That’s A Wrap: Matt Roth

  • 04/07/2010 7:37 am in

Big Ten Tournamnet: Indiana Hoosiers v Penn State Nittany LionsWelcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our attempt to um, wrap up the 2009-10 season. Sit back. Relax. Grab some popcorn. Get your read on.

Final Stats (Two games): Oh come now, is it even fair to put 2 points per game in here? I mean geez, dude only took one 3-pointer. This was a lost season for Matt Roth.

Two points in games against each Howard and USC-Upstate encompass all that Matt Roth was able to muster on the scoreboard this season before a foot injury put the kibosh on a sophomore campaign for the Illinois sharpshooter.

The injury was sort of disappointing, at least for me.

Roth was certainly an experiment in how good Tom Crean might be at identifying and employing effective rotations. (I know that’s come up here at least once or twice, hasn’t it?) At first blush, Roth isn’t much more than a shooter — an incredibly streaky but also ridiculously gifted shooter — and so the assumption was he was one who would see slackened playing time with a strong freshman class coming in.

But I was interested in Roth as a test of Crean’s developmental ability.

If he wants to be successful in the 4-to-5-year time range I think most would agree is fair, Crean is going to have to make a meal of lesser ingredients in a number of different ways, not the least of which is coaxing out of players with somewhat limited skillsets every ounce of potential they posses. Roth doesn’t have to end up filet mignon, but an apricot chicken would do nicely.

How Crean manages and coaches up players like Roth will go a long way to determining how far he can take his program. Maurice Creek is great, but Rutgers had a guy who could score. Ask Fred Hill how that turned out. It’s the complimentary pieces that finish the puzzle.

Roth, to be fair, could be a respectable contributor if a) he can become at least serviceable defensively, b) either becomes unstoppable from behind the arc or develops something of a mid-range game and c) sticks around. (That last point was in no way a subtle hint at a possible transfer, only an acknowledgment that transfers occur on every team everywhere, every year.)

I’m not saying Roth is the second coming of Steve Alford. Hardly. He’s not even the second coming of Jon Diebler. But in Crean’s drive-and-kick offensive sets, Roth has a talent that is immensely valuable, and in few ways teachable.

The bottom line: A lot of this is pure speculation, obviously. What matters is how hard Roth has worked during his recovery, and how driven he is to carve out a place for himself on this roster. Yes, there are other shooters, but I refuse to believe that Indiana would be better off without a player who can be so prolific as Matt Roth. Whether consistency of such success can be achieved, and then coupled with improvement in what Roth offers in other areas of the game, will essentially determine how involved he is in this program next year and beyond.

Filed to:

  • Kelin Blab

    Jerry you touched a nerve about allowing players to get their 'spot' on the floor. That has been a pet peeve of mine since high school where I was taught, ALL post players want to set up in that lower block where they are taught every thing they know…..if you take that away from them, they are like a fish out of water, unless you are kevin mcchale. Post players are allowed to run down the floor and set up camp on the low block without much fight. Yes Pritchard does that well and it is a lost art form…..

  • JerryCT

    The first time I saw this was when Harangody tried to move him around a season ago and pretty much banged into a stone wall

  • HoosNation

    Pritchard is the worst player on our team. I would have never said this a year ago. Maybe its the sophomore slump? Don't know. He was the best player on the team last year. But saying “he's the best of the worst” isn't really saying much. I agree, setting screens and hedging are important factors of the college game. However, I can't remember TP being good at any of these points listed here. Yeah, he set some hard screens while the ball handler was crossing the time line, but not within the offensive set. Game film will verify that. He whiffed on 90% of the screens he attempted. Also, if you avg 4 ppg, but allow 12-15 ppg, chances are you're not very good. If IU goes forward with TP being heavily involved, then I can't wait for his senior night. I am completely willing to eat crow, so please TP, order some crow from the menu!!

  • Outoftheloop

    Kelin, thank you so much for your comment! Jim Thomas was a very good basketball player at IU and in the NBA. I loved his energy, grit, vertical, team oriented game. I think that most BIG GUYS are projects-that's what great coaches do-develop talent, help guys get better and realize their potential. With all due respect, I watched your dad as a freshman and each year thereafter until the great win over North Carolina. His progression and development as a basketball player was incredible!! What a joy to watch and root for a guy that dedicated to realizing his talent and of course beating the defending national champs with Jordan and Perkins was SWEET! My very deepest condolences to you, your dad and your family on your tragic loss.

