes, because they would be afraid of losing EVERYTHING. But not Juwan, he’s going to take a mic, and get annoyed at you for asking, in honestly the kindest way possible to him, about the incident. Show a little awareness Juwan.

I honestly wonder how he’s handling it right now… did he sleep soundly last night? Because, if that is the case, I think I can play keyboard psychologist and diagnose him as a full blown sociopath. Michigan’s entire basketball program is on fire. At this point, he’s got to be out right? Michigan is bringing in top recruits but what does outbursts like this do to that. Will guys be fired up to play for a coach willing to throw blows for them. Or, and the more likely outcome, it deters recruits and certainly their parents from entrusting him with the recruits.

All in all. It’s a bad day to be Juwan Howard, even if he doesn’t know it. May be an even worse day to be a Michigan fan. This moment will be cataloged in the story of Michigan basketball. Whether it was the catalyst for Howard’s departure, or a footnote in his success years from now. I’m willing to bet he’s out though.

A true “Michigan man”.

-Burke

What’s it going to take to get into the Big Dance for Indiana?

Throughout this post will be quotes by Jerry Palm CBS sports bracketologist…

“It’s not over yet,” Palm said of IU’s tournament chances. “(When) people say that (IU won’t make it), what they’re not saying is — if they keep playing the way they are, there’s no chance of them making the tournament.””They look like they don’t know what they’re doing on defense. They have one, maybe two weapons on offense. … If they keep playing like that, they have no shot.”

Akeem Glispie, indystar.com

Now this quote is pulled prior to Indiana losing to Wisconsin. Unfortunately, that game… they still looked like absolute crap. Not getting anything done at the line and leaving every point possible on the table. It’s been a painful, painful February for any Hoosier fan. An all-too-familiar feeling that I for one, am absolutely sick of.

The Indiana Hoosiers are hot doo doo right now. And unfortunately, I don’t see us getting in with anything shy of a Big Ten Tournament Championship. It’s absolutely insane how this is all happening again. After Archie Miller already killed us with these year after year. Life as a Hoosier fan is the sweetest pain.

I’m really hoping that even a decent tournament run will get us in the field. We will also have to go ahead and win out. Even so, I have a feeling that the championship is our only ticket. To elaborate on this Akeem Glispie quoted Palm saying..

“They’re not even going to get a sniff if they’re not four games above .500,” Palm said. “Historically the committee has only taken one team in 25 years below that. And that team played the most ridiculous schedule ever.”

Akeem Glispie, indystar.com

Indiana is currently 7-8 in conference play. With some alarmingly bad losses. Such as the Northwestern loss or the Michigan whomping at home. So if Palm is to be believed, following that Wisconsin loss Indiana’s fate may be all but written.

Going into this Ohio State game on Monday. We would need to come out and beat the heck out of them. I mean really put it on them, and the rest of our opponents if we are to even stand a chance. There’s always hope. The one thing Indiana has going for them is the money and viewership that follows them. I know it’s corrupt and broke but I will take each advantage that I can get with the sorrowful situation we find ourselves in. We’ll let’s buckle up for a wild ride to the end, because as is the case with any other Indiana Hoosiers season in recent years, it may be a tough one.

On the brightside, I am excited to see Mike Woodson get the guys hes been recruiting. Guys he can see thriving in Indiana. We gotta give the man a chance to field a team of HIS players before we can pass judgment on how Mike Woodson’s been coaching this season. I imagine he’s going out and finding guys that fit his system and not just the top dogs. I love it and I will still go to the mat for Coach Mike.

Indiana loses a Heartbreaker to Wisconsin. There goes the Big Dance…

Going into this game. Mike Woodson had to be feeling some pressure. I mean these aren’t trul HIS guys. By that I just mean he didn’t really recruit anyone other than our transfers and I will add keeping Trayce Jackson-Davis to that, because as far as I’m concerned he had to recruit him to IU from the NBA draft. Even though these aren’t really HIS guys Mike Woodson came into this game seeking to keep this year from looking straight out of the Archie Miller era. Get everyone’s hopes up in December. Play like crap and tank any shot at the tournament come February. Mike Woodson needed this win to prove to Hoosier Nation and the Indiana boosters that he is going to be changing this program right out of the gate. And what did we just witness…

Not. That.

Devastating. Absolutely devastating. Last night, Wisconsin beat Indiana 72-69. In what was a dramatic game coming down right to the last minute. Indiana got beat in the Holy Cathedral of Basketball that is Assembly Hall. At one point in this game Indiana missed 8 of 13 layups. That with any missed free throws is unacceptable. Indiana seems to leave points on the table as often as a team can sometimes.

What a heartbreaking turn of events. This season looks poised to end just like the last few seasons. In disappointment. God forbid they hole the NCAA tournament in the middle of the season. If that were the case we’d be March Madness mainstays. Our first half of the season and the second always look like it would have to be two entirely different teams playing them.

