Update: Franklin Central slipped past Tipton 43-41 in overtime to win the Hall of Fame Classic. Elston finished with 16 points and was named MVP of the event.
Indiana coach Tom Crean was on the scene earlier today in The Fieldhouse at New Castle as Class 2-A No. 1 Tipton knocked off Bluffon 49-36. Crean was spotted in the front row as Elston scored 14 points, but the Mr. Basketball candidate was in foul trouble for a good portion of the game.
The Blue Devils (8-0) will play in the Hall of Fame Classic championship game tonight at 8PM EST against Franklin Central. The Flashes are led by Purdue recruit Patrick Bade.
Inside the Hall got its first look of the season at 2010 guard Aaron Cosby from Jeffersontown Monday night at the Gaslight Holiday Classic. Cosby scored nine points as J’Town beat Owensboro 72-55 to move into the final against Mount Lebanon, PA on Tuesday night.
Strengths: Cosby is a part of one of the top teams in the state of Kentucky that is led by one of the better coaches in the state — Jeff Morrow. After sitting out the six first games of the season due to transfer rules, Cosby is still working his way into game shape. He showed an ability to get into the lane and also a nice touch from the perimeter when left open. For the most part, his court vision appeared to be solid and he didn’t try to make plays that weren’t available to him.
Weaknesses: It’s not a knock on Cosby, but his listed height of 6-3 by Rivals is a bit deceiving (go figure). He looked to be about 6-1. He also looked to be a bit out of the flow of the game, but that seemed to be more of a result of missing the first six games of the season and not his ability. Morrow wasn’t pleased with a couple of layups he gave up and as a result, Cosby found himself benched for a couple of long stretches in the second and fourth quarters. He has the tools to be a solid defender, but will need to step up the intensity on a more consistent basis.
The Bottom Line: The Indiana staff will keep a close eye on Cosby’s progress over the course of the season. As he continues to round back into form after sitting out last season and the first six games of this season, he should become more comfortable with his new surroundings and continue to blossom. He’s an intelligent player that has the potential to become a solid college player.
Someone else showed up on offense besides Tom Pritchard. Devan Dumes mirrored his scoring prowess from the beginning of the season, and dumped in 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-7 from three-point land. Verdell Jones seems to be rounding back into form as well, as he had 13 points and three assists. The Cream and Crimson raced out to a 35-14 lead and all looked good.
IU was also uncharacteristically low on the turnover end, as the Hoosiers only amassed 13 for the game.
Here’s how we lost this one: free throws, rebounding and points in the paint. For as well as the Hoosiers handled the ball in the second half — only three turnovers — they got out-rebounded by 15. IU also gave up a ridiculous 40 points in the paint for the game, including a good lot late in the match to Adnan Hodzic, who during that one timeout looked like he was about to rip his teammates’ heads off. A 13-0 run for Lipscomb to start the second half doomed IU as well.
But taking all that into account, the Hoosiers were still in this game to the bitter end. But, the free throws. Oh, the free throws. If IU shoots better than their 50 percent on 8-of-16 tonight, they might get the win here. The free throw woes were never more frustrating than when Dumes missed two in a row with IU down four with 46 seconds to go.
When it’s not one thing (the turnovers) it’s the other (free throws).
Big Ten season, here we come.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for the 2008-2009 version of the Indiana Hoosiers — it just got worse.
Indiana (5-7) followed up a 55-42 home loss to Northeastern with a 74-69 loss to Lipscomb Sunday night at Assembly Hall.
The Bisons (5-6) entered the game with just three wins against Division I opponents and a RPI ranking of 335 by RealTimeRPI.com.
“We had some opportunities to win and we just couldn’t get it done and it’s disappointing,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.
The Hoosiers led 37-16 in the first half and then watched the 21-point cushion evaporate after Lipscomb answered with a 31-7 run to take a 47-44 lead with 16:48 remaining.
Michael Teller and Adnan Hodzic scored 19 points each to lead Lipscomb. The Bisons shot 51 percent, hit 15 of 20 free throws, scored 40 points in the paint and out-rebounded Indiana 35-25.
“You’re not going to win games giving up 50 percent field goals and getting out-rebounded by 10,” Crean said. “Those are the kind of things that we’ve gotta continue to understand.”
Devan Dumes scored 18 points to lead Indiana and Verdell Jones III added 13. The Hoosiers shot 50 percent, but hit just 8 of 16 free throws and lost for the fifth time in their last six games.
Big Ten opener: Indiana will open its Big Ten season January 3 at Iowa at 4:30 EST.
Schutz injured: Kipp Schutz didn’t dress after being injured recently in practice and Crean told reporters that Schutz’s days on the team are likely numbered as workouts for IU baseball begin January 10.
Indiana coach Tom Crean spoke on Saturday afternoon regarding the team’s academic performance the first semester and Sunday’s game with Lipscomb. You can read the entire transcript here.
On the team’s performance in the classroom in the fall:
“I was really proud of their efforts in the classroom. I think it is a combination of a lot of things. The diligence of our players in understanding of how important it is in taking care of everything every day towards being in class, getting their work done on time, being with our support system and tutors and its also a big part of what our academic support system and our coaches do to help make sure that everyone is on the same page every day. We had a very good team GPA and one that we can continue to build on.”
What challenges will Lipscomb present to you on Sunday?
“They really push the ball up the floor and they seal on the post as well as anyone we have played. On the break and inside of their offense, they do an excellent job of reversing the basketball, playing inside-out and finding the people they want to have the ball and at the same time they do a very good job of isolating and driving the ball so we are going to have to be in tune defensively with one another and our communication is going to have to be high and we are going to have to do an excellent job of keeping the ball out of scoring areas that they want as much as we possibly can which is easier said than done because they are a very good team and they are very well coached.”
We’re a bit late to the punch on this due to the holidays, but Jeff Withey won’t be bringing his game to Bloomington. Longtime Courier-Journal sports columnist Rick Bozich has the details:
Jeff Withey was going to be the next big thing at Louisville. Then he wasn’t — withdrawing an oral commitment to Rick Pitino to instead play for Arizona. The kid is from San Diego and the word was he wanted to play at a school closer to home.
Then he was going to be the next big thing at Arizona. Then he wasn’t — deciding to transfer from Arizona. He decided to transfer last fall after Lute Olson decided to quit coaching. A 7-footer, Withey never saw the court at Arizona.
Now Withey is on to his third school. And this time he picked Kansas, where he will be eligible to play in December 2009.
We had quite a few emails and questions about Indiana’s chances with Withey over the past few weeks, but the probability of Withey landing in Bloomington never seemed high. The uncertainty of the scholarship situation coupled with pre-exisiting relationships Withey held with other staffs made the Hoosiers a long shot.