  • Outoftheloop

    No! He is #1 in the history of college coaching for wins in his first 3 years, HIS team is dominated by guys who enrolled at Butler AFTER he was named the Head Coach, 3 Sophs, 1 Junior, 1 Senior start and only 1 other guy who gets significant minutes, Jukes, is a Senior. The “hype” is silly but there are a lot of sports journalists and they have to say something. I was not surprised by Butler's NCAA Tourney run, but if Lickliter had been the coach Butler would have been ranked 25th not 10th, and been stopped in the sweet 16, if they were lucky. In there last 4 games I don't think that Butler shot above 35% for the game and still beat the “Big Guys” with incredible defense, rebounding, ball handling and fight. In previous years, if Butler did not hit 40+% from the 3-pt line, they could not beat really strong teams! That is Great Coaching!

  • Outoftheloop

    I agree! But we have to see improved team play from each year to the next. Coach Crean said that there was “no blueprint” for the type of rebuilding project that he faced at IU. But I found one. Scott Drew's progress at Baylor. He was hired in March-April 2003. The Baylor Men's Basketball program had been totally destroyed by Dave Bliss' reign of lies, deceit and criminal behavior. Drew had a 7 year plan: year 1) 8- 21, year 2) 8-20, year 3) I could not find the year results but they were 4-13 in the Big-12 Conference, year 4) 15-16, year 5) in the NCAA Tourney-lost in the first round, year 6) lost in the NIT Championship game to PN ST, year 7) this year, lost to Duke in the Elite 8 in a good game. I hope Coach Crean can better this record, “because it is Indiana” (and I am impatient)!

  • Kelin Blab

    Outoftheloop…..sorry, but I am no relation to the Uwe Blab family, just a fan of the big red head, but not any relation. Use to love his big sky hook…..

  • hardwoodwizard

    No one is on the ledge MillaRed. I watch the same game you do unless you see them from the bench sitting next to CTC.

    You are right, without VIII, IU would have s_cked, s_cked, s_cked. They would have probably won 7 or 8 games instead of 10. My bad. Doesn't 10 wins still s_ck???

    So his poor shooting percentage is due to the ineptness of our point, thus not freeing up shooters? Or the big men not keeping the attention of the defense which caused other teams to heavily guard the perimeter. And then you have it on good merit that half of his shots were jacked up with a hand in his grill? You are right someone had to take the shots, and VJIII to a bunch of them, to the tune of 39% from the floor and 27% from 3 pt range. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Look at Hulls and all the guys on this 3pt% list from non top 25 teams Minn, Iowa, NW and Penn State. Oh, and I don't see a hand in the face jacking up shots statistics anywhere in the NCAA or NBA. VJIII was 10% lower than this list.

    3-POINT FG PCT Cl G 3FG FGA Pct.
    1. Hoffarber, Blake-MINN Jr 35 85 182 . 4 6 7
    2. Diebler, Jon-OSU Jr 37 116 276 . 4 2 0
    3. Thompson, Michael-NU Jr 34 88 214 . 4 1 1
    4. Westbrook, Lawrence-MINN Sr 34 53 129 . 4 1 1
    5. Hulls, Jordan-IND Fr 31 47 117 . 4 0 2
    6. Allen, Chris-MSU Jr 36 53 133 . 3 9 8
    7. Hughes, Trevon-WIS Sr 33 74 187 . 3 9 6
    8. Richardson, D.J.-ILL Fr 36 69 177 . 3 9 0
    9. Bohannon, Jason-WIS Sr 33 68 175 . 3 8 9
    10. Joseph, Devoe-MINN So 35 50 129 . 3 8 8
    11. Buford, William-OSU So 37 49 128 . 3 8 3
    12. Lighty, David-OSU Jr 37 44 115 . 3 8 3
    13. Bawinkel, Devan-IOWA Sr 32 32 84 . 3 8 1
    14. Babb, Chris-PSU So 31 69 185 . 3 7 3
    15. Marcotullio, Alex-NU Fr 34 41 111 . 3 6 9

    Call me crazy, but when IU's guards and wings shoot 3's, they are typically wide open or have the space to take the shot. If VJIII were forcing so many 3's with hands in his face, I am sure CTC would have had VJIII on the bench next to him.

    I didnt say he could not play anywhere else, but would not log serious minutes for the better programs.

    Hey, as long as you are OK with what you are seeing at IU, than good for you. I see it differently.

  • guccimane

    Ausitn Rivers opens up his recruitment. Come on CTC.

