1. Predictions for tonight?

    I am going to take Ole Miss 71-59. Crean is really pushing this up-tempo theme early in the season. Rivers is his model for this style of play; he wants everyone to eventually be able to play at Rivers’s speed. That might be a lot to ask of such a young team early in the season.

    I’m afraid the turnovers are going to continue tonight and tomorrow, much like Daniel Moore’s foot-dribbling in Hawaii last year.


  2. Predictions:

    Hulls has HUGE breakout….pimples on forehead, not points…(could have been the shrimp he ate for lunch)..Crean shares some of his wife’s Maybelline Cover Stick so he doesn’t feel quite so self-conscious.

    Sarah Palin has her best book signing to date scoring 1274 signatures at a Borders in Noblesville(Nobletucky), Indiana…

    Todd Palin will be seen purchasing a new 2009 Ski-Doo GTX snowmobile tomorrow.

    Elston and Creek combine for 37 points…Hoosiers pull first upset of the year..

    Indiana 73
    Ole Miss 70

  3. This game clearly falls into the ol’ What If? category that the football team has inured us to this year. Free throws, untimely turnovers, failure to convert on Miss’s turnovers…these are the ‘only’ reasons we lost tonight…

  4. FINAL: MISS 89, IU 71.
    IU: Creek 18 pts; Jones 17 pts; Rivers 14 pts; Pritchard 8 pts, 6 reb; Dumes 5 pts; Watford 5 pts; Elston 3 pts; Hulls 1 pts.
    IU: 28-67 (42%) FG; 3-15 (20%) 3PT; 12-25 (48%) FT; 32 reb; 21 TO, 10 (20) fouls.
    MISS: 35-70 (50%) FG; 5-17 (29%) 3PT; 14-22 (64%) FT; 43 reb; 19 TO; 11 (23) fouls.
    MISS: Holloway 26 pts, 9 reb; Warren 16 pts; Graham 10 pts, 7 reb; Polynice 10 pts; White 9 pts; Gaskins 8 pts; Buckner 5 pts, 9 reb; Cranston 3 pts; Henry 2 pts.

  5. give them time to adjust… some of our guys didn’t show up, apparently, but it’s understandable — they’re too green. let’s see how they learn from this one. hopefully they’ll grow up fast. anyone misses nick williams (or malik story) at least a little bit?

    who do we play next? we’ll win that one.

  6. Someone block that Kellog guy next time he comes on, his ridiculous! Grab his ip and ban him! The less negativity the better, jeez its game 3 and our first test! It could have been alot worse, ill say that much.

  7. And no, I dont miss Nick or Malik, id rather have myself playing on the team before either of those two! Am I missing something, did either of them do something magical last year that would make any of us want them back????

  8. This team is going to be strong. It’s just a matter of time. There’s obvious ability on the court — much more than last year. There are just a LOT of correctable errors and fundamental things that will come with experience for the freshmen. We’re relying a lot on young players; it’s inevitable that we’ll have to endure some games like this.

    I still think Dumes plays completely for himself on offense. Taking desperate shots with 25 seconds left on the shot clock is not something a senior should be doing. Also, Hulls needs to refrain from taking Eric Gordon-esque threes from six feet outside the arc.

    Rivers really stepped it up. Too bad he got into foul trouble. He obviously makes the players around him better when he’s on the court.

    And Davis25,

    No, neither Williams nor Story did anything “magical” last year, but you’re terribly naive if you don’t think they’d help this year’s team. Williams is one of those all around type players, and Story was a pure athlete who moved strong to the basket. They would’ve developed into nice players for IU. They’re certainly better than the two worst players on our roster right now. Why wouldn’t you miss them a little??

  9. There was a lot to be annoyed by with this game.

    1) Tom Pritchard. He looks even less confident than Kyle Taber out there, as the token Big Tentative White Guy

    2) Jordan Hulls. He looks even worse than Daniel Moore.

    3) Turnovers. Not just the quantity, but the nature of them. In the second half, we were down 8 after Rivers’s electric reverse layup; we get a steal, and then Rivers inexplicable fumbles the ball out of bounds. Goodbye momentum, good by game.

    4) Freethrows. I think only once during the whole game (DUmes) did we hit both shots at the stripe.

    5) Watford. He looked like Eric Gordon vs. Arkansas out there.


    On the whole, I am not particularly fuming about this game. After letting my initial anger pass, I am actually thrilled about several few things:

    1) Rivers. Even though Casey might be “holding this guy accountable,” he is clearly the most confident, controlled, toughest, and most saavy guy out there. He turned it on against superior competition, and looked right at home.

