Good, Bad and Ugly: Pitt

  • 12/09/2009 1:14 am in

THE GOOD: A BIG WIN, SOME CONSISTENT PLAY.

First, the big picture: It got a little too close for comfort at the end of the game, and it took longer than some IU fans would have liked, but the Hoosiers finally have a signature win under Tom Crean. Yes, Pitt isn’t at full strength. Yes, they are projected to finish in the bottom half of the Big East this year. But this was still a team that came in to the game 7-1, and was favored to win the game on a court they’re far more comfortable with than IU. Congrats are also in order to Tom Crean, who notched his 200th career win with the victory.

The story of this one? IU outworked and out-hustled Pitt the whole night. They deserved to win this game. Their zone was active around the arc; they closed in quick on open shooters. But, the Hoosiers also seemed to have caught Pitt at the right time: they only scored 47 points Friday in a win, and tonight their offensive woes continued. Sure, IU’s D deserves some credit, but Pitt only shot 31.4 percent from the floor tonight. They were sloppy at points, and had 15 turnovers on the evening. It’s clear their halfcourt game is a work in progress right now, and the Hoosiers capitalized on it. They had a plan, and executed it.

Big ups to Verdell Jones. He had 20 points on the night, and hit some key shots. Sometimes Jones get lost in the shuffle when we talk about Maurice Creek and Christian Watford being able to score in bunches, but when Jones in on, when he’s pulling some crafty moves out of his pockets like he did tonight, he’s a joy to watch.

The Hoosiers only had 12 turnovers tonight, and they finally shot well as they hit 24-of-54 shots from the floor for 44.4 percent. (They were only 1-of-7 from three-point land, though.) Good things happen when you shoot a respectable percentage from the field and take care of the ball. They dominated in the paint, too: 40 points for them, while Pitt managed half that at 20. And they were able to dominate the free-throw game as well: the Hoosiers converted on 25 of their 34 attempts, good for 73.5 percent. Pitt had 17 foul shots on the night, and converted 12 of them.

This was the type of display IU fans were hoping to see in Puerto Rico and against Maryland, but didn’t get. If the Hoosiers can build off this win and the confidence they’ve gained from it, they should be able to stay competitive in Big Ten play, and maybe even surprise a bit.

THE BAD AND UGLY: THE END.

On nights like tonight, it’s hard to gripe much about this team, especially where they’re at right now with so many new faces and schemes. But Indiana did have some trouble finishing this game out. They were up 18 points with 2:58 to play, and saw the league shrink to six with 58 seconds to go. In two minutes, a blowout became a game that was too close for comfort. Part of Pitt’s comeback was because they finally started hitting shots. But Indiana had some trouble with Pitt’s pressure, they had some lapses on the defensive end and they didn’t seal up on the boards. The Panthers ended up out-rebounding IU 45-39, including 21 offensive boards. They had some key offensive rebounds late, and it helped keep them within striking distance. If Pitt converts more of their second-chance opportunities, this game may have ended up in the loss column for IU.

But alas: it did not. IU moves to 4-4 on the season with a big win over Pitt.

Bring on the Wildcats.

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  • hoosierdaddynow

    Good Lord, the Hall is going to just be absolute bonkers on Saturday, particularly if we can hold our own at the outset.

  • JerryCT

    Clearly it is later than 90% of the fans expected .

    Listening to Crean it is at least 1 game late for him too.

    But most likely we are right on schedule given the loss of Story and Williams. I think we scaled back expectations after BU and GMason .

    MD played Nova very tough and they are a very good team . I think we are now better than we suspect we are

  • valpohistory

    Two things of note:

    1) We won the game. It wasn't pretty at times but they won. They played a good game against a good team.

    2) Leadership showed. Dumes was a quiet leader from the bench and during a time-out, even CTC was listening as Rivers was directing some of the young guns. Rivers stepped up big time. He was hurting that whole game but he showed his teammates some ridiculous respect by gutting it out and giving his all. Also, it's hard not to get fired up as a team when you see Tijan flying around and hitting the deck going after loose balls.

    The Hall is going to be rocking on Satuday. Go Hoosiers.

