Morgan, Hartman set to play against UNC, Johnson hopeful

  • 03/24/2016 4:05 pm in

PHILADELPHIA – If the decision is left up to him, Robert Johnson is ready to give it a go on Friday when Indiana tips off against North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen.

Johnson’s left ankle injury, which he re-aggravated in IU’s second round NCAA tournament win over Kentucky in Des Moines, slowed him down in practice this week.

On Thursday, Johnson said he rehabbed 2-3 times a day this week, and was limited in practice to certain drills. He stayed out of live action for precautionary reasons.

“If it is up to me I am definitely going to play,” Johnson said. “But I think it’ll be a game-time decision based on how the coaches and the trainers feel.”

The trainers don’t want to rush Johnson back just to have him further damage the ankle.

“They know how I feel as far as the risk of things,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the ankle has been a lingering issue since the Duke game on Dec. 2, and has never gone fully away. It’s been nagging at him, but it hasn’t hurt his game too much.

“I’m not 100 percent, but then again I haven’t been 100 percent for a lot of the year,” Johnson said. “If it was up to me I’d be out there.”

During Indiana’s open practice today, Johnson was on the floor wearing a brace on his ankle. He didn’t do much running, but did partake in shooting drills – mostly from long distance. It’s safe to say the ankle hasn’t disrupted his shooting ability after watching Johnson hit a bevy of 3s.

Juwan Morgan says he will play

Juwan Morgan says the shoulder injury he has been battling won’t keep him out of the Sweet 16 and that he will be playing.

He said he doesn’t think about the injury during games, and doesn’t let it dictate his play, which is why he probably keeps re-injuring it.  The freshman forward also had stitches in between his eyes that he needed from getting banged up in practice.

Hartman’s wrist improving 

The wrist injury that Collin Hartman suffered against Michigan in Indianapolis has improved greatly, Hartman said on Thursday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

“It’s good,” Hartman said. “Taking it day-by-day, getting more and more treatment. Staying on top of things and keeping it moving.”

Hartman joked that the team doctors don’t get much sleep with all the injuries the team has sustained in recent weeks.

“They have their hands full definitely,” Hartman said. “They’re doing a great job keeping us going.”

Hartman said he’s looking forward to the matchup against North Carolina, and noted how the chemistry of the team has really helped keep them pushing forward for each other.

“We’re all excited for the Sweet Sixteen,” Hartman said. “It’s another chance to play, another day to practice and another chance to be with each other. All these guys love each other, we’re a really, really tight knit group and just having the opportunity to play another game is a gift to us.”

He also said IU has handled the win over Kentucky well, and is looking forward to being able to play another power program in UNC.

“If you keep dwelling on a loss, or stay too high on a victory than it can bite you the next game,” Hartman said. “You have to learn from the loss or victory, but the next game is the next game. You can’t take it any less or any more serious than the previous game.”

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  • Koko

    RJ’s ankle been bothering him since the Duke game? Wow I didn’t know that.
    Man you gotta love this team. Injuries?…..yah so what. Lol.

  • HoosierDawg

    Sure wouldn’t have thought in December I would ever say this-but what a tough, focused team. I love the way they have handled adversity. 2 down, 4 to go. LET’S GO RED!!!!!!

  • Fifer39

    Hopeful, day-to-day, definitely probable – how many different ways to keep us guessing??!! But great attitude from all 3. What a tough and together group. Man they deserve a deeper run.

  • ’11Hoosier

    Love the heart in these guys.

    I don’t think Hartman or Juwan are going to be massive issues…as long as we can put big men on the court for defensive purposes, I think they will serve their role. The closer Robert is to 100%, the better we can contain these guards and get some extra points on offense.

  • ForeverIU

    If Rob feels ready then he should absolutely play. What would we be saving him for, a Saturday scrimmage in Bloomington? LOL.

  • An ankle that is already weakened by injury is a prime candidate for a fracture.. So, yeah, we may be saving him for his future ability to play basketball.. Do ya think we’ll want him next year?

  • vicbert caladipo

    Love the picture, LA and RJ. LA is like one of the players and gives great support. Sooo let’s see…..Max and JM coming off of early injuries and JM doesn’t play the first few games. Cue up TB and lingering foot issues, especially in Maui. Then JBJ goes down for the year with a knee. Next up NZ dislocates a finger. Then we find out today RJ’s ankle hasn’t been 100% almost all year. CH has had a black eye, stitches, an illness, and now a wrist injury. Yogi has been clothes lined, poked in the eye. and has gotten up limping a few times. OG has been poked in the eye, got his nose bloodied, been whacked in the dome more than once, rolled his ankle and what looked like a quad bruise the last game. Have I left anyone who plays much out? No team in college ball has gone through the adversity we have… yet…..Here we are. Even Coach had a lil gash on his forehead. The medical team deserves the Mash award. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and this is the strongest toughest team IU has ever had. Hats off to the entire team. And that’s why we will beat NC, they have no clue how tough we are.

  • ForeverIU

    Oh, please, just let him play. He wants to play. Anyone can get a fracture.

  • inLinE6

    Man, Morgan is tough.

  • So he was ‘slowed in practice’.. but lets just put him out there, never mind that even their slowest player is able to drive around him for easy buckets.. never mind we give up 6 or 8 crucial points because he just can’t keep up on defense, because it’s bothering him.. Ok, Coach put him in.. FIU says it’s ok, so go ahead and play him. Or wait… should we listen to what the trainers are saying?.

  • ForeverIU

    Thanks for intervening with Coach! He never listens to me.

  • chris

    not since Tom Coverdale’s, has the state of Indiana been so focused on an ankle sprain.

  • Hardwood83

    Agreed, I separated my shoulder once, it was very unpleasant. I certainly didn’t want to play basketball right away.

