McClain, Hulls mum on Watford

Indiana coach Tom Crean wasn’t available to the media Friday during standard media availability — the reason apparently having to do with scheduling conflicts caused by travel to Ann Arbor for Saturday’s 4 p.m. game — and those who were made available were apparently not briefed on sophomore forward Christian Watford’s availability for the game.

Crean said last week that Watford had a remote, outside chance to be able to play with a cast on his broken left hand, which he injured in the game at Michigan State on Jan. 30. Assistant coach Steve McClain and sophomore guard Jordan Hulls met with the media on Friday afternoon, but both said they were unaware if Watford could play.

“I don’t know,” McClain said.

Hulls’ response to the question, as you would imagine, was about the same.

With or without him, the Hoosiers get a Michigan team that they knocked off at Assembly Hall, but that is starting to think NCAA Tournament after some of its recent performances. They’ve won four of their last five, knocking off then No. 25 Michigan State in East Lansing and losing only to No. 1 Ohio State.

The Wolverines have seen improvement across the board, but especially from redshirt freshman center Jordan Morgan. Morgan scored 27 points in their most recent victory over Northwestern.

“I think what he’s done is become more aggressive,” McClain said. “I think just watching him in the last couple of games for him, I think just going to the glass or wanting the ball in the post, he seems to just have gotten a confidence. Give his guards credit. They’ve found a way to get him the ball, but I think there’s just an aggressiveness I didn’t see three weeks ago.”

McClain said he’s also seen progress across the board from a team that doesn’t have a single senior on the roster.

“People have commented about how their a young basketball team,” McClain said. “They’ve just gotten better as the year goes on.”

AUDIO: McClain discusses Michigan

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls talks about being more aggressive

16 comments

  1. After ordering a pizza for carryout tonight from one of those get-it-quick chain establishments(rhymes with pizza gut), I have decided to finally come to my senses and never order a round of bland spicy cardboard for under $20 again. Yuk!

    I should have just had a couple beers and went to bed. Next pizza is homemade….bubbly crisp crust..sauce from San Marzano tomatoes..fresh basil..a nice stringy mozzarella that bakes up flavorful and golden… fine Italian olive oil..a dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano ..High quality ingredients…the whole nine yards..It may suck up an evening in prep time and cost me double in ingredients upfront but I forever refuse to support the places that give one of my favorite foods such a depressing memory for my taste buds.

  2. Hey PizzaWhat, do yourself a favor and put some Italian procchiuto on that homemade pizza, and bake it at about 500 degrees on a pizza stone for 6 to 7 minutes. You won’t be sorry!

    As for IU, it looks like Watford won’t make a major impact in the game, so IU needs to continue to work for good shots and hustle around and play good defense without fouling. This is a tough task on the road, but I believe in them given how they’ve played the last 3 weeks!

  3. 16guards-

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve heard salami is good too..I need to buy a nice large pizza stone. No more junk carryout stuff. My mom was a marvelous cook. No reason I can’t learn to make a damn tasty pizza.

    It’s tough to find the extra needed scoring punch without Watford in the lineup. It seemed nearly impossible for Christian to be back this quickly and probably not worth risking further trouble with the wrist. Hopefully the Hoosier can continue to play inspired and hang close. Maybe we can get the first one on the road. We’ll need some shots to fall from guys not usually called upon..Hopefully Elston can get something going. And like you said..a strong defensive effort from all.

    Go Hoosiers!!

  4. coach shooter may be a drunk redneck but i doubt he said, “their a young basketball team.”

    couldn’t resist.

  5. PizzaWhat-

    What a coincidence, I made pizza from scratch last night, and it turned out almost as good as your description. I have a few tidbits to add, to follow 16guards’ suggestion.

    First, I jettison the marinara sauce in favor of a sparse brushing of extra virgin olive oil and a (very light) sprinkling of sea salt. If you have a good sausage, or proscuitto, you want to let the flavors speak for themselves. Sometimes I find that the tomato gets in the way, unless you are doing a margherita pizza and accenting the tomato.

    Second, a dash of dried herbs and chili flakes is a nice final touch before baking.

    The pizza stone is a must, but you’ll have to buy the slider, too, if you want to make the operation worthwhile. I’ve ruined many pizzas in the transition from countertop to oven. The slider makes it noticeably easier.

  6. Red onions. None of that yellow crap. Include some feta cheese to liven up your cheese combo. Mix things up. Sun dried tomatoes are fun, pesto, maybe avacado if you’re feeling your California. If you’re thinking meat don’t scrimp on your bacon. Not too crispy. Pizza is not a right it’s a privilege. Treat it as such

  7. Chet,

    Feta, pesto and avacado labels you as much more adventurous than I. After making both the homemade dough along with the rich sauce and using a liberal ration of quality provolone cheese I really only need a couple of traditional toppings to be very satisfied. I just kind a figure if it is not broke then eat it that way.

  8. Clarion- That gets the job done as well. It’s all about the quality ingredients and making as much as possible from scratch.

    A good cheese pizza – with a few thin slices of roma tomatoes and nothing else – can be a heavenly experience.

  9. Wow! Woke up this morning to all these fabulous pizza-making experiences/preferences. Quite a sophisticated crowd here on Hoosier Scoop. So many delicious sounding techniques and ingredients..I will keep you guys updated. First step: Pizza stone and slider.

    Thanks to all of you.

  10. I usually use a pizza stone (indeed, I store it in the oven) but sometimes, if I’m looking for a crispier crust, I’ll use a perforated pan. A nice heavy one. If you like a crispy crust give it a try. I am also a fan of the simple pizza. Last year we were getting fresh tomatoes from the garden from the first of July thru November. It was glorious. I had fresh sliced tomatoes on all my pizzas. I would also make fresh salsa with them (along with homegrown onions, cilantro, peppers, and garlic) and serve it as a garnish for the pizza.
    Disclosure, my wife grew everything, but I was more than happy to cook with it and eat it.

  11. John: Yet another thing to love about Bloomington and IU. An educated and earthy fan base who know how to live the good life and enjoy the simple things. Do think they talk about home-grown tomatoes and yeasty, crispy crusts up in Lafayette? Doubt it, unless it is some gimmick by Papa Johns to pass of corporate pizza as “home style.”

    By the way, when I say “earthy” I am not referring to one set of political beliefs – even Clarion is earthy, preferring bucolic small-town pleasures and fresh food to high-falutin’ city living.

  12. Believe me, no one loves Btown or IU more than I. It is Heaven on Earth. I just found it funny to read a message board about IU hoops, and find nothing but pizza recipes (and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve taken careful notes)

  13. Jarvis Lorry,

    Earthy, bucolic, why thank you for the compliment and it is a compliment to my folks also, seeing as I was raised on a Hoosier dairy farm. Hell I still get up around 4:00am(not to milk Holstiens)and still live in the country. Living that rural lifestyle also gives me the right to say whenever I wish, “POTFB”.

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