The Derby Classic, a morning-after review

I write this blog post while watching the IndyBall tournament at North Central High School. I got home from Louisville at 2 a.m. Ideally, I’d be maybe considering waking up right about now. I do not look conscious. One consolation, however, is I can look down press row and see that Mike Pegram, who made the same trip I did last night, looks just as far from awake as I do. For some strange reason, I take comfort in this.

Regardless, considering that my last live blog entry from the game came with about 5:30 to go in the third quarter, I presume that some of you may want a more detailed scouting report of Victor Oladipo and Moses Abraham.

I’m having a difficult time coming up with a complete opinion on Oladipo, mostly because the dynamic of an all-star game is such that it’s really hard to get a read on some of the things he’s known for. For instance, no one, and I mean no one was playing defense last night. Actually, I take that back. Defense was played in only such a way that it produced statistics, i.e. the ridiculous eight blocks by Louisville commit Gorgol Sy Dieng. Basically, you gambled for steals and blocks, and failing to get one of those, you let your man shoot. All star games are about showing off for the fans and having a good time, and that was clearly the stated goal.

Which brings us to Oladipo’s defense which is apparently his strong point. There were occasions when he showed some ability. His leaping ability is really phenomenal and he swatted on black team player who had a few inches on him in the low block with a stand-still jump. It was something to see.

He didn’t do anything on the perimeter that blew me away, and here’s where I struggle to make a complete assessment. There was one particular possession when he tried to pick up his man around half court and seemed intent on proving his reputation as an on-ball defender. On that possession, he got crossed up badly and committed a reaching foul. Now, is it fair to judge by this possession that he’s not as good on defense as advertised? Almost assuredly not. But that happened.

Offensively, he has a decent handle, he can finish, he can pass and yeah, he can seriously dunk. I’ll be interested to see how well he runs the floor, because that really didn’t happen in the fundamental sense for anyone Saturday. If you had a chance to get a breakaway dunk, you ran the floor. If you didn’t, you chilled out.

His shooting stroke has been much criticized, and Oladipo acknowledged that most people don’t think he can shoot. To hear him tell the story, however, he’s started over with his form and and become a much better shooter than he was at the beginning of the season. Whether he can become a reliable 3-point shooter is a tough question, but he showed at the 3-point competition that he is capable of hitting threes. His stroke isn’t perfect, but there doesn’t seem to be anything strikingly wrong with it either. If he’s made as much of an improvement since the beginning of the season as he says he has, there’s reason to believe he can continue to improve at the next level.

Moses Abraham was actually almost exactly what I expected. He was by no means polished, but he appeared to be much, much further along than Bawa Muniru and Tijan Jobe. There were times when he looked out of place, and it’s pretty typical for a true big man to look lost in a game like this. Their teammates in most cases are not trying to get them involved, so they set picks just hoping someone will notice them rolling to the bucket instead of jacking a three. But he attacked the glass and had one particularly nice post move when he backed a defender down, turned and dunked on him. In one play he showed more coordination with the ball in his hand than I’ve ever seen from Tijan or Bawa. He might not be a freshman All-American, but Georgetown might be able to shape him in to a solid player.

AUDIO: Victor Oladipo talks about his game and IU

AUDIO: Moses Abraham talks about picking Georgetown over IU


  1. According to Dustin’s twitter account, Abraham said IU is still trying with him.
    Crean is now recruiting committed recruits???

  2. lala,

    We’ll cover what we consider to be news. Only focusing on players who chose Indiana — or are still at Indiana — would give only a partial view of the story.

  3. Until the LOI is signed many coaches do this. I believe that it occurs more frequently when the commitment is to a school out of conference. This is why Illinois got so incensed about the Gordon situation.
    I doubt that Crean would go after Marquette commits due to loyalty. Marquette has a 6-10 center commited from Illinois. I doubt that Crean would go after the young man.
    Remember Calbert Cheaney? Calbert had commited to Jim Crews and Evansville. IU came in late and got Calbert. Crews was not happy with Knight.
    Not everything that Crean does is wrong or unusual.

  4. give me a little while and I will have an anti-Crean spin for you. That is, if some impostor or one of my many imitators hasn’t done it already.

