Inspired Hoosiers crush Spartans, 80-61

  • 02/16/2008 11:48 pm in

ejuconn.jpgFor 40 minutes, it wasn’t about Kelvin Sampson and the NCAA allegations.

Saturday night in Assembly Hall, a national audience was treated to a display of basketball that all Hoosier fans can be proud of. The offense flowed, despite the absence of D.J. White, and the defense was stifling.

The end result was a 80-61 drubbing of the Michigan State Spartans.

Despite falling behind 15-4 to start the game and White falling victim to a knee injury, the Hoosiers banded together and grabbed their first lead at 23-22 on an Armon Bassett three-pointer. They never relinquished the lead after that point.

Eric Gordon turned in a brilliant performance with 28 points on 9 of 15 shooting. He showed a full repertoire of moves including his signature long range jumped, a breakaway dunk, several layups and a midrange game that is improving. He was, for the most part, unstoppable.

Equally important to the effort was the play of the bench. The Hoosiers got 24 points from that department including 12 from Jordan Crawford and 10 from DeAndre Thomas.

As far as White’s status, he’ll have a MRI on Sunday on his left knee. He left Assembly Hall without crutches and finished with six points in 15 minutes. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious.

Credit the Indiana players and coaching staff for being prepared despite all of the distractions. Towards the end of the game, we saw Coach Sampson exhibit some emotion on the sidelines. He hugged several players in a sign that the end is nearing for his tenure in Bloomington. Make no mistake about it: Sampson loves his players and they love him. The transition that is almost certainly on its way will not be an easy one.

But for now, enjoy the win. It was a big one.

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  • ALH_00

    No controversy can diminish that dominating performance. It seemed like everyone was making solid contibutions and Michigan St. looked dumbfounded for the final 32 min.

    I was laughing when IU hit 5 three pointers toward the end of the first half, but concerned that the loss of D.J. would unravel the team. I thought it would be a much tighter grind. Instead, it was consistent, unselfish, team basketball…great play following great play…on both ends.

    Great win. Go Hoosiers!

  • Sherron Wilkerson

    Without DJ in the lineup we play the Phoenix Suns, (obviously I hope he comes back soon) but that was impressive, everyone was playing with passion, I'm proud of these boys. Like I said before, this is going to make this team come out and play inspired basketball and come together, watch out Boilers.

  • JamesHardy

    In actuality, it was only about 20 minutes of not being about Kelvin's cheating ways. Why you ask? Well, i muted my TV for the second half and all of a sudden I could enjoy basketball without listening to the over-hyped Duke Puke commentator tell me “Bring back the General Baby! They need to rename this place after one Mr. Robert Montgomery Knight BABY!” Then he went so far as to call for Greenspan's head on national TV. (Don't get me wrong, I agree, but Dick has NO business condemning a man that has not cheated, and to do it in the pre-game instead of breaking down how IU can stop Neitzel…or how affective will IU's newfound 2-3 zone will slow down the spartans. For God's sake Dick…go back to the state of North Carolina and suck coach K's weiner for the rest of your sorry ass career and leave IU nation alone! He spent 90% of the 1st half talking about the KS situation and only about 3% about the game. The other 7% was wasted with his retarded acronymns. I pray that IU will never allow that Coach K weiner suckin fool to step foot in Assembly Hall again after his commentary tonight. Great Win HOOSIERS! PUCK FURDUE!

  • Chris

    I agree that Vitale should not have been calling for Greenspan's head, but Dickie V is a class act. He has always looked favorably towards IU (unlike, say, Billy Packer) and is a great commentator. I'd take him for every IU game. Please be ok D.J.! Puck Furdue!

