Hoosiers prevail in final tuneup, 72-54

  • 11/11/2008 11:12 pm in

First, a preface: I planned to catch most of tonight’s game via BigTenNetwork.com. I figured the kinks from Friday night would be worked out and it’d be smooth sailing, right? Wrong. There’s a lot of good things about the BTN, but their online “streaming” is not one of them. The picture froze consistently and was basically unwatchable. Final grade: Colossal fail.

Now, onto the action. Our Hoosiers passed their final test before Saturday’s opener with a 72-54 win over DII Bemidji State. It wasn’t a pretty effort on offense as neither team shot particularly well: IU shot 43 percent and the Beavers just 33 percent. IU also left 12 points at the foul line as they hit only 17 of 29 attempts.

Malik Story came off the bench and led the way with 15 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes. Nick Williams and Tom Pritchard joined Story in double figures with 12 points each. Kyle Taber made his triumphant return with four points and nine rebounds. Verdell Jones (3-11 FG, four turnovers) and Devan Dumes (2-10 FG) both struggled.

Tom Crean was still in “let’s see what we have” mode (perhaps this will be an ongoing theme) as 14 different players saw time, including walk-ons Brett Finkelmeier, Evan White, Kipp Schutz, Kory Barnett, Broderick Lewis and Daniel Moore.

Even after two exhibition games, it’s really hard to get an idea of what to expect on Saturday when IU opens the season. The entire team is learning a new system and learning to play with each other. The hustle has been encouraging, but talent ultimately plays a big part in winning and the talent level on this club isn’t that of a typical Indiana team.

So, what say you, ITH’ers? Two exhibition games down and the opener Saturday, what are your observations about this team? Encouraged? Discouraged? Any keys to success that you’ve already identified? Let’s hear it in the comments.

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  • kate545

    Interesting – I watched both exhibition game (in New Zealand) and had no problem.

  • silkyslim

    I am encouraged by Pritchard & Williams, but hope for Dumas or Jones to run the “O” more effectively.

    Moore might claim more minutes if they don't. He kind of reminds me of sparkplug alum Erik Suhr.

    Some don't have much faith in Taber, but his rebounding will be sorely needed. Many will realize this as the season progresses.

  • jgongora86

    If we win our first game of the season, I think we should call it an end and finish the season undefeated. it's going to be ugly, but I just want to see these kids try, and work hard and I'll enjoy this season as much or even more than others.

  • RMKnight3217

    Not happy with the shooting percentage but as long as we play tough defense, move on offense and leave everything we have on the floor, I will be a happy fan win or lose.

    I truly do believe that this IU team could surprise some people in the Big Ten. Tom Crean has the right mentality to get the best out of his kids. Go Hoosiers and good luck to Tom Crean and the rest of the coaching staff into turning this ballclub into a contender!

    On to Saturday's opener!

  • bz

    i turned off the streaming feed after about ten minutes. totally unwatchable.

    this year is going to be rough, no doubt about it. i'm won't judge this year on wins/losses. as long as they show continual progress, i'll be satisfied. if they do progress steadily, i wouldn't be surprised if they play a role in bursting someone's tourney bubble.

  • JerryCT

    I am measuring success this year based on our improvment to a point where we can at least appear competitive in B10 games against the lower 7. With this as the measure I think the key will be attitude…..the ability to accept losses, encourage each other, listen to the coach etc.

    I must admit that right now I am discouraged a bit with Dumas and Pritchard. I wanted to see more efficient offense out of each. I am encouraged however by Jones, Williams and Story.

  • Stunnedmonkey

    I have the ultimate set-up. Media Center PC..Slingbox…fast internet… and got to see about 23 seconds of the game because of consistent freezing. Shamtastic fail.

    So…I listened…and I came away with the thought that if I ever did a porno, Fisch would have to narrarate. He has to leave Leary at home.

  • B_MD

    Totally agree Jerry. Steady improvement and the ability to compete with the bottom half of the Big 10, hopefully splitting home and away with a few of them will be great progress. If we're at the point by season's end where a team on the bubble wants no part of us in Bloomington, then I'll feel real good.

  • well said. get the kids some experience and rebuild the right way. hopefully they'll surprise us (in a good way) at least once this season.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Positives:

    1.) Ball movement: I think this team passes well and seem to look for each other on the court, it's not always perfect, but it's there.
    2.) Hustle: What we lack in skills, we make up for in hustle. Several players got after it in both exhibition games.
    3.) Emotion: I saw several players display positive emotion. It shows that they care, and as lame as that might sound, I think it's a huge step from last year's squad.

