White, Gordon help IU pull away against Northwestern

  • 02/03/2008 2:35 pm in

hoosiers.jpgIt took a while for the Hoosiers to pull away in this one — thanks to Northwestern’s back cuts and three-point shooting — but with around eight minutes to go, Eric Gordon hit a few shots, D.J. White chipped in some free throws and that was that: 75-63, IU wins. For the afternoon Gordon had 29 points — 18 of which came on three-point baskets. White racked up his fourteenth double-double with 26 points and 13 boards. Craig Moore led the Wildcats with 17 points.

It also helped that IU went to a zone in the second half, negating some of Northwestern’s nifty screening and cutting. At one point, Northwestern didn’t notch a field goal for just about eight minutes. Kyle Taber got the start at the four for the Hoosiers and saw some considerable playing time. (Clearly, Kelvin Sampson — like many of us — is realizing the Mike White/DeAndre Thomas/Lance Stemler combo has been lackluster as of late.)

Though Taber saw considerable playing time, he was just sort of, well, there. He didn’t do anything particularly notable. He didn’t do anything particularly awful, either. (Although, I do remember an errant pass for a turnover in the second half.) It was nice to see Sampson try something else there, even if it wasn’t quite the answer. Taber does have size and if he can play some defense — which he seemed somewhat capable of today — it might be another serviceable option for IU as the season progresses.

Our guy A.J. Ratliff saw the floor for a good stretch this afternoon as well, but it’s clear his shot just isn’t there yet this season. He attempted six threes and only hit one.

Oh and since we’ve all been rather critical of Sampson, his offensive schemes and the way this team has played this year, I highly recommend you read Chris Korman’s article from today. Sampson responded to a lot of that criticism yesterday. (One thing I’ll say: Sampson was able to maximize the talent on last year’s squad: they played well together. Why he hasn’t been able to do that for this year’s team, well, I don’t know. But we’re eight game deep in the Big Ten season, he better figure it out soon.)

The Hoosiers are now 18-3 on the season and 7-1 in the Big Ten. They play Illinois on Thursday night in Champaign, Ill.

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  • T

    One thing that I liked today was Basset driving to the hoop a little bit more. It seems like he did it way more last year, hopefully he drives more the rest of the year.

    Any word on what exactly happened to Crawford?

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    Ratliffs shot isn't there yet this season because IT DOESN'T EXIST!!! Jesus, what do you people need to see before you realize he is overrated? Does anybody that writes for this site ever watch an IU game? Ratliff has 1 good game a season, 1, not 2 or 3, 1. He will go 5 for 7 from behind the arc in ONE game, score 25 and thats it for him for the season. I challenge anyone to go back in his 4 years and find me 2 games he did well in, doesn't exist. The only one I can remember is a game against UK a couple years back.

  • He shot 41 percent last year from three. 57 of 140. So yeah, you're wrong.

  • kelin

    Sampson finds nothing wrong with our offense….quote of the year!

    Ofcourse I didn't see the game can anyone tell me if we did anything different or moved any more?

  • Mr_C

    Hmmm maybe last season when he was good for 20 against wisc in the biggest upset of the year for us. Or maybe when he went 6-6 against purdue.

  • kelin

    Thank you tom couglin for saving this country. A-Hole of the year…Bill Belecheat….

  • Ryan

    I mean, I don't think you can say that the offense is bad. He said that it is not being ran correctly. Once it is ran correctly, I think we'll see better results. I know that it is currently bad, but you are implying that the scheming is bad. I don't necessarily believe that, but he's obviously struggling to find the right combination of people to run it right. Unfortunately, I don't know if that exists this year. Crawford's too erratic, Stemler has lost his shot (if he ever had it. I love the kid and think he does great when he's in but he has not been the scorer I thought he'd be when he came here last year), and Gordon just doesn't always seem to be the wonder boy that's ready for the NBA. DJ is the only guy playing with consistency against every time we play. I don't know if we can put together one or two line ups that we can trust every game. That's sad with all the talent we have…Oh well, just have to get a little lucky. No one said there's no luck in this game and we obviously haven't had any…might be our turn.