  • kevin lemme

    I've gotta say…..I am proud of the victory tonight. They played really hard smart basketball and we got a lot of of Ellis and Thomas. Gordon really bounced back from his rough start. I couldn't believe DJ went down. I hope he is ok. I am sick and tired of the bs surrounding KS and they should just back off the guy. I mean it hasn't been proven weather or not he even did anything yet. It is going to be a very rough road for the Hoosier without KS in the long run. I mean we are in the top 15 in February. When was the last time that happened. He are in the running for the Big Ten championship. Without KS we will lose future prospects like Ebanks and might have players transfer. Say what you want about the man, but he wants to win as bad as we do and I'll tell you I have to respect that. He is not trying to turn Indiana into Alabama like Davis tried to do. He is a relaxed easy going coach that can coach and that is what is going to bring big time players to Indiana. I love coach Knight as much as anyone, but under him things were not going to change like they need too. The game has just changed too much. So say what you want about Sampson, but if you don't believe that man has a passion for IU victories…….then your just wrong. Just wait and see what we end up with next and you'll wish he was back.

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Sampson!

  • JamesHardy

    I agree with a couple of your comments…he has passion, being one of them. The problem is, he lets his passion cloud his judgement. I have a passion for teaching my students. The downside is…If i let my passion get in the way of doing the RIGHT thing, my passion takes a backseat to the rules. Kelvin may be the nicest most passionate coach in the world…the problem is, he doesn't think the rules apply to him. As a father of 3 sons, I would NOT want my kids playing for or learning life lessons from guy like him.

  • Hoosier_Hound

    “Say what you want about the man, but he wants to win as bad as we do and I'll tell you I have to respect that.”

    I'll go ahead and say that Sampson wants to win MORE than I do. But that's the problem and it sure isn't earning any respect from me.

  • Hoosier_Hound

    After a slow start, they were really hitting on all cylinders. The outside shot was there for the first time in a couple weeks. The offense looked good and smooth with contributions coming from all over the map. Then the defense was really turned up a notch, forcing turnover after turnover for breakaway baskets.

    DJ, get well.

    Purdue, you're next.

  • JamesHardy

    I don't have to respect the fact that he cheats to win…

  • T

    I love Crawford's game.

    He's flawed, that is certain, but I love watching the kid play…aside from Gordon he's the most explosive guy on the team.

    It was really fun to watch the team rally and I was shocked at how well the stripeout looked.

    It seemed like D.J. wasn't hurting too bad, but with knee's i'm always scared, my fingers will be crossed all day tomorrow and (obviously) I hope he'll be ok.

    I don't know what has gotten into Gordon, but the last two games he's looked a LOT better. His turnovers are down and his general ass kicking ability on the court is up.

    Raymar Morgan is a good player…but he kind of looks like a girl. There. I said it.

  • Ryan_Btown

    Hypocrite. That's the only word I can use to define myself tonight. Being in the hall for the game was amazing…most energy I've felt in that gym since the Duke game when Marco dunked to take the lead late. I've said numerous times on here the guy needs to go but during that game I just kept thinking…please find out it's not true and lets fight this shit…tell me this guy didn't lie. The passion out of these guys was amazing and the passion from Sampson was great too. It's kinda like Clemens…I know he cheated, but a part of me wants to just be like…you are a badass anyways. I'm so torn. This sucks. I just keep reminding myself that it's his fault this is happening.

    Oh well, what a game. Happy for the team. Beat the Boilers!

  • Tim

    Anybody else see Dee chest bump Sampson Late in the second half? Man he could have been a legend, now he'll just be infamous

  • MPmike

    I lost alot of respect for Dick Vitale tonight. He didn't comment about anthing postive about IU's team and the players inspired play. All he did all game was throwing stones at Kelvin Sampson, Rick Greenspan and the IU program for not naming the arena after Bob Knight. Vitale was not entertaining or even exciting. He was plain boring and all he wanted to do is complain about the IU program all night long. His complaining took away from the great IU victory. What a way to put down a program that is already so low.

    Vitale needs to be banned from calling any IU games and the announcer wasn't any better. Let him do only Duke games which is the only time he gets excited. He needs to retire.

  • First of all, I want to congratulate all Hoosier fans for a great day. When GameDay is on campus, it is that school's day in college basketball (or football). And I think IU fans did very well to show the nation what we're feeling right now. The Basketball Coach was roundly booed during GameDay. But that was mixed in with the “Talk about the game” chant.

