Should IU bring Matt Roth back?

Yesterday, via our dear friends at the Hoosier Scoop, we got a clearer picture of Matt Roth’s progress from his foot injury. We know the boot is off; he even was shooting around a bit before the Iowa game.

Some quotes from coach Tom Crean on his radio show last evening:

We’re getting closer to decision time,” Crean said on his radio show Monday night. “He’s ahead of schedule, what that totally means, we’re getting closer to finding out.”

“We’d really like him back,” Crean said. “And the thing about Matt is not only can he shoot it, but Matt moves the basketball. When that ball stops, and that thought gets out ‘lets see if I have a play before I make the next pass.’ That’s the stuff we’ve gotta go through, and it drives me nuts.”

If you remember back when the injury occurred in Puerto Rico, Crean did indicate that if Roth was still unable to play in February, the team wouldn’t bring him back aboard; instead they’d apply for a medical hardship and give Roth another year of eligibility.

We’re about at the breaking point here: Roth may be ahead of schedule, but if he’s still not good to go very soon, it’s likely he won’t play this season.

But let’s not reach that conclusion just yet. Let’s talk about where Roth fits in with this current incarnation of the Hoosiers. Roth is certainly no NBA talent, but he’s also a guy that can hit the outside shot like few others on this team. When he’s hot, he’s hot. It takes some serious shooting talent to be able to knock down nine threes — tied for an IU record — as a freshman. So where I see him fitting in sans Mo Creek is another option for IU in the corners or out on the wings to knock down treys. Think of him as a Jordan Hulls type, except without the point guard skills. I’m not sure his presence in Crean’s system allows this Hoosiers team another win or two, but who knows: when IU failed to hit a three against Iowa, a hot Roth could have been there to keep it closer at the end of that game. And if Crean is pointing out his passing value as well, he’d probably see some decent minutes off the bench this season.

If I had my druthers, I’d say it’s probably best to get Roth a redshirt season here, and use his shooting prowess down the road when IU is battling to get in the NCAA Tournament. No reason to rush him back now. Though, this decision could muddy up the scholarship situation at some point down the road.

So what say you ITH’ers? Would you want a bump from Matt Roth in the back half of the Big Ten season? Or would you prefer him not to burn a year of eligibility?

  • HoosierDavey

    Yeah, we didn't get to see a lot of him this year, but he looked improved just by watching him at Hoosier Hysteria. Looked like he had worked on a quicker release and like he had more confidence. I see value there, even with what we think we'll have in the future.

  • valpohistory

    Good point. If he doesn't come back this year, he will not play any meaningful minutes for us next year. The influx at guard will completely bury him. Heck, he wasn't even playing much this year and the depth wasn't near what it will be next year. I like Matt Roth, except for when he almost hit me in his car when I was walking to class, but that's beside the point. (Although I'm still pretty steamed about that!) He can shoot lights out when he's on, but he doesn't play defense well and he can't create off the dribble. You never like to speculate on things like this, but he is one of the largest contenders for a transfer after his meeting with CTC, IMHO

  • JerryCT

    I was not a Roth fan when he was recruited by Sampson. Then I talked to Roth in PR after his injury. I have also re watched my games early this year. IMO he is bigger, stronger and better than any of us think and showed mid range game and passign this year for the brief period we saw him. He CAN play good defense , better than Jones/Hulls/Creek.

    I want him back when HE thinks he is ready and I predict he will contribute both on and off the court.

  • HoosierDavey

    Yeah, we didn't get to see a lot of him this year, but he looked improved just by watching him at Hoosier Hysteria. Looked like he had worked on a quicker release and like he had more confidence. I see value there, even with what we think we'll have in the future.

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  • rusty95

    bring him back.
    I think Matt will help this team in alot of ways, now and in the future. I can see him getting significant playing time for the rest of his career. He's vocal when on the floor and Lord knows we need some leadership. Very good bball IQ, head in the game at all times even on the bench with a boot on his leg. Deadly 3 point shooter and has to be accounted for at all times if your the opposing team. If it's up to him I would bet we see him this year. He knows his team needs his help and I believe he will have the confidence to bring it. Good luck Matt, however the out come.
    Go Hoosiers…

  • Ryan_Btown

    It's not like the kid is the next Calbert Cheaney, so it's not a big deal that one year is only half a season instead of a full season. They need a lift! Bring him back!

  • rusty95

    bring him back.
    I think Matt will help this team in alot of ways, now and in the future. I can see him getting significant playing time for the rest of his career. He's vocal when on the floor and Lord knows we need some leadership. Very good bball IQ, head in the game at all times even on the bench with a boot on his leg. Deadly 3 point shooter and has to be accounted for at all times if your the opposing team. If it's up to him I would bet we see him this year. He knows his team needs his help and I believe he will have the confidence to bring it. Good luck Matt, however the out come.
    Go Hoosiers…

  • Ryan_Btown

    It's not like the kid is the next Calbert Cheaney, so it's not a big deal that one year is only half a season instead of a full season. They need a lift! Bring him back!

  • hoosierfan25

    Roth needs to come back they need the scholarship he probably wont be 100% but they have to bring him back! He also will provide another weapon ..thats if rivers or verdelle will ever reverse the ball.

  • hoosierfan25

    Roth needs to come back they need the scholarship he probably wont be 100% but they have to bring him back! He also will provide another weapon ..thats if rivers or verdelle will ever reverse the ball.

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