Devan Dumes — returning to a stat sheet near you?

Devan Dumes certainly could make headlines last season. No, they weren’t always the kind you cut out and pin up at your desk, (or were they?) but Dumes’ confidence at least made for some memorable moments in a season mostly devoid of them.

So where did he go?

Last season’s leading scorer, it made sense when Dumes’ numbers came down in 2009 with the influx of fresh talent. And an injury to begin the season kept him from fighting for a starting place and visibly hindered his ability to get into an offensive rhythm once he was healthy.

But Dumes, who averaged 12.7 points per game last season, has seen that average fall by more than half, and his minutes-per-game average has been reduced almost as much. Worse, Dumes has lost nearly nine points off his overall field-goal percentage from last season to this one, and his 3-point shooting is down from 38.1 percent to 32.6 percent through 14 games.

Of course, none of this looked like more than an unexplained anomaly until Maurice Creek was lost for the season, cutting more than 16 points and the Hoosiers’ best offensive option out of the gameplan. And yet, in the two games since Creek’s injury, that open starting spot has gone to Jordan Hulls, not Dumes.

He’s had his moments, including a first-half performance against Michigan that included three 3-pointers and a pair of assists. And in fairness, while his points and minutes are down, Dumes’ rebounding and assist numbers have only decreased marginally, and he’s cut his turnover numbers — astronomically high at 3.1 per game a year ago — nearly in half.

But where he’s most valuable, Dumes just hasn’t been able to find the range on his 3-point shot, (which, you might remember, is actually rather deep) and some of his decisions around the basket have looked forced. Put more simply: Dumes just doesn’t look comfortable or in rhythm offensively.

The injury, which affected his minutes early in the season, probably kept him from carving out a place for himself in this offense before the mold hardened. And it’s understandable to think that going from starter to first or second bench option is going throw a wrench into things, too.

But Wednesday night, when the Buckeyes were scoring and Indiana wasn’t, the Hoosiers needed someone to stop the bleeding, someone to hit a couple big shots and open the game back up.

Dumes could have been that player — he was at times last season. And I promise you, Wednesday’s script will repeat itself more than once before this season ends.

It’s undoubtedly been a twisted road from Decatur Central High School to Ypsilanti, Mich., to Vincennes University to Bloomington, but this is Dumes’ last chance to find the magic.

It doesn’t matter how he does it, but he’d better do it soon.

  • dabig

    To paraphrase Bull Durham, he's got a million dollar shooting hand and a five-cent head. During those rare moments that he realizes he's part of a team, he can be spectacular. Unfortunately, most of the time, he plays like all 15,000 people in the place have come there just to watch him. Hey Devan–just because you're open from five feet behind the three point line doesn't mean you should shoot it.

  • CutterInChicago

    dabig, that is an apt analogy. He is very gifted and can do great stuff but he's like Jekyll and Hyde out there. I think we need way more Jekyll from him and soon

  • superhoops

    I agree.

  • jimmychitwood

    i think yall are being a little harsh on dumes…no, his shots didn't fall against ohio state…but you are overlooking his contributions in the michigan game…i thought he played great defensively and really helped set the pace for that win…and i don't have a problem with his shot selection…at least he shoots…at the beginning of the ohio state game, too many players were passing up open looks and we eventually fell too far behind…at least he has the courage to shoot the ball….and his touch will comeback…i have more of an issue with his inability to finish when he takes the ball to the rack…

  • BaseballBuc

    Dumes just needs to start. Plain and Simple. He needs to get his confidence up. Hulls would be better served as a spark off the bench with Elston.

  • ruddsw@yahoo.com

    The biggest liability we have on the floor is Rivers followed by Pritch followed by VJIII. Rivers cannot shoot which lets his man play way way off of him taking away his drive. Which in turn takes away any hopes of Watford being able to drive from the wing. Rivers turns the ball over entirely to much. Pritchard cannot play D1 period. VJIII is selfish he cannot pass and is not strong enough to finish. For those who believe Hulls cannot do the job you are crazy. The ball needs to be in his hands at all times. We need to run an offense that will enable him to use his passing skills and his IQ. Elston needs to be in the game more than 3 minutes at a time. Crean needs to stop trying to be a philosopher and use the offense Butler runs we have Buckley on our sideline.

