The Minute After: Northwestern

  • 03/11/2010 8:05 pm in

FINAL SCORE: Northwestern 73, Indiana 58 | Box Score

The ghost of Hoosier future.

Derek Elston (10 points, nine boards) and Christian Watford (nine points, six boards) playing close to the  double-double men they’re capable of being night in and night out. Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls handling the perimeter. A strong start. Controlled, sensible decisions. Being in the driver’s seat for 32 minutes of this one. Using the same scheme — a zone that forced outside shots — against Northwestern twice in the same week, and it working. Respectable shooting from the field (43.5 percent) and (sort of) from three (33.3 percent).

The ghost of Hoosier past.

The scoring droughts. A few of ’em, but none more costly than the 9:29 without a field goal late in the second half — a stretch of time that essentially lost this team the game.

The turnovers. When the wheels fell of midway through the second half, Northwestern’s 1-3-1 zone forced the Hoosiers into plenty of them, and of course, there were a number of the unforced variety as well. In total, IU had 19. (13 of which came in the second half.)

This one stings a bit, because IU had this game. The car was on cruise control. But they fell asleep at the wheel and veered off the road — never to recover.

It would have been nice to rack up an 11th win, nice to have a chance at a 12th win against Purdue in the next round of the tourney. But alas, what’s doomed the Hoosiers all season — their inability to take care of the ball and put the ball in the basket — doomed them again today.

Going to cut this one short instead of rambling on like usual. We’ll have plenty of end-of-the-year content starting next week for y’all, which should be fun.

Thanks for sticking with us this season, and don’t fret. Better days are ahead.

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  • LDIU

    It is hard to imagine that IU could be ahead 45-39 (and it could have been more) and then get outscored 34-13 down the stretch. Turnovers, turnovers, and then more turnovers were the key.
    Whoever comes back (and I sincerely hope that they all do) have certainly got a lot of work to do over the next 7 months. This (hard work) also includes the head coach and coaching staff. This was very discouraging tonight.

  • Kelin Blab

    I won't be repetitive. Glad this season is over finally, thought we could have made some tourney noise, but not yet…

    + The seniors, I wish you well, good luck in the future

    + As Mo Creek said in the paper today….”EVERYONE will be back” so I won't worry about that this offseason.

    + J. Rivers, the expectations were high, the dissapoints are low….You could become one of IU's corner stone's for one year next year or you could become an after thought quick. I think Crean and Jordan Hulls are going to make it tough for you if you don't step your game!

    + Christian, I fully expect you, Mo Creek, and VJ3 to flirt with all big ten next year and the year after.

    + Matt Roth, I have a new appreciation for you now.

    + Bobby C, you exceeded my expectations. D. Elston you met them….keep it going.

    + To our incoming class, the expecations on you guys are not as high, PROVE alot of us wrong. VO I want your energy on the court, Sheehey, I want you to be that match up problem, and both of you I want alley oop dunks please.

    + Finally to Moses, Yeguette, or Wilkins…..which one of you will accept the challenge, opportunity, and accept the support from the IU faithful/aka the Crimson Guard aka the big heads?

  • First of all, a huge thank you to Inside the Hall for all their coverage of IU basketball. It is BY FAR the best IU site on the web. I'm sure my girlfriend would prefer it did not exsist….but then again I may have to ask her to leave so I can free up a scholly for next year…lol. I am on this sight at least 6 times a day…and I love it…can't thank you guys enough for all your hard work.

    This IU team will continue to get better as long as Elston, Watford, Hulls, Creek, VJ III 2.0, Bobby C, and Roth…..and well I suppose Tom Pritchard……come back next year.

