Hoosiers stumble in 77-74 loss to Minnesota

As it turns out, even this Indiana team had a clunker in it.

After entering the Top 10 this week for the first time since 2008, the Hoosiers took a hard fall back to Earth on Thursday. They rallied from a nine-point deficit late in the game to cut Minnesota’s lead to one, but still fell 77-74 in front of 17,373 at Assembly Hall, suffering their second loss of the season and their first at Assembly Hall.

“We know we have to bring it every night,” junior guard Jordan Hulls said. “It’s the Big Ten. Every team’s good in this league. the main thing we have to take out of this is we’ve just gotta play hard and play with that edge. Those are things that we all know, but we just didn’t do that tonight.”

Said freshman forward Cody Zeller: “We just didn’t come with that same edge that we’ve won with. We usually get a lot of deflections and have that edge. That’s why we’re winning. We just didn’t have that tonight.”

The Hoosiers stumbled on both ends of the floor, and went Arctic from beyond the 3-point arc just five days after knocking down 16 3-pointers against Penn State . Before senior guard Matt Roth hit two 3-pointers in the final minute, they were 2-for-15 from 3-point land, including 1-for-8 in the first half. Hulls was 1-for-5 after hitting seven 3-pointers on Sunday, and the Hoosiers only got one 3-pointer outside of Hulls and Roth.

They were buoyed by Zeller, who registered 23 points and eight rebounds as well as two assists, two blocks and two steals. Hulls found a mid-range game to make up for his long-range short comings and finished with 13 points.

Sophomore swingman WIll Sheehey had 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting and six rebounds in 15 minutes in his return to the lineup after missing five games with an ankle injury and sophomore guard Victor Oladipo had 10 points and six rebounds.

But IU veterans Christian Watford and Verdell Jones both had brutal outings. Watford fought through an ankle injury suffered early in the game and shot just 1-for-7 from the field, finishing with as many turnovers (four) as points. He missed all four of his 3-pointers, including one with five seconds to go that would’ve tied the game at 77.

The uninjured Jones was even worse. He was 0-for-6 from the field and missed a pair of open 3’s and committed three turnovers to just one assist.

All told, the Hoosiers finished with 16 turnovers to just six assists, and

“We were getting some looks that we wanted and they weren’t falling for us,” Hulls said. “But like I said, we’ve just gotta create that with our defense. Deflections, steals, charges. We’ve gotta create that with our defense. Deflections, steals, charges, we’ve gotta create that energy with our defense.”

Indeed, as bad as the Hoosiers were on offense, they were even more frustrated with what happened on the other end of the floor.

Minnesota (13-5 overall, 1-4 in the Big Ten) shot 46.8 percent from the field (29-for-62) but the number seemed much higher. They hit six first-half 3-pointers largely because Indiana defenders got lost on screens, and the Hoosiers moved to a 2-3 zone with little avail. Minnesota sophomore guard Austin Hollins, who averages 8.0 points per game, scored 18. Junior swingman Rodney Williams added 14 while junior guard Julian Welch added 10 points and seven rebounds despite playing just 21 minutes with foul trouble.

The Hoosiers won the rebound battle, but that also didn’t seem accurate. The Golden Gophers grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive. They scored 36 points in the paint, including 13 off second-chance points.

“This game starts with our lack of awareness defensively,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “Communication. Weak-side. Ball-side. Challenging shots. Block outs. The awareness never got where it needed to be until the end of the game.”

When it finally did, the Hoosiers stormed back.

They trailed the Golden Gophers by as many as 11 points, and every time throughout the half that they crept back within five, Minnesota had an answer, and the Hoosiers were still down 71-62 with 1:11 to go in the game.

But Roth hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds to go to cut it to 71-56 and Oladipo converted on a 3-point play with 40 seconds to go to make it 71-68. Minnesota guard Joe Coleman hit two free throws to build the lead back to five, but Roth hit another 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to make it 73-71. Coleman hit two more free throws, but then Zeller powered up for another 3-point play and it was 75-74 with 17 seconds to go.

But the miracle comeback was not to be and the magic of Assembly Hall was not enough for the Hoosiers on a night when they had a horrendous shooting and defensive night. After two free throws by Hollins that made it 77-74 Minnesota, Watford tried a step-back 3-pointer and missed badly. Welch got the rebound and missed two free throws that would’ve put the game away, but Watford’s baseball inbound pass with 1.4 seconds to go was intercepted by Minnesota guard Maverick Ahanmisi and the Hoosiers took their first road loss of the season.

