The Minute After: Gardner-Webb

  • 11/21/2011 9:13 pm in

Musings on a 73-49 win over the Bulldogs:

For the first 25 minutes of this one, Indiana struggled with energy.

But Victor Oladipo, as he was born to do, made sure it would not last.

A steal by the sophomore and subsequent assist to Cody Zeller just over five minutes into the second half ignited the Assembly Hall faithful. From there, the rout was on.

The Hoosiers picked up the tempo. The offense started firing on all cylinders with stronger ball movement. Will Sheehey, IU’s other hype man, hit a jumper at the 9:21 mark — his tenth straight point — to put the Hoosiers up 30.

Game. Set. Match.


Tom Crean reportedly challenged his team to get after it on the boards tonight. That challenge was met with success. The Hoosiers were strong on both the offensive (38.7 offensive rebounding percentage) and defensive (84.8 defensive rebounding percentage) boards this evening, the former of which led to 14 second-chance points. The Hoosiers also had 40 points in the paint, good for more than half of its scoring. They also converted Gardner-Webb’s 19 turnovers into 26 points. Scoring in this fashion helped the Hoosiers tonight, who after shooting nearly 50 percent on threes through four games, went only 3-of-18 from beyond the arc. They also had a poor night on the line, hitting only 12-of-23.


After the Savannah State tilt, I noted Elston might be better served stepping behind the three-point line instead of shooting long twos. Tonight, Elston showed off another facet of his offensive game instead; he had several strong takes to the rim on his way to 10 points and also muscled in for nine boards (three offensive).

This all came in just 15 minutes of play.

I thought IU’s Assistant Athletic Director for Broadcast Services Jeremy Gray put the Tipton native’s current play nicely via the Tweet Machine: “Elston’s confidence is growing game by game. He’s always been skilled. Now he looks comfortable and purposeful.”


You wonder if part of tonight’s sluggish start was this team not quite getting up for Gardner-Webb, probably the easiest W so far this season on paper.

But as I noted last time around — and as we all know by now — the tests will come in the coming weeks against the likes of Butler, North Carolina State, Notre Dame and Kentucky.

But until then, bask in this team’s 5-0 start. All coming by 20 points or more — which is a program first.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    No love for Kirk Haston?  He was easily the most offensively skilled big man over the last 10-12 years.  Let’s not forget the guy was picked in the middle of the 1st round too (likely where Cody will land).

    Though Hoosier89 is absolutely spot on with the DJ reference in terms the most recent skilled big man (and I like DJ’s ability to play both ends of the floor, not to mention his heart and leadership).It remains to be seen with CZ, but I recall Haston being more of a leader by example, than being a vocal/demonstrative leader.

  • Anonymous

    He’s like a wonderful mix of Alan Henderson and Jared Jeffries.

  • Anonymous

    I’m on Jerry’s side here.  There’s a reason Hulls got benched and VJ remained in the starting unit in the second half:  defense.  Is it a coincidence that we began to pull away in the first five minutes of the half?  Not in my opinion.  

    Bottom line is that Jordy’s slack on this board is like a friggin’ yo yo, while VJ is on a dog leash.  

    Jordy can shoot well (and his off the bounce shooting has improved),but sometimes we forget that his ball handling hasn’t developed that much in 3 years.  Let’s call a spade a spade when it comes to bone headed plays because to me a bad pass by VJ is just as idiotic as getting ripped by a vastly inferior guard.  I’d also like to see Jordy run the pick and roll with CZ effectively before calling for VJ’s head.  

  • Anonymous

    Much love for Haston, but he was not the inside presence that Zeller is. Haston was a shooter.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed that Haston had some serious range — who can forget the game winner against #1 Michigan State?  As far as a post game, he had a killer sky hook (Kareem style), especially on the baseline.

  • Anonymous

    i think i heard on tv that it was “thanks for coming, have a happy thanksgiving” or something to that effect

  • Anonymous

    Mike Roberts?

