Around the Hall: Las Vegas aftermath

  • 12/24/2010 9:52 am in

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 11: Tom Crean the Head Coach of the Indiana Hoosiers gives instructions to his team during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats on December 11, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew. So go ahead, get your read on.

+ Not a link, but worth mentioning: Tom Crean was asked about Derek Elston’s playing time in the second half — only two minutes — in his postgame press conference and here was the response:

“There was no decision that really went into that other than I was giving us the lineup that gave us the best chance to be in the game. So that’s the bottom line. I think Derek was spent after last night. This is a little bit of a fallback on a guy that has been injured, missed some time and now is back going full speed. And so he wasn’t his normal self. But it really wasn’t about positions. It really wasn’t about personnel. It was about having pressure on that ball. And transition defense was a problem for us throughout the game. So we had to get that corrected. Like I said at one timeout, ‘we’ll figure everything else out when we get home. Let’s go win the game.’ And they could have easily packed it in down 19 and our guys brought it all the way back to three, but we made some mistakes defensively that hurt us at the end and allowed them to build out a margin. Because if that doesn’t happen, we win the game. You saw the same game I saw. The pressure was bothering them and all we had to do was keep it on. And they made a couple of big plays at the end.”

+ This is not something we’d traditionally put in this space, but since it’s two of the guys who cover the team best reacting to IU’s play in Vegas, I recommend giving ScoopTalk a watch.

+ Rick Bozich of The Louisville Courier-Journal writes that it’s a season on the brink at Indiana:

Before the season started there were four non-conference games away from Assembly Hall that were likely to shape the arc of Tom Crean’s third basketball season at Indiana: At Boston College. At Kentucky. Northern Iowa in Las Vegas. Then either Colorado or New Mexico in Las Vegas.

To show substantive progress, Indiana needed to split the four games — the only Top 100 teams on the Hoosiers’ non-league schedule. One win was the minimum requirement for an upgrade over last season.

0-for-4? Expect a long, cold winter in Bloomington in the unforgiving Big Ten.

+ Jeff Goodman of fired off a few tweets last night. Here they are:

Indiana getting smacked around pretty good by Colorado. That’s a Buffs team I watched get smacked by Harvard. Not a good sign for Hoosiers.

Tom Crean is getting it done recruiting-wise right now, but next year could still be key whether he remains in Bloomington long-term.

Crean needs to get results ON the court next season. Period. And it’s set up for him to do so with the huge turnover in the Big Ten.

+ Terry Hutchens of The Indianapolis Star weighs-in with ten things he learned in Vegas.

+ Pete DiPrimio of The Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel has a clear message: Indiana isn’t Big Ten ready:

First, the Hoosiers are not Big Ten ready. They can’t win away from Assembly Hall, they don’t play good enough defense and they lack the toughness necessary against good teams.

Northern Iowa and Colorado are decent teams, but they aren’t the caliber of what IU will face in the Big Ten. These were winnable games, so win them.

Filed to:

  • Plane1972

    Thanks, Milla. You too, dude!
    Enjoy the holidays ITHers.

  • Plane1972

    Always good to see new posts, but it’s funny to see SO MANY new names posting after a couple of losses. Funny to watch the sharks begin circling when the blood starts flowing.

    This is going to be a wild ride from here on out. I think we will have some disappointing losses and some surprising wins. But to issue a verdict on Crean right now is a bit premature in my opinion. I think it’s ludicrous to kiss his feet for the talent he is bringing in then crucify him for these losses, but that is just one man’s opinion. Buckle up!

  • bluegrassHoosier

    I think we are on the same pager here, Milla.
    And Merry Christmas to you as well.

  • stonaroni

    I agree to a certain extent, but why can Butler and X have less talented and less deep deeps than this IU team and play solid on the road and beat quality teams?

    X loss by 10 at Gonzaga. They beat Butler at home. Butler beat Stanford, and Butler is playing fairly well right now against top 100 teams. IU is not. We have more talent!