  • ace132

    great game for IU bball. Loved the effort, we wanted it more than pitt. Also i couldn't agree more with the Jay Bilas comment. Never misses a beat and tells it how it is. Extremely knowledgeable and a great analyst

  • hoosiergrad

    IU handled the full court press brilliantly against Maryland last week. So much so, the Terps abandoned it in the 2nd half to avoid giving up easy buckets. Let's hope we can break it down again.

  • USNavy Hoosier

    Thank you kelin for bringing up the hulls vr. wall matchup from the summer of '08. yes it was aau but it was also the game that put jordy on the map nationally as a d-1 prospect. This was also the game that the assistant coach from Duke called hulls because of his ability to play against the number one prospect of '09. listen i grew up in bloomington across the street from the hulls family and me and jordan were extremely close. I watched him play against ray mccallum and a much more athletic detroit country day team while he was at South. without hulls south does not win the game, go undefeated, or win the state championship. He gets a lot of flack on here but the kid did not get interest from duke or offered by crean for no reason. He is a winner who is STILL a freshmen. and for those of who that actually watched the game last night they would have seen he was in the game for the big spurt that IU had in the second half. Him and Bobby. So all this talk about him being a liability is getting annoying. the two threes that the number 12 was “raining” in on him. one was a fast break where he was by himself stopping the ball in the lane which youre supposed to do and then tried to cover the wing as well because the d didnt get back to help him out. The second was a great shot with hulls hand in his face. give the kid a break. he wasnt the only person that number 12 scored on in the game. as i said i've known jordan since i was 4 and he has always been the underdog, and he keeps on winning and proving everyone wrong so he can be my point guard anyday.

  • IUDan

    Early on in the season I realized that we are really in year one of rebuilding vs. year two. With all due respect to the kids who played last year, it was a makeshift team designed to get through . . . on the upside TP, Roth and VJ3 gave us something to build on – and certainly Rivers has helped.

    So that being said, I think we are in line with my expectations. I thought we could pull a W vs. Maryland, but this win is very satisfying as well. If we continue to progress as we have in the past few weeks, I think we can look forward to more of these types of wins.

    This already seems to be a very different team than what we saw in PR, and that is very good.

  • Kelin Blab

    US Navy….I am not sure what is with the piling on Hulls and blaming him for not being 6'5 230 pounds. No matter who you put in front of the kid he competes…..wall, teague, mccallum and the list goes on and on have been on losing end to an jordan hulls led team. John Wall is NOT Michael Jordan people….

    Like any other frosh he has to get stronger and quicker….OR would you like to see Danny Moore out there last night vs Pitt or coming up against Wall?

    People Hulls is the REAL DEAL……remember some other IU guards that got bad labels….(Coverdale, Suhr, and Alford) and look at their success.

  • Hardwood83

    Yes- I agree. Last season was 'year zero' with a cobbled together mess of a team. This is Crean's team now. I was pretty discouraged after Puerto Rico but I'm seeing improvement too- and maybe most exciting is I really don't think this team is near it's potential yet.

  • Kreigh_Smiths_Short_Shorts

    You didn't really just put Suhr in the same group as Coverdale and Alford, did you?

  • Disco_Briscoe

    Suhr?…he was a walk on who should have never seen the court and isn't even close to Coverdale…and then those two compared to Alford? Wow!

    All people are saying about Hulls is how he looked last night. People aren't saying he isn't D1 or rotation ready. Go back and read what people said about the Maryland game…I am pretty sure all good things. He got beat a few times last night and from what it looked like it could be blamed on speed/size. I'm sure it wont be ongoing…It was one game in his freshman year. Slow down on the defensive.

  • Kelin Blab

    My suhr, alford, coverdale reference was to the “that guys is too small, hard nosed, and too slow” not necessarily putting Suhr as the same talent level as Alford, but all of us loved when Suhr, Alford, and Coverdale were on the court because all three were winners…all three were leaders…..I have seen a lot of jabs thrown at Hulls that are not valid. He isn't perfect but to say, and some have said, he is not D1 is not valid in my opinion.