AUDIO: Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls and Will Sheehey

AUDIO: Tom Crean


  1. I completely agree Harvard… This positive craps sucks. So back to the Jones bashing.

    Yeah, we certainly came out with no sense of urgency, with the exception of Cody and Dipo. Obviously the bench gave us a big lift. Sheehey was exceptional – 12 pts and 6 boards in only 15 minutes. Abel again was solid on D and hit a big 3 to start a second half run. He pressures the ball almost as hard as Dipo and it gives you hope for a turnover in those comeback situations. Roth again with ice water…

    Watford has earned the right to put up a stinker without us criticizing him. Hulls was pretty bad early, but he seemed to get the memo with the benching and almost brought us back. However…. Friggin Verdell Jones! Ok Harvard, name one positive play he made in the game. Not only did he miss all six shots, but he had 3 more TO’s to the one assist. And what was really disturbing was his inability to get a rebound at the end of the game. He failed to block out on at least 2 occasions in the last couple minutes that led to a put-back and an extra FT. He was just absolutely miserable. His worst game amongst a season of poop.

    Really glad to see Abel and Roth get decent minutes even with he return of Sheehey. If Roth had taken about 5 more of Jones minutes we probably pull that game out.

    We were due for one of those… Should be plenty focused on Sunday.

  2. Pretty damned good analysis Geoff. Defensively we stunk and the statistic ’18 offensive rebounds for the Gophers” is more of an adjective than a stat. When was the last time this Hoosier team worked on blocking out?

    Summing it up for a headline…Jones Won’t and Hulls Can’t.

    I do have a question. How many minutes did Roth play tonight? Offensively, Roth is one of those players who can break the back of even the toughest opponents. At this point, continuing to play Jones other than clean-up minutes is irresponsible (mind you I have not said one word about the kid before). Sheehey- considering his inaction and loss of ‘playtime’ did play a tremendous game. Wattford- Geoff has it right- look over this one (actually, I could almost ‘feel’ it was coming after his ankle turn early…as if he didn’t trust it. Zeller, a man…Able, all ahead. Hulls, a tough, competitive, knowledgeable kid with huge heart. His body and lack of quickness betray him.I’ve even began to wonder if Coach didn’t put too much on his plate with his role. He really needs to relax, screw up and laugh a little about it. Coach C will Twitter Upstairs (he must have run out of minutes tonight) and get appropriate forgiveness. But you ‘play’ basketball…enjoy it.

    Now, some needed deep thought. I can understand gratitude and loyalty but at some point Coach Crean has to choose between Jones and the loyalty to the other members of this team, loyalty to the program and the loyalty to the fans. Also, as fans, best if we react to it by not shredding and devastating Jones and let our silence that undertands, ‘almost feel sorry for the situation”; but we need to move on now. IU can no longer be Jones’ team…It’s Indiana!

  3. Earth to Indiana: Time to come back down.

    Hopefully, they’ll pick up the pieces, learn from it and move on (and up). 15-2 is still very good.

  4. At the risk of being crucified…for as much as we need the vocal leader that is Jordan Hulls, he is not worth the minutes when he can’t hit anything. He doesn’t create off the dribble more than anyone else, he has developed the nasty habit of unnecessarily picking up his dribble, and gets beat by anything “quicker than average”. The boy plays his tail off, but he is not the most gifted of athletes. When he is having an off shooting night, I’m not sure he plays the best role of a two guard.

    Poor VJ is just having a rough go. Dunno what to tell the boy other than don’t EXPECT the foul. You sure can hope for the foul, but that doesn’t allow you to do whatever you want thinking a foul call will bail you out. We need him if we want to be successful. His pull up game remains one of the best in the country (since it hasn’t existed in 20 years). If he can capitalize on that, then you can work wonders on offense. Defensively, stick your hind quarter on something as soon as a shot goes up.

    Elston may go unnoticed this game, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Until his nose heals (if ever) he needs to play the role of a banger with limited minutes.

    And finally, can we get some receiver gloves for the big CZ? He has a bit of soft hands. Granted not every pass to him is Stockton-esque, but when he gets some nice hands, he can add 10 more points.

    All in all I think this loss will benefit us in the long run. No way were we as good as the number beside our name would have you think. We’ve gone back to the Globetrotter weave with no purpose. May the hunger inside the boys grow and let’s hit OSU while they’re down.

  5. I like Hulls and all, but let’s be honest, when he’s not hitting shots he’s a liability. He’s got three strikes against him before even walking on the floor. He’s slow. He’s short and He’s white.

  6. I must have been watching a different game. Hulls just about got us back in the game with a a couple of baskets that he just would not be denied. He made one drive to the hole that was unbelievable. Everybody in AH knew he was going to the basket and he did it anyway.

    A guy doesn’t go 7/10 from three point land and you hang him out to dry. We didn’t lose because of JH. We lost because Minnesota played their best game of the season.

  7. IMO I thought the biggest fault in last night’s game was that IU came out flat. No spark, no “gettin’ after in” attitude. It was a though they thought we can pull this out at anytime. Well, in the B10 you can’t always do that. You let a team hang around long enough & they begin to believe that THEY can win,instead of the home team. Yes, Hulls has liabilities but all in all I’d rather him on the floor than JV. I don’t get what CTC sees in JV vs what Remy Abel brings or Roth. Since this starting lineup does work that smooth why not try, CZ, CW, VO, JH and Abel? RA gives you more D & quickness without the TO to assist ration of VJ. I understand “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” Well, IMO we’re cracked, maybe not broke… but it’s coming. Time to try something new.

