Night of the Living Red: Talking Points

  • 10/29/2010 11:14 pm in

BLOOMINGTON | So no column tonight. I am robbed — devoid, even — of meaningful candor with regard to Night of the Living Red. Or, more specifically, you and I would both probably prefer we just throw some info out there and hit Halloween weekend in force.

So that’s what we’ll do.

  • First off, yes, Cody Zeller was there. Hanner Perea was too, as was Austin Etherington. No Yogi Ferrell, but the weekend is young, and he’s shown a penchant for IU football games this fall.
  • Talking to Cody and Co. was off limits per NCAA recruiting rules (Which make no sense by the way. Thanks NCAA.) so we didn’t get to chat him up. Got a lot of chat questions trying to gauge Cody’s state of mind, level of enjoyment, etc. A pretty good crowd turned out, and the scrimmage was actually quite entertaining as scrimmages go, but Zeller has been in this process literally for years at this point. He wasn’t going to see something earth-shattering at Indiana he’s never seen before. He looked like a kid taking it in, enjoying himself and hanging out with friends. So in all honesty, I wouldn’t waste too many worry lines on his demeanor.
  • On to the scrimmage. Christian Watford led all scorers with 24 points, and looked really good in isolation when plays broke down. One problem with that was that the Crimson team, made up of more likely starters than the Cream, had some troubles offensively. Watford said afterward that the Cream guys were overplaying their Crimson brethren some, knowing their plays, but that they needed to be more careful offensively. The Crimson turned the ball over 17 times to the Cream’s 11.
  • Guy-Marc Michel is not Tijan Jobe, and he’s not Bawa Muniru. Big man is strong, can control his body at both ends of the floor and looked confident offensively. Both Crean and Michel said afterward that Michel’s level of conditioning has improved immensely since his arrival in Bloomington, and they were pleased it showed Friday. Michel should and will get minutes, and to be honest, in a rather weak Big Ten at the center position, I’m having a hard time coming up with too many guys who can match Michel physically if he plays like he did Friday. Dallas Lauderdale comes to mind, but the list is short. Not saying he’s a double-double average kind of guy, just that his pure size will be hard to match if he plays like that.
  • Will Sheehey and Victor Oladipo both impressed for the white team. Easy to see why Crean has been pushing them to fight for minutes. Crean was disappointed that neither really hit the offensive boards, since that’s generally been regarded as a strength for both from their position. But overall, the kids looked good.
  • Maurice Creek, statistically, looked like a guy who’s spent the last 10 months recovering from a devastating knee injury, shooting 2-of-8. Maurice Creek, physically, looked miles and miles better running, shooting and just generally moving around on the court than he did two weeks ago at Hoosier Hysteria. Obviously, it will take him awhile to recover his rhythm, but if Friday night is evidence, he’ll be ready for Indiana’s first game against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 12.
  • It wasn’t all pretty, and it wasn’t all healthy. Creek is still on his way back. Verdell Jones sat out with the ankle sprain that’s had him sidelined almost a week now. Derek Elston was back on the court and shot 5-of-7, although Crean admitted his timing is still a little bit off after missing time to various maladies. Tom Pritchard’s left hand was either in a cast or heavily bandaged (couldn’t quite tell what exact material was on the hand) and Jeremiah Rivers had to sit out because of a concussion. Watford also went down hard during the scrimmage and banged up his ribs. Had an ice pack on after the game, but said it wasn’t anything major. Nothing catastrophic, but the injuries seem to be an unfortunate theme during Indiana’s preseason.
  • Can’t get out of here without talking about Daniel Moore, who was easily the player of the scrimmage. Finished with 18 points and five assists, and four steals to boot. He ran the Cream offense efficiently and calmly, made some pretty nice shots, and mostly just gave his team the veteran presence that, at times, it looked like Jordan Hulls couldn’t for the Crimson. Not predicting that Moore starts or anything, but he looked good, at times very good. Mostly, he looked like a guy whose been in this offense for two full years now, and has a level of knowledge and experience that make him what he was tonight: comfortable and reliable. His play also sort of exemplified his team’s: They played like guys who know they probably aren’t starters as of right now, and they were playing like they want to be starters.