    I hope we get a center. I hope we get a gaurd. I hope we get an assistant coach that can help out our recruiting and big man skills. I hope we do not get another 6-4 to 6-6 gaurd/forward combo. I hope Rivers pays for his own scholly or finds a role as a player off the bench. I hope Pritchard gets better. I hope Jujuan Johnson and e'twan moore go to the NBA. I hope Tom Crean doesn't have a heart attack. I hope we win more than ten games next year…well actually…I really hope we loose less than 21 games next year. I hope Teague and Zeller commit. I hope Indiana basketball returns to greatness. I hope all the readers on this site have a great offseason.

  • Schultz950

    This team undershot my expectations, but not by a wide margin. I thought they were capable of 12 wins, which would've been likely had they remained healthy (Creek, Roth). Obviously, it's always depressing when a season ends, but I feel comfort in the fact that these two years are behind IU – that means things will get better before they get worse.

    Side note: I'll miss your awkwardness, Tijan. Good luck with your future.

  • BaseballBuc

    First off, I want to say to you Kelin that I have really enjoyed reading your comments this season (especially after a loss because your posts are so positive). I think all of us were a little humbled this year after we were hyped up because of the freshman coming in. But I think, actually I KNOW that this loss will help in the future.

    VJIII – MVP of IU this year and really was the glue. He's going to take this loss personally and hopefully his work ethic will rub off onto other players.

    Pritch – Gotta work on your game as much as possible, simple as that

    Elston – Improve your ball handling, shooting, defense

    Jeremiah – WORK ON EVERYTHING!!!!!!

    Matt Roth – have a visit with Jason Bohannon and see how he improved his game and his dribble drives every year

    Christian Watford – Get In that weight room!

    Recruiting needs to step up………big time

  • HoosierFromCT

    I'm just glad Dumes is done. V.O. will be such an upgrade.

  • Strummer

    Next year will be much better, I hope no one leaves. Everyone needs to get stronger, work on basics, and kick some rear next season. Coach I like the bigs, do not like the three guard offense as much. We are on the right track, where we were once two years away, could be much closer this time next year should everyone put the time an effort in this summer. Brighter days ahead! Thank you IU basketball team, Seniors good luck in all that you do in life.

  • marsh21

    Well I must say I'm glad the season is over. Let's all hope for a great off season and great recruiting!

    • Thank you Dumes and TJ for coming to this program knowing it was going to be a difficult two years. Good luck in life and you will always be a Hoosier.

    Positives
    Player improvement: Elston – finally came around with confidence and improving defense. Capo – aggressive and banging hard which is what we need. Hulls – started looking for his shot and attacking. VJIII – proving to be a solid and consistent offensive player. Watford – had to carry a big load this entire season and gave a great effort. Rivers – improved shooting technique and FT’s.

    Needed Improvement: Every player needs to work on defensive communication and footwork, knowing when to fight through a screen or switch, making the easy play verses trying to be Steve Nash, importance of every possession, creating offensive space for your shot verses forcing contact, recognizing and playing to your strengths, when penetrating keeping your head up looking for the open man, and defense, defense and defense. Oh and please work on how to attack a 1-3-1 defense and it appears you might need to learn this on your own as the coaching clearly did not have you prepared for tonight’s game.

    A big welcome to our two new recruits and yes you will see the court in the first year!
    As for other potential recruits, I might be biased but I see a team starting to form here with some talent and IU will be back on the map so jump on board and help take us to the next level. You will be on TV for every game and will be followed by some pretty knowledgeable basketball fans.

    Go IU!

  • silkyslim

    Young squads are prone to turnovers, so this is a BIG issue to improve upon during the offseason. There have been a few glimmers of hope of ball security & sharp execution than suddenly a big step backwards.
    I feel our guys have learned a lot but failed to apply it consistently. In other words, young guys get good from experience which comes from making mistakes and learning from them. I predict much less turnovers next year, and so more wins. Go IU!