  • hardwoodwizard


    I am sorry, I should have been more clear in my statement about Roth being a dime a dozen. He is a dime a dozen for mid major and small DI programs and all DII, DIII, and NAIA programs.

    Purdue has Hummel who is 6'8″ and a 6'4″ Etwan Moore, MSU has Summers and Allen who are 6'4″ shooters accompanied by Lucious and Lucas, and Duke has a 6'8″ shooter in Singler, and two guards 6'2 or taller in Smith and Scheyer. All of the shooters are not one dimensional. All of the accompanying guards are not one dimensional. ROTH does not fit in on a top tier Big 10 team or a national ranked team. He is one dimensional.

    Matt Roth would be a beast at Ball State or Northern Illinois, just not at IU.

    Again, VO is one dimensional. I agree we need a guy like that, but one that could sink a j from 18' is very desireable.

    AE is 6'6″; Sheehey is 6'5″. AE is a year younger and will be 200lbs when he enters college. Kelin, it is not about who you play in high school as a kid is subjected to their coaches system. It is how they play in AAU in top competition. Ask around and find out who is a better prospect. By all means Kelen, please do it. Then look at the teams recruiting both players and who they got offers from. AE is from Big 10 country and plays hs basketball in Indiana where ther is tons of good coaches and talent, he will be more suited for Big 10 play.

    A stud class is one that is ranked in the top 5 or 10 in the nation. Not one some IU fans get excited about a deem a top 10 class.

    Kelin, brother, you love to mention Butler, and Duke, and Purdue. They didn't have huge impacts from freshman, but do you know what they all have in common? Seasons where they won championships and 3 times as many games as our beloved Hoosiers.

    So yes, we need stud classes with freshman that can play and build a program, then Kelin we can afford to let the seniority system play out and only plug in the freshman where they will be successful and help us win 25+ games and play championship basketball.

    Watford and Creek are going to be good. Elston and Hulls will be solid. Sheehey and VO, not so much. All I am saying is bring in another good recruit in 2010 and we would be better. Get rid of some of the junk on the team. Get two more studs in the 2011 class and we will be in business.

    Whoever wants to ding me on our scholly situation, go for it. I will give you every reason why we should cut bait with a few now since we lose 20 + games a year right now and how we can build for the future.

  • hardwoodwizard

    Kelin, I almost forgot. VJIII was HM Big 10…..and so were several other players who were very, very average. And, VJIII did not receive a scholarship offer from Illinois so it is tough to say, “I think they wanted him pretty bad.” Obviously he did not fit into their plans, only IU's and Minnesota's.

  • Taskmaster75

    Looks like Duke, UNC, Florida, and UK will be the final list of guys. Not much Crean can do there in my view.

  • Kelin Blab

    I seriously doubt we go that route….given the benching of JR last year. Our only shot is if JR blows up this year in Creans system and he and dad make a hard sell…..

  • MillaRed

    I agree with a lot of this. He's just struggling to survive out there. Screens, hedging, whatever. He looks like he is moving in slow motion.

    It might be time to move on to better options. And trust me, I REALLY hope I am wrong.

  • MillaRed

    Hardwood I think your heart is in the right place I really do. But I really don't know what you are talking about. Verdell is the best player on our team. Mo didn't make it through the season so he doesn't get the #1 seed at this time.

    You can toss around stats, names, and lawn jarts for that matter and you are not going to convince me, or 95% of Inside the Hall readers that somehow he is a problem on this team.

    Yes, his shooting percentage isn't great and no, he is not s 3-point shooter. But until Mo gets his Mojo back (come on, that was clever) Verdell is not only our best scorer but our best passer (see J Rivers) (shutup jerry).

    Shoot me a note this time next year when VIII is second team Big Ten and a top 15 Big Ten scorer.

  • MillaRed

    On a side note, I have seen some questions about Will Sheehey. What he is and what he is not etc. I saw this when it first came out. Obviously he can play basketball. And after you see this interview, you have faith in the type of players Crean is looking for.

    He just seems like a good kid. And he “fell in love with Indiana.” What else can you ask for?

  • MillaRed

    I agree with a lot of this. He's just struggling to survive out there. Screens, hedging, whatever. He looks like he is moving in slow motion.

    It might be time to move on to better options. And trust me, I REALLY hope I am wrong.

  • MillaRed

    Jerry I think I finally have you figured out. You love the worst players on our team. I am now on your side. Here is the 2010 starting line-up for the Hoosiers.