All in all, probably a good night. But what we didn’t see, obviously, is much more important to the program now, and in the future, than what we did. Happy Halloween folks.

Filed to:

  • HoosierDavey

    Real impressed with Watford, VO, Moore (!), Roth, and Guy tonight (and to a lesser extent, Will). A bit concerned with Hulls at the point, but then again, VO’s relentless D may have had a lot to do with that. Our newcomers are going to help us, y’all!

  • Anonymous

    DMoore was a surprise tonight..and I have a ton more confidence now about GMM playing good minutes. He ain’t Bawa or Tijan and seemed to have (dare i say?) a nose for where to be on rebounding, put backs and shot blocks. Watford was stealthy IMO in that he wasn’t making spectacular plays, but before i knew it he was the scoring leader. Cool. Hulls worried me a little. We need a healthy VJ3 all season if we’re gonna compete seriously in every game.

  • Jfett1

    The three new guys looked good. The starters missed Indiana Jones and Rivers. I can’t wait until they are healthy.

  • +Michel, in my opinion, looked fantastic. I certainly don’t expect this every night but he looked very good. Finished everything he got his hands on around the rim, even in traffic or with contact. Swatted a few shots and played very good clean up defense. If he can be 70% of what he showed tonight….our center problem will be solved.

    + I thought Roth looked great as well. He’s just a lights out shooter and his release is SO quick. He’s going to be a weapon.

    + Honestly, Watford looked like a first team All Big Ten player. Scored inside, drew fouls and hit the ft’s and drained some 3’s. Easily the best player on the floor tonight and it wasn’t even close.
    + I love Hulls….but he looked bad tonight. He did make some good passes but that’s about it. I’ll chalk it up to a lackluster performance. Hey….it happens. I think he’ll be fine.

    VO might be the steal of the recruiting season. He can pass, drive, defend and throw it down. When he hits the open court the crowd stands up in anticipation. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting until Creek gets completely ready.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure Wisconsin has a decent big guy (they always seem to have some big Frankenstein’s Monster looking guy in there,) and Sampson is still at Minnesota, but I’m most interested in seeing how Guy can handle Tisdale because IU had absolutely no answer for him last year. (I hope he can get him in foul trouble and put him on the bench for most of the game, but that’s just because Tisdale’s so damn ugly it hurts my eyes to look at him.)

  • I hope I’m not the only one that says this but overall as a team I think we have a long way to go. I haven’t seen much improvement in Hulls he stil struggles see the floor and keep his dribble.

    VO looks very good and he was just dropping the ball into Guys lap all night.

    Good to see Creek back – he was noticeably excited to get back on the court, would have been nice to see him immediately dominate but it will take time.

    Pritchard went to the bench noticeably upset with himself and threw a towel in disgust – he didn’t show us anything new in case you were wondering.

    I hope IU beats NW tomorrow.

  • Cmon Man

    Not a big Pritchard guy, but he is playing with a broken left hand which is his strong hand. Just saying though heard he’s been looking real good in practice, but hard to expect much with that kind of injury. Actually was told by a trainer he just shouldn’t have been playing, too.

  • JerryCT

    Sampson/Iverson at Minn and Lauderdale he may be able to handle but Leurs/nankavil, JJohnson, Tisdale , Green etc all play out on the floor soooooo …………. he better be mobile enough to play the full half court ( does “full half court” make sense ).

    Tisdale hurt us most from the field and the FT line

  • Diesel

    VO was guarding the point? Interesting…..

  • Diesel

    Overanalysis, but interesting…..

    Were Austin and Cody putting the squeeze on Hanner?

  • Yogi Kelin Zeller

    Glad to see the team came out injury free first, no Colts action please.

    + Looking forward to seeing Guy vs some other competition, apparently he played so well that Capo didn’t do much….

    + Mo Creek being on the floor and playing is good to hear.

