Notebook: Haunted Hall of Hoops scrimmage

  • 10/29/2011 11:01 pm in

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

After our second look at the 2011-2012 Indiana Hoosiers, Inside the Hall breaks down Saturday’s Haunted Hall of Hoops scrimmage with our notes and observations from the south end bleachers of Assembly Hall:

— Will Sheehey looks ready to breakout: The sophomore wing was the subject of heavy praise in a notebook by Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com last week and was one of the most effective players in Saturday’s exhibition. Sheehey was aggressive looking for his shot off the dribble and appears to have more confidence after an offseason of improvement at the Indy Pro-Am and in the weight room. His toughness and swagger will likely propel him into the type of player that can get under the skin of the opposition. That’s something Indiana has lacked in recent seasons and Sheehey appears ready to fill the void.

— A quiet, but efficient night from Cody Zeller: The highly touted freshman from Washington picked up four fouls in the first 15 minutes, but said afterward he didn’t expect fouls to be much of an issue moving forward. The Crimson team didn’t do the best job feeding Zeller in the post, but he made the most of the opportunities he received around the rim. Zeller logged a total of 22 minutes and ran the floor hard the whole way.

— Christian Watford “getting there”: After missing time with a foot injury, Watford said he’s still trying to get his wind back after returning earlier this week. The Birmingham native made a living at the foul line (8-of-11) and looked to be moving well in his 20 minutes of action.

— Solid outings from Jordan Hulls, Verdell Jones: Neither guard was spectacular, but both were steady and in control for most of the evening. Hulls appears to have established himself as Indiana’s vocal leader and Jones passed the ball and created opportunities as well as anyone on the floor. The two combined for 10 assists and just two turnovers.

— Austin Etherington opens some eyes: It was only a scrimmage, but Etherington acquitted himself well in his second appearance on Branch McCracken Court. His ten field goal attempts tied Derek Elston for tops on the Crimson team and most of those looks were within the flow of the offense. But perhaps more important for Etherington was doing more than just making shots. The freshman talked afterward about his eagerness to show off his all-around game and Saturday was a solid first step. He rebounded, competed for loose balls and moved his feet well on defense.

— Matt Roth breaks free: Roth found himself wide open several times and as a result, his 17 points led all scorers. He connected on 5-of-7 shots from behind the 3-point line. If Roth can knock down shots when called upon, he could carve out a niche in his final season.

— Derek Elston rounding into pre-injury form: The injuries that claimed much of Elston’s athleticism and bounce a season ago appear to be in the rearview mirror. The junior forward pulled down the most rebounds (10) of any Hoosier and was active on the offensive and defensive glass. Ryan called Elston a potential “x-factor” in his player profile and if he focuses the majority of his effort on both ends in the lane, Indiana will have an energetic piece to bring off the bench.

— Victor Oladipo, Remy Abell battle: Oladipo got the better of this matchup as he finished with 16 points and gave the freshman from Louisville consistent pressure on the ball for most of the night. Like most freshmen, Abell will have some growing pains, but he should develop into a reliable contributor on defense and as a penetrator.

— Tom Pritchard warms up, doesn’t participate: The senior big man didn’t play in the scrimmage, but participated in warmups and is expected to return soon following an ankle sprain.

— A look at the final numbers: Several players switched teams at halftime of the Crimson’s 67-53 win over the Cream, but here’s a look at the final numbers for each player:

Will Sheehey – 14 points (6-11 FG, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, three assists, three turnovers, one steal
Cody Zeller – 12 points (4-5 FG, 4-6 FT), four rebounds, two assists, three turnovers, one steal
Jordan Hulls – 10 points (4-7 FG), four rebounds, three assists, one turnover, one steal
Remy Abell – 1 point (0-7 FG, 1-3 FT), two rebounds, three assists, five turnovers
Matt Roth – 17 points (6-10 FG), two rebounds, one assist, one turnover, one steal
Christian Watford – 12 points (2-5 FG, 7-11 FT), three rebounds, five assists, two turnovers, one steal
Verdell Jones – 10 points (4-10 FG, 2-3 FT), one rebound, six assists, one turnover, one steal
Derek Elston – 10 points (4-10 FG, 4-5 FT), 10 rebounds, one assist, one block, three steals
Victor Oladipo – 16 points (7-12 FG, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds, one assist, two steals
Austin Etherington – 10 points (4-10 FG), five rebounds, one assist, five turnovers, one block, one steal
Daniel Moore – 2 points (2-2 FT), two rebounds, two turnovers, one steal
Jeff Howard – 2 points (1-2 FG), three rebounds, one assist, one turnover, one block, one steal
Taylor Wayer – 2 points (2-2 FT), one turnover
Kory Barnett – one steal