  • bloomingtonian

    A few notes…

    1) We want Kentucky to beat UConn. It is to our advantage to have Kentucky coming into assembly hall thinking it will be a cake walk against IU. Then maybe we get out to an early lead against a shocked opponent and it becomes a game. I'm nervous about a Kentucky team coming into assembly hall off a tough loss and taking out some frustration…

    2) I don't know if its a good or bad thing that we aren't attempting or hitting many 3s. Thinking back to IU teams of late under sampson and davis, we lived by the 3 and died by the 3. I would say that Roth being out is a big reason, and Rivers reluctancy to take a jump shot is another. Eventually, we are going to have to prove we can hit the 3 because teams watching film are going to start playing off the ball and daring us to shoot. Dumes, VJIII and Creek are all capable shooters, and Elston and Watford, for bigs, are comfortable taking the outside shot as well. I think we should all be very excited to see this team improve and find new ways to score as the season develops.

    3) People do need to stop hating on Hulls. Even if he is at this point a defensive liability, I think he has made some nice passes in the half court and open court, and I do trust him taking care of the ball and taking foul shots in the closing minutes of a tight game. Crean has the confidence to put him out there as part of his break the press package for a reason…

  • IUDan

    I like this post alot. I think alot of people (myself at times) fall into a trap of thinking that what we see at this point is what we have, and that is dead wrong. Players get better – especially freshmen players. Freshmen make mistakes, and they learn from them, get stronger and quicker, and DEVELOP over time. Very few come right in ready to play.

    I love players like Jordan Hulls, who “they” say aren't “big enough / fast enough / good enough” to be good players – I think these players end up being some of the most tough-minded competitors out there (vs. some who are gifted but can only win b/c they are more athletic).

    Give him (and them) time . . . and let's stop making rash judgments based on a handful of games.

  • Marcus Gresham

    Just checked Detroit Mercy's website. Their leading scorer and rebounder is Eli Holman (14.5 pts., 10.3 rebs.,) and the second leading scorer is Xavier Keeling. Any idea what any of the other guys who left/were run out of town are doing? (I know this excludes Williams, Crawford, & Story from last year, who'd still be in their redshirt year.)

  • Disco_Briscoe

    Crawford seems to be tearing it up. A lot of us knew he had the talent. Don't forget Holloway was a decommitt too.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/teams/stats?teamI

  • jgongora86

    Jordan Hulls will be a stud. I think those people who insult hulls don't get he's a freshman point guard. The way the man comes off of screens is a sight to see. He doesn't just drive to the basket right away, because he knows that it could lead to turnovers. He's very composed and that pass I saw against Maryland shows me that he has vision, and can make his teammates better. The freshman year is usually the year were most point guards make a ton of mistakes ( no matter how highly recruited you are). By his junior year I expect him to gain about 15lbs of muscle and will be able to drive at will to complete his game.

  • Mike

    Well… Crawford is doing well at Xavier. Bassett has just been activated for Ohio and is expected to be a key part of that team. Ellis flunked out of his junior college. Thomas played a few games for Robert Morris and McGee was dismissed from Auburn this past August. If you want to go even further back… Joey Shaw is a senior at Nevada and doing pretty well, as is Ben Allen at St. Mary's. Oh, and Lucas Steijn completed his collegiate career last year at Idaho State!

  • Don't get me wrong, I'll be pulling for a win along with everyone else, and be throwing my hands in the air and screaming when a bad play or call is made. But, let's also be realistic, we're playing the #4 ranked team in the country with a player many have rated as one of the top 3-5 players to come out of high school in the last 10+ years.

    We are not favored, nor should we be. I'd love a win and am hoping for one, but I'd be encouraged with a close hard fought lose. I don't usually subscribe to moral victories, but this is a special case.

  • Wait a second, did you say we're better off with Hulls than John Wall? I understand we're in rebuild mode, but Wall is a once every few years player. I've heard many analysts, both college and NBA, rate him higher than Oden and Derek Rose coming out of high school, and both those guys brought their teams to the championship game in their one season.

    Hulls seems like he'll be a good long-term player, although you really can argue that he's been disappointing to this point, but John Wall is a program changer.

    Disclaimer: I'm talking purely on talent and obviously taking off-court issues out of it. IU is not in the position to take players with potential violations at this point, really at any point.

  • I think the “hate” on Hulls is more due to many people blowing him up too much before his arrival. Hulls needs time to develop and just isn't ready to be a huge/consistent contributor or distributor yet, and that's ok. But, some people blew him up like he was ready to step foot on campus and lead this team right off the bat.

