Indiana 60, IUPUI 57

Indiana is able to hang on for a late-game win, one that certainly was important for the development of this team.

Tom Pritchard was superb in the paint, and Daniel Moore was the soul of the team.

We’ll bring you updates of what Tom Crean has to say soon after he says it.


Just noticed that a post I thought I made last night did not show up here, so you have no Tom Crean quotes.

Here’s the story that ran in our paper today, which has some.

By Chris Korman

331-4353 |
November 19, 2008

And in its second game, the Indiana basketball team was challenged.

The Hoosiers persevered.

Though the 60-57 win came against a Summit League team — IUPUI — that was playing without its leading scorer and with a point guard who’d practiced the position all of four days, Tom Crean was so pleased with the win that he commandeered a microphone following the game to share his glee and thank the 13,174 people in attendance Tuesday night.

“This is the togetherness we need to have to bring this program back to where it belongs,” he said. “One of the best in the country.”

Then he and his players went into the student section at the south bleachers to personally thank the fans.

Minutes later, Crean spoke of the “monstrous” achievement.

“I don’t think we can describe what winning this way does for our confidence,” Crean said. “We have to learn from all of our experiences.”

What he hopes his players learned is how to play in a game played possession-by-possession. The Hoosiers (2-0) fared well, especially late in the game when the Jaguars (1-2) pulled within a point four times in the final 10 minutes of the game but were never able to take a lead.

But Crean thought his team’s play was an example of learning not to lose rather than knowing how to win, which is a necessary first step. He thought his team still showed a “lack of understanding of how important each possession is.”

Ron Hunter’s team, meanwhile, showed its own youth. Most of the team’s late game shots were set up for Alex Young, a true freshman, by John Ashworth, a sophomore forced to run the point by injuries.

Ashworth could not gain penetration and left Young to take a contested deep 3 with five seconds left that could have given IUPUI a one-point lead. The shot ricocheted off the side of the rim, then the glass and fell into the hands of 5-foot-11 Daniel Moore, the walk-on.

“Alex Young is disappointed, but he’s going to be a fine basketball player and he’s going to be able to make that shot,” Hunter said.

Moore said the rebound was lucky.

“It kind of fell my way,” he said afterward, no longer donning his protective facemask. “I don’t even know if I boxed out.”

Moore was the steadying force for the Hoosiers, who needed it. They led by 11 at half but were tied at 40 — and seemed to be reeling — when Young hit a put-back at 13:46.

Then the game-changing moment that everyone in the arena anticipated played out exactly the way it had been drawn up: Kyle Taber hit a 3-pointer.

Taber, a 6-7 senior forward and former walk-on who had attempted zero 3s and is “nowhere near where he needs to be” with his conditioning after August knee surgery, got open — as in there wasn’t even an IUPUI player looking at him until the ball landed in his hands — and squared up as though nothing could be more natural.

When the bucket sank, Crean turned to the crowd and motioned for the people to stand. Seconds later, Robert Glenn dunked to cut Indiana’s lead again. There would be no pulling away for the Hoosiers. So Crean prepared his team to slog through, scraping to score and keep pace.

“The best opportunity for us to win was to have it be that way tonight,” he said.

Early in the game, the Hoosiers dealt with the Jaguars’ incessant zone by trying to shoot over it. They were 4-of-16 on 3-pointers, which convinced them to try something else.

Tom Pritchard (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Nick Williams (10 points, nine rebounds) adjusted to playing in the soft middle of the zone. They combined for the decisive basket, with Pritchard passing out of a double-team to Williams, who lost his tentativeness near the rim as the game wore on, for a bank shot that made it 58-55 with 3:16 left.

Playing without Gary Patterson (hand), a senior who averaged 12.9 points a year ago and was a preseason second-team all league pick, the Jaguars could not cut through the pressure. Crean has said that great players aren’t the ones who take their teams from down eight to down four; their the ones who can take a team from down four to up four. Hunter was without the only player who might have been ready to do that.

“Add a really good player to that unit and you’ll see this team do some great things,” said Hunter, who played only six players in the second half.

Like Crean said, his team showed that it knows how not to lose. He learned that as he gathered them around him during each timeout late in the game. You can see how frantic Crean can often be in the huddle, instructing his players with wild hand gestures.

But he also takes time to look into their eyes — those eyes that have seen so little of what college basketball might confront them with — to take measure of how they are handling the situation.

What did he see Tuesday?

“There was no panic,” he said.

Which is more gratifying than being 2-0.


  1. i like how hard the kids played and the coach had enthusiasm. iu football and lynch have a lot to learn from the young basketball team

  2. Any idea who the tall white bald guy was who was on the bench tonight? Looked like a new guy and looked kinda tall. Chris, who is this guy??

  3. Dubs,

    That was Eric Arnett, a baseball player who has been working with the team but suited up tonight for the first time. Apparently he wasn’t eligible to play but I’m not sure what the whole story is on him. I’ll check into it.

  4. Thanks for looking into this Chris. I thought it might be Arnett, but he looked taller than what he has been billed as, so I overlooked it.

  5. Had a blast at the game. The kids play hard and I am proud of this team. Any word on Jones ankle injury? I am really curious and hope for the best!

  6. I like the intensity and hustle our team showed. Even if we wonby just 3, it was entertaining to watch a hard working team. Cant say that about football and Lynch.

