Upon Further Review - Michigan State

HoosierNation.com takes a look back at Indiana's 66-58 loss at Michigan State. We name the Hoosiers' game MVP, look at what were some of the most concerning, impressive and surprising things to come out of the game and hear what the coaches had to say afterwards...

Hoosier MVP - Armon Bassett. Indiana couldn't have asked for much more from the freshman from Terre Haute, Ind. Bassett scored a career-high 25 points and 7-of-12 shooting and added five assists. He was one of only two Hoosiers in double figures (A.J. Ratliff – 10), and spearheaded an IU offense that relied almost exclusively on its ability to score from the perimeter. Once Earl Calloway returns from his shoulder injury – presumably this week – Bassett will slide back over to the two-guard spot, but his recent play suggests the Hoosiers will have a more-than-capable point guard next season once Calloway graduates.

Biggest Surprise… IU's second half meltdown. Indiana hasn't been blown out by anyone this season according to the final score on the scoreboard, but the Spartans dismantled the Hoosiers in the second half. Michigan State shot 68.8 percent from the floor after intermission and earned 25 trips to the free-throw line as well. Indiana, meanwhile, turned the ball over 11 times in the second half and saw their double-digit lead vanish in a matter of minutes. From the 15:35 mark of the second half to the 3:47 mark, Michigan State outscored the Hoosiers 28-7 to turn an 11-point IU lead into a 10-point cushion of their own. During that stretch, Michigan State scored on a staggering 13 of 16 possessions, included eight straight at one point. Indiana, meanwhile, had seven turnovers during that same 12-minute time span and scored on only four of its 15 possessions.

What I Found Most Impressive… Other than Bassett's performance, there wasn't a great deal to point to as a positive if you're an IU fan. But it did appear Lance Stemler might be getting close to getting himself untracked. Stemler finished with seven points and six rebounds - including five on the offensive end – while playing 31 minutes. He hit a 3-pointer early in the second half that gave IU a 39-28 lead, a shot that ended a streak of 16 straight misses from behind the arc for Stemler dating back to the Jan. 27 Michigan game. He still appears hesitant to pull the trigger, as he didn't attempt any shots in the final 15:35 of Saturday's loss. But for the first time in a while there was reason to believe the junior college transfer might be on the brink of breaking out of his month-long funk and providing a big lift down the stretch.

What I Found Most Concerning… One field goal for D.J. White in 37 minutes. Some of White's up-and-down performances have been a result of foul trouble and smothering opposing defenses, but Saturday he had problems dealing with the length of Spartan big man Drew Naymick. Naymick won't be confused for Greg Oden, but the 6-10 kept White from getting clean looks at the basket, and stuffed White on a couple of occasions when the Hoosier forward pulled down offensive rebounds and tried to go back up for putbacks. It wasn't all bad for White as he did earn 12 trips to the free-throw line and also added a team-high 10 rebounds, which marked the first time he'd reached double figures in rebounds since the Jan. 16 Iowa game. But for Indiana to be a factor in the Big Ten Tournament and to have a chance to advance out of the first week of NCAA tourney play, White needs to be a consistent source of points on the low block.

Turning Point: Raymar Morgan scored six points to spearhead a 14-0 Michigan State run that turned an 11-point deficit into a three-point Spartan lead, 42-39, with 9:34 remaining. Indiana turned the ball over six times during the run to facilitate the Spartan charge, and the Hoosiers would never recapture the lead.

Quotable: "I just thought that we were the aggressor in the first half. We forced 14 turnovers. We didn't shoot a particularly high percentage and I think we missed three point-blank layups in the first half, but I really thought our kids competed. They came out and really got after Michigan State. In the second half, we knew we had to withstand the first four minutes, and we did, but after that, the guards have to take care of the ball in this game. It's a guard's game.." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.

"I will tell you right now, that was not the prettiest game in America but it was one of the gutsiest efforts, by both teams.." – MSU Coach Tom Izzo

"This (Indiana) team is tough, and they played hard. But it was a gutsy effort by us as you probably could see. Drew Neitzel is sicker than a dog and he just battled through it, and Drew Naymick, those were two of the guys who came down with the flu last night. I didn't know how long Drew Neitzel was going to be able to go, so I did him a favor--I rested him a minute. Otherwise, I would have played him all forty minutes.." – MSU Coach Tom Izzo.

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