  • Diesel

    Went to the game tonight…….was offered some tickets around noon today, found a sitter (paid 35 bucks) for the kids, left work at 5 and drove like mad to pick up the wife and get downtown, listened to the first half courtsesy of Don Fisher, paid 10 bucks to park, didn't eat any dinner, and watched the 2nd half. My wife and I laughed walking back to our car tonight…..we did all that to watch the 2nd half of a game of a 10 win team….in a couple years we'll be saying, “Remember that half of a game we went to….we really sucked back then….I'm glad we're good again.”

    Some observations:
    -thank you Derek Elston for your run at the end of the year, you give us hope
    -the length and pressure of the 1-3-1 gave Jordy some problems, but he really matured throughout the year (remember the Ole Miss game?) and will be a cornerstone to this program
    -Capo really became a dependable player and improved much throughout the year also
    -Watford is going to be a great player, but as much as he needs to build his frame, he really needs to improve his shot selection and stop putting the ball on the floor to prove it has air in it
    -Verdell is the man, hope continues to improve as well as become a better defender
    -Pritch, please improve over the summer this year
    -Jeremiah acutally looked pretty good tonight and was able to slice into the 1-3-1, I thought him coming off the bench was pretty effective

    Thank you to Tijan and Dumes. I don't know how many games I saw, including tonights game, when I said, “And there is one of our seniors…you just can't win with that kind of play from your seniors(insert turnover here)” But they came so we could have a program and now the turnaround is underway.

    Here's to a steller summer of recruiting, and thank you ITH boys.

  • Kelin Blab

    Rivers paying for his scholly……I think he owes us after this season….

  • Kelin Blab

    Diesel I agree with you about JR, just not sure JR agrees with you, me, or Crean about him coming off the bench. This may sound CRAZY it would not surprise me if JR transferred or ….hold on…attempted to go pro, here or over seas. I would not be stunned at all. I just think he is 'over' the whole college/IU thing….didn't like his body language the last two games.

  • Kelin Blab

    BaseballBuc thanks…………I forgot to mention my kid wants to thank IU this year as well as I have found some amazing patience! Out of yours, I would really like to see Christian hit the weights starting….TONITE….. tired of seeing him get pushed around all over the court. Interesting thought…how many 'and one's” do you think Watford got this year….I would be willing to say less than 10!

  • Somewhat sad to see another season end for Hoosier hoops, but am going with the hopes that next time we get on the court, we will be more mature, have more size, hit more shots, play better defense, and WIN some games!

    VJ III – you were one of my favorite players to watch this season, you bailed us out on many occasions by some great shooting! I am looking forward to seeing you again next season.

    Elston – I hope the last games of this season were just a sign of the things to come. Brought the extra energy out on the floor tonight, and the hustle to get those put backs and rebounds. Talking about put backs, how nice was that miss by watford and the returned slam by DE?!!! That was totally sweetness.

    Hulls, Creek, Roth – continue to get better this off-season and get ready to be GOOD.

    Enjoy the rest of March Madness!

  • aceman07

    Okay, just got back from watching the first half of MINN vs. PSU and here's what I have to say after having really good seats to watch the game.

    Elston really hits the glass hard at both ends and made a couple of mistakes tonight that snowballed to a bad couple minutes but other than that his improvement has been steady and impressive.

    Capo still plays physical, with energy and hustle, and seems to be a leader when he's on the floor.

    Jones is silky freaking smooth especially every time I see him in person. He's only going to get better!!!

    Hulls struggled a bit tonight but NW really keyed on him and refused to leave him open. I also blame CTC for leaving him out there tonight without enough ball handling help against NW's zone and press but Jordy is going to be a really solid point guard.

    CW wore down late in the game but really played with energy, hustle, and strength a I counted three of his shots that were blocked where there was a ton of contact!!! Folks, he got fouled!!! If this were an ACC game he would have scored 18 points, half at the free throw line!!!

