Indiana interim coach Dan Dakich took responsibility for Indiana’s struggles Sunday.
“Our players have been through a lot, and itâ€™s my job to have them ready to compete in this basketball game,” he said.
But he also acknowledged how well Michigan State played. The Spartans were incredible the first half, hitting 78 percent of their shots. They cooled in the second half to only hit 47 perfcent.
“Thatâ€™s what you do when you have the sort of program that Michigan State does,” he said. “You come out on senior night and you play that way. They played great. We did not, and thatâ€™s my fault.”
Eric Gordon, who had 22 points, could not figure out why the Hoosiers were so listless. He said Michigan State played “way harder” but could not say why Indiana responded with one of its worst efforts of the year in a game it needed to win in order to stay in the Big Ten title hunt.
“We just need to come together and play better,” he said.
Dakich didn’t thing there was any sort of hangover effect on the team from the last few weeks, which saw their former coach embroiled in controversy that led to his resignation two Friday’s ago.
“At this point itâ€™s been 10 days,” Dakich said. “Thatâ€™s no excuse. We have to be better than what we were today.”
Gordon also didn’t see Sunday’s result as the product of a team that is worn-out, both physically and emotionally. He said it was independent of what has been happening off the court.
“We just didnâ€™t come to play at all,” he said.
Both Gordon and D.J. White said they were embarrassed by the loss.
But White, who will play his final game at Assembly Hall on Wednesday, was also looking to help the team heal quickly.
“You take losses, you put â€˜em behind you and you learn from â€˜em,” he said.