  • Anonymous

    I’m with Milla on this one.  VJ3 has played fine so far this season, but can we really expect him to be THAT much different this season than he has been the previous three?  Last night, VJ3 made a lousy TO in transition, and then followed it up on the very next defensive possession by committing a lousy foul.  Classic.  That is the main issue with VJ3. 

    Every player makes mistakes, and I have actually been a VJ3 defender on this board in the past (and gotten smeared for it), but he seems to compound his mistakes by getting upset and making another one in short order.

    I don’t have any issues with him starting, per se, but I don’t think he is a better 2/3 than either VO or Will.  It is nice to see VJ3 playing better right now, but I will wait to get excited until I see this type of play consistently and against better competition.

  • stonaroni

    Not really nitpicky, both AE and RA have more to offer this team than Roth and Moore.  There will be times this year that we will need a 6’6″ shooter and a 6’3″ strong combo guard who can play defense.

    Plus, as I keep saying, they are the future.  And, no way Moore is 5’9″, I say 5’7″.

  • stonaroni

    Your assessment of Moore is very accurate.

    DE has to get more minutes, PERIOD.  10 pts and 9 reb in 15 minutes is extremely efficient.  This team is at its best on O and D when DE is on the floor with Zeller.  CW is better served losing minutes to WS and DE because his D and rebounding is suspect at best.

  • stonaroni

    5 games in 11 days is nothing.  They practice harder and longer.  A player will rarely get more than 30 minutes in a game which is sced by time outs, halftime, and bench time.  And they are 18 to 22 yrs old, they are always refreshed.

    VO and WS bring energy and I like that too, but the quicker the improve defensively, the better this team gets.  if they can be solid in Big 10 play, we might win 10 in conference with CZ in the middle.

    I agree that the NC ST game will tell us a lot, especially just how much better we are on defense.

  • stonaroni

    Why give TP minutes that he could give DE?

    VJII is better than Hulls on certain nights and vice versa!  Why does Hulls always seem to get a pass?  Is it because he is an indiana kid who won Mr. Basketball in a down and talent deprived year? 

  • stonaroni

    No way, DE and CW are not quick enough to get to the wings or corners to defend the 3.

  • stonaroni

    As I was last year JerryCT, I am on your side on this debate. And, some want to argue Big 10 play and VJIII”s inefficientcy, no PG guard get abused more in Big 10 play than Hulls.  At least this year Hulls might have more opportunity to score which will help even up the points he gives up.

    VJIII is taller and longer than Hulls which means his hand in a shooters face, his arms in a passing lane, his heighth to rebound, his heighth to see the open passing angle, his heigth to score in the paint, etc is superior to Hulls.

    Hulls is a better shooter from 3 and makes a few better decisions, but all in all, VJIII matches up better against better guards in better competition.

    If VJIII is bad, play Hulls, if Hulls is bad, play VJIII, either way we have 2 solid guards that can run the offense, most teams do not.

    Look at UK’s struggles right now.  Purdue only has 1 guard to run the show,  We have 2.

  • stonaroni

    So will Hulls’ lack of size and defensive liabilities.  It works both ways MillaRed.

    If both players are improved from last year, and I think they have, than this team is a lot better.

    VO and WS make this team a lot better and CZ makes the greatest impact.

    The sum of allparts lost us a lot of games this year.  The sum of all parts will win us far more this year.

  • stonaroni

    I meant lost us a lot of games “last” year.

  • stonaroni

    I saw Hulls dribble behind his back in traffic amongst 3 defenders a few games ago that was a turnover, that is dumb and he didn’t even know how many payers were around him and how many were out front.  I constantly watch other guards drain and rain 3’s in Hulls’ face as he cannot recover to the shooter fast enough and he certainly cannot alter a shot when the other guy is usually 3 to 4 inches taller than him.

    VJIII has his weaknesses too but they do not add up to make Hulls far superior.  Some of you guys need to back off VJIII and appreciate his efforts and improvement over the years.  We have won few games and he always has his hand in the wins too, Often times more than having his hand in the loss.

