Hoosiers finally win on road

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — After 13 straight losses in opponents’ gyms, Indiana finally got itself a true road victory on Thursday, knocking off Penn State 67-61 at the Bryce Jordan Center.

After blowing a 15-point lead to Minnesota on Sunday before rallying back to win that game in overtime, the Hoosiers seemed to have much more confidence on the road than they had in their first two Big Ten road games this season. They lost junior guard and defensive ace Jeremiah Rivers to a foul-out with 6 minutes to go, and blew an 11-point first half lead, but never trailed and held on for the victory.

“That’s probably where Sunday came back to help us even quicker than what you might think,” Crean said. “You never know what experiences you’re going to take from a game and when they’re going to come up again, but I think it did. There was no panic in our guys’ voices. There was no deer in the headlight look.”

Senior guard Devan Dumes played more under control than he has all season, scoring 15 points to lead the Hoosiers. Sophomore guard Verdell Jones had 14 points, including a 3-pointer and fadeaway jumper down the stretch that sealed the victory for Indiana. Freshman forward Christian Watford had 11 points and nine rebounds, including two offensive rebounds that turned into Jones’ crucial buckets.

It was Indiana’s first true road victory in Tom Crean’s two-years at Indiana and the first for the Hoosiers since they won at Northwestern on Feb. 23, 2008.

AUDIO: Tom Crean talks about his team staying steady

AUDIO: Devan Dumes talks about playing with more patience

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls talks about the Hoosiers’ response to losing Rivers

AUDIO: Jeremiah Rivers talks about what he said to the team when he fouled out


  1. After blowing a 15-point lead to Minnesota on Sunday before rallying back to win that game in overtime, the Hoosiers seemed to have much more confidence on the road than they had in their first two Big Ten road games this season. They lost junior guard and defensive ace Jeremiah Rivers to a foul-out with 6 minutes to go, and blew an 11-point first half lead, but never trailed and held on for the victory.

    Hmm…not bad Dustin, but a touch of negativity. I sense that you are still dwelling on the Minnesota and Illinois game a bit. Did you have to insist on the “blowing” so much? Leads in basketball are not like leads in football. They are much more fleeting and transient.

    This is what Nina Zumok wrote from the IDS:

    The Nittany Lions (8-10, 0-6) never led during the game and it was the first time in their conference schedule that the Hoosiers (9-9, 3-3) did not relinquish the lead. The Nittany Lions managed to tie the game once in the second half, but IU never let its lead dip below three after that point.

    She focused on the “not relinquishing” instead of your obsession with “blowing”. Maybe her newness is the reason she exudes warmth and positivity.

  2. By the way, last night my unranked Huskies (12-6) were beat by UCLA (8-10), the all-time most winning NCAA program, 62-61.


    UCLA has 11 championships and 3 Final Fours this last decade, including an appearance in a championship game. Their achievements, especially recently, blow Indiana out of the water. And yet their fans still like to have an innocent celebration on a down year.

  3. Dustin, I’ve got absolutely no issue with what you said above. Yes, this is a young team, but I think the team and fan base have been coddled a little too much by reporters in the past. The fact of the matter is, they did blow a 15-point lead against both Minnesota and Illinois and nobody’s going to benefit from sugarcoating it.

    That said, great job holding off the PSU rush last night when some guys got in foul trouble. You can definitely see the progress here though it can be maddening at times!

  4. I liked the way Dustin omitted the win-loss records of the teams. Nina displaying the glaring zero conference victories for Penn State almost stops the need to read any further..Some would say this trivializes the Hoosier victory more than any words could possibly convey. Instead of a harmless “blow”, it’s going all the subliminal negative way…We know perfectly well what you’re up to, Zumok. You’re an evil fembot pretending to be positive. I can only conclude the cleverly hidden tactics of subterfuge are indication you must be masking a true allegiance to another love…I’ll bet the Hoosier farm you’re an Illini hoops fan at heart and simply using our fine school of journalism. I even dare to conclude that Husky To(west coast fembot) and Chris Korman(east coast fembot) are somehow involved in this seductive scheme to steal our Hoosier basketball mojo. I have the Powers to resist.

  5. Even more evidence of the scheme is unveiled by the attempted kudos given to UCLA…A school that hired a guy from Purdue and stole championships from Indiana by fixing the whistles of officials. How conflicted Husky Tom must have been when his puppy dawgs played the Indiana school that gave birth to Bruin basketball.