  8. Hoosier Scoop may want to rethink the Stock Up rating they gave to Christian Watford this week…

    He was absolutely horrible last night! Expect a beatdown in Columbus this Sunday.

  9. Exactly Chet… Hulls did get off to a slow start and made a couple silly TOs in the first half, but his second half was great, which basically meant he ended up playing an average game. He certainly wasn’t the reason we lost, but he was the reason we almost pulled it out.

    THE REASON we lost the game last night was because Watford and Jones shot a combined 1-13 with 7 TO’s and only 1 assist.

    The rest of the team (8 players!) shot 55%, including a respectable 33% from 3-pt range, with only 8 total turnovers. Those two guys were just bad and it cost us.

  10. I actually posted this yesterday afternoon, but it was like 2 pages back on an old thread, so I don’t know if no one saw it (maybe) or just that no one cared (probably). But I was hoping that it would generate some sort of discussion or interest. People may not care, but I would be willing to do similar analysis on other players/games if someone was interested in reading it. It takes time, but gives me a reason to do a couple of my favorite things, watch IU basketball and spout off at the mouth… So here goes:

    Snow day up here in Maine, so I took the opportunity this afternoon to re-watch the Penn State game. I think that Victor Oladipo is our most fascinating player. So much of what he does just can’t be seen in a box score. My goal in this viewing was to concentrate on VO and his influence on the game… Negative plays, positive plays, a general feel for what he does off the ball on offense, but most importantly how he effects the game defensively. This is obviously a microcosm, but here is what I came up with:
    His “official” stat line: 31 min, 2-8 FG, 1-4 FT, 6 pts, 6 reb, 2 assists, 1 block, 0 steals, 2 fouls, and 2 TO’s
    That doesn’t come close to telling you the story… Oh, and I found those stats to be somewhat inaccurate as well.
    His main contribution to the game was his defense of Frazier. Whenever they were both in the game VO was assigned to him. There were several times that Dipo switched off because he was screened, and that was when Frazier took advantage. However, Frazier was never in a flow, ending 7-23 from the floor. For the game I charted possessions in which VO was the primary defender of a shooter. His opponents FG% against him was 26% (5-19). He had only 14 points scored against him by all players, and 4 of them were in transition when he was the lone defender back.
    While he was in the book for only one blocked shot – a help side close out on a 3-pt shooter – he actually had another one against Frazier in the second half and altered several others with strong close outs on the perimeter. Despite that aggressiveness he was called for only one shooting foul.
    Dipo was also extremely effective at closing off pentration attempts by Frazier. I counted 12 possessions that VO beat Frazier to a spot and prevented a lay-up (or any shot, for that matter).
    Here is a list of the impact plays that Victor made over the course of the game ( + = positive, – = negative)
    First half
    + blocked a 3-pt shot
    + defensive rebound
    + offensive rebound, created a foul
    + defensive rebound
    + created an offensive team rebound between 3 PSU players
    + got to FT line on hard drive off opposite kick out by Cody
    + Hit corner 3-ptr
    – turned ball over
    – fouled Frazier on a shot
    + nice assist to Hulls on an extra pass
    – Frazier makes contested 3
    + closed out a 3-pt shooter in transition effecting the shot and creating a miss
    – Frazier beats him off the dribble for a lay-up
    – Frazier back cuts him for a lay-up & 1
    Opponents go 3-8 FG with 10 pts and 1 TO
    Second half
    + defensive rebound
    + defensive rebound
    + created foul on a hard drive to hoop
    + closed out Oliver hard creating 3-pt miss
    + made beautiful baseline reverse lay-up
    – TO on reckless drive
    – got tied up driving into 3 defenders, luckily IU has possession arrow
    + blocked a Frazier lay-up
    + Stripped the ball out of bounds on a Frazier drive
    + created a team defensive rebound
    +++ steals an inbounds pass and fouls Frazier out of the game
    – misses 2 FT in crunch time
    + defensive rebound
    Opponents go 2-11 for 4 pts and 2 TO’s
    Including the makes and misses he defended I counted 35 positive plays to 10 negative plays while going against arguably the most dangerous guard in the conference (leading the B1G in both scoring and assists coming into IU game). That is some ratio.
    As a side note, Abel was the primary sub for Dipo, so I watched him just as closely. In 7 minutes he was a very positive force in the game. He scored 5 points on 2-3 shooting and added a rebound with no TO’s or fouls. He played tremendous defense on Frazier, running him off shots, cutting off drives and only giving up 2 points. Basically he was +3 against the leading scorer in the B1G… He also played very good help-and-recover defense. He physically looked like a MAN out there, not a freshman.

    Great game by both players.

