The Kelvin Sampson radio show, 7 p.m.

Time to close out the show.

Here’s what Sampson says: “Fisch, don’t let anybody fool you. This is a great schedule.”

But Sampson is moving on now. He wants to talk about Christmas. He’s wishing everyone a blessed and joyous holiday season.

——

Sampson is now taking some time to talk about the women’s team and its come-from-behind win against Bowling Green Sunday.

“If you haven’t seen our women’s team play yet, you should,” he said.

Turns out women’s coach Felisha Legette-Jack is in the crowd.

A question about Ratliff now. How much will he play?

“I have no idea,” Sampson said. “He plays good, he’ll stay in. If he doesn’t, he’ll come out.”

Ratliff is behind the current guards, though. That’s for sure, according to Sampson.

A bit of a tangent, but now Sampson is saying that the Hoosiers played a really tough non-conference schedule. Judging from the poll on this site, you guys would not agree.

Now a question from Greg in Madison: He wants to know how the defense will do against Coppin State. Sampson says Indiana’ will play ’em man-to-man. He’s impressed with Tywain McKee, a Philly kid who was MEAC rookie of the year two years ago and first-team all league last season.

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To the phones.

Doyle from Bloomington: He brought his foster son to the game Saturday night, and was thrilled to do so.

Question: What will you do to get prepared for Coppin State?

Sampson says what they’ll do is practice. The team practiced twice today. “No classes, no academic responsibility. It’s just basketball,” Sampson said.

The Hoosiers used the two practices today to implement a few new things.

Sampson said Saturday’s game will be a “weird game.” Coppin State is “unique.” But Sampson loves playing against Coppin State because it will prepare Indiana to play other slow-down teams, such as Northwestern.

Now it’s Larry from South Bend’s time to question the coach.

He wants to know if the players have a list in their lockers of the players who wore their number before them.

They don’t. Which surprised Sampson. His players at Oklahoma did.

When the new practice facility opens, that will be a feature that is added to the locker rooms.

——-

Time for questions.

Ramona wants to know how Sampson fosters team spirit.

“I think that’s something you have to constantly work on, especially when you have so many new guys,” Sampson said.

The night before every home game, the team gathers at Sampson’s house to go over the scouting report. That helps build team spirit. “There’s a unity about it.”

Then the team does a few other things together, such as movie nights or cook outs.

Now to Nancy from Bedford. She’s wondering what color shirt Sampson was wearing against Kentucky.

“It was the same color I’ve been wearing the last 14 years,” Sampson said. So, blue. But maybe a different shade of blue.

Dave wants to know if Sampson’s ever had a kid average a double-double, which is what D.J. White is trying to do this year.

Sampson had a kid come close, name of Ernie Abercrombie, while he was at Oklahoma.

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Jeff Meyer had the duty of compiling the Western Carolina scouting report, and Sampson thinks he did a good job.

But the final score wasn’t what Sampson focused on. It’s how they went about the winning that matters to him. He liked the effort from his young kids.

“Just proud of how they’re coming along,” he said. “Every one of those kids has improved in at least one area, whether its reading a scouting report or sharing the ball. That’s always good to see.”

——

Apparently more than 125 families of U.S. soldiers from Indiana will attend Saturday’s game against Coppin State. Sounds like it will be a lot of children, some of whom have lost a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan.

“Just another way to give back,” Sampson said. “That’s one of the neat things about this job.”

—–

Don Fischer wants coach to start by talking about how well the players did in the classroom this semester.

Sampson’s talking about his players’ schedules. Most wake up around 5 a.m. Then they work about 20 hours a week on basketball.

“You think of what you go through physically and mentally in college basketball and I couldn’t be more pleased with how our kids came through it,” Sampson said.

Indiana made a change to the way it handled academic advising this year, making it so that instead of a set number of hours for study hall the kids had to complete certain goals. For instance, it wasn’t enough to study for three hours a night. If the player had a paper due, he couldn’t leave until that paper was done.

As reported on Saturday, six players finished with a 3.0 or better.

D.J. White and Lance Stemler should be able to graduate this spring. The two other seniors — A.J. Ratliff and Mike White — will take a bit longer but are on track, Sampson said.

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Hoosier Country 105.1 on your radio dial here in Bloomington.

I’ll provide updates once the show begins.

2 comments

  1. Tell these idiots to stop asking about Sampson’s shirt. I swear some moron calls in and asks that question once every few weeks, and always gets the same answer.

  2. In most years this would have been a tough schedule.

    Also, if the UCONN game was scheduled in the next 2 weeks, there would be less whining about the schedule.

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