  • marsh21

    I'm not a fan of just chucking it up every time you're open however we need Devan to knock down some open looks and feel confident he can do so because Jordan is simply out matched against bigger talent. I really don't think either should start as VJIII, Rivers, Watford, Pritchard and Elston should be the starting five. Man do we need a big time guard….

  • jwoody

    I can see the point about Dumes' scoring being important for the team's success, but I think the tone of this article is way too critical of Dumes. He definitely had his moments last season that we'd all like to forget, but this season (coming off an injury to start) I think he's done a decent job of adjusting to his role off the bench. Now, with Creek out he's being asked to carry more of the scoring load. He stepped up to the task against Michigan. And, yes, he did have a bad game at OSU, but let's give him another chance before we pile on the criticism. Remember he's a transfer from Vincennes, not a five-star recruit. A lot has been asked of him in his time in Bloomington, and I think he deserves some fan support.

  • JerryCT

    If we want to win then Dumes needs to play 30+min/game….AND…be on the floor at the SAME TIME as Rivers.

    Why ? Because Dumes & Rivers are our most disruptive defensive players . Together on the floor they cause the other team some problems and protect Pritchard from having to foul when he helps out. Much of our offense comes from a shot early in the clock after a stop.

    Also I disagree that he played poorly against OSU. He drove the basket at least 4 times probably more and drew fouls. He defended his man very well and had at least 4 deflections. Actually I think he was our only player consistently competitive in the game.

    To shake things up I would play Elston, Watford, Rivers, DUmes, Pritchard and Jones 30min per game. I would take the minutes from Hulls and Moore who had 40min combined in the last game…………….a virtual entire game……..with what results ?

    Some folks object to us “commenting” on coaching decisions. That is what this site is for isn't it ? Even though we donot see practice we can see GAMES and RESULTS.

  • cooper

    As usual we mostly agree. Dumes is a much better option on D than Hulls. At this point Moore should never see the floor unless its the final 4 minutes of a game and we are being blown out. I realize no one really likes Dumes bombing threes but who else do you want to shoot them? Not Rivers, not Watford, Jones maybe, Hulls can't get himself open.

    I think I mostly agree on the minutes too with one caveat; I want the team to start out pressing and try it for a full half. If they do press give them different looks with replacing Pritchard with Hulls for spells. If they aren't going to press, then the 6 you mention should be the core team. No more playing 10 guys unless the game is getting out of hand

  • marcusgresham

    I'm kind of siding with you on this one—I've been as hard on Dumes as anyone, but during the Ohio State game he chucked up a 24-footer (I think it was Dumes, I'm trying to erase as much of that game as possible from my memory bank,) that showed pretty bad shot selection, and I said, “Good! At least someone got a shot off before it became a turnover.”

  • JerryCT

    Yes I completely agree. The press probably “requires” more players to play so the “core” 6 can rest. It is also a good way to get some minutes from Moore, Hulls, Bawa, Capo because our half court defense should be shorter in duration.

    The UCLA zone press also featured a shot blocker on the other end ……..an excuse to play Bawa ??

    Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisc, NW, PSU might find this harder to deal with than our current half court D. I would not press MSU, OSU, Mich , PU becasue they have too many handlers and finishers in open court.

  • JerryCT

    While we are wishing for things i would like to wish for:

    1) somebody to finally set a screen or pick for Watford
    2) somebody other than Pritchard to set a screen that is tough to bust
    3) Elston to hold his pick until he touches somebody
    4) Jones posted down low
    5) Pritchard to set a pick for somebody other than Rivers ( hey, maybe Jones down low )

    Man I miss Kyle Taber

  • deedubbadoo

    I never in a million years thought I would say this, but yes, I too miss Kyle Taber.

  • garydavid711

    You make interesting points. If you watch the tape you see no ball reversals or Hulls coming off screens for a open shot. Watch tape . Dumes can't shoot 3 pointers when everytime he gets the ball there was a hand in his face. They tried dribble/drive all night long and never had much more in their bag. They were set up very poor offensively. Another part is the way he has been used in past games makes it hard to get your engine going same with Elston who I hear might leave at end of season.