    I was disappointed with two things:
    First, CTC found a lineup at the end of the last game against NW that worked and down the stretch when things fell apart and especially in the last 4 minutes when IU was still within striking distance, he REFUSED to stick with that lineup!!! All I have to say about that is WTF was Devan Dumes doing on the floor fumbling the ball out of bounds and throwing passes that CTC couldn't even catch with a 48″ verticle??? Why was CTC putting Dumes in for Elston on the offensive end the last 3-4 minutes??? Why did he go away from what was successful most the game and last game? I understand a bit of playing time for Pritchard and Rivers because they played well enough to earn it tonight but HOW COULD CTC FORGET SO QUICKLY WHAT SEEMED TO WORK SO WELL JUST A FEW DAYS AGO??? I like him and I'm not ready to give up on him because I see improvement in some players and growth but, come on man, how freaking short is your memory???
    Second, I am usually the type of IU fan that will still begrudgingly root for PU just because I like to see the state on the map as one of the best basketball states in the nation, but after this game no freaking way!!! There were way to many PU fans that made the trip and obviously some that even bought rafter seats for just this game to root against IU, make stupid comments about their “overrated” freshman, shout things like “come on Mr. Basketball” to Jordy Hulls and “redshirt” to CW and chant choke choke choke every time VJ3 touched the ball! Here's the thing. They're dumbasses!!! If they had half a brain they would've rooted like h**l for IU to win because NW's beat them once this year and matches up well against them!!! How freaking stupid can you get.

    So, I'm going to root for NW with all I have tomorrow and I've probably officially reverted back to my younger days when my favorite team is whoever PU is playing. And furthermore, if I was stupid enough to buy a ticket to tomorrow's session like those “tards” I would go with a Robbie Hummell sign and chant “Robbie Hummell” the whole freaking game just to rub it in that they still are going to be the big instate team without an NCAA tourney championship without him!!!

    Man that felt good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andrew

    I'm getting the feeling that after 46 losses the last 2 seasons, the natives are pretty restless. No matter the legitimate reasons, the average fan is simply tired of losing. So, my question is this: say we win 15 games next year, and overall are far more competitive (this year, we had a whopping 16 losses by 12 points or more; let's say next year, we have 6 such losses). Will this be enough progress? I know it's an impossible question to answer w/o knowing the schedule (or even our exact personnel; let's assume everyone stays and V.O. and Sheehey are the only newcomers), but just humor me. Keep in mind the UK game and ACC game will be on the road, and I assume we'll play another “name” team in the non-conference (like Gonzaga and Pitt the last 2 years). We're also in the Las Vegas tourney, but I don't think the field has been finalized. I really like reading the opinions on this site, so I'm curious as to what you guys think.

  • aceman07

    Ditto man! Enjoyed the comments this year. Bring on recruiting season!!!

  • aceman07

    Agreed! Thanks ITH guys!!!

  • aceman07

    I would be ecstatic with 15-16 wins and a more competitive team because I think that would put us close to an NIT birth and then make us a top tier Big 10 team the following year especially since I think that kind of steady improvement would net some recruiting prize who would see the steady rise back to “It's IU”!

    So, to answer your question, I think the savvy IU fan would only be disappointed with a similar season to this one or minimal improvements. A steady improvement would be acceptable in my opinion because I really see this season as CTC's first unofficial season. I really would like to see him stick with the lineups that are successful and quit subbing so freaking much though! That was a side note and a product of some frustration after going to tonight's game!

  • dougy

    You guys hear austin rivers is thinkin bout being a hoosier??? lol jk.

  • HoosierDavey

    I think we can get it near .500 next year, with the next year being in a tourney of some kind. I'm looking for steady improvement. Honestly, I thought we would win 12 this year, but that was with Creek and Roth…we would have gotten there and maybe more with them all season IMO

  • Wish

    Last one of the season. Hulls: 34 minutes, 0 assists and 4 turnovers…IU loses.

    There were a lot of opportunities for the PG's to get the ball to the open men for easy baskets and it didn't happen. I counted 12 times and I can't say I was watching that intently after four minutes to go. The guards are tremendous at standing out near half court and dribbling. Might be the best in the nation at that.

