The Minute After: South Carolina State

Notes on a 102-60 win against the Hey Bulldogs:

Another home non-conference game, another dominant performance. We know the drill by now.

Sure, it wasn’t a complete cakewalk. South Carolina State came out with more intensity than the Hoosiers. Indiana also hit a stretch in the early first half where it couldn’t buy a bucket — despite getting some good looks — and were letting the Bulldogs get some easy buckets. They actually snagged a 27-20 lead at the 7:59 mark in the first half, but the Hoosiers started to connect, were grabbing offensive rebounds when they weren’t and getting after it a bit more as they finished out the half on a 23-8 run to take a 43-35 lead into half.

The second half was an offensive clinic as Indiana scored a whopping 59 points on 61.1 percent shooting from the field (21-of-31), 66.7 percent from three (4-of-6) and 81.3 percent from the line (13-of-16).

Matt Roth built off his Friday night performance, scoring a season-high 14 points on the back of 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point land. If he can continue a return to his sharpshooting ways, this team will have one more deep threat teams will have to account for. Christian Watford continues to be a steady offense force, totaling 22 points (7-of-14 from the field, 2-of-4 from three and a perfect 6-of-6 from the line).

We probably don’t make enough of a deal out of his ability to get to the line. He’s currently hit the most free throws out of anyone in the Big Ten, and is connecting at a very strong 84.6 percent clip. Elite scorers get to the line and convert.

Derek Elston got the start again and quickly racked up two fouls. It felt like a game he might disappear in, but he hit a jumper to give Indiana a 30-29 lead, and played some aggressive offense in the second half en route to 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Very efficient scoring performance out of the bearded one. He also snagged six boards.

In his return off his ankle injury, Verdell Jones didn’t skip a beat as he scored 13 points (4-of-5 from the field, 5-of-5 from the line) to go along with only one turnover.

And lest I forget, Will Sheehey converted off two alley-oops. He is Mr. Dunkington. The first, one off a nice backdoor screen from Victor Oladipo that Jordan Hulls assisted on from the perimeter, is a play we may be seeing a bit more of as the season progress, as Tom Crean now has the personnel to pull it off consistently.

Jeremiah Rivers went down with an ankle injury after stepping on the foot of Westley Telafar in the second half and he was on the floor for a while. He was helped off the court by two teammates. Rivers has earned his way into the starting lineup and is doing a lot of good things on the basketball court, so hopefully it’s nothing too serious.

Perhaps most importantly, the Hoosiers only turned the ball over a total of eight times this late afternoon. I’m not about to say they’ve cured their turnover bug, but eight turnovers is a solid performance for this team in that area, no doubt.

From here, it’s off to Vegas. Is Indiana’s first road win(s) on the horizon? We’ll find out later this week.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    It did look bad Marcus but the reason why Elston ended up guarding Watford is because Watford left Elston’s man to run towards his guy (who Elston had picked up) so Elston was stuck right between two guys. I don’t know how they do it but what started the problem was Elston hitting the offensive glass. He was the last player under his own goal so he trailed the play. Then Watford picked up his guy but then bailed on him when Elston made it back down the floor. At the same time DE was heading to pick up CW’s man because CW had his.

    That’s why I said I thought it was both their faults because of the lack of communication.

  • Anonymous

    Jeremiah Rivers has obviously been working very hard on improving his FT shooting. Make Pritchard follow the identical program!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    The only time that doesn’t work is like in (02 – I think when Syracuse went like 11-1 in the preseason and then was .500 in Big East play and they left them off the bubble because they had no “signature wins”. It could happen to IU too! Here’s the scenario, let me set it up for you guys and you tell me what you think:

    IU is 11-2 after non-conference then:
    They beat PSU, Iowa (twice), Michigan (twice), Minn (home), NW (home), WISC (home), and Illinois (home). 2 of those 3 teams (Illinois,Wisconsin, and Minnesota) make the tournament but do so as unranked teams. The other team is a lower ranked team (like Illinois).

    So, IU finishes with 20 wins (20-11) and they either get knocked out in the first buy round of the B10 tourney or beat a pud then get beat up by a good team. Now, they are either 20-12 or 21-12 but they lost to BC, pUKe, Purdue (twice), OSU (twice), and MSU. They have no “signature” wins or good wins and it’s a parody laced season.

