The honeymoon phase of the Mike Woodson era ended on Sunday.
It was all rumored to be sun and lollipop for the first-year head coach until he started to lose. Woodson now has three losses in his tenure, and he’s starting to raise questions – not about the state of the program as a whole – but certainly what we have here with the 2021-22 edition of basketball. -ball IU.
Let’s take a closer look at how the Hoosiers lost 61-58 to the Nittany Lions with another edition of The Report Card.
IU (10-3, 1-2) will return home for a Thursday night showdown against Ohio State. This game ends at 7:00 PM EST at the Simon Skjodt Meeting Room in Bloomington.
The Penn State defense set the rules. While they needed to get out and run into this one, IU didn’t. For the most part, the game was a slow, methodical affair, focused on half the court, and a Nittany Lion area helped to ensure it.
Indiana struggled to recognize how to attack the area, and once they did, couldn’t reverse shots from long range.
“We were frozen like we were in quicksand the first two to three minutes like we had never seen you know a 2-3 zone early,” said Woodson. “But once we started cutting and moving, we got the ball moving and we couldn’t shoot any more.”
The Hoosiers scored just 4 of 17 3-pointers that day, their second worst game of the season in the back arc and the worst since Game 1. Top shooters Parker Stewart and Miller Kopp got just four combined attempts, not enough volume as Penn State clung to it and forced them off the line. The technical staff will have to find more actions that force the defenses to choose between doubling the post or leaving Kopp and Stewart.
Indiana has made just six turnovers for the game, a season-low, but that’s not a number to get too excited about. Penn State doesn’t play defensively and as a result they have had a lot of experience this season not forcing turnovers. It goes to show that ball safety alone is not a panacea for these Hoosiers.
Instead, the Nittany Lions got him wrapped up, whether it was in the playing area or in the man, they didn’t foul or allow a lot of offensive rebounds. It was a game plan likely borrowed from Wisconsin’s approach in the second half.
When the ball entered the paint, the PSU collapsed, leading to an ineffective day for Trayce Jackson-Davis and a 4 of 11 shooting day for pointers Xavier Johnson and 2 point pointers Rob Phinisee . Indiana’s 43.1 percent effective field goal percentage was their second worst effort of the season.
Down three in final possession, Indiana still had Jackson-Davis and Thompson on the ground rather than their best 3-pointers.
Penn State used big man John Harrar as a filter at the top of the wrench for most of the game, and Woodson was not at all happy with the way his team handled those actions.
“We just weren’t good at our pick-and-roll coverage,” said Woodson. “It was terrible.”
It’s hard to know exactly what was wrong with the covers as they are often game plan specific, but on several occasions two players ended up on the ball, the big ones moved on to guards and the screen. was often lost in turmoil.
He contributed an 11 of 22 3-point shot from Penn State, a team that came into the game without being particularly effective at depth. It was the second-most threes an opponent has made this year against IU, and the highest conversion rate of over 10 percentage points. Another factor – the Hoosiers were giving shooters too much space.
“It’s the first time that a team has come away from us shooting the ball three-way and I just thought our ability to touch someone to start the game wasn’t there,” said Woodson.
Indiana was passed by 10 in the game, and 11 Penn State offensive boards played a key role. Although they did not score, on a possession late in the second half, the Nittany Lions managed four offensive rebounds. At the very least, it could have helped to use UI.
“I thought in that three-two-three-minute period we couldn’t even bounce the ball, you know, and that’s something you know when you’re in a close game like this, you have to find it, ”Woodson said.
Although they allowed just 61 points, IU allowed 1.03 points per possession, the third largest this season behind games at Marshall and Syracuse. Penn State’s offensive rebound rate was the second highest allowed by the Hoosiers this season.
OTHER GAME COVERS
Trayce Jackson-Davis (C) It was an ineffective game. Although Jackson-Davis topped Indiana with 20 points, it took him 18 shots to get there on an 8 of 18 shooting night. He also contributed just five rebounds in 34 minutes and missed. key shots in the critical time.
Race Thompson (C +) He was retired on the perimeter defensively where the clashes weren’t great, and given the perimeter offensively. Thompson’s effort was solid, however, with a 10-rebound team.
Miller Kopp (D +) Kopp gives a high level effort, but the results aren’t great due to a fairly limited attacking repertoire and poor defensive skills. He just doesn’t have a big enough impact on attacking games, and his defense is a handicap at times.
Parker Stewart (D) Stewart struggled to keep the perimeter the entire game and continued to show that if he was forced to beat teams out of dribbling he is much less of an offensive weapon. No Big Ten trainer will miss this scout from now on.
Xavier Johnson (C) Johnson had four assists against a single turnover and was clear in the second half. But its ineffectiveness on the offensive plan is becoming a major concern. Johnson has only made 17 of 52 overall (32.7%) and 4 of 16 of three (25%) in the last six games.
Tamar Bates (D) Indiana really needs a dynamic wing playmaker, but so far Bates hasn’t been able to take on that role. He looks in a hurry. Give it the benefit of the doubt after a month of roller coasters off the court.
Jordan Geronimo (B-) Minutes are hard to come by with Geronimo the best-placed four behind Thompson, but he yielded a solid few minutes with a few midrange buckets, solid defense and another solid rebound effort. He forced a shooting early three clock.
Rob Phinisee (B-) He got off to a rocky start, but in the end it was a third consecutive performance with some positives to build on for the senior keeper. He made 3 of 4 shots in the second half to keep IU close to the stretch. Phinisee has done five of her last nine of three.
Antoine Leal and Michael durr briefly appeared in the game.
Khristian lander did not play.
Trey Galloway had come out with a wrist injury. Logan Duncomb was not in uniform and was wearing a boot.
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