Notebook: Indiana, UK “different” heading into Friday

  • 03/20/2012 10:26 pm in

Tom Crean and John Calipari have talked this week about how the first game between Indiana and Kentucky on Dec. 10 seems like it was a season ago.

While the replay of Christian Watford’s game-winning shot still pops up on ESPN commercials, the evolution of both teams since that game suggests Friday’s meeting will feature a pair of vastly improved clubs.

“The game was so long ago that they are a different team, as are we,” Crean said on Tuesday afternoon. “We do have to be able to do different things conceptually and schematically on both sides, both offensively and defensively.”

The number of improvements for the Wildcats (34-2), according to Crean, starts with defense, but extends across several facets of the game.

“They’ve added things. [Anthony] Davis with the shooting, there’s so many different things,” he said. “They move the ball really well, you can tell they go to their strengths. I think they know what their strengths are so they really work at going to their strengths.

“The other thing they’re doing right now is they’re really finding matchups that they want. Whether it’s isolating someone at the post, putting someone at the elbow, coming off the dribble handoff. Doing a lot more for [Darius] Miller, his catch-and-shoot inside the arc is as good as I’ve seen it and he’s getting it off quick.”

Calipari, who said his team was beaten in nearly every way in the first meeting, sees similar strides in the Hoosiers (27-8).

“They execute better, they have a better plan for what their strengths are, how they’re playing to cause mismatches in trying to get [Cody] Zeller the ball,” he said. “Their guys that are drivers are driving and doing a great job. And then defensively, they’re way better than they were. They’re more physical.”

Crean hopes for a “sea of red”

Kentucky fans are accustomed to traveling to Atlanta for the SEC Tournament and their turnout at the Georgia Dome will surpass the turnout for the Hoosiers, Baylor and Xavier.

That didn’t stop Crean from encouraging Indiana fans to make their presence known on Friday.

“We have a picture in our locker room from the Georgia Dome from when Indiana played the National Championship game and you can see a sea of red,” he said of the 2002 title game. “We would love to see that and it sounds like we’re going to have a lot of fans there, a lot of people making plans to go.

“I think we’ll have a great crowd. I know Kentucky’s planning on a great crowd. Xavier’s not that far away. I don’t know how Baylor travels. The bottom line is it’s a Sweet Sixteen game. Our fans have been outstanding being with us for so long, obviously for decades, but inside with this process, I really hope a lot of them will take the opportunity to go.”

Calipari downplays Kidd-Gilchrist’s payback comment

Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the lone Wildcat to take the bait from the media when asked about extracting revenge for the loss in Bloomington.

“We’re going to get them back,” Kidd-Gilchrist told reporters following Kentucky’s 87-71 win over Iowa State on Saturday.

Calipari was asked about the comment on Tuesday, but didn’t give it much credence.

“He’s the youngest freshman in the country,” Calipari said. “They say stupid things.”

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  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Whoa! Calipari throws his player under the bus!! 😉

    Anyway, seriously, Kidd-Gilchrist shouldn’t have wagged his tongue, but done is done. Really, though, a good team shouldn’t need such “locker room clips” to motivate them. The IU players need to shrug and say “we’ll play hard regardless”. Or something like that. Not to diminish Kentucky – quite the opposite, they need to realize that this will be the stiffest test to date: A #1 seed in the tournament who’s looking to advance and has the talent to do so – but rather, the proper line is to indicate that it’s the situation and the fact it’s the tournament that’ll get them playing at a high level. Not the specific opponent. Screw up, and an elite team can lose to Lehigh. IU needs to recognize that.

  • IUGRADUATE

    UK is loaded with NBA-caliber players, but who knows? This is a college basketball game, and anything can happen in March. Hope we bring a better plan for the game this Friday and execute it to beat UK & all doubters. Go Hoosiers!

  • IU_Alum96

    IU played Maryland in the championship game which also has ‘red’ as their school color so I think the entire Georgia Dome was probably a shade of red.  Regardless, I expect nothing but a complete team effort from IU when we defeat UK on Friday.  And, it’s going to feel great!   

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Wish we had Yogi for this one… instagr.am/p/IatQPWorP-/  ..

    Mo Williams is 6’1″  Wow  Yogi is like 5’8″

  • JohnFromBeyond

    We’re at least as good as at least half the teams that beat pUKe already this year. We can do it.

  • Hoosier78

    It looks like they are on stairs Yogi being on the lower one, but that is just a guess

  • Hoosier78

    It looks like they are on stairs Yogi being on the lower one, but that is just a guess

  • jacobdetroy

    They’re on two different steps, right? Gotta be . . . gotta be.