  5. there goes 4 guards with his anti Crean agenda. Give it a rest man. Perhaps you should find a site where you can blast Coach K and Roy Williams for continuing to recruit a committed Austin Rivers.

    Crawl back under whatever bridge you came from troll.

  6. Not to mention, like I said before imitation is the biggest form of flattery. My opinions are starting to catch on. Pretty soon I’ll have everyone hating the coach.

  7. actually i said best form of flattery. if you are going to try and impersonate me all the time at least get my quotes right.

  8. if Crean is going around trying to poach recruits and nobody has a problem with it, why don’t we go after D. Thomas?

  9. and thanks for correcting my spelling of imitation, which I had been spelling “immatation.”

  10. As I tried to point out to you yesterday. This poaching, as you call it, seldom happens within the B-10 conference. While it is not written rule it is an unstated rule, at least in the B-10, that you leave recruits alone once they have commited to another B-10 school. Thus the uproar over Gordon.
    I am trying to be polite with you. I admit the your tedious posts are boring and uninformed. As Hoosier Clarion has stated more than once. If you throw enough BS against the wall something is bound to stick.

  11. The person/people using my username nonstop does not really bother me. I will just begin to use a different username each post until the log in screen is up and running if it does not stop.

  12. …I’ll just have to hope that the person/people imitating me don’t start using whatever name I switch to. It will be very easy to spot who I am since I say the same thing over and over again and never bring anything new to the table.

  13. Outside of the ethical implications, why is he wasting his time on a committed recruit while guys like Darryl Baker can’t get a phone call?

  14. My partner is very unhappy with the imitators posting under my name. He is afraid I will become uncomfortable showing my true feelings.

  15. No one is anyone anymore. I am afraid we will hire Steve Alford and it will end up being John Bobbit posting under Steve’s username.

  16. Alford was at the Classic. He will bring MOAB to New Zealand University. Crean has lost out again to Alford.

  17. I’m sorry to say this for 4tards, but I am starting to see the first signs of hair loss in Steve’s coiffure. If you look at the front part, it is getting pretty wispy. I’m not saying he’s Rick Majerus or anything. I’m just saying.

  18. Sorenards must be filling Korman’s mailbox with complaints right now.

    Last week, he lost his biggest supporter L’accent.

    This week, he has lost his unique, belligerent identity and can no longer advance his stubborn view with the blog’s undivided attention.

    Serves him right. I just hope we aren’t in for a Korman lecture on ethics any time soon.

  19. I haven’t sent him any complaints. The only complaint I have with this site is it lets immature kids use mulitiple usernames which he has already said he is working on.
    I was always accused of being L’accent anyhow so him leaving doesn’t really affect me.
    as far as “advancing my stubborn view” , i can still post here regardless what other people are saying or I can decide to move on and post more at a website that allows you to sign in with one username like peegs.

  20. If you post your name, address and phone number, I will send you the money required for a one year membership on Peegs. How does that sound?

  21. ^sorry, every so often I am unable to control my passions, and a profane word or two slips out. I also like Sean Hannity’s cute, round face. There. I said it.

  22. 4guards, you are the most self-centered person on this site. Only one person ever agreed with you, and now he is gone. Everyone else hates you. Why do you persist? Because you are all ego. You are like the religious whacko that shouts at students on college campuses. Why do you stay around?

    You are like the idiot Yankees fan that goes to Fenway and stands up and cheers wildly while taunting the home crowd. Within minutes you are covered with beer and pelted by projectiles, as you deserve. I only wish that this was a ballgame and not a blog.

  23. Just as a note, as a frequent visitor and poster on this site, I don’t hate 4guards. Do I think he’s wrong about Crean? Yes, but we all have different opinions. The way to not go about it is to imitate him so we have 25 posts from 4guards. Just let him state his opinion and leave it alone.

  24. I am not MaimLarry. Let me make this clear. I am 4guards imitating MaimLarry, as a form of flattery. I am flattering him as a way to thank him for the last post, which shows that I have more defenders than just L’accent and Korman.

  25. Eric- It’s the off season, and there is no recruiting story in the pipeline at the moment. THe only talk to be doing is complaining, which 4tards of course is always the first to oblige.

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