    + Christian Must stay at the 3spot

  • GFDave

    Very encouraging news about GMM. Very. He should only improve more and more as the season wears on and I hope that by January he’ll be ready to contribute against B10 competition.

  • HoosierDavey

    Yeah Diesel, he did. It might be a little off to say at this point (since he was guarding Jordy), but I could see him being our best point defender after watching him last night. Gets into people, quick, athletic, likes to pressure down the court.

  • M&Choosierfactory

    The good…

    + VO can make plays. He will get minutes.

    + Sheehey is calm and confident on offense.

    + Roth is still a weapon.

    The bad…

    + Hulls looked uncomfortable in just about everything he tried to do.

    + Sheehey had 4 fouls in the first half.

    + Pritchard looked like the same old guy.

    The ugly…

    + VJ3 in a boot

    + Offensive set that had Guy handling the ball at the top of the key.

  • M&Choosierfactory

    Add watford to the good. That dude can play.

  • Scott

    Not sure about how many fouls Sheehey had in the first half; but, he had the toughest defensive match-up on the court guarding Watford in the first half. I liked Sheehey’s offensive play and for a freshman, he didn’t look all that bad trying to handle Watford. Sheehey and VO bring a high level of intensity which speaks well about their backgrounds with strong high school programs.

  • Anonymous

    I know Pritchard was essentially playing with one hand, but if GMM keeps playing that well in practice and scrimmages, he has to start at the 5, don’t you think? Truly aggressive at the rim and a force on D with the wingspan and at least 3 blocks last night.

    Watford was great. Did a little bit of everything and the 3 spot will allow him to do that.

    Hulls was a big concern. He was better in the 2nd half, but we really need to be better with the turnovers this year.

    Victor and Will will definitely see minutes. Love Victor’s D. Will won’t see as much and needs a quicker release on his shot, but can fill in at the 3 spot some. His mid-range game is great.

    Roth is going to be a great asset, especially as Mo is getting to 100% and having that shot back. Roth is just so smooth at the 3-point line.

  • Roth has the quickest release on the team. He has the green light all year and I bet he will have games where he hits 6+ threes. He’s not a defensive liability to he will get his minutes.

  • jgongora86

    – by the second half Creek was limping. The man has lost a lot of muscle in the leg area. The legs looked like toothpicks. I think it’s going to be midway through the big ten season when we see the real Maurice Creek.
    -Guy looked real good last night. His hook wasn’t all there, but he understands the fact if your big you should be a bully going to the basket. At the very least it won’t be as easy for other teams to get easy shots down low.
    -Victor will be our modern Dan Fife. He will be told to guard their best guard-small forward and he will annoy the living heck out of them.
    -Hulls NEEDS to look at film of Tom Coverdale. Hulls is very slow, but there are ways to overcome that. Tom was slow but still was rather effective at going to the end of the court without creating too many turnovers.
    -My brother went to late night with Roy two weeks ago and said Cody hardly smiled at all. Well I thought he smiled through out the visit yesterday. Still the kid is tough to read. I did not like how a bunch fans after the game were right in front of him trying take a junk load of pictures after the game. He kind of looked uncomfortable with that.

  • Anonymous

    During the costume parade, I noticed an overabundance of dads who had volunteered to take their kids around the court…and then suspiciously slowed down in front of Cody, Austin, and Hanner. I don’t think he noticed that too much, though, he seemed to be checking out the kids’ costumes.

  • jgongora86

    He also seemed to like the timeout contests that involved the fans.

  • Outoftheloop

    I get your point on Vic guarding the opponents top gun, but in his dreams Dan Fife could not do the athletic things that Vic does just walking in the hall!

  • Outoftheloop

    Vic will be great, but so will Will! It is not the release but the decision to shoot that is slow now-very normal freshman learning curve. I really liked Roth! Guy is the REAL DEAL!

  • Outoftheloop

    There will not be a player in America that does NOT have trouble covering Christian Watford this year!

  • Outoftheloop

    Coach Crean did NOT say that the injury was a break, he did not say that it was serious, he did say that Pritchard had gone hard all week in practice. Tell your trainer friend, that first you have to know what you are talking about!

