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Thread: Hoosier Hoops

  1. #31
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Anyone watch the game last night? Any thoughts? I loved the intensity on defense personally. The guard play was better than I expected for an early season game as well.

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  3. #32
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post
    Anyone watch the game last night? Any thoughts? I loved the intensity on defense personally. The guard play was better than I expected for an early season game as well.
    I watched about a half total and was some what impressed, I really did not know what to expect. Verdel Jones and Dumas seem like nice players and Pritchard will be ok. Its going to be a long season but a fun one even though a losing record is inevitable.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Solid debut. They're going to need to rebound a lot better, but that's pretty much the only glaring deficiency. Pritchards' going to have a lot of ugly looking double doubles like last night.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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  5. #34
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Rebounding is definitely an issue. I think teams that have a solid post presence are going to give this Hoosier team fits. Pritchard is the only decent big man on the squad but he's just a freshman. There's only so much you can expect from him.

  6. #35
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    A pretty good summary from ITH:

    The Morning After: Your 2008-09 Indiana Hoosiers, I think

    It goes without saying that the beginning of this Indiana basketball season is unlike those that have come before it. It is the second year in the last three that have seen IU with a brand new basketball coach, but even in Kelvin Sampsonís first year at the helm we had some idea of what was going on. We knew about D.J. White and Rod Wilmont (how I miss Rod and his 30-foot three-pointers) and Earl Calloway and the rest. This year? Not so much.

    Iíll admit it: After about five minutes last night, I had to admit something to myself. I didnít know who was who. Itís sad, I know, but I doubt that Iím alone here, and I hope itís not too bold of me to admit it. It took me a second to figure out that Verdell Jones was No. 12, that that wasnít Devan Dumes, that Dumes was the off-guard wearing No. 33, and who is that little dude with the Rip Hamilton facemask on? Thatís not Finkelmeier, is it? And oh my God is that Tijan Jobe?! It took me a second to figure it all out, and it required me whipping out the laptop and keeping the roster handy. Iím not afraid to admit it.

    Because of that, a lot of stuff blurred together, but plenty stuck out, too. Off we go, then:

    THINGS TO BE SLIGHTLY, CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC about:

    Effort: This is going to be a theme all season, so letís just get it out of the way early. This team is going to be very likable. They are going to play hard. They are going to have good attitudes. All of that. Even when theyíre not playing with a good attitude it will seem that way, because you canít have worse attitudes than last yearís team, and as long as Matt Roth doesnít smoke a crack pipe at midcourt and punch a cheerleader in the face, pretty much anything will seem like an improvement. So after every game, the chorus will be the same: These guys sure play hard! Man, they sure seem to care! Bless their little hearts, huh? This is going to get incredibly annoying. But last night? It was true. They did play hard. And they did seem to actually care. Credit where itís due, both to the team and to Tom Crean for getting them to buy in. The best basketball coaches are salesmen, and Tom Crean could sell me a ticket to Kelvin Sampson: The Broadway Musical. Heís done the same sales job on his team. Effort will not be a problem this year, at least not anytime soon.

    Devan Dumes: When I hear Northwestern State, I immediately think ďlast-second shot over Iowa in the NCAA Tournament,Ē and then I get a big smile on my face. But after I think of that, I (perhaps wrongly) think of the stereotype of a mid-Major ó scrappy, unathletic, hard-nosed, heavily reliant on three pointers. Northwestern State wasnít really like that at all. They were just sort of bad, especially on defense, where they were genuinely awful in the full court press. So I donít want to get too excited about Devan Dumesí night. But it is encouraging, at the very least, to know that the team contains some semblance of offensive talent that can score when allowed to do so. Dumesí night was like that ó impressive, but not overly so. Just solid. But Iíll take solid if it puts the occasional point on the board.

    Verdell Jones: I might actually be more excited about Jones than I am about Dumes. For whatever reason, I really like Jonesí game ó heís lanky, deliberate, he sort of glides around. His arms are long enough to make him play bigger than his listed size. Having that kind of athletic ability at the point is a real luxury Ö even if Verdell has a lot of things to figure out about the position. On a team with minimal size, um, everywhere, Jones is a boost. (He also had kind of a crazy line last night: 18 points, five assists, three blocks, three steals, three turnovers, 10-13 from the free-throw line. Thatís like a mini-Josh Smith-on-the-Hawks line. I love it.)

    Daniel Moore: It took about five minutes last night before the the friends I watched the game with were already calling him the second coming of Errek Suhr. Fortunately ó and no disrespect to Suhr ó but I think itís clear Moore is a much, much better player. Iím sure I missed something, but I donít know if I saw Moore make a truly bad decision all night. Despite his size deficit, he gets around people in the open floor. He can make open shots, and heís a great passer. So maybe heís not a point guard in the Big Ten, but you can do much, much worse coming off the bench than Moore. Thatís a great walk-on right there.

    Tijan Jobe: Haha. Just kidding. Nothing to be optimistic about here.

    THINGS THAT ARE BASICALLY AN UNMITIGATED DISASTER:

    The Frontcourt: Speaking of Tijan Jobe, oh boy. The frontcourt. Where to start?