  • Anonymous

    My main complaint is why Creek gets so many minutes when he is clearly not healthy enough to play. He just hurts us at both ends. I’d like to see us run more too, but that’s up to Coach. I haven’t been trying to bash anyone but that is one thing that just really doesn’t make sense to me at all.

  • Anonymous

    I think being on the bandwagon means that someone doesn’t care about a team or person when things are bad. I don’t think that’s the case with most fans here. It’s actually opposite – fans on here care a lot and are emotional about what’s going on and expressing it. It’s not like these people aren’t fans when things are bad. You can be critical and still be a true fan.

  • MillaRed

    Stoneroni (i like this name better, its the holidays)

    I think we may have “younger” talent. But not more “experienced” talent.
    Those teams have played together more and have more upperclassmen etc.

    I honestly think another year of seasoning will get us over the hump….and
    the healthy Mo,

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t see the game last night (nor even hear it) and there are some things I can agree with from what I’ve heard from others (go to the press earlier, play some zone, etc.) but I don’t agree with everything you’ve said here.
    First, on the depth–not necessarily. Yes, the team is deeper than it was last year, but there is still a lack of talent at a few positions. Point guard is one, which may not get better next year (other than the current guys having a season more under their belts–and that’s subtracting Rivers, as well,) unless Amayo comes–even he may not totally be the answer, but Yogi isn’t going to be in Bloomington ’til 2012.
    The other position that isn’t deep is the front line, which is where Watford plays. “Pull him,” but for whom? Your only options are Tom Pritchard (no offensive threat, whatsover, at this point,) Bobby Capobianco (also no offensive threat, not to mention recovering from an injury,) or Derek Elston (the most skilled of the three, but “spent” from the night before according to the coach as a result of playing 31 minutes while trying to return from his own injury.)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you.

    This team will lose a couple more games this season that will look inexcusable. It will also win a couple of games that have everyone thrilled and thinking “see, I said we’re going to the tournament.”

    Come off the ledge, everyone, regardless of whether you’re out there to jump off or try to take flight.

  • Anonymous

    At the present, two are gimpy if Crean’s comments about Elston overcoming an injury are correct (make that 3. I don’t know if Jones started last night or not, but he’s not healthy either at the moment.) So is the lone senior and one of the sophomores on the bench.

  • HoosierFromCT

    Im sorry but no way in hell am I calling this “Year 3” for Coach. If anything, it should be called “Year 3*” Notice the difference?

  • Hoosierfanforlife

    Verdell Jones is awful. All i have to say! Yeah hes good against low level talent but aside from that he is not a division 1 player. He’s slow and has no outside shot whatsoever, cant dribble and chew gum at the same time. Creek should’ve just sit out this year and got healthy. Just really frustrated with how Vegas went and I hope we play better from start to finish in all aspects. Go CREAN!!!!!!!

  • Cat

    I feel that except for a very few rare exceptions, that everyone that posts here are 100% behind Coach Crean. Do we agree with everything he does – Definitely not. Would we agree with everything that RMK or Coach K would do – definitely not. Can you imagine some of the posts after RMK benched Alford!!! None of us are aware of the injury status or what the players do in practice. As fans we only see what goes on during the game and as fans we are allowed to express our likes or dislikes and we do. And Santa allow us to win the games we expect to win and some surprise wins along the way. And Santa please give our Freshmen a little more playing time.

    Merry Christmas

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Thanks man. It’s nice to have someone agree with me once in a while. I’m so used to my wife telling me I’m wrong that I’m starting to develop an inferiority complex!