    Their struggles against the 1-3-1 were sad to watch, especially since this was the third time they've played NW this season.

    Elston was a joy to watch. I hope Crean has found enough confidence in him to play him 25+ mins a game next season.

  • MikeinNC

    I was in a meeting, watching the scores on my iPhone, until we were up 45-39 when I could no longer discreetly peek. Didn't get to check back until there were about 4 minutes left and when I saw the score I thought maybe I had clicked on a different game by mistake. I don't think I can bring myself to watch it on DVR. Thought we were cruising. Despite the disappointing outcome, I think we have learned pretty clearly who the nucleus is for the team next year. If they work hard off season, and grow together as a team, I think we have the makings of something. Rebounds and assist-to-turnover ratio will probably tell us the story in most games next year because there problem seems to be a periodic, inexplicable loss of offensive efficiency for stretches of the game.

  • MikeinNC

    And one more thing I forgot – thanks to everyone who makes ITH go, as well as all you “regulars” that post here during the season. It is a pleasure to have a site like this accessible to stay on top of what is going on with the program. For us out of towners who can rarely get back home for a game, this site is a real blessing. Many thanks to everyone for your passion and knowledge of IU hoops. I have colleagues who access similar sites for their alma maters and they do not even compare to the quality of the information and dialogue available here.

  • JerryCT

    I echo all the positive comments everyone has made about the players…………seniors included.

    Is anybody secretly jealous of the NW passing game and wish CTC would adopt it for us ?

    . I really believe it fits the set of players we have very well. In addition the concept upset 'CUse and breathed new life into Notre Dame . We can play it well with the number of ball handlers we should have next year.

    My greatest off season development wish is that the kids learn to play some defense. This will be the hardest thing to develop becasue you cannot improve it by yourself , it will require 3 players at one time committed to getting better

  • marsh21

    Agreed and I would support that move.

  • aceman07

    You have really got to learn to watch the games!!! I was at the game and had a great view of what NW was doing. They put Shurna on Hulls. That's right! They put a 6'8″ guy on Hulls and ran double teams at him all night to assure he didn't get open like last game. He put the ball in position to score twice to Capo and once to Pritchard. Pritchard dropped the pass then recovered to get fouled. Both times Capo caught the ball and could have just turned to the basket for open layups and instead chose to kick the ball to someone else immediately because he's not offensive minded.

    Furthermore, CTC had 4 days to figure out how to break that defense and the traps it sets up and he didn't make the adjustments to do so until the second half. We were at the game puzzled at why CTC kept putting guard lineups on the floor like Hulls, Dumes, and Moore??? They had no ball handling and couldn't handle the pressure. When he ran Hulls, Jones, and Rivers out there at the same time, we broke the pressure both in the full court and half court and good things happened. Hulls was bodied and bumped by a guy 8″ taller than him all night and he did struggle but he obviously was a big key because NW keyed on him and it opened up some things early in the game.

    Indiana fans usually have high basketball IQ's and we pride ourselves in seeing the little things and a stat line doesn't necessarily determine a player's importance to a team or a game. Learn to watch the game and actually pay attention to what's going on instead of just regurgitating a bunch of stupid numbers at the end of each game. I was patient with you the whole season and let you have your fun with your little Hulls bashing sessions but you're going to have to eat some real big crow when Jordy is leading us back to glory in a couple years as a junior playing in a season where he should be the starting point guard! Do you forget that this kid is a freshman in a strong league playing when he should probably have been redshirted or playing sparingly while he developed?

    You're an IU fan! Surely you know the game better than this!!!

