The Minute After: UMBC

  • 12/22/2011 8:45 pm in

Thoughts on a 89-47 win over the Retrievers:

Indiana was getting good outside shots in the first half.

The Hoosiers just weren’t hitting them against UMBC’s zone, as they only made 2-of-14 from 3-point range. Still, they were able to carry a 16-point lead into halftime by scoring 24 of their 37 points off UMBC turnovers. And by the time the second half rolled around, Indiana found its 3-ball stride and never looked back. They hit 9-of-13 from beyond the arc in the second half. Christian Watford went off — he shot 7-of-8 in the second half and ended the game with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Matt Roth (4-of-5 from 3-point range) scored a season-high 14 points. It all resulted in another blowout victory after UMBC was able to cut the lead to 10 early in the second half.

But as Indiana now heads into conference play at 12-0, there’s some concern. Will Sheehey, who’s been a strong sixth man for the Hoosiers, watched the game on the bench. He’s on crutches. Derek Elston took in the action with sweats on. He’s got tape on a broken nose. And Verdell Jones went down with what looked like a hip injury near the end of the first half, and he never returned to action or the bench after halftime.

Indiana faced and passed tests against the likes of Butler, NC State, Kentucky and Notre Dame.

And now it looks as if a new one has emerged: keeping their winning ways afloat amidst a sea of injuries.

Elston shouldn’t be out long. And Tom Crean said after tonight’s game that both Sheehey and Jones are day to day. But if they’re unable to go next week, Crean may be using a lot more Roth, Remy Abell and Austin Etherington in his rotation as Big Ten season approaches next week. That’s a 3-point specialist and two freshman.

This isn’t to say the Hoosiers can’t still put up strong battles against Michigan State and Ohio State without them. But it is to say if Jones and Sheehey — two of Indiana’s top six rotation players — aren’t able to play against either of them, things do get harder for this team.

ONE PARTING THOUGHT

I usually don’t comment on the play-by-play or color broadcasters. But I must admit: Perry Clark really did it for me this evening on the color call. He described Tom Crean’s offensive and defensive sets in greater detail than anyone else this season and overall was just a real knowledgeable dude who didn’t have any gimmicks. And this was on an ESPN3/Watch ESPN broadcast, no less.

So yes: Here’s to you, Coach Clark.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    VJIII’s brain fades frustrate me as much as anyone. My record in the various live chats document this. But: I think we can overheat that angst and make the mistake of thinking his absence will be a positive or at least a net neutral thing. As many mistakes as he makes, his presence is a good thing, his absence a bad one.

    Despite some really silly plays, he’s still a decently athletic guard (no Oladipo, certainly, but no Moore either) that merits real defense to be played against him. If opponents will let him run wild, those shots will eventually fall, and they can’t let that happen.
    Let’s also remember who gave Wat the assist at the end of the Kentucky game. Yes, I admit, my heart fell out of my chest when I saw him bring it up, but he had the presence of mind to find the open guy. He’s every bit responsible for winning that game as Watford was. 

    And let’s also not forget this one thing: He works to feed Zeller. Ok, yes, half the time he’ll make 2 or 3 mistakes on the way to doing that, but if Zeller’s on the floor, Jones looks for him. 

    I wish he’d tighten up his floor discipline too. I wish he’d learn that 95% with some thinking is better than 110% all-out with no floor recognition. I wish he’d not take those really brain dead shots. We all wish that. But at the same time, I feel we make a mistake in thinking he’s a detriment. 

  • Kaponya13

    Sorry to go off topic  ,but I cant help but notice the 5 National Championship banners in the background of the above picture, and how majestic they look ..Just saying  🙂   

  • Anonymous

    Yes, this. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to watch the game, so I don’t know the entire context surrounding what he said, but: I think the thrust of such a statement is that it’s a change from recent history back to what Indiana basketball used to be. 

    As much as I hate to say this (since I was one of the loud fans backing the players who wanted him to stay), I think the slackness actually started under Davis. It was mere slack, though, mere lack of discipline, not outright ugliness like it was under Sampson. But it started there. So really, that culture change is a bit more than recent history; it’s actually been a while since IU basketball has been IU basketball. Crean’s team feels as though it’s restoring a great deal of that sense of Hoosier self. 

  • Anonymous

    LOL… for every game from here on out, I’m going to Tweet “Somewhere, some ESPN guy just pronounced it ‘Olapido'”. 😉

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    You were at practice?

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    You were at practice?

  • Anonymous

    I think the debate is actually more interesting than the announcer realized.  Shocking, I know, that the guy who had Roth’s birthday AND hometown wrong, and then went back to that well of info multiple times.  But I digress.