  • Anonymous

    I never mentioned Hulls once in my post.  I wasn’t comparing VJ3 to Hulls.  They don’t play the same position (or shouldn’t). 

    Since we are talking about him now, I think that his skill set is totally different than VJ3’s.  We need both players, but for comparison’s sake, who would you rather have handling the ball at a crucial point in the game?  If we needed a big 3?  Who is a better team leader?  Who has a better career A:TO percentage?

    I agree that both have weaknesses, and I totally agree that VJ3 is a better defender, but if you look at the body of work for both players, I’ll take Hulls.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Just a thought…when and if we get into foul trouble situations there will be times that Roth and Pritchard and maybe even more will need to be on the floor.  I I was IU’s oppt I would get CZ into foul trouble ASAP four fouls and he is on the bench.  Same with VJ his is heavly four prone.  Hulls seems to do a decent job of staying out of foul trouble but these are the times where Moore will get the nod over Remy due to experience.  Pritchard will be CZ replacement unless DE comes in.  This is the only conclusion I can come up with as to why.
    I would still like to see a CZ, Watford, Pritchard and DE lineup at some point and run a bigger guard just to see when we do play these bigger teams.

  • Anonymous

    I guess what I don’t like most about Watford taking threes is that the ones he takes aren’t always necessary.  Forced threes/guarded threes or threes early in the shot clock are the ones I don’t like.  Actually I don’t mind how many he takes if he is clearly wide open and there aren’t better options in the possession. 

  • MillaRed

    How in the heck did Hulls get injected into any of this? The discussion is VJ’s dumb plays. I like VJ but he is the only player on the team that routinely makes terribly dumb plays. I want them to go away and have said that for 3 years.

  • Anonymous

    The truth for me is that there are a handful of players on IU that continue to get beat off the dribble.  Our one on one defense is not very good all around.  Also there are a handful of players that are turning the ball over.  Senior or not everyone needs to improve.  And I think they all want to and will throughout the season.

  • Anonymous

    Our overall help D needs improvement.  There are a handful of players who get beat off the dribble.  CZ can only help so much because if there is no body to help him when he leaves his man then that guy gets an easy basket.  IU was getting beat by Webb’s guards over and over; B10 guards are going to be even quicker.

    CZ has the potential to block shots down low and I think they need to focus their D on doing this more.  Bait and trap.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I see your point but if we are up by 20 with less than 10minutes to go then take him out of the game so he doesn’t get injuried.   He can always come back in and I don’t think he needs the playing as much as others, except for the fact that they need to get used to feeding the post…which could still be pritch.

  • Anonymous

    My post was kind of a joke, for the people who were disappointed in the way we played.

  • Eyes_of_silver

    Haston was what, a redshirt soph or junior?  Zeller is as good as he was as a 5 game frosh.  I don’t know that we’ve ever had a big man this good as a frosh.

  • Guest

    Pulled away in the first five minutes of the half? Go back and watch the re-watch the game. The lead expanded when it was Hulls, Oladipo, Sheehey, Watford and Zeller.

    Unless im wrong, but im not.
    That being said Jordy did not look at all like he was in the game last night. His D struggled and he really got lost in the offense.

    But mark my words the offense is stagnant with jones running the point and we will need Jordy’s decision making when we play in the big ten.

  • Anonymous

    If you now disappear we will know that you were right and we will know where to find you should we decide to do a suicide mission.

  • Anonymous

    And why would he not read ITH. Hell that’s where all the great bball minds are anyway isn’t it ?

  • Anonymous

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said…. 

  • Anonymous

    When is last time we had the talent to blow a team out of the gym?  Once we are a ranked team and have a bench that deep to play our 10th or 12th best guys in the first half and still maintain the score then make those kind of substitutions.  If we are up by 30 in the second half then great let’s have garbage time and not rub it in.  But a game is not decided when you are up 15 points just 10 minutes in.  I just feel in the first half you have to give it all against any opponent. 

