Open Thread: Straight to the point

  • 12/02/2010 11:06 pm in

(Photo credit: James Brosher)

The debate on who is, at this early juncture of the season, Indiana’s best option at point guard has been a healthy one over the past 24 hours in the comments here on Inside the Hall.

Keeping that topic in mind, we’ve decided to open things up with a dedicated thread to keep this discussion moving along.

There are several arguments to be made, but not an obvious, clear cut answer. We hope you’ll chime in with your thoughts.

Filed to:

  • millzy32

    I nominate you coach for the next game and I am serious I really like what you’re thinking.

  • millzy32

    If a bigger ball handler is needed I would rather see Rivers be the guy more so than VJIII. Rivers is looking to pass this year and he is a better overall ball handler than VJIII.

    I wouldn’t use VJIII at the point for any reason. He is good off the ball and he can penetrate after he gets it on the wing there is no reason for him to be the facilitator because he has proven game in and game out that it is not his strong suit. He’s a turnover machine at point and he could be a much better player receiving the ball on the wing or coming off of screens and hitting 15 footers.

  • millzy32

    If a bigger ball handler is needed I would rather see Rivers be the guy more so than VJIII. Rivers is looking to pass this year and he is a better overall ball handler than VJIII.

    I wouldn’t use VJIII at the point for any reason. He is good off the ball and he can penetrate after he gets it on the wing there is no reason for him to be the facilitator because he has proven game in and game out that it is not his strong suit. He’s a turnover machine at point and he could be a much better player receiving the ball on the wing or coming off of screens and hitting 15 footers.

  • Anonymous

    I really wish everyone didn’t get so hung up on designating what “number” a player is. I doubt many coaches are concerned with having a line-up out there that fills the traditional “1,2,3,4,5” mold, and there are few college teams that start those lineups. If VJ3 & Hulls are in the lineup at the same time, it doesn’t matter what position we think they are playing, what matters is making smart decisions. If a big gets a defensive rebound, and VJ3 (or JR, Daniel Moore or Jordy) is on the wing for an outlet, the ball is going to him to start the break. They are designated ball handlers, and they will all get the ball in that situation. It doesn’t matter what position we’ve all decided he started at. I feel like all we’re debating is who brings the ball up the court and puts a finger in the air. Unless they’re not able to dribble against their defender, it really doesn’t matter who it is. VJ3’s turnovers have NOT come on his first pass after he brings the ball up, but in the middle of plays or in transition. He’ll still have the ball in those situations even if someone else has been designated the “1.” Players play,and it doesn’t matter if you call him a Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Pulling Guard or Color Guard. They all have to play better than they have been.

  • Anonymous

    – What we I saw in Jordan the other night was the ability to move the ball up the court quickly and start the offense fast. He also had that sweet double crossover for a basket. Also I saw him basically getting thrown out of the way a couple times going for boards by much bigger players. His size is one thing that cannot change, but for the most part he has been making up for it in other parts of the game. It’s CW who needs to pull down more boards. I can’t comment on defense because I didn’t record the game and don’t remember tons of break downs from him.

    – Haven’t heard many people talk real badly about VJ’s defense. That’s not the main problem. Its his inability to get up the floor quick and find teammates. And of course the turnovers. He may not have the turnover problem if he was able to start the offense much faster and get rid of the ball. As of now he hasn’t proved he can do this. I don’t think VJ should even be in the conversation of PG at this point. He can’t bring the ball up the court effectively and takes too long to start the offense. BUT he should be in the game! just in a different role.

    – Rivers has improved a lot since last year (attitude and role on team). I would be cautious to put him in the spot to dribble the ball up the court before/and setting up the offense. I still like Hulls to do this. However Hulls cannot be in the game the entire time, so we might have to experiment with Rivers.

    – While we are experimenting – why not try to see what WS can do bringing up the ball and starting the offense. Probably wouldn’t work great, but what does IU have to lose trying a couple times.

    – As impressive Watford was on offense, there is still a lot he needs to work on defense and rebounding. Hopefully he improves in these areas and truly becomes an all around player.

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    IUJeff I sure hope he does that, if not this year next….I don’t want to see Cody Zeller being a pick and roll guy for 4 years. I want someone to get him the ball in the paint and get ready for a kick out to Etherington…..

  • Anonymous

    I think your screen name was different the last time I read your posts (remember your pic), but I enjoy your analysis of Jordan. You seem to have firsthand knowledge. Did you play with him? Were you coaching/refereeing on his AAU circuit?

  • Anonymous

    Walton, I’d like to agree with your point about Will Sheehey getting some time at PG. I think Jordan is the clear cut starter. I’d like to see WS be his backup.WS would be a different type of PG than Jordan and is not the traditional PG type… but he’s unselfish, he can beat his guy off the dribble… he knows how to score. His energy and unselfishness would produce results. And I like his size, especially against other PGs in the Big Ten.