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  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t that be a surprise to us all, if Matt Roth were able to get shots up like this in real games? I’d love to have him out there throwing in daggers from 25 feet away every time they try to cheat down on Cody.  Nice to see Austin with 10 points but he and Remy with 5 turnovers each isn’t good news for them if they want to see the floor at all……Can’t wait to see Will and Victor play this year!

  • Anonymous

    I think Matt’s performance today is a direct result of what the Buckley and McClain talked about in their comments.  (Sharing the ball and gettiing high percentage shots which makes for pretty basketball)  The team responding very well to what the coaches are teaching.  Matt Roth’s three shot is high percentage when he’s open in the offense.

    I was wondering after Hoosier Hysteria, and now I am sure that Will and Victor will both break out this year.  

    Remy and Austin just need that experience, but both should contribute nicely.  As competitive as practice sounds now, we won’t be relying on games to get freshmen experience as in the last couple of years.  Victor will force you into turnovers.  Its nice to have one one of the B1G’s best defenders in practice.   This will improve the game of Austin and Remy.

    This team is coming together.

  • Anonymous

    Tom Pritchard’s foot kept him out of the scrimmage.  His shots before the scrimmage had the highest arc(h) since his freshman year.  This was completely different from his flatliners of last season.  Maybe this bodes well for both his scoring and free throw shooting.

    Will Sheehey had the smoothest pull up 10-15 foot jumpers with high elevation. It was fascinating to watch him do it.

    Victor Oladipo hustled on D, hit the boards hard, and generally created problems for the other team.

  • Glad that Will is starting to show the ability that I saw so much during his year at Sagemont. 

  • Kelin Blab

    It will be interesting to see if:
    + Victor AND Will crack the starting lineup
    + Does crean have a decision to make on Watford due to Will. Could he go with

    G Hulls
    G Oladipo
    F Sheehey
    PF Watford
    C Zeller
    ??????????

    + Does VJ start at PG? As a senior does he take over that role as playmaker now that he doesn’t have to score.

  • Kelin Blab

    I agree with your Will Sheehey assessment big time. He is Kris Kramer with Talent and Basketball ability. Saw it during the Indy Pro Am should see it during the season. Got under the skin of Born Ready quite a bit and held his own.

  • HoosierDawg

    This is the lineup I’m hoping to see. When was the last time IU had 5 scoring threats on the court at the same time (1993?)? And the best thing is that there are still quality subs behind them on the bench.

  • SCHoosier

    The” didn’t do a good job of feeding the post” comment and Creans comments on the same earlier last week is disconcerting to say the least.

  • Anonymous

    If you have a 7-footer hitting 80% of his shots then you need to get him more than five shots. It looks like all of the main perimeter players had 7-12 shot attempts each so that’s way too many for them and not enough for CZ if he’s going to shoot at that clip. I know it’s just a scrimmage but this type of thing seems to start early and seep into the regular season very easily. 

  • Anonymous

    Based on Coach Crean’s comments this is exactly what he has been focused on. You don’t want to peak as a team in late October, but in late February and March!

  • Anonymous

    That has been my “best” lineup since last April.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed.

  • Anonymous

    I think that it is unfair to count turnovers for a freshman until January.

  • Anonymous

    Right, the fact that it’s been focused on but they aren’t able to do it now concerns me. If CZ is going to positively affect everyone on the floor, like a lot of people are shouting from the top of mountains, then the offense needs to go through him quite often. 

    As for peaking….CTC needs this team to come out gunning at the start of the season. Patience is wearing thin on things that he says need to happen (defensive intensity, rebounding and now passing to CZ) that the team struggles to pick up on. Less talk is needed and more results.