    Then during the game, IU fans booed The Basketball Coach once more then largely forgot about him. They got behind the players, created what is the best atmosphere I've ever had the pleasure of being part of in Assembly Hall, and propelled the team to pound MSU. Even though I don't agree with chanting his name at the end of the game, I can live with it. Despite the bad message it sends (that winning cures everything), I think it shows more that IU fans are conflicted. And it's fine to be conflicted right now.

    Near the end of the game, watching The Basketball Coach hug all the players coming off the floor, or the chest bumps with DeAndre and AB, I totally changed my mind about what he did. I was pretty much outraged by what he did. Now, it's disbelief and pity. I keep thinking to myself “You really screwed this up? You really couldn't quit?” I feel sorry for him in the way you feel sorry for an addict who gets opportunity after opportunity to clean themselves up but never does.

  • Quinn

    What A GAME!.. The Hall was rockin.. last night, probably the best crowd I have seen in a long time in the Hall. The students were Awesome and really keep the noise level consistant. The crowd seemed angry & on edge early.. As the offense flowed and we pulled away, people let loose this pissed off feeling, it was a love affair with this IU team. KS was not the focus, as it sounds like it was on tv. .If we can still grab a pc of this big 10 title, we, as fans, and this team, can say screw all these talking heads..We can still win, even if DJ needs a couple games off, especially with our bench producing.
    So one more Assembly Hall.. Rock the house against PU!…
    ( Erin Andrews… we love you..)

  • Jerry

    The best part of the game was the continued early stuffing of Gordon reducing him to a team player. We then got other players in the act and they delivered. Showed what a team can do.

    Crawford – has had 2 great games in a row especially on defense
    Mike White – where did he learn to play the zone wing so well ?
    Ellis – where has that shot been ?
    Bassett – still our best player driving to the hoop because he kicks
    Thomas – eat less, shoot more
    Gordon – wonderful when he plays with a team

    Baylor – played hard but they did not show much coaching on offense last night I would drop Drew to 2nd tier choice based on the single game I watched

    VCU – even they though they lost and appeared outcoached on offense Grant's team was still impressive, he stays in the top tier

    I still stand by Tony Bennett, last years unanimous Coach of the Year as having the best background in tough PAC-10 wars to lead IU

  • Ryan_Btown

    This message from my friend at Purdue:

    “wow, i think you guys coulda beat the UNC-DUKE all-star team…even with vitale coaching them….hopefully you guys somehow lose that in the next couple days lol”

  • kelin

    Guys I fought off the feeling sorry for KS and the Hugs and Kisses for everyone…I was shocked about the Kelvin Sampson chant late in the game…..

    He is a good coach, I still think he is a nice guy with good intentions, but his lack of good judgement has put a damper on this season. It is easy to fall back in love after a great win last night and hopefully Tuesday also…..but lets not forget…..

    *When RMK left, whom at some point we all loved……we got over it.
    *When Mike Davis got us to the final 4 we loved him too…..then he left and we got over it.
    *When they hired KS we accepted it, we got pass last summer of the self reported allegations and now this………….we will get over it…..

    WHY………it isn't about the coach, it is about the kids, tradition, the banners, and it is about HOW WE DO THINGS. I don't want 20pt wins, EJ, DJ type recruits, and coaching scandels….when IU has shown we can win, get banners, get blue chip players, and do it the RIGHT way.

    So hit yourself in the nads…..cheer the kids….but understand KS is GONE and should be. If that doesn' t work think about this……………

    May 5th 2008………..
    Rick Greenspan: I am here today to introduce our new coach _______________

    *Scott Drew
    *Anthony Grant
    *Kieth Smart
    *Randy Whitman
    *Thad Matta
    *Chris Collins

  • Kevin

    You don't want 20 point wins and 5-star recruits, huh?

  • tberry

    This debacle might not hurt IU's national academic reputation but certainly has already hurt IU's moral position everywhere.

    President McRobbie needs to act immediately to let everyone know that he/IU will not condone the least impropriety much less repeated violations. At least Sampson and Greenspan need to be fired immediately.

