Kyle Taber Archive

That’s a wrap: Kyle Taber

‘That’s a wrap’ is Inside the Hall’s player-by-player postseason breakdown of the 2008-2009 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Kyle Taber.

Final statistics: 4.3 ppg; 5.2 rpg; 70 percent FT’s; 51 percent FG’s; 29 steals (led team)

Besides Verdell Jones, you can make the case that no other Hoosier improved more throughout the course of the season than Taber. The former walk-on was a solid contributor throughout the season and late in the year, it seemed like Taber actually belonged on the court. That’s saying something for a guy who came to Bloomington with no expectation of ever seeing the floor for more than mop-up duty.

More importantly than his on-the-court contributions was the way Taber handled himself around his teammates and off the court. He was thrust into a leadership role despite not having the playing experience to merit such a title. But he handled the role admirably. When the ink dries on the history books for this season of transition, casual observers will remember all of the losses. But many IU fans will remember Taber’s leadership and his improvement throughout the season. As they should.

Quotable: “I would think that they would still continually remember his improvement. The fans should see the improvement over the period of time he was here. We’ve seen it and we’ve only been here one year. That he was a huge part of laying a foundation and put everything he that had into it, responded day in and day out, change his personality on the court and continued to improve all the way down the line. And if we can look at that with him five years down the road and say, you know what, the guys in that program are doing the same thing. They are getting most out of their talent, they are getting the most out of their mindset, all those different things, then I think that would be a great place to start.”Indiana coach Tom Crean on Taber.

Upset bid foiled: Hoosiers fall 64-59

The script was set perfectly for Kyle Taber’s final game in Assembly Hall.

Family and friends ascended upon Bloomington to say farewell to the senior captain. Chants of ‘Ky-le Ta-ber’ were heard throughout Assembly Hall. And in a game in which IU was a heavy underdog, the Hoosiers had a chance to knock off a legitimate top ten opponent.

But alas, as has been the case throughout most of this season of transition for Indiana basketball, the Hoosiers couldn’t come up with a big play down the stretch. The final result: A hard fought 64-59 loss to Michigan State.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t come out right,” Taber said. “We battled and it was a great game. It was fun to be apart of something like that.”

Despite going 8:43 without a field goal in the second half, the Spartans (24-5, 14-3 Big Ten) clinched the Big Ten title outright for the first time since 1999.

Kalin Lucas scored 15 points to lead Michigan State and Raymar Morgan added 14 points, including a thunderous put back dunk with 27 seconds remaining to give MSU a four-point cushion.

The Hoosiers (6-23, 1-16) cut the lead to two on a pair of Nick Williams free throws with just under 16 seconds remaining, but Lucas answered with a pair of free throws to wrap up the victory.

“It was a great game. Our guys were in it the entire way, to the very end,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.

Indiana missed eight free throws and several opportunities to tie the game after cutting Michigan State’s lead to two with 3:31 remaining.

Verdell Jones led four Hoosier scorers in double figures with 15 points. Malik Story and Williams added 11 each and Matt Roth had 10.

Taber finished with three points, five rebounds and two assists in his final home game.

“We went down with a fight,” IU’s lone senior added. “I’m proud of what my teammates were able to do for me.”

Up next: Indiana concludes the regular season with a 7PM ET matchup on Sunday at Wisconsin. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Bawa sighting: 7-0 signee Bawa Muniru was in attendance and Jared Poertner of the H-T/Hoosier Scoop talked to the big man.

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Around the Hall: March 3, 2009

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew.

+ Senior night is players’ final chance to bid farewell {Indiana Daily Student}

+ Zach Osterman breaks down the improvement Kyle Taber has shown during his senior season {Indiana Daily Student}

+ The debut of the Terry Hutchens trivia challenge. Sorry boys and girls, no prizes. {Hoosiers Insider}

+ College basketball BlogPoll: Week 4. {CBS Sports}

+ Can Michigan State secure a No. 1 seed? {The Detroit News}

+ 25 years later, Michael Jordan still remembers UNC’s upset loss to IU in the 1984 NCAA East Regional. {USA Today}

+ Tipton senior and IU signee Derek Elston is shining in the spotlight. {Kokomo Tribune}

+ Brian Kernan writes that IU target Kyrie Irving may be the best player to ever play at St. Patrick’s. {}

+ Jody Demling speculates that a commitment is forthcoming from Marquis Teague to Louisville. {CJ Recruiting Blog}

+ A scouting report on one of the top players in the 2010 class: Harrison Barnes. {Clone Chronicles}

Quotable: “I’m proud to have coached him, and I know we’ve got more time but when it is senior night you want to make sure that everyone understands. I’ve been demanding of him, as our whole staff has and I’ve been hard on him, as our whole staff has because we have always looked at him as being a very, very valuable part of what we are doing here. He has done that. I am proud of the way he has contributed, proud of the way he has continued to improve. And proud he is a part of Indiana Basketball.” – Tom Crean on Kyle Taber.

