Illinois 72, Indiana 70

Perhaps you remember Demetri McCamey. The Illinois junior has scored — let me look it up — yes, eleventy-bajillion points against the Hoosiers.

Two today were particularly heart-breaking. They came during the bizarre end of the game.

Illinois called a time out with a little less than five seconds left — even though it appeared to already be running a final play — and of course designed a play for McCamey.

He just told the media that the switch off the screen forced him to the basket, and that he threw up the tear-drop shot.

“I knew it was as good as soon as it left my hand,” he said. “I practice that shot every day.”

Tom Crean immediately took to the court as the game ended, seeking out each player with open arms. He had to walk all the way to the other end of the court to find Jeremiah Rivers, the junior guard and 50 percent free-throw shooter who had tied the game by making two free throws just seconds earlier. He’d also been called for a controversial foul on a rebound.

Should be interesting to see what Crean has to say. Obviously the Hoosiers fought hard in a hostile environment, and a couple of young guys — Jordan Hulls, Derek Elston, Bobby Capobianco — took clear steps forward. But losing — and losing like that repeatedly — hurts.

[4:50 UPDATE]

Crean has arrived.

He says that usually you can go back and look at a game and find a mistake that bites at you after the fact. Not so today.

“They had the last possession,” he said, “and they did something with it. Demetri McCamey made a tough shot.”

Crean said he was concerned about more than just McCamey on that last play, and therefore didn’t try to shade to him alone.

“There’s not a lot of things we’d do differently,” he said.

More in a bit. Til then, review the box score and share all thoughts in the comments section below.

[8:08 UPDATE]

Dustin Dopirak here. Should’ve had this up earlier, but the audio follows.

AUDIO: Demetri McCamey, Mike Tisdale and Bill Cole discuss the Illini’s victory on McCamey’s last-second shot

AUDIO: Tom Crean says it was a shame someone had to lose

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls said this one was really tough

AUDIO: Verdell Jones calls it “gut-wrenching”

34 comments

  1. Tough loss, and it looks like our ‘D’ broke down a little bit on that final play and let McCamey get a fairly clean shot to win the game, but we played well. We didn’t crumble when we got behind early, and we played a tough-nosed 40 minutes of basketball. I couldn’t believe my eyes that Rivers made those two crucial free throws to tie the game. It’s unfortunate that we lost, and I am upset how we lost, but Crean will take some positives out of this game for our young squad and we’ll move forward.

  2. Heartbreaking loss, but you can’t fault the effort or the tenaciousness if this Indiana team today. They had hearts like lions. Congratulations to CTC and the while team. Hard to swallow, but this was another positive step in this program’s development.

  3. Interesting that a basketball novice like Steve Lavin thought that CTC was making all the right moves. Let’s hear what the ‘real’ experts have to say.

  4. Watford: 1-10, Jones: 5-20…are you kidding me? Of course, maybe 5 of Christian’s missed shots were recorded as blocks for Illinois. Dude needs to learn a shot fake repertoire and bulk up. I realize he is playing too much down low as a natural small forward, but he has many opportunities in the post and is just man-handled most of the time.
    Jones needs to realize that basketball is broken up into two aspects: offense AND defense. I get tired of seeing him getting burned or conveniently switching off to someone when he is guarding a driver to the basket. Move you feet, Verdell.

  5. Another effort with nothing but effort to show for it. The wins have gotta come soon, don’t they?

  6. Eric Gordon’s box score at Illinois 3 years ago:

    3-13 field goals, 19 points, mostly on free throws and a lucky banked-in 3.

    That was an 18-3 team ranked #13 vs. a 10-13 unranked Illinois team.

    I say our guys did pretty well today. Go easy on VJIII.

  7. Oops…forgot to mention that McCamey scored 31 as a freshman that game…he was, is, and will always be a much better college player than Gordon.

  8. Too bad Sampson couldn’t convince McCamey to come to IU (he was close remember). Then McCamey would be playing for some A-10 or Big West school now instead of Illinois. Sampson’s gift keeps on giving!

  9. Husky,

    You do remember the part where Eric Gordon led the Big Ten in scoring despite playing much of the season with a broken bone in his left wrist, right?

  10. I think we are starting to see that Tom Crean’s system will work and work well in the B10. The fact is that this year’s team is just a little too young, inexperienced, and not athletic enough to win consistently. Realistically at the beginning of the year most fans would be happy with a .500 season for this years team, and they are hanging around there, despite not having Mo Creek for the big ten season. I for one think CTC is doing an amazing job, and once we get next years recruiting class in, and mo creek and roth back from injury we’ll be right in the thick of the B10 race. When the players execute and hustle in this offense and defense they are a force to be reckoned with.

  11. In the first half our transition defense was horrible. We were beaten back down the court numerous times. Also defensively we never did do a good job on the pick and roll. Part of that’s just to their credit.

    In the second half we shored up on D and stayed as tenacious as we were in the first half, which gave us the chance to win.

    Capo crushed Jordan on that pick at mid court. That’s a frosh folks!

    I agree that Hulls, Capo and Elston looked good. Hulls more so in the first half, Elston more so in the second.

    Dumes still has his bad moments, but they are getting to be fewer and fewer.

    Tijan almost looked like he new what he was doing. Almost.

    I think folks need to realize that teams are going to try and take away Watford and Jones and make somebody else beat them. Its going to be tough for those guys here on out.

    19 for 23 at the charity stripe: 82%. Much better.

