Indiana not sleeping on Iowa again

Indiana was in a situation similar to this just over a year ago.

Fans were starting to believe the Hoosiers had turned the corner. They’d survived, for the time being, the devastating injury to star guard Maurice Creek, winning three of their first six Big Ten games, including back-to-back victories over Minnesota and Penn State.

The next game after the Penn State win, their first true road victory of the season, they had Iowa at home. It was the only conference team that they had defeated in 2008-09 with the makeshift group that emerged from the rubble of the Kelvin Sampson recruiting scandal. For the first time in the conference season, they were favored.

But then they were crushed 58-43 by Iowa and didn’t win again for well over a month.

Indiana coach Tom Crean initially disputed any inference that the Hoosiers underestimated Iowa, but admitted later that it may have been the case.

He said Friday that there’s no way that happens this time. The Hoosiers have lost to Iowa twice at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since then, and the Hawkeyes recently crushed Michigan State 72-52, further proving they are not to be overlooked.

“I think our team knows the task at hand with Iowa,” Crean said. “Certainly playing them as recently as we have puts things in perspective there that they’re a really, really good team. I don’t think we had to see the Michigan State game to have that etched in our minds. But certainly when you watch them play Michigan State, the way they attacked them the other night, you see it again. We’ve gotta be really good in so many different areas.”

Said sophomore guard Jordan Hulls: “We can’t overlook anybody. Everybody in the Big Ten’s good.”

The Hoosiers were without junior guard Verdell Jones for the first game against the Hawkeyes this season, a 91-77 loss in Iowa City. Jones is back, but Crean said he’s unlikely to play much more than the 17 minutes he did against Minnesota on Wednesday.

“When I say it’s day-to-day I’m not being evasive,” Crean said. “It’s just a matter of how he feels and how he continues to progress and how he continues to rehabilitate. I wouldn’t expect much more.”

In other injury news, Crean reiterated his thoughts from Dan Dakich’s radio show on Thursday that sophomore forward Christian Watford would have an opportunity to return on Feb. 12 against Michigan.

“Next Saturday would be a very outside, remote possibility,” Crean said. “We’re very hopeful that it would be the week after that. It could go deeper. It’s too early to tell. The surgery is too fresh, it’s too recent. We’ll have to see how it heals. But we do expect him back, it’s not like it’s a season-ending injury.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 1

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 2

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls

7 comments

  1. Color me amazed if IU’s medical staff can heal a broken hand enough in two weeks to be ready for the rigors of Big Ten Basketball!

    If true, please give them a few other tasks:

    1. Heal Creek’s knees so that he can play the week after that.

    2.Lastly, have them work on curing Guy Marc-Michel’s broken eligibility!

  2. Larry, Michel is ineligible for the rest of time unless the NCAA changes its rules to something that makes sense. Having a tree-sized center would’ve been really nice this year, especially on the defensive end. He showed real promise in the pre-season scrimmages.

    Go Hoosiers! A post-season bid is in sight; we gotta reach out and grab it!

  3. As far as healing a broken hand, I believe Watford will play with a hard cast on when he comes back. Unfortunately, no miracles involved.

  4. I see Luke Recker is living in Iowa City and bragging about his shot in the Big 10 tourney to beat IU. For that reason alone, I hope we win today. My beef with Recker is how he walked away from his girlfriend/fiancee after the tragic accident in Colorado. I have a friend who married his fiance after she was paralyzed in an explosion.My friend had unconditional love for his fiance. Iowa can have Luke Recker.

  5. I am thinking their relationship was boyfriend-girlfriend at the time of the accident. With her resulting physical condition being the largest elephant in the room it is easy to identify it as causing their split-up. Do we know that for sure? I do not. Still that single action outside of BB always has bothered me about LR.

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