  6. Alright enough of other stuff, let’s talk about the game.

    I thought the Hoosiers have taken a step in the right direction. I know the win was against a winless B10 team, but it was a road win.


    1. Watford scored in the post. It looks like the team at least made an effort on some possessions to get him touches down there, and he scored. This could be huge if he developes strength in the offseason to be more effective

    2. Do we think about redshirting Bawa next year. It will balance out the classes better and give him more time to develope.

    3. Dumes has found his role as a scorer off the bench. If he plays like that, we will win more big 10 games.

    4. Not a big fan of hulls early in the season. It seems like things have slowed down for him, and he is beginning to feel more comfortable. I am a fan now.

    5. It would be nice if pritch had a post move, but I’ll take his rebounding and defense from last night.

    Good win overall. Thoughts?

  7. 1. It’s Zina Kumok, folks, not Nina Zumok.

    2. I bet USC won’t storm the court tomorrow. They’ll just rout the Huskies and move on.

  8. This may sound strange coming from me, but I too am in support of a one user-name log in system. Downing is wearing me down with his multiple personalities, late-night drunken posts, and obsession with my favorite teams, the Huskies and Lakers.

    I am perfectly comfortable being just HuskyTom.

    Now back to basketball: It’s amazing how quiet it gets in here when we win. The smug cynics crawl into their little holes and hibernate until the next loss, then they come out in force. Either that, or they write stories such as this:

    “After blowing leads in their last 3 games, and having blown other leads in other games before that, this team blew a 3 point lead, took it back, got another 2 point lead, blew it, then went up by 11, and proceeded to blow it back down to 1. But despite all the blowing, and the memories of all the blown leads in the past, including the game they virtually blew against Minnesota but then were able to put the blow-breaks on, they overcame their weaknesses and managed to not blow it against PSU, which means we must wait another few days to see more blowing.”

  9. Well good grief, I got on here just now expecting celebratory posts, as the Hoosiers are in Steve Bardo’s words ‘the surprise team of the Big Ten, really hitting their stride right now,’ and I get all this drivel. Husky Tom, you’re right, let’s have some positivity and celebrate being much better than last year or even than we expected to be this year after Maurice Creek went out. Come on people!!

  10. There is little need for a 1 user name, log in system if we stick to the topic of sports. Leave the competitive aggression on the courts or at least the breakfast table with the wife.

  11. Dustin flies solo again and delivers. Good job my man.

    Its the intangible stuff that lead to the victory; confidence, determination, calmness and poise. Loved seeing it and I just think its so much fun to see a young group like this get better and better.

    I want to shout out to Devan Dumes. Last night he showed how the bad Devan can be channeled into the good Devan: He was aggressive, but not out of control. He was competitive, but not combative. He was confident, but not arrogant. Very well done Devan, well done.

    Yes, please can we clean this board up a little bit?

  12. Clarion, what you say is true, but if you have noticed, it is painfully obvious that certain people are not capable of that.

  13. Quite a surprise this season is turning out to be…well at least in the last few weeks. If you would have told me that on January 22nd, 2010 that Indiana and Purdue would have identical Big Ten records….well let’s just say that I’d seriously doubt your credibility and decision making abilities.

    I would hope that the IU faithfull would be somewhat happy with the progress of the team. All things considered (Creek being lost for the season) the team is developing nicely.

    – Devan Dumes who I have openly criticized on this site has seemed to understand his role and is gaining a comfort level. He’s been a catalyst off the bench and one of the main reason’s IU sitting at .500 in the Big Ten.

    – Tom Pritchard is contributing in a positive way again and the confidence that we saw last year is slowly returning.

    -Verdell “Ice Man” Jones as Stephen Bardo put it. He is becoming the “put you on my shoulders” type of player at the end of the game. We first saw this with the Pitt game, then the Minnesota game. Last night he hit a key three when IU needed it the most.

    -Jordan Hulls is no longer invisible! His progress from the beginning of the season has been rapid. With Rivers out last night Hulls controlled the pace of the game in IU’s favor.

    -Christian Watford is just plain going to be a star for IU. Anyone paying attention to the other freshman in the Big Ten? Is Watford the front runner for freshman of the year?

    -Bobby Capobianco is seeing more time in this Big Ten season. He’s exactly what Crean recruited. A hard nosed player who can distrupt the other team on the defensive end. He knows his role and is getting better at it each week. Plus the crab dribble. That right there is reason enough to throw some praise his way.