    I donít want to be too harsh, because Kyle Taber seems like a pretty cool dude. Relaxed guy. The kind of kid youíre hoping is your roommate when you move to school ó plays video games, probably, not too rowdy, doesnít do hard drugs in plain sight. (Everyone knows that kid freshman year. He is to be avoided; he wonít last the first semester.) So I think I like Kyle Taber as a person. But as a basketball player, as the captain of this team? Eesh.

    Last year, Taber made a living off of one thing: playing opposite D.J. White. White would shoot it, and defenders would crash to him while Taber snuck in, grabbed a rebound, and either tipped it back in or passed to a guard and restarted the offense. He was perfect for that. But when Taber is the supposed to be your ďbestĒ big man, well, youíre going to get killed on the interior all season. Just murdered. And it already started last night.

    For example: Northwestern State had 27 ó 27! ó offensive rebounds. Eight Northwestern players had at least two offensive rebounds each. Northwestern State had eight blocks, which doesnít seem like that many, actually. I would have thought, oh, 30 or so? Thatís how it felt, anyway.

    As for the non-Taber members of the frontcourt: Tom Pritchard is like Kyle Taber, except left-handed. He might actually be a bit more talented, thank God, but heís certainly not more athletic, or bigger; he just seems to know how to get the most of his limitations. And Tijan Jobe. Oh, Tijan. Tijan Tijan Tijan. God bless him. He looks incredibly interested in playing hard basketball, in rebounding, that sort of thing. Thatís probably the nicest thing that can be said about his basketball ability right now.

    THINGS WE KNOW NOTHING about:

    Pretty much everything else. But thereís IUPUI Tuesday night, and so goes the season. Another game, another batch of info to learn. And then? The Road to the Final Four. Weíre going all the way! 1-0! WOOOO!

    This could be a long season.
    Last edited by BRM; 11-17-2008 at 06:22 PM.

  7. #36
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    AAAARGH!!!! 1 point game with a minute left. IU was up 11 at half, but IUPUI went on a run to start the second half and its been tight since.

    IU has no clue how to play against a zone defense. I'd blame this on youth, but it's been the case as long as I've watched IU basketball.


    edit: Woooh, IU wins 60-57. That was a game I was really worried about but it really shouldn't have been that close.
    Last edited by Hoosier Red; 11-18-2008 at 08:40 PM.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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  8. #37
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Red View Post
    AAAARGH!!!! 1 point game with a minute left. IU was up 11 at half, but IUPUI went on a run to start the second half and its been tight since.

    IU has no clue how to play against a zone defense. I'd blame this on youth, but it's been the case as long as I've watched IU basketball.


    edit: Woooh, IU wins 60-57. That was a game I was really worried about but it really shouldn't have been that close.
    This season is going to be a struggle so I am going into every game thinking they will/should lose so every win is a plus. They are not good and there are going to be some ugly loses but they hustle after every ball and run up and down the court. The best thing is that I dont feel dirty rooting for them now.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

  9. #38
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfanmia View Post
    This season is going to be a struggle so I am going into every game thinking they will/should lose so every win is a plus. They are not good and there are going to be some ugly loses but they hustle after every ball and run up and down the court. The best thing is that I dont feel dirty rooting for them now.
    Spot on. Every game will be a battle for them this season. There will be no easy victories and quite a few lopsided defeats. And you're absolutely right in that it feels very good rooting for them again. I was into the whole game last night. On the edge of my seat the last few minutes. I haven't been this pumped up for IU basketball in a long time. This team will be fun to watch.

  10. #39
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    I meant to post this yesterday. I love these guys' recaps. From ITH.

    The Morning After: IUPUI

    It's going to be hard to write these little features of ours for a while. Why? Because we literally donít know anything about this batch of Hoosiers. We know a few things, sure ó that Daniel Moore handles the ball well, that Devan Dumes is lightning-quick ó but we donít really know the sum of their parts yet. Are they destined to be this bad all season? Are they going to start playing screens better? For the love of your diety of choice, will somebody please grab a rebound? I donít know what to believe, and Iím afraid to blindly guess.

    Compounding the problem are the teams IU is playing. Things will become much clearer next Monday in Maui against Notre Dame ó I am not looking forward to seeing who is going to guard Luke Harangody ó but for now, what are we to make of IUPUI? Are they occasionally tourney-bound IUPUI? Or are they just bad? Should we be even more worried than we already are? I have no answers. Merely questions.

    This was the case after the first game, too. Instead letís just recap what we saw.

    DEFENSE. REBOUNDING. OY VEY.

    Again, I canít emphasize this enough, especially to myself, because sometimes I get a little shortsighted: Itís early. Very much so. I remember last year when the team we all thought was going to the Final Four looked like they couldnít play a lick of defense, and I was sort of freaked out. Then they got it together, and they were fine. (And then, well, you know what happened next.)

    But if there are two things that have been utterly consistent ó and utterly frightening ó from tonightís game and Saturdayís, itís that this time does not rebound, and does not really defend. At all.