    I like Hulls and can see where his game will really help down the road, but right now this team needs Rivers at the point because IU doesn't have enough play makers that can break a defense down and create. Yes, we have to deal with crazy turnovers at times because of that, but hopefully Rivers can play more under control like last night.

  • hoosierodi

    Very good confidence booster. Also i would like to point out to all the Crean doubters that he out coached Dixon that game. He noticed that the Pitt players were switching and quickly took advantage of it.

    Thoughts on game:
    – Impressed with Rivers playing through his pain.
    – No one played an amazing game, maybe Verdell, but he kinda scored his points consistently and didn't really pop out to me as dominant.
    – Dumes played one of the best games of his career. Didn't force anything. Really had no stupid mistakes besides that one pass late when Pitt started to make its come back, but you could argue that VJ should have run to the pass.
    – Also the 2 fast break plays with Dumes and Jones, the normal Dumes would have been out of control and missed the layup or get a charge, but he was under control and made very nice passes to Jones.
    – Very good to see everyone contribute to a big win. Creek didn't have his highest scoring game, but still had very big contributions.
    – Pritch got off to a great start with the first 6 points, but disappeared as the fouls added up. The last to calls against were pretty terrible calls though.
    – We probably get blocked more than any team in the nation. Ever heard of a shot fake?? I know Crean has been stressing the simple fundamentals, they just cant transfer it to the game.
    – On the other end of that we also have pretty good shot blocking ability. Watford has great shot blocking ability, and Creek has some looonnnnnggg arms.
    – Pretty good D. You know if Jay Bilas says we are playing good D that its true.
    – Would have liked to see Bawa get in for a little.
    – What is up with announcers and thinking Jobe is a good shot blocker, he has maybe 4 blocks in his career.

    – It is a GREAT win and i cannot wait for the Kentucky.
    – This will be my first time seeing Assembly Hall as loud as it possibly can since the only games i have gone to see have been against bad teams, and Kentucky when we had EJ, DJ, and they were not very good.
    – 3 more years and ill be a student there, and goin to every game! Born and raised a Hoosier.

    GO HOOSIERS!!!

  • cooper

    I'm sorry but Wall will walk all over Hulls should they match up on Saturday. Wall already looks like a NBA player with his size and strength. Hulls looks like a freshman, and not a very athletic one at that. Don't really care what happened in AAU. Hulls has struggled this year against athletic guys. IU hasn't played anyone close to the ability of Wall. I'd expect to see alot of zone because anyone on the team will have trouble staying in front of him.

    It was a great win last night but lets not get crazy.

  • cooper

    IU regressed with the loss to BU, took steps with the game against Md, and i think this win was early. Pitt can beat a lot of teams when they are playing well. No disgrace losing to their team if they play well. Playing how Pitt played last night, whether of their on volition or IU's play, the result was a good one

  • cooper

    Couldn't say it any better really. I'm one of the IU grads from outside of Indiana and don't live there now. Therefore, while I understand the need to recruit Indiana I could frankly careless if there is one Indiana player on the team as long as team wins.

    All you heard about Hulls was he was the 2nd coming and many people said he would be starting. I'm not a hater, just like I'm not a hater of Pritchard. There is nothing more I want than to see Hulls or anyone else be the best player IU has ever seen.

    My only point in my comments on him is that he is not ready for more than back up minutes. As a former coach I see he has good fundamentals but as many said he needs to get stronger and work on his athleticism. Those saying he should start or play over Rivers have lost their minds and don't know much about basketball. Rivers right now does a much better job getting IU into their offense and on D than Hulls.

  • JerryCT

    I am on this site every day and never have I seen an insult or a “hate” on Hulls. I never heard anybody count him out or think he is not a good recruit. I have only seen comments that he has development to do before he meets the expectations. If facts are “insults” then so be it. Right now there is no case to exalt Hulls except on the basis of the future player we all expect him to be.

    If you want to talk insults try Pritchard and lets talk last night. Watch the first 3 minutes of the game and then later when Jones and Creek got him 3 of his 5 fouls by poor defense yet folks blame TP for his fouls. Nobody sets a better pick on the team and its used 70% of the time to start the offense.

    People love Creek but he hurts us on 1/2 court D much of the time but great in the full court . Dumes is our best defender and showed it against UMISS and PITT but no respect from fans.

    The point is that it is a tough game to play for anybody at the speed we are playing it and each kid right now has work to do and thank god they are really getting better and we can see it.

