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.
After trailing by just one at halftime, Indiana scored just four points in the first 9:01 of the second half and fell 68-51 to Wisconsin on Thursday night at Assembly Hall.
By the time the Hoosiers (6-19, 1-12 Big Ten) scored their fifth and sixth points after halftime, Wisconsin had built a 15-point lead. The Badgers didn’t let the lead fall below 11 the rest of the way.
The loss was the fourth straight for IU and the 17th in their last 19 games.
“I don’t think we competed or played well in the second half. Our defense really let us down,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “And there is really nothing in the second half that we can hang our hat on. We were much different than the first half and they exposed that. They did an excellent job taking advantage of that.”
Trevon Hughes scored 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting to lead Wisconsin and Joe Krabbenhoft added 18. The Badgers (17-9, 8-6) shot 49 percent, hit 11 of 15 free throws and committed just seven turnovers.
Verdell Jones paced the Hoosiers with 16 points and Devan Dumes added 12 in his first game back following a two-game suspension. IU hit 15 of 19 free throws, but hit just 2 of 11 shots from beyond the 3-point line.
Up next: The Hoosiers travel to West Lafayette on Saturday afternoon for a 2PM ET meeting with Purdue. That game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. “I think we’re thirsty to redeem ourselves,” Verdell Jones said. “Purdue is an in-state rival and we definitely want to go up there and give them our all. We’ll prepare tomorrow for them and just come out and give it our best.”
The indefinite suspension is over. Turns out, it really wasn’t all that indefinite after all. After sitting out two games for throwing elbows in a couple of different games, most notably against Michigan State, Devan Dumes will return for Thursday’s home game against Wisconsin.
Indiana coach Tom Crean talked about the decision this afternoon and our friend Chris Korman captured the words from IU’s leader:
“We think we’ve covered the ground that needed to be covered,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said after practice today.
The notion of an “indefinite” suspension seemed a bit ridiculous from the get-go. Sure, Dumes deserved to sit out a few games, but he wasn’t exactly throwing haymakers out there. As Crean talked about following the Illinois game, he wanted to make sure that he, the Big Ten (or Jim Delaney) and Fred Glass all felt comfortable with the punishment and apparently two games was the magic number.
It’s been a good start to the week here at ITH: Ryan’s rebuttal of the totally off-base Deadspin piece, Bawa Muniru chatter, Dominique Keller’s apparent hatred for IU and continuation of the EJ media tour. With another off day for our Hoosiers before Thursday’s home tilt with the Badgers, it’s time to open it up and get your take on a few topics.
+ Will IU win another regular season game? (For those of you without a pocket schedule handy, here are the remaining games: vs Wisconsin, at Purdue, vs Northwestern, at Penn State, vs Michigan State and at Wisconsin.)
+ A preseason poll, in which 1,021 of you voted, showed that 73% believed that IU would win 11 or more games this season. Looking back on that poll, were you A) wearing your cream and crimson sunglasses which clouded your vision and led you to believe IU would be better than this? or B)realistic with your expectations, but IU has underachieved.
+ And finally, when will Devan Dumes play again? Will it be tomorrow against Wisconsin? Or is he due another game on the pine?
Tom Crean made Devan Dumes face the media briefly yesterday — part of the new “face the music” ethos at Assembly Hall — and the audio of their Q&A session is available via The Hoosier Scoophere.
One observation: Yes, elbowing people is bad. No, family issues are not an excuse. But can we all settle down just a teensy bit? Dumes didn’t kill anybody. I’m pretty sure he didn’t beat up Rihanna. And he’s definitely not that guy behind you on the train that keeps sneezing in your general direction (cover your mouth, you pestilent idiot). Dumes is being punished for his crime. Let’s move on.
IU media relations sent along the following earlier this evening:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has suspended indefinitely junior guard Devan Dumes for his actions during Saturday’s game at Michigan State.
“After coming home and having the opportunity to review the game film, I believe that discipline is necessary and deserved in this matter,” said Crean. “A line was crossed that was unacceptable. However, Devan is one of ours and like with all of our players we want them to learn and understand what it takes to be successful.”
Dumes will not play when IU visits Minnesota on Tuesday night.
“I truly regret my actions and I will learn from this situation,” said Dumes. “I apologize to everyone involved for doing something that is uncharacteristic of how I play the game. I am looking forward to putting this behind me and being a better leader to my teammates.”
Dumes will continue to practice and travel with the team.
I don’t have much to add beyond what I wrote after the game last night, but this is a situation that Crean had to squash immediately. I like the proactive approach instead of waiting for the Big Ten to review the game and then impose a penalty. Crean’s reaction to the footage was apparently in line with the sentiments echoed by many of you last night: the elbows were not inadvertent. As far as Dumes goes, let’s hope the apology is sincere and he learns to play under control and keeps his emotions in check going forward.
I considered boring you with another AP style recap of IU’s 75-47 loss at Michigan State, but as Devan Dumes was tossed shortly after throwing his third elbow of the game, I quickly changed direction.
I realize it’s a long season and the players are probably frustrated with the losses that are piling up. It’s not easy to come out each game, play hard and know no matter how well you play, you’re probably going to lose. But the behavior from Dumes was flat out unacceptable. I was willing to dismiss his elbow on Craig Moore during the Northwestern game as a lapse in judgment during the heat of battle.
After today, I’m left wondering if Dumes should be punished by either Indiana or the Big Ten. For those of you who missed the game, here’s a blow by blow recap of what went down:
21 seconds into the game, Dumes is whistled for a foul.
At the 17:32 mark of the first half, he’s slapped with his second foul and heads to the bench.
Re-enters at the 12:44 mark and by the 12:03 mark, he’s whistled for his third foul (offensive).
With 16:31 remaining in the second half, a replay shows that Dumes elbowed Michigan State forward Goran Suton in the crotch during transition. The officials reviewed the play and decided to allow him to remain in the game, but ESPN announcers later revealed that they didn’t have access to the one replay that clearly showed the elbow was intentional.
At the 2:10 mark, Dumes was hit by an inadvertent elbow by Michigan State forward Tom Herzog and retaliated with an elbow of his own. It was his fifth foul and also a flagrant and Dumes was ejected.
I have no problem with guys competing and playing with an edge. But when you’re throwing unprovoked elbows, especially in the waning moments of a blowout loss, you’ve got all of the elements of a cheap shot. And that’s the last thing Tom Crean needs to have on his hands while trying to rebuild a program that, let’s face it, has lost some credibility with the events that transpired last season. He’s trying to rebuild the privelege of wearing the IU uniform that’s been missing as of late.
So my questions for you, ITH’ers, are as follows: Did you view the elbows as intentional? How, if at all, should Dumes be punished? Thoughts on those questions as well as your reaction to the game are welcome in the comments, boys and girls.