    There is no doubt that Sampson is guilty. Either he is a liar or multiple recruits, parents and coaches are liars. It is evident that Sampson is the liar.

    Actually much of the damage to IU has already been done. I can't imagine that Sampson's contract doesn't have a clause allowing his removal if his action damage IU in any way.

    It is a real shame he threw his career and IU's reputation away for nothing. He is a good coach and the team played their best game against a quality opponent in the victory over MSU.

    Let’s get rid of Sampson and then take our lumps and do it the right way next time.

  • Kelin,

    It's still a bit early to talk about our next coach, but with that said, here are three names I would definitely want to look into:

    Tony Bennett
    Keno Davis
    Sean Miller

  • NY IU Grad

    As a hoosier alumn watching the game 700 miles away in a packed new york city bar full of other iu fans i can tell you that everyone there was just as passionate and torn as those inside assembly hall. In the pure college basketball realm, the points have been touched on, he can coach and he can recruit. He could have ended his coaching career at IU, become a savior of sorts for a school with a fan base that rivals none, I want to hate the man but I can't because ultimately what he did to school and the fans will pale in comparison to what he's done to himself. We will bounce back from this no doubt, im not sure he ever will, and last night only serves as evidence that if he ever does reemerge no situation he can be placed in will be better than the one he's on the verge of losing

  • kelin

    Big A…Keno Davis?????? (any relation to mike)
    Who is he?
    I keep freaking forgetting about Sean Miller whom I love……

  • Kelin,

    Keno Davis (born March 10, 1972) is the current Drake University head basketball coach. He was named Drake's 24th head men’s basketball coach when his father Dr. Tom Davis retired on March 21, 2007. Keno Davis previously was an assistant coach at Drake from 2003-2007, Southeast Missouri State 1997-2003, Southern Indiana 1995-1997, as well as an undergraduate assistant coach at Iowa from 1991-1995. He currently lives with his wife Krista, whom he married in 2005.

  • Jerry

    The win loast night helped restore some pride in me about the program and think again about KS. Too bad Hubert Davis was not allowed to finish his alternative view last night. Quality guy he , he moved on theB-ball instead of the soap opera.

    In addition to coaching Tony Bennett was also the 35th player chosen in the NBA '92. Gordon will go lower at this rate since I can name 4 freshman better not counting upperclassmen like COllison, Chalmers , Augustyne etc

  • He's be on that “name it after Bob Knight” kick for years now, pretty much ever since they took the interim tag off Davis. And Vitale never talks about the game in front of him.

    But, I agree. Give it a rest already, Dickie V. Talk about how awesome Gordon was, talk about how big the bench was, talk about how important DJ's knee is going to be over the next seven games…whatever. Give the public crucifixion of Greenspan and Sampson a rest from time to time.

    I'll be interested in seeing what Lavin and Musberger have to say during the Purdue game. I'm Mush-mouth will be in the same vein as Vitale, but Lavin seems to have a pretty level head on his shoulders.

    IU should hire Digger Phelps as interim coach.

  • I had pretty much the same thoughts while watching the game. I began to think, “You know, these aren't _really_ major infractions, it's just the NCAA being a bunch of pricks.” Which is true, I still think, but Sampson still broke the rules.

    And now I'm torn even more. Ugh. I think when I saw him hugging the players and showing all that emotion and then classily coming up to Izzo and shaking hands and talking (I know they're old friends) I was like “Man, can he somehow turn this around?”

    Still…he knew the rules, and he should have followed them.

  • Gordon is not going 35th in the draft, and will not be drafted after any of those three guys.

  • Agree 100%. The lowest he'd go would be 7th or 8th.

  • According to Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press, Scott Skiles will be the next IU coach.

    http://www.twincities.com//ci_8283948?IADID=Sea

  • CB in OR

    Scot Skiles spent time in jail for smoking pot. I doubt if he will be considered for the next coaching position.