  11. Nothing to panic about, but plenty to be concerned with. Hoping IU did not peak too early this year.

    Losing at home really sucks. It should not have happened against the Gophers.

    With regard to Jordy’s skills/liabilities, next year, if he’s cold like he was last night, he’ll get yanked and given some time to collect himself. He’s a good shooter and he plays super-hard, but he has never been the best athlete on the floor. Got to love the kid’s fight, though.

  12. Here’s the headline college story from the Chicago Tribune this AM. MINNESOTA SCORES STUNNING UPSET OF NO. 7 INDIANA. No one likes to lose, but if you have to (and sometimes you have to), this is a beautiful headline.

    Illini country be afraid, very afraid.

    Did anyone come even close to believing this would be a headline a year ago….six months ago…10 weeks ago?

  13. The hulls debate rages on!! Im in the “if he aint on get him out pool.” I know that sounds cheap but I swear i’ve never referred to any player with that tag except Hulls. Let’s break it down. Yes he is a very dangerous shooter no doubt. Now what else positive can you say honestly? Now I understand most peoples fierce loyalty to a bloomington kid but if your being 100% honest other than a great shot he’s a c- player. Defense- Rancid! Ball distribution- Other than VJ3 worst on our team.(This is our pg bye the way) Steals- non exsitent. Ability to drive-average at best. Ability to get to the ft line- Non factor. Ability to feed the post- poor. Turnovers – 2nd most on team. (And this is out pg bye the way.) Now that being said we truley don’t have anyone to take those minutes as of now so CTC has no choice. What scares me is his loyalty to VJ3. Can we expect the same thing next season we Yogi arrives?

  14. Really? All you see in Hulls is a shooter? If that’s all you see there really isn’t any point explaining it to you. That’s an incredibly simplistic understanding of basketball.

  15. are you guys kidding me? it was an awful loss but the season is not over. this team will have more bumps in the road. chet, you are right. you and i watched a different game. jordy brought us back into the game. why is it that when things go a little south for this team people jump all over jordy? like i said before; jordy is one hell of a college basketball player. i will never believe that VJ3 plays because of some sense of loyalty from coach crean. do you really think that coach crean would determine playing time based on a sense of loyalty? that is something little league coaches do for their sons. maybe VJ3 plays because he plays good defense or maybe because he has made some big plays this year. maybe he earns his playing time at practice. yes he has made some terrible plays and yes i also get frustrated by his turnovers but get a grip. there is no playing time conspiracy here. and finally ( i bet you are glad )i think the hoosiers lost last night because of a terrible defense and horrible rebounding.

  16. i also want to ccmment on watford. i am a big fan. he was awful last night as was VJ3. i think that watford needs to learn that on nights he is not scoring he can still contribute by playing defense and REBOUNDING. he seems to force things on offense when his shot is not falling like dribbling into traffic and taking bad shots. i don’t mean to pile up on him. just something i noticed. go watford and go hoosiers!

  17. You know, because of his ‘less than optimal’ play during games I hadn’t really thought about it but you are probably right. I’ll bet the ‘he who shall not be named’ is the greatest practice player in the world. Simply amazing when the bright lights are not on. That might explain a lot. That would be a dilemma for a coach if the player that had the best grasp of everything you are trying to do in practice simply melts down in games.

  18. Again, let’s not try to out think the room. We were off and Minnesota played their best game of the year and it STILL came down to the final possession because our guys JUST NEVER QUIT.



  19. I’d like to see Roth and Abel at the guards Hulls can’t defend at all he can’t see over defenders to pass he can’t pass over or around defenders he can only pass to the side when there is nobody in between.why does Roth not start you can’t tell me he’s a worse defender than Jones or Hulls ?

  20. chet, i was not saying that VJ3 plays only because of practice and you know it. i am a high school football coach and have never played a kid out of a sense of l oyalty. both game and practice performance determine playing time. you are too smart to tell me a major college basketball coach is playing someone out of a sense of loyalty. so you actually believe that tom crean would sit players who are better and would give iu a better opportunity to win in order to play another kid out of some sense of loyalty? that simply is not happening at iu! again, this is not saturday morning basketball at the ymca.

    i have a saying that i live by in my athletic life. ” VICTORY HAS MANY FATHERS, DEFEAT HAS ONE.” think about it.

  21. iu is 15-2 and i hear so much complaing it makes me sick. all of us thought this would maybe be a team that would win 18 games this year and be a NIT team. this program has improved by leaps and bounds and is headed in the right direction. and no, i am not happy with being average. i am realistic. iu has a good team and again there will be growing pains for this team and the program. the only person i heard say iu would be really good this year was dan dakich who predicted that iu would win 23 games.

  22. You are correct this team has improved by leaps and bounds, with the exception of Jones. His performance to date is a mirror of his Sophomore season. It is a basic truism he is on the floor when better players are sitting and not for resting. Everyone sees it. What gives? He is a anchor to be drug by a team heading in the right direction. After all, in your words, this is not Saturday AM BB at the Y. Again, what gives?

