Notebook: Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage observations

  • 10/16/2011 9:49 am in

Saturday night’s Hoosier Hysteria concluded with a 15-minute scrimmage pitting the Cream (Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Tom Pritchard, Austin Etherington, Remy Abell, Daniel Moore, Jeff Howard) against the Crimson (Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Derek Elston, Verdell Jones, Matt Roth, Kory Barnett, Raphael Smith).

Official stats were not kept, but here are our player-by-player observations from the Crimson’s 45-43 victory. (Photo credit: Jamie Owens)


Victor Oladipo: The sophomore wing appears more confident in both his perimeter game and ability to get to the basket. His body has improved, which should help him tremendously once Big Ten play rolls around.

Will Sheehey: Unofficially Sheehey led the Cream team in scoring, but his shot selection from the perimeter was a bit questionable at times. Much like Oladipo, Sheehey seems like a more confident player as he enters his second season. A healthy battle could be developing between the two sophomores for a spot in the starting lineup.

Tom Pritchard: The senior forward looks more fit coming into the season, but that still didn’t help him keep up with Cody Zeller in transition. Offensively, Pritchard has yet to return to the assertiveness he displayed as a freshman.

Austin Etherington: Etherington’s upper body is already much more defined since his June arrival in Bloomington. He seemed a bit tentative in the scrimmage and also a bit nervous when speaking to the media afterward, but could carve out a niche on this team as a reliable shooter.

Remy Abell: It appears the mechanics with Abell’s shot have been tweaked (for the better) since the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star Series. His body appears Big Ten ready, he competes defensively and the Louisville native showed off flashes of his ability to get to the basket that Tom Crean spoke so highly of following his signing last spring.

Daniel Moore: Unofficially the senior ended up third on the Cream in scoring by knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and collecting an old fashioned 3-point play.

Jeff Howard: Much like Pritchard, the sophomore from Westfield struggled to keep up with Zeller in transition.


Cody Zeller: The Indiana Mr. Basketball was the best player on the floor. His arms are much more defined, his conditioning appears excellent and he runs the floor like his brother Tyler at North Carolina. The fast break should return as a weapon this winter in Bloomington and Zeller will be leading the charge.

Jordan Hulls: The Bloomington native is another case of a much improved physique in the offseason. His vocal leadership was also evident as you could hear his chatter from press row, particularly on defense. Hulls got up and down as well as anyone throughout the scrimmage and his ability to get his shot off the dribble was also on full display.

Derek Elston: Elston was the beneficiary of several nice looks from Hulls, but still settled for too many perimeter shots. Much like Pritchard (but probably to a greater extent), Elston could make a living this season by floating around in the lane and looking for dump-off passes from Zeller.

Verdell Jones: The senior guard finished with just one made jump shot and one free throw and wasn’t much of a factor scoring wise. He had some nice looks both on the wing and into the post and his body continues to fill out even more.

Matt Roth: Roth appeared more comfortable handling the ball and knocked down a 3-pointer.

Kory Barnett: The senior guard played sparingly and didn’t figure much into the outcome.

Raphael Smith: The sophomore walk-on from South Bend scored one bucket on a put back and is a solid athlete that should help out in practice.

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  • Drewp1

    God, I love this website!

  • WS shot and dribbled A LOT. Maybe it was just because he was running on adreneline from his shorts in the dunk contest or whatever, but he just throwing up shots. He looked bigger for sure, as did CZ, VO, and Jordy, but I’m not sure what to take away from that. He almost seemed out of control at times.

  • Kelin Blab

    The biggest thing I saw last night was aggressiveness…..
    + By Hulls, Will, and Victor on offense.
    + Matt Roth not settling for jumpshots
    + After a score, it was an automatic pick up full court
    + On the fastbreak it was in attack mode immediately.
    + Cody looked to score and is able to pass out of the post.


  • Hoosier Clarion

    Music to my ears.

  • LTTelamon

    My concern was that the ball did not seem to make it into the post very often on either side. I figure that this is a scrimmage and far from a finished product, but this team needs Zeller to see more of the ball than he saw, I think. Likewise, I get why the comment above was made about Pritchard, but I would offer in his defense that he rarely saw the ball and no one was really looking to get it to him underneath.

