Indiana 65, Illinois 61 (Final)

Clutch free throws by Calloway finish it off.

A note of interest: Weber and Sampson did shake hands briefly after the game, but the rest of the coaching staffs for each team did not. Hmmm.

Anyway, we’ll have more here in a little bit, including audio of the post-game press conferences.


19.2, second half: Indiana 63, Illinois 61

McBride got open. He just missed it.

He’ll get another shot here. Sampson just ran onto the court to give D.J. White some extra instructions.


33.4, second half: Indiana 62, Illinois 61

McBride is the likely shooter here for Illinois. What will Indiana do to him?


1:14, second half: Illinois 61, Indiana 60

Wilmont just thought about it too much on that missed lay up.


2:01, second half: Illinois 61, Indiana 58

Want to know what type of player Lance Stemler is? He puts up a terrible shot with the shot clock winding down and can’t even hit the rim.

But then he goes to the other end and steals a pass.

His game is limited. His effort never is.


3:37, second half: Illinois 59, Indiana 58

Wilmont lost it a bit there, rushing a shot with 19 seconds left on the shot clock and then getting frustrated and fouling.


5:21, second half: Indiana 56, Illinois 50

Huge play by D.J. White there, busting through the double team and hitting the jumper.

But it’s an absolute killer to then let Jamar Smith get wide open — I don’t think anyone was even looking at him — to hit a 3-pointer.


7:36, second half: Indiana 52, Illinois 50

What would you give to be about to hear what Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson is saying right now? How is he handling this? What is he telling his team? Is it a rah-rah speech? A reminder to focus on the little things? A new strategy to try to get baskets down the stretch?


11:32, second half: Indiana 46, Illinois 44

Perhaps I spoke to soon about young Armon Bassett. He seems to be handling his role well today. He just took McBride off the dribble before spinning and hitting a short jumper. Then he forced McBride to travel at the other end.


15:39, second half: Indiana 42, Illinois 42

After forcing that turnover, D.J. White pounded his chest and stared somebody on the Illinois bench down for a good three seconds as he walked over to the huddle. He’s fired up this half. If Indiana wants to survive this back-and-forth he’ll need to contribute with either a shot or assist on most of the possessions.

Half: Illinois 33, Indiana 31

Count it. The dunk finished before the buzzer sounded, according to the officials.

The Hoosiers are in a fight today. It’s going to be quite the second half.


52.1, first half: Indiana 31, Illinois 31

I think Armon Bassett is a few weeks away from being the slasher Indiana needs him to be. He’s still a freshman feeling his way through and he’s being pressed to be the main offensive threat through the lane.


3:56, first half: Indiana 28, Illinois 23

Let me be honest with you, good readers. That drive and basket by Wilmont was some weak stuff. He just chucked it up there. Not even the old heads over at the Y would give that a second glance.

But here, it works. And it’s what the Hoosiers have to do: Wilmont dove for the loose ball, chucked it up to White, then hustled down the floor. Can’t expect this team to play pretty.


7:40, first half: Indiana 18, Illinois 18

White is headed to the line. He’s going to have to do that. He’s not pulling up and hitting the shots he has been recently.

You can see the Hoosiers working through the same old problems each game: no true forward to compliment D.J., inconsistent point guard play at times, inability to get to the line, etc.


11:31, first half: Indiana 16, Illinois 13

Tight game defensively, as expected. Rich McBride is once again causing Indiana trouble. He hit a lot of clutch shots in the Hoosiers’ loss in Champaign. In this game he’s penetrating and pulling up for shots. Ratliff is in there trying to handle him now, but it’s not easy.

Looks like Errek Suhr may enter the game. Sampson wanted to play the gritty guard from Bloomington North a bit more, and he’s making good on that.


15:41, first half: Indiana 7, Illinois 5

Pretty much best-case scenario for the Hoosiers: Wilmont has hit his only 3, Bassett is driving and creating and Illinois center Shaun Pruitt already has two fouls.

And the “Eric Gordon” chants have begun.


Xavier Keeling with the surprise start today. Otherwise, it’s the usual: Calloway, Bassett, Wilmont, White.


The two dudes in diapers sitting right behind me were just told by IU officials to put some clothes on.

I’m all for school spirit. But the diaper thing — on these dudes — was going way too far.

It’s filling in now. I’m surrounded by Sampsons.


Illinois coach Bruce Weber came out to a healthy dose of booooos. Then he went over and exchanged a quick handshake with Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson.

Sampson appeared to want to talk to Weber and followed him down the sideline a little bit. Weber was having none of it.

Icy. Like the parking lot in front of my house.




Shocked at how few fans are here with just a few minutes until the start of the game. Student sections are sparse at best.

Judging from my seat here on press row, it looks like the “Sampson-out” costume is the most popular. Lot’s of students here with blue shirts and red ties. I bet Macy’s made a killing on cheap ties this week.


  1. OK, it was a little tame in here at tipoff, but got really loud after the Bassett to Wilmont fastbreak dunk.

    Now it’s the first time out and the Eric Gordon chant is underway.

  2. Weber already has one technical – and the fans all over him with the Gordon chant – and he’s still on his feet complaining to the officials. This is going to be an interesting afternoon.

  3. Indiana isn’t getting any good shots right now. The Illini have held three straight opponents to 50 or fewer points and you can see why with the defense they are playing right now.

  4. The Hoosiers are really getting dominated inside.

    D.J. White has just one point.

    Stemler did nothing but make turnovers and commit a foul in his short appearance earlier.

    Keelling just lost the ball and then committed a dumb foul.

    And Mike White hasn’t done much either.

  5. A few key items from the halftime stats:

    Illinois is outscoring the Hoosiers 12-0 in bench points.

    The Illini have a 15-10 rebounding average.

    Indiana has shot just four 3-pointers, hitting three of them. Not shooting from the outside so much has helped Indiana to a 12-8 edge in free throws attempted.

  6. Stemler comes in and immediatelly leaves Carter wide open for a jumper b/c he’s double teaming somebody else. He’s just been really bad lately.

  7. It’s the loudest it’s been here all afternoon after Bassett manages to get an outlet pass away in the middle of traffic and Wilmont finishes with a dunk to make it 42-42 with 15:39 left.

  8. Lots of bad decisions by the Hoosiers, including a dumb foul Wilmont just made. The Illini have the lead, 59-58, the momentum and a foul shot coming with 3:37 left.

    This is a game Indiana needs with four of its next five games on the road.

  9. Interesting that the Hoosiers are going with a four-gaurd lineup at the end of the game. They have Wilmont on 6-9 Warren Carter.

  10. Very tough game. Both teams deserved the ‘W’ – but IU was better at the very end.

    Hoosiers have to find someone to help DJ to make any noise for the rest of the way. I feel bad for Stemler, he’s just lost his feel out there.


  11. Kind of surprised Lance stayed in the game as long as he did. Sampson talked about his defense, but from I was sitting all I saw was the guy Stemler was guarding go by him.

    Also, I thought the wrap on the students was a little too negative. Again, from where I was sitting, it appeared as if the floor seats by the band and the section in the main level was fairly full at tip. The balcony was sparse, but it filled up shortly.

    Great effort overall really.

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