Oladipo: Hulls is our leader

  • 12/03/2011 9:06 pm in

The Hoosiers needed a basket.

They were ahead just 76-75 after an N.C. State basket Wednesday night, and the shot clock was running down. Somebody had to step up.

Jordan Hulls did.

The junior point guard hit a dagger 3-pointer as the shot clock was about the expire, effectively ending any chance of a Wolfpack win.

Hulls, who finished with a team-high 20 points, has become the Hoosiers’ undeniable leader on the floor early this season. When Christian Watford made a mistake in the game, Hulls was seen yelling at him to hustle back down the court.

“He’s our leader, man,” sophomore guard Victor Oladipo said. “He’s been working hard on his leadership skills, and it’s showing. We always listen to him, and he lets his actions speak for himself.

“I’m always going to listen to Jordan. He’s the ideal Hoosier. …Without him, we couldn’t win.”

The Hoosiers (7-0) will need more of Hulls’ leadership Sunday afternoon when they face a potential distraction game against Stetson. Indiana will welcome back members from its 1987 national championship team, and the current players will have a chance to interact with the champions.

Oh, and a date with No. 1 Kentucky looms less than a week away.

“That’s going to be an overwhelming experience,” Oladipo said of the ’87 championship team returning to Bloomington. “We gotta make sure we represent very well and all that kind of stuff. They speak for themselves. I mean, they’re a national championship team. I just can’t wait to meet them because I’m trying to be where they’re at.”

As far as distractions, Oladipo said this team is mature enough to handle them.

“Nothing’s going to distract us,” he said, “because at the end of the day, if we lose, that’s a real big loss for us because that’s the next game. The next game is the biggest game on our schedule.”

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  • Ron-in-FL.

    He just gets better and better every year. To see how much he has improved on his dribble drive and pull up jumper is awesome! He has the respect of the other players and uses it to get the best out of them.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Just a side note, but . . . in my opinion with PUke and Wisc losing today the Baylor vs. NW game tomorrow becomes very important to the B1G and the B1G’s RPI’s for teams like IU, MSU, and PUke down the road.  NW needs to upset Baylor at home.  And if they do, I could see there being teams rated in the top 25 from the B1G next week.  OSU, Wisc, Mich, ILL, IU, and NW could all be ranked next week with PUke and MSU still close or receiving votes. 

    I’m just thinking about stuff like this because if the B1G can hold it’s spot as the toughest conference in the country, it could help IU if they win a couple games on the road this year and finish at .500 in conference play because it will boost the SOS and RPI.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Oh, and Minn has been respectable, especially since losing Mbakwe and still winning.

  • Anonymous

    I’m really glad he will still be here as a senior when the new guys get here next year.  I feel that they are clearly talented but will need leadership.  Hopefully aside from leading them it will rub off and help them to be leaders in the future themselves.

  • Anonymous

    I really don’t think IU is going to be ranked. They haven’t beaten anyone yet. The N.C. State game was huge for the Hoosiers basketball team for the rest of the year (confidence wise I mean) and for the program, but meant almost nothing for them on a national scale in terms of ranking (it may have a factor if they’re a bubble team later on though). Illinois will more than likely be ranked, but too many other teams have made a better case to be ranked than IU has. They just need to keep winning. Of course this is all speculation and my opinion. I definitely hope they crack the top 25!

  • Anonymous

    I can’t see IU in the top 25 yet.  We did have a good win on the road for the programbut we didn’t beat a top 25 team.  Now when we beat “that team south of Indiana”….

    Vanderbilt and Gonzaga will most likely drop from the top 25 with MSU replacing one of them and you could make a case for ILL replacing the other.  OSU, Wisc, Mich should all stay in the top 25.  If NW could beat Baylor I think that would be huge for the B1G and they might be ranked as well.  I guess it all depends on which polls your looking at as well.

    I hope the B1G continues to win, looks good when it comes to selection Sunday.

