White welcomes challenge from UConn’s Thabeet

  • 01/25/2008 7:30 am in

thabeetclose.jpgD.J. White will get his toughest challenge of the season tomorrow when the Hoosiers go for their 30th straight win Assembly Hall. That challenge will be in the form of 7-3 Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet.

Thabeet, a sophomore from Tanzania, considered a jump to the NBA a year ago, but returned to Storrs to polish his game.

And he’s done just that.

He’s the nation’s fourth leading shot blocker at 3.9 per game to go along with 11.1 points and 7.6 rebounds. He’s also shooting 72 percent from the foul line, up from 51 percent a year ago.

Despite the strides Thabeet has made, don’t expect Indiana’s senior captain to back down from the challenge.

“You always play aggressive and never back down,” White said. “It’s not in my nature to back down from anyone, no matter what the stats say. We are going to look at the game plan and just play like normal.”

Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson echoed those sentiments and thinks the experience White had against Thabeet last season will be beneficial.

“D.J. played against him last year,” Sampson said. “D.J. has an understanding. You have to be careful about playing at the rim, because he is a much better shot blocker than he was.”

Thabeet is coming off perhaps his best game of the season, a 84-83 Huskies win at Cincinnati. He scored 22 points, grabbed nine rebounds and hit 8 of 9 free throws.

“Hasheem had, in my opinion, his finest game and there’s a lot more of those to come,” Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said.

The Hoosiers are hoping tomorrow afternoon isn’t one of them.

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  • Timmy

    Don't be proud, DJ. Use your mid range 15-17 ft jumper against him to pull him away from the basket so he can't help when others beat their man off the dribble.

  • Surely DJ can move this stick figure out of the way, or get him in foul trouble.

  • HoosierSmitty

    DJ's going to have to hit his foul shots. He can't expect to get a lot of low post baskets. This is where DJ's going to have to show that he has some low post moves and get Thabeet to reach and commit silly fouls on those attempts.

    Other than that, yes, he needs to use that mid range game, hopefully pulling Thabeet out to guard him and opening up the lane. If Thabeet falls back, then he has to hit those shots.

  • Kreigh_Smiths_Short_Shorts

    Completely agree. Additionally, KS should put EJ on Price, disrupt his game, try to shut him down.

    And please post a picture of some pretty cheerleader rather than Thabeet's mug.

  • Remember, you're now in a softcore porn free zone.

    In all seriousness, our next poll is probably going to ask the ITH faithful how they feel about the pictures of the women and that will decide their fate here on the Hall.

  • DavidC

    But this site, as long as I've been visiting, has always been a softcore porn free zone! I've never seen anything close to a picture simulating any sex act.

    Women in bikini's, cheerleader outfits, and pictures of attractive women do not constitute any kind of pornography.

  • I agree, others have voiced complaints and we certainly don't want to offend anyone. Therefore, we're toning it down for now until we can come up with a compromise.

  • Hoosier_Hound

    Thabeet may be 7'3'' but finding someone who can guard Jeff Adrien is going to be more important for the game tomorrow. Who does IU have who can match up with him?

  • steve

    I have a different angle as to why there should be no pictures of women on this sight. First off I love the sight and the information and articles it provides, the only problem is if there are pictures that are not appropriate to view at work (women in bikinis) some of us cannot view this sight at work. So if I do not have this sight to view at work I will have to wait until I can read it at home and that would suck.

    so for the sake of us who are working please leave off the content not appropriate at work.

  • Steve,

    I can understand that for sure.

    Would it be appropriate if there were pictures of women that didn't show any skin?

    For example, like this:

    http://images.askmen.com/galleries/actress/scar

  • Timmy

    Needs more skin. Speaking as someone who views the site from work, I don't want to take the mental image of Thabeet with me when I go to the restroom to relax with my thoughts for 15 mins. Do the right thing.

    IU 69
    uconn 50

  • ChicagoHoosier

    Gents,

    First, and least important, this pic business is a dead horse. Postmen, this is your sight, you started it to voice your ideas, post whatever pics you want. Chances are that if I am going to get yelled at by the Man, its not going to be because of a racey pic, but rather I am blabbing about Hoosier bball and not working.

    Ok, now on to the better, more important stuff: What were peoples opinion about the starting line-up against Iowa. For some reason I liked having D in to start. Can we swing that against Uconn or is this game going to be won on the defensive end (hence Mike White)?

  • ALH_00

    Well said. Open up that middle and let our slashers go to the basket…maybe dish out for open jumpers. DJ's range is at least 16-17 feet, so Thabeet has got to respect it, or DJ will put him to sleep with mid-range jumpers.