  • hoosier

    Stemler should not shoot the ball. We have plenty of people that can shoot the ball and he is not one of them. Nobody screens for gordon. Every once in a while someone will try, but half the time they don't even make contact with the defender. DJ is playing well, but he needs to stay away from that jump shot and focus on taking it up strong. I don't know who told him that was his shot, but someone needs to tell him its not. Kelin was right about having a team like this and the potential of not getting anything out of them. I mean come on….lets get a big 10, or big 10 tounament, or a final four. What are we going to do next year. We need some size for next year….is there any chance of that I haven't had the time to scope prospects. I could see crawford and bassett in the back court. Ellis and Ebanks at forwards, but what about a center? I don't think Tom Pritchard is the answer, but will be a nice role player at some point in his career. That Terrell Holloway and Derek Eltson seem like they will be nice to have comming off the bench. Hollman and Thomas will work nicely comming off the bench, but we need a guy in the middle 6'11 to 7' something that can score 10 points a game and grab 10 boards. I still have faith in the hoosiers, but they just screw themselves out of opportunities. Penn State beating Michigan State is huge. Now we have to get the next two road games to put ourselves out in front. Getting a win at Illinois and Ohio State will just be huge. Then, I think we will take care of both michigan state and wisconson at home. We are almost as tough at home as wisconson is. I gaurantee a victory against Purdue. At Northwestern Should be a win. Ohio State at the hall should be a win. We will fall at Michigan State. Finish out with wins orver Minnesota and Penn State. Not including @illinois and ohio state I believe we will be 14-2. Lets hope that we can at least beat one team or the other leaving us 14-3 which would probably win us a big ten tittle. We beat wisconson and michigan state that will give them 2 and 3 losses. Michigan State will probably beat wisconson up in east lansing giving them 3 losses. Any loses other than that will put us outright champs, but we will have to win at least one of the next two.

  • hoosier

    lol@sherron wilkerson

  • kelin

    Ryan…..21 games in and we don't run an offense correctly…..UNC, Memphis, Purdue, Wisconsin, Drake, and Bloomington South are not having this problem…….

    Seriously….our offense is horrible because there is minimal movement and 80% of our shots outside of DJ are off the dribble

  • Ryan

    lol…Bloomington South…Touche. I agree. I just don't know about this team. So talented, but definitely missing something…an offense? Yeah, but I think it's more than that. I was hoping for so much more…I just hope it turns around soon.

  • Snipper

    Elston won't be on board until 2009-10. Hollman is IU's only real hope to adequately fill the spot in the middle next season. He was highly rated coming out of high school, and at 6-9 or 6-10 with a 7-7 wing span, why shouldn't he be developed into a good player by next season? There are any number of freshmen playing great this season. I expected Hollman to help us this season, but Sampson gave him virtually no playing experience before he was hurt, even when IU was scoring easy wins against cupcake teams. Speaking of freshmen, why hasn't McGee gotten any sustantial playing time? He also was highly rated in high school and at 6-7, 220 pounds he surely could help as much at the 4 spot as Stemler or Thomas or Taber. Speaking of the latter, isn't it ridiculous at this point of the season for a walk-on player with virtually no ability to show up in the starting lineup? I suppose Sampson was trying to give a lesson to the likes of Stemler and Thomas, but I doubt any coaching ploy could turn that pair into effective players. The way they're playing, I don't expect the Hoosiers to win any of their remaining road games. A fourth or five place finish in the Big Ten will likely give them a 6 or 7 seed in the NCAA tournament, with a first-round flamout a distinct possibility. Sampson should go.

  • MLOVE

    Some of you are awful awful fans… i mean yes they are struggling it is obvious but how does it help when u all bash the team. I cant believe what i read on here somedays. Anyone notice EVERYONE loses games. Your UNC team went to OT with against an FSU team. Please ppl no reason to panic yet. ANd if you really think we are going to lose at NW and at PSU then ur a joke of a fan. Be postive ppl. I think we all had high expecations and they are still very reachable. We lost to THREE solid teams this yr. UCONN and Wisco are very good. And who ever wins at the Kohl Center?

  • ALH_00

    “Nobody screens for gordon. Every once in a while someone will try, but half the time they don't even make contact with the defender.”