  12. I think the team looks better and better. I loved how they came back from down thirteen at the half. Now we have a truly brutal ten game stretch ahead of us. If we strive to never lose any game by more than 5 points (unlike they played Iowa at home) and if we have no more injuries I think we could win five (maybe six) games. As far as I am concerned they can lose them all and I won’t complain assuming that they keep them close. Keep them close, guys, because in 50% of the cases you’re going to be mentally tougher than the opponents that are ahead of us (they are all of them favorites) and that could tip the balance your way in regulation or OT.

    Oh, and I almost forgot: my most sincere congratulations to Jeremiah Rivers student athlete! Swish… swish…

    \O 
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    / \

  13. I will echo the sentiments of the others here that are supportive, especially GFDave.

    I would add that I have been quite critical of JR, and still cringe when he shoots, but I want to be right here and say what a great job he did with those last two free throws after absolutely getting hosed on the rebound foul call.

    Nice to see Jeremiah overcome his ft demons!

    Go Hoosiers!

    I do not miss Gordon. Continued good fortune to him in the NBA. He’s doing fine.

  14. Wanted to see a solid 40 minutes. Check.
    Wanted to see us compete on the road against a better opponent. Check
    Wanted to see some heart/good defense/and not a ton of stupid turnovers. Check
    Honestly I dont care if we dont get a W on the road when the Hoosiers do all those things. Despite it all they still almost got the W without Mo Creek, Roth, and Watford. This team is making strides, definitely getting better. Super proud of the effort, and as long as they continue to fight like that they know they will start to pick some of these teams off. Believe, they are getting more confident with every game.

    *Side note* Staring to realize Bobby the situation needs to be starting and picking up most of the minutes as a big. Our team is completely different with him in the game. He hasn’t even started to shot the ball yet, which by the way folks is a great outside/spot up shooter. Love his toughness!!
    *Side note #2* Eric Gordon averages 16.9 pts/game, playing in the Rookie Challenge at the ALL STAR game, and possibly the dunk contest. Where McCamey? Oh yea, still at Illoinois playing against a bunch of Freshman at Indiana. Cant argue with you there though Huskey, McCamey will definitely have a better college career than E. Gordan since he’s at still at the college level and Gordan is throwing down nasty dunks against the NBA’s best, lol……

  15. Stevealford, maybe YOU could get ahold of TC and show these boys how to play defense. I mean you are such a waste, laying there on the couch when you could be making such a difference for the team. I dont see how you live with yourself, when you know how you shut down those guys at the Y, everyone knows you have mad skills when it comes to moving your feet, I cant believe IU wont even let you have a try???? I bet almost anything we would be above .5 if you could just show Rivers, Bobby, and Elston how to play some freakin D. Put down that bag of chips and get on the horn to TC, I want to start seeing a difference with this team and it starts with you!!!!!!!!!

  16. stevealford, how do you find the time to come on here and show everyone how brilliant you are. What with all the time you must be spending fielding calls from all of the top knotch coaches in college ball, not to mention the NBA coaches that are constantly calling you for the expertise you have in so many different fields. Here is an idea for you to consider why don’t you just take the time you spend typing on here and type up a book shouldn’t take you too long to type seeing as how it should for sure all fit on one page even with large type. Oh yea I see where there are some really good buys on ONE WAY tickets to New Mexico you could go out there and worship him instead of the statue you have in the darkest corner of your basement.

    P.S. If you can’t afford the price of the ticket we could pass the hat and come up with it in a matter of minutes I’m sure, that it if it is a one way ticket.

  17. I would dearly like to see an official explanation of the foul against Rivers on that rebound.

    That said, fantastic effort by the Hoosiers. Whatever it was the Devan Dumes did to get that shot off at the end of the first half was amazing…the Indy Kilroys was completely dead until that moment.

  18. Korman, I have never seen you take up for a player like this. Are you a Gordon fan??? I am joking ya know…

  19. Could we take a census on exactly how many IUMIKEs are out there? There’s IUMIKE1 and IUMIKE4 over at ITH right now. We’ve got plain ole’ IUMIKE above (great post btw).

    Is there an IUMIKE2010Edition waiting in the wings? How about IUMIKETheEarlyYears? Or simply, IUMIKEsDad? And of course, for the Mike with expensive tastes, IUMIKEBlueLabel?

    Where will it end? vbg.

  20. Outstanding game by coach Crean. Yes, I know we lost but this was on the road against a team that is better than us with more experience, yes, that hurts to say. I am so happy with the direction of this program and the development I see. Iowa aside this team continues to improve and impress. I look forward to great things from coach Crean and the Hoosiers.

  21. Some of you people are an embarrassment to hoosier nation. You are happy with a loss, never less to a team that had lost 3 of their last 4.
    I really never thought I would see the day.
    And yes that Rivers call was horrendous. In no way was that a foul. That ref should face some scrutiny for that.

  22. @ stevealford

    No one is happy with losing. We’re happy to see the team come out and play hard after that game against Iowa. They’ve clearly improved as this season has went on.

  23. I am beside myself with excitement at the thought of following this group over the next few seasons.

    Many of these Big 10 teams will be losing players, while our nucleus – Creek, Watty, Elston, and Hulls – will only be getting better. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there wishing we weren’t this competitive already.

  24. Mike, The thing is we shouldn’t be so happy just because the team played hard. That should be a given every single night.

  25. Steve,

    You are doing a disservice to Alford’s name by posting under it. Could you choose another name as to not darnish it?

    I would suggest kelvinsampson. Because you care about winning now at all costs.

    Jubilee

  26. And Chet he is the kind of gift you would like to just regift to someone but the only one we would do something like that to is him so I guess we are stuck with this “gift”. Something tells me the way he took it hook, line and sinker he was and is still an ardent supporter of Bush and THAT does not suprise me in the least bit.

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