  • Anonymous

    Good point about the second chance points and how in some sense we were a victim of our own success at times.

  • Anonymous

    Great posts Jerry. You’re on a roll.

  • Anonymous

    I am mainly unfamiliar with Sheehy’s ball handling ability in full court situations. I’ve seen him be able to maneuver from certain spots around the arc and get around the basket for scoring or to free up other players. He has had his share of freshman TOs in these situations, so putting him in full court situations may be asking a lot. But at this point Crean should be thinking up something new to at least try.

  • Anonymous

    I would prefer to see Rivers as the main PG. With Creek rounding into shape, we should have enough scorers on the court with Creek, Jones/Hulls, Watford,and Pritchard. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t need my point guard to score. I do need them to take care of the ball, direct the offense, play defense, and be a leader on the floor. Rivers has seemed to be much improved this year at taking care of the ball. I think he had the other three things down last year. I would say he is our best defender, which is a huge factor in who should play. Put him on the other team’s best scoring guard and let him earn his keep that way. He also brings great energy, much like Oladipo. I would say those two are probably the most athletic players on the team.

  • Anonymous

    Coaches probably aren’t concerned as much as having a traditional 1,2,3,4,5 but at the same time I bet they are concerned with how the plays are ran with people in those positions. I am sure this is how they practice when practicing the half court situations and I am sure they expect those numbers to do what they are supposed to do. So we need a player designated to start the offense in the “1” position and my pick would be Hulls and Rivers.

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    What a good debate for a change about actual ‘basketball’ stuff. ITH should go public on the stock market………

  • Anonymous

    These debates are great, but the only problem is that there is so much feedback that it is taking out hours of my productivity at work to go through all of them.

  • HoosierDavey

    I think you might be on to something. It would be interesting to see a log of when VJ is making his turnovers. Is it in the half-court offense? When breaking a press? In any and every situation? To me, Hulls is certainly the guy you want leading a team half-court attack, directing traffic, putting the ball where it needs to go (and Verdell is not). Is Jordy best bringing it up the floor, especially against a press? Ummm…not sure. You might have to have a strategy like you suggest to maximize everyone’s strengths. Rivers might be better for taking it up under pressure (or if you are looking for lots of transition hoops), if he doesn’t try to do too much, rushes, and throws it away (most of last year). Clearly, though, I think Jordy has the best bball IQ, a settling presence, and can be the best floor general…especially at the half-court game.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Here’s how I think VJ3 would most help this team on the wing:

    Jordy brings the ball up, sets up the offense and runs it. Verdell runs the baseline to the opposite wing. IU runs a set on one side of the floor and skips or quickly reverses the ball to VJ on the other side isolating him one-on-one with his man. Then he’s got all his strengths working for him. He is isolated one-on-one and he can look for his drive and/or pull up shot without worrying so much about dishing the ball unless they crash on him leaving someone open down low.

  • Anonymous

    BTW – Jones if you are reading this then you should understand that I don’t think a lot of people don’t like what you bring to the team – I think a lot of us just think you are playing out of position. I think it’s on Crean to experiment with the rotations/positions. I think you would be a force on the wing!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I wouldn’t say never. He had one nice box out and the BC player got called for the over-the-back foul. Of course that’s just one.

  • HoosierDavey

    Isn’t it amazing how this summer most of us were putting Rivers way down the bench (myself included), and now we are seeing more and more value in his game?! I give a lot of credit to JR for making us believe in him again.

  • Anonymous

    Jordan Hulls is our point for the next two years. It is early in his sophomore year and he will make his share of mistakes. But I just do not believe VJIII is the guy we need to initiate the offense for us. Bottom line is that he just makes to many poor decisions with the ball as the primary ball handler. Yes we need the ball in his hands because he can score but the turnovers have to improve overall for the team or we will not be competitive. To do this someone else has to play point. Period.
    The more we let Hulls play floor general the faster he will continue to grow. He is improving off the dribble and as we saw against BC he has a crossover. My questions with Jordy are when will he become more aggressive on offense and is a he a liability defensively against quicker point guards. Right now he is the best shooter from outside. If he takes more open looks and more looks are created for him it will open up passing lanes and scoring opportunities for the other players on the floor.
    Then defensively I say give him a shot matching up with quicker points and if he struggles too much than bring in Rivers. Many people (including myself) were counting JR out this year but he seems to have worked hard on reducing the mental errors and taking bad shots. Not to mention he has shot very well from the charity stripe as opposed to Verdell. So for me, it comes down to Hulls when we need to drive the offense and JR off the bench to spark the D.

  • Anonymous

    I’d say you’re well informed, not biased. Even last year you could see a difference when Hulls was running the point. He’s even better this year.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    It’s essentially what we saw last game to start the second half except they started with Creek instead of VJ3.