  • First of all, I want to congratulate all Hoosier fans for a great day. When GameDay is on campus, it is that school's day in college basketball (or football). And I think IU fans did very well to show the nation what we're feeling right now. The Basketball Coach was roundly booed during GameDay. But that was mixed in with the “Talk about the game” chant.

    Then during the game, IU fans booed The Basketball Coach once more then largely forgot about him. They got behind the players, created what is the best atmosphere I've ever had the pleasure of being part of in Assembly Hall, and propelled the team to pound MSU. Even though I don't agree with chanting his name at the end of the game, I can live with it. Despite the bad message it sends (that winning cures everything), I think it shows more that IU fans are conflicted. And it's fine to be conflicted right now.

    Near the end of the game, watching The Basketball Coach hug all the players coming off the floor, or the chest bumps with DeAndre and AB, I totally changed my mind about what he did. I was pretty much outraged by what he did. Now, it's disbelief and pity. I keep thinking to myself “You really screwed this up? You really couldn't quit?” I feel sorry for him in the way you feel sorry for an addict who gets opportunity after opportunity to clean themselves up but never does.

  • Quinn

    What A GAME!.. The Hall was rockin.. last night, probably the best crowd I have seen in a long time in the Hall. The students were Awesome and really keep the noise level consistant. The crowd seemed angry & on edge early.. As the offense flowed and we pulled away, people let loose this pissed off feeling, it was a love affair with this IU team. KS was not the focus, as it sounds like it was on tv. .If we can still grab a pc of this big 10 title, we, as fans, and this team, can say screw all these talking heads..We can still win, even if DJ needs a couple games off, especially with our bench producing.
    So one more Assembly Hall.. Rock the house against PU!…
    ( Erin Andrews… we love you..)

  • Jerry

    The best part of the game was the continued early stuffing of Gordon reducing him to a team player. We then got other players in the act and they delivered. Showed what a team can do.

    Crawford – has had 2 great games in a row especially on defense
    Mike White – where did he learn to play the zone wing so well ?
    Ellis – where has that shot been ?
    Bassett – still our best player driving to the hoop because he kicks
    Thomas – eat less, shoot more
    Gordon – wonderful when he plays with a team

    Baylor – played hard but they did not show much coaching on offense last night I would drop Drew to 2nd tier choice based on the single game I watched

    VCU – even they though they lost and appeared outcoached on offense Grant's team was still impressive, he stays in the top tier

    I still stand by Tony Bennett, last years unanimous Coach of the Year as having the best background in tough PAC-10 wars to lead IU

  • Ryan_Btown

    This message from my friend at Purdue:

    “wow, i think you guys coulda beat the UNC-DUKE all-star team…even with vitale coaching them….hopefully you guys somehow lose that in the next couple days lol”

  • kelin

    Guys I fought off the feeling sorry for KS and the Hugs and Kisses for everyone…I was shocked about the Kelvin Sampson chant late in the game…..

    He is a good coach, I still think he is a nice guy with good intentions, but his lack of good judgement has put a damper on this season. It is easy to fall back in love after a great win last night and hopefully Tuesday also…..but lets not forget…..

    *When RMK left, whom at some point we all loved……we got over it.
    *When Mike Davis got us to the final 4 we loved him too…..then he left and we got over it.
    *When they hired KS we accepted it, we got pass last summer of the self reported allegations and now this………….we will get over it…..

    WHY………it isn't about the coach, it is about the kids, tradition, the banners, and it is about HOW WE DO THINGS. I don't want 20pt wins, EJ, DJ type recruits, and coaching scandels….when IU has shown we can win, get banners, get blue chip players, and do it the RIGHT way.

    So hit yourself in the nads…..cheer the kids….but understand KS is GONE and should be. If that doesn' t work think about this……………

    May 5th 2008………..
    Rick Greenspan: I am here today to introduce our new coach _______________

    *Scott Drew
    *Anthony Grant
    *Kieth Smart
    *Randy Whitman
    *Thad Matta
    *Chris Collins

  • Kevin

    You don't want 20 point wins and 5-star recruits, huh?

  • tberry

    This debacle might not hurt IU's national academic reputation but certainly has already hurt IU's moral position everywhere.