  • Anonymous

    I like that lineup.  I think that is the best I’ve seen thus far.  With Vic and Will in there, we have two high-energy guys who can play shutdown defense and now have the ability to score in bunches.  I have been more impressed with Will than anyone else on the floor.  I wasn’t at Haunted Hall of Hoops, but at Hoosier Hysteria he just dominated.  He needs to be a major contributor and the offense needs to be run through him most possessions.  
    I’m getting excited for this year.  We can really surprise some people. By people, I mean the guys that are picking us to finish 9th in the B1G.  Let’s prove them wrong!

  • Anonymous

    who is playing D in this line up? Just saying

  • Anonymous

    If you play that line-up I think (at least on offense,) Will is more of a guard than Vic because I think he’s got a better jumper and is a better ballhandler. 
    He’s got a bit more size to play down low on defense, but I think his skillset, at this point, is more conducive to being away from the ball than Vic.  As a  matter of fact, I think he could at times do more of the ballhandling to give Hulls a shot at running around for open jumpers.

  • Anonymous

    The saving grace at this point is that it’s still a bit of a new concept to this group.  There hasn’t really been a post option to feed for as long as any of these guys have been there so it’s not like they’re used to doing it yet.

  • Brklynhoosier

    In particular, who is playing D down low?

  • IUthruNthru

    I agree……its awfully early to worry about CZ’s touches!

  • Anonymous

    It starts early though. If the vets lay the foundation of being a perimeter oriented team then it gets hard to break during the season. If CZ is going to be a/the main focal point of the offense then it’s never too early to start doing that but there is certainly a point where it becomes too late for it to happen this season. 

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything you are saying. He doesn’t need the most shots but he needs to be touching the ball just about every time down the floor if he is going to be the player that makes everyone better. 

    The # of perimeter shots mixed in with his low # of assists indicate to me they weren’t necessarily dumping it down to him, seeing a double team come and then having him dump it back out for jumpers.

    It’s my biggest fear this season that the team/vets don’t recognize this until the second half of the season. In a scrimmage like this he really should be scoring, or producing positive results for his team, at will against IU’s front line.

  • Anonymous

    Plus

    +  While CZ committed the fouls that he did I,m not that concerned at this point. He is smart enough to get this straightened out. He still ended up with a pretty fair stat line albeit rather quietly but that’s what good players do. His best play seemed to be when he was able to play along with CW which is encouraging.

    + Thought CW played better than I thought he would at this point and seemed to play bigger and tougher, in this scrimmage at least, than he did a lot of the time last year. IMO he did the best job of defending CZ also.

    +  AE & Roth shooting the ball like they did and AE doing other things well enough that I think it is fair to say that he surprised some people with his overall game. Now whether this was more of a factor of us not playing D well enough to allow them these kind of shots or if they just did a really good job of positioning themselves to allow this to happen I guess is up for debate. The determining factor for their minutes will be their ability to play D.

    +  VJ3, less standing and dribbling, but still with room to work on it.While it’s not saying a whole lot his D and turnover total did seem to look better. Probably has made enough progress on these 2 things to continue to start but for how long is yet to be seen.

    +  WS looked like he had made as much progress as anyone since last season ended. Think marcusgresham may have hit on something when he brought up the idea of when on offense and when WS, VO & JH are on the floor at the same time have WS play the 2 & VO play the 3. With WS’s better shot & height and with VO’s vertical this could work & would force the other team to adjust to us which would be a nice change. Then on D VO & WS could switch back to WS guarding the other team’s 3 and VO guarding the other team’s 2.

    +  DE being healthy and rebounding.

    Minus

    –  On D thought DE made some of the bad mistakes that plagued him last year and did the arms outstretched and palms up with a look of disbelief too much when the whistle blew. He should be used to the whistle sounding by now when he does some of the things he can’t seem to get away from. He has the ability as much or more than anybody to make us better.

    –  Our inability to get the ball into the post cleanly & on a consistent basis. The passing angle when feeding the post. Too many passes made towards the sides of CZ’s shoulders rather than his chest area. Also saw more than one instance of us not hitting CZ when he was open on the pick & roll. We must & will get better at feeding the post. Hard to change that part after 3 years of it NOT being the thing to do.

    –  Still plenty of room for improvement on D. We looked to have improved but we’re not where we need to be by any means if we want to stop being one of the basement dwellers.