  • IUeconAlum

    I streamed the Hysteria last night. It was awesome. It was nice to see them take the scrimmage serious and play some defense. They look hungry.

  • HoosierDavey

    WAY better scrimmage than last year.  They were so much more aggressive and sharp.  Good, good sign!

  • jgon86

    Is it wrong to say that despite an awesome scrimmage it was kind of boring?
    -Bill Rafferty was not an ideal choice.  – We need somebody who can make people laugh- or get them pumped.
    -technology was faulty.  the Mikes were not working some of the videos that introduced the women’s team did not work.
    – The rim got busted and thus delayed the scrimmage.  Everyone got the deer in the headlights look.
    -The dunk contest was boring and unimaginative.

    +cody Zeller is the real deal
    – Though Gary Harris looked bored while at the event, I saw him a few hours before the event and he was smiling and laughing, with our recruits completely around him.  He was very receptive to a bunch of IU alumni making him feel welcome. 

  • defendtherock

    Hey everyone, it’s been awhile…
    I absolutely agree.  Last night was awesome, but to me the scrimmage was the best part.  Nobody seemed scared to take a shot.  Having the ball in Jordy’s hands is huge.  Verdell brought the ball up one time, did that wave with his hands, and I puked a little bit.  Everything seemed better in terms of flow.  I saw ‘off the ball’ screens. I saw transition passes.  I saw fricken dribble drive offense.  I saw dump offs for dunks and lay-ups.  A lot to be excited about. Bring it Hillbilly blue nation and Purdumb.  We will be ready for you this year.

    One more thing… If Gary Harris doesn’t come to IU after yesterday, he was never going to come. 

  • IUball

    Very aggressive! And I would use the word decisive. Hulls, Sheehey and Victor all used the high ball screen very well, really dipping their shoulders and attacking with purpose. Our bigs rolled to the basket aggressively resulting in some very nice dump downs by Will to Tom and on the other side, Jordy to Cody and Elston.

    Everyone looked to attack but kept good poise. There were a few turnovers but not much considering the fast tempo. It was great to see them press, break the press, and when a drive wasn’t there, pull it back out.

    Unlike last year when they just threw the ball around the perimeter and looked like they were going through the motions on the ball screen, everyone was looking to attack.

    Hulls and Sheehey especially were fast and aggressive. They both looked so comfortable either passing or shooting off the screen. I think Hulls conditioning is helping him speed up his game while Sheehey is maturing and seeing the floor better, allowing him to use his exceptional quickness.

    I wish I could watch all their practices because that is some very fun, very intense basketball.

  • Anonymous

    Gonna learn something about Crean as a coach based on how he handles Zeller and insists on him getting the ball. In the MacDonalds game Zeller was down the floor with the guards..of course he didn’t se et he ball much..Crean had better have that priority on his agenda this season. As a coach who now has talent…maybe we’ll get a look at how his offense is suppose to work. Haven’t seen much so far int hat regard.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s just hope he was over-excitred..because “Dribbling a lot” is a disease for the team the past 3 years..needs to be cured by a– on bench if necessary. Love WS though.

  • IUoptometry

    Any word of a Gary Harris reaction of the event?

  • Anonymous

    He’s injured (reported as minor).

  • Anonymous

    Another thing i’d like to see from Coach Crean is benching Elston if he even THINKS about taking a 3 as soon as he’s in the game. In practice he needs an anchor planted under the basket and a 7ft long chain to his ankle. “SEVEN FEET Derek, that’s your game for now…if you don’t prove yourself around the rim 100% of the time, then you’ll be riding the pine.”  

  • LTTelamon

    I disagree. Elston has the range to shoot that, if he’s open. He just needs to be selective about it. No contested 3s, for sure… Austin, Roth, and Hulls can take them all they want, but certainly not Elston. Don’t subtract from what he can do, though, just because we have better shooters. Part of our problem over the last couple years has been consistently having people on the court who could not be used or counted on to score at all, effectively making it 3 or 4v5 on the offensive end. That’s finally not the case this year. If Elston takes bad, contested shots, sure, go ahead and bench him. If he takes good, open 3s off of setting clean screens, no one should mind that at all.

