Sampson’s first radio show

I went to Yogi’s tonight and watched Sampson’s radio show. He was very articulate in answering questions from fans.

I could give you a comparison of him versus the previous Hoosier coach in that regard, but I don’t need anymore phone calls like a couple I got the last time I compared Sampson and Davis. I haven’t seen people that worked up since I was at Yogi’s for Eric Gordon’s coronation there when it was still just a rumor that he might change his mind and choose IU.

Here are some highlights of Sampson’s remarks on his show:

He said the Hoosiers will get better by playing a tough series of games, in which four of the next five opponents won at least 19 games last season: Duke (34-2), followed by Charlotte (19-13), Western Illinois (7-21), Kentucky (22-13) and Southern Illinois (22-11).

“I like this next stretch of games because we’ll see what we’re made of,” Sampson said.

Sampson said this Hoosier team is one that will improve all season and he likes what he envisions by the end of the season.

“I think this team is going to be good,” he said. “I really do.”

One of the biggest tasks in early games will continue to be figuring out roles, he said, including which players are best as starters and which are best off the bench.

Between now and the Duke game, an area of emphasis in practice will be improving offensive execution, he said.

“We need to get in sync offensively,” Sampson said. “When you run your offense, a good defensive team is going to take something away. We need to work on our counters.”

Sampson had comments about many of the Hoosier players:

He said that Armon Bassett’s 0-for-9 performance on 3-pointers so far is nerves. “He’s every bit as good a 3-point shooter as Stemler. He just hasn’t hit one yet.”

Sampson said D.J. White looked the most comfortable Sunday that he’s looked in a game so far. He praised White for getting 11 rebounds and was pleased that White went after 19 rebounds, which is the most he’s ever chased after in a game.

He said he needs to do a better job of coaching Ben Allen to feel confident playing inside because the Hoosiers need his size. “He’s a kid that if we’re going to progress this year, he needs to progress with us.”

One reason for starting Joey Shaw is that Shaw drives to the basket and can draw fouls, Sampson said. Shaw is a guy that Sampson said he didn’t envision as a possible starter before the season, but he likes how Shaw has practiced.

Lance Stemler has a knack for getting open, Sampson said. “Good players always get open. Kids who can’t play never get open.”

Sampson said Mike White and Xavier Keeling aren’t likely to both see regular playing time, so one of them probably has to beat the other out.

Sampson said he really appreciates the attitude and character of the players he inherited at Indiana, but some of them lack confidence. “Kids who have high self-esteem are easy to motivate.”


  1. Coach Sampson also said it is a previledge to play for Indiana and the players need to understand that.

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