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A sneak peak at Lucas Oil Stadium’s basketball setup

If you are absolutely dying to see what Lucas Oil Stadium is going to look for tomorrow’s IU-Gonzaga tilt (or even if you are midly interested in it like me), WISH TV did a package on the setup. You can peep a video of it here.

(Link via FanHouse.)

Know Thy Opponent: Gonzaga Bulldogs

Instead of our usual ‘let’s try to piece together what we know about our opponent writeup’ normally found in this here space, we’ve reached out to The Kennel Report, an unofficial, student run blog about Gonzaga, to get the scoop on IU’s next opponent. Our email exchange begins…Now.

Inside the Hall: One of the fascinating things about Gonzaga is how they’ve been able to keep Mark Few in Spokane despite obvious interest from other programs. Two-part question: 1. How has Gonzaga been able to hold on to Few? and 2. Why has Few resisted the temptation to jump ship? Was he scared off by the Dan Monson epic fail at Minnesota?

The Kennel Report: The decision by Mark Few to remain in Spokane despite overtures from programs like Indiana, Kentucky, and Stanford has been the key to Gonzaga sustaining this great run. Here is a story that took place today that I think might hold the answer to your question. After class this morning, I had some time to kill so I went to the student center on campus. After waiting in line to get something to eat I went and sat on a couch to pass the time before my next class. Sitting directly across from me was none other than Mark Few. He was reading the local newspaper and enjoying a cup of tea. For the 10-15 minutes he was there, nobody bothered him, asked for his autograph, or tried to explain why running a 2-3 defense would help the team. I don’t think the constant questioning and demand for time that the head coach at schools like Indiana or Kentucky has to deal with is appealing to Mark Few in anyway.

As you mentioned, the experience of Dan Monson also has had some sort of impact. I think Few learned that money doesn’t buy happiness or experience. Could he make more money at another school? Of course he could, but the pressure and expectations that he would have to deal with ruins the appeal of more dollar signs.

ITH: The three Zags getting the most attention seem to be Josh Heytvelt, Austin Daye and Micah Downs. Which of these three guys is the most indispensable and why?

TKR: This is a great question, and one that is very difficult to answer. Each one of the guys you mentioned brings so much to the table, and of course Gonzaga also has Jeremy Pargo, who is one of the top PG’s in the country. Of the group you mentioned, Heytvelt would have to be considered the most indispensable. While this team has Ira Brown and Robert Sacre to provide depth in the frontcourt, neither of the two mentioned can take over a game like Josh can. A great example of this is the Maryland game in the Old Spice Classic, when Josh scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds. We have no other player with his size and strength who is capable of dominating a game like that. Austin is certainly one of the more talented scorers in the country, but his game is more perimeter based. When Josh is healthy and focused, he can be one of the top post players in the country.

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On live blogs, the Internet, and people who just don’t get it

I know not all of you have been following along with our enormous, unwieldy live blog this season. And if you are following along, you might notice if you blink twice, you miss a lot. It’s a lot like life, in that way.

Last evening during the live blog, Chris Korman of the Herald-Times typed these words sometime in second half: And we’ve been shut down. I kid you not.

There was a lot of confusion in the following moments. Was it the dirty, filthy NCAA shutting those blogging from courtside down? No. Was it that monolith ESPN, the TV rights holder for the game? Closer. It was actually International Sports Properties.

I’ll let Korman explain:

Steve Shutt, an assistant athletic director at Wake Forest, cited an ACC rule permitting only four blog posts per half when making the request, which both publications complied with. The live blog continued to be operated by contributors from the H-T, IDS, HoosierNation.com and Inside the Hall who were not credentialed to cover the event.

After the game, Shutt said that the ACC rule on blogging was probably not in writing anywhere but followed common practice. Last year, the NCAA began limiting the number of blog posts reporters could make during all of its championships events.

He also said that Wake Forest could not allow the dissemination of information about the game on the Internet by courtside reporters because it violated the multimedia rights agreement the school has with ISP (International Sports Properties).

