The Minute After: South Carolina State

  • 12/19/2010 6:47 pm in

Notes on a 102-60 win against the Hey Bulldogs:

Another home non-conference game, another dominant performance. We know the drill by now.

Sure, it wasn’t a complete cakewalk. South Carolina State came out with more intensity than the Hoosiers. Indiana also hit a stretch in the early first half where it couldn’t buy a bucket — despite getting some good looks — and were letting the Bulldogs get some easy buckets. They actually snagged a 27-20 lead at the 7:59 mark in the first half, but the Hoosiers started to connect, were grabbing offensive rebounds when they weren’t and getting after it a bit more as they finished out the half on a 23-8 run to take a 43-35 lead into half.

The second half was an offensive clinic as Indiana scored a whopping 59 points on 61.1 percent shooting from the field (21-of-31), 66.7 percent from three (4-of-6) and 81.3 percent from the line (13-of-16).

Matt Roth built off his Friday night performance, scoring a season-high 14 points on the back of 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point land. If he can continue a return to his sharpshooting ways, this team will have one more deep threat teams will have to account for. Christian Watford continues to be a steady offense force, totaling 22 points (7-of-14 from the field, 2-of-4 from three and a perfect 6-of-6 from the line).

We probably don’t make enough of a deal out of his ability to get to the line. He’s currently hit the most free throws out of anyone in the Big Ten, and is connecting at a very strong 84.6 percent clip. Elite scorers get to the line and convert.

Derek Elston got the start again and quickly racked up two fouls. It felt like a game he might disappear in, but he hit a jumper to give Indiana a 30-29 lead, and played some aggressive offense in the second half en route to 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Very efficient scoring performance out of the bearded one. He also snagged six boards.

In his return off his ankle injury, Verdell Jones didn’t skip a beat as he scored 13 points (4-of-5 from the field, 5-of-5 from the line) to go along with only one turnover.

And lest I forget, Will Sheehey converted off two alley-oops. He is Mr. Dunkington. The first, one off a nice backdoor screen from Victor Oladipo that Jordan Hulls assisted on from the perimeter, is a play we may be seeing a bit more of as the season progress, as Tom Crean now has the personnel to pull it off consistently.

Jeremiah Rivers went down with an ankle injury after stepping on the foot of Westley Telafar in the second half and he was on the floor for a while. He was helped off the court by two teammates. Rivers has earned his way into the starting lineup and is doing a lot of good things on the basketball court, so hopefully it’s nothing too serious.

Perhaps most importantly, the Hoosiers only turned the ball over a total of eight times this late afternoon. I’m not about to say they’ve cured their turnover bug, but eight turnovers is a solid performance for this team in that area, no doubt.

From here, it’s off to Vegas. Is Indiana’s first road win(s) on the horizon? We’ll find out later this week.

Filed to:

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    To be honest I watched very little of the game to even qualify to make an assessment however….having actual alley oops now is refreshing. Glad to see Matt “Freakin” Roth get the shot going again.

    We need road wins

  • Anonymous

    This was a pretty solid victory. The next two games will tell us a lot about this team.

  • JerryCT

    Rivers deserves more credit than mentioned in this analysis. I thought he was the best player on the floor during his minutes 1) points, 2) assists, 3) ball movement, 4) defense, 5) rebounds at a time when the game was still competitive:

    + Liked Jones playing within the team game, maybe his best game
    + Loved Roth relaxed and letting it fly, not bad on defense either
    + Elston keeps getting better

    Coach deserves alot of credit as the team showed things rarely seen before:

    + more than just bigs screening
    + low post screens and wing passes to CW
    + great passing from Mo, CW, DE, VO, JR

    This looked like our best game to date. I am very worried about Rivers ankle . He was a major force tonight.

  • JerryCT


    #1.I think we have all seen the half court offense start with a lot of dribbling by the PG and traffic directing, pointing, waving etc such that we are at about 23 sec left before other players get into the action. Tonight it appeared like we got into the offense as soon as we got into the half court.

    #2. Did I see passes to the “roller” ?

  • JerryCT

    “solid” is all you have to say Loop ? Man you are hard to please

    Bring us luck in Vegas . You are right about the next two games telling us if we can string some things together.

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    I need rivers ready by OSU news year eve.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely our best game to date. Defense was a little lacking in the first half, but it really picked up in the second. Our blocking out was sooooooooooooooooooooo much better than it has been the rest of the season. Off the ball movement and ball movement was the best of the season.

  • Casey B.