  • Anonymous

    After the last 3 years……I could care less about ranking… that will come. What makes this team is the unselfishness… 5 different high scorers in 7 games…That is great to see! I really like that the opps have to pick their poison so to speak on defense..


    What we are about to find out this game is how good a Coach CTC really is, dont get me wrong no one could of done a better job getting hoosiers back to were we belong but now lets see how focused these kids are after the biggest win in 4 years and hosting the biggest game in less than a week.  They will dominate this game if there focused and monday we can focus on KY.  I need to see more of Elston in this game I want that in your face attitude offense and defense from him today.

  • Jordan is growing and doing everything CTC wants.  Think back to another player with similar skills – Mark Price (Georgia Tech/Cleveland Cavaliers) – same tools and mental toughness.  He needs to continue to grow, and together with VO and Will playing well the eneregy and chemistry is evolving.  CZ however is the key.  No one player has had the impact he has had as a freshman this yr (pUKe has a deeper support cast around Davis).  A 7 footer leading the team in steals in addition to everything else he does speaks for itself.
    Rankings don’t mean much.  I personally like Pomeroys, and also Dakich – who stated several times that IU is the 3rd best team in the B10, and I think that is possible but CWat needs to take a step fwd as does Elston.

  • Great point. The ’12 class is going to have some extremely important that the ’09 class never had. They’re going to have a group of upperclassmen to provide leadership in Hulls, VO, Sheehey, Elston and C-Wat to show them what it means to compete at this level, a group of upperclassmen that have been through the fire (maybe a worse fire than any other group) and came through on the other side. 

  • SHEEHEYisApimp

    I have watched a TON of basketball already this season, and not just the Hoosiers. I agree with DD that IU is the 3rd best team in the Big 10. Illinois should NOT be ranked. MSU is a toss up, but they’ll be in the Top 25 on reputation. I was telling my wife how IU would be ranked this coming week, her reply was, “does it even matter?” valid point! The longer we stay unbanked, the more the kids stay focused without the pressure of living up to the hype. If it were football, I’d be worried. IU by 30 today, and I’m predicting a 4 point game next Saturday!

  • SHEEHEYisApimp

    Oops, hit the post button before I was done. I’m going to be the first to point out I was wrong about Hulls after the 1st game. He looks as if he can hang with anyone, anytime, anywhere.

  • JerryCT

    After watching KY a few times this year I sense a few things perhaps we can take advantage of:

    + they appear to dislike going to the floor to get loose balls.

    + It appeared to me Davis did not like TZ blocking him out and his level of effort declined in the 2nd half

     They are very talented and play hard but they avoid the scrum.

    Perhaps our busy defense and some focus on blocking out we can make it a street fight giving us a chance to pull off a monumental win.

    Hulls had a great great game against NCSU . His frustration at not getting the charge call however causing him to yell at CW was WRONG and not an example of a good play. CW was fighting off Leslie trying to keep him from getting to a possible rebound. Covering the trailer when Hulls had the driver covered was in fact the right thing to do. 

  • JerryCT

    I noticed today that the Stetson game looks be streamed on First Row SPorts …………………………. at least it is on their schedule and I used it earlier to watch Evansville ……………… for free

  • Hey Jerry, I think we need to be careful not to get into a track meet with UK, since we’ve seemed to want to run a lot. This won’t go over big here, but one thing I’ve always liked about the Patriots of the 2000’s is that they can play multiple ways. Belicek is a master at getting his teams to play high scoring, low scoring defensive, finesse or physical. They can play and win a variety of styles of games.

    I’ve seen that a bit from this IU team and I think it’s a great thing. We ran with NC St. a bit and we also won a grind-it-out game with Butler. I think the key to beating UK will be to not try and run with them, as we don’t have the horses they do, but force them to play defense for most of the shot-clock, force them to play defense for stretches and since we’re deeper, play a physical style that gets them foul trouble. 