    –  IMHO we are still not where we need to be when it comes to having quality depth. We are deeper than we have been in the last 3 years but the quality of that depth is one of our parts that are still in rebuilding mode maybe more so than any other part. It’s not like we need another reminder of how bad things were but this is one is a red flag reminder.

  • Anonymous

    Completely agree but i’m the first one to scream when a freshmen does something stupidthat leads to a turnover

  • Anonymous

    Excellent point. Done correctly it would force the other team to adjust to us, which would be a nice change from seasons past. It also creates a situation of two of them being able to drive and finish and two of them able to hit the outside jumper with WS being the key in both aspects. Will be hard to keep him off the floor this year.

    Do you have the IU bball equivalent of the Bat Phone in your man cave ?

  • Anonymous

    So is pritchard not looking at much playing time?  I feel like if he doesnt get aggressive like his freshman year he wont get more than 3-5 mins a game…. I think he could be really valuable if he gets mean and aggressive again… or is it hopless for him with the progression of elston?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Completely agree Loop!  I’ve thought our best lineup this year would be Hulls, VO, Will, CWat, and Zeller from the time last season ended.  I do think that VJ3 would be a perfect scoring sixth man for this lineup because he could come in for Hulls, VO, or Will.  TP is going to be a great sub as well as Elston.  I think Etherington will get time as will Roth.

    I think most of all, and I said this to my buddy the other day, I’m looking forward to watching IU this year now that we don’t have to watch a lineup with either 3 completely deficient offensive players or defensive players on the floor.  What I mean by that is we’ve had to watch IU lineups the past few years where to put 3-4 scoring options on the floor, you had to play your 3-4 worst defensive players together.  And to put a good defensive lineup on the floor, you had to have a lineup that couldn’t score.  This year with Will, VO, and Zeller all capable of competing at both ends of the floor, you don’t have to play Hulls, VJ3, and CWat together all the time in order to score. 

    I hope those three guys have improved their defense this year but none of them possess those God given quicks that most defensive studs have.  At least this year we’ll see lineups where those guys are covered and helped by quicker more athletic players.  You could even put TP in and play him a lot if you need a defensive presence inside with Hulls, VO, Will, and Zeller and TP wouldn’t be expected to score.  He could do what he’s good at!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I think VO and Will cover for any speed deficiencies that Hulls may have this year.  The only thing I worry about with that lineup (although I like it the most) is that CZ would get in foul trouble trying to help CWat.  CWat was terribly soft last year on post defense and too slow to guard a 3 so hopefully he’s bulked up this year and can guard the post.  I think he’ll do a better job.  If he does then this is definitely our best all around lineup.  If he can’t, then you have to have TP on the floor for post defense so CZ isn’t in constant foul trouble. 

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I haven’t seen Will since the ProAms.  Is his ball handling better?  This past summer he still had a high dribble and looked uncomfortable handling the ball while Vic’s dribble was lower and he looked much more comfortable.  I haven’t had the chance to watch them at HH or HHoH this fall so I’m not up-to-speed on their progress as much as some.  Would Will really be able to handle PG duties even sparingly against quick, defensively sound guards?

  • Devout Hoosier

    I wouldn’t worry about that yet.  I play a lot of basketball and can tell you that guard centric play, like IU has had over the last 3 years, build a mentality of create your own shot and pass to who gets open.  Well, the post is never open and the paint is always crowded.  You have to replace those muscle memories and flow of the game decisions.  The guards have to think angles and positioning (top, weak, strong side) to move the ball thru the post player.  It takes experience to do that in the real time speed of a game and not revert to finding your own shot or driving opportunity first.  They’ll get there, but it’ll take some time and we may not see an efficient system until B10 play.

  • IUHoops

    From what I saw last night Watford was the reason that CZ didn’t get any more shots than he did. When he was covering him in the first half he did a great job of denying him, as well as drawing the fouls that CZ picked up on the other end. When CW switched to the Crimson team in the second half CZ looked much better.

  • Anonymous

    Dane Fife played pretty good defense and I’d hate to put a stopwatch on the other participants in any footrace he won.

  • Anonymous

    No, but I do have a fridge full of Ice House.