  • Silkyslim

    Dead on assessment, A Train.

    I am impressed with Oladipo and the the way he brings BIG energy and enthusiasm that lifts the whole team.

  • Anonymous

    The point is that VJ3 seems to make the same type of mistakes fairly routinely.  He is a senior, and he should have progressed past that point by now.  I’m not speaking of the occasional dribbling the ball off your foot or getting called for traveling. 

    VJ3’s mistakes are similar to what he did last evening: pushing the ball in transition and nothing is there, but still trying to thread the needle and the pass goes out of bounds.  Then on the next play, he makes a dumb foul as the shot clock is dwindling thus bailing G-W out on the possession. 

    Not to speak for Milla, but that is what I (and I think he) is speaking of when we mention VJ3’s mistakes.

    I hope he continues to play well through the season, but we should expect more from seniors.  I guarantee that CTC talked with him about that exchange.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t play through the Big Ten schedule with only 3 big men (Zeller, CW and DE).  We need TP to get minutes.  He isn’t the most talented big we have, but he is a big body who has shown the ability to contribute in the past.  I say give him some minutes!

    I don’t give Hulls a pass, and if I did, it certainly wouldn’t be because he is a former Mr. Basketball from Indiana when VJ3 is from Illinois.  Who cares?  They both play for IU now!  I actually have defended Jones on here from time to time.  Why the need to compare the two players?

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Sorry, sometimes we have to assume things and I just want to make sure that posters understand their are reasons CTC does what he does.  Still a good post and I totally agree.
    Happy Thanksgiving.  Too bad we have to wait until Sunday to get to see Zeller and company play again.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Wasn’t DJ 6’9?  I can’t recall a true 7’0 ft’er that ever played like CZ does.  He is an all around player, with the IQ, talent and heart.  Having all three of these qualitites is just too hard to come by in a true big.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I totally forgot about Haston.  I have to agree with most of the other post, outside shot, love to take the 3 but as far as where he was a Freshman I don’t think he fits the bill.

  • Anonymous

    I think Haston may be the closest in skill set.  Good call.

  • Anonymous

    Magnus Pelkowski

  • Anonymous

    I remember Watford playing up top on the zone with some effectiveness.  Arm length can compensate for some foot speed in a zone.  I’d be willing to give a shot and then scrap it if it weren’t working.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I like ” The Pritch” but DE has become a beast on the block and can shot, rebound, and run the floor.  TP can barely block a shot, horrible at the line, can’t jump and we needs points.
    TP does block out and screen well but besides that and that alone will not win games.  He needs the time.  Hell, I wouldl like to see a line up with TP, CW, CZ and DE and take you pick on the guard…just as an experiment for the bigger teams in the B1G.

  • Anonymous

    You’re not wrong, per se, but you don’t lay out all the facts with this run.  VO went out in the first 2-3 minutes because of some boneheaded
    decisions – in comes Danny Moore.  How is VJ supposed to build a lead
    playing 4 on 5 on offense?  Though it is worth mentioning that the lead increased from 11 at half to up 15. 

    6 minutes into the half, VJ/Danny/Elston are subbed out for Jordy/VO/Sheehey.  You can’t directly correlate a “stagnant” offense to VJ.  It’s a team game. 

    While Jordy’s decision is usually sound, we’ll also need VJ’s improved defense against the Aaron Craft’s and Tim Hardaway Jr’s. of the B1G.

  • Anonymous

    I have really enjoyed watching DE play this season.  He has played great, and I like that CTC is rewarding him with more minutes.  That said, I think that it is a little premature to call him a “beast” after playing well in five games against inferior opponents.  How soon some of us forget his lackluster play at times during last season. 

    I am encouraged by his play so far, and I am very hopeful that his progression continues, but I think it would be wise to give TP rotational minutes (15ish) even if it is for no other reason but to get DE and CZ a breather.. 

    When we play the MSUs of the world, we will need another big body.