    We don’t have the athletes, but we have the depth, so getting them in foul trouble would be huge! 

  • Anonymous

    I think running on Kentucky is a good thing. They’re not deep and there’s a big drop off in talent from starters to reserves. Also, their half-court defense is pretty stout when Davis and Jones hang around the rim. I think they’re a team you want to run on and hope they’re running on fumes by the second half.

  • Anonymous

    This is the first time a Tom Crean led IU team has had a true consistent leader.  A leader is just so important to have.  I think Jordy’s leadership has a lot to do with our hot start.  All the attention goes to Zeller, which is fine because he is a huge part of the success, but Hulls certainly has played a big part in this turnaround.

  • We agree on the end game, let’s get them tired and lets get into their bench since they lack depth, we just disagree on how to do it.

    I think if you run on this UK team you run a huge risk of them scoring in bunches and in a way that produces a lot of highlights which could really snow ball on us and get us run off the floor quickly. These guys are 18-19 year old freshmen and supreme athletes, a little up and down basketball game with some alley-oops and fast breaks isn’t going to exhaust them. 

    I know they have a pretty good D, but I think the best way to wear them out is to slow down and get into a mental and physical half-court game with them. Force them to defend for the entire shot clock. Get them tired from having to play so much D that they get lazy and tired which often results in fouling as well. 

    That allows us to get into their bench, get their studs in foul trouble and gets us to line where we’ve actually excelled this year. 

  • IUJeff

    Elston needs to be a force on D and on the boards for us to beat UK. 

  • IUJeff

    Wrong maybe but CW seems to need a fire lit under him to play hard. Jordy is the man for the job.  

    I think no matter what style of game the UK game turns out to be, UK will be worn out in the last 5 minutes and our depth, toughness, and ability to execute will win out. 
    UK will come in overconfident and will go home w/ their tails between their legs.   

  • Anonymous

    Do you have a link to that?

    Never mind, I think I found it.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I think Vic is a prime example of a kid listening to his coach. I have no doubt that a lot of what Vic says about his teammates and his team are the same things Crean and his staff are telling the players. These guys have all bought in, big time, but you can really hear it in Vic’s comments.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the Hoosiers play so well as a cohesive unit. 

    Collectively, this has been one of my favorite IU teams to watch.

  • disclaimer: i am a UK fan. i read this site on occasion just to follow up on your team. and i’m not here to troll, just for some perspective. I am particularly fascinated by what your perceived weaknesses of UK are.  couple of thoughts: (1) re: slowing down offense and making UK play defense for the full clock. St. John’s did this and UK forced five shot clock violations in first half. a decent strategy but not a winning strategy by itself (2) you don’t want to get in a track meet with UK.  trust me, if UNC can’t beat UK this way, with utmost respect, IU probably isn’t going to be able to do that. (3) i haven’t see it from IU but if you don’t have a half-court zone defense, you probably need to add one. if there is one vulnerability, it’s their zone offense.  it’s better than when they play old dominion but still a work in progress.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Nice. I’m not confident the BTN free month is still going to work anymore anyway. 

  • Anonymous

    Awesome! Thanks Jerry.

  • disclaimer: i am a UK fan.  just seeking some fans thoughts here:  how do you perceive your matchups against UK?   who guards teague, lamb, kidd-gilchrist, jones, and davis?  i am fascinated by the zeller-davis matchup. 

  • Anonymous

    Roth doing that would be a good sign that IU is whipping that a••

  • Derbus

    Funny, people were saying the same thing about UNLV in the ’87 Final Four and we smoked them.

  • And we had a Final Four caliber team that year, we don’t this year. Different times, different scenario. 

  • Anonymous

    Yes IU is playing very well, but I only seen The Ohio State mention once & was to with rankings! Do not get me wrong I love watching & have ever sense the melt down! But they are a merging sapling in the world of college basketball as a team! Lets let them wade into the deep in before we go off half cock here!