    My last thought, in a 1 on 1 game, Remy Abell vs. Jones, who wins? I’d like to see the Vegas line on that.

  23. all of us thought this would maybe be a team that would win 18 games this year and be a NIT team.

    Coach tburns-

    Not correct.

  24. @ hoosierfaninky (and anyone else in the “if Jordy ain’t shooting well get him off the court” crowd

    I couldn’t agree with you less. Here’s the deal – jordy is actually quite proficient at taking care of the ball. He isn’t exactly a gifted penetrator, defender, or play-maker, but he does run the team, settles them down, and as we know shoots the sh*t out of the ball. His presence on the court is positive because
    – he understands the offense
    – he understands spacing
    – he creates spacing as a defender must always be aware of where he is on the perimeter
    – he isn’t an option to foul
    – he knocks down 3’s
    – he is clutch
    – he is our best transition decision maker

    HfKY you wanted to make a stink about him being 2nd on the team in TO’s, and insinuated that that was bad since he is our PG… Well actually it is UNCOMMON for the PG to NOT lead the team in turnovers, or to say it simply – point guards almost without exception LEAD their teams in TO’s.

    Here is a comparison of Jordan Hulls versus the PG’s of the consenus top 5 teams and I threw in the preseason 1st team all-American at PG for good measure.

    The best way to compare players is on a per-40-minute basis, since some guys average 25 minutes a game and some guys 35… So the number represents TO’s per 40 minutes, not TO’s/game. (# = leads team, + = more total TO’s than Hulls)

    Hulls = 3.1

    Jardine (Syr) = 4.1 #+
    Teague (UK) = 3.9 #+
    Marshall (UNC) = 3.3 #+
    Pierre Jackson (Baylor) = 5.4 #+
    Craft (OSU) = 2.9 #+
    Tu Holloway (Xavier) = 3.3 #+

    Bottom line: Hulls takes better bare of the ball than every PG from the top 5 programs and the pre-season pick for 1st Team all-American, with exception of Aaron Craft. And every single one of these players, without exception, leads their team in TO’s and has MORE total TO’s than Jordan Hulls.

    He is doing just fine, ahhh-thank-you.

  25. all was a terrible word to use. now be honest, how many of you thought iu would be 15-2? be honest. i have been wrong many, many times in my life but how many of you really think tom crean would actally risk losing a game out a sense of loyaly? i will never believe that. yes i agree, VJ3 does some terrible things but he is NOT playing out of a sense of loyalty. think about what you are saying. you are saying that tom crean would rather lose a game than play other people.

  26. thank you geoff. hulls does indeed do a good job. you give well thought out thoughts. i don’t always agree with you but your thoughts seem to always be well thought out.

    hoosier clarion: in your own words, i would bet my house verdell jones would destroy you one on one! i love the debates but none of us are more qualified to decide who plays and who does not play. not me and not you clarion.

  27. It’s sad and it’s undermining, tburns, but it’s obviously being implied.

    I agree with what Geoff has stated many times on this blog. The Hoosiers have the talent right NOW to make a very legitimate run in the NCAA. They have the pieces that could gel into a potent team come March. If the right players are not given their opportunity now, it will only be lost opportunity come tournament time. Jones needs to be playing even less of a role than Kory Barnett.

    Why even take the conservative approach and just hope Jones doesn’t throw away too many opportunities? From what I am hearing from most on this blog(other than Harvard), any minutes stolen from Remy or Sheehey in order that Jones can still prove his value on the floor, are too many.

    I don’t hear too many bloggers arguing that Jones does anything positive for this team. It sounds to my ear that most believe playing him is total foolhardiness and such a detriment in so many ways it is completely baffling why he’s out there. That pretty much sound like they are claiming our coach has made a decision to play four against an opponent’s five ….maybe even three on five because VJ’s glaring mistakes more than nullify his own taking up of dead space on the floor.

    Let’s be clear…I don’t buy into the above garbage I just outlined. The season is young and I think Jones can still contribute. He was the best option when Sheehey was injured.
    I think Crean has managed the team to near perfection.

  28. Your memory has failed you. Those are not my words at all. Also why not answer the 2 Q’s I asked. Why does Jones start in front of better players? To your way of thinking there must a good reason but you do not express any idea of what it may be with the rest of us. By the way have you contemplated who wins that 1 on 1, Abell or Jones?

  29. I’m thinking a character from a 1970s TV series could give us the answers to why VJ starts. I can’t really come up with anything else.

  30. May be the worst song I’ve ever heard… So riddle me this Harvard, was it supposed to be awful or or is it unintentionally terrible?

    Also, riddle me THIS… (my brother asked me this this during the Pats game last night) what’s the difference between jam and jelly? You can’t jelly your d*ck into a chicken!

    He then proceeded to giggle like a schoolgirl for 30 seconds – that’s when I realized he’d been drinking during the Saints game. Still that one was very similar to something from the Riddler song.