  • hoosierboy

    What I would like to point out is that we got our ass kicked by a good but not great OSU team that is going to have a top recruiting class coming in next year. Basically they kill us and get a bunch of 5 stars coming in next year with the core of their team back. We on the other hand come back with the same guys and Mo Creek along with 2 solid role player freshman. I know this sounds very negative but the truth hurts and we need to open our eyes. This isn't the recipe for final fours. Its gonna be a long time till we get there. I like Crean and think he is a great guy, I just don't know how we expect to win when OSU, Illinoise, MSU, and Purdue have such high talent level and elite recruits locked and ready to contribute in the future.

  • cooper

    Thats what I don't really understand, they rarely if ever set off the ball screens. Even in a free flowing offense guys need to know when to set picks. A lot of the on the ball screens don't work because you can read them from a mile away and our pick and roll is a joke.

    I think Rivers should see some time in the post, he has shown some good moves, its in his scoring range and he could be an effective passer out of the post. Free flowing is great if you have the players, but when you don't you've got to switch it up a little bit and have some structure.

  • Ronb

    Dumes is moody and not a leader. He is a senior for crying out loud! You guys say you miss Taber and that is because he set picks and he tried to lead even with not much ability. He had heart and right now no one has it among the bigs. Coach is right when he says we are soft. In 2 Big Ten games are guards are the leading rebounders. When are Watford,Pritchard,Elston and anyone big going to rebound. If we can't get these big players to set good picks and get some offensive rebounds our guards will not get good open shots. Defensive rebounds by the bigs starts the fast breaks going. Last year Pritchard averaged nearly 7 rebounds a game. This year 4.0. It is sad when your leading rebounders are guards. We need defense,picks and rebounds from our front court players and until we get it we are going to be a soft easy win for the rest of the big ten. Coach is right, we are soft but they do have the ability to fix it. Get tough guys and beat Weber and his band of losers on Saturday.

  • Kelin Blab

    Garydavid…..don't get me started on the lack of “not setting screens for shooters”. That is not just an IU thing but a basketball thing. Everything seems to be about ball screens and matchups when a simple down screen could create points for hulls and dumes. Hell, Roth is screwed when he comes back unless he knows how to handle the ball…..

  • jimmychitwood

    i agree with those who pointed out how much this team misses kyle taber…his presence would be very helpful (Taber was a great off-the-ball screener)…it is impossible for our shooters (i.e. Dumes) to get good looks without good screening and off-the-ball movement, but that just ain't happening…the only way our shooters get looks in half court sets is by dribble-driving…and our problem is that Rivers is pretty much the only guy good enough to create for other guys off the dribble, but teams are learning how to play him defensively…so he can't do that because he can't shoot worth a lick

    i think this team would benefit from more off-the-ball movement and screening…we just don't have the talent to create with ball-screens and dribble-drives

  • dabig

    Gary, I agree. I don't see all that many IU games down here in NC, but when I watch them, there seems to be no real “philosophy” on offense. A lot of times, guys just stand around and watch, sorta like they have no idea what to do now that they've run down the court. It's very frustrating.

    Shots don't always fall, passes get intercepted, sometimes the other guys are just better. Good teams have something they can fall back on in those situations, some offensive concept or something (Knight's best teams–back when I was in Indiana and saw all of them–could always fall back on a strangulating defense and motion offense when everything else went down the tubes). This team does not seem to have anything basic to fall back to. Maybe it's youth, I don't know.

  • jdl2310

    I think Crean has done a good job of balancing the minutes, other than the fact that daniel moore gets more playing time than Elston on some occasions. Dumes needs to knock down big shots, but I think he has done a great job coming off the bench to do that. It doesn't matter who starts the game, it matters who finishes it, and I think Dumes can do that. With Hulls starting, it gives Verdell a chance to come off more picks and score mid-range, which we all know he can do. It also gives Rivers a chance to do that and maybe post up his smaller guard, which he can do well I think. Watford can shoot as well and pritchard is just in there to get fouls and stand there I guess. His defense is awful, as well as his offensive game.jjdl2310

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