    2) VJIII. The guy has some serious confidence and gumption taking it to the basket. He has a slithery quality that allows him to work his way in against multiple defenders.

    3) Creek. He’s the only one out of all the freshmen who looks 100% comfortable, and it shows.

    ALL IN ALL: There is no way that a team with Rivers at point and scoring threats like Jones and Creek suffers the same fate as last year’s team. After tonight, I think that 12-14 wins is realistic.

  10. Instead of scheduling exhibition games with high school level competition and then going up against teams with first names that sound like supporting actors from a 1970’s sitcom…can we PLEASE, in the future, schedule some early games against true Division One competition…First, I won’t get my hopes falsely inflated…Second, maybe we’d actually benefit from indoctrination by fire. I just wonder how different we may have looked against this very athletic team if we’d been shoved around a little bit more the past few weeks…

    It’s all about money…schedules get stretched…weak opponents early on guarantee better turnout in subsequent games as false perceptions rise…Then by week four a brick gets thrown at your head.

    There needs to be a statewide investigation concerning the voting process for “Mr Basketball”….Have to agree with Husky Tom…I know it’s just one game, but Hulls looks totally ineffective playing against size and athleticism. I feel a little bad for the kid.
    So much hype may be followed by huge reality crash…It’s a shame he was elevated to such lofty status before playing one college game.

    There were bright moments….I’ll come back at another time to discuss..Time to cry in some beer.

  11. Husky Tom,

    If you notice above, I made some very positive comments about Rivers. I think you’re taking the “holding him accountable thing” a bit too far/literally. It’s just a figure of speech.

    And I’m glad you’re not fuming about the game on a whole. I can already see a lot of IU fans expecting a lot of wins. I think it’ll still be a while before we really start to click and feel confident. Pritchard has a case of not understanding his ability. He could be a great asset because of his size and strength, but you’re right — he’s too tentative. When he goes up and gets fouled, he almost never converts the basket. He needs to learn how to throw down and be tenacious.

    Jones is consistent and will quietly light up the scoreboard a lot this season.

    Creek’s a natural scorer. Watford had an off game, but wow, he has so much talent waiting to be unleashed. He’s going to be a huge player for this program.

    If we can avoid foul trouble, start actually hitting free throws, and continue to run the court like we did at times tonight, we’ll be playing much better midway through the season.

    Oh, and we need to start weeding out the players that aren’t cutting it. I’m sorry — I love Jobe’s enthusiasm, but he doesn’t belong on the floor against Division 1 teams. He has no clue how to position himself on offense, and he gets worked over like he’s five feet tall on D. Dumes may have had a good “plus/minus” last game, but he takes horribly undisciplined shots when he gets the ball in his hands. Capobianco doesn’t look game-ready. The starting lineup of Rivers, Jones, Creek, Watford and Pritchard seemed to be very effective. When we started making wholesale line changes, we started suffering on both ends of the court.

  12. Yes, Casey. Agreed. I was just using the “accountability” line in sarcastic fun.

    I like the line about VJIII quietly scoring in droves. Seriously, this kid plays like he belongs out there, and has a knack for creating opportunities. I am honestly pumped to watch him work. What a nice get he was, coming at the end of the recruiting season last year, and stealing him from underneath Tubby…

    Downing – AI wish you would be consistent and talk about scheduling better exhibition games in relation to football as well…again, another case of double-standards.

  13. I made a simple observation, Tom…You’re beginning to place far too much weightiness in your perceptions of everything I say.

    Yes, throw the football team to the fire early…Schedule Ball State for week one. We’ll at least be able to gauge within reasonable certainty if a Pizza Bowl will happen in this decade.

  14. Let’s not forget we played a pretty damn good team…I could once again be erroneous in basing judgements on early season observation, but Ole Miss looked like they could be competitive with top teams in the NCAA..I would not be surprised if they break into the top-25 and land a fairly high seed for the NCAA tournament by end of regular season…Would it be totally out of the question to think they could end up a Sweet 16 team?

    Considering that these are the first major minutes played against this level of competition/athleticism for many of our players, I think they showed a nice amount of poise and fight. Creek, Jones, and Rivers all had bright spots in the game..All three showed good ability to drive the ball to the rack…Creek and Rivers each showed creative drives to the basket with athletic midair adjustments to avoid shot blockers.