  31. Actually Harvard, I have already stated my official position with respect to VJ3 as that beauteous paragraph that Chet wrote last week. But I will now condense my stance into one quick sentence, as to be easily repeatable when you start exaggerating again…

    I think Jones’ and Roth’s minutes should be reversed.
    – Roth 25-30
    – Jones 10-15
    – Barnett 0-2

  32. t.burns, as hard to believe at it is, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I’ll bet ‘he who shall not be named’ is a dynamite practice play. He just reverts to his old ways under stress. When I coached wrestling I demanded that moves be perfect in practice, especially when you are exhausted, because you’re going to revert to your basest instincts when you are tired or stressed. So, your basest instincts must be perfection.
    But, I wasn’t working with guys that had 15 years of bad habits to overcome. That’s why kids like Jordy and Cody do so well in crunch time. They have no bad habits to revert to.

  33. Chet, Clarion, et al – Might be interested in this one… How do Abel and Roth’s stat lines compare to Jones if they averaged his minutes (26.3/gm)….

    Jones – 8.2 pts, 3.0 reb, 3.5 ast, 0.9 st, 2.2 fouls, 2.9 to, 38% FG, 74% ft, 32% 3-pt

    Roth – 12.1 pts, 1.5 reb, 1.3 ast, 0.6 st, 0.6 fouls, 0.1 to, 58% FG, 100% ft, 59% 3-pt

    Abel – 10.7 pts, 2.7 reb, 2.5 ast, 1.3 st, 1.9 fouls, 1.5 to, 41% FG, 71% ft, 46% 3-pt

    It’s an interesting argument. We have seen both guys play extended minutes, and play well, so I’m not sure you dismiss that these numbers would project out. Jones only real advantage he brings is in assists, but he turns it over so much more that I don’t think it’s worth it. Both Roth and Abel shoot it better, and better from deep, and score more. They also foul less and turn it over WAY less – Roth has 1 turnover all SEASON!

    Don’t know if this furthers the discussion, but I think it’s interesting…

  34. Need no coin flip for this decision. Supports what my eyes have been seeing. Leaving Abell with the brightest future and highest ceiling. Nice job, Thanks.

  35. In fairness, of the three, Matt doesn’t handle the ball nearly as much. We’ll see what happens. I’m pretty sure the days of ‘he who shall not be named’ playing 36 minutes are over. Matt is just as deserving of ‘loyalty minutes’ and I’d love to see him playing more down the stretch. Remy is the future. He is going to be a key component for the next three years. A great find by CTC.

    Along that line, people need to just bite their tongue when CTC recruits someone that they don’t think is deserving of the candy stripes. He has proven to have a ridiculously skilled eye for talent.

  36. great comparisons geoff. the speak the truth. just a thought: maybe coach VJ3 more than roth and abel on defense. i do not know and i am not saying that is thcase. just searching for answers. again let me say VJ3 has played terrible and i am not defending him. i just refuse to believe that he gets his playing time due to favortism.

    as i have stated before i am a watford fan but i think he falls into not doing other things to help his team when he is not scoring. he was just awful against minnestota. it didn’t look to me as though he was rebounding or playing hard. he seems to have gotten a free pass for the way he competed against minnestota.

    my final point is that iu wins as a team and they lose as a team. it not just jone’s fault when they lose. it is not just hull’s fault when they lose. it is a team loss.

    p.s. hey clarion, i will stipulate that abel beats jones 1 on 1 if you will stipulate that jones would destroy you 1 on 1.

  37. sorry guys, my typing on last post was a disgrace. i meant to say that maybe crean trusts VJ3 more that roth and abel on defense. i don’t know that for a fact but just searching for answers.

  38. You still have not given us your slant on why VJ starts and RA, WS and MR do not. Why do they not get more minutes than him. Since I am not a college age BB player we would play by my rules, location and conditions all of which VJ would not agree to, so by forfeit I win.

  39. Geoff will like this one more.

    I’m not sure if Sheehey would not be anymore reliable if in a role of handling the ball as much as Jones. Remy is developing, but I think Crean likes the energy jolt coming off the bench and the defensive pressure fresh legs can provide after opponent’s starters begin to tire.

    Geoff made some very good observations in pointing showing how top point guards asked to create and get the ball into tight spaces on assist attempts inevitably turn the ball over. Hulls has not demonstrated on a consistence basis that he can penetrate into the the clogged areas and force some defenders off of teammates. Crean just doesn’t have fabulous option for that facet of the game. I do think Crean extends the hand of loyalty to VJ…Let’s face facts…a lot of our guys have had very inconsistent performances and great games followed by stinkbombs. Is the cost of seriously deflating VJ’s belief in himself by not keeping him in the starting rotation worth it? I don’t think Crean has yet to cross that threshold. I think he prefers the disruption to our opponents flow bringing a scorer like Sheehey and a defender like Remy off the bench. Teams settle into your starters and maybe it’s not such a bad thing to have talent that could arguably start disrupting our opponent when they are ready to rest their first rotations.

