Looking ahead to Monday’s tilt with Notre Dame

Nothing against Northwestern State or IUPUI, but IU will get its first true test Monday afternoon in Maui when they face off with Notre Dame.

Led by Luke Harangody and a stellar cast of upperclassmen, I think it’s fair to say the Hoosiers are going to be in for a long day. And by long day I mean that not losing by more than 20 will be considered a success.

Mike Brey’s club can absolutely light it up from the perimeter and Harangody is as good of a post player as there is in college basketball (sans Tyler Hansbrough).

With that said, I encourage you to check out John Gasaway’s preview of Notre Dame over at Basketball Prospectus. Here’s a short excerpt and you can read the entire preview here:

Luke Harangody’s a star. Long before I started watching basketball-I know not when, exactly-it became the custom to refer to a team not simply as, well, the team’s name but rather as: “(Star) and the (team).” For instance, I might say simply “Notre Dame,” but if you’re seeing their game plugged on ESPN you better believe they’re going to be “Luke Harangody and Notre Dame.”

Rightfully so. Michael Beasley was the only major-conference player in the country last year who played a more prominent role in his team’s offense than did Harangody, who alone took about one-third of his team’s shots during his minutes on the floor. Notre Dame’s single-minded feed-Harangody compulsion on offense is surprising, imbalanced, and extreme. It also works beautifully.

The Irish came within a few baskets of beating out Connecticut for the title of best Big East offense in 2008. It’s not that Harangody’s another Beasley. Far from it: Beasley was vastly more efficient on offense last year while being even better than Harangody on the defensive glass. It’s just that by assuming a role of Beasley-esque proportions (Mike Brey’s workhorse attempted 509 two-point shots last year), Harangody allows talented teammates the luxury of functioning as ruthlessly efficient supporting players.

Poor Tom Pritchard. He was playing so well. The reality of this situation is that IU is out-manned at every position and Harangody is going to have a field day in the paint. But hey, look at the bright side, we might beat Chaminade on Wednesday.

Thanks to ITH reader Matt for the tip.

Interview with Tom Crean at ESPN the Mag

On top of the blogging I do on these here Internets, I also throw on the Real Journalist cap here and there at ESPN the Mag as a contributing writer. I had the opportunity to speak to Tom Crean last week, and the interview ran today. Here’s a quick quote from Crean on his relationship with T to the Izzo from it:

I’m in (Tom Izzo’s) backyard if I’m at Indiana, but when he’s at Indiana, he’s in our backyard. It’s just one of those types of situations. Nothing will ever change or affect our friendship. That’s one that always has, and always will, stand the test of time. I’m sure it will be different when we compete against each other, but we go to Big Ten meetings and it’s not like we’re on the other side of the room, it’s not like we don’t talk; we’re together like we’ve always been. He’s been remarkable for me in the short period of time I’ve been here in just trying to get acclimated.

Again, you can peep the whole thing here. Also, Crean recently spoke with the Wall Street Journal. Get at that interview here. (Thanks to those of you who e-mailed that link in.)

Candy Stripes: Name badge, anyone?

Candy Stripes is an IU basketball comic by Shane Johnson Studios that will appear bi-weekly on Inside the Hall. You can purchase prints or original artwork by contacting Shane at Welcome to ITH, Shane.

The Indiana Daily Student’s brilliant basketball guide cover

It’s no secret that this site has deep, unconditional love in its heart for the Indiana Daily Student. Why, it’s where we honed our own journalistic skills, only to then waste them on trivial pursuits like “blogging” and “web editing.” Whoops.

The day-to-day insanity of life at the IDS is occasionally interrupted by a few big projects, like the Graduation Issue, the Little 500 Guide and, of course, the Basketball Guide. It was always a contest: Who had the best idea? The best design? Which underappreciated artistic genius could carry their complex vision through to completion?

I’d like to officially nominate the 2008-09 IDSers the winners. Forever:

Simple. Elegant. Poignant. You rock, IDS.

(HT: Baby J)

The Morning After: IUPUI

It’s going to be hard to write these little features of ours for a while. Why? Because we literally don’t know anything about this batch of Hoosiers. We know a few things, sure — that Daniel Moore handles the ball well, that Devan Dumes is lightning-quick — but we don’t really know the sum of their parts yet. Are they destined to be this bad all season? Are they going to start playing screens better? For the love of your diety of choice, will somebody please grab a rebound? I don’t know what to believe, and I’m afraid to blindly guess.

Compounding the problem are the teams IU is playing. Things will become much clearer next Monday in Maui against Notre Dame — I am not looking forward to seeing who is going to guard Luke Harangody — but for now, what are we to make of IUPUI? Are they occasionally tourney-bound IUPUI? Or are they just bad? Should we be even more worried than we already are? I have no answers. Merely questions.

This was the case after the first game, too. Instead let’s just recap what we saw.

Good, Bad and Ugly: IUPUI

The Good:

IU struggled immensely with turnovers and rebounds in their first bout of the season against Northwestern State. Tonight against the Jaguars, there was great improvement. The Hoosiers committed 13 turnovers — five of those came from Nick Williams — and snatched 32 board to IUPUI’s 29.

Daniel Moore asserted himself as the floor leader again tonight. The kid has confidence, handles the ball well and looks incredibly comfortable out there. And IU as a whole has proven to be a great passing team so far. For the night, they tallied 17 assists in a low-scoring affair.

Matt Roth had a coming out of sorts this evening, and displayed some of that range we heard so much about. (Dude was popping threes from way beyond the arc.) He tallied 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point land.

Tom Pritchard put up a pretty beastly performance. Sure, he missed a bunny or two early on, but Pritchard is fast proving he’s a threat for a double-double every night, as he scored 19 and grabbed 10 boards for the game.

Also, we won. So that was nice.


No upset here: IU prevails, 60-57

The expectation coming into the season was that the 2008-2009 version of the IU Men’s basketball team would have its hands full with just about every opponent on the schedule. Tuesday night, that was indeed the case as IU fended off IUPUI 60-57 in Assembly Hall.

The Jaguars (1-2) had a chance to win just their second game in program history against a Big Ten opponent. However, an ill-advised 3-point attempt by Alex Young and two free throws by walk-on Daniel Moore sealed the win for the Hoosiers (2-0).

“We had to find a way to win the game, and the guys were listening and found a way to do that,” IU coach Tom Crean said. “Any win is just a monstrous achievement for us right now.”

Tom Pritchard followed up his stellar debut with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow freshman Matt Roth hit four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points.

IU led 31-20 at halftime, but the Jaguars opened the second half on a 18-7 run to tie the game at 38-38. Kyle Taber’s three with 13:26 remaining gave IU a 43-40 lead and the Hoosiers never trailed the rest of the way.

Alex Young and John Ashworth scored 15 points each for IUPUI.

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