    My one complaint in all of this is that in these types of games — where victory is a near inevitability — Crean needs to let Elston play through some of his mistakes. I feel like Crean keeps Elston on a significantly shorter leash than anyone else. Now, maybe he does so because that’s what Elston reacts to the best, but even Elston looks frustrated at times.

    The bench is a valuable tool and a great motivator, but simply getting reps and as much in-game experience as you can prior to conference play is valuable as well. I firmly believe Elston should be getting 25 mins per game. It seems like Crean is loyal to Pritchard. I appreciate Pritchard’s effort, but he’s currently averaging less than two points per game. We don’t have to get a double-double from the post most nights, but more than two points would be nice.

    In my opinion, the team just seems to play better when Elston’s on the floor. I think that’s the biggest supporting argument for how much playing time he deserves. He did not receive enough tonight. And no offense to Capo, but he should not be getting more than five minutes. He works his butt off, but he looks clueless out there way too often.

  • Kelin OlaHarrispo

    Casey I have no idea what has happened to Capo. Of all the year two guys he seems to have only gotten better physically but I don’t see his contributions. It sure as hell doesn’t help Zeller is already breathing down his neck. Damn I wish we had Guy

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Agreed, I’m not sure why it’s such a bad idea to play TP and Derek together during stretches when we have Watford, Hulls, Creek, or Jones on the floor with them? Then Watford gets to be the true 3, TP is the only non-threat offensively, and he can continue to rebound and play good post defense. Only problem with this scenario is if the other teams 4 goes around Elston like he’s standing still?

  • kentuckyhoosier

    Im with Loop , ” pretty solid ” sounds about right . I like where the team is , However we have to do it against the better teams . 40 minutes against decent teams . Played well foe 30 against BC and UK but 30 isnt going to cut it . til then pretty solid.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I think this was a good overall performance. I would actually put it second behind the NWSU game. I thought they were a bit more competitive and IU looked just as good.

    1) Nice to see Matt Roth find his shot – that could be a weapon, just ask OSU in 08-09.
    2) Nice to see Elston have back to back good games and respond to his first half benching – I’m still not sure (I’ll have to watch the game again) that the play in question was totally his fault. Looked like bad communication between CWat and Elston.
    3) Nice to see Verdell continue to but down on the turnovers and play so well coming off the injury.
    4) Nice to see Creek hit a couple shots and make a couple more athletic plays.
    5) Nice to see that Sheehey can jump really well and really quickly!
    6) Nice to see IU finish off the last of the cupcakes in old time style.
    7) Hulls is Hulls – he takes care of the ball and can freaking shoot!

    Let’s get ready for two tough games. UNI won’t travel well so it will be neutral court game but New Mexico will be like a road game if that’s who we see.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Seems like Loop is tickled pink to me? Just kidding Loop.


  • Anonymous

    Totally with you on the Rivers front. Besides playing his typical role to a tee, he had multiple drives to the basket for easy layups. Love when he is attacking — that is, within the confines of the offense and it’s under control.

    JR obviously came here thinking he’d be more of an offensive threat last season. Crean really helped Rivers buy into this new role, or rather a similar skill set he showed at Georgetown.

    Crossing my fingers that his ankle injury is minor a la VJIII and will be back after Vegas.

  • Anonymous

    When the guy isn’t giving effort, he needs to be benched. Elston showed a lack of effort on a few plays, especially on a certain fast break score for SC St. near the end of the 1st half, where he completely gave up defending his man. I’m all for Elston getting minutes, but Crean needs to show that a lack of effort will not be tolerated, which he did at that juncture.

    I think Elston is in line for 25 minutes a game though. You do see that his recent offensive splurge is evident of his confidence on the floor. He was in like for 25min today, as he got the start, and was limited because he got 2 quick fouls. So I don’t see why Elston is necessarily getting the short leash. Elston is only now becoming the player we expected him to be. As you say, developing the bench is important, but Elston is nowhere near the defender that Pritchard is. Both are absolutely essential to our overall team, and I feel both need to be utilized equally if this team is going to compete in the Big 10.

    Capobianco was only playing because Pritchard and Elston each got 2 fouls very quickly. He needs to be more comfortable in the offense, but I do appreciate the effort he brings. If only everyone on the team copied it. This isn’t an indictment on the rest of the team, but a compliment to Capo’s energy.

  • SeattleHoosier

    Love the eight turnovers! Although I suspect that this was due in part to a lackluster defence in SC State. But…we’ll take it!!!

  • CutterInChicago

    Just a note to say that “Hey Bulldog” is one of the most underrated Beatles songs out there and IIRC Professor Glenn Gass agrees with that assessment. Great video. Great song.
    Go Hoosiers.