  • HoosurDaddy

    Wow I really hope that the Indiana team is taking a break once in a while and reading all this crap on the big times site having them beat already. I wouldnt want them spending any real time doing this or it be a distraction from the game prep. But it just grinds my gears that noone in the nation that I have read has IU winning this game. They all seem to think that IU is just going to be a total push over in this game.

    All the talk about how much better KY is now. What do they think we have been doing all year? Going backwards?

    I think IU can and will win this game it may be a close game but I think IU has the ability and the guts to take this game!

  • Sal

    Only two teams beat UK this year us and Vandy. So we are either better than ourselves and not
    Vandy or we are better than Vandy and not ourself. I am confused.

  •  As was Duke in 02, I thought we had no chance in that game as well!  Lets hope for more of the same!

  • 888

    LOL. Who do they think they are? Its not like theyve been destroying good teams all year.  Theyve escaped with their lives on many occasions. Just because they got 7 NBA players doesnt mean they play like a pro TEAM. Ask UNC back in the 90s. Wallace and Carters team was LOADED way more than this team and they got booted in the sweet 16. Its not like they are UNLV in 1990. Yes they are really good but they are very beatable. Ill tell ya now if they get by us MSU will beat them down in the final 4. MSU is a TEAM boys. Ive thought all year that UK fans have been dreaming about how good their team is. We just have to limit their big runs. Thats how they beat weak teams that hang with themk for 30 minutes. They put on a 17 to 2 run late in the game and cant climb back. Just limit that big run and theyre in trouble. Theyve forgot that Baylor and Xavier fans will be pulling for us to spank them as well. Were not playing in RUPP for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!

  • HoosierPat

    IU is fully capable of winning this game. Cody needs to shot fake all night and get Davis into foul trouble. Also we need to limit the turnovers. In the first meeting we had 18 turnovers, I believe. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a good shooting night. If we can do those things I think we have a good chance to win.

  • Oldguyy

    Yogi plays for the 2A state championship on TV Saturday, against a pressing team.  Should be fun to watch.

  • Kleeman20

    Run! Run! Run!…. Wear these guys out…. UK is not deep, basically played 6 guys in a blowout of Iowa State (Wiltjer got 3 minutes)…. We are deeper than this team and can score with anybody in the country…. Keep with the mantra, 27 wins 27 different ways, let’s make it 28….. We can run these guys ragged and once they get tired, they will foul and they have nobody to bring off the bench…… 75 pts plus and we win this game….. A lot of people think the slow down game is the way to go, I think that spells doom imho…. GO IU! Can’t wait!

  • Dandy Don

    It could be argued that Kentucky is better at all 5 positions when compared man to man with IU; however, they were that also when they played the first time.  The best talented team does not always win – see any number of NCAA games for proof!  IU will have to play almost the perfect game to win while KY will need to play average for them and we have a real shot! We will have trouble with some match ups especially at the guard – I love Jordy but Teague took him to school the last time especially in the second half (Jordy needs to play off and let Teague shoot the outside shot), the other guard can shoot it and the front line is probably second to none in college basketball!  They will definitely IMO pressure our guards after watching VCU since they have erasers to offset when our guys get by the first line of defense!  Having said all that IU has a legitimate shot and that is WHY they play the game on the court and not in the press!  You bet I will be rooting for them and just to get it started – CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT CALL OR LACK OF IT AGAINST ky – lol!

  • A_Schick

    I got it John…

  • A_Schick

    Anybody else see Dukie V. giving his pre-game analysis of Sunday night’s UK-Baylor game?  

  • A_Schick

    Anybody else see Dukie V. giving his pre-game analysis of Sunday night’s UK-Baylor game?  

  • INUnivHoosier

    The point was that we are half the teams that beat pUKe this year, so we are as good as ourselves, at least.

  • INUnivHoosier

    If everyone were picking David over Goliath, it wouldn’t really be a story.

  • marcusgresham

    I’d say we’re better than half the teams that beat UK this year because we’re a better team now than we were in December.

  • marcusgresham

    I’d say we’re better than half the teams that beat UK this year because we’re a better team now than we were in December.

  • BStraw

    Interesting point.  Haven’t heard anyone advocating for running them to death, but I sure loved watching NM St’s bigs looking like they were going to pUKe after chasing Cody for 30 minutes.  Not sure how ADavis can run over the long hall but it might be the strategy.  Can’t wait to see.

