2011-12 Player Profile: Matt Roth

It’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2011-2012 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Matt Roth.

As one of three scholarship seniors, Matt Roth enters his final season in Bloomington with far fewer on the court expectations than his classmates Tom Pritchard and Verdell Jones III.

Roth, one of two recruits from the Kelvin Sampson era, was targeted in large part because of his shooting prowess from the perimeter. In fact, Sampson once likened Roth’s potential impact to that of Lee Humphrey, a starter on two national championship teams at Florida.

The reality for Roth is that his most productive season from a statistical standpoint is likely in the rearview mirror due to a much more competitive landscape in the backcourt for playing time.

After missing all but two games as a sophomore, Roth returned and played in 28 of 32 games as a junior. His role on offense was almost exclusively a 3-point shooter. 72 of his 78 field goal attempts were from behind the 3-point arc. His effective field goal percentage was 55.8 percent, which was fourth on the team behind Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo and Tom Pritchard.

Beyond the 3-point shooting, Roth did little else in his 8.2 minutes per game. He rarely handled the ball — evidenced by the fact he committed just one turnover all season — and had a total of 14 rebounds and seven assists. None of these figures suggest Roth, who received his undergraduate degree last May, is in line for a more productive season as a senior.

Best-case: Roth goes out on a high note by knocking down a few pivotal 3-pointers in key situations.

Worst-case: His minutes decrease further with the arrival of freshman Austin Etherington, a shooter with similar ability and a more well-rounded game.

Quotable: “That has always been a thing in his mind that I need to continue to work on since day one when I got here and I’ve continued to work on it. Its just a matter of stepping out on the court in situations where I’m confident in what I can do and my teammates are confident in what I can do. And I feel like I’ve worked really hard to do that in the offseason not just this year, but building up to it.” – Roth on adding aspects to his game.

All stats in this piece from KenPom.

Previously: Jordan Hulls, Will SheeheyVerdell Jones III, Cody ZellerVictor Oladipo, Tom Pritchard

  • Anonymous

    Nice to know we don’t have to depend on his shooting. He seems like a guy who could go several games in a row without playing and then come in for 10 minutes in an important big ten game, knock down a few treys and give us momentum to win a tough game on the road. For his sake, I would love to see him come in and change a few games like that for IU.

  • Casey B.

    I hope we find ways to get him in the lineup sporadically. If we use him strategically, he can be an asset. It’d be a shame to waste his shooting ability. In previous years, when there weren’t enough talented players on the court, his role was diminished simply because no players drew enough attention to take pressure off Roth and open him up for a shot. With the likes of Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, Sheehey and Jones causing the defense to collapse a bit, I can see Roth getting in position to bury some threes. Remember – he’s capable. He hit nine threes vs. Ohio State at one point.

    I just think, with a pure shot like he has, a truly good coach will find some creative ways to incorporate him into the offense, albeit sparsely.

  • DeCleanse

    Roth needs to have swagger and lead by example with a 60%+ 3 point percentage.  He has the capacity to accomplish it!

  • Anonymous

    I do largely agree with you.  But then, to a point, if he is used sparsely then the opposition knows whats coming.  We have enought depth now that when he comes in the game, its obvious.  I think it will be difficult for him this year as the team progresses.  I wish him the best and he may prove wrong, but it will be difficult.

  • eph521

    72 of 78 shots were 3 pointers!  That’s crazy!

  • Anonymous

    If the opposition knows what’s coming when Roth is in the game (and I agree with you on that for sure), then he doesn’t even have to hit a shot to affect how the defense plays.  Stick him 25 feet from the hoop and tell him to run around.  That should open things up regardless if he shoots or not.  Leave him open and he’ll kill them.  He’s a good option if teams try to pack it in on us but I agree we may not need him much.  Doesn’t matter, Roth is a Hoosier for life and he served the University and the team well.  I love guys like this that stick with it no matter what.

  • Casey B.

    I’d equate what Roth can do for this team to what a solid running game in football can do for the passing game. Your team may be pass-heavy, but if the opponents know you have a capable run game, they still have to honor it.