    ( this is a reply to your post but not at all in opposition to it but this seemed like the right spot to comment about the accumulation of things above )

    The point is these kids are actually getting good and

  • A few thoughts on Hulls –

    1 – The more people talk trash about his game the better. He feeds off of your insignificant opinions and uses it to his advantage.
    2 – He is lights out if you give him an open three
    3 – When rivers got injured against maryland, he came in and played amazing – and we started winning. I think that performance showed rivers and crean that we have to have a resemblence of a half court offense and not turn it over. So you can thank Hulls for demonstrating that to the team – so thank him for our win last night.

    Keep talking.

  • jgongora86

    I understand jerry. When I usually make comments I usually refer to the hoosier nation as a whole. I think there are people who judge Hulls harshly ( not in this site), but I think it stems from the fact that they are not patient and not willing to wait to build a winning program.

  • Bryan

    The Good:
    Once again, the team does show improvement from game to game. They seem much more polished than the group that tipped off against Ole Miss.
    Good contributions from the bench. Elston and Capo gave quality minutes, and Dumes seems to be settling into his more defensive-oriented role with this year's team.

    The Bad
    This may be a reflection of me more than Rivers, but some of his passes scare the hell out of me. At least it seems like his teammates are starting to understand where he's trying to throw some of them.
    Also, I'd say that the team's homework assignment from this one is an essay on “how to handle a full court press.”

    The Ugly
    Pritchard and foul trouble. It seemed like he was off to a good start offensively, but just picked up fouls at a faster clip than normal. He also seems like a player who isn't comfortable playing in foul trouble. It seems like he leaves his shots short once he's picked up a foul or two.

  • great info. joey shaw was weird lookin but good!

  • JerryCT

    Yes, I just thought your post was the right spot. I support your comments.

    To the extent we have fans on this site that are hard on players I think Dumes probably ranks #1 and TP #2 . I donot believe they deserve it and honestly all of the players deserve our support they are working their butts off

  • cooper

    surprisingly Rod Wilmont is doing pretty well in the D League…never thought he would still be playing anywhere

  • Kelin Blab

    Some early KY thoughts….
    + We should play a zone if we slow them down.
    + They play like freshmen…good ones….but freshmen
    + John Wall is very good
    + KY's defense is about as good as Indiana's…which means it is OK
    + It will absolutely be a competitive game
    + Dicky V….thinks we will give KY a game….Thanks Dicky V, we may name AH after you and not Bobby…

  • Please bring rational thoughts to the table next time.

  • Love this comment Jerry! I don't hate Hulls at all. Nothing would make me happier than seeing him develop into a Hurley, Coverdale or Deiner type player. That would be awesome and I can see flashes at times. But, he just not even close to that yet, and as I said in an above comment, that's ok he's only a freshmen.

    I think the problem is that people had unfair expectations of Hulls for this season and now anybody who disagrees with those expectations after seeing him play is labeled a “hater”. Again, he probably will be, and I hope he is, a great player as he develops, but he's not there yet. I still think he was a great recruit for Crean to get and I'm glad he's at IU.

  • Good thoughts Kelin. My worry after watching last night is that Crean will try to run with KY. IMO that won't work, they are phenomenal on the break with Wall and Bledsoe running the show. I know Crean wants to implement a fast-break running style, but we just don't have the horses in this one. IMO the best way for a win is to play zone as you suggest and to try to slow the pace down and make it a half-court game.

    Looking forward to the game and hopefully IU surprises some people!

  • Kelin Blab

    BGleas….I think we have to run with them to an extent and put pressure on their guards and take advantage of our strengths…..We have to attack KY like we attacked Pitt. A truly believe a good zone slows down their guards and forces them to make jump shots. I have alot of confidence in Crean on this one to come up with some tricks up his sleeve.

    I think Wateford could have a big game as their bigs are not mobile enough to guard him…I cannot wait

  • CreamandCrimson

    Good point, Kentucky's big guys aren't mobile enough to guard Watford. Question is, are IU's bigs strong and talented enough to guard Patterson, Cousins and Orton? The answer, I fear, is no. Pritchard will probably get into foul trouble pretty quickly and I don't know who is going to contain Patterson. IU might have a quickness advantage down low but KY has a strength, and more importantly, talent edge.