    HA, just joking but nice to hear from you.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Nice post! Spot on!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Nice comparison Stoni! Being a baseball guy (coach and former college player), I like the baseball analogy. It also points to the fact that fans will be fans and question the coach when they think he is making mistakes. I’ve watched baseball religiously (every game on TV) for years and one team that I watched closely for years was the Atlanta Braves. I really do think Bobby Cox is an all around good manager but for years I questioned his patterns with his starting pitchers and relievers. He was unpredictable and some games would pull a pitcher too quickly and others he would leave them in too long, IN MY OPINION.

    That’s the thing. These are all just our own opinions. I wasn’t on the mound with Glavine, Smoltz, Maddox, Avery, Millwood, or any of the other pitchers with the coach. I wasn’t in the clubhouse before the game. They are just my opinions and I don’t think anyone should be calling another fan a fair-weather fan or hater just because they voice their displeasure or frustrations in an opinion. I’m sure every marriage counselor in the world doesn’t start calling a for divorce the first time a couple disagrees in therapy, but they do encourage discussion and put up with a great deal of “bitching”, right?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree that we may beat a couple teams AT HOME that we aren’t supposed to beat, but we can’t play scared on the road either or we will lose a couple on the road that we shouldn’t and negate those other wins.

    There has to be a different level of preparation and confidence on the road or this team will never get over the hump.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I got rid of my pager in lieu of the cell phone years ago bluegrass . . .

  • HoosierMitch

    I’ve not posted on here very much, but check the site at least twice a day. I was very disappointed with the Hoosier’s showing in Vegas as were the rest of Hoosier Nation. I am even more disappointed in a great deal of the comments posted on this thread. I am a 44 year old male who has been a life long Hoosier fan. I, along with many posters, was hoping for a .500 season this year, with maybe an NIT bid. After our cupcake preseason schedule, I think many fans thought this was a better team that what they actually are. We have some nice players, but I don’t think we have any All-Americans, and maybe we have a player worthy of making all Big 10(Watford). But no matter what experience these guys have, they are still only as good a player as they are. To blame Coach for all that was wrong in Vegas is a terrrible thing to do. He doesn’t shoot,pass or play defense. He can only coach. I myself think he is a great coach and support him all the way. Sorry if this offends people, but I was very disappointed when I read all these posts. Merry Christmas to all.

  • Anonymous

    The reason he reverts back to man to man is because for some reason these kids haven’t learned how to play it yet. I know the zone looks successful at times but It won’t be in the long run, until they learn fundamentals of man defense. Know when to switch, when to help and guard without fouling. Learn those things then we can move on to more complicated zones. Poppin up in a zone once in awhile when the opponent isn’t ready is one thing, to play it for 30 or 40 minutes and adjusting as your opponent adjusts is a totally different animal. No way is this team ready for the inner workings of multiple zone defenses.

  • Anonymous

    MAN … I LOVE THIS SITE … Thanks to all the posters. Merry Christmas

  • Anonymous

    Well said, Mitch.

    I have refrained from posting for the last 24 hours because I was just too frustrated to do anything but lash out in a non-constructive manner.

    I agree about the disappointment all of us are feeling. Unfortunately, just like celebrating a positive event, some people (myself included) struggle with how to express their feelings in a constructive manner. Does it appear that CTC and the Hoosiers might be more successful with some changes in the types of offense and defense we run, considering the strengths and weaknesses of the current roster? Yes.

    That being said, I suspect that most regular posters on this site have never wavered in their core support for the university and the program in the last 2 1/2 years. Still, I think most of us thought ten OOC wins was a reachable target that would validate the progress we all expected in season three. That goal was not reached but that doesn’t mean we are going backwards. Next, we need to focus on winning a realistic number of games in the BT and hope it is enough to get us into post-season play.

    I suspect reaching these goals is not only the focus/hope of the fans but also the team and coaching staff. We fans can do nothing to change the strategy to achieve the goals; our continued support is the best we can do. Let’s see what happens on Monday night. With Battle and the type of team PS is, it should be a good opportunity to see what was learned in LV.

    Happy Holidays to all Hoosier fans, players and coaches.