    I liked that lineup because they moved the ball up quickly and worked the ball well. Also, it had a nice mix of quickness and shooting. JR seemed to thrive because he was catching the ball wide open with room to move towards the bucket and he got into the lane a couple times and initiated nice plays. Jordan still got a couple open looks because of that and so did Creek.

    It definitely looked like the starting lineup they should use against pUKe.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    YES YES YES!!!

    We can’t bring in a talent like Zeller who should be worth 5 more wins if he’s utilized and force him into a TP role (of course he probably wouldn’t miss so many of the open layups). CZ needs to come in and get 8-10 shots a game in various situations and I expect CTC to run the offense through him and adjust things a bit until all the guards and wings get there in 2012.

    God help us if he comes in only to play the high screener role!

  • Anonymous

    I do notice Hulls speaking out more. I have seen him yell at other players and to the coaches. Even better is the way others have reacted to him doing this – they seem to take it in stride. This is a great sign to see. On the other side, I have noticed some other players communicating more to the officials after perceived bad calls and making noticeable expressions of disappointment with other peoples actions.

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    Walton it is Friday bro…I shut it down when I came into work today…..I have gotten nothing done which means I will be working from home this weekend.

  • Anonymous

    I would rather have VJIII at the point because he has the ability to get to the rim and finish where Jordy doesn’t have the size or athleticism to do that. I think Jordy’s strengths are spot up shooting and pull up jumpers, which he can utilize that off of VJIII’s penetration.

    However I think Crean has lost his patience with VJIII, who hasn’t seem like he has matured much mentally. I think it’s Jordy’s job to lose but if VJIII shows signs of growing up (which entails: not forcing it, playing under control, and not pouting), you have to have VJIII on the court.

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    Whatever Crean told JR he needs to talk with VJ as it relates to his turnovers. I am still in the camp of VJ is a MUST start and our best player, but this is his first year he does not have to be ‘da man’ and there is an adjustment. He has two other guys who can get 15-20 a game just like him so he has to adjust and get his 15-20 in another way…or have a line like he did against BC…14-4-5

  • Anonymous

    Great point. Most of us would not have said this last year. So doesn’t that almost mean that he in a way he deserves it now? He seems to have put in a ton of work and adjustments so maybe this is his time.

  • Anonymous

    One of the best aspects is his speed and how it can work with this year’s team. Last year no one could else on the team could really keep up with him, but this year’s team seems to have gotten a lot quicker. I love when he is on the floor with the likes of Oli, Sheehey – those three make everything move so much faster and the results have been good.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I agree and once again the two lineups that CTC used for the first 10 minutes of the second half stifled BC for a while. If you look at the scoring breakdown BC’s lowest output was from the start of the second half until about the 10:00 minute mark. IU started the half with Hulls, Rivers, Creek, Watford, and TP. Then they went with JR, Hulls, VO, Will, and Elston for a good while and then some mix of those guys before CTC brought VJ back off the bench. It was then that the defense started to slip again and BC started to hit more shots. The whole game BC hit daggers from deep right in the middle of IU runs but they were more dispersed during IU’s run with those guys on the floor. Once VJ3 was back in the game BC started to get more open shots and put together their last run.

    I’m just saying that a few people have really hit Jordan hard about his defense but the fact of the matter is that when he was in the game those first ten minutes of the second half he wasn’t hurting the team on defense by himself. Once VJ3 and Hulls were on the floor at the same time the defense started to suffer which leads me to believe that either A) VJ3 is the defensive liability not Jordan or B) you can’t have two slower players on the floor at the same time for that zone to work.

    By the way, the defense continued to suffer even when CTC rested Jordan and VJ was on the floor alone.

  • Marquisimo

    It has to be Hulls…I wish I could say that I felt comfortable with Verdell at the point…but he continues to make careless turnovers…Indiana has to have a point guard that takes care of the ball…this team limits their turnovers and they can be a very competitive team…

  • BFowler

    Agreed 100%

  • Anonymous

    I think you nailed it! Though VJ did sit a lot of the last game, BUT to only come in towards the end when we had a chance to win it and STAY in ?!?

  • Marquisimo

    Best lineup for the Hoosiers in my opinion…

    HULLS
    CREEK
    WATFORD
    ELSTON
    PRITCHARD

    Let Verdell and Maurice share time
    Let Sheehey and Oladipo share time off the bench in relief any of the 2/3 positions
    Let Capo give Pritch and Elston a breather when necessary

  • Anonymous

    Turnovers = Bad PG . Thus Hulls is the best option no question over VJIII. let VJ create in the offense but not run it…leave that to Jordy. #latetotheparty haha

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    Alex, you should go through these responses and add them up. It looks to me that the general sentiment is something like:

    Jordan Hulls: 60%
    Verdell Jones: 15%
    Jeremiah Rivers 15%
    By Committee: 10%

    And I think on the whole IU fans and Indiana basketball people in general are some of the most savvy and smart basketball fans in the country.