The annual tailspin is full speed ahead right now, and you know what really sucks… It doesn’t even bother me like it used to. This Indiana team has gotten me used to getting my hopes up only to fall. I’m basically a master at coping following losses like this at this point. So sad.

I mean Indiana has dropped the ball so often that coping with this exact situation is almost learned behavior at this point. I don’t see anyway Indiana turns this around and gets a bid in the tournament barring a miraculous run in the Big Ten Tournament.

This post was far less a recap of the game and more so a rant on the state of Indiana Basketball so I apologize.

-Burke

Indiana loses to Michigan State 61-76. And let’s not panic just yet!

Game started at 60 mph. The funny thing about Big Ten games is score rarely reflects the speed and intensity of the game because Big Ten teams actually play defense.

Going into this game, the Hoosiers needed to stop from spiraling and correct their season before it gets to a point of no return. A win against Michigan State in East Lansing would go a crazy long way in doing just that.

While that final score is not what we were looking for I will say over the course of the game Indiana showed a lot of grit over the “Coarse” of that game! (Yes! Still got it!)

While I would normally argue that a defeat of this magnitude would be red button pushing time, but not here. This loss wasn’t as bad as the score would have you believe.

The Hoosiers played better than that score would have you think. I don’t trash any of the Hoosiers after that hard fight. They were fighting the whole 40 minutes. Mike Woodson is trying to create an identity here in a program that loves its historical identity. But thats just it. It’s a historical identity. We need to invest and emphasize in our present as much as our past if we want to get back to greatness and Woodson’s take no shit, Bobby Knight Light attitude is going to forge an identity here. We need to give it some time. Rome wasn’t built in a day folks.

There was an edge to this game even with a score like that that makes me think will be seeing some battles between Mike Woodson and Michigan State. He was a man on fire and it really seems like he has a disdain for Michigan State and the Spartan basketball program. Excited to see what storyline could come from an organic Michigan State-Indiana rivalry. I’m here for it.

Well, on to Wisconsin!

Indiana vs. Michigan State preview blog

At Michigan State

3:30 on Fox

All-Time Record: IU leads 71-57

Michigan State is currently sitting at fifth in the Big Ten while Indiana University is sitting in eighth place.

Indiana looks like it has begun what is now becoming an annual tradition in Bloomington, the Third Act Slide. It’s what the recent history of Indiana basketball has been plagued by. We show shines of progress and even step up in some big games from time to time. But come February, Indiana has quit in previous seasons.

On the heels of in house suspensions for what is basically half of the scholarship players, Indiana finds itself at a crossroads. With one road leading towards an all too familiar destination in recent years, the outside looking in come March Madness. The other road, a ticket to the Big Dance. Indiana needs to right the ship asap or this could get even more out of hand than it has been.

While Archie Miller was leading the Indiana Hoosiers, Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans went 4-3 against Indiana. This stat kind of woke me up to the state of Michigan State basketball. If you only went 4-3 against us at our Archie Miller-est, you don’t deserve to be on the same court with us at our Mike Woodson-est. This little stat makes me just reflect on Tom Izzo and Michigan State. The luster has wore of Michigan State if you ask me. If their not careful they could easily find themselves falling into the drought that Indiana has found themselves in decades passed. Only difference is somehow this one wouldn’t be preceded by recruiting violations, thanks SAMPSON!

While Michigan State has been playing some great ball, they just aren’t the same. Indiana as a program has been on the up since Mike Woodson has taken over and this is a game that he must win in order to keep that being the case and stopping this spiral before it can really start. And I mean really start SPIRALING like the way our last few seasons have spiraled. As a must win. Indiana fans have to feel good following this release by Indiana University:

Indiana University men’s basketball coach Mike Woodson has announced that the five players disciplined on Tuesday against Northwestern will be available to play on Saturday at Michigan State.

Freshman Tamar Bates, Sr./Jr. Michael Durr, Sr./Jr. Xavier Johnson, So./Fr. Khristian Lander and Sr./Jr. Parker Stewart did not play against the Wildcats.

“It’s important that all team rules are followed and a curfew applies to everyone in our program for a reason,” said Woodson. “It will be my decision to determine what role each one will have moving forward.”

Thank God! We were down half our team and probably about 2/3 of our minute takers against Northwestern. Now we get to see if this self imposed suspension was for the best. I’m hoping those players did some really dumb, dumb, childish stuff. So they come out looking to prove themselves and absolutely show out to make up for it. I have a feeling we the Indiana Hoosiers are going to go into Michigan State and beat them handedly. That’s also just my irresponsibly optimistic fandom.