  • jgongora86

    oh yeah I agree, but fife was effective. I think Victor will be as well.

  • Outoftheloop

    Against the 7-15 foot shooters, you leave Guy in the middle and pressure the shooter with Elston, Capo, Pritchard and occasionally Watford.

  • Diesel

    I hadn’t thought of that, but I like it. VO could guard the other teams best 1-3 position player and that could really help our team in a big way and help guys like Mo and Verdell from getting tired on the defensive end as well as hide some of Jordy and Verdell’s defensive deficiencies.

  • Outoftheloop

    I am not sure that ANYONE missed Rivers. I want to see him play with energy, intelligence and totally committed to the team!

  • Outoftheloop

    When you have a 7’1 presence in the paint, you have more freedom to pressure the ball on the perimeter.

  • rectoc1

    overanalysis?.. is this not for people to get an idea of what happened last night? i read the article and thought..that is exactly what i saw…excellent recap

  • Diesel

    Misread my friend. I’m overanalyzing that Hanner sat between Cody and Austin. It just struck me, I assumed Austin would be sitting right by Cody. Maybe Austin knows something per his tweet earlier yesterday, and those two are now putting the lock down on Hanner.

    I know, not really. Overanalysis.

  • The_Hall_Monitor

    after reading this and for those who watched the scrimmage who do u think will be starting five?


    VJ3 (When he’s healthy)
    Creek (When he’s healthy, VO could at the beginning of the season)
    Elston (But this spot could be interchangable b/t Capo and Pritchard also)
    Guy (At least for the sake of the jump ball)

  • MillaRed

    Check out Yogi’s Tweets he just dialed up. Wow wow wow.

  • jgongora86

    Don’t get excited he was just correcting the word stay when he put stat in his previous comments.

  • MillaRed

    Interesting that he has Cody on his Twitter wallpaper. This has gotta be a
    done deal. I think they are just having fun with it at this juncture. I
    don’t blame them.

    I think we should go ahead and do the Lebron, Wade, Bosh production for our
    intro of Cody, Hanner and Yogi. Ya know, parade them around the city for a
    week before they have accomplished anything. That would be solid.

  • PBRStreetgang

    Sheehey was guarding Watford and I think that was a tough assignment for him. I doubt if he’ll be guarding too many 6’9″ players outside like that during the season.

  • Bucky


    It’s been said before, but:

    + I like

    + your bullet

    + points.

  • RobD

    except that those three are the most hated trio in the nba by a large margin. how about pierce garnett allen?

  • Anonymous

    OK, unless I’ve missed someone else saying it, we should all be ashamed that no one has come up with the “Indiana Jones” line until now.
    Well done, Jfett.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, you aren’t at least a little curious to see if he’s managed to “get it” over the summer?

  • Anonymous

    I was about to say something similar, but could you even see a box-and-one (or maybe a triangle and two, Davis is pretty solid, too.)

  • Anonymous

    Take it as a positive–maybe he works on his right hand while his left is bothering him and in the long run he becomes more versatile.

  • MillaRed

    I was kidding trust me. Not a fan of Lebron at all.

  • Gustin

    Someone mentioned on a different site Cody and AE were there first sitting next to each other. Then, when Hanner arrived, he walked over and sat down between the two of them. I am assuming he just wanted to sit between his two friends. Loved that picture of Cody with a big smile on his face, #7 I believe, and AE was looking at him from the side. It looked like they were really having fun.

  • Gustin

    I hope WS an VO guard CW a lot in practice; it should help both of them improve their defensive skills. And, if Guy continues to improve, that will definitely make us a better team. The other’s team’s player will have to respect all five IU players on the floor. That will be a welcome relief…

  • HoosierDavey

    I agree!

  • IUoptometry

    Has anyone heard anything about Zeller comitting to UNC? b/c all I’m hearing is that all signs point to IU…

  • Raybert

    I thought Hulls had a bad night too. I wonder how much was Jordy’s fault or was it being hawked by VO at every turn!!