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That’s A Wrap: Improvement in numbers

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our attempt to um, wrap up the 2009-10 season. Sit back. Relax. Grab some popcorn. Get your read on. All stats on this post come from the indispensable Kenpom.com.

The Hoosiers lost 11 straight Big Ten games this season. That’s enough to make a grown man cry, or at least throw his remote at the TV. But amidst all the turnovers and scoring drought, the missed layups and defensive lapses, there’s one thing to keep in mind: this team improved in pretty much every significant statistical category. Follow along on the magical journey.

(Oh, and for a point of reference: there were 344 Division I teams in 2008-09, and 347 this past season.)

+ Adj. Offensive Efficiency 2008-2009: 97.7 (228th in the country)
+ Adj. Offensive Efficiency 2009-2010: 100.2 (187th in the country)

Let’s be honest: 2.5 points more per 100 possessions — adjusted, that is — is far from a vast improvement. But it’s an improvement nonetheless. With IU’s turnover and opponent block rate still sky high this season — not to mention lower-percentage shots and scoring droughts running rampant — IU just wasn’t able to take a huge step up in this category.

With Mo Creek back, everyone else a year older and hopefully a better handle of the ball going forward, IU should be primed to take a larger leap next year.

+ Adj. Defensive Efficiency 2008-2009: 101.8 (178th in the country)
+ Adj. Defensive Efficiency 2009-2010: 100.7 (159th in the country)

Again. Not much improvement here. The Hoosiers only allowed one less point per 100 possessions from Tom Crean’s first year to his second. Size, athleticism, communication and inexperience were all culprits this season.

+ Adj. Tempo 2008-09: 66.5 possessions per game (164th in the country)
+ Adj. Tempo 2009-10: 68.8 possessions per game (96th in the country)

This is often times inconsequential: Wisconsin’s adj. tempo this season was 60.2 possessions per game, ranking them 340th in the country. But the Badgers get it done. Bo Ryan’s style of play is pass, pass, pass until the shot clock winds down and you find the best shot. As such, they don’t have time to gobble up more possessions per game; they use every one like it’s their last.

A noble concept.

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H-T Video: Chasing history – Matt Carlino fits in

Excellent work, per the usual, from Chris Howell and The Bloomington Herald-Times on this video feature on 2011 commitment Matt Carlino:

Live Blog: The decision, featuring Moses Abraham

Moses Abraham decision takes on life of its own

We planned on using this space to deliver you the news of a college decision from Moses Abraham, a 2010 prospect from Progressive Christian Academy in the Washington, D.C. area. Originally, we were told that would happen last night. Then, we were told it would happen tonight. That, as of this writing, has not happened.

Steve Yanda, a writer for The Washington Post, wrote a lengthy story this past Sunday which seemed to indicate Georgetown and Maryland would battle it out for the 6-9 Nigerian. Yanda, too, was under the impression that a decision would be made Sunday. Our source, however, indicated a two-team race between the Hoyas and Indiana.

The decision has morphed into Indiana’s biggest recruiting storyline in quite a while if traffic to this Web site is any indication. Today, Monday, March 15, 2010 will go down as our most successful yet in terms of eyeballs, if you can believe that.

Bigger than the day Kelvin Sampson was let go. Bigger than the day Tom Crean was hired. All of this, for a kid that may or may not be a program changer for IU or the other programs hoping to sign him this spring. While we certainly love the story from that aspect, it might be best, for now, to step back and gain some perspective.

If you follow recruiting as closely as we do, you know that every situation is different. It’s far from a perfect science. Kids struggle to come to a decision. They often change their minds. Such is the tune, it seems, with Moses Abraham.

We will, of course, continue to report on this story until its reaches a conclusion. When that happens, however, is anybody’s guess.

Report: Iowa fires Todd Lickliter

CBE Classic - Semifinals

This was rumored during the Big Ten Tourney, and now it seems official: According to Jeff Goodman of FOX Sports, Iowa is parting ways with Todd Lickliter after three seasons.