  7. I wasn’t able to watch the game, but I’m hearing (from most of you at least) that Tom Pritchard played well. I’ve been saying he was good since I watched his team play about this time last year in one of those ESPN H.S. showcase games. He had 24 and 12 despite one of his teammates being the first option on offense. I think he’ll really develop into a key player for the Hoosiers. Glad to get the win!

  8. Its still early on TP. Most are saying that he will struggle with Bit Ten bodies, and for now, Im inclined to go with that opinion. He’s a bit on the slow end, but he has one big thing going for him: he doesnt play like a lost big man (all too common in IU history). Factor in him being a freshman, and Im happy with him so far. He will be a solid player in the next 3 years.

  9. Here are a few thoughts…

    – Give him a couple of years, and Tom Pritchard will develop into a very good Big Ten type player.
    – Nick Williams will be that guy who goes under the radar sometimes, but who does a lot of important little things.
    – Our team plays better when Daniel Moore is on the court than it does with Verdell Jones directing traffic–which is bothersome.
    – Malik Story, if he stays out of foul trouble, can make everyone around him better because of his strength and ability to make a move, draw defenders, and dish the ball.
    – Tijan Jobe will foul out of any game in which he plays more than 10 minutes–especially if he goes up against a talented big man.
    – Daniel Moore is the Eric Suhr of this team–with more skill.
    – The team needs to continue to find ways to get Matt Roth open. He could make a career out of bombing threes.
    – I hope to God Moore and Finkelmeier are able to lose those Halloween masks soon.

    Three things that will throw the Assembly Hall crowd into a frenzy:

    – A Tijan Jobe dunk
    – A Kyle Taber three-pointer
    – Tom Crean doing anything

    This year will be different and interesting, to say the least.

  10. Pritchard looked very good last night (and the first game for that matter). He challenged some shots, grabbed some rebounds and had a handful of dunks. He doesn’t appear to have many post moves at this point, but those can be taught. The best thing about him (at least so far) is that when they feed him the ball inside, he goes up strong with it almost immediately. None of that pump fake, dribble crap. He just catches and tries to lay it in or even better, tries to dunk it. He will score alot by playing like that. Next year, once we have some even better distributors in Rivers and Hulls, he should be even better, but as for now he is playing a lot better than I expected and I actually thought he would be decent.

  11. or the other team taking FOREVER to put a contact in the eye!
    Only thing I disagree with is the Jones theory. He takes the ball to the hole really well so he is needed on the court. If Moore did that it would get swatted, but I do like him.

  12. I like Tom Pritchard.. he works extremely hard inside and fights for every rebound despite him lacking the height a normal five man. He is a freshman and is bound to play like one throughout the year. However, other than the incident where he put his head down and traveled five feet away from the basket, I thought he “was superb in the paint” as Chris said. It is going to be a battle for him during conference play, but I can guarantee you that he will never quit.

    Also, after watching all of the games thus far.. I would love to see Daniel Moore as our starting PG. Verdell has not been overly impressive in distributing the ball. Williams should be coming off the bench as well until he consistently makes GOOD decisions. It is hard to pick a starting lineup for this team but I feel we would be at our best with: Moore (pg), Roth (sg), Dumes (sf), Pritchard and Taber (4 or 5). We are not going to be big regardless of the starting lineup but having two people 6;8 and higher is a must in the Big Ten. Let Jones and Williams come off the bench.

  13. We need patience with Jones at the point, because he will eventually be a HUGE mismatch for other teams. He reminds me of Prince. Im ok with him struggling a bit this year, so he will be prepared next season.

  14. I really like his size at PG, but in the game last night game it seemed as though the offense wasn’t moving as well while he was point. Once Moore came in, he drove in the lane and kicked it out to Roth a couple times for a wide open three. Overall, Jones will be the better player I’m sure.. especially given his height. Moore’s 6 assists in 23 minutes is what impressed me; however, Jones is easily the better scorer of the two. I suppose two games (or even 4 counting exhibition) is way too few to gauge this team. We’ll see how they perform against a quality team in ND soon.

  15. Can’t wait to see the Hoosiers play in person against Cornell. I have my tickets, see everyone there.

  16. Choke-

    You are right about that one. Have you heard about my Fantasy Challenge? I’ve got it going on the IDS Blog already, and I am going to try to get it going here. My premise is that Kyle Taber will average more points per game this year than Eric Gordon on the Clipper bench. I’ll be doing game-by-game matchups with commentary.
    The first round went to Taber, 5-3. Taber cashed one in from 3-point land; Gordon went without a 3.

    The second round is already half way set. Gordon scorched Oklahoma City last night for another 3 points, on 1-4 shooting. Coaches credited his performance to the vast experience he gained in IU’s final game vs. Arkansas last year.

    All Taber has to do is score 4 points against Notre Dame to secure the matchup.

    I’ll keep you posted.

  17. It is hard to say that Moore is not a good scorer because he never shoots. I think at times we need Moore and Jones in the game together. Moore had 6 assist and might of had 9 if the players who received the ball wide open had hit their shots. He is a great pass first PG. Jones will get better and remember he had 18 points in the 1st game. Only good can could to these kids by using a team first approach. We owe coach for bringing them to IU and watch out big ten these guys will be here 4 years. I love their hustle and defense even the Zone looked good. Now guys, just beat Illinois!

  18. Tijan Jobe is the biggest waste of a big body… i would feel more comfortable with Danny Moore Running the paint. I think we should use him to perform a hack-a-shaq technique on harangody in maui.. would everyone agree?

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