Hoosiers Stumble, Season Ends In First Round Of NIT

  • Hoosiers Stumble, Season Ends In First Round Of NIT

Hoosiers Stumble, Season Ends In First Round Of NIT

IN has yet another tough rebuild on its hands after a disappointing finish to a disappointing season.

And in its wake, confidence unwavering, Tom Crean made it clear he believes he can fix his team. "Right now, the resolve has got to be, 'Ok, am I going to accept what I didn't do and am I going to do something about it?'"

Turnovers, defensive mistakes and an offense that struggled when 3-pointers wouldn't fall - all major factors during a winter of discontent, one which saw the Hoosiers fall from No. 3 in the country to a No. 3 seed in the NIT.

The third-seeded Hoosiers were bounced in the first round of the NIT with a 75-63 loss to sixth-seeded Georgia Tech at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, the contest a microcosm of issues that plagued the Hoosiers in their descent from a top-five team to an early exit in a secondary postseason tournament.

All-ACC freshman guard Josh Okogie led all scorers in the game with 24 points for the Jackets.

IN (18-16) was led by Juwan Morgan with 14 points and six rebounds. IN (18-16) committed 16 turnovers as a team, and the Hoosiers finished just 5-of-19 from behind the 3-point line.

"It's a big disappointment, but you can't really (dwell) on it, " Morgan said. "Our shooters didn't make enough shots". "Then we stand too much". But those wins - over Kansas and North Carolina - were the top of the mountain for IN this season. Truthfully, in those heady days, the Hoosiers looked like potential repeat Big Ten champions. Aside from a few runs that engaged a solid showing of IU fans in the arena, the Hoosiers weren't sharp nor did they play with the urgency necessary to win.

On Tuesday night, the Hoosiers turned the ball over on 22.9 percent of their possessions. In the second half alone, the hosts outscored IN 16-2 off turnovers. Who won this game for GT? "But I thought we showed a lot of resiliency throughout the year. We've got motivation going into next year". The crowd was loud. Pastner had his team play a zone much of the game and IN struggled with the match-up style that Georgia Tech employs. Or Glass could opt to extend Crean's contract for a couple of years.

On July 1, IU's coach will enter the last three years of his current contract.

"We've got to get better", Crean said.

The season ended with a thud for IU men's basketball.

"I'm not thinking about that right now, " Bryant said.

How his team might change in the coming months will obviously affect Crean's roster fixes.

Whatever decision is made, it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

First they need to take care of business in the opening round.

But, holding tight to the overall tenor of his postgame comments, IU's ninth-year coach expressed repeated confidence in a better future in year No. 10. "The team has to get better". The team, the players.

"Absolutely no reason to be as late defensively, coming off the ball and allowing them shots", Crean said. "Facts are facts. Our team wasn't as good. We've got to get better with our finishing". I've got to get better.