    -Derek Elston knows his role too. When utilized correctly by Crean, Derek can add that spark on the offensive end. He also had a nice block last night that was a result of a quick recovery and long reach.

    -Crean is growing with this team as well. As he has come to understand what he has and how certain players react in gametime situations, Crean has done a better job of manipulating the moving pieces.

    Looking forward to the tougher stretch of the Big Ten season that will be coming up. Love the home road situation, never seen anything like that before for IU. Hopefully we pull off a few more upsets as a result of that schedule structure. One more road win would be icing on the cake.


  14. GFDave, I’ve been sour on Dumes since his questionable and erratic play last year. But I have to back up a couple of steps after the last three games. I won’t detract from his improvement except to say I believe the mental part of coaching he is getting is making an impact as good coaching should. I believe Rivers having to set out large amounts of the game last night was good for Rivers, Dumes and Hulls. Playing on the road against PSU helped a little to create that circumstance.

    Mike P., Ditto, with hesitance.

  15. Ok, so the other night before I went to see VO and DeMatha play, I met up with a guy that runs a popular Hoosier web site and a couple of area Hoosiers at a place in North Arlington. I asked the web site guy if, since he had been in their physical presence many times, Watford and Elston were really 6′ 9″. This is a real pet peeve of mine. This person said no.

    If you watched the game last night you could see how much taller the Ott kid is than Wat and DE. Ott is listed at 6′ 10″. So I’m convinced. I think those kids are at best 6′ 7″.

  16. GFDave,

    If we use that criteria then do we consider Capo 6’4 or 5″ and Rivers 6’3″. I certainly don’t know myself but is sure does make changes to the whole roster.

  17. Yeah GFDave. Didn’t really agree with the Verdell “Ice Man” Jones comparison either. Bardo used that comment after Jones used a few dribbles to circle around in the lane into a fade away shot.

    But, he’s been making some big shots lately. Sticking his tongue out too after the big shots against Minnesota. So maybe we should consolidate that to be “Air Iceman” Jones. Ha… yeah right.


  18. Clarion, I see your point. But I think The Situation is probably no shorter than 6′ 6″. This speculation could be endless, couldn’t it? Maybe its pointless, but it still bothers me.

    I was having the same issue at the DeMatha game. I was sitting right behind their bench and could get a really good sense for the height of the players and a guy they listed as being 6′ 10″ was probably 6′ 8″, at best.

  19. I have a question to pose to everyone on here. Now before I do, I ask that if your only response is to try to pick fights or whine about whinning, then please just choose not to post. This is a serious question, one I would like some true insight on. I am open minded and would like to hear some others opinions. (Here I am HuskyTom, just because I don’t post right after the game does not mean I won’t comment.)

    On to the Question: I have been down at times and negative about some of Creans strategies, especially late in games. I think (thought) they are (were) mis-managed. It seems to me that our strategy is to let the clock run down, then with about 10 seconds we set the high ball screen, and ask someone to drive, then we throw up a shot at the last second. Now, I will gladly admit I am very pleased we held on last night, and against minnesota, but it took almost perfect play from VJ3 down the stretch and some timely, if not lucky shots. Basically, I am happy it worked, but what is everyones opinion on this type of play?

    It seems to me, the better teams, or even Illinois, just double(d) us, played good D, and we were lost. I would prefer to see some set plays that start with about 15 secs left on the shot clock, that get us 2 or 3 good options. Not just a high ball screen and someone 1 on 4. Will this continue to work this season? Will it work better as more recruits get here? I just feel the percentages are better when you make people really work on D and get them out of position, not rely on a kid to ‘make something happen.’

    I realize that no matter what you have to hit big shots to win in a tight game down the stretch. I guess my point is that I would like a higher percentage of good shots late in the game that have a higher probability to go in. (example: VJ3 and Dumes both hit big 3’s last night, and Verdell hit a big jumper in the lane down the stretch, but he was lucky to get it. It was not some amazing move, PSU simply gave up on the double and he took a dribble to the lane and pulled up. The threes weren’t really planned, just fell into our laps. I am glad we made them, but they didn’t really come from us making them happen as much as they came from PSU just being bad on defense.)