    Despite their shot-blocking and low defensive shooting percentage, UConn is stil giving up 70/game. How do you explain that? I expect the Hoosiers to bury UConn under a deluge of layups and threes. (Just not if we allow Thabeet to set up shop in the lane). Hopefully the D plays hard and we can simply outscore them.

  • b_side

    D might be a bit too slow to start this game. These guys are athletic and fast. While D-train may be light-footed and nimble, I see him getting beat in transition if our offense isn't scoring every time down the floor.

    The problem is Stemmy is probably too weak to bang with these guys and Mike White is apparently in the dog house. Not sure what the solution here is. We all know the 4 spot is our weakest point and the UCONN boys will be our biggest test yet.

  • Any chance holding MW out last game was just a motivational ploy since we knew we'd need him in a big way Saturday?

  • HoosierSmitty

    I could definitely see that as a possibility. Sampson probably saw his weak practice effort, jumped on it, knowing we need him to play plenty of minutes on Saturday. I still think D can hang better than you think in transition..it will just have to be in short spurts. He'll be better suited coming in off the bench.

  • Nick

    I think we are finally going to see a prime example of how dominant DJ can be now that he has totally healed physically and mentally from his foot injury. I see a different DJ now than even towards the end of last season. He has a quicker first step and gets off the floor much quicker than he did a year ago. Also, I'm looking forward to seeing what a NBA caliber senior can do against a highly touted youngster. I think on Saturday we're going to see what college basketball is missing. The four year star with talent and maturity!

  • b_side

    Hasheem is going to give DJ all he can handle and more. A few weeks ago, UConn went into Georgetown's arena and gave them a mouthful of their skills.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=2801

    Took a Hibbert 3 pointer of all things to eeck out a W. Roy certainly went off on Thabeet for 20 and 8 boards and I do expect the same if not better from DJ. Bottom line is this team is playing it's best basketball since the new year began — blowing Marquette out at home and beating Cincy on the road. They are certainly more battled tested than we are as well with a decent showing against Memphis at MSG very early in the year.

  • coach's daughter

    Saw Connecticut play Notre Dame. D.J. and Co.–watch out. Thabeet is a nasty person and has a bad attitude. He can't control his temper and will lash out. He won't hesitate to try to injure you. At least four times during that game, his teammates had to corral him to keep from punching Harangody and Kurz. He's what we used to call a goon.

  • Matt

    Jerome Dyson Suspended????

  • ALH_00

    biggest in size only. UConn has the front line, but what has that got them? 13-5. One (maybe two) quality wins? They have talent, sure, but they'll need all of it Sat. IU is good.

  • ALH_00

    Your talking about UConn's best “loss”.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Wow, Dyson and Wiggins are out for UConn….that's is fortunate….

    Dyson has led the team in scoring five times and is basically tied for the team lead in scoring…also is one of their best 3 point shooters (at leas he's taken the most shots)…and also leads the team in steals…

    Wiggins averages about 20 minutes and is one of three players to hit 20 or more threes on the team. He averages 6.6 points a game and is second in steals. He's a pretty valuable contributor.

    Changes the complexion of the game dramatically

  • b_side

    Hasheem is going to give DJ all he can handle and more. A few weeks ago, UConn went into Georgetown's arena and gave them a mouthful of their skills.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=2801

    Took a Hibbert 3 pointer of all things to eeck out a W. Roy certainly went off on Thabeet for 20 and 8 boards and I do expect the same if not better from DJ. Bottom line is this team is playing it's best basketball since the new year began — blowing Marquette out at home and beating Cincy on the road. They are certainly more battled tested than we are as well with a decent showing against Memphis at MSG very early in the year.

  • coach's daughter

    Saw Connecticut play Notre Dame. D.J. and Co.–watch out. Thabeet is a nasty person and has a bad attitude. He can't control his temper and will lash out. He won't hesitate to try to injure you. At least four times during that game, his teammates had to corral him to keep from punching Harangody and Kurz. He's what we used to call a goon.

  • Matt

    Jerome Dyson Suspended????

  • ALH_00

    biggest in size only. UConn has the front line, but what has that got them? 13-5. One (maybe two) quality wins? They have talent, sure, but they'll need all of it Sat. IU is good.

  • ALH_00

    Your talking about UConn's best “loss”.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Wow, Dyson and Wiggins are out for UConn….that's is fortunate….

    Dyson has led the team in scoring five times and is basically tied for the team lead in scoring…also is one of their best 3 point shooters (at leas he's taken the most shots)…and also leads the team in steals…

    Wiggins averages about 20 minutes and is one of three players to hit 20 or more threes on the team. He averages 6.6 points a game and is second in steals. He's a pretty valuable contributor.

    Changes the complexion of the game dramatically