    Part of it they canít help. Tom Pritchard does his share, and Kyle Taber is never really out of position, but thereís just no size there. Even at the guard position, IU is incredibly small, and so there arenít really any athletic guards that can crash the boards and help compensate for the overwhelmed front court. IU is going to be overmatched all over the place this year, and those mismatches will likely manifest themselves most blatantly when the ball clangs high off the rim.

    That said, there is still room for improvement here. Box-outs can get better. Guards can use long rebounds to get out on the break. With a little tweak here and a little tweak there, things wonít be so cringe-inducing, especially on the defensive end.

    Defensively, itís much the same story. There are times when IU flashes some defensive chops, but most of the time I feel hostage to the other teamís whims. For example: In the first half, IUPUI seemed content to settle on outside shots, and they made almost none of them, including a stretch toward the end of the half when they missed something like 11 straight jumpers. They shot 25.8 percent in the first half, and IU took a lead into the break.

    Then, in the second, half, IUPUI realized they could get layups at will, and so they took them. And took them. And took them. And they shot 60 percent in the second half, and they rushed back into the game, and IU had to fight them off at the last second. All because of the Hoosiersí limitations ó their defensive porousness on the perimeter, their inability to challenge shots at the rim. I donít know whether these things are systemic, or whether theyíre correctable. I just know that Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney might combine for 80 points on Monday. I fear for this outcome.

    THE ďCHIN-UP, SPORT!Ē PORTION OF THE PROCEEDINGS

    I donít want to be too negative, though. So letís talk about things that werenít actually all that bad:

    Matt Roth can shoot. Itís nice to have a really, really good shooter on your team. No matter what else happens, at least thereís always the faint glimmer of hope that he could get hot and keep you in a game from time to time.

    Daniel Moore is like Errek Suhr, but way better. Daniel Moore, what with being diminutive and white and scrappy and so on, is already drawing comparisons to everyoneís favorite scrappy, diminutive white guy of recent vintage, Errek Suhr. Problem is, those comparisons donít do Moore justice. Suhr was essentially a short guy with a good long range shot and a tough nose on defense. Moore is a legitimate ball handler. He sees the entire court well, can make needle-point passes from the key or on the break, and just generally has more confidence on the ball than Suhr ever did. Suhr was always jittery. He reminded me of a Chihuaha. He would take three high dribbles and then get rid of the ball, quickly, before anyone could get to him. Moore actually seems interested in handling it, and doing some semi-stylish things in the process. I like Daniel Moore. Heís not exactly going to carry IU to a Big Ten title, but for a walk-on, IU could do a whole lot worse.

    Plus, his face gear is pretty awesome.

    Tijan Jobe. You think Iím being sarcastic, but stay with me for a ó haha. Just kidding again. Thereís nothing optimistic about Tijan Jobe, except that for three minutes a game, he looks more baffled on a basketball court than anyone Iíve ever seen, and this entertains me.

    Tom Pritchard deserves more time. I was a little too harsh on Tom Pritchard in the first TMA. I guess I was just disappointed ó I was hoping for some more athleticism, some more strength, that sort of thing. But those arenít the only qualities that make a good big man, and a guy like Pritchard can get by on being in good position under the block, finishing consistently around the hoop, and being crafty in mismatches. Again, like Moore, heís a limited sort of guy Ö but heís all weíve got, and it could be a lot worse, I think.

    In fact, thatís the motto for the first two games: I have no idea whatís going on, but it could be a lot worse. Donít believe me? Wait until Monday.

  11. #40
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Pretty good interview with Tom Crean at ESPN The Magazine.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3710287

  12. #41
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    The Hoosiers play Notre Dame today in Maui. Just keep the margin under 20 and I'll be ecstatic.

  13. #42
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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Interesting poll over at Inside The Hall.

    Which Hoosier has impressed you the most thus far?

    Results to date:

    Tom Pritchard 49%
    Daniel Moore 36%
    Devan Dumes 12%
    Verdell Jones 2%
    Nick Williams 1%

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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post
    The Hoosiers play Notre Dame today in Maui. Just keep the margin under 20 and I'll be ecstatic.
    Doesn't look like that's gonna happen, down 34 w/ 4 to play.

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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burton View Post
    Doesn't look like that's gonna happen, down 34 w/ 4 to play.
    We're gonna see lots of games like yesterday's this season. The team definitely plays hard all the time though. It's going to be fun watching them develop over the next couple of years.

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    Re: Hoosier Hoops

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post
    We're gonna see lots of games like yesterday's this season. The team definitely plays hard all the time though. It's going to be fun watching them develop over the next couple of years.
    As a Buckeye basketball fan, and college basketball fan in general, I just wanted to add that I wish more people could just get the joy from watching their team develop and improve over the year instead of expecting 20-point blowouts and 2-loss seasons every year. The attitude you espouse (probably for the sake of you own sanity this year! ) is one that I certainly appreciate in all college basketball fans. Good luck with your team this year. I know I'll be rooting for Indiana (in most games)!
    "I'm virtually free to do whatever I want, but I try to remember so is everybody else..." - Todd Snider


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