Some guys looked really good in Sellersburg

We’re going to start this thing off with one big, giant disclaimer: JUST ONE PRACTICE

That said, the worst kept secret in Indiana basketball this week — there was a Saturday afternoon practice in Sellersburg, at the Nolan Fieldhouse — gave the public (and the members of the media, namely myself, Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall and Michael Pegram of Peegs.com) the chance to watch roughly two hours of Indiana basketball.

And what we saw was an extension of coach Tom Crean’s philosophy — competition is going to breed success. The first drill of the day was a full-contact layup line, with assistant coaches (armed with the arm pads you normally see on a football field) giving out a beating to players as they drove the lane. I saw this same drill a week ago, and it had the same effect today as it did then — it establishes a tempo for what is to come.

We saw four players try to guard six student managers (there may have been a grad assistant or two in there as well) in the halfcourt. We saw Bawa Muniru pull up short of defending Mike Santa’s drive to the basket. Had Muniru kept going, there probably would have been a basketball-sized hole in the wall at Nolan Fieldhouse and they might be still peeling Santa off the hardwood floor. But, thankfully if you’re Santa’s loved ones, this did not happen. Crean implored Muniru to come up and defend Santa, and then told Tijan Jobe that he has to help out and create what is essentially the biggest halfcourt trap you’ve ever seen.

We saw the full court fast break drill that Chris Korman and Dustin Dopirak saw a couple of weeks ago, during the first practice Crean has opened to the media at IU. Jobe actually looked really solid during this drill, running the floor and becoming a part of the offense rather than the big guy in the middle of it all.

And, after all the drill work was done, there was a scrimmage. Two games of first-to-20, and then a timed period. I took stats for the first two sessions. Here they are:

Jordan Hulls — 5 points (2-of-2 shooting), 1 rebound, 1 assist

Christian Watford — 2 points (1-of-5, 1-of-2 3-point), 1 rebound, 4 steals, 2 assists

Maurice Creek — 10 points (4-of-5, 3-of-4, 1-of-2 FT), 1 rebound, 1 steal, 2 assists

Jeremiah Rivers — 9 points (3-of-8, 1-of-3), 1 rebound, 3 assists

Verdell Jones — 12 points (4-of-6, 2-of-2, 2-of-2), 2 rebounds, 1 assist

Bobby Capobianco — 2 points (0-of-1, 2-of-2), 1 steal

Tom Pritchard — 4 points (1-of-2, 2-of-6), 5 rebounds

Matt Roth — 3 points (1-of-3), 1 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists

Derek Elston — 4 points (2-of-4), 3 rebounds

Devan Dumes — 7 points (3-of-7, 0-of-2, 1-of-2), 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist

Tijan Jobe — 2 points (1-of-1)

Bawa Muniru — 2 points (1-of-1), 1 rebound

Steven Gambles — 2 points (1-of-1), 3 rebounds

Kory Barnett — 3 points (1-of-1)

Daniel Moore — 3 points (1-of-2, 1-of-1), 1 assist

Brett Finklemeirer — 0 points (0-of-1 3pt), 1 steal

So what can we get out of this?

Rivers did a really nice job of attacking in transition. He found the open man when the defense was trying to recover and found a way to get himself open shots. He looked less confident in the half-court, and Moore took point guard responsibilities.

Watford was willing to dive for every loose ball, and came up with most of them. He had a couple of shots just rim out, so do not put too much stock into his shooting numbers.

Creek had a way of getting himself open without the defense recognizing where he was. So did Jones. Pritchard did a nice job of being a part of the team without dominating it.

The flip side? Capobianco was twice pulled for simple mistakes (not diving for a loose ball, and failing to inbound after a made shot). Both teams, Crean instantly told Capobianco to sit on the bench.

Dumes put up some ill-advised shots, rushing when so many of his teammates were willing to hold the ball and wait for a better shot opportunity.

Hulls was called out during the defensive drill for trying to make a steal, which ended up being an open 3-pointer after his teammates had to recover. Hulls seemed to make the adjustment. As I Tweeted, it’s about learning that what works against Southport and Center Grove is not going to work against Michigan State.

Everyone else fell somewhere in the middle, at least for me.

5 comments

  1. Sounds like Dumes still has a full inventory of turnovers for the ready. Give him Roth’s role of last year. Stand behind the arc and just shoot 3’s. He just doesn’t have the handle for B10 pressure D.

  2. If Moore is playing point in the half-court, that’s not a good sign. But might a combo of Rivers and Jones and the back-court still add up to one complete point guard?

    Who starts at the four-spot this season? Inside the Hall said Derek Elston looked like the best rebounder, but Steven Gambles had that distinction in last year’s preseason practices, and he got like ten minutes of total PT last year. Is Watford tough enough for the four-spot?

  3. Rivers and Jones were on opposite teams, as were Hulls and Moore. Those were the matchups we saw, but I do not know how much to read into that, if anything at all.
    Of the 4s, I thought Elston was the better rebounder. But Watford plays a lot like the 4s Crean used at Marquette.

  4. I personally thought Dumes did a excellent job,he didn’t shoot any more than anyone else, he ball handling is awesome, if they can’t keep up then they need to play for lower divisions. Dumes did a wonderful job on defense, and attacked the boards as well. Not for sure what you were watching! Sorry Dumes didn’t lead in turnovers look it up before you post pathetic comments, and write the truth.

  5. Jeremiah Rivers 3 of 8 come on that should be written not Dumes Hugh, get it together before you downgrade someone, you will make sales move way down!!!!!!!!!!

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