    To your point, if Roth plays sparsely, opponents will guard more heavily against the three-point shot – they’ll “honor” the three, if you will. But in guarding more closely against the three, they open themselves up to other vulnerabilities – namely, inside. So regardless of whether Roth actually sinks, or even takes many threes, his presence can make a difference if he’s used in smart situations. That’s my main point.

  • Anonymous

    Well played.  I can’t disagree with either of you there. 

    Particularly to spiderman, I am behind him 100%.  He is a Hoosier and could have easily bounced after the whole Sampson deal. He didn’t.  Has worked hard and represented the program well. I do wish him all the best, especially this year.

  • IUeconAlum

    He’s a great shooter. I think his minutes have been down because we have better defensive options who can also drive. Since our offense is all dribble-drive that makes it hard for him to work in. However, there is no reason to have this guy sit on the end of the bench. They should be able to rotate him in when the other teams back ups go in, their players are just not that athletic, and if we are down by 10 and might need some outside sparks. Hopefully he is pushing Remy and Austin and helping them get better since he’s a Senior.

  • IUeconAlum

    One thing this preview should have added was Roth set a record for 3’s in a game at IU. I think something like that should have been included to do this guy some justice. Huge accomplishment.

  • stonaroni

    Roth seems like a great kid, but his run of playing time at IU has expired.  Austin Ethering ton plays the same position as Roth.  Austin is taller, quicker, more athletic, a better defender, taller defender, a much better rebounder, a better passer, a better scorer, etc. etc. etc.

    In response to Casey B, I hope that he doesn’t see the floor.  That will only mean we are deeper, better and winning more games this season.  Not trying to be rude, that is just a small price to be paid by Roth for the betterment of the IU basketball program.  IU has needed guys like Roth to buy in and work hard.  Now is the time we need more talent and better players.  IU natiuon has been begging for a competitive team for 4 years, now we have it.

    AE won the 3 pt contest at Hoosier Hysteria over Roth.  AE can shoot over defenders.  AE can post a smaller guy on the blocks if necessary.  AE has a very solid floor game and I cannot imagine a time in a game where Roth would get the nod over AE.

    AE will be the 8th or 9th guy on the team too by the way, so we are not talking about major minutes for roth he is losing but a guy that will onot be in the rotation.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you except, him not seeing the floor at all part…….I want to see Daniel Moore, Taylor Wayor, Matt Roth, Kory Barnett, and Jeff Howard out there for the last 3 minutes of every game bc we are up by 20+……….

  • Anonymous

    Appears Matt’s playing time will be limited with the increased number of skilled players. Just hope TC can find a way to give Matt an opportunity to contribute. He stayed the course during the Sampson nightmare. He worked hard to rehab and supported his team mates during that time. Most important, he went to class and got his degree. I wish him well.

  • Aschick11

    I see him having an Errek Suhr moment or two this season where he comes in to a big game, dives for some lose balls against much bigger opponents and hits some standing-ovation threes. Kids like these that continue to scrap along and give the program their blood, swear, and tears have fueled the Hoosiers for years, whether their additions on the court really show it or not. Best of luck this season Matt.

  • Anonymous

    There is very little doubt that Zeller, Watford and Hulls are the stars
    of this team. If any one of the three can become a top 5 All-Big 10
    player, this will be a good (20+ win) season. Vic and Will are the next
    best players and have to get 22-25 minutes/game on the floor each.
    Elston and Pritchard have to do it on the floor, “being 6’9″ is no
    longer good enough. Derek could be great, but can he develop the mental
    side of his talent? Verdell can show that he is the senior leader that
    we have desperately needed for the last three years. If he can accept
    lesser “billing” but play great, then this can be a special season.
    Austin and Remy have to bring it all and bring it hard every second on
    the floor. They each have some real talent that Indiana has sorely
    needed. I hope that Matt Roth hits 50% of his 3’s because if he can’t
    Danny Moore might. Danny does a lot of good things in short stretches.
    No more excuses now for Coach Crean, it is win NOW time! We miss and
    love you Mo Creek and want to see you play again at 100%! GO IU!

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