    I watched the UConn game and I saw the Cats play against Stanford. I truly believe a zone is the only option we have. They don't have any phenomenal shooters and our man-to-man would get shredded on the perimeter. If the Hoosiers can get off to a good start and get the crowd behind them, this could be a contest. Kentucky has a lot of talent but they only have two consistent players (Wall and Patterson). If the rest of their guys don't show up, Kentucky will be in for a shock! This was a great confidence win over a team that will win 20 games (Dixon does it every year). Go Hoosiers!

  • Kelin, I agree with you on most of this, I think a zone will be effective too, although we'll need special/extra emphasis on rebounding out of the zone. Great thoughts on Watford. Hopefully Crean will put Watford in some situations to isolate Cousins (or whatever big they put on him) on the perimeter and take him off the dribble.

    I still disagree on the running thing. KY looked unbelievable on the break last night. With our tendency to get out of control and turn the ball over, it could get out of hand quickly if we play sloppy and allow them to get us in a running game. I do see where you're coming from though, because we have been effective in the running game this year and probably have more turnovers in the halfcourt, it's almost a Catch 22 here 🙂

  • Kelin Blab

    BGLeas….I think if we can handle the couple of runs that will surely come we will be fine. As far as the KY break, last night it was moreso Wall and the other guard than anything but will have to step in take some charges and get back on D. It is a catch 22 but I think we are better when we are in attack mode. I hope like HELL Rivers is healthy as he can at least slow Wall down.

    Cousins has been a head case all year, I don't worry a ton about him. Cal has had problems with him over and over. I do like the fact they are coming in off a win, could be a little over confident and have yet to play a solid road game. This crowd could rival the Duke IU game from a few years ago…..

  • CreamandCrimson

    The word they always use on TV is “spurtability”. Kentucky is going to hit IU with a couple of quick six to eight point runs. The key is going to be stopping those runs at six to eight points and not letting them carry on to be 15-2 runs or something like that. Rivers can definitely slow Wall down if he is healthy but I don't know if a pinched nerve is going to heal up by Saturday. His size and strength could give Wall something to think about though.

    Again, I am worried about Patterson down low. UConn is a pretty big team and Patterson was able to have his way at times last night. I really don't know if Pritchard, Elston, Capobianco and Jobe are up to the task of handling him down low. KY is now coming off wins over UNC and UConn. I hope they come out a little bit over confident and the Hoosiers put a lead on them early. If that happens, we're in for a game.

  • cooper

    Watched the game last night and while UK is a great team they have some weaknesses. Most would say don't try to run against them, I disagree. They don't get back on Defense and tend to watch the ball. Numerous times last night UCONN got a rebound and all the UK players would stare at him before running back. IU has to attack before they get set on D. Allowing them to set up on D will hurt without a consistent shooter.

    On defense IU should be in zone for the majority of the game. It protects Rivers from foul trouble and his injury. IU is going to have trouble staying in front of Wall and Bledsoe and Patterson will be tough to guard one on one. I'd play a tight zone as well, a couple feet off of Wall. If Wall and Bledsoe are hitting their shots then you tip your hat and hope they start missing. If IU is going to play man, I'd put Dumes on Wall. He is the best defender and it will save energy for Rivers.

    Patterson will be a problem inside, another guy you give the jumper to so he doesn't just drive by you. When Cousins comes in I'd put Jobe on him. I think Cousins can get frustrated and get in to foul trouble. Jobe is awkward enough to frustrate him.

  • Kelin Blab

    Cooper I never thought I would see the day that Tijan was tabbed to guard someone…however you are 100% right about that matchup. Dakich on his show said Cousins can't shoot over anyone and he said other than a spurt against UNC Kentucky is not that good. Helluva point on how they do not get back on defense. I think IU has more than a good chance to win and to go 2-1 in this three game stretch would be outstanding……

  • It's not that I don't agree with you and Kelin on the running, I guess it's a difference of swinging for the fences or trying to play situation baseball, if this makes sense? I feel like running gives IU a better chance to win, but also a better chance to get blown out.

    Slowing it down probably decreases the chances of pulling the upset, due to reasons you highlighted, but also probably gives IU a better chance at staying in game longer and keeping it close.