    Negatives:
    1.) A weapon: We have no real weapon. Dumes is flashy, but unpredictable; Jones seems inconsistent; Pritchard can't hit a layup; Williams hasn't shown enough; Roth has been pretty absent;
    2.) Chemistry: You can't gel with your teammates in this short time. It'll come, but can the Hoosiers really work well enough together to edge out more experienced teams?
    3.) Sloppiness: Chalk it up to youth and lack of chemistry, but this team makes some silly plays from time to time; I can only imagine it'll get better, but probably only slightly.

    Overall, I'm pleased that we took care of business in both games, but last night was a bit more eye-opening.

  • BigBob21

    Have to admit I usually don't post on these things but I was so Impressed by the analysis from the “Hoosier Nation” on this topic I just had to chime in…….The stream was obvioulsy very dissapointing, apparently we'll have to go to New Zealand? This team is going to be better than I origionally thought. They have done what I think we all expected they would, play hard, and for a conglomeration of freshman and walk-on's appear to be well coached. If they can continue to find ways to get to the line and make free throws, shoot if above 40% from behind the line, keep diving for loose balls and play tough team “D” then were gonna beat alot of teams…………GO HOOSIERS

  • Hoosier76

    Pritchard needs to do about an hour of the Mikan drill after each practice if he wants to be a solid contributor on the offensive end. He has the skills to be a hell of a player, he just needs to become much more comfortable around the basket.

  • MikeyD

    Same here in GA. I actually liked the coverage as well…showed the cheerleaders and fans so much more than the majors. just couldn't find the score.

  • JerryCT

    I am developing weird sensations. Like I feel comfortable with Finkelmier on the floor and Pritchard playing a wing w Jobe and Taber in the game too along w a zone defense.

  • flahoosier

    Crean basically just has to play out the year and see who is good enough to get some minutes next year, because in all likelihood most of these guys won't see much time next year. As Pat Forde said today, Crean is coach of the year if IU wins double digit games.

  • NC Fat Boy

    I also had problems with the stream. Time to move to New Zealand I guess.

    From what I could see, it was very similar to the first exhibition. I thought it was good to see the team respond when Bemidji made a run at them in the second half. Moore and Finkelmeier will be sparks for the team.

    Story and Jones both showed good athleticism, and yes, Pritchard should spend the next 3 days standing under the basket shooting layups over McLeod.

    I think they are still offensively out of sink, but that should improve (especially if they have some success early, ie wins).

    Tijan Jobe, we need to develop productivity from him on both ends.

    J

  • HoosierSmitty

    Jobe is not a very good player at this point. He just happens to be tall. I don't foresee him getting much time on the court during the season.

  • RobertSchell

    I was one of the few students who got season tickets, so I didn't have to worry about a bad “stream”, thankfully…

    but, I agree with most people in that, we WILL need Taber on the court to help contribute on the defensive end with rebounds, Pritchard will be one hell of a player the more comfortable he gets down low, and this team will surprise a few people as the season goes on

    Also, as it was my first game of the season, I was really impressed with the heart and hustle Moore showed on the court last nite…even if he wears the goofy Rip Hamilton mask

  • silkyslim

    In regards to the mask, it looks more goofy than Rip's & did Moore get hit in practice? Or is he trying to pick up chicks with his 'phantom of the opera' look? :o)

  • RobertSchell

    Yeah, I've heard he broke it during practice, and I know he broke it last year while playing at Carmel, so, who knows if it'll just be temporary or long-term/overprotective like Rip….

  • Sallad

    I agree 100%. This team was smiling a lot, and congratulating each other–it reminded me of the last few games of the Sampson era, but this passion was or better reasons.

    I think there's one more big positive for this team: Coach Crean. I was sitting on the court for the first game, and I could hear what he was yelling out to the players. He's very much a teacher, and it made me smile when I would hear his positive encouragement. When Tijan Jobe did something right, you could hear him saying, “That's right, Tijan! Good job, Tijan!” When this team hits the inevitable bumps in the road, Coach Crean is really going to hold them together.

