What was learned in Maui

Here’s a story that ran in today’s paper. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this and any ruminations you may have on a starting five/rotation now that the season is a few weeks old.

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Three games in three days is grueling for any basketball team.

For an Indiana Hoosiers team made up of college basketball neophytes, three games in three days also served as a revealing look at a team that fans are still trying to get to know.

Below, we break down how each of Indiana’s players fared in Maui, where the Hoosiers went 1-2 with a win against Division II Chaminade and losses to Notre Dame and St. Joseph’s.

Tom Pritchard

6-9 FRESHMAN FORWARD

Made three starts; shot 16-of-31 from the field; grabbed 18 rebounds; scored 40 points

Pritchard played 82 minutes and was resilient throughout, though he got into early foul trouble against St. Joe’s and then struggled with free throw shooting late against Chaminade when it mattered the most. Still, Pritchard has gone from being a mystery in the summer to the most steady player on the team.

Sign of growth: Pritchard had four assists against the Silverswords (and also kicked the ball out several other times only to see his teammates miss open 3s). That means the offense is running through him (through being the operative word) which is how it will have to be for the Hoosiers to be effective.

Devan Dumes

6-2 JUNIOR GUARD

Made three starts; shot 11-of-31; scored 30 points; turned the ball over 10 times

What stands out when watching Dumes (he played a team-high 87 minutes) is that he knows when his team needs him. He is not afraid to take big shots to try to disrupt an opponent’s run and can be fearless when crashing through the lane. But as his shooting percentage shows (35 percent) he is too intent on making the big play at times.

Sign of growth: Dumes is a conscientious defender who can often shutter the point of attack or smaller shooting guards.

Daniel Moore

5-11 FRESHMAN POINT GUARD

Made three starts; had 11 assists and 13 turnovers; made six steals

Moore also played 80-pluse minutes as he continued to show the best understanding of what Crean wants from his point guard. Like Dumes, he sometimes moves too fast for his own good. But it’s probably easier to learn to slow it down. Moore used his quick hands to frustrate big hands by reaching in on them.

Sign of growth: Moore took six shots — and made three — against Chaminade. He’ll become more effective if he shows he’ll do something other than pass the ball.

Nick Williams

6-4 FRESHMAN GUARD/FORWARD

Made two starts; shot 10-of-21; had 24 points

Williams appears to be settling in at forward, though his rebounding numbers (he had 7 in three games) are probably lower than the coaching staff would like. He hit a 3 against Chaminade; if he can continue doing that he’ll have even more room to create mid-range pull-ups, which he excels at doing.

Sign of growth: Had three steals against St. Joe’s and is starting to understand where his hands need to be.

Verdell Jones

6-5 FRESHMAN GUARD

Made two starts; shot 12-of-23; scored 29 points; had six assists and six turnovers

Jones’ game appears to be smoothing out after opening the year with fits of brilliance and spurts of struggle.

Sign of growth: Is adjusting to physicality at this level. He’s always been slight for his age group and has always found a way to be successful. But that trick gets more difficult with each step up.

Malik Story

6-5 FRESHMAN GUARD/FORWARD

Made one start; shot 9-for-18; had 27 points

Indiana appears to have found that player who not only seems to enjoy coming off the bench but can propel his team when doing so in Story. A creative player who is confident in his own shot, Story appears to relish entering the game and giving defenses a new look.

Matt Roth

6-3 FRESHMAN GUARD

Made on start; shot 3-for-9; went 3-for-7 from 3-point

Roth’s teammate’s know to look for him, but he’s not yet as effective as he should be at getting to open spots. Though he has rarely seen a 3-pointer he thinks he can’t make, he is also smart about making the extra pass to find a more-open teammate. His defensive liabilities kept him on the floor fewer than 15 minutes per game, a pattern which figures to continue.

Kyle Taber

6-8 SENIOR FORWARD

Had eight rebounds in 38 minutes off the bench

Taber has always been a hustle player. But he’s been limited by his recovery from knee surgery and is a bit unsure of his role in Crean’s system. As always, he’ll do whatever you ask and shows the best knack for getting to rebounds on the team so far.

Tijan Jobe

7-0 SENIOR CENTER

Had five rebounds and a tip-in playing spot duty

Jobe won’t play a major role on this team any time soon because of how raw his is skill-wise. But he plays with unbridled energy and can use his size. He entered the St. Joe’s game and knocked Ahmad Nivins — a probable All-Atlantic 10 first-teamer — off his game for a series of possessions.

The supporting cast

Brett Finkelmeier ran the point for the Hoosiers and slowed the pace of the game effectively. That’s something Crean wants from his walk-ons.

Evan White played only a couple of minutes at point guard but showed good athleticism (and some jitters). He’ll be tough to handle on the scout team.

Kory Barnett, Broderick Lewis and Kipp Shutz all concentrated on doing thing the little things well when they saw the floor. None of the three appear ready to make an impact, though all three seem capable of providing solid play if called upon in a pinch.

4 comments

  1. Chris, sorry to switch gears on you. But according to the men’s soccer page on iuhoosiers.com, the IU vs Mich game will be streamed live online tonight at 7:00 pm. Didn’t know if you wanted to post a link for everyone. Thanks.

  2. Like I posted in the past, I love this team. the reason being is, this is all new to us. New coach and staff and basically all new player. We the fans, will get to wittness this team grow into a national powerhouse that I.U. is known for. As for this fan, I will make the four hour trek tomorrow and support the “Young” Hoosiers even if there is a winter storm watch in my area. I.U. history is being made this year, and I want to be a part of it.

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