  40. 1. I would very much like VJ3’s belief in himself deflated, in respect to his role on this IU team… Yes.

    2. I very much like the idea of Sheehey playing the 6th man role, but finishing the game in the line-up.

    3. I’d also prefer Abel coming off the bench,but not opposed to him starting.

    4. I don’t care if Jones starts or not, I just want to see his minutes decreased.

    5. I prefer Roth to get 20+ minutes a game

  41. clarion, i am not QUALIFIED to name a starting five nor are YOU! that has been my point all along. it is easy to have the answers after the fact and from the sidelines. my point for all of us is that tom crean can out coach all of us put together. and since you seem to want to attack me about answering you, CAN YOU BEAT JONES 1 ON 1? and i would doubt that any coach worth his salt would determine who will play based on a 1 on 1 contest. this is not wrestling where they might have a wrestle off to determine who competed in a certain weight class. we can argue forever but both of us are not big ten basketball coaches. the difference is that i can admit it and you can’t.

  42. Just as I surmised, it all boiled down to the fact you have no position to defend or declare.

  43. I won’t disagree with much of that, Geoff. Unfortunately(or, more likely, fortunately) we don’t have the entire set of variables going into the thought processes our coaching staff and their decisions.

    I would rather see Remy getting those 20+ minutes than Roth. I think opponents with quicker backcourts will shut him down and those looks won’t be there as frequently. I like Remy’s hunger for boards and his ability to get into the middle. No doubt that Roth is a wonderful weapon and offers the timeliness of backbreaking threes.

    What’s your gut feeling about today’s game? What’s the keys for us to steal one in Columbus?

  44. Has Crean been asked the tough questions on Jones yet? And if so, can someone highlight the link to take me there? I would be interested to hear his rationale…

    I rarely pay attention to coaches and interviews because everything they say on the record is equal parts cliche, salesmanship, mis-information, or glossing.

    I would however, be interested to hear a real answer on why Jones gets the minutes he does. Not to criticize him or question him, but because I am sure he sees something we don’t and it would truly be interesting to get that perspective.

  45. My gut feeling is that we lose a close game. I think that OSU is feeling a little pressure to perform after not playing all that well in the B1G. I am not sure that coming home necessarily helps them in that respect. If things start to go a little wrong they could get really tight in front of some anxious fans. Their expectations are just so much higher. They are supposed to be a contender. They are supposed to win the B1G. They are supposed to win at home. They are supposed to win this revenge game… I would actually be a little more nervous about this game if we were at home. Now we have the “us against the world” and underdog mentality to draw on…

    But like I said, in the end I think they are just a bit better, and Matta will make sure the refs know all about how Sullinger got jobbed last game, etc and they pull out a close one.

    Keys for IU to pull it out
    1. Fewer than 10 TO’s
    2. Better than 40% 3-pt shooting
    3. Better than 75% FT shooting
    4. Cody not in foul trouble
    5. Watford wins the match-up with Thomas
    6. Dipo holds Buford to 15 points or less
    7. Our bench has to be +10 points over theirs

    It will be interesting to see Sheehey’s impact on the game after sitting out the first one and playing so well in his first game back. Will also be interesting to see how Jones handles that last game.


  46. OK I can see im outmatched on the hulls debate. It’s ok I see your points and understand where you are coming from. It’s not as much the # of turnovers as it is the turnover itself. Atleast 3 times a game he gets the ball stolen trying to get it to Cody. He travels twice a game. He never gets to the free throw line. He gets the ball stolen more than anyone besides vd3. I mean are you people kidding me??? I know some of you are very very intelligent basketball guys that’s why im blown away!! Geoff did you really try to validate him by saying he understands the offense? He can knock down the 3? He understands spacing? And he isn’t an option to foul?? Are you talking about Roth or Hulls?? Come on guy you just agreed that he was bad on d couldn’t penetrate and wasn’t a playmaker! Do you hear yourself right now? Wow what a standard you have for a great player. Im sorry folks call me simplistic but but any pg who isn’t a playmaker, horrible on d can’t penetrate never gets to the line and leads our team in to’s is a not a good player.. Maybe im wrong.

  47. Jordan Hulls and Vj3 are starting to look weak in big ten play.Hulls knocks down from deep and is clutch but the- on ball -defense is suffocating him and causing bad decisions and no offensive flow is being set up due to this. It also seems that most players can easily get past him off the dribble.He also is unable to give Zeller an entry passI mean unable!!!! VJ3 is having the same problems but has no shot from deep and barley a mid range. If our gaurd play doesnt improve losses will ensue!! I honestly think theyre the worst backcourt defenders in the Big Ten!!! Convince me otherwise Im tired of the lazy passes and inability to make entry passes….?????

