You learn something new every game

This is what you’d see if you were on the team.If you’ve caught even five minutes of anything Indiana coach Tom Crean has said about his basketball team this year, you’ve realized that he’s not treating it like any other year he’s ever experienced. With just two returning players — both who originally walked-on to the team — the Hoosiers must try to learn something from each game they play.

In that spirit, we’ve moved away from our typical scouting report format. We’re not going to judge how well Indiana matches up with it’s opponent. Instead, we’ll try go analyze what the opposition — and the situation — can teach the Hoosiers.

Here’s the first installment, which also appeared in today’s paper.

Scouting report

Forwards

The two Lukes — Harangody and Zeller — are a challenge unlike anything IU’s frontcourt has seen (or probably will see) this year. Harangody is as physical as any forward in the country and has underrated athleticism. Zeller spreads the court with his shooting range (and he’s not even a starter).

What IU needs to learn: Tom Pritchard needs to find a way to limit the Fighting Irish’s productivity in the paint without fouling out. Kyle Taber is in for the biggest battle of his career and probably isn’t near full-strength yet, so he must show leadership by playing within himself. Tijan Jobe must find a way to make his size count.

Guards

Kyle McAlarney is one of the better 3-point shooters in college basketball (though he is only 2-for-8 so far this year) and Tory Jackson is an experienced point guard who makes strong in-game adaptations.

What IU needs to learn: Figure Devan Dumes to cover one of the above and for Notre Dame to attack wherever he isn’t. IU will almost certainly mix defenses and Jackson, who often gets lost in the sea of strong Big East guards, won’t surprise Crean: he scored 21 points and had seven rebounds and seven assists in his first game against Marquette in 2007. The Hoosiers have to try to devise a rotation that can replicate the effect of a veteran stopper.

How they play

Let’s let Tom Crean handle this one: “They’ve added to their sets, but its so much about their personnel. They don’t put anyone out on the floor who can’t make plays. Everyone can make a 3. Luke Zeller has taken 13 shots, 10 of them have been 3s and he’s spending as much time at the 5 spot as the 4 spot. It’s a totally different matchup for our guys.”

What IU needs to learn: Simply playing against a veteran team so carefully constructed should help Indiana’s young players. Two seasons ago, Notre Dame was picked to finish 11th in the Big East. Simply put, it has taken the Fighting Irish time to grow. That’s a message that will constantly need to be reinforced with this IU team.

2 comments

  1. Chris, I was wrong on the Hula Grill. You can still get a nice meal there, but the sports bar is downtown Lahaina, in a small shopping mall. Not sure of the name, but it is in the center of the mall.

    Do you have special seats for the game, or are you like the fans who have to line up an hour before the game?

  2. ww,

    Thanks for letting us know. We hit the Hula Grill our first night here. It was delicious.

    I assume we have special seats, but if we do end up having to stand in line there are certainly worst places to do it.

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