  • Billy

    Run with Kentucky would be a debacle for IU.   KY has been running teams out of the building all year long. IU won in December because they played better half-court offense and limited UK’s runouts

  • dtfreed

    How many IU fans were thinking the worst most of the VCU game? Yes me to. And then their shots quit falling and we were back in the game. If we are close at the end anything can happen. And who will be tighter, KY. They’re suppose to win, they’re use to being ahead by a bunch of points almost every game, they’re very capable of choking this off.

  • millzy32

    I was wondering how they were progressing.  I guess with the Hoosiers doing so well ITH has stopped updating the prospects and how they are doing in the tournament. 

    That is a good thing.  The “Now” Hoosiers are already doing things that need to be reported even before “The Movement” comes.  Good things people good things. 

    BEAT KENTUCKY

    GO HOOSIERS.  Wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • millzy32

    I was wondering how they were progressing.  I guess with the Hoosiers doing so well ITH has stopped updating the prospects and how they are doing in the tournament. 

    That is a good thing.  The “Now” Hoosiers are already doing things that need to be reported even before “The Movement” comes.  Good things people good things. 

    BEAT KENTUCKY

    GO HOOSIERS.  Wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • millzy32

    We are better than both of the teams that beat Kensucky this year.  We are better than our former selves and much better than Vanderbilt ever was this year.

  • millzy32

    Yogi is on a lower step thank God.  I was worried there for a second that he hadn’t grown.  It is still debatable whether or not he’s 6’0″ but he certainly isn’t 5’8″ anymore (I hope)

  • I find it hard to say someone is better than the Z.
    To me it feels like he destroyed unibrow in the first game?

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I know it is 2012 and far from 1975, but here is how I feel:

    History lesson. Never forget about 1975.  37 years later we have the chance to exact revenge. We were the odds on favorite after an undefeated regular season and a Big Ten Championship. Kentucky eliminated us in the tourney and ended our perfect season in the regional finals. Even though Scott May had broke his arm most expected us to roll and win it all anyway. We owe them some payback for that, and now 37 years later here is the chance. It would have been banner number 3 (the first of ultimately two consecutive undefeated seasons) and our total championships could possibly be 6 instead of 5. If that is not ammunition when fighting for Hoosier tradition against Kentucky and the pundits who are kissing the ground they walk on then I don’t know what is. Let’s get that one back. The roles are somewhat reversed now. Who cares if it is 37 years later. History is the past, but never forgotten. Fight for our past, we believe in our team.  Go IU!!

  • Pb1230

    Average winning margin against tournament teams during the regular season

    IU – 9
    UK – 8.9

  • Pb1230

    Average winning margin against tournament teams during the regular season

    IU – 9
    UK – 8.9

  • Brad Killion

    Yogi is 5’11”

  • FloridaHoosier51

    Individual greatness is all well and good. However, I will take a T-E-A-M over individuals any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Or Friday!!

    HOOSIERS!!

  • Kenneth234

    I absolutely agree that we should run them to death.  This doesn’t mean that we should be taking quick shots on the offensive end for the sake of getting the up and down flow, but we can run them by pushing the ball and looking for early opportunities, and if they are not there continue into our normal offensive movement in the half court.  We have to be able to get back and force them into a half court game on their offensive possessions.  They, like any other team can be effected by contesting shots, and making them exert effort to get looks. 

  • Kenneth234

    Watch the first game again.  See if we played slow.  We certainly did not play slow, and we certainly did not utilize our bench all that much either.  We are deeper than we were then, but they are not.  We are also more used to playing at that pace now than we were then.  This is the ticket to win.  But when the early good look isn’t there, we have to be smart about running our half court sets in order to find qaulity looks.  This can also fatigue them as much as running at a  100+ pt pace. 

  • SCHoosier

    Every scout in the NBA would disagree with you..altho I sorta like your take:)

  • SCHoosier

    Run when its available w/o charging….ditto taking the 3..other than that..play with ball sharing in t he half court and junk yard dog defense every possession.

  • Lettie Davis

    U know your basketball. IU didn’t beat KY because they outran them. U r right it was better half-court offense. That & the fact that Anthony Davis only played 23 minutes because of foul trouble.

  • 888

    I think IU should have Zeller take Davis outside. If  Davis dont follow him UK will find out how well Z can shoot. He has 3 point range. We havent done it all year and its a perfect time to do it. If Davis is out at the 3 point line he cant rebound or block shots. Its an observation.

  • jaywiz

    I’ll be there!!!! go IU!