  • Wish

    I played PG in college and sat through enough film sessions to fill a lifetime. Sometimes what you see at the arena isn't what you see on tape. As CTC said, “the stats accuse, the film convicts”. There were many times when NW missed shots, especially early in the first half, when CW and others were open on the wing coming down the floor but were given the ball too late, or not at all, to make an explosive move to the basket. I was left screaming at the tv, “GET THE BALL UP THE COURT!!” The ball moves quicker by passing it, not dribbling it. This has happened all season long. IU's guards let the opposition impose their defensive will by giving them time to set up their defense. At times it's because they have to take the ball out of the net after a made basket, other times it's because they dribble up and wait at half court.

    How would NW have set up the 1-3-1 had CW been one dribble and two steps away from the rim five seconds into the shot clock? This is why CTC screams for them to get up the court quickly so that they can impose their offensive will and catch the defense before it sets up. Pretty simple basketball concept.

    Yes, Shurna was the point man at times on the 1-3-1 and NW had some long guys up there but to sit there and dribble doesn't help the situation. Like I said, this was the third time IU played NW this season, the players should have been able to break that press fairly easily. NW's confidence in the 1-3-1 grew as Hulls struggled at the beginning of the game. NW did extend the 1-3-1 a bit because of IU's 3 pointers last week but there really isn't much needed other than different spacing and an intelligent floor leader in order to beat it.

    That's not to say CTC didn't do his damage at times but his frustration on the bench left me wondering if it was that the players weren't listening/executing his advice.

    If Hulls is the starting point guard for IU during his junior season then Crean will be on the hot seat and the Hoosiers will be looking at a NIT berth, at best. The kid is ok but he's not going to be anywhere near an elite point guard in an upper tier conference.

  • aceman07

    It took CTC a whole half to stick Rivers in the center of that trap and it worked for a while until Carmody took that away. In the first half the length was killing us because I watched Watford and Elston run from the ball and clear out leaving Jones and Hulls to try and throw over the length of NW. If Jones or Hulls throws a 55 foot pass down court it's going to get picked off because they are having to put air under it because of the size difference. When CTC finally figured out to put Rivers in the center, throw it to him, and then kick it to the guys coming down the wings we had a good stretch. Then Carmody adjusted and took that center man away and IU never made the adjustment and did miss open men in the corners but that was late in the game and again the size difference matters. What we need is a wing or two that can run and jump and have good athleticism and then you watch as Hulls turns into a Tom Coverdale type point guard. There were a couple times last night when he got frustrated and just chose to blow through two defenders and one of those time NW was called for a foul and the defender just bounced off Hulls! He has natural strength and will develop into a whale of a point guard. I guess we'll just have to wait two years and then the one who is wrong can eat his words. I'm willing to do it if it's me but I don't think that will happen! There's something to be said for basketball IQ and a winning attitude and Hulls has both to go along with adequate talent!

  • Wish

    “There were a couple times last night when he got frustrated and just chose to blow through two defenders and one of those time NW was called for a foul and the defender just bounced off Hulls! He has natural strength and will develop into a whale of a point guard……There's something to be said for basketball IQ and a winning attitude and Hulls has both to go along with adequate talent!”

    You must be related to Hulls. You don't dribble through a 1-3-1 half court press outside of high school.

    I'm sure CTC is saying the same thing in the film room and I'm sure if you asked Hulls he'd say the same……The PG's are dribbling and holding onto the ball way too much. Remember when CTC was screaming for everyone to sprint up the floor and get the ball in the bucket as quickly as possible to start the season? The philosophy works but his PG's aren't allowing/making it happen when the offense is supposed to initiate. Watch how much Lucas dribbles on the perimeter for MSU this weekend. It doesn't happen much. Either he's driving to the hole or he's moving the ball.

    Look, I understand everyone being on CTC's case about adjusting during the game but at some point the players have to adjust on their own. These guys have been playing together long enough to know what needs to be done when they see certain defenses. If CTC has to hold their hands every second of every game then IU isn't going anywhere. This is where CTC talks about leadership. I do think that will come in time.

    IU needs a stud PG and a big man who can rebound. They have all the wing players they need.

