Watford continues to impress. He’s been billed as a guy that can do it all, and this game really highlighted that: he got boards, hit shots, created in the lane, got some steals, a block, and he even brought the ball up the court on one occasion. For the night he had 17 points, 10 boards, two steals and one block. He’s not a dominant player yet, but he has the tools to develop into one.
Elston was a lot of fun to watch tonight. He showed off his range with a 3-ball, and on another one that he missed in the second half, he did a good job of following his shot, which led to a board and a bucket for him. (This is something I don’t remember Matt Roth doing once last season.) Elston also had a nice tip-in follow on a miss from Verdell Jones. He’s got a nice nose for the ball, works hard and is a polished player for a freshman. I’m really liking his game thus far.
THE BAD: THE FIRST HALF, TURNOVERS AND FREE THROWS.
This game had shades of last season, as the Hoosiers racked up 18 turnovers, and only went 16-of-30 from the line. The beginning of the game was particularly rough; the Hoosiers never built any momentum or rhythm and let the Spartans hang around. It was a very sloppy affair. It’s clear Jeremiah Rivers is a terrific passer, but he was a little off this evening as he had four turnovers. It was almost as if he was trying to do too much. IU isn’t going to turn the ball over like this all season, but heading into their first real test of the year against Mississippi on Thursday, it’s a little worrisome.
THE UGLY: DEVAN DUMES.
I feel bad for Dumes. Last year, outside of Tom Pritchard, he was expected to be the man on offense. But this year, with an influx of talent around him, Dumes has to swallow his pride and assume a new role, and it’s not something I’m sure he’s going to handle particularly well, at least to start. With more size on this team, he looks smaller out on the court now, too. He’s still going to pop when he has the chance, but tonight was a particularly rough one for him: in 20 minutes, he had four turnovers — a few that were real ugly — and shot 1-of-6 from the field, 0-of-3 for behind the arc and 0-of-1 from the line. He did have five boards, however.
This is but one game, so it’s a small sample size. Dumes has plenty of time to find his mark.
Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers. We wrap up the player profiles today with Devan Dumes.
Devan Dumes led Indiana in several statistical categories a season ago: total points (344), points per game (12.7), 3-pointers made (59) and indefinite suspensions (1). Here’s a brief synopsis of his 2008-2009 season: he was Tom Crean’s most reliable option on offense and for a period in February, he was Crean’s biggest headache following an ejection for throwing elbows against Michigan State.
Dumes was at his best offensively in late January and early February when he averaged 19.6 points during a five-game stretch that included IU’s one conference win over Iowa. Unfortunately, his season-high 27 points against Iowa was preceded by an elbow to Goran Suton’s groin and an indefinite suspension that lasted two games. He apologized shortly after the incident, but struggled mightily in three of the final four Big Ten games, suffered a knee injury in the regular season finale and had surgery on his finger over the summer.
His role in 2009-2010 will be far different than a year ago: available shots and minutes won’t be as plentiful. He could find himself as a reserve because of Indiana’s added backcourt depth. Coming off the bench could actually be a positive for Dumes and for IU because his ability to provide instant offense and energy may be better utilized as a sub.
If you’re following us on Twitter, you know by now that Bawa Muniru is in Bloomington and Maurice Creek should be there shortly. And if you’ve browsed the various IU message boards, you may have read some reports of Bawa and the rest of the IU team playing pickup at the HPER.
What you haven’t read is the following report from Inside the Hall reader Bryan, who told us via email@example.com about his encounter with Bawa and also details the physical transformation of Tom Pritchard, Devan Dumes and Verdell Jones.
I know there was a story run in the IDS about Bawa being at the HPER playing with all of the guys. Just to add to that story, I saw him today and offered him a ride. He was incredibly nice, smiled, and politely shook his head. I then told him to get used to ridiculous things like people stopping in traffic on the bypass. Yeah, that’s another thing, he was walking on the bypass. At the Dunn intersection. Weird. His face even has defined muscles, it’s quite ridiculous.
I thought it might be a good idea to run a small piece on the progress of players over the course of the summer. I’ve seen a lot of players everyday over the course of the summer and some of them have undergone incredible body transformations. Tom Pritchard is a big-fat-for-instance. At the beginning of June I saw him and he looked like a wad of cookie dough. I saw him today and he looks like he’s lost at least 20 pounds. He looked really lean. Devan Dumes looks bulked up, and the stories about VJ3 hitting the weight room hard have to be true because seeing him last year and then this year yields a glaring difference. I’m a monstrous 6’2, 165lbs and I used to look about the same frame-wise as he did, but now he has some muscle to go with those 7ft. arms.
So there you have it. Bawa’s face has ridiculous muscles and Pritchard, Dumes and Verdell are making strides in the weight room. We’re a Maurice Creek sighting away from a full roster in Bloomington. And that should happen next week. Only 63 more days until Hoosier Hysteria.
Until the late season emergence of Verdell Jones, Dumes was the most consistent Hoosier offensively for a majority of the season. Under normal circumstances, Dumes would be the 8th or 9th man on a middle of the pack Big Ten team. But as we all know, the circumstances in Bloomington this season were far from normal and Dumes was forced into a more prominent role. His most memorable performance was a 27-point effort in IU’s lone Big Ten win over Iowa.
But the storyline that garnered the most chatter on Dumes in 2008-2009 was a two-game suspension following a series of elbows thrown and ejection in the Michigan State game. After that game, Dumes, joined by Tom Crean, apologized for his actions in a press conference and missed games against Minnesota and Illinois. If Dumes is to return and become the leader of next season’s team, he’ll need to become more disciplined with his emotions and not let tough defense get under his skin.
Quotable: “It’s been difficult, I’m really not sure there are words that can express it because it’s a very tough thing to go through. But we never gave up, we always fought people and we got through it. There have been a lot of stepping stones, and we’ve just got to get better.” – Devan Dumes after IU’s loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament.
Tom Crean addressed the media earlier today in advance of Thursday’s tilt in the Big Ten Tournament against Penn State. The first year IU coach offered the following update on junior guard Devan Dumes:
“He is still being evaluated and treated by our doctors. And certainly Tim (Garl) continues to rehabilitate him. I am not overly hopeful, but at the same time we are not ruling him out and we just have to continue to see how he heals up over the next few days and see what happens. But I don’t want to give you any misleading hopes that it is a given that he will play. But I also don’t want to rule him out in case something changes. That is where we are at with him.”
So according to Crean’s update, it’s looking like Dumes will be a game time decision. And if he’s not 100% healthy, it would be hard to justify playing him and risking a more damaging injury.
You can listen to Crean’s press conference here and read a transcript here.
Tom Crean, Verdell Jones and the defensive stopper known as Brett Finkelmeier met with the media earlier today to talk about Sunday’s game at Wisconsin. Nothing groundbreaking was revealed, but Crean did give an update on Devan Dumes:
“He has not practiced. It’s hard to measure today in such a short period of time. He has been shooting and things like that but he has not practiced so I don’t know (his status for Sunday).”
This is not a knock on Dumes, as he is IU’s best scorer, but I think the Hoosiers showed on Tuesday they can compete just fine without him. In other words, it’s not such a big deal if he can’t play Sunday. IU is in for a huge challenge as Wisconsin is fighting for a NCAA bid (a win Sunday probably punches their ticket) and the Kohl Center is one of the toughest places to play in the Big Ten.