Notebook: Short handed Hoosiers prepare for Michigan State

  • 01/20/2017 9:35 pm in

As it prepares to host a young and physical Michigan State team on Saturday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Indiana is running thin on frontcourt depth.

It was announced Friday afternoon that sophomore OG Anunoby will have surgery and miss the remainder of the season after the knee injury he sustained in Wednesday’s 78-75 win over Penn State. Anunoby, one of Indiana’s most dynamic players, joins senior leader Collin Hartman as the second Hoosier who is out for the season.

“Needless to say it’s been a long couple of days for everybody,” Tom Crean said on Friday. “But that’s the beauty about this program and this team is the support they have for one another. I’m very proud of them for that, it’s not easy getting ready for a game and being there for a teammate going through something he’s never gone through before.”

With Anunoby out for the season, Indiana is going to need more out of several guys, including Zach McRoberts and De’Ron Davis.

McRoberts was asked about how his role will increase with Anunoby’s absence on Friday.

“I don’t think any roles are going to change,” he said. “I think just a lot of guys are going to have to come together with a team effort, not individually, but a team effort to pick up what we won’t get from OG anymore.”

Morgan “doubtful” for Saturday, Priller ineligible

Sophomore Juwan Morgan did not dress on Wednesday night after suffering a right foot injury in Sunday’s win over Rutgers.

On Friday, Crean didn’t sound optimistic that Morgan would be available on Saturday afternoon against the Spartans. While not ruling Morgan out completely, Crean said it’s “doubtful” he’ll play.

“Bottom line is that we have to really be a team that can develop and get better everyday, we don’t have a choice now,” Crean said. “Everybody that plays needs to do the very best job they can do to make the job simpler for the other guys. We have to pick up on our defense and our rebounding especially.”

Tim Priller is also “unavailable” to travel and play. Priller has not traveled for Indiana’s last two road games and hasn’t played since Dec. 19. He is available to dress at home, but is ineligible to play because of an issue related to progress to degree. Indiana is appealing to restore the eligibility of Priller, who is pursuing two majors.

Blackmon’s buzzer-beater a turning point?

There’s no doubt Blackmon’s game-winner on Wednesday gave IU a much-needed victory on a night that had plenty of adversity.

The victory gave the Hoosiers their first road win in Big Ten play and brought them back to .500 in conference play after a 1-3 start. But Crean isn’t calling it a turning point yet.

“I don’t really think you can define it as a breakthrough moment until you’re looking back at the season at the end of the year,” he said. “The moments always manifest themselves from where we can go from there. But to overcome the emotion we all had and then to deal with losing the lead, they never lost their poise, they never flinched. That was a great sign of a team getting better.

“That night we took those steps and executed perfectly at the last play of the game. We never panicked and I hope that’s something they can take with them as we move forward.”

Crean talks Michigan State

Michigan State, which has lost two of its last three games, is coming off a 72-67 loss last Sunday at Ohio State.

The Spartans, coached by Hall of Famer Tom Izzo, are one of the least experienced teams in the Big Ten, but have a lot of talent in their freshmen class.

“They’re hitting their stride. (Miles) Bridges looks confident and very effective,” Crean said. “The freshmen have really grown up compared to when we watched them in Honolulu back in November.”

“They are getting to play so many minutes now and you can see that in them. They really don’t have a great drop off when they go to the bench, but they don’t get bored with what they’re trying to execute. They are one of the more physical teams in country and we have a ton of respect for their program. It’s up to us to figure out our way to win.”

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  • Pman

    I believe progress towards degree means he either he did not take enough hours last semester, did not finish a class, or flunked a class. Any of the above and my parents would have sent me to local college and no more Bloomington. Come on Priller we want some late game highlights.

  • BKLock

    OG, we are praying for you and for very successful surgery and recovery.

    Last year the team rallied and came together when JBJ went down with a knee injury. I am also hoping that they are able to have similar success the remainder of this season.

