Here's the box score. In light of the adversity caused by the coaching change, this team seems intent on giving up on the season. If the Hoosiers keep playing like this, Sunday's loss at Penn State will have been the last weekend game of the year. I don't see any reason to believe that IU is capable of beating Minnesota or Northwestern for a third time or that IU can beat a #11 seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Since Kelvin Sampson was ousted, IU has managed too-close wins against Northwestern and Ohio State, a humiliating blowout loss at Michigan State, a Senior Night home win against Minnesota (a game that was even until the 8 minute mark), and the season's new low, IU's fourth loss to Penn State in the 31 matchups since Penn State joined the conference in 1992-93. Of the four losses to Penn State, this certainly doesn't match the 2003 team's season-ending loss to a Penn State team that finished 7-20 and 2-14 in the Big Ten, but considering that the current Hoosiers began the season with Final Four expectations, it's a bad way to end the season.
Neither team distinguished itself offensively today. Penn State's 10 turnovers in a 71 possession game probably were the only impressive offensive statistic. Penn State shot 37 percent from the field, 25 percent from three point range, and 11-20 from the line. IU's numbers were even worse: 37.8 from the field (okay, slightly better), 7-33 from behind the arc. IU shot 33 three pointers to 25 two point field goals. DJ White scored 20 points on 11 shots (8-11 from the field), but IU obviously didn't get him the ball as they should. Clearly, Penn State's defense was more hospitable to the outside shot, and IU was happy to oblige. Eric Gordon scored 26 points, but needed 24 shots to get there and turned the ball over five times. Oh, and Jamarcus Ellis didn't make the trip, yet another disciplinary issue in what rapidly has become a terrible season.
So, as if we care, it's on to the Big Ten Tournament. Jim Delany must be happy about the decision to move the Big Ten Tournament to Indianapolis. If IU can manage to beat Minnesota or Northwestern, it likely will set up a matchup between IU and Purdue in the semifinals, which, of course, would guarantee that a local school will be in the final and likely will make for a great weekend in Indianapolis. IU certainly has the talent to win the conference tournament, but absent a dramatic change in the next few days, the Big Ten likely will have to do without even the IU-Purdue matchup in the semis. It's obvious that Dan Dakich won't be the coach next year, but hopefully he will convince these players that they are only hurting themselves (well, not only themselves, but themselves most of all).
EDIT: And I do want to add a thought about the end of regulation. Eric Gordon brought the ball across halfcourt with about 15 seconds remaining. On the court with him were three viable offensive players: DJ White, the presumptive Big Ten player of the year and one of the best post men in the country, and two excellent shooters (Armon Bassett and Jordan Crawford). Gordon didn't even think about passing. It has become fashionable to criticize Eric Gordon, and I don't mean to do that. He's a great player and will be missed next year. But what in the world has gone wrong with this team, with this program, when one guy decides to take on five when there are other viable options? Either Dakich wanted that to happen, or he didn't. I'm not sure which disturbs me more.