Champaign, Illinois – After Indiana lost to Florida overtime in early December, Archie Miller often talked about the team’s inability to loosen the ball. That was a legitimate concern for Miller and his staff. In theory, this is a simple principle. Press two hands and ten fingers together around the orange sphere.
But in the last 53 seconds of regulation on Florida, the Hoosiers didn’t make it look that simple. They allowed three aggressive rebounds in the meantime. Then, during overtime, Seminole pulled down five more aggressive boards, eventually drawing a two-point victory.
The following week, Miller said: “It was because I couldn’t get the ball throughout the game … I don’t know how many times I held the ball in my hand or hit it in my hand.” I don’t think of it or think of it. “
Fast-forwarding Saturday in Champaign, Illinois and Hoosiers are still struggling to come up with a play that Miller calls “hustle.” In many cases, the fiercely contested Big Ten game is determined by the moment the ball bounces in one direction, not in another.
Most of those plays ended with the ball in the arms of Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu.
“They stepped up and won,” Miller said after Indiana lost to 18 Illinois at 69-60. “The loose ball played that role.”
Relying on defense throughout the season, Indiana organized another clinic in the first half and was able to keep the deficit to just two points during breaks.
For the first 20 minutes, Illinois turned only 43% off the field and was held 2 of 10 behind the 3-point arc. The Star Center Coffey Cockburn was held with only 5 points.
Meanwhile, on the offensive side, Hoosiers was sputtering again. Trace Jackson Davis was 2/8 from the field. As a team, Indiana was shooting only 38 percent.
The games before and after continued in the second half. But it eventually gave way to all the free moments that Indiana couldn’t control.
The first notable opportunity was that Hoosiers went down 3 with less than 7 minutes remaining in the game.
After Dosunmu missed three points, the Indiana Wing Jerome Hunter got out of control of the rebound. It was enclosed by Illinois and ownership was reset.
Then, when the shot clock stopped, Dosunmu curled up to the top of the key. Indiana junior guard Rob Finize was locked in Dosunmu, weaving the ball vaguely between his feet. Finize then knocked out the ball from Dosunmu’s hand, retracting Dosunmu and scooping it off the floor.
Finize was angry with the hardwoods and reached for the ball just to scoop between Dosunmu’s legs. Dosunmu immediately turned his body to the basket and raised 3 in the last second. Finize stared from behind and hugged his head uncomfortable.
I broke the net.
6 points lead Illinois.
Miller parked at the scorer’s table with his hand on his head and a blank stare on his face.
“It’s a game of success and failure,” Miller said. “They made some. We didn’t.”
With Illinois’ next offensive possession, Illinois point guard Andrecrubero pushed the ball down to the middle of the floor. As he approached his right elbow, the ball was struck by the Tray Galloway, Indiana.
However, the ball drips onto the right wing, and Dosunmu happens to be standing defenseless. He skipped it from 3 again. It was pure again. The lead was extended to 9 to conclude the 14-0 Illinois scoring run.
“We are now able to get those 50-50 balls, and I think it will change the game for us,” said senior guard Alderlam. “Or some of the other possessions created by taking a second chance shot.”
However, Indiana returned to the game. Hoosiers had less than 2 minutes left, down just 5 points. Miller begged for protection from bystanders, shouted “one stop,” and pointed his index finger into the air. Indiana certainly held Illinois in its possession.
Durham pushed it in the transition and fired a pass at Armarn Franklin in the corner. Franklin then whipped the ball to Jackson-Davis posted in paint. However, Curbelo got the pass and pinballed it from the bottom of the backboard. It returned to Jackson-Davis, but he didn’t have enough reflexes to grab it.
You can guess what happened with your subsequent possession. It led to another wide open look of Dosunmu from the right wing. It was another manufacturer. It turned it into an 8-point game and essentially sealed the victory in Illinois.
“I think we need to take it to another level in terms of getting rid of the three or four plays we can control,” Miller said.
It’s unfair to say that these plays are the only reason for losing Indiana. Hoosiers suffered a more scoring drought and ended up with a 40% clip shot from the field. They easily outbound at 12. They have shown that they cannot finish the game this season.
It was also far from the Indiana team that appeared against Northwestern. There was a strong reaction every time Indiana showed signs of struggle. Unfortunately, Big Ten has no moral victory. The fact of the problem is that IU is 0-2 at the meeting.
But Saturday also proved that sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce off your path.
Otherwise, it may land in the potential All-American arm.
(Photo provider: Illinois Athletics)
– NBA Sports
Stupid plays and free moments define Indiana defeated by Illinois-inside the hall
https://www.insidethehall.com/2020/12/27/scrappy-plays-and-free-for-all-moments-define-indiana-in-loss-to-illinois/ Stupid plays and free moments define Indiana defeated by Illinois-inside the hall