    I hope that made sense?!?!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Very good point Cooper. Cousins and Orton don't worry me much. Cousins is very capable of putting up big numbers when his head is screwed on straight. Problem for Kentucky is that doesn't look like it'll happen much this season. Right now, he and Orton both look like big bodies that don't do much. So, yeah, Jobe (and maybe Bawa after Tijan gets in foul trouble) could contain Cousins.
    Still, how do we guard Patterson? The 2-3 zone should slow down Wall and force Kentucky to shoot from the perimeter, Cousins and Orton don't worry us, what do we do to contain Patterson? Any thoughts?

  • Kelin Blab

    I think a zone could help with patterson also as he is going to have to find gaps and NOT be able to just sit on the block like he likes too. I will take patterson facing up than him posting up. Secondly it is a little easier to double down in a zone so patterson will have to pass out of it, kinda like what DJ had to do but never really 'got it'………So you got Tijan behind you and elston or someone nearby I think IU will be ok……

    Dakich made a good case on why KY is not that good as people are making them out to be a fully agree with his assessment on their experience, depth, and their 'freshmenness'

  • cooper

    Kelin

    I think Patterson has to be let go. The key is going to be only allowing one guy to get 20 plus points. If they have more than one going for twenty IU clearly has no chance. The zone is the best chance to keep Wall and Bledsoe from going off unless they hit their shots from deep. If they do, the game is over. I think Patterson can score but he scores a lot of his points on the penetration of the other players and rebounds. We have to box him out and keep him from easy shots in the lane. Keep him shooting the 10-15 foot jumper. If he hits, again the game is over.

    In addition, I'm telling everyone but Rivers, Creek, and Watford to foul foul foul. Screw it. They can't shoot free throws (66% clip). The difference between Pritchard, Jobe, Bawa, Elston, and Capo is minimal. None are really go to guys. Thats 25 fouls we can use to keep them from easy shots. I'm talking knocked on their a$$ fouls too. Wall needs to be on the ground when he comes in the middle, nothing dirty just hard fouling

    IU has to pick their battles in this game. Somebody for UK is going to score and probably score alot. The key is making them score shooting jumpers and not layups. If they hit their shots they win. If they have an off day shooting IU has a shot.

    The crowd needs to get on Cousins early. We need to hope and pray he throws up and early airball and gets off his game. If he gets a dunk like he did early in the UCONN game on that spin move we are in trouble. I don't think Jobe can stop him but he may be able to piss him off to the point of picking up a T or getting off his game

    Cream and Crimson I agree with you. Running will get us blown out but its the only shot of winning. If we had more guys who could create their own shot I'd say slow it down. We need to make them slow down, and we need to speed it up on offense. Hard to do but only shot of winning.

  • I love IU

    Creek shut Wall down the second half of there game last year in Vagas. Creek also scored all over him. All he did after halftime was step back. Halls will do good on him too. Take a half step back off of him and make him shoot jumpers. His athleticism will not be a factor then.

    What I do know is IU better stop given the baseline or our bigs will get dunked all over. I am seeing a lot of teams giving the baseline then trying to trap. I think that's what is going on with guards releasing to the bigs to trap but the communication is not there yet (Tom Prichards foul trouble). If I was coach I would take away the baseline looking to get the charge on Wall or whoever he try to through the alley oop too. Step right in front of whoever they try to set up for the oop before they leave the ground.

  • I love IU

    Wat gets his shot blocked because he bring the ball back to far on his jumper. He puts it over his head which makes his release to slow. Thats why his shots are getting blocked. he need to finish fast with hooks and up and unders. No jumper under the basket. His stride is long but I think it's he works hard. His facial expression make you think he's not in the game but he is. Look at the stats.

  • CreamandCrimson

    This has been a good discussion about the benefits of a zone defense (who would have thought) and what we can do to slow Kentucky down. We all agree that the 2-3 zone will be our best chance to keep Wall and Bledsoe on the perimeter. We then hope they aren't hitting their outside shots and that they aren't finding the holes in the zone.

    I agree that zone is really our only option. Problem is, IU is not a great zone team. They aren't even a good zone team at this point. Kentucky will know it's coming. The Hoosiers are going to have to execute perfectly on offense for 40 minutes (turnovers will lead to easy Kentucky buckets) to keep this one close. The Hoosiers have a chance but everyone needs to be on.