There are two sides to this one:

Half-full: Anyone else think he got a bit of a raw deal? Sure, Iowa hasn’t done much under his watch. But like the Hoosiers, the Hawkeyes are a very young squad with some promise. They also have a decent recruiting class coming in. The man needs more time.

Half-empty: In three years, Lickliter hasn’t done much to show he can build a winning program there. He didn’t inherit a program in disarray. He just hasn’t gotten it done. Time to move on.

Which side do you fall on?

Wait, they really have a 4:16 a.m., too?

Update (7:45 p.m. by Alex Bozich)According to our friend John Decker over at Hoosier Nation, a decision will not come today from Moses Abraham. “Probably not today,” Abraham told Decker of a timetable for a decision. “It might be this week, or I might wait until next week. I’m not sure.”

Update (3:00 p.m. by Alex Bozich) – The new “target time” for a decision for Abraham is 7 p.m. this evening, according to Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times. At this point, I have no idea what to make of this whole situation, so I’ll just sit back and let Moses work his magic.

Update (10:27 a.m. by Zachary Osterman) — Just a little bit of extra news on the Abraham front. According to a source familiar with the whole situation, the reason Abraham has yet to decide is because IU is making a strong late pitch. The source would not elaborate on with whom exactly Abraham has been in contact, though it was reported yesterday that Tom Crean would be in the Washington, D.C., area.

Whomever he might be talking to is selling Indiana hard enough to make Abraham push back his decision and give them extended consideration. Keep in mind that the contact period for the spring recruiting window begins tomorrow, so if Abraham extends this decision to at least that point, then Indiana is allowed in-person contact with him, as opposed to just phone calls.

Update (8:43 a.m. by Alex Bozich) — Moses Abraham did not choose a school last night, says Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times. According to Dustin’s source, which is likely the same one we’ve been using, “Indiana is doing a great job” in the recruitment of Abraham. The source adds that Abraham will speak to Tom Crean again this morning, but that a timetable for a decision is “up to Moses.”

It is 4:16 a.m., and I have finally arrived home in Goshen.

I am tired. Very tired. Incredibly tired. Hands-shaking, world-spinning, can’t-spell-words-anymore tired. I am not sure how I made it home from my drive, except to say that listening to Outkast, Tom Waits, The Band, Alan Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Ludacris, Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, the Boomtown Rats and a whole host of other good tunes probably kept me going.

That and the UFO that chased me for several miles. No seriously, right outside Rochester. It was terrifying.

I stopped for recaffeination and leg-stretchery in Logansport and Argos. I downed a large cup of coffee and two bottles of Vault. (Which, by the way, is actually just Surge, renamed. And I loved Surge. It was great.)

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Source: Abraham down to IU, Georgetown; decision tonight

Moses Abraham, a 6-foot-9 forward from the Washington, D.C., area, has narrowed his list down to IU and Georgetown, and will make a decision around midnight, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to Inside the Hall Sunday afternoon.

The Herald-Times reported that Tom Crean is in the Washington D.C. area today to watch Victor Oladipo play in the city championship. (Editor’s note: Crean will be unable to meet with Abraham because it’s currently a no-contact period.)

Abraham’s recruitment has been, from IU’s perspective, quite rapid. Crean only offered the 2010 four-star forward in mid-February, but interest from the player has ramped up quickly. Joe Boncore, Abraham’s adviser, has said in recent interviews that Abraham is attracted to the idea of being a major player in rebuilding IU’s program.

Georgetown was considered a favorite for the big man when IU entered the mix, and Steve Yanda of the Washington Post (who first prepared me for life covering Tom Crean — Yanda covered Crean when he was at Marquette) has reported that Maryland and Georgetown are Abraham’s favored two. So it’s going to be an interesting night.

Also, take this for what it’s worth, but this just rolled across my Twitter feed:

(via @TomCrean)

From the cornfields to the Capitol we are out and about today. We need to get the guys added that can help us get back to Selection Sunday.

Size, toughness and athleticism is the ingredients of the day.

(Photo credit: Mark Gail/the Washington Post)

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