  48. Little debate here on them being the worst back court in the b10. You aren’t from bloomington are you?

  49. HfKY, I don’t think you are understanding me exactly. I have never said Jordy was a great player, just ask Harvard, I’m simply pointing out his strengths and weaknesses. By your account above Hulls should be turning the ball over at least 5 times a game, and that simply isn’t true. Against IU’s 10 toughest opponents this season he is averaging 3.0 TO’s/game. He is also 9th in TO’s in the Big Ten, not 7th, and the list of players ahead of him is a pretty good roster – guys like Draymond Green, Burke, Frazier, and Paul – who all have a shot at All-B1G teams.

    I agree that Jordy has limitations to his offensive game. I agree that on-ball pressure is giving him fits. I agree that the strongest part of his offensive repertroire is his shooting. But you can’t dismiss the other things he does well. He runs the show for the #1 scoring offense in the Big Ten.

    The biggest thing right now is that we do not have a better option at PG. Abel is a superior defender, can get into the paint and finish strong, and has shown a decent outside touch, but I am certainly not ready to hand over the offensive reigns to him. Jones, well hopefully you know my position on Jones. So who, Danny Moore – he’s a really poor man’s Jordan Hulls.

    So we simply don’t have another solution to PG. The other debate is Jones, and we have plenty of solutions there. Next year we’ll have Yogi, and Abel will have more experience. Jordy will spend more time as a shooter and less time as a facilitator. Until then we can complain all we want, but there isn’t a better option, so what’s the point.

  50. What about his D????? Thats the biggest faullt I think he has. These other gaurd are murding him!!!!!

  51. I agree as well geoff as of now we’re stuck. And Yes hulls can kill it from deep no doubt I guess I just get frustrated when he and vd3 turn it over and make dumb play after play and I check the box scores the next day and they lead our team in minutes played! Good news is we are 15-3 and still in contention for a piece of the big ten title which im sure is way better than anything we expected!!

  52. Yeah, D is suspect, but I disagree that opposing guards are murdering him. The only time he’s been really outmatched was Appling. No one else has really gone off on Hulls. Craft, Teague, and Burke all have had modest games, at best, against him. He didn’t guard Frazier, who was the other big time pg they’ve faced.

    I’m not saying he’s great on D, just that he hides his deficiencies well enough that he doesn’t get burned all game, and it hasn’t cost them games really.

    Jones on the other hand plays D like me – giving up career highs to everyone he matches up with lately… Jermaine Marshall – check; Hollins – check; Smith jr – checkmate

    However the blame wants to get laid, it is not a strong defensive starting back court.

  53. Hulls is in possession of the ball far more this year than crucial early days his college career when he should have been building experience at the position. Crean was unwilling to take the ball out of VJ’s hands until this year. Eat a side salad of reason before you swallow a whole meal of criticism aimed at Hulls inconsistencies.

    Minus the three game stretch when Jones was injured last season, Hulls has finally been delegated the role of primary point guard responsibilities. I often wonder how much greater his progression would have been with many more minutes his freshman year and greater PG responsibilities his sophomore year. I remember many comments on blogs that showed frustration in Crean not putting full faith in Hulls to operate from the PG position those first two years. Was that because Jordy wasn’t ready or an unwillingness to take it away from soemone else?

    Hard to compare Hulls to other elite point guards when he has such weak counterparts in the backcourt with him. His counterpart is either a turnover machine or an inexperienced Remy(a promising young Hoosier that is still rough around the edges and is currnetly more valuable for defensive effort than any strong offensive threat he provides as compliment to Hulls). How much better did Bobby Wilkerson make Quinn Buckner? How much better did Randy Wittman make Isiah Thomas? How much better did Keith Smart make Steve Alford? More recent: How much better did Eric Gordon make Armon Bassett?

    Give me a healthy, more experienced, very qualified 2 guard beside Jordy(Creek?), and remove from the equation the fact he had to share the PG minutes with Jones the last two years(basically not getting any minutes at PG his freshman year and his sophomore year stymied by a coach’s strange loyalty to VJ creating an early roadblock when Hulls could have been refining his abilities at the backcourt leadership role), and I think Hulls could be substantially higher on the learning curve and comparison charts.

    I think Hulls has done great. He was brought in as Mr. Basketball and was denied the same PG reigns in his first two years that will be handed to Yogi without second thought the first day on campus. Leaving VJ as the ‘man on campus’ has cost this team more than the mistakes he made last weekend. You can’t evaluate Hulls in an OSU game flashbulb moment without looking at what he is forced to work with as his compliment and what he had to finally overcome in terms of unreasonable loyalty by the man in charge on the bench; a coach that refused far too long to see the truth and remove favored status to the kid “that shall remain nameless”(Chet’s trademark phrase).

  54. Interesting read, Harvard. Why can’t John Feinstein be writing a book about THIS season. Maybe then we’d get an insight to explain the seemingly limitless patience and loyalty to he who shall remain nameless. I don’t understand it at all.

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