Under the agreement, which is for between $800,000 and $1.2 million per year according to Shutt, ISP owns the radio and Web rights to Wake Forest games.

ISP relies on drawing viewers to the Wake Forest Web site — which includes a GameTracker feature that allows fans to follow the game in close-to real-time — to set its advertising rates and generate revenue, so the university could not allow reporters to operate a blog that may divert readers from the official Web site.

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The Morning After: A brief time of sincerity

Usually, The Morning After is a combination of the following:

1. Me talking about basketball in a barely informed fashion, including but not limited to offensive sets, efficiency, tempo-free/possession-related statistics, and how irritating it is when people take too many bad shots, or

2. Why the Big Ten Network sucks.

3. Why Player X is incredibly interesting to me, even if that player isn’t particularly effective. Last year: Eli Holman.

You get the idea. Even better if you’re a regular reader, you know the idea. Unfortunately, today’s TMA will not look much like the idea.

Why? Let me tell you about my Wednesday night.

I got off work, which was sort of busy but not too busy (which could describe just about anybody’s work day four times out of five), and I got on the train and went to the store and then to Starbucks and then I walked home. I sat down, got on my computer, approved a bunch of live blog comments, and watched IU play Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. I saw a scrappy, well-disciplined, seemingly focused IU team hang on for about 10 minutes or so before getting blown out. I approved some more blog comments. I whined about ESPN a bunch. I ate some pad thai. I approved some more comments, and watched some more basketball, and winced as IU got torn to shreds by a team that was barely even trying, barely even sweating. I approved some more blog comments. And then the game ended.

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Good, Bad and Ugly: Wake Forest

THE GOOD

I know this is going to get redundant this year as we slog through against teams with more size, more strength and more athleticism, but these Hoosier play hard. They don’t give up. That’s encouraging to see.

And the first 15 minutes of this game, I thought IU had a real chance to keep it respectable, maybe even lose by less than 15 points. (We even had the lead twice!) The packed in zone worked well for a bit, as Wake struggled to hit threes. But then the levee broke, and that was about that.

I was impressed with Matt Roth’s range tonight as he hit 4-of-5 threes for 12 points. Get this guy with some more talent around him the next few years, and senior year he’ll hopefully absolutely light it up from beyond the arc. (A blogger can dream … )

THE BAD AND UGLY

Oh-vey, where to begin. I made this comment in the live blog (FREE KORMAN) but it’s a good thing the NCAA doesn’t officially track dunks and alley-oops or IU might have been on the wrong side of an NCAA record. (That dunk over Matt Roth was diiirty.)

And getting into the numbers game, IU had a ridiculous 26 turnovers. (15 of those came in the first half.) But again: Let’s keep this all in perspective. The Hoosiers were undersized and outmatched at every step of this game.

All and all it could have been worse, right?

Hoosiers not up to the challenge at Wake

James Johnson scored 21 points and No. 15 Wake Forest shot 62 percent in route to a 83-55 win over Indiana Wednesday night in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

The Hoosiers (4-3) committed 20 or more turnovers for the fifth time this season and shot just 37 percent from the field and 54 percent from the foul line.

“I think 26 turnovers tells the story,” Tom Crean told reporters after the game.

Three other players besides Johnson scored in double figures for the Demon Deacons (7-0). L.D. Williams had 16, Indianapolis Pike product Jeff Teague had 14, all in the second half, and freshman sensation Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in 12.

Matt Roth was the lone bright spot for Indiana on offense. The freshman guard had 12 points on 4 of 5 shooting. Tom Pritchard struggled against the athletic frontcourt of Wake Forest and scored just four points in 29 minutes.

The win moved Wake Forest to 8-1 all-time in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and dropped Indiana to 3-5 in the event.

Indiana will return to action on Saturday against Gonzaga at Lucas Oil Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network at 1:30 EST.

Live Blog: Indiana @ Wake Forest

You know the drill. ITH, Hoosier Scoop, Hoosier Nation and the IDS. 6:45. Be there.


ITH on Twitter

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