  • Anonymous

    He was the primary ballhandler on his team at Hoosier Hysteria.  He had Daniel Moore on his team, and if I remember correctly, Remy, as well.

  • Anonymous

    While they’re similar in size, there’s quite a bit of difference in their games.  Pritchard will get plenty of time because he’s the only proven post defender on the roster.

  • Anonymous

    better attitude, though

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I think you’re right.  I heard about a practice where the team was scrimmaging from a friend and CTC stopped practice and told the players that their baskets (on CZ’s team) weren’t going to count unless Zeller touched the ball in a position to score during each possession! 

    That’s definitely pushing for him to be a focal point of the offense!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree but Dane Fife had quick hands and a very quick first step.  Coverdale was an adequate defensive player also but he also had a quick first step.  While I think Jordy has a chance to be the same way, I just don’t think that Watford or Jones have a quick first step.  They are very, very slow to react.  Now, they can put extra effort in and make up for some of that, but it’s just not a good defensive lineup when the three of them are on the floor together.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Thanks.  I hope he does develop into a strong ball handler (for that matter I hope VO does too!) because IU would be a totally different team if they could actually run the dribble drive offense effectively!

  • Anonymous

    I really like that lineup too but what about the fact that Crean has told everyone, including Cody, that he will not have to play the 5 unless it’s absolutely necessary. That fact was one of the first things out of Cody’s mouth when he made his college choice public too. People will say that there really aren’t spots or positions in Crean’s offense but if that is the lineup then something tells me that Cody will feel like he is playing the 5 spot regardless of the name it is given.

  • stonaroni

    Freshmen makes mistakes, I scream when a so, jr or sr make dumb mistakes.  If a freshman sees time on the floor as a freshman it means he is good enough to play and you take with the good with the bad…meaning their is an older player making more mistakes.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly what I told my friend on the way home from the scrimmage last night and one of the points I made in my pluses and minuses comment. You don’t just change something that you have trained yourself to make as a split second reaction by simply being told to do something different all of a sudden. Post position, passing angle and practice are required to make it work right and lots of that last part.

  • stonaroni

    As I have stated sevral times before, CTC is planning on running a 3 guard offense this year and transition to a 4 guard offense frequently based on match ups and tempo. 

    This will maximize shooters like JH, AE and Roth, get CW more touches on perimeter, let VO and WS hound the passing lanes and max CZ’s quickness and ability to run he floor.  VJIII can spell PG or SG

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. See my post above. If Cody is at the 4 that only leaves one option IMHO at the five, TP, and then that leaves only one option at the 3 if you want CW on the floor cause there isn’t any way he is playing the 1 or the 2. If Cody plays the 4 then that dictates 3/5 of the lineup. After that I think we are a much better team with JH at the point so really the only question mark is who ends up at the 2……IF Cody plays the 4.

  • stonaroni

    He is playing the #5 not C, there is a difference.  Our #5 in CTC offense is a PF who runs the floor  and plays out to 15 feet.  CTC sold him on a style of play since IU doesn’t run old school offenses where you have a 7 foot immobile center as a #5.

  • InTheMtns

    I agree, IUMike. I don’t think we’re going to see Cody playing the 5. At least not on the defensive end.

  • InTheMtns

    You are correct – we don’t and won’t have a Center. Look at the IU roster. No one is listed as a Center. There is no one listed as F-C, either. Just F and G’s. As you said, this style of offense doesn’t have a Center. Three other teams in the B1G don’t list a C or F-C either and neither do our friends south of the border. Still, though, as Raybert and IUMike noted, CTC did absolutely tell Cody he’d be playing the 4. CTC says a player’s position is defined by who he guards, so I take that to mean Cody will be guarding the other team’s 4 and not their 5. Leaving him free on the offensive end to do just as you said.

  • Anonymous

    The thing with Watford and Jones is that both are likely to be taller than whomever they are guarding, especially Watford.  That should provide them with the opportunity to be a step or so off so they don’t run the risk of being burned but I don’t know if either has taken advantage of that. 

  • Anonymous

    Somewhat off the subject, but speaking of centers, does anyone know where Guy ended up?

  • HoosierDadE

    I agree twice…

    I don’t really want Cody playing “D” against the other teams 5…but I would love to have the other teams 5 guard Cody.  That’s a “track meet” in our favor.