A win at Michigan State would be a huge tournament resume builder for the Hoosiers. We can definitely use more of those. Our best win comes at home against Purdue. But, an away win at Michigan State is no cake walk. The tournament committee knows this, I just hope they also know that our terrible, terrible, loss last game at Northwestern was a little less awful with our self-imposed suspensions.

Let’s go HOOSIERS!!!!

-Burke

Down 5 players, Indiana loses to Northwestern, recap

FINAL: INDIANA 51, NORTHWESTERN 59

WOOF! That was brutal… What a terrible, terrible loss for Indiana. The Indiana Hoosiers need to get it together right away. This loss is an undeniable blemish on the tournament resume for the Indiana Hoosiers. Northwestern is not a loss that can be easily discredited for Northwestern’s stifling home court advantage. I mean just look at that fan support at their football games. Indiana’s shooting was absolutely terrible, the front court was no where to be seen, and Miller Kopp couldn’t buy a bucket to save his life!

In regards to that front court, Trayce Jackson-Davis got his double double. It is sad when you learn that it was on 4 of 14 shooting. TJD played 39 minutes for the Hoosiers, absolutely monster load for Indiana’s star player. The front court really had to manage the load with most of them active, it just so happened they failed to do so.

In a game where the Indiana Hoosiers were already DOWN WITH SELF IMPOSED SUSPENSIONS, we decided to add onto our own stresses with foul trouble. How bad was it? Galloway got his 4th foul, and we had to play him. Because he was 1 of 2 scholarship guards available to go. So ridiculous.

Photo Credit: Sylvan Lane

Now discussing those suspensions a bit…

Listening to Don Fischer before the game, we had heard Indiana would be shorthanded. Then I saw this.

We didn’t know to which extent! 5 Guys! 5 Guys! We got self righteous and suspended 5 guys. The details involving the 5 players suspensions needs to come to light because if this was an attempt to self police and handle something internally, silently, this had the adverse effect because why couldn’t it be said what rules were broken! the public demands answers! If its the weed and Woodson suspended them their are two HUGE dipshits in this story. Mike Woodson for caring about 18 and 19 year old kids tokin’ up a bit and Michael Durr. Michael Durr, being a 5th year transfer needs to know better. Losers all around and I just want to know what happened!?! Give us the details!

The tournament committee could look at this game and rationally think, they self imposed a suspension on 5 players so were 1 away from not having half their scholarship players. So hopefully that is a plus… hopefully.

Onto Michigan State.

-Burke

Illinois came to Assembly Hall (Indiana Hoosiers Post game blog 2/5/22)

It’s gotta be painful to post these post game tweets. But it must be done. You post a dub you post a L.

The energy at Indiana was absolutely off the charts coming into this game today. You could tell excitement resonated throughout Assembly Hall. When Assembly Hall is getting rowdy, I’d argue (yes largely as an Indiana University Alumnus) they have the greatest home court advantage in the nation. The Cameron Crazies can shut the hell up if they think they can hold a candle to Indiana.

“Oh yeah Burke but what about Duke’s acoustics in that arena?”

Shut the hell up you DWEEB!!!

Acoustics don’t mean shit when sandwiched between two tsunamis of screaming lunatics that make up the east and west sides of Assembly Hall!

All this being said, while the energy was apparent, Trayce Jackson-Davis severely limited his early minutes by committing his second foul within the first 5 minutes of the game starting. This meant Michael Durr had to eat some major minutes against Kofi Cockburn, a National Player of the Year candidate. “This might be the MICHAEL DURR game” was called and I was all for it.

The first half was an absolute bout with each team throwing a return punch on each possession. Damn it though, if Race had splashed down with that last second 3 to end the first half that’d a sent Assembly Hall into a frenzy. Championship teams make that shot.

That being said. The second half illinois was just able to come out swinging and we just went out to the forest and laid down, Needless to say the second half went very differently from the first. Lost a couple units on the outcome of this one. Apparently hooking isn’t all in all illegal for Illinois I guess. In all reality, we let them dominate the pace and let them get the ball to Kofi.

Not the scene today…

Illinois looked good today. Look like the team I thought they were going to be all along.

Just some of my random thoughts through this… and please know when it comes to my favorite teams I’m hopelessly and painfully optimistic. I’ll be the first to admit this.

Xavier Johnson, has quickly become one of my favorite Indiana players in recent memory. I can’t really remember someone who transferred into our program and had such an immediate impact on the programs success and honestly my confidence in it.

Mike Woodson has created a perfect storm for me to buy into this program’s future and what he can do in Bloomington.

So apparent throughout this season is Mike Woodson’s undeniable ability to have guys buy in. Whatever he’s selling his guys their all buying, and the program is so much better for it.

Onto Northwestern! IU is consistently on the cusp of the top 25. I’d like to see us make the jump into it prior to the dance.

-Burke

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