    PG – Rivers
    SG – Moore
    SF – Some homeless dude we found on Lower Whacker Ave in Chicago
    PF – Pritchard
    C – Bawa

    Seriously, it's not as if I/we don't like Pritchard. He seems like a great kid. But he just isn't very good man. His feel for the game is at an all-time low and the officials treat him like a leper.

    I hope he turns it around we need him.

  • Milla, I think you're making excellent points. It's amazing how much better a guy like VJIII would look if he had a big man to attract double-teams and a point guard that could hit some jumpers, get into the lane and actually create some easier shots for VJIII.

    The vast majority of his shots are contested because he has to create on his own, which is going to cause a lower percentage. I'm not saying he's Big Ten Player of the Year, but with a more effective supporting cast, VJIII's numbers and play would improve tremendously, and he's already one of our best players.

  • IUbriz

    I saw him play, he is an extremely athletic player. He has a nice shot. He and VO are going to bring alot to the team. Both are very hard working, will be the most athletic players on the team and most definitely want to be at IU

  • Outoftheloop

    My mistake Kelin.

  • JerryCT

    Thanks to you guys i have now donated my eyes to the blind and money to cure alzheimers.

    Alzheimers => Pritchard chased down Talor Battle in open court breakaway to bother if not block the shot…… in slooooowwww mmooooootioonnnnn ….. yes the replay was in slow motion. You have to watch carefully to distinguish real time from the replay

    Blindness => TP hedges his man all the way to the sideline if he does not take up his dribble and then still covers 1/2 court to defend his man. If you never saw this more than once in a game then ………………. consider laser surgery or cornea transplant.

    I am sending away to Old King Cole for that ” 4 and 20 Blackbird Pie “. I will hand it to Millared when I catching him egging my hotel in the Adirondacks

  • MillaRed

    Will JR be upset if we recruit his brother and give him his starting spot? Just asking…..

  • Outoftheloop

    Wow, I must have missed a year or two-please refresh my recollection-who the heck was Larry Richardson?

  • JerryCT

    Thanks for this reminder on Sheehey.

    What a shame it is that so many posters on this site believe that a player never improves from their HS AAU experience ……… and are easily willing to “write off” a recruit before he even has a chance to develop in college or in our system.

    I am really looking forward to VO, SHeehey to see what they CAN do and with the attitudes of these guys they are going to max out what talent they were born with. Not everyone can turn out to be Jimmer Ferdette but with attitude they can try.

  • JerryCT

    I hear CTC can develop the homeless dude into Dwayne Wade

  • MillaRed

    Ha! Good one. Thanks I got a chuckle out of that one.

    I would settle for him developing Rivers into a solid all-around PG and TP into a scoring threat.

    Because last year they weren't…….depending on who you ask, JERRY.

  • Outoftheloop

    Go back and take a look at Hayward's last second shot against Duke in the Championship game! Howard sets a pick that pancakes the Duke defenders and opens up the running lane for a very near miss by Hayward! Pritchard is way to slow to Hedge out! When he rolls back on defense he frequently blocks out a teammate. Thus he gives up two layup possibilities: #1) on the slip by the big man and #2) on the drive by the little man. That is one of the big reasons IU was Last in defensive FG% in the Big-10!

  • Kelin Blab

    I think VO gets a bad rap because of you tube and they are all dunking highlights which is what you tube is all about. You are right about the AAU experience, which is no reflection of their skills or how they fit into a system…long live the high school coach…(and this is coming from someone who's brother is heavy into a major AAU program in the south)

  • Bryan

    Fortunately, no such conflict. JR will be gone after this season, and I'm pretty sure Austin is a 2011 kid.

  • walton

    “It literally stupefies me that people are on here talking down on talented players like Watford, Creek, Hulls, and Elston. Are you kidding me?”

    – I really don't hear a lot of people on here talking down this talent of players you listed. I am going to continue to repeat this and sorry about it, but those players are solid and are not the main issue to Indiana's success. I feel like the issue is that's all Indiana has to rely on right now including VJ and Capi. Of course we can speculate how much certain players “can improve” including Pritchard, Rivers, Bawa, etc. And of course we can throw in Oli and Sheehy as “hopefully” they will turn out good. But its speculation and its hard to put a lot of investment into it. Does anyone else agree with me that we need to add to this list sooner than later – more specifically before next season? Some solid juco transfers or at least some height would help – and of course they carry speculation as well but at least it would be better than we have. IU will be better next year than this year with what they have, and will win a few more games, but shouldn't we aspire for a little more?