  • Bswift

    ive been away from ITH a little too much lately, all great to hear. Whats the story on Watford?

  • Steven Shoda

    Sheehey is a better option than VJII.
    VJIII was the least impressive player on the court in the HH scrimmage, VJIII should have a new role this year off the bench.

  • Anonymous

    Then we agree to disagree. IMHO if someone averages 17.6% from 3 pt range, he finds his minutes by NOT taking 3pt shots and doing the other things the team needs to do to win.

  • Minor foot injury. Held out as a precaution. Should be good to go when the season tips off.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with both of you. IF…If he was as injured as has been reported and he has said maybe it was affecting his shot as well. Did he not shoot a decent % from 3 year before last ? I would be willing to give him the OK to shoot “good” 3’s and if his % starts to look like last year then tell him to start taking his shots a whole lot closer to the rim. We should be able to tell which side of the 3 point line his shots need to come from by the time the pre-conference schedule starts to come to a close and there should be no doubt on this matter by the time the B10 starts. Hate to take a weapon like that away from a player unless you have to.

  • Cfblackerby19908

    I hope so, but it looked to me like VJIII was the least impressive player on the court during most of last year, and Crean kept him on the court.  Watching him was the most frustrating part about IU basketball last year.

  • Anonymous

    The article mentioned that Will and Vic will be competing for a starting job.  Why?  Why is it that almost everybody keeps pitting these two against each other when our team is so much better when both of them are out on the floor at the same time.  These two offer options other kids on the team just don’t have….Coach Crean, please play both of them!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I wish they would have done the scrimmage earlier instead of all the other crap.  My 3 yo was out of patience at 9:30, and we had to get the chocolate milk shake I promised her.  Really liked the energy in the place, but nothing beats the energy of a big game in AH.  I just got goose bumps thinking about it.

  • I obviously don’t know that for a fact, but it seems to me Hulls, Watford and Zeller are likely going to start. Jones seems like a good possibility as well.

  • Anonymous

    Not meant to pin you down on it Alex, seems this is what everybody seems to be looking at.  Maybe due to their similar styles?  Not sure, I just know when those two played together last year (not very much) good things happened on the floor.

  • IU768187

    I hope I didn’t miss something but where was Christian Watford?

  • Anonymous

    Minor foot injury. Was kept out as a precaution. Is supposed to be ready to go again fairly soon and, barring any further injuries, by the the beginning of the season for sure.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree on good things happening when both were on the floor at the same time last year. Last year Crean said he didn’t feel like he could have both freshman on the floor at the same time due to there not being a whole lot of others that had considerably more experience than those two. That should not be a problem / excuse this year. How VJ3’s role plays out this year is going to be one of the things I am most looking forward to finding out when the season gets started.

    My prediction / humble opinion is that, if he is a starter at the beginning of the year, we find out that if we are going to have the success that I believe this team is capable of he will have to come off the bench. Not a diss of VJ3 just my opinion.

  • Gustin

    Alex, do you see any opportunities for Remy to play the point and Hulls the shooting guard?  Looking forward to your reply!


    Would love to see the following as starters: Cody, Watford, Sheehey, Oladipo and Hulls. Incredible speed and quickness and more than likely the best basketball IQ’s we have available. Good scrimmage and looking forward to the team playing a littel hungry this year. GO HOOSIERS 

  • Anonymous

    There is very little doubt that Zeller, Watford and Hulls are the stars of this team. If any one of the three can become a top 5 All-Big 10 player, this will be a good (20+ win) season. Vic and Will are the next best players and have to get 22-25 minutes/game on the floor each. Elston and Pritchard have to do it on the floor, “being 6’9” is no longer good enough. Derek could be great, but can he develop the mental side of his talent? Verdell can show that he is the senior leader that we have desperately needed for the last three years. If he can accept lesser “billing” but play great, then this can be a special season. Austin and Remy have to bring it all and bring it hard every second on the floor. They each have some real talent that Indiana has sorely needed. I hope that Matt Roth hits 50% of his 3’s because if he can’t Danny Moore might. Danny does a lot of good things in short stretches. No more excuses now for Coach Crean, it is win NOW time! We miss and love you Mo Creek and want to see you play again at 100%! GO IU!