    The idea of Crean changing the culture, and bringing IU basketball back, has always kind of fascinated me, because the depths that Sampson sank the program into kind of masked the fact that when Sampson took over, IU basketball was considered to be at a low point even then.  As it was when Davis took over following Knight’s firing, and as it was through the latter part of Knight’s career here.  Indiana hasn’t been relevant in the same way that it was from, say, Knight’s early highs through the early 90’s.  It was in a steady decline for much longer than is normally remembered due to the fact that Sampson bottomed things out to such a ridiculous degree.  

    It kind of makes what Crean has a chance to do this year and over the next four years even more impressive.  So I do look at it as a culture change, based on that perspective.

    I guarantee that the play by play guy had none of that in mind, but that’s not really the point.

  • Kaponya13

    I wish IU would be 100% healthy by Christmas ;P    Feel better ?   Haha 

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I love RA but yes he is still a freshman in progression. He improves every game. Is he ready for BIG TEN play? No way but he will get his chance I am sure. I love his upside and if he continues to improve he will contribute this season. I still believe he is going to be the piece we weren’t counting on in the future.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Subtitles for above post:

    Exactly! Hell, T Bone Pickens, or whatever his name is donated an estimated sum of 1 billion dollars to Oklahoma State University. Come on Mark! Cough it up brother!

    Sorry, my DROID does crap like that and it drives me crazy!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Wrong! There was a Sampson Culture at IU. Fortunately it has now moved to Xavier and IU has the Crean Culture. It is a big change for the good!

  • Anonymous

    He made 8/10 FT! In 12-14 minutes of play. That is called forcing the defense into mistakes as you drive to the rim. IU needs more, not less of that type of play. Now if he can keep that attacking mentality and make assists that will be even better. But he IS a freshman.

  • Anonymous

    Yea well I’m sure Crean didn’t say to do it with more than one man guarding him. He’s not that quick or clever..but I like his D and his FT ability. Unfair to throw him in starting conference play..but that’s why he put on the candy pants.

  • Anonymous

    Yea well I’m sure Crean didn’t say to do it with more than one man guarding him. He’s not that quick or clever..but I like his D and his FT ability. Unfair to throw him in starting conference play..but that’s why he put on the candy pants.

  • JohnFromBeyond

    Well said. I also feel like if his minutes were decreased to about 20, he would focus a little better and avoid those bonehead plays, and we would get more of the “good Verdell”. But zero minutes from him is probably not good for the team.

  • JohnFromBeyond

    And this time ESPN didn’t just list the top 3 recruits for 2012, they listed all 5. Finally.

  • Derbus

    You are kidding right?!  The epitome of an IU basketball player is one who learns to stop making the same mistakes and ALWAYS plays team basketball.  VJ is still learning that in year 4 and as someone posted above should have no more than 20 mintues so he can focus and be the BEST player he can be game in and game out.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I believe he has a lot more than we think. I enjoy your posts but I am not going to degrade a freshman’s mental capacity like that. If he wasn’t capable CTC would not have brought him to Bloomington. Let’s not starting hacking him like that. He is on our side.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I believe he has a lot more than we think. I enjoy your posts but I am not going to degrade a freshman’s mental capacity like that. If he wasn’t capable CTC would not have brought him to Bloomington. Let’s not starting hacking him like that. He is on our side.

  • don’t think this is the panacea you suppose it to be…cryotherapy has been around for a long time.  I use this to treat malignancies – ie to kill cells…these injuries take time to heal….

    We really need the depth to be competitive and I think Elston will be OK – hopefully he will be a force and not passive since we could use the 6’9″ inside and we have plenty of players on the periphery.  He should have the mindset to be our best rebounder – but he wants to be a 3 instead.

    Will – is the key.  Great talent and we really need him.

    VJIII – need his experience, he also knows how to penetrate and he is my most improved this season.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I have a neighbor “John Wood”.   He say’s he was a 20/20 guy.  Meaning down or up 20 he would play.  He played on the 1950 squad as a freshmen and his jurior year he was drafted for the war and would have an 1953 Championship ring if he wasn’t drafter. 
    As a former player, all former players are allowed to attend closed practices.  He went to several for all of the coaches, RMK, Davis, no name and got me in to some of those practices as a guest.  He told me he knew exactly when the program change until Knight and it was when Davis was brought in and during the 92 season he would sit more than coach and relied on his staff to do most of that function.  And if memory serves us right that is about the time our program started to slip.  Just an FYI.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    All I want for Christmas is a healthy IU squad.  No more injuries.   I can’t remember of a two year span with this many….can you?