  • walton

    VJIII, though not the most talented player or biggest player, is still the man – he is a Hoosier – really the only one that panned out from that year. I never got the sense that he was playing selfish with the freshman group that came in (unlike some others). He is a leader. He wears the jersey proud – will be someone incoming classes will look up to – knows his way around campus I am sure. VJIII is a Hoosier and whether playing time ever decreases or not will be a 4 year player on IU's team and be remember by myself as a favorite on the team. .

  • FWHoosier

    Larry was a forward for the hoosiers in the late 90's (I think). He did not amount to much more than a role player although he seemed to have the physical skills to be something more.

    Now, if you really want to talk about players that were a bust, let's talk Andre Patterson. As I recall, this guy had the ability to score at will and showed it in ONE game against Duke where he scored like 40 points. Otherwise, he was never agressive enough to be a force. Nothing coach could do to change his attitude. Let's hope Bawa doesn't fit that mold!

  • FWHoosier

    Walton, easy for you to say but where is the help going to come from? As you said, juco transfers are pretty speculative themselves. For most, it takes one year for them to adjust to a new system and the grind of the big ten before being an impact. Its obvious, to me at least, that TC is looking for a point and another athletic big (including JUCO players) that will fill out the roster and make this team competitive. Crean took his shots at some instant impact players for this incoming class, but missed and the options have narrowed considerarbly at this point.

    We would all love to see Crean land one more big recruit and instantly transform this team into a contender, but life isn't that simple. He also can't forgo putting time in on the '11 and '12 classes and beyond. It is a difficult balance and you have to build relationships early, so we have to be patient.

  • FWHoosier

    Don't look now, but you just mapped out a five to seven year plan for competing in post-season play, which is pretty much what most people expected it would take. We are starting year three. I want compete for the Big Ten this season too, but if that doesn't happen then I will be patient enough to give it another couple of seasons. If the fan base isn't patient, we are just contributing to the demise of the program by killing Crean's recruiting.

    BTW, the Hoosiers were playing .500 ball through the first third of the big ten season before they lost all confidence. I am hopeful that this team will regain that confidence in the early part of next season and finish at .500 that would put Crean one year ahead of the “Drew plan” even after starting out in a more dismal position.

  • FWHoosier

    Look at the possession before that where the Bulldogs really had an opportunity to take the lead. Howard was unable to screen Zoubek out of the play and Zoubek forces Hayward to get his shot up over the 7 footer's outstretched hand. The shot goes just slightly long. He would have nailed it otherwise.

  • Outoftheloop

    Of course! The reason that Duke won the championship is that guys like Zoubek stay around for 4-5 years and get much better under Coach K and his staff! How does a 6'9 guy block out a mobile 7' guy during a fluid play, not a diagrammed play? It is very HARD to do! If you do it 50% of the time, that is outstanding! What you describe is a GOOD play by Zoubek NOT a bad play by Howard!! You know the other team can play some ball too! I expect to see Zoubek in the NBA as a center off the bench and he will play for 10+ years. Pritchard can't do any of this now. Let's hope he progresses in the future.

  • Outoftheloop

    I know exactly what I wrote. It is the only fair example of a similar rebuilding job that I know of. But I am greedy, and I like our talent, with one year's experience and summer work, I hope for 20 wins next year! That does not mean I throw in the towel or demand Coach Crean's head on a platter if it does not happen. But Creek, Watford and Elston came to IU to be in the Final Four, not just to be in the tourney!

  • iubase

    HPER rat – great name – brings back a few memories. I remember playing against Buckner and May and some excellent football players as well as my fellow baseball players. I too thought the world of RMK and the work he did – they beat Minnesota with his patchwork team but despite losing George McGinnis he did have Steve Downing who outplayed Walton in the NCAA. I think this situation is different. Crean came in with nothing except for Taber (a walk on). The team is rated 339 out of 347 D 1 teams in experience (see pomeroy ratings) and yes there is a correlation between experience and success. These kids/players need to grow and Crean needs time – think Drew (at Baylor) instead of Brad Stevens.


    Also saw this not long after he did the interview. Thought some of the nonbasketball things he said spoke to what kind of player Crean is bringing to IU in a very positive manner. Am very much looking forward to him and VO getting on campus and getting into regular head coach led practices and then of course actual games. I think they will turn out to be two nice pieces of the puzzles in our rebuilding effort. I just hope people don't dog them if they fail to set the bball world on fire their first year.

  • wotanuo

    mbt shoes contain mbt and mbt m.walk,all of them were designer shoes

  • Outoftheloop

    Good read on “our IU group”.