  • aceman07

    I wasn't speaking of times where he was breaking the press or trap. I was referring to the two times that he chose to get into the lane and it worked. IU's wing players (although I like VJ3 and he is smooth) are not athletic enough or large enough to see over a press like NW through at us last night and neither is Hulls. You have to have one or the other. If you don't have a 6'5″ point guard then you need guys on the wings that can see over a zone and handle the ball to help create openings in a trapping press or 1-3-1 like we faced the past couple games. You also have to have big men that are willing to come to the ball and don't appear like they're going to piss down their leg every time they touch it more than 5 feet from the basket.

    I didn't play point guard in college, I played baseball but I did play point guard in high school and I know one thing for sure: If the players you are throwing the ball to are scared to have it in the open floor or looking to get rid of it as quickly as possible because they are playing timid then you aren't going to be a very successful point guard. I'm sure you don't expect every point guard in the country to be John Wall because those are few and far between. A point guard doesn't have to average 6 assists per game either as long as he gets the offense started and puts the team in position to score. Hulls is going to be a solid college point guard because he knows how to do this and as he gains experience and added strength he will be able to translate that to the college game.

    I played quarterback for a solid high school program as well and I wasn't expected to throw a touchdown pass every play or hand it off for a score every play either. I was expected to manage the game, lead the team, and put us in a position to score by stringing together a series of plays after surveying what the defense was doing. When I was a freshman, I was definitely not ready to be the varsity starter but as a sophomore I was. It just took a year to learn the system and the speed of the game, but no one wants to give a freshman point guard playing in one of the top four conferences in the nation to do the same.

    It baffles me what people expect. RMK didn't win by going out and recruiting the John Walls of the game but we forget things like that so quickly. Guys like Hulls, Elston, and Carlino were the type players that coach Knight won with. Look at the development of Coverdale to see what could be possible with a Jordan Hulls. Surely you can recognize that a players development is as much the coach's responsibility than the player's, just like it was for Coverdale. RMK rode him and benched him and coached him and hopefully CTC does the same with Hulls and he makes people like you look very stupid in the future.

    As I said earlier, if he's nothing in two years I will admit it but are you going to be the type person to still be bashing him when he's averaging 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists and IU is competing for a Big 10 title or will that still not be enough because you're dreaming the John Wall dream???

  • walton

    I have noticed the body language all year long – it has been very obvious to me. I personally can't stand it. Either commit everything you have to this team or I could care less if you left. The big part there is “if”. He still has an opportunity to improve.

  • JerryCT

    I actually agree with most of what both of you are saying.

    I am pretty sure Wish watches the games closely and if he is like me he watches them 3 times before posting on this site with all these knowledgable fans.

    In defense of Hulls:

    + he is only in the PG position for about 50% of his minutes
    + our offensive scheme is not best suited for him to get assists
    + he is still only a freshman who should get alot better

    In defense of Wish

    + Many IU fans have an unrealistic and clouded view of Hulls game as it is right now to the point that his weaknesses are invariably defended by pointing to HS or the future w/o acknowledging his performance now as Wish is doing
    + Hulls and Jones simply were dismal in both games against the zone trap, one step away from a TO every time up court
    + One reason we played zone is that Jones and Hulls have been unable to go over the top of ball screens BUT to stop Thompson and Shurna we needed to play them man ( ie close )

    I personally think Hulls will be a fine player as we go forward but he will have his own style of success. I doubt he will ever resemble Coverdale on defense but may be better on offense.

  • Wish

    10 pts, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. That's what I'd like to see from the starting IU point guard. I don't think I'm asking for much. I'd even trade some points for an extra assist or rebound.

    “A point guard doesn't have to average 6 assists per game either as long as he gets the offense started and puts the team in position to score.”

    I couldn't agree more. Right now, Hulls does neither.

