I considered boring you with another AP style recap of IU’s 75-47 loss at Michigan State, but as Devan Dumes was tossed shortly after throwing his third elbow of the game, I quickly changed direction.
I realize it’s a long season and the players are probably frustrated with the losses that are piling up. It’s not easy to come out each game, play hard and know no matter how well you play, you’re probably going to lose. But the behavior from Dumes was flat out unacceptable. I was willing to dismiss his elbow on Craig Moore during the Northwestern game as a lapse in judgment during the heat of battle.
After today, I’m left wondering if Dumes should be punished by either Indiana or the Big Ten. For those of you who missed the game, here’s a blow by blow recap of what went down:
- 21 seconds into the game, Dumes is whistled for a foul.
- At the 17:32 mark of the first half, he’s slapped with his second foul and heads to the bench.
- Re-enters at the 12:44 mark and by the 12:03 mark, he’s whistled for his third foul (offensive).
- With 16:31 remaining in the second half, a replay shows that Dumes elbowed Michigan State forward Goran Suton in the crotch during transition. The officials reviewed the play and decided to allow him to remain in the game, but ESPN announcers later revealed that they didn’t have access to the one replay that clearly showed the elbow was intentional.
- At the 2:10 mark, Dumes was hit by an inadvertent elbow by Michigan State forward Tom Herzog and retaliated with an elbow of his own. It was his fifth foul and also a flagrant and Dumes was ejected.
I have no problem with guys competing and playing with an edge. But when you’re throwing unprovoked elbows, especially in the waning moments of a blowout loss, you’ve got all of the elements of a cheap shot. And that’s the last thing Tom Crean needs to have on his hands while trying to rebuild a program that, let’s face it, has lost some credibility with the events that transpired last season. He’s trying to rebuild the privelege of wearing the IU uniform that’s been missing as of late.
So my questions for you, ITH’ers, are as follows: Did you view the elbows as intentional? How, if at all, should Dumes be punished? Thoughts on those questions as well as your reaction to the game are welcome in the comments, boys and girls.