    They could potentially get left out of the tournament with a .500 record in the Big Ten because of the weak preseason schedule. It’s a super-long shot scenario, but possible!

    How’s that for painting an over-analyzed picture???

  • Anonymous

    I think he got benched because he jogged back on d instead of hustling. There was a communication problem but DE didn’t get back as fast as he could have.

  • MillaRed

    I wish either the BC or KY game would have been in Assembly Hall. I think we would have a better idea of who we are. BC has knocked off California, IU, UMASS, Providence and Maryland in succession. They do not suck.

    Cupcakes or not, we still look better than I thought we would. Rivers, Hulls, the two freshmen and to some extent CWat have surprised me thus far.

  • Anonymous

    Elston was benched because he committed a cardinal error – he didn’t protect the basket. I can’t speak to Crean’s defensive philosophy, but nearly any man-to-man system makes it the responsibility of a post player to protect the basket in transition.

    Watching the play I understand where the error occurred, and there was certainly a lack of communication. However, in this situation Elston (or any post player) must ignore his man for the time being and protect the basket. He can recover to his man later as the half-court defense sets up, but he can’t leave the basket unprotected…under any circumstances. Taking Watford out of the picture, even if Elston’s man was uncovered on the perimeter, he absolutely must take the man under the basket. If his man get an open three, that’s preferable to a layup.

    I think Elston can do things that no one else on this team can do, and is vital to our success. However, he still has too many of these mental mistakes that can negate the positives he brings to the court.

  • Anonymous

    While I’ve been critical of Matt Roth, I am glad to see he is getting his confidence and shot back. He can make himself a crucial part of a successful season for IU, and I hope he continues to perform like he did against SC State for the rest of the season.

    I have one complaint, though, which is not shared by probably almost anyone else – I would love to see the Hoosiers play AT SC State since it is 45 minutes away, and I could go watch the game. Oh well, maybe next time.

  • Anonymous

    I’d expand that—Rivers worked hard on everything (both on the floor and in his head.)

  • Anonymous

    I’m pretty sure that through the years Boeheim has scheduled a few games against a collection of his aunts and nieces (and even those teams would have beaten the hell out of some the teams John Thompson used to schedule.)

  • Anonymous

    How many 20-win B1G 10 teams have missed the tournament in the past? If this team gets to 20 with the wins you’ve listed they’re in.

  • Anonymous

    In your scenario IU is in the NCAA Tourney.

  • JerryCT

    I hope you are right but playing the devil’s advocate for a minute:

    1. Iowa beats us 2 times last year but suddenly we are beating them twice and they have the same team back, maybe better coach ???????????
    2. Minn is much better than last year and we eked out an OT win at home
    3. Michigan I would have agreed until watching them play this year and they are tough to beat
    4. Wisky, IL ……very optimistic

    This brings me to NW who I watched last night at MSG. Right now we cannot beat them. Our defense cannot stop their offense unless we get alot better. I am not sure the switching will help.

    I really would like to see us adopt the new Carmody offense. We have the right interior passing and outside shooting for it ……………maybe even adopt his 1-3-1 zone and trap. I can see us losing 2 times to them

    We will need to bring our “A” game every second of every game

  • IUJeff

    Loop you are out of it. Automatic qualifiers means they won when it mattered – in March. I used the Jeff Sagarin ratings to make the schedule strength determination. I call BS on your BS. Here is the link that clearly shows only a few teams have played a weaker schedule. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/bkt1011.htm

  • IUJeff

    Good points Loop. I did not say that IUs schedule strength would be that low by the end of the year and I also like who they have played thus far based on the level of talent and age of players we have in Bloomington right now. IUs schedule will probably be top 100 by end of season. I am saying that according to the ratings page I have used for years, IUs schedule ranks 337 out of 345 and that IU will be fortunate to get to the NIT based on their upcoming scheduling. Never heard of Pomeroy until reading ITH. Again, here is the link to the Sagarin ratings. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/bkt1011.htm

  • IUJeff

    Ace, I am as big an IU fan as anyone but let’s be realistic here. An NIT bid this year is a huge step forward from the last 2 years. Expecting to win 8 out of 18 in the tough Big Ten and get an NCAA bid should make CTC a coach of the year candidate. Without a true center or elite point guard, getting to the NCAA tourney is a dream for this year. Now next year, we have a much better chance but still no true center or elite PG. I am just hoping to get to .500 in the Big Ten next year. 2012 it is on.