Taber talks senior night and Michigan State

I’ve gotta hand it to Kyle Taber. He’s had one of the toughest seasons in terms of wins and losses ever for an IU player and unlike guys like Tom Pritchard and Nick Williams who will get to see another day — this is the end of the road for Taber.

Barring a miracle, he’s got three more games in an Indiana uniform. But instead of just going through the motions in a season going nowhere fast, Taber has made a point of improving as the year has moved forward. He’s turned himself into a solid contributor. For that and for going through two of the most difficult seasons in the history of Indiana basketball, here’s to a standing ovation for Taber tomorrow night in Assembly Hall.

Here are some thoughts from Taber as he prepares to play his final home game:

On Tuesday night being Senior Night:

“It’s going to be special, sad and exciting at the same time. I’m ready for it though. It’s my fifth year here so I knew it was coming sooner or later.”

On which teammate he learned the most from:

“I learned a lot from D.J. (White). Just how he handles things especially with how big of a star he was around here. He did a lot of good things and you can learn a lot from just watching him and not even talking to him. So that was probably the biggest, but I have learned a lot from everyone that I have been around, all of my teammates.”


Good, Bad and Ugly: Iowa


— Jeremiah Rivers’ plaid shirt.

— Devan Dumes. He was 8-of-9 for the night, including 5-of-5 from 3-point land. He scored 27 points. You can’t ask for a better night than that.

– Kyle Taber looking crafty around the rim on two consecutive possession in the second half with around five minutes to go. I repeat: Kyle Taber looking crafty around the rim on two consecutive possessions with about five minutes to go.

— Only 11 turnovers this evening.

— Closing out a game. Finally. That has been perhaps the most infuriating aspect of this season to date. It wasn’t pretty, but those final two steals helped, as Chubs would say, “ease the tension.”

WE WON!!!!


— Free Throws. Horrible. Again. Tom. Pritchard. Dis. A. Ppeared. But. I. Don’t. Care. We. Won. YES.

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.

The Morning After: Your 2008-09 Indiana Hoosiers, I think

g12f4ei8.jpgIt goes without saying that the beginning of this Indiana basketball season is unlike those that have come before it. It is the second year in the last three that have seen IU with a brand new basketball coach, but even in Kelvin Sampson’s first year at the helm we had some idea of what was going on. We knew about D.J. White and Rod Wilmont (how I miss Rod and his 30-foot three-pointers) and Earl Calloway and the rest. This year? Not so much.

I’ll admit it: After about five minutes last night, I had to admit something to myself. I didn’t know who was who. It’s sad, I know, but I doubt that I’m alone here, and I hope it’s not too bold of me to admit it. It took me a second to figure out that Verdell Jones was No. 12, that that wasn’t Devan Dumes, that Dumes was the off-guard wearing No. 33, and who is that little dude with the Rip Hamilton facemask on? That’s not Finkelmeier, is it? And oh my God is that Tijan Jobe?! It took me a second to figure it all out, and it required me whipping out the laptop and keeping the roster handy. I’m not afraid to admit it.

Because of that, a lot of stuff blurred together, but plenty stuck out, too. Off we go, then:


The man is back: Kyle Taber returning tonight

taber446.jpgRejoice, Hoosier fans: Our captain is back. Kyle Taber, he of 34 career points, will return for tonight’s exhibition against Bemidji State. The details, from our friend Chris Korman:

In what constitutes a major news story with IU basketball (the times are a changing), senior forward Kyle Taber is expected to make his return to the court tonight for the Hoosiers’ exhibition game with Bemidji State.

You’re right, Chris. Times are a changing. Last year at this time, we were booking our tickets for the Sweet 16. Now we’re celebrating the return of Kyle Taber. Did I mention it could be a long year?

Also, in case you missed it, Bob Knight is returning to ESPN. Good times.