    I've seen alot of that too, and it is so frustrating because it ends in wasted effort. But EJ has run his defender off of the screen as well. It works both ways. Not just the screener's fault, not just EJ's fault. EJ needs to watch some tape on Rip Hamilton about how to move without the basketball and how to run defenders off of screens…that goes for the rest of the guards. How hard can it really be to run off a screen by 'Dre, Mike White and/or DJ…they're huge.

  • Corey

    I agree I don't see why McGee doesn't get more playing time. He couldn't be any worse than Taber, in fact he is probably more athletic and a better scorer on the offensive end and just as capable on the defensive end.

  • Dale

    Good points MLOVE, listening to everyone here I'd think Davis was still coaching this team.

  • EwingJR

    Just curious…but can anyone see Crawford or McGee possibly transfering at the end of the season?

  • Snipper

    The IU offense gives Gordon no help; not that he needs a lot with his tremendous ability, but he does need to learn how to play within a team concept, and Sampson's “offense” teaches him nothing. To run off of a screen, first there has to be one set, or at least set properly. In IU's style of play you see that happen about once every other game. As for Ratliff, has he done anything in his limited playing time other than fire up a three? Mike White not getting off the bench yesterday? How can a player be good enough to start a number of games, then not see a second of action in a later game? Not much of what Sampson does regarding his starting lineup and substituting makes sense.

  • Snipper

    McGee almost for certain, considering he must feel embarrassed by his almost total lack of playing time this season. Can he be that bad? If so why was he recruited? And who's going to take his place next season? IU may be down to 8 or 9 scholarship players for 2008-09. The talent level is taking a serious dip.

  • hoosier

    I think Mcgee will transfer. I almost think he is getting forced out to make room for another big man. Crawford will stay. His playing time isn't bad right now and it will pick up more once Eric Gordon goes pro. It just wouldn't be an IU offseason without a transfer. I hated seeing Joey Shaw go. He looked like a player that would come along nicely. Plus once you get redshirted and then you transfer……its just not worth it.

  • MPmike

    I agree. Brandon McGee will probably transfer to Depaul or some school close to Chicago. I don't know why IU can't use him at the 4 spot since we are struggling to help D.J. with inside help. Hopefully, Jordon Crawford will be under more control and make better decisions with the ball by the end of this year or by the start of next season if he wants to improve and become a solid player.

    I think Joey Shaw would have flourished this season if he had stayed here since the style of play is gear up to his abilities. He would have plenty of playing time and we would not even see A.J. Ratliff in the picture at all.

  • Ryan

    I mean, I don't mean to bash the team. I love the team. I got to every home game. I even really like Coach Sampson, as long as he doesn't get us into trouble. I just get frustrated when they don't play well. Like you would get frustrated with your kid when he doesn't do his chores or do something you asked him. Blogs let us vent and talk about problems like we're experts. It's fun. I wouldn't expect them to win at the Kohl Center necessarily. Bo Ryan has only lost 3 games there. It's just that even in some wins, we've looked awfully sloppy. I think it would be a little ridiculous to be bragging left and right about the team. It is a fact that our strength of schedule is something like 164, thus, I just worry when we play really good teams taht have been playing tough competition all along. I think it will be better when we have some tough competition next year in the Maui. I'm not dismissing the team though, I hope they go far. It's my senior year at IU and I would love to celebrate a final four on Kirkwood!

  • Ryan

    I mean, I don't mean to bash the team. I love the team. I got to every home game. I even really like Coach Sampson, as long as he doesn't get us into trouble. I just get frustrated when they don't play well. Like you would get frustrated with your kid when he doesn't do his chores or do something you asked him. Blogs let us vent and talk about problems like we're experts. It's fun. I wouldn't expect them to win at the Kohl Center necessarily. Bo Ryan has only lost 3 games there. It's just that even in some wins, we've looked awfully sloppy. I think it would be a little ridiculous to be bragging left and right about the team. It is a fact that our strength of schedule is something like 164, thus, I just worry when we play really good teams taht have been playing tough competition all along. I think it will be better when we have some tough competition next year in the Maui. I'm not dismissing the team though, I hope they go far. It's my senior year at IU and I would love to celebrate a final four on Kirkwood!