ITH Super Happy Fun Time Player Profile: Matt Roth

  • 10/12/2009 6:00 am in

roth101209Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Matt Roth.

When Matt Roth signed a Letter of Intent with Indiana, former coach Kelvin Sampson compared his shooting ability to Lee Humphrey, a catalyst in Florida’s back-to-back national championships. The comparison was a high billing considering Humphrey is the all-time leader in three-pointers made in the NCAA Tournament. The Washington (IL) native showed flashes of shooting brilliance as a freshman, but for the most part, he was a one-dimensional threat who lived and died by the three-pointer.

Roth attempted 174 shots in 2008-2009 and 153 came from behind the arc. While many considered Devan Dumes to be IU’s streakiest shooter, Roth was actually less effective than Dumes in shooting the basketball. If you throw out his extraordinary performance against Ohio State where he connected on 9 of 11 attempts, his three-point percentage checked in at just 34 percent.

So where does Roth fit in as a sophomore? That will be largely dependent on his improvement during the off-season. There is playing time on any team for a shooter, but IU has added a shooter in Maurice Creek. Roth will need to show that he can occasionally operate off the dribble, defend much better, contribute on the glass and hit open shots to consistently see the floor. One thing that he’s reportedly changed is his body: Tom Crean said on Thursday that he’s gained 20 pounds since last season.

Bottom Line: The good news for Roth heading into the season is that Crean is speaking highly of his progress over the summer. His experience should help him when minutes are divvied up in November, but beyond that, he’ll need to bring something other than just standing outside and waiting for an opening. Improvement on defense is probably his best bet to regular playing time in an ultra-competitive backcourt.

Quotable: “Matt has a quicker release, and he is trying to do more than just shoot threes. We’re actually trying to get him to move his range in, so that he has a quicker release and at points in time can break you down off of a shot-fake. He is trying to get to the offensive boards.Crean on Roth.

Roth catches fire against Ohio State:

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  • bz

    i just don't see roth getting much pt in the big ten season. he'll get some minutes early in the year when the staff if trying to figure out what they have as a team, but save for a few last-second-we-need-a-big-three type situations, i don't see him playing a whole lot.

  • aerialM

    candidate for a redshirt? I'd think so. Good to hear about the developments in his game/conditioning over the offseason, but in the end, playing time will be sparse. I'd think a redshirt could help him and help the team. he does have to hit his 3's more consistently & add another element to his game, be it defense or passing, or an ability to track down a long rebound or two. I see him as a Todd Leary guy, eventually, but for now, he's a sharp-shooter whose shooting isn't always sharp. Still, with the offensive options we have this year, the opposing D might sag off him and he might have some more open looks…

  • GFDave

    Its encouraging to find out that Matt has worked hard during the off season and that Crean has noticed it so much that he mentions Matt's efforts. Good for him. I hope he becomes a contributor and right now I think that means being able to come into the game and instantly provide offense. If he can't do that, I doubt he'll stay on the floor very long.

  • HoosierGirl

    No disrespect, but the redshirt idea is an awful one. We have to get some class balance back and redshirting him would only add to that problem. Plus, I think he could still help us on the court this year if he has improved as much as Crean says…especially if we can get some penetration and kickouts.

  • Andrew

    I've got one for you…if you “throw out” (as you like to say) our 25 losses last year, we were actually 6-0!!! Manipulating statistics is just that…why not just say what actually happened, that he shot 37% from 3 for the year? He played in all (31) games during a very difficult season; why in the world would his best game not count??? Keep in mind that 33% 3-pt shooting is equal to 50% 2-pt shooting. As a true freshman on a team with no one who could consistently drive, draw, and dish (a point that cannot be overstated), his numbers are actually quite respectable. Was he one-dimensional last year? Of course. But every IU player is in some way flawed. Roth, Dumes, and Jones will play a much larger role than people think. Everybody's in love with the new guys b/c Hulls has never committed a turnover, Rivers has never missed a front end, Creek has never forced a terrible shot. This perfection, of course, will end once the games start. Shooting, like Bob Knight has said, is still the most important skill in basketball. If we have the playmakers our fans claim we now have, then there is very much a spot for Matt Roth.

  • Throwing out 25 losses and throwing out a game that was a statistical anomaly are quite different.

  • aerialM

    none taken. your argument makes sense. i'm just thinking about playing time and what he could possibly add to the team with a more developed,well-rounded game. you bring up some good points. Roth is usually mentioned as a possible transfer and I think that'd be a shame. he can certainly contribute/play a role on a D-I, B10 team…

  • stevealford

    I agree with Andrew on this. You can't just decide to throw out statistics from a game to make the guys numbers look worse than they really are. Why don't you just throw out his worst game of the year and give those numbers?

  • GFDave

    I've already explained this to you. Do you want to hear why you are wrong again?

  • CreamandCrimson

    I really hope the comments from Crean aren't just talk to give Roth confidence. If he really has added 20 pounds of muscle and committed to improving his game, he can be a weapon off the bench. He can't be a liability on defense and I would love to see a shot fake and drive occasionally thrown in.

    I have noticed some people wondering if he is a candidate for a redshirt. He will not redshirt and he shouldn't redshirt. Matt Roth, if he has developed close to advertised, can be a real asset to this team.

  • cooper

    will hardly play at all, i see him transfering after this year

  • cooper

    will hardly play at all, i see him transfering after this year

  • hoosierclarion

    Roth will see plenty of playing time in the rotation. Zone defenses will be played throughout many games against this young team. He will be one of the guys in the corner or at the wing trying to break it with open 2's and 3's. By the time the B10 season arrives his confident shot will be solid.