  • marcusgresham

    Better he go Nancy Kerrigan than Tonya Harding, because I do NOT want to see Jerry’s wedding-night hotel room video popping up on the internet!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    It was his man that scored. He saw Watford on his man so he went to Watford’s (who I believe was at the left elbow). Then CWat started back towards his man too leaving Elston’s man alone under the basket. I agree with you that the post defender is responsible for the basket, but CWat is a 6’8″ Forward who had already picked up the man under the basket. If he wanted to switch back he needed to communicate that.

  • JerryCT

    IUJeff: Why did you force us to do the math ?

    Ok I went to the Sagarin( which I like, thanks for the link ) and giving a 4pt home advantage we get 7 B10 wins all but 1 at home ( Iowa only road win ).

    Personally I think this is pretty accurate BUT beating IL, Minn, NW even Mich at home is a very close call yet I think we can beat PU at home.

    We are ranked higher than only 2 B10 teams , PSU, Iowa so the home court advantage is critical to predicting wins. Any home court advantage much under 2 will spell disaster.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Oh, I agree with everything you said. I think 18 wins is closer to a good expectation and an NIT bid. I was just setting up a hypothetical situation where it would be possible, but not probable, for IU to win 20 games, finish .500 in the B10, and still not make the tournament because of the weak preseason schedule.

    It’s just a hypothetical situation.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    See my response to JerryCT above! It’s just a hypothetical. I don’t see it happening!

  • JerryCT

    marcus _ i always enjoy your humor …………… even at my expense ………… but ……..what is wrong with my wedding night on the internet ? ………… lots of motion offense ……..my wife blocking out ……….. ( better stop now ) …………

  • JerryCT

    marcus _ i always enjoy your humor …………… even at my expense ………… but ……..what is wrong with my wedding night on the internet ? ………… lots of motion offense ……..my wife blocking out ……….. ( better stop now ) …………

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Incorrect sir. Just last season Illinois was 10-8 in the conference with wins against Vandy and Clemson in the non-conference and MSU, Wisc, and Wisc again in the conference.

    They were left out of the tournament. That’s a scenario pretty close to the one I just drew up except they actually had a signature win against MSU.

    So, it’s possible. You can’t predict the future. The weak schedule could potentially cost IU! It’s a very long shot to do so (like 1% chance) but it’s possible.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Incorrect sir. Just last season Illinois was 10-8 in the conference with wins against Vandy and Clemson in the non-conference and MSU, Wisc, and Wisc again in the conference.

    They were left out of the tournament. That’s a scenario pretty close to the one I just drew up except they actually had a signature win against MSU.

    So, it’s possible. You can’t predict the future. The weak schedule could potentially cost IU! It’s a very long shot to do so (like 1% chance) but it’s possible.

  • JerryCT

    Aceman at what time are talking here ? Elston’s 2nd foul ? That was clearly Creek’s man.

    The other time when he did not get back in time after attempting a tip in on offense ?

    With the time we ought to be able to settle this.

  • JerryCT

    Didn’t NW do exactly that last year ?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, NW went 20-14 with one win in the B10 tourney and was 7-11 in the Big Ten.

    I would take that this year. Illinois is a good example last year of a team who did just what I painted for IU above and missed the tournament.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I pointed out below that Illinois had a better season last year than the picture I just painted for IU and they missed the tourney! It depends on the mid-major performances and automatic bids that year. Illinois even won 2 games in the Big Ten tourney, had wins against big 6 opponents (Clemson and Vandy) in the non-conference, and beat MSU and Wisconsin (twice) and still missed the tournament. Clemson and Vandy were both ranked when they played them and they also played Mizzou and Georgia, so it’s easy to say their preseason schedule last year was better than IU’s this year.

    So, there’s one 20+ win B10 team to miss the tournament and I only had to go back ONE year!!! I know we’re all IU fans and can sometimes see things through Crimson colored goggles but it’s entirely possible for a 20 win Big Ten team to miss the tournament, and a weak schedule is just the ticket to do it.

