Sampson good for Calloway

Sampson good for Calloway

Senior guard says first-year coach helped make him

By Chris Korman, H-T sports writer

March 5, 2007

Indiana guard Earl Calloway acknowledges his family during Senior Night ceremonies at Assembly Hall following the Hoosiers’ 94-63 win over Penn State. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
From the March 5, 2007 Bloomington Herald-Times

Of all the abilities attributed to Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson in this his first season as the leader of the Hoosiers, augmenting the sexiness of his players was not one of them.

Apparently, Sampson succeeded at this anyway. At least according to point guard Earl Calloway, who, in the midst of thanking the coach for helping him become a better man, also claimed he had become “sexy” during his two years as a Hoosier.

Calloway’s light-hearted moment was one of many as Indiana’s three seniors addressed the crowd Saturday night after beating Penn State 94-63.

Errek Suhr worried about being tall enough to reach the microphone stand, but was saved that embarrassment because Sampson had already pulled the microphone down.

Rod Wilmont admitted, and not sheepishly, that he’s a bit surprised he’s going to graduate. He saved his thanks for the academic advisors until near the end of his speech.

Both Calloway and Wilmont challenged freshman guard Armon Bassett – or “A.B.” as they called him – to “carry the torch,” for them.

Bassett hasn’t played like a freshman since November, and obviously his teammates have noticed.

Fooling with the 4 (again)

Surely a segment of the Indiana fan base has looked over all the stats and watched and re-watched film to try to determine what exactly is going on with Indiana’s forward position opposite D.J. White.

And the much larger, yet-to-be-driven insane segment has decided this much: Sampson simply plays eeny, meeny, miny moe prior to each tip-off.

How else to explain Mike White’s last five games?

He played just one minute against Purdue. Then he scored 11 points against Michigan in 15 minutes.

Next three games? Nine minutes of playing time.

Then, Saturday, White starts and plays 29 minutes and scores a career-high 12 points.

Meanwhile, Lance Stemler played just four minutes and not until the end of the game. He did, however, hit both 3-pointers he took.

Sampson himself gave this explanation of the rotation.

“When Mike plays within himself, he can help us,” he said. “A lot of it is matchups. There was about a month early in the season when Lance Stemler was as good a player as we had.

“I’m sure somebody will say, ‘Why didn’t Lance play the first half?’ You’re always going to ask questions on who is not playing. Obviously if there was consistency and a high level of play, you’d play all the time in every game. But that position (forward) on our team is kind of bullpen by committee.”

Resting up

Sampson felt his team looked fresher against Penn State than it has recently and credited that to giving the players more time to rest this week.

The light practice schedule will continue. Indiana was not expected to practice Sunday, and today’s session isn’t expected to be very intense. The Hoosiers will work on fixing flaws as opposed to preparing for a specific team. They will face either Illinois or Penn State in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday night.

Also, Indiana will hold a season-ending banquet for the team tonight.

“When I found out there was no awards banquet here I said you have to have an awards banquet,” Sampson said. “An awards banquet is for the players. That’s why we have teams. It’s for the student-athletes.”