    Elston didn’t put up much in the way of points, but he seemed to shed some early tentativeness and looked much better as he got more minutes on the floor…I still think he’ll be a big contributor this year..Big leap from 2A high school to playing a team like Ole Miss…He seemed up to the challenge..

    Though it’s not a positive to miss easy shots withing 3 ft. of the basket, have atrocious results from the charity stripe, and only shoot the ball from the field around 40%, we may have been in a much tighter game if better results had occurred in just one of the aforementioned areas. Except for Creek and Jones, it was clearly an off shooting night…During postgame radio summary, I thought I heard Todd Leary say we only hit one 3 point shot..Is that true?..I forget the number of attempts..

    We handed Ole Miss a lot of gifts(1st half turnovers, missed easy shots, only around 50% free throw shooting on a large number of attempts, very substandard 3-point shooting). Yet, even with all the gifts, we found ourselves only down by six points during the middle part of the second half. I guess that’s the silver lining…

  15. Davis25,

    I was one of those moderating comments last night. While Kellog was negative, his comments didn’t cross the line like some others did. I don’t think Chris or Dustin would want us banning people who made negative comments that we don’t agree with, if so the chat would become very boring very quickly.

    With that said, there were bloggers last night on the chat who were warned about language and about calling a player by a degrading name instead of his real name. Those are comments you did not see.

  16. Casey, I have to admit I was thinking of you as I watched Rivers take the ball to the basket time after time, just kidding in good fun.

    I really like what Creek and Rivers give us, Jones also much improved. Wat was a little unsure last night but I think he will be tough to stop in Big 10 play. I am baffled as to why Jobe is playing…what does he really give IU stat wise, anything? Why did Bawa not play? Also, I defend Dumes all of the time but he does not look good, no flow and pushes things when he should not. Lastly, it might be a year before Hulls looks good. I did like the effort all around but I think they were tired down the stretch, especially Pritch…anyone agree?

  17. J Pat,

    I’ll tell you what I can agree with. The Ole Miss team is going to hurt a covey of good teams this year. Not just because they beat us last night. They remind me of the Razorbacks who won it all back in the 90’s. On both ends of the court. The rest of the SEC better get prepared.

  18. I only saw the first 15 minutes of the game (I’ve taped it) and hope to get through the rest over the weekend. From what I have seen (and the stats posted) I think Jones, Rivers and Creek were OK and Hulls, Watford, Capobianco and Elston were not. Dumes and Pritchard were below average but I’m not concerned about them just yet.

    For me it boils down to one moment when we were still up early in the first 8 minutes and Elston trips Hulls as he was actually trying to help him by setting a screen. I played that over and over again. Slapstick comedy if they weren’t our players that shows we’re just starting to play together. But when Hulls falls on his knees he still makes a fairly good effort trying to save the turnover. Hulls is going to bloom soon, let him absorb some information, and keep an eye on him. I think he will soon be as useful as Jones.

    I think that with Williams and Story we would have won yesterday. Williams had a “magic” way of stepping up and energizing his teammates. Dumes and Pritchard would have woken up with Nick coming off the bench as he used to. But that was last year’s team.

    Despite (so far) evidence to the contrary I think Hulls, Elston, Watford and Capobianco will soon match up with their (apparently) more athletic opponents. Maybe even as early as tonight against Boston U. but definitely before Dec 12 when (mark my words) we will beat Kentucky.

    What I can’t figure out is Jobe. He’s sometimes very useful, sometimes completely out of place. And why is Bawa not playing? He looked so good in those pictures, golden tie and everything…

    Go Hoosiers! Let’s keep the Terriers winless!

  19. J Pat,

    Haha yeah. Rivers made me eat my words last night for the most part — especially on that circus-style layup. Wow. But I’m more than happy to have underestimated what he can do for our team. I hope Dumes is next to prove me wrong.

    I think the biggest issue we’ll face this year is depth. Who’s going to come off the bench and play meaningful minutes for us on a consistent basis? Right now I only really feel confident about Elston. Once he shakes off the nerves he’s going to come up big for us I think.

    But think about it, if our starters last night were superhuman and stayed out of foul trouble, and played the whole game, we could’ve won. We started losing control when we had to bring players off the bench. Past Elston and Dumes, there isn’t really anyone who can come in and hold it down while our best players take a breather. Am I wrong?

    If Capobianco, Muniru, and Hulls improve quickly, we’ll be in much better shape — but I’m not sure if that’s going to be a reality.

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