  • Anonymous

    Right now IU must have Watford and Hulls on the court to win. Creek is giving it his all, but he does not have the strength back yet, thus his shooting, defense, rebounding, and steals are off. However he is still #3 in scoring at 11.9. Jones is scoring #2 at 13.7 but his A/TO is 24/33 and his defense and rebounding are realy weak! So our best team is Watford and Hulls at 32 min plus/game and rotate Creek, Jones, Oladipo, Sheehey, and Elston each at 20 min plus/game. Then use Rivers, Pritchard and Capo for their roles at about 12 min each/game. Wish we had Etherington and Zeller right now! Hulls (.536) is the only one shooting 3’s above .385-Creek. That stat has to improve since we have no post offense-Pritchard and Capo are averaging a combined 4.4/game. It would be great if Jones can get his game together and post Watford type numbers! But Jones IS the defensive weakness-NOT Hulls!

  • Anonymous

    JR is a good “role” player and a terrible “must play well for us to win” player!

  • Anonymous

    We would lose every game with this idea.

  • Anonymous

    We would lose every game with this idea.

  • Anonymous

    Its seems like everyday though! Oh well, I can’t help but trade it in for the IU basketball scholars on this site. Keep up the great insights everyone – It’s Indiana.

  • Anonymous

    I just feel like IF Jones can take care of the ball he would be a lot harder match-up to guard for opposing teams. I love the idea of Jones penetrating in the lane and dishing to Watford or kicking it out to Hulls or Creek. I think its a little harder for Hulls to do this because of his lack of size.

    Now saying that, I couldn’t agree more that Hulls has outplayed Jones by far this season. Jones has been sloppy and at times selfish. I just feel like if Jones can fix himself it would give us the best opportunity against elite opponents.

  • JerryCT

    What I like about JR starting the offense is that he can drive and dish to VJ3 who ALSO can drive.

    + This 2nd driver is often in better position on the floor.
    + May not require a high ball screen
    + Avoids the telegraphing and predictability of VJ3 drives like you saw vs Evansville
    + Still takes advantage of VJ3’s ability to score in traffic

  • JerryCT

    Yes correct except here is the problem. Jones telegraphs and is predictable with his drives plus he is our only reliable driver. If I were an opoonent and I saw TP coming out for the screen I would know exactly what happens next.

    We need at least 2 drivers for Jones to be effective………unfortunately CW is also a step slow on the drives so this offense does not work. It results in points for Jones but the team falling behind.

    Rivers is key since he brings a “no screen” blow by capability enabling Jones as the 2nd driver , no telegraphing the play and defensive pressure in half court and gets back faster than anyone on preventing the opponent break

  • Anonymous

    I like it except that it doesn’t contain the speed that I like even more. Who started the second half of the BC game? That’s who I would like to see start.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it was more what ITH was telling him than Crean

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the compliment! Last year I thought perhaps we had made a recruiting mistake with Hulls. But one of the reasons I like Indiana HS ball players is their basketball intelligence. They just seem to understand the game well. Hulls is an example of that. He is learning quickly and gets better each game. I see much of Alford’s skills in Hulls. If I were coach Crean I would watch video of Alford’s senior year and run a similar offense with Hulls. He and Creek, when healthy, could be deadly outside weapons if we ran an offense that utilized their abilities. With Watford’s increased inside presence, Cody coming in, Elston improving, Olidapo and more experience and depth we could be a tough squad next year. I really like VO’s aggressiveness. I think Elston should be getting starter’s minutes right now for a major role next year. With VJ starting it seems like the other players progression is being slowed down. The BC game exposed a major weakness, however, our lack of height. We may need to address that before 2012? If there is a solid big man left in 2011 with the unfortunate situation surrounding Guy, Crean might go after someone with length. I was impressed with that big center for BC. However, if the only choice was Gary Harris or another big man in 2011, I would choose Harris.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I’m not saying we’re paid 2 mil to coach. All I’m saying is when you look at the results of this blog question, you see that a large majority of IU fans see a certain solution and that those fans are generally smart fans.

    Don’t read anything past that out of my statement. I doubt very seriously that CTC give a rats butt about ITH or listening to out advice, though sometimes it might be good advice because we all have the luxury of watching the game without the arduous distraction of coaching too.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I’m looking forward to seeing the continued progression next season. If we all see IU as a 15-18 win team this season I see Cody Zeller as a plus 3-5 win type guy by himself and you have to imagine the current team will improve by a few more games as well so I would fully expect next year to be a 20-23 win season and a tournament bid or possibly even better.