  • Even if OG could play again this season, I’m glad they announced now that he won’t. He deserves a shot at a pro career. He didn’t overcome his negs in this short year but still has tons of potential

  • Guyton25

    I love OG and hate to see him go down, and we’ll sincerely miss his presence on defense.. but I’m pretty baffled they’re playing around with the idea that he might still be a lottery pick. I figured everyone would realize they over-reacted about his current talent based off 3 final games last season and he’d kind of be on the bubble for being drafted if he stayed healthy and didn’t improve the rest of the season. I guess the NBA scouts just love his style and measurements too much. He’s the ideal kind of player that defines the modern image of a NBA player. I wish him the best!

  • jayrig5

    With NCAA rules involved, that’s not really a fair assumption. I could imagine a scenario where the double major throws off the timeline. I have a hard time believing that with the academic advisers and how on top of APR Crean has been, that he wouldn’t have taken enough hours or finished a class or failed a class. If he had, there wouldn’t be much to appeal, and he probably wouldn’t be dressing like it was nothing at home games.

  • Shaggy_C

    Yep, I could imagine adding a second major your junior year could really cause some issues; I did the same thing at IU and if you had looked at my transcript the day after I added a BA in Spanish it would look like I was way behind as I had only taken one Spanish class per semester up until that point. A semester abroad fixed all of that very quickly, though in Priller’s case he won’t have that luxury. I’m surprised that the advisors let him add the major without doing the requisite coursework to ensure that he could stay eligible – seems like someone was a bit asleep at the wheel.

    A bummer, because we need some frontcourt depth and a 6’9″ guy who has three years of experience in a Crean offense would be a nice addition.

  • jayrig5

    For sure, though I could also imagine a scenario where the Indiana staff, basketball and academic, did everything correctly and the NCAA still messed up their ruling, because NCAA.

  • You’re wrong. It can mean a lot of things, outlined here:

  • SidelineSportsNetwork

    Odd that Priller isn’t eligible. I am guessing it is just some stupid NCAA rule.

  • pcantidote

    I’m sure I just missed the news, but I don’t ever recall hearing that Hartman is definitely done for the year. Was that announced?

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    This team wasn’t playing very well with OG and Juwan,so without them with the team it’s going to be tough.

  • JethroTroll

    “The night is darkest just before the dawn”
    I’m looking for a spirited effort from the Hoosiers today. We’re going to find out what they’re made of today.

  • RDD#76

    I know they said he is going after 2 majors so let’s punish that kid? Some of the NCAA rules are mind boggling sometimes.

  • Bruce Clark

    Praying for OG and Morgan. I see this as an opportunity to try out various roster options. Looking forward to DD in the post with TB as the 4 and JBJ, RJ and JN as the starters. Green, CuJo, McSwain and McRoberts will get lots of time to work on their games which I believe will help us both this year and next. Maybe see Gelon and Jager get some floor time?


    Oh, now the ncaa doesn’t ever make mistakes…huge purple font

  • Missing Moye

    Yeah, I’m wondering the same.

  • Gdaddy

    This may sound dumb, but having these bigger guys go down may make us play faster and more within Crean’s system. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the offensive efficiency increase

  • I don’t think so. These aren’t slow big guys we’re talking about.. There’s no two ways about it–we lose a ton without OG and JM, and some other kids are really going to have to step up.

  • I think we know what we have with DD, and so the real uncertainty revolves around the two McBrothers. Can McRoberts add a scoring threat to everything else he brings? And can McSwain play more in control and continue to channel OG like he did at PSU on the put-back dunk?

  • Kwang

    Yes it was and Crean said a redshirt is available to him if he wants it.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Nothing would be more “beautiful ” or “choice” than IU winning the game against MSU. Win it, especially with all the sad turmoil centering around OG, then regroup, move forward as a team.

  • Gdaddy

    That’s true, JM is very efficient. Guess I’m just hoping our 3 point shooting picks up