    So what does everyone think? Am I the minority and everyone is okay to let the end of games play out like this? I know it works sometimes, but I just go back to Memphis a couple of years ago, they were clearly better than anyone else, but down the stretch missed free throws, and relied on 5-stars to make big plays, well when they missed (which is going to happen at some point) they were screwed. We seem to be heading in that direction and have that philosophy: Get good recruits and let them make something happen. I think that college kids can still benefit from some x’s and o’s coaching and guidance, let them be Individuals and Stars in NBA.

    Let’s hear your comments…

  20. I think I am one of the few who expected to win the game.
    I think the best thing that happened to us was Rivers getting in foul trouble. Jordan Hulls needs to be given full control over the offense.

  21. GFDave,

    Okay, you’re the same height as my dad.

    I’m telling you this as a guy who stands right at seven feet tall, dependent on my last trip to the chiropractor, you short guys are usually way off at judging height.

    I’ve had my height guessed or asked since I was a freshman in high school. I have had people say “you’re not seven foot” until they watch me duck to clear a door way because if I didn’t it would hit me across my eyebrows. It gets old listening to short people go on about how tall you are.

    We all know in basketball if a kid measure 6’9-1/16″ they list him 6′-10″, but come on, they don’t give then 3-4″, lets not go overboard.

  22. Mike, you are tall. I am not short. Let’s be clear about that (vbg).

    I see your broader point, but I’m trying to judge their height in relationship to other comparable people as they stand next to them, so its more a relative thing with me. For instance, in trying to decide if VO is 6′ 4″ (a height I don’t need much help on) I gauged him against the kid he guarded who was listed at 6′ 5″. Both kids are a little taller than me and the O’Connell kid was a wee bit taller than VO so I concluded that both kids were probably as tall as listed.

    So my question to you is: If you watched the game last night, can you really conclude that Wat and DE are just an inch shorter than Ott? I noticed a distinct difference, more than an inch which would really not translate as a difference on tv.

  23. It may be hard to keep Dumes from starting after his recent performances. He does make the defense stronger when his head is thinking about the five and not about the one.

  24. They weren’t burning the play clock until they decided to shorten the game ad maintain the lead, which they did quite well. They haven’t employed that strategy when they were trailing. That’s simply good basketball.

  25. GFDave,

    My point is this, unless they are standing barefoot, back to back, you can’t judge them based on what you seen over the TV.

    As a rule I slouch a little, it is due to being surrounded be people who are much shorter than me (your height range), so I don’t project myself as being as tall as I really am.

    I haven’t met Watford in person, but I have met Elston a couple times. He is at least 6′-8″, I can attest that for sure.

  26. Chet,

    I am not talking about when we are trailing. I’m refering to games like last night, Minnesota, Illinois etc… where we are ahead, sometimes by double digits and have struggled to keep the lead.

    Also, if you really read the post, I’m not arguing with running the clock, I thought that was a given, and you are correct good basketball. I was talking about the specific play calls. I also, said to start a play with 15 seconds left, thats running off 20 secs a play at least, probably more like 30 once the play is run.

  27. Oh, and while you technically might not be short, you are 10″ shorter than me, so I consider you one of “them short guys”. 🙂

  28. GFDave, Ott stands taller while Wat has bad posture and I have always wondered if Elston was a true 6 foot 8 in tall. By the way, Mike P is crazy tall. Also, when listing athletes, rule of thumb is to list with shoes which adds at least one inch. I would say you can take an inch off of the entire roster at most high schools and colleges. Oh, I am 6 foot 2 also without shoes since we are doing the height thing.

  29. I dont mind Crean running clock. They are young and simply reducing the amount of shots taken increases the chances to win. Though this is not always the strategy. Crean admits there are times when they go away from what got them there in the first place, they get tight with the ball and try way to many one on one maneuvers. So, this is not always what’s been coached.

    There is another thing thats happens on the court and this is called “Defense”. When the other team attempts to play this strategy they are trying to stop you from doing what you want to do. When successful or done at a high level it can make the other team out of sink or look disorganized.

    College basketball are played by the youth; ages 18-22, some barely old enough to shave. Its amazing to me they make mistakes out there especially when the majority of the team is 18, but hey I dont want to make excuses.

    When writers have trouble finishing the story or become stagnant they call this writers block. This is similar to when a team stops doing what got them to the advantage in the first place. In the states we have the NBA, this is played by the best of the best in the world, in the NBA teams have been known to go through these periods of stagnation. As crazy as it seems, I still prefer humans playing this game opposed to robots.

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