    President McRobbie needs to act immediately to let everyone know that he/IU will not condone the least impropriety much less repeated violations. At least Sampson and Greenspan need to be fired immediately.

    There is no doubt that Sampson is guilty. Either he is a liar or multiple recruits, parents and coaches are liars. It is evident that Sampson is the liar.

    Actually much of the damage to IU has already been done. I can't imagine that Sampson's contract doesn't have a clause allowing his removal if his action damage IU in any way.

    It is a real shame he threw his career and IU's reputation away for nothing. He is a good coach and the team played their best game against a quality opponent in the victory over MSU.

    Let’s get rid of Sampson and then take our lumps and do it the right way next time.

  • Kelin,

    It's still a bit early to talk about our next coach, but with that said, here are three names I would definitely want to look into:

    Tony Bennett
    Keno Davis
    Sean Miller

  • NY IU Grad

    As a hoosier alumn watching the game 700 miles away in a packed new york city bar full of other iu fans i can tell you that everyone there was just as passionate and torn as those inside assembly hall. In the pure college basketball realm, the points have been touched on, he can coach and he can recruit. He could have ended his coaching career at IU, become a savior of sorts for a school with a fan base that rivals none, I want to hate the man but I can't because ultimately what he did to school and the fans will pale in comparison to what he's done to himself. We will bounce back from this no doubt, im not sure he ever will, and last night only serves as evidence that if he ever does reemerge no situation he can be placed in will be better than the one he's on the verge of losing

  • kelin

    Big A…Keno Davis?????? (any relation to mike)
    Who is he?
    I keep freaking forgetting about Sean Miller whom I love……

  • Kelin,

    Keno Davis (born March 10, 1972) is the current Drake University head basketball coach. He was named Drake's 24th head men’s basketball coach when his father Dr. Tom Davis retired on March 21, 2007. Keno Davis previously was an assistant coach at Drake from 2003-2007, Southeast Missouri State 1997-2003, Southern Indiana 1995-1997, as well as an undergraduate assistant coach at Iowa from 1991-1995. He currently lives with his wife Krista, whom he married in 2005.

  • Jerry

    The win loast night helped restore some pride in me about the program and think again about KS. Too bad Hubert Davis was not allowed to finish his alternative view last night. Quality guy he , he moved on theB-ball instead of the soap opera.

    In addition to coaching Tony Bennett was also the 35th player chosen in the NBA '92. Gordon will go lower at this rate since I can name 4 freshman better not counting upperclassmen like COllison, Chalmers , Augustyne etc

  • He's be on that “name it after Bob Knight” kick for years now, pretty much ever since they took the interim tag off Davis. And Vitale never talks about the game in front of him.

    But, I agree. Give it a rest already, Dickie V. Talk about how awesome Gordon was, talk about how big the bench was, talk about how important DJ's knee is going to be over the next seven games…whatever. Give the public crucifixion of Greenspan and Sampson a rest from time to time.

    I'll be interested in seeing what Lavin and Musberger have to say during the Purdue game. I'm Mush-mouth will be in the same vein as Vitale, but Lavin seems to have a pretty level head on his shoulders.

    IU should hire Digger Phelps as interim coach.

  • I had pretty much the same thoughts while watching the game. I began to think, “You know, these aren't _really_ major infractions, it's just the NCAA being a bunch of pricks.” Which is true, I still think, but Sampson still broke the rules.

    And now I'm torn even more. Ugh. I think when I saw him hugging the players and showing all that emotion and then classily coming up to Izzo and shaking hands and talking (I know they're old friends) I was like “Man, can he somehow turn this around?”

    Still…he knew the rules, and he should have followed them.

  • Gordon is not going 35th in the draft, and will not be drafted after any of those three guys.

  • Agree 100%. The lowest he'd go would be 7th or 8th.

  • According to Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press, Scott Skiles will be the next IU coach.

    http://www.twincities.com//ci_8283948?IADID=Sea

  • CB in OR

    Scot Skiles spent time in jail for smoking pot. I doubt if he will be considered for the next coaching position.