    How many 6'5″ PG's are there in the country? Very few. Very few. IU's wing men (2 and 3) ARE large enough AND athletic enough to beat a press. You can't convince me otherwise. There may not be much depth but the size is there and the athleticism is enough. Who was the little white kid for NW that was torching the IU zone last night? Marcotulio or something like that? Dude wasn't exactly oozing athleticism. Man for man IU had more athleticism on their roster than NW yesterday. Wisconsin isn't exactly throwing out there a team of athletes all the time.

    I played baseball in college, too, so we at least have something in common. Watford, VJIII and Dumes are/were not afraid to get the ball and take it to the hoop or take a shot. Creek wasn't afraid, either. None of those guys met a shot they didn't like. Get them the ball, let them do their job.

    I understand your statement on the maturation of a college player but I don't think that at his best Hulls will be a full-time starting point guard on a NCAA tourney team in the future.

    The kid put up a huge game against NW the other week and I was one of the first on this site to applaud him, look it up. It's not the kid I don't like, he seems fine. I just don't like losing.

  • walton

    FINALLY!!! The first post that expressed what I was feeling.

    Venting Time:
    I know it was the last game and we can't do much till next year, but I am going to go ahead and get negative up in here anyway (been holding it in since last night after leaving Conseco). Why do i think we lost this game? Coaching, coaching, coaching. I have had Crean's back since he got here, but this game definitely gave me concern about our head coach's decision making. Just like you mentioned and just like several posts mentioned last week – i thought the last NW game that we clearly obviously showed who are main 5 players were. The played together a lot that game and the entire overtime and clearly beat NW.

    So why were they not on the court very much TOGETHER????? I kept thinking Crean was just randomly giving guys rest here and there until the right time to put the main five in at the same time and close out the game. I finally found out that wasn't the case as the clock just kept ticking down past the five minute mark. And why at the end of a long season is IU using a dozen different lineups in one game? Does anyone else feel that just maybe a certain 5 group of guys play better together than a different group of 5 guys? After a full season we still don't have a main lineup? and then a secondary lineup? Is Crean playing players out of some type of loyalty or is he playing a certain group of players to win?

    I guess I could go on and on – like simple fundamentals about not picking up your dribble in certain situations, bounce passes, the high pick that IU runs all the time with little success, the lack of under the basket ball screens, the lack of lane curl plays, and our defense. But I have vented enough for one day. Sorry about the negativity, but hey I just needed to express it.

    I love IU basketball, i love our freshmen, and though it may not sound like it hear i love Coach Crean as well. I am faithful that as time goes on Crean will mold and his team will mold into an Indiana Basketball caliber program. These freshmen are going to be so good by their senior years and IU will be back. Thank you to all the ball players and Crean that decided to rebuild IU………just hoping our identities are clearer moving forward.

  • walton

    Is Hulls supposed to be a point guard? I always thought of him more as a shooting guard?

  • walton

    I would think it would be hard for the players to adjust on their own during a game when they are playing a dozen different lineups the whole time. Do you think when IU practices that they play an A squad against a B squad or do they mix it up all the time? I wish Crean could answer some of these questions. A little clarity may clear things up for me.

  • Wish

    It was my understanding that the PG situation was fairly fluid between Hulls/Rivers/VJ. When Creek went down I thought Crean said he was going to look to get Hulls more 3pt shots but I would say Hulls brings the ball up the court most times when he's on the floor.

    The productivity of the players might differ depending on who is on the floor but the positioning should be pretty much the same. Obviously, communication and leadership come into play in this situation, too. It falls on the point guard though to make sure that people are in the right places at the right time and things are being done correctly. Like Ace said, much like a QB.

  • aceman07

    You know, it freaking serves Purdue right that they had to struggle last night!!! When Nash hit that three with 46 seconds left to make it a 1 point game I was just praying that NW would complete the comeback and beat PU just for those stupid fans Thursday night who came to root against IU when they should have been rooting for them so they wouldn't have to play NW again. That trip to Conseco has taken me back to the days when I hated PUke fans and now I'll root against them every game! GO MINNESOTA!!!