  • HoosierFromCT

    “…is a play we may be seeing a bit more of as the season progress, as Tom Crean now has the personnel to pull it off consistently”

    that makes me so happy

  • Anonymous

    Seriously?? I HATE turnovers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m glad there were less than usual tonight for IU, but c’mon, “It’s Indiana.” We should see eight TOs on a bad night.

  • MillaRed

    I’m not sure if I will see the next two games so I will chime in on how I think the Hoosiers are doing right now.

    First of all, Mr. Bruce Weber, Indiana “does not suck.” They are not only winning the games they “should win”, they are beating the crap out of them.

    I try to keep an eye on the bench during the games. These guys really are a team. They are constantly rooting for each other and I love it.

    Christian Watford is very, very good. The defensive job he did on Terence Jones has been incredibly underrated. It was the 2nd lowest scoring night for Jones this season. He is always the best player on the floor, to include the Kentucky game IMO.

    If you DVR’d the game today, replay it and slow it down on some of the designed plays. CTC knows what the H he is doing.

    Dear Derek Elston, You are very good. Do you understand? Good. Now go do it every game.

    I would recruit Jordan Hulls, 100 out of 100 times.

    Will Sheehey and Victor Olidapo are steals, absolute steals in this class. Who else gets alley oops on this team? Who gets alley oops for Wisconsin and Northwestern and Penn State? No one does? Why? Because they don’t have anyone that can get up there. They will be major factors for 3 more years, and we’re excited about the next 3 classes. I am a very happy Hoosier.

    I hope they do well in Vegas. This team believes. I am trying but I figured it would be another year or two. But there is something about this team. They just might surprise us.

  • LDIU

    The only real negatives I saw were:

    1. The bad fouls by DE to start, but he bounced back nicely.
    2. VJIII getting stripped at mid court. He has to get tougher with the ball. Good game other than that.
    3. TP on the offensive end is just horrible. 1-10 from the free throw line in a joke.
    4. Great to see Matt Roth shoot so well.
    5. Now, on the the real season.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I watched that play you’re talking about again and it WAS NOT entirely DE’s fault!

    He hit the offensive glass hard for the tip which didn’t go so that put him trailing the play. When he got down the court CW had picked up DE’s man. They looked at each other and right as DE started to pick up CW’s man, CW left and went to pick up his man also.

    The result was DE’s man being left all alone. That is not Derek’s fault. It’s both players fault for not calling out, “Take mine” or “Switch”!

    I thought that was very poor recognition by Coach Crean not to see what happened there but I guarantee he will see it in film session and both players will be told to communicate, but Elston should not have been yanked for that play unless he was also yanking Watford to discuss it with him as well.

  • JerryCT

    I like this idea for several minutes because:

    + both TP and DE like to pass
    + both are willing screeners
    + adds more help side D

  • Diesel

    Jerry, let’s hope it’s just a sprain. There is always an outside chance of a fracture, I was a little surprised how long he stayed down, and don’t buy the myth a fracture is better than a sprain because you are looking at an easy 4-6 weeks with a break, or potentially surgery (ask Matt Roth). Verdell was back in under 2 weeks.

    The addition of JR to the starting lineup paid off. Glad CTC consulted with us.

  • JerryCT

    Ha ! I was thinking the same thing last night that JR was making geniuses out of alot of us who have concluded his minutes are critical to winning and they need to increase.

    Now this ? Makes want to do a Nancy Kerrigan ‘ why me, why me ?’

  • Anonymous

    I actually liked our play a lot. After 12 min gone in the first half I only swore at the TV one time. I think that is a record for this season. My goals are high this year,18-21 wins and a bubble NCAA team and/or solidly in the NIT! I will do my part in Vegas.

  • Anonymous

    Ace you have me figured out. If Roth can play like he did yesterday, I watched him pretty closely on defense as well, he will make my “Play 20 Club” with Oladipo, Elston and Sheehey, and really mess up the minutes!

  • Anonymous

    I am really keyed up for these next two games. Can IU play like they did for the last 30 minutes yesterday for 80 minutes against two good opponents? I say “yes”. But I do have a little trepidation.

  • I could picture you going all Nancy Kerrigan if Tonya Harding had one of her goons stab Tom Pritchard.

  • JerryCT

    Probably be yelling “why Us ,why Us “

  • I’ve probably seen it before, but your use of “CWat” in #2 made me think that when he’s first team all B10 next year (2011-12), we need to make up “CWAT TEAM” t-shirts. Part of the student section could dress up in all black with ski masks and stuff (whatever SWAT teams wear).

