Well… that stinks. Indiana doesn’t just like torturing me. It loves building my confidence in the Hoosiers up for 3 months only to swiftly let me down in the most violently painful losing streaks imaginable. We are in an utter free fall. Mike Woodson’s trying to pull a parachute but someone seems to have swapped his chute with a block of lead.
I don’t blame Mike Woodson entirely, these aren’t his guys. The stink from Archie Miller still persists through the hallowed Assembly Hall. That stink has created a culture of absolutely folding down the stretch of the season. Archie could not get this team up to compete in February and a lot of these guys are his hangovers in the program, so you have a bunch of Archie’s recruits on the team who are used to this backslide and almost conditioned to expect it. So I do not blame Mike Woodson for this one.
But 5 games?!!!! 5 GAMES!!!! What an absolute burner of a losing streak. This game seemed primed to be the one to get back on track for the Indiana Hoosiers, alas, it was not. After a hard fought 4 quarters, the Hoosiers absolutely folded in overtime leading to the Ohio State victory 80-69. What a huge game from Ohio State freshman Malaki Branham. Malaki dropped 27 points while also tallying 5 rebounds and 3 assists. That’s a stellar collegiate performance if I’ve ever seen one.
Indiana was down a few guys and absolutely could have used them. Rob Phinisee, Khristian Lander, and Trey Galloway were all out due to various differing injuries. Meaning Xavier Johnson would have to carry the team through this one. Unfortunately, he committed 5 turnovers in that first half. This is all a recipe for a long beat down heading your way. This wasn’t the case though.
With all these factors building into a potentially DEVASTATING recipe on the court, the Hoosiers fought hard. The game was far more respectable than I had initially thought it was going to be. It’s been bad though, and very rapidly leading to the inevitable disappointing end to this season. I want to hold out hope, I truly do. I just don’t see this team as is shaking this funk. Which stinks, I loved this team heading into the season. Indiana fans owe the world to Trayce Jackson-Davis for coming back to play this year. New coach, definitely wouldn’t had been blamed for leaving. He is at least providing us with someone to watch and key on to make our heartbreaking losses just a hair less damaging.
What does this heartbreaking overtime loss mean for Indiana? Unfortunately, I believe the nails have been placed and the coffin lowered into the ground. We are all but waiting for the dirt to be poured over our graves. That dirt will come in the form of any Big Ten Tournament loss, because now I think this may be our only shot at punching Indiana’s ticket to the Big Dance.