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Also CTC mention he should have went deeper into his bench on the pUKe game.  Actually first mistake that he has really admitted.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    CTC also said “Remy has the strongest legs on the team”.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I concur…sheehey will need more recovery time, imo.  Not enough facts.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I concur…sheehey will need more recovery time, imo.  Not enough facts.

  • Anonymous

    Pomeroy

    IU = #6

    http://kenpom.com/

  • Bleeding Crimson

    You think Sheehey improved over Vic?  I think Vic numbers are just a little better maybe because of playing time but he has taken it to a new level and he couldn’t hit a FT last year.
    Vic 240 min FG% .535, 3pt%.44, FT%.71, Reb 5.0, Ast 15, TO 18, Blk 4, Stl 16,Pts 10.6
    Sheehey 205min FG%.474, 3pt% .44, FT% .74, Reb 3.5, Ast, 14, TO 15, Blk 1, Stl 4, Pts 10.6.
    I think they both have improved greatly and it really too close to call but my hat goes to Vic.
    IMHO as yours.

  • Derbus

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/player/_/id/51309/matt-carlino
    Carlino is having a solid start, whatever happened to our pursuit of him?

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I am not creating the notion. If cold does not remedy and help injuries why get in ice tubs? Alternate between hot and cold after 24 hours. If Will is the key then we need him don’t we????

    http://www.weldingandgasestoday.org/blogs/Devin-OToole/index.php/tag/cryogenic-chamber/

  • Anonymous

    He’s also a leader as well as one of our starters. Him not playing affects this team’s attitude.

  • Kentc

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again.  I LOVE this team.  Even the General would have to appreciate the team’s effort and team-first attitude.

  • Kentc

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again.  I LOVE this team.  Even the General would have to appreciate the team’s effort and team-first attitude.

  • Anonymous

    Can still tell they’re sophomores with that assist to turnover ratio.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Cracks me up that Xavier has been whooped twice since the brawl!!!

    HA

  • Indiana Native

    Who really cares about Xaivier unless we actualy are playing them. Well since you said that anyways, I still cannot believe Xaivier lost to Oral Roberts.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe we should look at Remy (and possibly Austin) in this setting:  it’s the 2008/2009 season and Remy is a freshman.  How many minutes would he have played on that team.  I say probably 30+ minutes.  Because of this year’s upper classmen that is not going to happen.  Now he has a chance to watch and learn from better players.  Yes he is a freshman and sometimes plays like one.  He will play better and play more minutes as this season progresses.  I think he is a very good pick-up for IU.  I love his defensive effort.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    This is the main reason why I love this site…you learn so much and can’t think of everythng.  Good post.

  • Anonymous

    I do think, for all of his shortcomings, Mike Davis is probably as good of a person as you’ll find in college basketball and I do hope he has success at UAB.

  • Anonymous

    I do think, for all of his shortcomings, Mike Davis is probably as good of a person as you’ll find in college basketball and I do hope he has success at UAB.

  • Anonymous

    Look at Louisville past couple of years if you want to see a rash of injuries.

  • Anonymous

    I know one thing–when these two are seniors everybody on the team’s going to listen to them.

  • Anonymous

    Too bad he’s too selfish and stubborn to say it out loud.

  • Matt k

    Way to go derbus getting on the case of a 78 year old lady…show some respect

  • Hoosierdaddy

    I’ve only been an Iu fan for the last five years when I chose to go cross country to this school, best decision I ever made.

    My question is this: were IU fans as critical with bob knight in terms of play calling, rotation, player loyalty and all things Indiana basketball as we are with CTC? Did they get on him also? IU fans are generally knowledgeable and love the game of BB so I’m wondering if knight got a pass alot of the time because he was kind of treated like a Demi-god. Something I’ve been wondering for a long time…

  • HoosierES

    Much like Duke fans would never question Coach K, IU fans rarely questioned Knight’s basketball decisions at the time. Most criticism these days is in hindsight.

  • HoosierES

    Much like Duke fans would never question Coach K, IU fans rarely questioned Knight’s basketball decisions at the time. Most criticism these days is in hindsight.

  • Christopher

    I was always a little appalled at how students treated Davis near the end. 

  • Anonymous

    Who cares?

  • Anonymous

    Because Knight didn’t kiss up to them, attacks on Knight from the press were continual, repetitive, vindictive, and generally not based on fact.  Those naifs who somehow believe that members of the press report (on any subject) objectively believed this gross caricature of him, and thought he was evil incarnate.  The rest of us saw him as he was, an individual with flaws, certainly, but whose good features outweighed the bad.  Only the most delusional, usually members of the press, failed to recognize his nearly unparalleled knowledge of the game.