  • well said. get the kids some experience and rebuild the right way. hopefully they'll surprise us (in a good way) at least once this season.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Positives:

    1.) Ball movement: I think this team passes well and seem to look for each other on the court, it's not always perfect, but it's there.
    2.) Hustle: What we lack in skills, we make up for in hustle. Several players got after it in both exhibition games.
    3.) Emotion: I saw several players display positive emotion. It shows that they care, and as lame as that might sound, I think it's a huge step from last year's squad.

    Negatives:
    1.) A weapon: We have no real weapon. Dumes is flashy, but unpredictable; Jones seems inconsistent; Pritchard can't hit a layup; Williams hasn't shown enough; Roth has been pretty absent;
    2.) Chemistry: You can't gel with your teammates in this short time. It'll come, but can the Hoosiers really work well enough together to edge out more experienced teams?
    3.) Sloppiness: Chalk it up to youth and lack of chemistry, but this team makes some silly plays from time to time; I can only imagine it'll get better, but probably only slightly.

    Overall, I'm pleased that we took care of business in both games, but last night was a bit more eye-opening.

  • BigBob21

    Have to admit I usually don't post on these things but I was so Impressed by the analysis from the “Hoosier Nation” on this topic I just had to chime in…….The stream was obvioulsy very dissapointing, apparently we'll have to go to New Zealand? This team is going to be better than I origionally thought. They have done what I think we all expected they would, play hard, and for a conglomeration of freshman and walk-on's appear to be well coached. If they can continue to find ways to get to the line and make free throws, shoot if above 40% from behind the line, keep diving for loose balls and play tough team “D” then were gonna beat alot of teams…………GO HOOSIERS

  • Hoosier76

    Pritchard needs to do about an hour of the Mikan drill after each practice if he wants to be a solid contributor on the offensive end. He has the skills to be a hell of a player, he just needs to become much more comfortable around the basket.

  • MikeyD

    Same here in GA. I actually liked the coverage as well…showed the cheerleaders and fans so much more than the majors. just couldn't find the score.

  • JerryCT

    I am developing weird sensations. Like I feel comfortable with Finkelmier on the floor and Pritchard playing a wing w Jobe and Taber in the game too along w a zone defense.

  • cooper

    Crean basically just has to play out the year and see who is good enough to get some minutes next year, because in all likelihood most of these guys won't see much time next year. As Pat Forde said today, Crean is coach of the year if IU wins double digit games.

  • NC Fat Boy

    I also had problems with the stream. Time to move to New Zealand I guess.

    From what I could see, it was very similar to the first exhibition. I thought it was good to see the team respond when Bemidji made a run at them in the second half. Moore and Finkelmeier will be sparks for the team.

    Story and Jones both showed good athleticism, and yes, Pritchard should spend the next 3 days standing under the basket shooting layups over McLeod.

    I think they are still offensively out of sink, but that should improve (especially if they have some success early, ie wins).

    Tijan Jobe, we need to develop productivity from him on both ends.

    J

  • HoosierSmitty

    Jobe is not a very good player at this point. He just happens to be tall. I don't foresee him getting much time on the court during the season.

  • RobertSchell

    I was one of the few students who got season tickets, so I didn't have to worry about a bad “stream”, thankfully…

    but, I agree with most people in that, we WILL need Taber on the court to help contribute on the defensive end with rebounds, Pritchard will be one hell of a player the more comfortable he gets down low, and this team will surprise a few people as the season goes on

    Also, as it was my first game of the season, I was really impressed with the heart and hustle Moore showed on the court last nite…even if he wears the goofy Rip Hamilton mask

  • silkyslim

    In regards to the mask, it looks more goofy than Rip's & did Moore get hit in practice? Or is he trying to pick up chicks with his 'phantom of the opera' look? :o)

  • RobertSchell

    Yeah, I've heard he broke it during practice, and I know he broke it last year while playing at Carmel, so, who knows if it'll just be temporary or long-term/overprotective like Rip….

  • Sallad

    I agree 100%. This team was smiling a lot, and congratulating each other–it reminded me of the last few games of the Sampson era, but this passion was or better reasons.

    I think there's one more big positive for this team: Coach Crean. I was sitting on the court for the first game, and I could hear what he was yelling out to the players. He's very much a teacher, and it made me smile when I would hear his positive encouragement. When Tijan Jobe did something right, you could hear him saying, “That's right, Tijan! Good job, Tijan!” When this team hits the inevitable bumps in the road, Coach Crean is really going to hold them together.