  • BL

    Whoa, players with high ankle sprains are actually much more susceptible to serious injury. Thankfully, RJ has docs and trainers that won’t let him go unless the risk of more serious injury is minimal. Game is huge but not more so than the kid’s future.

  • BL

    Anyone have a link to the video showing RJ practicing?

  • Aaron Miller

    Man I remember reading medical articles and trying to make sense of xray pictures when tracking Coverdale’s ankle during that run! The guy just gutted it out, loved him and that team.

  • ForeverIU

    Let RJ live on the perimeter and take 3s. Minimize or eliminate his drives to the basket, which is where he always re-injures himself.

  • ForeverIU

    You guys are getting all righteous on me! The kid is DYING to play.

  • BL

    Hope your right and he probably will but “anyone can get a fracture”? C’mon Forever, that ain’t like you.

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    He’s “dying” to play but I’d rather he not “kill” his career.

  • IULore

    Troy took a knee to the thigh.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Forgot TW. He as much as anyone should be on the mash unit. He is on the deck more than anyone. He might be the toughest player on the team side by side with Yogi. On senior night Yogi even spoke of them fighting. TW is one bad man. NC better watch out for Troy.

  • DB

    Nice comeback ?

  • marcusgresham

    Every time I think about it I get angry. IU was decimated for phone calls but UNC commits academic fraud and gets a #1 seed.

  • ForeverIU

    He creme’d me!

  • ForeverIU

    Those of you who will not be in Bloomington, eat your hearts out. I will be celebrating on Kirkwood after midnight tomorrow. LOL.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    You better be!!! Have a great time. So far no seed upsets in the first 4 games of the sweet 16. Hmmmmmm? Makes me wonder?

  • ForeverIU

    Maryland is sucking at shooting, especially the 3. They just don’t have the mettle. We, on the other hand, are a group of winners! I can’t wait. Crean and staff got those kids to believe in themselves.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Agreed! The less upsets going into the IU game mathematically helps. I think. Can’t remember no upsets in the Sweet. You have a great time in Btown my friend. Long day ahead of you and Happy Easter.

  • ForeverIU

    Thanks, same to you! I’ll see you on ITH I’m sure. I’ll be texting in my comments.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    There is something amiss about the UNC investigation. The NCAA was in and penalized IU in 8 months. UNC is going on 2.5 years without Ncaa comment and with a much more serious issue.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Marcus hello. Everyone on ITH obviously is aware of the infractions done by UNC, UL , SYC and of course UK. For me it is impossible to put into words the bad ces the NCAA allows and their disciplinary path or time frame. Therefore I hope we kick UNC as$ soon because of that alone. You are dead on.

  • Old_Time_Hoosier

    I don’t know if it’s the toughest team IU has ever had, but it’s the toughest team in a looong time. I should know, I’ve been watching them a loooong time.

  • Old_Time_Hoosier

    North Carolina, Indiana, NCAA tournament. Nuff said. Let the game begin

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Amen to that. On Good Friday also!

  • Darrell Allen

    Hartman is a starter for a reason! He’s a key component to this team on both ends of the court! It hurts the team when his 3-pt shooting is subpar because of his wrist injury!

  • Unfortunately, while I appreciate the sentiment, RJ is needed most for his defense. And defense will be key in this game. Gotta have healthy kids who can move out there.

  • SO, I’m betting your kids were or are dying to drink beer (not too sure how old your sons or daughters are), or even have s*x before they should.. did you still let them? Sure he wants to play, we all want him to, but you have to listen to the trainers and medical people and do what’s best for the future of the kid.. and that may not necessarily be, just what he wants to do.

  • Sure, make him one dimensional, would he even be allowed to guard his man under your scenario? And what if his man goes to the basket, should he follow him or just let him go? Come on man, wake up and smell the coffee.

  • PalmettoHoosier

    JM gets stitches from a practice scrum during a week where he is trying to rehab a shoulder, again! That sounds like a tough guy to me!

  • cooper

    All hands on deck. Have the full offseason to recuperate. Shoot it up and let’s go

  • bleeding crimson

    Pretty good come back.

  • bleeding crimson

    WE don’t even know the injuries that may have happen to each and every player, heck the entire team should be called the Mash unit that will smash their opponent.

  • bleeding crimson

    You may be older the ole man, I’ve been watching since 76, but I’m pretty sure i’m younger than ole man. I have a friend of mine that was on the 1950 team but he was a 20 point player. That’s how I get into the practices, you either have to be invited or a former player.

  • bleeding crimson

    I agree with both just transition them in and out when appropriate RoJo on off and NZ on D, Nicks D has really come along lately. I know that would almost be impossible to do but I like the idea.

  • bleeding crimson

    Well of course, the media and NCAA dislikes IU, we probably sped up our process by turning ourselves in and once again it was just phone call that two years later the NCAA took out of their rule book.

  • bleeding crimson

    If we win he will either stumble into Easter or not show up at all.

  • ForeverIU


  • ForeverIU

    I have a 7-year-old. I taught him to think for himself. I don’t deprive him of stuff, and if it’s bad for him he feels it. He says the FF should stand for Fantastic Four, and he thinks we are a Fantastic team. You’re talking as if I have any say in whether he plays or not. I’m just saying the kid probably knows his own body more than anyone, and he wants to play.

  • Understand.. I know you have absolutely no say in it.. I just think your position on this isn’t what may be in the best interests of the kid or the team. He can’t read the x-rays, he can’t watch his own performance. He admitted, his mobility isn’t affected too much. But it is affected.. How much is too much? Hopefully the medical people, the trainers and the coaches will feel he can perform effectively and not risk further injury and he’ll get to play. No doubt we need him.