  • IUJeff

    I think IU gets into the NIT despite the fact that only 6 or 8 teams in Div 1 have played a weaker schedule thus far. Teams 69 thru 100 get in and based on how they are playing, I see IU as a top 100 team this year.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Ha, sounds good!

  • Anonymous

    All excellent points Jerry!

  • Anonymous

    I thought that Rivers played very well too! But he should never shoot a 3-point shot, no matter how open. Pass and cut hard to the rim and his teammates need to look for him. When he is fouled now, he is money!

  • Anonymous

    They tried-blunted the point-but no damage. Jerry only roots for “tough dudes”. Jerry, what do you think about the Sloan kid who went to IU and is now a doctor? He was “Mr Screen”.

  • Anonymous

    I think that Capo is playing a pretty limiting knee injury. He has a noticeable limp.

  • Anonymous

    I am not sure of the play you are talking about, but if you can’t get in front of the driver, get out of the way. Do not give up the lay-up and the foul. That is stupid! Two stupid fouls and you do not get to play minutes and help the team win.

  • Anonymous

    Milla you are on the money with your comments.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    The play he is talking about is the communication problem between CWat and Elston and DE did just let the guy get the layup after the mis-communication.

  • Anonymous

    I forget the actual number, but only 34-36 are the “best teams”. The other 28-30 are automatic qualifiers from all the eligible conferences, for the 64 teams. Now with 68, the best teams should increase to 38-40 in the NCAA Tourney. That still leaves room for 32 more good teams in the NIT. Jeff, I am calling “BS” on the comment “only 6-8 teams in Div I have played a weaker schedule thus far.” Where did you read this analysis? Give me the link. Oh, you didn’t actually read it anywhere. You just made it up because it suits your argument. I thought so.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    He’s not that far off according to KenPom (Pomeroy). They have IU ranked 54th which is pretty good but they have their SOS at 297 out of 347! So he should have said 40-50 schools instead of 6-8. So, it was an exaggeration but the point is still somewhat legitimate about their schedule being weak enough to hurt their ratings and chances of tourney selection.

    Here’s the thing though guys . . . Schools in the Big Ten and Big East especially can do this and still be okay because the conference RPI and Pomeroy ratings are so high that after the conference season the team’s SOS has risen to respectable levels. Right now IU has played BC and pUKe and that’s it (pretty much) but at season’s end you can add to that NM (probable), UNI (decent team), and, oh yeah, OSU twice, PUke twice, MSU once, Minn twice, Wisc twice, ILL twice, etc. And they may even see one of those teams again in the Big Ten tourney so their SOS will be fine.

    Syracuse did it for years. They would play all home games against crappy teams but rack up wins and then get into the dance after a 10-8 or so season in the Big East.

  • Anonymous

    I agree—if he’s open enough to feel he’s open enough to shoot, he’s open enough to drive to the basket!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    You are right. But the only schedule ranking that can matter is the end of the year schedule ranking. We are all familiar with teams like Butler, they have to play tough teams early, because the teams in their conference are generally weak. IU, like all Big 10 teams, has a very demanding conference schedule against strong opponents, so the non-conference schedule is generally not so tough. Schedule ranking can only be serious at the end of the season, taking into account all opponents. There is actually a big difference between 6-8 versus 50.

  • Anonymous

    – I agree but about the defense, it was pretty terrible through the first 12 minutes of the game. Elston just has the look of an “old school” Hoosier player (minus the tats maybe). Not to mention he has just about mastered the seemingly resurgent yet almost forgotten mid range jumper.
    – Rivers ankle worries me and I felt this may have been his best game since arriving in Bloomington.
    – Jordan Hulls looked really comfortable running the offense and did it very well.
    – Watford is a consistent performer. That has been lacking at IU for the last two years
    – Sheehey’s athleticism paired with his basketball IQ have me excited about his progress
    – Ok shaky “D” early on but overall that was pretty fun to watch!!
    – Oh yeah, finally Roth…..we’ve been missing you buddy!

  • Anonymous

    Rivers’ free throw shooting has done a complete 360 ever since late last season. Now if we can get Pritchard to shoot better than 10-20% from the line we will be respectable at the line

  • Anonymous

    It was a pass right down the middle of the lane—as the guy caught it and shot (wide open, very wide open!) it appeared Elston was guarding Watford. I didn’t see what Aceman said, so he very well may be right, but at first sight it looked really bad on Elston’s part.

  • Anonymous

    I have a feeling the “SWAT” team will be Jurkin and Perea!

  • Anonymous

    Any up-tempo team runs the risk of being a bit more turnover prone than others—I’ll live with 8 each game.
    Especially when it’s compared to 24 assists—a 3 to 1 ratio for the entire team is pretty solid.