    I don’t think IU will get to this scenario this year but it is a feather in the cap for those who want to argue the weak schedule thing. I personally don’t mind the schedule this year because they do need to learn to beat the teams they are supposed to but you can see how it’s possible the schedule could hurt them.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Well I’ll be dog-gonned! There’s a link right there clearly showing IU has the 337th weakest schedule in the country out of 345. I looked at Pomeroy but I stand corrected. My painted picture about IU finishing with 20 wins, .500 in the B10, and still not making the tournament because of their schedule is totally possible!!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Well I’ll be dog-gonned! There’s a link right there clearly showing IU has the 337th weakest schedule in the country out of 345. I looked at Pomeroy but I stand corrected. My painted picture about IU finishing with 20 wins, .500 in the B10, and still not making the tournament because of their schedule is totally possible!!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Well I’ll be dog-gonned! There’s a link right there clearly showing IU has the 337th weakest schedule in the country out of 345. I looked at Pomeroy but I stand corrected. My painted picture about IU finishing with 20 wins, .500 in the B10, and still not making the tournament because of their schedule is totally possible!!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I don’t want to look at the film again to get the time but it was the play after he tried the tip in, not his second foul. There was only a couple minutes left in the first half I believe (maybe 3).

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I don’t want to look at the film again to get the time but it was the play after he tried the tip in, not his second foul. There was only a couple minutes left in the first half I believe (maybe 3).

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I don’t want to look at the film again to get the time but it was the play after he tried the tip in, not his second foul. There was only a couple minutes left in the first half I believe (maybe 3).

  • http://ryancorazza.com Ryan C.

    Saw a Beatles program on the History Channel on Friday that featured “Hey Bulldog.” Had it in my head all weekend. Fit perfect playing the Bulldogs on Sunday.

    You’re right — it’s an underrated, yet great, jam. Probably because it’s on Yellow Submarine, an album that fades into the background of the group’s otherwise illustrious career.

  • marcusgresham

    Too much dribbling!

  • JerryCT

    5:03 of the first half. Back to the previous possession and you conclude that #5 was Watford’s man. Also CW pretty much jogged back on D as well.

  • marcusgresham

    I knew you’d find one. I sounded like I was being antagonistic probably, but I was actually just posing it as a question because I didn’t know. I still think under most circumstances 20 wins will get a Big 10 team in the tournament.
    And if we’re being truthful here, I think we may all be able to see that this team could get more benefit from going to the NIT and winning a couple of games (and getting another week or two of practice,) than from being an 11 or 12 seed in the big tournament and getting knocked out the first day.

  • JerryCT

    based on my next near response I think we have to stop or Alex et al will put us in the corner ……………. maybe make us answer all the KY ad questions or something

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Thanks Jerry. I appreciate the extra work. So, is my conclusion that it was both players at fault correct then? If that’s the case then why does Elston get yanked and Watford stays on the floor. I saw the frustration from Elston. It was the first time I’ve seen him blow by the coaches like that on the sideline and refuse the coaching. He was frustrated and if CTC isn’t careful he’ll lose him altogether.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree. I really don’t think they have much of a shot at that hypothetical scenario. I would put those chances right there with the 1% chance their schedule would keep them out.

    Both long shots and I too think they could benefit from the NIT. Sort of like NW has this season.

  • JerryCT

    Aceman: I think he gets yanked because he nearly picked up his 3rd foul and should have backed off and let CW take the heat………………. just guessing

  • Anonymous

    Good research Jeff. No BS. But strength of schedule means nothing until the end of the season and all of the games have been played. I bet that IU ranks ahead of Butler on strength of schedule at the end of the year.

  • Anonymous

    Good research Jeff. No BS. But strength of schedule means nothing until the end of the season and all of the games have been played. I bet that IU ranks ahead of Butler on strength of schedule at the end of the year.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it is possible. But as you say “like a 1% chance”. I will bet, and bet heavily, anytime I get a 99% proposition.

  • IUJeff

    I vote that we only mention BW by BW on ITH, and by that we really mean biggest whiner.. To quote a really old fat albert cartoon, BW is like summer vacation…no class.

  • Anonymous

    Have there been any updates on JR’s ankle injury? I am considering it a long shot to play in Vegas. Anyone who isn’t at least a little concerned about him missing two very important games hasn’t been paying attention to what he has given this club. I have been so impressed with his play this season. He isn’t forcing shots, playing great defense, screening on and away from the ball, and distributing the ball to our scorers. JR knows his role and he has become an integral piece of this year’s team.
    Any news on his status for tonight and the near future would be appreciated. Keep up the great work guys!

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